Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than going to a garage makes you a car.—Dr. Laurence J. Peter
Everybody loves a good quote. Atheists are no different. We quote mine as well as anybody, although on the whole, I think we pay a little more attention to the accuracy, relevance and completeness of the quotes we use, unlike those liars for Jesus who will pick any quote out of context that even remotely seems to support them, and flog it like a dead horse. They even like to make up quotes. Atheists, in my experience, tend to use quotes more judiciously, and far more accurately.
That’s why a good book of quotes can be indispensable to the atheist blogger. Indeed, you might think it would be indispensable to the non-atheist blogger, but reading some blogs, one would wonder.
One that has come to my attention, recently published, is The Wit and Blasphemy of Atheists, compiled by Jonathan C. Criswell. I’ve seen other books of quotations and to a certain extent, this is no different, neither better nor worse, than others previously published. A quote is a quote. If it’s accurate, and on topic, then it’s usable.
However, being a recent compilation, one thing I found useful was that many of the quotations are more current, more culturally relevant than some of the more classic, older compilations I’ve seen. Rather than the usual quote from, say, Robert Ingersoll or Bertrand Russell, who are often quoted in a more stuffed-shirt context, this compilation has quotes from Homer Simpson. Not that Homer is my go-to atheist for quotes, but sometimes he can be right on point with a pithy observation.
Everything’s too damn expensive nowadays. Look at this Bible I bought—fifteen bucks! And talk about a preachy book! Everybody’s a sinner, except this guy.—Homer, on The Simpsons
Here are a few other examples.
Good God, how much reverence can you have for a Supreme Being who finds it necessary to include such phenomena as phlegm and tooth decay in His divine system of creation?—Joseph Heller
Most of us spend the first six days of the week sowing wild oats, and then we go to church on Sunday and pray for crop failure.—Fred Allen
See? Can you imagine Bertrand Russell saying that? But we need more of these down to earth quotes in our everyday dialogue with theists. For that reason alone, this is a handy addition to every atheist’s library.