- Talk not to me of blasphemy, man; I'd strike the sun if it insulted me.
- Churches are becoming political organizations... It probably will not be long until the churches will divide as sharply upon political, as upon theological questions; and when that day comes, if there are not liberals enough to hold the balance of power, this Government will be destroyed. The liberty of man is not safe in the hands of any church. Wherever the Bible and sword are in partnership, man is a slave. All laws for the purpose of making man worship God, are born of the same spirit that kindled the fires of the auto da fe, and lovingly built the dungeons of the Inquisition. All laws defining and punishing blasphemy — making it a crime to give your honest ideas about the Bible, or to laugh at the ignorance of the ancient Jews, or to enjoy yourself on the Sabbath, or to give your opinion of Jehovah, were passed by impudent bigots, and should be at once repealed by honest men. An infinite God ought to be able to protect himself, without going in partnership with State Legislatures. Certainly he ought not so to act that laws become necessary to keep him from being laughed at. No one thinks of protecting Shakespeare from ridicule, by the threat of fine and imprisonment. It strikes me that God might write a book that would not necessarily excite the laughter of his children. In fact, I think it would be safe to say that a real God could produce a work that would excite the admiration of mankind. Surely politicians could be better employed than in passing laws to protect the literary reputation of the Jewish God.
- For thousands of years people have been trying to force other people to think their way. Did they succeed? No. Will they succeed? No. Why? Because brute force is not an argument.
- No orthodox church ever had power that it did not endeavor to make people think its way by force and flame.
- It seems to me that if there is some infinite being who wants us to think alike he would have made us alike.
- How has the church in every age, when in authority, defended itself? Always by a statute against blasphemy, against argument, against free speech. And there never was such a statute that did not stain the book that it was in and that did not certify to the savagery of the men who passed it.
- By making a statute and by defining blasphemy, the church sought to prevent discussion -- sought to prevent argument -- sought to prevent a man giving his honest opinion. Certainly a tenet, a dogma, a doctrine, is safe when hedged about by a statute that prevents your speaking against it. In the silence of slavery it exists. It lives because lips are locked. It lives because men are slaves.
- Now, gentlemen, what is blasphemy? Of course nobody knows what it is, unless he takes into consideration where he is. What is blasphemy in one country would be a religious exhortation in another.
- By force you can make hypocrites -- men who will agree with you from the teeth out, and in their hearts hate you. We want no more hypocrites. We have enough in every community. And how are you going to keep from having more? By having the air free, -- by wiping from your statute books such miserable and infamous laws as this.
- Blasphemy is the word that the majority hisses into the ear of the few.
- Blasphemy is what an old mistake says of a newly discovered truth.
Blasphemy is what a withered last year's leaf says to a this year's bud.
Blasphemy is the bulwark of religious prejudice.
Blasphemy is the breastplate of the heartless.
And let me say now, that the crime of blasphemy, as set out in this statute, is impossible. No man can blaspheme a book. No man can commit blasphemy by telling his honest thought. No man can blaspheme a God, or a Holy Ghost, or a Son of God. The Infinite cannot be blasphemed.
- What is blasphemy? I will give you a definition; I will give you my thought upon this subject. What is real blasphemy?
To live on the unpaid labor of other men — that is blasphemy.
To enslave your fellow-man, to put chains upon his body — that is blasphemy.
To enslave the minds of men, to put manacles upon the brain, padlocks upon the lips — that is blasphemy.
To deny what you believe to be true, to admit to be true what you believe to be a lie — that is blasphemy.
To strike the weak and unprotected, in order that you may gain the applause of the ignorant and superstitious mob — that is blasphemy.
To persecute the intelligent few, at the command of the ignorant many — that is blasphemy.
To forge chains, to build dungeons, for your honest fellow-men — that is blasphemy.
To pollute the souls of children with the dogma of eternal pain — that is blasphemy.
To violate your conscience — that is blasphemy.
The jury that gives an unjust verdict, and the judge who pronounces an unjust sentence, are blasphemers.
The man who bows to public opinion against his better judgment and against his honest conviction, is a blasphemer.
Why should we fear our fellow-men? Why should not each human being have the right, so far as thought and its expression are concerned, of all the world? What harm can come from an honest interchange of thought?
- Whoever increases the sum of human joy, is a worshiper. He who adds to the sum of human misery, is a blasphemer.
- Any church that imprisons a man because he has used an argument against its creed, will simply convince the world that it cannot answer the argument.
- God knows how often all of us have taken the great name of God in vain: or have said more than becomes us, and talked of things we should not do.
- Jefferies, L.J., Hampden's Case (1684), 9 How. St. Tr. 1103; reported in James William Norton-Kyshe, Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904), p. 19.
- Never talk of that which is within you ; God is in us, as well as in you : never make a flourish of what is in you; for the fear of God is before our eyes as well as yours, and what we do, we shall have comfort in, in that it is according to the laws of England, the the rules of which we are sworn to observe, and every man will do righteous things as well as you.
- Keble. C.J., Lilburne's Case (1649), 4 How. St. Tr. 1313; reported in James William Norton-Kyshe, Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904), p. 20.
- Atheists are often charged with blasphemy, but it is a crime they cannot commit... When the Atheist examines, denounces, or satirises the gods, he is not dealing with persons but with ideas. He is incapable of insulting God, for he does not admit the existence of any such being... We attack not a person but a belief, not a being but an idea, not a fact but a fancy.
- Heresy is only another word for freedom of thought.
- To make sure that my blasphemy is thoroughly expressed, I hereby state my opinion that the notion of a god is a basic superstition, that there is no evidence for the existence of any god(s), that devils, demons, angels and saints are myths, that there is no life after death, heaven nor hell, that the Pope is a dangerous, bigoted, medieval dinosaur, and that the Holy Ghost is a comic-book character worthy of laughter and derision. I accuse the Christian god of murder by allowing the Holocaust to take place — not to mention the "ethnic cleansing" presently being performed by Christians in our world — and I condemn and vilify this mythical deity for encouraging racial prejudice and commanding the degradation of women.
- James Randi, challenging blasphemy laws in several US states.
- He didn't utter a word, but he exuded mute blasphemy from every pore.
- Blasphemy is a blast for me.
- Bumper Sticker
- Let the gods avenge themselves.
- Said to be a Roman law maxim on blasphemy, but there appears to be no published source for this. It was originally added here because it had been posted as a quote at Wordsmith.org
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