„Sufism is a religion if one wishes to learn religion from it. But it is beyond religion, for it is the light, the sustenance of every soul, raising the mortal being to immortality.“
— Hazrat Inayat Khan Indian Sufi 1882 - 1927
Context: The religion of the Sufi is not separate from the religions of the world. People have fought in vain about the names and lives of their saviors, and have named their religions after the name of their savior, instead of uniting with each other in the truth that is taught. This truth can be traced in all religions, whether one community calls another pagan or infidel or heathen. Such persons claim that theirs is the only scripture, and their place of worship the only abode of God. Sufism is a name applied to a certain philosophy by those who do not accept the philosophy; hence it cannot really be described as a religion; it contains a religion but is not itself a religion. Sufism is a religion if one wishes to learn religion from it. But it is beyond religion, for it is the light, the sustenance of every soul, raising the mortal being to immortality. Vol. I, The Way of Illumination, Section I - The Way of Illumination, Part III : The Sufi.
— Mitt Romney American businessman and politician 1947
Context: Freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom. Freedom opens the windows of the soul so that man can discover his most profound beliefs and commune with God. Freedom and religion endure together, or perish alone.
„Their religion is unfeasible, for one cannot richly meet the glancing present … without long discipleship and secure sustenance.“
— Paul Goodman American novelist, playwright, poet and psychotherapist 1911 - 1972
„Why can't it be a day where we take a moment and we stop and acknowledge the role that God has played in the formation of this country and its laws? What's so promotional about religion there?“
— Megyn Kelly American reporter 1970
regarding the National Day of Prayer
— Christiaan Huygens Dutch mathematician and natural philosopher 1629 - 1695
The earliest found citation is in K.O. Meinsma, Spinoza en zijn kring. Historisch-kritische studiën over Hollandsche vrijgeesten (Martinus Nijhoff, 's-Gravenhage, 1896). This influential study was translated in French and German, but not in English. In the original Dutch context it seems as though this is not a quote from Huygens, but a characterisation by the author (Meinsma) of what 'could haven been' Huygens' devise. In Cosmos: A Personal Voyage (Episode 6) from 1980 it is phrased The world is my country, science my religion. Also in The Making of Modern Europe, 1648-1780 (1985) by Geoffrey Treasure, p. 474, it is declared that this was Huygens' "motto" — but this seems very similar to the much more famous and long attested declaration of Thomas Paine in Rights of Man (1791): "My country is the world, and my religion is to do good" which has long been paraphrased "The world is my country, and to do good is my religion."
„For good people to do evil doesn’t require only religion, or even any religion, but simply one of its key elements: belief without evidence—in other words, faith. And that kind of faith is seen not just in religion, but in any authoritarian ideology that puts dogma above truth and frowns on dissent.“
— Jerry Coyne American biologist 1949
„One of the great tragedies of mankind is that morality has been hijacked by religion. So now people assume that religion and morality have a necessary connection. But the basis of morality is really very simple and doesn't require religion at all.“
— Arthur C. Clarke British science fiction writer, science writer, inventor, undersea explorer, and television series host 1917 - 2008
„Why do they kill people of other religions because of religion? Why do they hate the Israelis and despise their right to exist? Why do they hate each other? Why do Sunnis kill Shiites? How do they tell the difference? They all look the same to me.“
— Trent Lott United States Senator from Mississippi 1941
On Sunnis and Shia, as quoted in CNN http://www.cnn.com/POLITICS/blogs/politicalticker/2006/09/lott-bush-barely-mentioned-iraq-in.html (2006).
„That Amendment requires the state to be a neutral in its relations with groups of religious believers and nonbelievers; it does not require the state to be their adversary. State power is no more to be used so as to handicap religions than it is to favor them.“
— Hugo Black U.S. Supreme Court justice 1886 - 1971
Writing for the court in Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1 (1947) about the consequences of the First Amendments Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause for the separation of church and state.
„We establish no religion in this country, we command no worship, we mandate no belief, nor will we ever. Church and state are, and must remain, separate.“
— Ronald Reagan American politician, 40th president of the United States (in office from 1981 to 1989) 1911 - 2004
Context: We in the United States, above all, must remember that lesson [of the Holocaust], for we were founded as a nation of openness to people of all beliefs. And so we must remain. Our very unity has been strengthened by our pluralism. We establish no religion in this country, we command no worship, we mandate no belief, nor will we ever. Church and state are, and must remain, separate. All are free to believe or not believe, all are free to practice a faith or not, and those who believe are free, and should be free, to speak of and act on their belief. Speech to Temple Hillel and Community Leaders in Valley Stream http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/US-Israel/RR10_26_84.html (26 October 1984)
„From the age of fifteen, dogma has been the fundamental principle of my religion: I know no other religion; I cannot enter into the idea of any other sort of religion; religion, as a mere sentiment, is to me a dream and a mockery.“
— John Henry Newman English cleric and cardinal 1801 - 1890
„I'm convinced that faith is a matter of inspiration, not a matter of imposition. It is something a person models rather than mandates. Faith does not impose itself on other people. Imposition usually sacrifices somebody else; it seeks to injure or extort others. This is what the terrorist does in an attempt to impose his religion on the world.“
— John Ashcroft American politician 1942