yPositive Atheism's Big List of Quotations

Hu  •
I  •
J  •

 

K-Ken

 

•  Kep-Ku
•  L-Lec
•  Lee-Ley

     • No-Frames Quotes Index
     • Load This File With Frames Index
     • 
Home to Positive Atheism

PAMBLOQ Rules! Yesss!!

Wendy Kaminer
American lawyer, author, journalist, social critic

     • Check our Big List of Wendy Kaminer Quotations

Wendy Kaminer (The Atlantic Monthly)Secularists are often wrongly accused of trying to purge religious ideals from public discourse. We simply want to deny them public sponsorship.
-- Wendy Kaminer, "The Last Taboo" (1996)

I don't spend much time thinking about whether God exists. I don't consider that a relevant question. It's unanswerable and irrelevant to my life, so I put it in the category of things I can't worry about.
-- Wendy Kaminer, quoted in Natalie Angier, "Confessions of a Lonely Atheist," New York Times Magazine, January 14, 2001

In this climate -- with belief in guardian angels and creationism becoming commonplace -- making fun of religion is as risky as burning a flag in an American Legion hall.
-- Wendy Kaminer, "The Last Taboo" (1996)

When the inner child finds a guardian angel, publishers are in heaven.
-- Wendy Kaminer, commenting on the big business of "spirituality" books as the subtitle of her July, 1996, article in The Atlantic Monthly, "The Latest Fashion in Irrationality"

It is the inevitable effect of religion on public policy that makes it a matter of public concern. Advocates of religiosity extol the virtues or moral habits that religion is supposed to instill in us. But we should be equally concerned with the intellectual habits it discourages.
-- Wendy Kaminer, "The Last Taboo" (1996)

It's easy to sell good news like this, and the authors confidently rely on classic fallacious arguments. They argue by declaration, which is what makes the books so amusing. In matter-of-fact, authoritative tones, the authors tell us how plants and human beings exchange energy -- or they describe what angels look like, whether or how they're sexed, how they communicate with human beings, and how they differ from ghosts. Readers might be expected to wonder, How do they know?
-- Wendy Kaminer, "The Latest Fashion in Irrationality," The Atlantic Monthly (July, 1996)

PAMBLOQ Rules! Yesss!!

John L Kane
US District Judge

Religious oppression is older than the pyramids of Egypt and as current as the butchering of members of the Bahai faith in Iran today. One of the dominant themes of human history, religious intolerance, unhappily continues with the ferocity and relentlessness of all that is evil in the human spirit.
    The Founding Fathers meant to sever religion and government, the better that the people could achieve their secular purpose through the government and their religious purpose through independent churches.
    If my right to practice my religion is diminished, then so is yours. If your right to be free from supporting mine is traduced, then so is mine.
-- John L Kane, address, Denver, Colorado, June 1987, from Albert J Menendez and Edd Doerr, The Great Quotations on Religious Freedom

PAMBLOQ Rules! Yesss!!

Margaret Fox Kane
American girl, the first person to pretend to make contact with the dead through spiritualism (seances), she later recanted, called it a hoax, and was sorry that she'd spurned such a huge business based in falsehood

I think that it is about time that the truth of this miserable subject "Spiritualism" should be brought out. It is now widespread all over the world, and unless it is put down soon it will do great evil. I was the first in the field and I have the right to expose it.
-- Margaret Fox Kane, from her 1888 confession, quoted from Victor J Stenger, Physics And Psychics

PAMBLOQ Rules! Yesss!!

Immanuel Kant (1724-1804)
German philosopher, considered by many the most influential thinker of modern times

Immanuel KantReason must approach nature in order to be taught by it. It must not, however, do so in the character of a pupil who listens to everything that the teacher chooses to say, but of an appointed judge who compels the witness to answer questions which he has himself formulated.
-- Immanuel Kant (attributed: source unknown)

He who has made great moral progress ceases to pray.
-- Immanuel Kant, from Rufus K Noyes, Views of Religion, quoted from James A Haught, ed, 2000 Years of Disbelief

