When you start with a necessary evil, and then over time the necessity passes away, what’s left?
- Matthew Scully, Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy
Isn’t it amazing that we are all made in God’s image, and yet there is so much diversity among his people?
- Desmond Tutu
Of all the religions in the world, perhaps the religion of liberty is the only faith capable of purity.
- Tiffany Madison
Ever since the Enlightenment era in the 17th and 18th Centuries—which, among other things, gave birth to the U.S. Constitution and the de facto motto E Pluribus Unum (out of the many, one)—interfaith tolerance has been sown into the fabric of Western society. The rules of one religion are not made into law for all citizens because of a simple social agreement. For you to believe what you want, you must allow me to do the same, even if we disagree.
- Gudjon Bergmann, Experifaith: At the Heart of Every Religion; An Experiential Approach to Individual Spirituality and Improved Interfaith Relations
I want to take the word Christianity back to Christ himself, back to that mighty heart whose pulse seems to throb through the world today, that endless fountain of charity out of which I believe has come all true progress and all civilization that deserves the name .. I go back to that great Spirit which contemplated a sacrifice for the whole of humanity. That sacrifice is not one of exclusion, but of an infinite and endless and joyous inclusion. And I thank God for it.
- Julia Ward Howe, What is Religion?
I believe the purpose of all major religious traditions is not to construct big temples on the outside, but to create temples of goodness and compassion inside, in our hearts.
- Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama, c.1996
There’s something in every atheist, itching to believe, and something in every believer, itching to doubt.
- Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic’s Notebook, 1966
Religion is like a pair of shoes…..Find one that fits for you, but don’t make me wear your shoes.
- George Carlin
Religious liberty might be supposed to mean that everybody is free to discuss religion.
In practice it means that hardly anybody is allowed to mention it.
- G.K. Chesterton
“People cited violation of the First Amendment when a New Jersey schoolteacher asserted that evolution and the Big Bang are not scientific and that Noah’s ark carried dinosaurs. This case is not about the need to separate church and state; it’s about the need to separate ignorant, scientifically illiterate people from the ranks of teachers.
- Neil deGrasse Tyson
Since then your sere Majesty and your Lordships seek a simple answer, I will give it in this manner, neither horned nor toothed. Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures or by clear reason (for I do not trust either in the pope or in councils alone, since it is well known that they have often erred and contradicted themselves), I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. May God help me. Amen. (Reply to the Diet of Worms, April 18, 1521)
- Martin Luther, Luther’s Works, 33: Career of the Reformer III
If a believer demands that I, as a nonbeliever, observe his taboos in the public domain, he is not asking for my respect, but for my submission.
- Flemming Rose
The new country lay open before me: there were no fences in those days, and I could choose my own way over the grass uplands, trusting the pony to get me home again. Sometimes I followed the sunflower-bordered roads. Fuchs told me that the sunflowers were introduced into that country by the Mormons; that at the time of the persecution when they left Missouri and struck out into the wilderness to find a place where they could worship God in their own way, the members of the first exploring party, crossing the plains to Utah, scattered sunflower seeds as they went. The next summer, when the long trains of wagons came through with all the women and children, they had a sunflower trail to follow. I believe that botanists do not confirm Jake’s story but, insist that the sunflower was native to those plains. Nevertheless, that legend has stuck in my mind, and sunflower-bordered roads always seem to me the roads to freedom.
- Willa Cather, My Ántonia
Everyone claims to be okay with freedom of religion, but the moment you mention God there is a strange tension that fills the air. If there was a 6th sense, that would be it.
- Criss Jami, Killosophy
It is precisely that requirement of shared worship that has been the principal source of suffering for individual man and the human race since the beginning of history. In their efforts to impose universal worship, men have unsheathed their swords and killed one another. They have invented gods and challenged each other: “Discard your gods and worship mine or I will destroy both your gods and you!”
- Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
Freedom is my religion. Peace is my God. Love is my worship.
- Banani Ray, Awakening Inner Guru
When we let go and let God, freedom and peace are revealed. When Freedom and Peace is revealed God’s light never goes out.
- Ocean Cristopher Poet
What does religious freedom mean if we would use it as a cover for hate and privilege?…
When we hide discrimination under the guise of ‘religious freedom,’ we make a mockery of human rights.
- DaShanne Stokes
The men and women who forged this nation [USA] were straight-up maniacs about freedom. It was just about the only thing they cared about, so they jammed it into everything. This is understandable, as they were breaking away from a monarchy. But it’s also a little bonkers, since one of the things they desired most desperately was freedom of religion, based on the premise that Europe wasn’t religious enough and that they needed the freedom to live by non-secular laws that were more restrictive than that of any government, including provisions for the burning of suspected witches.
- Chuck Klosterman, But What If We’re Wrong? Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past
We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.
- Joseph Smith, Jr.
It’s long been a point of mine that the freedom of religion, which this country alleges to support, works two ways. We’re not only free to practice the religion of our choice, we should be free from having someone else’s religion practiced on us.
- John Irving