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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This is a quote from a fictional character - one Laine Hansen of the movie, The Contender, but what she has to say is more than worthy of general audition:

I stand for the separation of Church and State, and the reason that I stand for that is the same reason that I believe our forefathers did. It is not there to protect religion from the grasp of government but to protect our government from the grasp of religious fanaticism.
Wow - you've just inspired me to find out more about Jefferson, those are some great quotes.
My personal favourites are taken from Freud's Lecture 35:

If one wishes to form a true estimate of the full grandeur of religion, one must keep in mind what it undertakes to do for men. It gives them information about the source and origin of the universe, it assures them of protection and final happiness amid the changing vicissitudes of life, and it guides their thoughts and motions by means of precepts which are backed by the whole force of its authority.
Religion is an attempt to get control over the sensory world, in which we are placed, by means of the wish-world, which we have developed inside us as a result of biological and psychological necessities.
Religion is an illusion and it derives its strength from the fact that it falls in with our instinctual desires.
Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.

“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.”

That turned into a bit of an oxymoron, then.
Imagine the agony and ordeal if the USA, or any of its individual states, had theocratic Biblical law behind its governance.
I think what it would evolve (or devolve!) into a second American civil war. What's scary is that there are some theists who would actually welcome this as a marker for the second coming.
While I can see the point to the separation working, if we look at what happened when religion evolved in the areas left by those founders compared to their well-meaning ideas, it's fairly clear it was a mistake.

What the American's did was concentrate some highly religious people and breed them in a secluded spot. I wonder if there really is a gene/geneplex that makes people tend to irrational belief?

Worse still - they think of themselves collectively as "the world"

There's the World Series, the World Trades Centers (as was), The World Expo and recently the World's best companies (Apple Computer won that.)

I'm sure more enlightened US citz would be able to quote more examples; but there's a naive psychology at work here - and it's quite a scary one too. Many Americans think of North America as the "world" not just a part of it.
Well in fairness to Americans, the "World Series" is named for the "World" newspaper (now defunct) that sponsored the games.
Hey! You learn something new everyday - at least I try to and I wasn't aware of that. Still, the masses in America do seem unfortunately unaware of the rest of the world as if (we) were just a footnote on a very large page.
Having lived in Latin America for many years, I find it interesting that the United States-ians have appropriated the titles of "America" and "Americans". Central and South Americans don't appreciate this at all. They say that they too are Americans.
Citizens of Los Estados Unidos de México also don't appreciate our taking over "United States" as our own property.
I'm not sure when the collective head of the United States grew so big. Maybe it was after bailing Europe out of two world wars or perhaps after building in to a super power on the backs of modern slave labor around the world like China, India, Mexico all of south east Asia... Maybe it's do to the manipulation of perception the world has endured because of fear of nuclear annihilation for the last 60 years. Or perhaps it comes with being the world police force and spending trillions on military defense instead of taking care of our people like the rest of the western world has. strange how we are the wealthiest nation on earth yet people still die of preventable and curable diseases because they can't afford the medicine. America is no longer the land of opportunity. It is now the land of greed and broken dreams.

The people who are regarded as moral luminaries are those who forgo ordinary pleasures themselves and find compensation in interfering with the pleasures of others.
Bertrand Russell


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