The wish to talk to God is absurd. We cannot talk to one we cannot comprehend -- and we cannot comprehend God; we can only believe in Him. The uses of prayer are thus only subjective.
-- Immanuel Kant, lecture at Konigsberg, 1775, from James A Haught, ed, 2000 Years of Disbelief

Immanuel KantThe death of dogma is the birth of morality.
-- from Rufus K Noyes, Views of Religion, quoted from James A Haught, ed, 2000 Years of Disbelief

Apart from moral conduct, all that man thinks himself able to do in order to become acceptable to God is mere superstition and religious folly.
-- Immanuel Kant, from Rufus K Noyes, Views of Religion, quoted from James A Haught, ed, 2000 Years of Disbelief

Religion is too important a matter to its devotees to be a subject of ridicule. If they indulge in absurdities, they are to be pitied rather than ridiculed.
-- Immanuel Kant, lecture at Konigsberg, 1775, from James A Haught, ed, 2000 Years of Disbelief

Reason can never prove the existence of God.
-- Immanuel Kant, from Rufus K Noyes, Views of Religion, quoted from James A Haught, ed, 2000 Years of Disbelief

The light dove, cleaving the air in her free flight, and feeling its resistance, might imagine that its flight would be still easier in empty space.
-- Immanuel Kant, on the longing for a world that features the supernatural, in Critique of Pure Reason (2d ed., trans. Smith), p. 47, quoted from Nicolas Humphrey, Leaps of Faith

PAMBLOQ Rules! Yesss!!

Bernie Katz

There is no opinion so abusrd that a preacher could not express it.
-- Bernie Katz (attributed: source unknown)

PAMBLOQ Rules! Yesss!!

John Keats (1795-1821)
English poet

John KeatsFanatics have their dreams, wherewith they weave
A paradise for a sect
     -- John Keats, first lines of The Fall of Hyperion

My imagination is a monastery and I am its monk.
-- John Keats, letter, 16 Aug. 1820, to Percy Bysshe Shelley (published in Letters of John Keats, no. 227, ed. by Frederick Page, 1954), The Columbia Dictionary of Quotations

It appears to me that almost any man may like the spider spin from his own inwards his own airy citadel.
-- John Keats, letter, 19 Feb. 1818 (published in Letters of John Keats, no. 48, ed. by Frederick Page, 1954), from The Columbia Dictionary of Quotations

I have been astonished that men could die martyrs for religion -- I have shuddered at it. I shudder no more -- I could be martyred for my religion -- Love is my religion -- I could die for that.
-- John Keats, letter, 13 Oct. 1819, to his fiancée Fanny Brawne (published in Letters of John Keats, no. 160, ed. by Frederick Page, 1954), from The Columbia Dictionary of Quotations

PAMBLOQ Rules! Yesss!!

Sam Keen
American writer, philosopher, and social critic

Sam KeenParanoia reduces anxiety and guilt by transferring to the other all the characteristics one does not want to recognize in oneself. It is maintained by selective perception and recall. We only see and acknowledge those negative aspects of the enemy that support the stereotype we have already created.
-- Sam Keen, Faces of the Enemy: Reflections of the Hostile Imagination (1986), thanks to Laird Wilcox, ed, "The Degeneration of Belief"

In the beginning we create the enemy. Before the weapon comes the image. We think others to death and then invent the battle-axe or the ballistic missiles with which to actually kill them. Propaganda precedes technology.
-- Sam Keen, Introduction to Faces of the Enemy: Reflections of the Hostile Imagination (1986)

Consensual paranoia -- the pathology of the normal person who is a member of a war-justifying society -- forms the template from which all the images of the enemy are created. By studying the logic of paranoia, we can see why certain archetypes of the enemy must necessarily recur, no matter what the historical circumstances.
-- Sam Keen, Faces of the Enemy: Reflections of the Hostile Imagination (1986)

If some incarnation of evil as unambiguous as Hitler appeared again, I would have no moral qualms about killing the enemy. But in the modern world of moral murkiness, I prefer to keep my hands as clean of enemy blood as possible.
-- Sam Keen, describing "the normal citizen's version of the Paranoid's Confession," in Faces of the Enemy: Reflections of the Hostile Imagination (1986)

PAMBLOQ Rules! Yesss!!

