Which quotations from great leaders and writers might you best like to see displayed at advertising locations for the education and benefit of the world?

Which quotations from great leaders and writers might you best like to see displayed at advertising locations and in trains and buses, for the education and benefit of the world?


Among the first that come to mind as most helpful in supporting the anti-theist cause are the truths uttered or written by America’s founding fathers and other great people whose names are well-known to everyone including bible-thumping fundamentalists. Every country, every language will have its favorites.


“The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe in blood for centuries.”  James Madison 1803


“Millions of fables, tales and legends have been blended with Jewish and Christian revelation that have made them the most bloody religion that ever existed.”  John Adams


“Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise, every expanded prospect.”  James Madison


“Religious controversies are always productive of more acrimony and irreconcilable hatreds than those which spring from any other cause. I had hoped that liberal and enlightened thought would have reconciled the Christians so that their religious fights would not endanger the peace of Society.” George Washington.


“I have recently been examining all of the known superstitions of the world and do not find in our particular superstition (Christianity) one redeeming feature. They are all alike, founded upon fables and mythologies.” Thomas Jefferson. 1743-1826


“Don't interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties.”  Abraham Lincoln


“Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear”.  Thomas Jefferson


“…Freedom arises from the multiplicity of sects, which pervades America and which is the best and only security for religious liberty in any society. For where there is such a variety of sects, there cannot be a majority of any one sect to oppress and persecute the rest.” James Madison. 1778

[spoken at the June 1778 Virginia convention on ratifying the Constitution]


“Our civil rights have no dependence upon our religious opinions more than our opinions in physics or geometry.” Thomas Jefferson


“Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise, every expanded prospect.” James Madison.   


“During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less, in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution.” James Madison.


“I belong to no church.” Abraham Lincoln


“The Bible is not my book and Christianity is not my religion. I could never give assent to the long, complicated statements of Christian dogma.” Abraham Lincoln

“Christianity is the most perverted system that ever shone on man.” Thomas Jefferson

“And the day will come, when the [virgin birth] will rank with the fable of the generation [birth] of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.”  Thomas Jefferson

“Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”  Abraham Lincoln


 “Let the human mind loose. It must be loose. It will be loose. Superstition and dogmatism cannot confine it.” John Adams 1816.           [Letter to his son, John Quincy Adams, 1816 November 13].

You believe in a book that has talking animals, wizards, witches, demons, sticks turning into snakes, burning bushes, food falling from the sky, people walking on water, and all sorts of magical, absurd and primitive stories, and you say that we are the ones that need help?” Mark Twain



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Replies to This Discussion

I think Franklin's lack of faith leads to his conclusion, (paraphrased) "spend time wisely, because this is the stuff life is made of."

Belief in the afterlife makes time cheap.
So, true! It's the supply and demand thing. In limited-time reality, every moment is so precious!
We are content to reason that real time is all that we shall ever have; and how lucky we are to be born and to be alive at all.

Christians think they were born to live and die before speeding away to some fantasy involving endless eternity. I do wonder why believers weep so much at funerals when they profess that a funeral is only a staging post before the next reunion with the dead of their families.
Good point. --- It's just as difficult to find a christian that's a christian, as it is to find a god that's a god.
Dawkins talks about this in the God Delusion. The results of experiments, I believe, indicate Christians have just as much fear of death as anyone else. There was a cleric somewhere, however, who threw a party and had a celebration (when his wife died).

I'm getting on, but do not fear Judgment Day. I know a reasonable God couldn't punish me for refusing to abandon reason.
I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it. -Mark Twain
and how lucky we are to be born and to be alive at all.

We're at the intersection of two infinite time lines, past and future. What are the chances? Past time goes back 13.7 billion years, so what's our average 80 years by comparison?

Just a favorite song of mine that expresses this—from the old musical Hair.

In the new consciousness, people will be glad just to be alive.
I like good ole Ben Franklin...wouldn't you like to spend even 5 minutes in conversation with this man???

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
-- Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania.

