Thursday, September 11, 2008

Mark Twain on Religion

"Man is a Religious Animal. He is the only Religious Animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion--several of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat if his theology isn't straight. He has made a graveyard of the globe in trying his honest best to smooth his brother's path to happiness and heaven....The higher animals have no religion. And we are told that they are going to be left out in the Hereafter. I wonder why? It seems questionable taste." -- The Lowest Animal

"In religion and politics people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue but have taken them at second-hand from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a brass farthing." -- Autobiography of Mark Twain

"I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man's reasoning powers are not above the monkey's." - Eruption

"The so-called Christian nations are the most enlightened and progressive...but in spite of their religion, not because of it. The Church has opposed every innovation and discovery from the day of Galileo down to our own time, when the use of anesthetic in childbirth was regarded as a sin because it avoided the biblical curse pronounced against Eve. And every step in astronomy and geology ever taken has been opposed by bigotry and superstition. The Greeks surpassed us in artistic culture and in architecture five hundred years before Christian religion was born." -- Mark Twain, a Biography

"A man is accepted into a church for what he believes and he is turned out for what he knows." -- quoted from Barbara Schmidt, ed., Mark Twain Quotations

Smart guy, that Mark Twain. Apparently not a lot has changed in the last 100 years.


wunelle said...

Those are all excellent, brilliant.

That second one especially is new to me and absolutely true. It's a wonder to me that we don't see it clear as day.

CyberKitten said...

Smart man that Mr Clemens.......