Maynard James Keenan
American Singer; lyricist for the band Tool

Maynard James KeenanThis sort of behavior is left to the psychotic, dogmatic, fundamentalist believers you see on your TV everyday letting off bombs and killing people in the name of God. Beliefs are dangerous. Beliefs allow the mind to stop functioning. A non-functioning mind is clinically dead. Believe in nothing.
-- Maynard James Keenan (source and context unknown)

Choices always were a problem for you.
What you need is someone strong to guide you.
Deaf and blind and dumb and born to follow,
what you need is someone strong to use you --
like me
-- Maynard James Keenan, "Opiate"

If you want to get your soul to heaven,
          trust in me.
Don't judge or question.
You are broken now,
          but faith can heal you.
Just do everything I tell you to do.
-- Maynard James Keenan, "Opiate"

Jesus Christ, why don't you come save my life now.
Open my eyes, blind me with your light now.
-- Maynard James Keenan, "Opiate"

Standing above the crowd,
     He had a voice so strong and loud
And I swallowed his façade 'cause I'm so
     Eager to identify with
Someone above the ground,
Someone who seemed to feel the same,
Someone prepared to lead the way, with
Someone who would die for me.
-- Maynard James Keenan, "Eulogy"

Life feeds on life....feeds on life feeds on life...this is neccesary....this is necessary life feeds on life....feeds on life
-- Maynard James Keenan, (attributed: source unknown)

When I say, "fuck your god" I don't mean THE god.
-- Maynard James Keenan, "Judith"

PAMBLOQ Rules! Yesss!!

Martha Kegel
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Activist

The proponents of scientific creationism are trying to sneak religion into the public schools.... The fact remains that creationism is a Bible story and teaching it as a science in public schools violates the rights of religious minorities.
-- Martha Kegel, Interview, Hammond (Louisiana) Daily Star, December 3, 1981, from Albert J Menendez and Edd Doerr, The Great Quotations on Religious Freedom

PAMBLOQ Rules! Yesss!!

Helen Keller (1880-1968)
American writer and activist, rendered blind and deaf by disease during infancy, she overcame all this to live a full life writing and lecturing, among other things, on the subject of her own thoughts and experiences

Helen Keller 'listens' to a phonograph record with her fingertips[Excerpt]:
There is much in the Bible against which every instinct of my being rebels, so much that I regret the necessity which has compelled me to read it through from beginning to end. I do not think that the knowledge which I have gained of its history and sources compensates me for the unpleasant details in has forced upon my attention.

-- Helen Keller, in a passage often pulled out of its context, Keller appears to have nothing good to say about the Bible, in, The Story Of My Life

[Passage]:
But how shall I speak of the glories I have since discovered in the Bible? For years I have read it with an ever-broadening sense of joy and inspiration; and I love it as I love no other book. Still there is much in the Bible against which every instinct of my being rebels, so much that I regret the necessity which has compelled me to read it through from beginning to end. I do not think that the knowledge which I have gained of its history and sources compensates me for the unpleasant details it has forced upon my attention. For my part, I wish, with Mr. Howells, that the literature of the past might be purged of all that is ugly and barbarous in it, although I should object as much as any one to having these great works weakened or falsified.
-- Helen Keller, in the full passage from which the above excerpt is often pulled, Keller is shown to be almost of two minds, showing a deep love for the Bible while fulminating against certain specific elements therein, The Story Of My Life

PAMBLOQ Rules! Yesss!!

Dean M Kelley (1926-1997)
Executive for Religious Liberty, National Council of Churches

Dean M. KelleyThe president's appointment of a full ambassador to the Holy See -- an appointment endorsed by the Senate and funded with appropriations initiated by the House -- is a clear case of the US government's showing special favor to one particular religious body and not to others ... giving privileged access to one particular faith at the expense of others.
-- Dean M Kelley, How Does the Constitution Protect Religious Freedom? edited by Robert A Goldwin and Art Kaufman, 1987, pp. 125-126, from Albert J Menendez and Edd Doerr, The Great Quotations on Religious Freedom

PAMBLOQ Rules! Yesss!!