I have found Christian dogma unintelligible. Early in life I absented myself from Christian assemblies.
-- Benjamin Franklin,

"A little Religion, and a little Honesty, goes a great way in Courts."
-- Benjamin Franklin, comparing the politicized clergyman with the regular clergyman, a thing which a few have ventured to do in recent times (Ahem!), quoted in The New England Currant (July 23, 1722), "Silence Dogood, No. 9; Corruptio optimi est pessima."

Ben had it goin on!!
Yes, he did! This is one of my all-time favorites:

"When a religion is good, I conceive it will support itself; and when it does not support itself, and God does not care to support it, so that its professors are obliged to call for the help of the civil power, 'tis a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one."
[Ben Franklin, _Poor Richard's Almanac_, 1754 (Works, Volume XIII)]

I spent more than 40 years as a bookkeeper and tax preparer, and I have never been able to find out why churches can own whole city blocks, income property such as apartment houses and commercial property that they lease to church members to run ordinary businesses on, but they pay no taxes for any of that land. And they are still getting grants from BushWhacker's "Faith-Based" give-away programs.

So when state government has a budget shortfall, what do they do? Lay off teachers, firefighters, police officers, nurses in county hospitals, and cut back other vital services.

Bah! Humbug! Tax the wealthy churches. We're being Rick (Warren) Rolled.
I agree with everything you have said here Elaine. I live in the bible belt, and during my senior year in High School, (public school tax funded) I only had to have 3 classes to graduate so I had to take some BS classes to fill my day and one was Chorus. Our "director" was a holy roller who was a beloved talent in the local majority church and a star student from the christ filled university that runs this town I live in.
We were preparing a program for a winter concert with a christmas theme. (I don't mind xmas, because it to me isn't about jesus and there are so many customs from different cultures assimilated into it, I can use it to celebrate peace and humanity not jesus.) She had us singing about baby jesus, and I was fit to be tied. I have a strong voice and have sang in many musicals lead parts. This I was offended to sing, and refused. I complained to the principal and then to the school board. We had jewish and hindu students in that class not to mention me (an atheist in hiding). I encouraged those students to speak up. We started a petition. I was amazed at how the student body was sympathetic. Then one day I got called into the principal's office. I was told to pipe down and stop my petition efforts. I argued my case to the principal. He was a cool guy and I thought above all of the politics. I instead was told if I didn't cease my campaign, I would not be allowed to walk graduation line. I could tell that he was not happy about having to lay this on me but this was way over his head. This ridiculous woman teaching chorus had friends in high places and this 17 year old heathen wasn't going to screw up her chance to perform in front of the entire university and alumni at the big xmas concert. This was in 1987. My parents were ill about the whole thing (me being threatened.) We were catholics in the South and that can be a stigma down here especially with the particular denomination that controls this town, so they were stoked I was fighting it.
Long story short, the program was performed WITHOUT the jewish, hindu, and closet atheist (me). We rebels were given a pass for not participating and our spring program was about show tunes (I'll assume that maybe my letter to the ACLU got a nasty gram sent to the school).
I was bitter and it fueled my fire!!! Ever since then, I have been fighting to keep jesus and god out of being forced into my life! And more important to let these fundies know that it is NOT OK to force religion on our kids!!! Still they are everywhere in our government up to the highest office in this country. You are right about jesus being big business! I could take some pics of mega churches here that would blow your mind. You KNOW that they have money to burn when you see $1M RV parked in the hanger at the local airport they own beside the jet they have. How many starving babies could that feed? Guess god wants them to be comfortable when they travel.....meh...I have been besieged by these assholes my entire life! Sorry...I ranted.....I have a kid and this all pisses me off and scares me so much that people are this stupid and irrational. Not at all what I want my son to be surrounded by.
*applause!* *applause!* If you can't rant here, where can you do it?

When I was in high school, I didn't have your brains, or guts; I was still trying desperately to believe things I suspected were preposterous. I never would have had the courage to take on a teacher, much less the school administration.

In fact I didn't understand (at that time...mid-1950s) why some of our teachers seemed uncomfortable about inserting the undergod into the pledge of allegiance. Now I wonder if other civilized countries even have similar silly rituals.
“And neither the angels in heaven above, Nor the demons down under the sea, Can ever dissever my soul from the soul Of the beautiful Annabel Lee”. Poe.




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