Quote of the Day 7-15-17 (H.L. Mencken)

Posted: July 15, 2017 in Religion
Tags: , ,

H.L. Mencken

“The cosmos is a gigantic fly wheel making 1,000 revolutions a minute. Man is a sick fly taking a dizzy ride on it. Religion is the theory that the wheel was designed and set spinning to give him the ride.”

–H.L. Mencken, A Mencken Chrestomathy

* * *

Decades ago, I picked up a copy of the Bible published by The Way International (a prominent evangelical group). They used the above quotation in place of a dedication at the beginning of the book–but they omitted the final sentence, thus providing yet another example of the fine character traits (in this case honesty) routinely exhibited by Christianity’s most fervent proponents. Mencken would almost certainly have been, in equal parts, delighted and disgusted by this.

The only reason I recognized The Way International’s deliberate misrepresentation of Mencken’s quote was that I had recently read A Mencken Chrestomathy while compiling The Heretic’s Handbook of Quotations; at least 99.999% of other readers would never have spotted The Way’s dishonesty, which is undoubtedly what they were counting on.

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