- If you really want to make a million…the quickest way is to start your own religion.
L. Ron Hubbard (1987), but attribution subsequently rejected by L. Ron Hubbard Jr., who also dissociated himself from this book: previously attributed to L. Ron Hubbard (1911–86) in B. Corydon and L. Ron Hubbard Jr.
- The true meaning of religion is thus not simply morality, but morality touched by emotion.
Literature and Dogma (1873) ch. 1 1822–88 English poet and essayist:
- Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's.
: St Matthew ch. 22, v. 21
- One religion is as true as another.
The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621–51) pt. 3, sect. 4, member 2, subsect. 1 1577–1640 English clergyman and scholar:
- It is the test of a good religion whether you can joke about it.
All Things Considered (1908) 1874–1936 English essayist, novelist, and poet:
- ‘Sensible men are all of the same religion.’ ‘And pray what is that?’…‘Sensible men never tell.’
Endymion (1880) ch. 81; see Shaftesbury 1804–81 British Tory statesman and novelist; Prime Minister 1868, 1874–80:
- So long as man remains free he strives for nothing so incessantly and so painfully as to find someone to worship.
The Brothers Karamazov (1879–80) bk. 5, ch. 5 1821–81 Russian novelist:
- All religions must be tolerated and the sole concern of officials is to ensure that one denomination does not interfere with another, for here everyone can seek salvation in the manner that seems best to him.
Culture of Power (2002) ch. 6 1712–86 Prussian monarch, King from 1740: scribbled in the margin of an official reply to an enquiry from the General Directory on the civic rights of Roman Catholics, June 1740; T. C. W. Blanning
- The various modes of worship, which prevailed in the Roman world, were all considered by the people as equally true; by the philosopher, as equally false; and by the magistrate, as equally useful.
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776–88) ch. 2 1737–94 English historian:
- What though the spicy breezes
Blow soft o'er Ceylon's isle;
Though every prospect pleases,
And only man is vile:
In vain with lavish kindness
The gifts of God are strown;
The heathen in his blindness
Bows down to wood and stone.
1783–1826 English clergyman: ‘From Greenland's icy mountains’ (1821 hymn); Heber later altered ‘Ceylon's isle’ to ‘Java's isle’
- To become a popular religion, it is only necessary for a superstition to enslave a philosophy.
Idea of Progress (1920) 1860–1954 English writer; Dean of St. Paul's, 1911–34:
- I go into the Muslim mosque and the Jewish synagogue and the Christian church and I see one altar.
The Essential Rumi (1999) 1207–73 Persian poet and Sufi mystic: Coleman Barks and John Moyne (eds.)
- Religion's in the heart, not in the knee.
The Devil's Ducat (1830) 1803–57 English dramatist and journalist:
- You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed—that has nothing to do with the fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of one state. 1876–1948 Indian statesman and founder of Pakistan: Presidential Address to the Constituent Assembley, 11 August 1947
- It is our first duty to serve society, and, after we have done that, we may attend wholly to the salvation of our own souls. A youthful passion for abstracted devotion should not be encouraged.
Life of Samuel Johnson (1791) February 1766 1709–84 English poet, critic, and lexicographer: James Boswell
- No compulsion is there in religion.
: sura 2, tr. A. J. Arberry
- The true religion with God is Islam.
: sura 3, tr. A. J. Arberry
- Religion is the frozen thought of men out of which they build temples.
Observer 22 April 1928 1895–1986 Indian spiritual philosopher: in
- Tantum religio potuit suadere malorum.
So much wrong could religion induce.
c.94–55 bc Roman poet: De Rerum Natura bk. 1, l. 101
- I count religion but a childish toy,
And hold there is no sin but ignorance.
The Jew of Malta (c.1592) prologue 1564–93 English dramatist and poet:
- Religion is …the opium of the people.
A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right (1843–4) introduction; see Kingsley 1818–83 German political philosopher:
- Things have come to a pretty pass when religion is allowed to invade the sphere of private life.
on hearing an evangelical sermon
Collections and Recollections (1898) ch. 6 1779–1848 British Whig statesman; Prime Minister 1834, 1835–41: G. W. E. Russell
- There's no reason to bring religion into it. I think we ought to have as great a regard for religion as we can, so as to keep it out of as many things as possible.
The Plough and the Stars (1926) 1880–1964 Irish dramatist:
- Any system of religion that has any thing in it that shocks the mind of a child cannot be a true system.
The Age of Reason pt. 1 (1794) 1737–1809 English political theorist:
- As to religion, I hold it to be the indispensable duty of government to protect all conscientious professors thereof, and I know of no other business which government hath to do therewith.
Common Sense (1776) ch. 4 1737–1809 English political theorist:
- My country is the world, and my religion is to do good.
The Rights of Man pt. 2 (1792) 1737–1809 English political theorist:
- To be furious in religion, is to be irreligiously religious.
Some Fruits of Solitude (1693) pt. 1, no. 533 1644–1718 English Quaker; founder of Pennsylvania:
- Is that which is holy loved by the gods because it is holy, or is it holy because it is loved by the gods?
bc Greek philosopher: Euthyphro 10 429–347
- Religion to me has always been the wound, not the bandage. 1935–94 English television dramatist: interview with Melvyn Bragg on Channel 4, March 1994
- The world is not a ‘prison house’, but a kind of kindergarten, where millions of bewildered infants are trying to spell God with the wrong blocks.
Literature in the Making (1917) 1869–1935 American poet:
- Religion, which may in most of its forms be defined as the belief that the gods are on the side of the Government.
Marriage and Morals (1929) ch. 3 1872–1970 British philosopher and mathematician:
- Had I but served my God with half the zeal
I served my king, he would not in mine age
Have left me naked to mine enemies.
Henry VIII (1613, with John Fletcher) act 3, sc. 2, l. 456 (Oxford Standard Authors ed.); see Wolsey 1564–1616 English dramatist:
- We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.
Thoughts on Various Subjects (1711) 1667–1745 Irish poet and satirist:
- India has 2,000,000 gods, and worships them all. In religion all other countries are paupers; India is the only millionaire.
Following the Equator (1897) ch. 43 1835–1910 American writer:
- Orthodoxy is my doxy; heterodoxy is another man's doxy.
Memoirs (1807) vol. 1 1698–1779 English theologian and bishop: to Lord Sandwich, in Joseph Priestley
- Zen…does not confuse spirituality with thinking about God while one is peeling potatoes. Zen spirituality is just to peel the potatoes.
The Way of Zen (1957) 1915–73 American teacher and writer:
- I went to America to convert the Indians; but oh, who shall convert me?
Journal (ed. N. Curnock) 24 January 1738 1703–91 English preacher; founder of Methodism:
- So many gods, so many creeds,
So many paths that wind and wind,
While just the art of being kind
Is all the sad world needs.
1855–1919 American poet: ‘The World's Need’