"Where is there such an one who has not a thousand times been struck with a sort of infidel idea, that whatever other worlds God may be Lord of, he is not the Lord of this; for else this world would seem to give the lie to Him; so utterly repugnant seem its ways to the instinctively known ways of Heaven."
"The Civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience be in any manner, or on any pretext, be infringed."
"[Religious establishment] is adverse to the diffusion of the light of Christianity ... [because] with an ignoble and unchristian timidity it would [be] circumscribed, with a wall of defence, against the encroachments of error."
"Magic is akin to science in that it always has a definite aim intimately associated with human instincts, needs, and pursuits. The magic art is directed towards the attainment of practical aims. Like other arts and crafts, it is also governed by a theory, by a system of principles which dictate the manner in which the act has to be performed in order to be effective."
"Both magic and religion are based strictly on mythological tradition, and they also both exist in the atmosphere of the miraculous, in a constant revelation of their wonder-working power. They both are surrounded by taboos and observances which mark off their acts from those of the profane world."
"But is it not the fact that religion emanates from the nature, from the moral state of the individual? Is it not therefore true that unless the nature be completely exercised, the moral state harmonised, the religion cannot be healthy?"
"I shall never send for a priest or recite an Act of Contrition in my last moments. I do not mind if I lose my soul for all eternity. If the kind of God exists Who would damn me for not working out a deal with Him, then that is unfortunate. I should not care to spend eternity in the company of such a person."
"I am a Wasp only in the genetic sense; the P does not quite apply. As an Episcopalian I am technically an Anglican Catholic, meaning that I have a real feel for theological dottiness untainted by deeper questions of religious belief. I have no religious beliefs to speak of, but I stand four-square with the Highs against the Lows on Latin and incense, and I will go to bat for transubstantiation even though it means nothing to me one way or the other."
"Zen is to religion what a Japanese "rock garden" is to a garden. Zen knows no god, no afterlife, no good and no evil, as the rock-garden knows no flowers, herbs or shrubs. It has no doctrine or holy writ: its teaching is transmitted mainly in the form of parables as ambiguous as the pebbles in the rock-garden which symbolise now a mountain, now a fleeting tiger. When a disciple asks "What is Zen?", the master's traditional answer is "Three pounds of flax" or "A decaying noodle" or "A toilet stick" or a whack on the pupil's head."
"It is a mystery to me how a theologian can be praised for having brought himself to disbelieve dogmas. I've always thought that those who have brought themselves to believe in dogmas merit the true recognition owing a heroic deed."