— Albert Einstein German-born physicist and founder of the theory of relativity 1879 - 1955
Context: The most important human endeavor is the striving for morality in our actions. Our inner balance and even our very existence depend on it. Only morality in our actions can give beauty and dignity to life. To make this a living force and bring it to clear consciousness is perhaps the foremost task of education. The foundation of morality should not be made dependent on myth nor tied to any authority lest doubt about the myth or about the legitimacy of the authority imperil the foundation of sound judgment and action.
Letter to the minister of a church in Brooklyn (20 November 1950), p. 95. The minister had earlier written Einstein asking if he would send him a signed version of a quote about the Catholic church attributed to Einstein in Time magazine (see the "Misattributed" section below), and Einstein had written back to say the quote was not correct, but that he was "gladly willing to write something else which would suit your purpose". According to the book, the minister replied "saying he was glad the statement had not been correct since he too had reservations about the historical role of the Church at large", and said that "he would leave the decision to Einstein as to the topic of the statement", to which Einstein replied with the statement above.