Anthony M Kennedy (b. 1936)
American jurist; Supreme Court Justice appointed by Reagan, confirmed 97-0

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy (official Supreme Court photo)The lessons of the First Amendment are as urgent in the modern world as the 18th Century when it was written. One timeless lesson is that if citizens are subjected to state-sponsored religious exercises, the State disavows its own duty to guard and respect that sphere of inviolable conscience and belief which is the mark of a free people.
-- Justice Anthony M Kennedy, for the majority, Lee v. Weisman (1992), dismissing as unacceptable the cruel idea that a student should forfeit her own graduation in order to avoid commencement prayers and invocations, quoted from "The Case Against School Prayer," a Freedom From Religion Foundation pamphlet

PAMBLOQ Rules! Yesss!!

Edward Moore "Ted" Kennedy (b. 1932)
American politician

Ted KennedyMy colleague Sen. Rick Santorum, Pennsylvania Republican, erroneously suggested that I support the teaching of "intelligent design" as an alternative to biological evolution. That simply is not true.
     ... Unlike biological evolution, "intelligent design" is not a genuine scientific theory and, therefore, has no place in the curriculum of our nation's public school science classes.
-- Ted Kennedy, in a letter to the Washington Times (March 21, 2002) responding to a March 14 column written by Sen. Rick Santorum (R) Pennsylvania, which suggested that Kennedy supports the teaching of "intelligent design"

I hope for an America where the power of faith will always burn brightly, but where no modern Inquisition of any kind will ever light the fires of fear, coercion or angry division....
     People of faith should not invoke the power of the state to decide what everyone can believe or think or read or do. In such cases, like abortion or prayer or prohibition or sexual identity, the proper role of religion is to appeal to the free conscience of each person, not the coercive rule of secular law.
-- Ted Kennedy, address, Liberty University, Lynchburg, Virginia, October 3, 1983, from Albert J Menendez and Edd Doerr, The Great Quotations on Religious Freedom

I believe that religious witness should not mobilize public authority to impose a view where a decision is inherently private in nature or where people are deeply divided about whether it is....
     Americans are plainly and persistently divided about abortion and the fiat of government cannot settle the issue as a matter of conscience or of conduct.
-- Ted Kennedy, address to the National Religious Broadcasters, February 4, 1985, from Albert J Menendez and Edd Doerr, The Great Quotations on Religious Freedom

PAMBLOQ Rules! Yesss!!

John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917-1963)
The 35th President of the United States (1961-1963)

United States Flag

John F. KennedyWhatever one's religion in his private life may be, for the officeholder, nothing takes precedence over his oath to uphold the Constitution and all its parts -- including the First Amendment and the strict separation of church and state.
-- John F Kennedy, Interview, Look, March 3, 1959, from Albert J Menendez and Edd Doerr, The Great Quotations on Religious Freedom

If my church attempted to influence me in a way which was improper or which affected adversely my responsibilities as a public servant sworn to uphold the Constitution, then I would reply to them that this was an improper action on their part. It was one to which I could not subscribe.
-- John F Kennedy, press conference, Houston, Texas, September 12, 1960, from Albert J Menendez and Edd Doerr, The Great Quotations on Religious Freedom

We do not want an official state church. If ninety-nine percent of the population were Catholics, I would still be opposed to it. I do not want civil power combined with religious power. I want to make it clear that I am committed as a matter of deep personal conviction to separation.
-- John F Kennedy, Interview, CBS-TV, "Face the Nation," October 30, 1960, from Albert J Menendez and Edd Doerr, The Great Quotations on Religious Freedom

John F. KennedyVoters are more than Catholics, Protestants or Jews. They make up their minds for many diverse reasons, good and bad. To submit the candidates to a religious test is unfair enough -- to apply it to the voters is divisive, degrading and wholly unwarranted.
-- John F Kennedy, address to the American Society of Newspaper Editors, April 21, 1960, from Albert J Menendez and Edd Doerr, The Great Quotations on Religious Freedom

I would not look with favor upon a President working to subvert the First Amendment's guarantees of religious liberty ... Neither do I look with favor upon those who would work to subvert Article VI of the Constitution by requiring a religious test -- even by indirection.
-- John F Kennedy, address to the Ministerial Association of Greater Houston, September 12, 1960, from Albert J Menendez and Edd Doerr, The Great Quotations on Religious Freedom

