"To assert that the earth revolves around the sun is as erroneous as to claim that Jesus was not born of a virgin."
(Robert Cardinal Bellarmine / 1542-1621 / at the trial of Galileo in 1615)
"Christian, n. One who follows the teachings of Christ in so far as they are not inconsistent with a life of sin."
(Ambrose Gwinett Bierce / 1842-1914 / The Devil's Dictionary)
"If Jesus had been killed twenty years ago, Catholic school children would be wearing little electric chairs around their necks instead of crosses."
(Lenny Bruce, American satirist / 1925-1966)
"If Jesus Christ were to come today, people would not even crucify him.
They would ask him to dinner, and hear what he had to say, and make fun of it."
(Thomas Carlyle / 1795-1881)
"If Christ was in fact God, he knew the persecutions that would be carried on in his name; he knew the millions that would suffer death through torture; and yet he died without saying one word to prevent what he must have known, if he were God, would happen."
(Robert Green Ingersoll / 1833-1899 / A Christmas Sermon)
"The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus by the Supreme Being in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter."
(Thomas Jefferson / 1743-1826)
"An op-ed piece on popular spirituality that I wrote for The New York Times this past summer was carefully cleansed by my editors of any irreverence toward established religion (although I was invited to mock New Age). I was not allowed to observe that, while Hillary Clinton was criticized for conversing with Eleanor Roosevelt, millions of Americans regularly talk to Jesus, long deceased.... Nor was I permitted to point out that, to an atheist, the sacraments are as silly as a seance. These remarks and others were excised because they were deemed "offensive"."
(Wendy Kaminer / The Last Taboo / 1996)
"Archbishop: a Christian ecclesiastic of a rank superior to that attained by Christ."
(Henry Louis Mencken / 1880-1956)
"Jesus died too soon. If he had lived to my age he would have repudiated his doctrine."
(Friedrich Nietzsche / 1844-1900 / Thus Spake Zarathustra)
"Must then Christ perish in torment in every age to save those that have no imagination?"
(George Bernard Shaw / 1856-1950)
"If Christ were here now there is one thing he would not be -- a Christian."
(Mark Twain / 1835-1910 / Notebook)