"I used to be a practising Catholic. Having seen all the atrocities caused by religion to normal people, I've decided to cut out the middle man. If I want to talk to God, I'll do it. I don't need a man in a dress to tell me how."
Peter Connolly, England
"The rotten core of society is represented neatly by religion and all it stands for. It just disgusts me."
"I see god as benign. My own view is that I look around at everybody including the vicar and the priest, and the rabbi and the Muslim, and I suddenly realize they're human beings exactly like me ... I threw them all out of the window at a very early age."
Michael Cain, Actor
"In the world of 3001 Clarke envisions for the story, the writer of the piece, John F. Burns, says: "Perhaps most controversially, religions of all kinds have fallen under a strict taboo, with the citizenry looking back on the religious beliefs and practices of earlier ages as products of ignorance that caused untold strife and bloodshed. But the concept of a God, known by the Latin word Deus, survives, a legacy of man's continuing wonder at the universe.
"In this, Clarke is giving vent to one of the few things that seem to ruffle his equable nature. 'Religion is a byproduct of fear,' he says. 'For much of human history, it may have been a necessary evil, but why was it more evil than necessary? Isn't killing people in the name of God a pretty good definition of insanity?'"
Arthur C. Clark, Author
"I don't relate to anyone who is a professional religionist...who has the ego to tell us that they know God's will, and can tell us what God thinks and what God likes and what God is, and how God feels about integration, South Africa, and AIDS. Everybody's got a different idea what God thinks; the crazy guy on the corner knows about as much as the guy in St. Patrick's Cathedral—none of them know anything."
People say, 'Reverend Moon—what a crook!' and I say, 'But what about the Pope?' It's all the same, anybody who starts telling you what God thinks should be locked up immediately."
Larry Cohen, Director/Screenwriter
"I would have to be considered an agnostic—at best. In my own life, I haven't found a need for organized religion. With all the hostile messages coming at me, including from the emissaries of various faiths, it's more urgent to believe in myself. Ultimately, we all have a responsibility to remind ourselves of our ability to be compassionate, respectful, and generous. I would rather rely on the nonviolent philosophies of the more open-minded Eastern religions for my moral guidance than the fire and brimstone of the Old Testament."
Candace Gingrich, Gay Rights Activist
"I'm glad some people have that faith. I don't have that faith. If there is a God, a caring God, then we have to figure he's done an extraordinary job of making a very cruel world."
Dave Matthews, Recording Artist
"I never accepted religion so I had nothing to reject as such. The history of 'Christiansanity' (my own coinage of which I am proud!) is so brutal of mind, emotions, freedom, progress, science, and all that I hold precious, that by any standards of justice its leaders in almost any given period would be incarcerated for life, or worse!"
Madison Arnold, Actor
"One of the many burdens of the person professing Christianity has always been the odium likely to be heaped upon him by fellow Christians quick to smell out, denounce and punish fraud, hypocrisy and general unworthiness among those who assert the faith. In ruder days, disputes about what constituted a fully qualified Christian often led to sordid quarrels in which the disputants tortured, burned and hanged each other in the conviction that torture, burning and hanging were Christian things to do..."
The New York Times, December 1988, from James A. Haught, ed., 2000
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