I believe in an America where religious intolerance will someday end ... where every man has the same right to attend or not attend the church of his choice.
-- John F Kennedy, address to the Ministerial Association of Greater Houston, September 12, 1960, from Albert J Menendez and Edd Doerr, The Great Quotations on Religious Freedom

For in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet, we all breathe the same air we all cherish our children's futures and we are all mortal.
-- John F Kennedy, expressing what is our bottom line as well, in an address to the American University (June, 1963)

PAMBLOQ Rules! Yesss!!

Robert Francis Kennedy (1925-1968)
United States Attorney General and Senator

Robert KennedyThe sharpest criticism often goes hand in hand with the deepest idealism and love of country.
-- Robert F Kennedy, Address, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, February 24, 1967, quoted from The Robert F Kennedy Memorial

What is objectionable, what is dangerous, about extremists is not that they are extreme, but that they are intolerant. The evil is not what they say about their cause, but what they say about their opponents.
-- Robert F Kennedy, quoted from ReligiousTolerance.org, "The Terrorist Attack on New York City and Washington 2001-Sep-11"

Few will have the greatness to bend history; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation ... It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is thus shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.
-- Robert F Kennedy, Day of Affirmation Address, University of Capetown, South Africa, June 6, 1966, quoted from The Robert F Kennedy Memorial

Democracy is no easy form of government. Few nations have been able to sustain it. For it requires that we take the chances of freedom; that the liberating play of reason be brought to bear on events filled with passion; that dissent be allowed to make its appeal for acceptance; that men chance error in their search for the truth."
-- Robert F Kennedy, Statement on Vietnam, February 19, 1966, quoted from The Robert F Kennedy Memorial

Some men see things as they are and say, 'Why?' I dream of things that never were and say, 'Why not?'"
-- Robert F Kennedy, after George Bernard Shaw, quoted from The Robert F Kennedy Memorial

PAMBLOQ Rules! Yesss!!

Thomas Kennedy

There are few Jews in the United States; in Maryland there are very few. But if there were only one -- to that one, we ought to do justice.
-- Thomas Kennedy, address urging a change in the Maryland State Constitution clause that required officials to declare their belief in Christianity, 1823, from Albert J Menendez and Edd Doerr, The Great Quotations on Religious Freedom

PAMBLOQ Rules! Yesss!!

George F Kennen
American diplomat

George F. KennenThe truth is sometimes a poor competitor in the marketplace of ideas -- complicated, unsatisfying, full of dilemmas, always vulnerable to misinterpretation and abuse.
-- George F Kennen, American Diplomacy: 1900-1950 (1951), thanks to Laird Wilcox, ed, "The Degeneration of Belief"

Do people ever reflect, one wonders, that the best way to protect against the penetration of one's secrets by others is to have the minimum of secrets to conceal?
-- George F Kennen, "Spy & Counterspy"

PAMBLOQ Rules! Yesss!!

PAMBLOQ Rules! Yesss!!

PAMBLOQ Rules! Yesss!!

 

The Subtle Fulmination of the Encircled Sea

Please Feel Free
to Grab a Quote
(or Maybe Three)

Grab some quotes to embellish your web site,
to use as filler for your group's newsletter,
or to add force to your Letters to the Editor.

Use them to introduce the chapters of a book or
accent the index or margins of a special project.

Poster your wall!    Graffiti your (own) fence.
Sticker your car!!
Poster your wall.    Graffiti your (own) fence!!!

That's what this list is for!
That's why I made it!

In using this resource, however, keep in mind that
it's someone's life's work, a hedge against old age.

If you decide to build your own online
collection, then find some new material!
Dig up quips that haven't yet been posted!

 

AndCopy Graphic Rule

 
 

Biographical sketches, source citations, notes, critical editing, layout, and HTML formatting are copyright ©1995–2008, by Cliff Walker, except where noted.

 
 

AndCopy Graphic Rule

 

There's something to be said
for doing your own work.

 

PAMBLOQ Rules! Yesss!!