Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category


TEN COMMANDMENTS, n. pl. The fundamental moral precepts of the Christian and Jewish faiths, and a fine set of guiding lights for us all. Some low-minded skeptics have suggested that God could have improved upon these inspired moral principles if It had dropped the commandments concerning swearing, idol worship, sexual exclusivity, and resting on the sabbath, and had instead instituted bans on slavery, torture, and cruelty, but these suggestions are obviously sacrilegious. If slavery, torture, and cruelty were true moral evils, organized Christianity would not have condoned, instigated, and practiced all three for the better part of two millennia. Fortunately, most Christians recognize this and do not bother themselves about such trifles. Instead, they rightly concentrate their moral outrage on the true evils of “obscene” books and pictures, “filthy” language, and the sexual practices of their neighbors.

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— from The American Heretic’s Dictionary (revised & expanded), the 21st-century successor to Ambrose Bierce’s Devil’s Dictionary. (The link goes to 50 sample definitions and illustrations.)

American Heretic's Dictionary revised and expanded by Chaz Bufe, front cover


Iain M. Banks

“Ferbin’s father had had the same robustly pragmatic view of religion as he’d had of everything else. In his opinion, only the very poor and downtrodden really needed religion, to make their laborious lives more bearable. People craved self-importance, they longed to be told that they mattered as individuals, not just as part of a mass of people or some historical process. They needed the reassurance that while their life might be hard, bitter and thankless, some reward would be theirs after death. Happily for the governing class, a well-formed faith also kept people from seeking recompense in the here and now, through riot, insurrection or revolution.

“A temple was worth a dozen barracks; a militia man carrying a gun could control a small unarmed crowd only for as long as he was present; however, a single priest could put a policeman inside the head of every one of their flock, for ever.”

Iain M. Banks, Matter


Paul Morantz

“Is America First that much different from Deutschland uber alles?”

–Paul Morantz, “The Cult of Trump


(from our friend Pamela Sutter, author of May the Farce Be with You)


COMPASSION, n. Mercy. A virtue so rare in Christian countries that when discovered by chance it is always deemed newsworthy.

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— from The American Heretic’s Dictionary (revised & expanded), the 21st-century successor to Ambrose Bierce’s Devil’s Dictionary. (The link goes to 50 sample definitions and illustrations.)

American Heretic's Dictionary revised and expanded by Chaz Bufe, front cover

 


“Nietzsche was wrong. God isn’t dead. . . . He just has shitty representation back on Earth.”

–“Dechert” in David Pedreira’s Gunpowder Moon


Jean Meslier

THEOLOGY, n. “Ignorance of natural causes reduced to a system.”

–Jean Meslier, Testament