"Baseball is the religion that worships the obvious and gives thanks that things are exactly as they seem. Instead of celebrating mysteries, baseball rejoices in the absence of mysteries and trusts that, if we watch what is laid before our eyes, down to the last detail, we will cultivate the gift of seeing things as they really are."
"His whole works are a heap of mis-shapen errors, and absurd paradoxes, vented with the confidence of a juggler, the brags of a mountebank, and the authority of some Pythagoras, or third Cato, lately dropped down from heaven. Thus we have seen how the obbian principles do destroy the existence, the simplicity, the ubiquity, the eternity, and infiniteness of God, the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity, the hypostatical union, the kingly, sacerdotal, and prophetical office of Christ, the being and operation of the Holy Ghost, heaven, hell, angels, devils, the immortality of the soul, the Catholic and all national churches; the holy Scriptures, holy orders, the holy sacrament, the whole frame of religion, and the worship of God; the laws of nature, the reality of goodness, justice, piety, honesty, conscience, and all that is sacred."
"No doubt for the average man nationalism is no more than one of the faiths that live together in actual if illogical partnership in his heart and mind (illogical in the sense that some of these faiths, say Christianity and national patriotism, may have mutually incompatible ethical ideals). Yet it is hard to exaggerate the extent to which for many modern Western men the worship of the nation-state occupies a major part of their conscious relations with groups outside the family.... The ritual surrounding the flag, patriotic hymns, the reverent reading of patriotic texts, the glorification of national heroes (saints), the insistence on the nation's mission, the nation's basic consonance with the scheme of the universe--all of this is so familiar to most of us that unless we are internationalist crusaders in favor of a world-state or some other proposed means for securing universal peace we never even notice it."
"Religion means goal and way, politics implies end and means. The political end is recognizable by the fact that it may be attained--in success--and its attainment is historically recorded. The religious goal remains, even in man's highest experiences, that which simply provides direction on the mortal way; it never enters into historical consummation."
"It is the manner of gods and prophets to begin: "Thou shalt have none other God or Prophet but me." If I were to start as a God or a prophet I think I should take the line: "Thou shalt not believe in me. Thou shalt not have me for a God. Thou shalt worship any d_____d thing thou likest except me." This should be my first and great commandment, and my second should be like unto it."
"The Reverend Samuel Peters ... exaggerated the Blue Laws, but they did include "Capital Lawes" providing a death penalty for any child over sixteen who was found guilty of cursing or striking his natural parents; a death penalty for an incorrigible son; a law forbidding smoking except in a room in a private house; another law declaring smoking illegal except on a journey five miles away from home,..."
"John Eliot came to preach to the Podunks in 1657, translated the Bible into their language, but made little progress in aboriginal soul-saving. The Indians answered his pleas with: 'No, you have taken away our lands, and now you wish to make us a race of slaves.'"
"[T]he minister preached a sermon on Jonah and the whale, at the end of which an old chief arose and declared, "We have heard several of the white people talk and lie; we know they will lie, but this is the biggest lie we ever heard."
"Passing through here in 1795, Bishop Asbury commented, 'The country improves in cultivation, wickedness, mills, and stills.' Five years later, he held a meeting in the neighborhood and remarked that he thought most of the congregation had come to look at his wig."
"... the meanest life, the poorest existence, is attributed to God's will, but as human beings become more affluent, as their living standard and style begin to ascend the material scale, God descends the scale of responsibility at a commensurate speed."