Great Throughts Treasury

This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alan William Smolowe who gave birth to the creation of this database.


"Every day, people are straying away from the church and going back to God." - Lenny Bruce, born Leonard Alfred Schneider

"Patience is the guardian of faith, the preserver of peace, the cherisher of love, the teacher of humility; patience, governs the flesh, strengthens the spirit, sweetens the temper, stifles anger, extinguishes envy, subdues the hand, tramples upon temptation, endures persecutions, consummates martyrdom; patience produces unity in the church, loyalty in the state, harmony in families and societies; she comforts the poor and moderates the rich; she makes us humble in prosperity, cheerful in adversity, unmoved by calumny and reproach; she teaches us to forgive those who have injured us, and to be the first in asking forgiveness of those whom we have injured; she delights the faithful, and invites the unbelieving; she adorns the woman, and approves the man; is loved in a child, praised in a young man, admired in an old man; she is beautiful in either sex and every age." - George Horne

"Men who fight about religion have no religion to fight about, since they do in the name of religion the thin which religion itself forbids. To be furious in religion is to be irreligiously religious. It were better to be of no church than to be bitter in any." - William Penn

"People today live without faith. On the one hand, the minority of wealthy, educated people, having freed themselves from the hypnotism of the Church, believe in nothing. They look upon all faiths as absurdities or as useful means of keeping the masses in bondage - no more. On the other hand, the vast majority, poor, uneducated, but for the most part truly sincere, remain under the hypnotism of the Church and therefore think they believe and have faith. But this is not really faith, for instead of throwing light on man’s position in the world it only darkens it." -

"Religion condemns religion. It is not the school that is without God, it is the Church that is without God." - Alain Pen name of Emile-Auguste Chartier

"It has become a settled principle that nothing which is good and true can be destroyed by persecution, but that the effect ultimately is to establish more firmly, and to spread more widely, that which it was designed to overthrow. It has long since passed into a proverb that “the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.”" - Albert Barnes

"Religious addiction is using God, the Church, or a belief system as an escape from reality, in an attempt to find or elevate a sense of self-worth or well-being... It is the ultimate form of co-dependency - feeling worthless in and of ourselves and looking outside for something or someone to tell us we are worthwhile... Recovery means discovering divinity in one's own life." - Leo Booth

"The grandest operations, both in nature and in grace, are the most silent and imperceptible. The shallow brook babbles in its passage, and is heard by every one; but the coming on of the seasons is silent and unseen. The storm rages and alarms, but its fury is soon exhausted, and its effects are partial and soon remedied; but the dew, though gentle and unheard, is immense in quantity, and the very life of large portions of the earth. And these are pictures of the operations of the grace in the church and in the soul." - Richard Cecil

"Some political and social activities of the Catholic Church are detrimental and even dangerous for the community as a whole... [e.g.] the fight against birth control at a time when overpopulation [is] a serious obstacle to peace." - Albert Einstein

"We try to evade the question [of existence] with property, prestige, power, production, fun, and, ultimately, by trying to forget that we - that I - exist. No matter how often he thinks of God or goes to church, or how much he believes in religious ideas, if he, the whole man, is deaf to the question of existence, if he does not have an answer to it, he is marking time, and he lives and dies like of the million things he produces. He thinks of God, instead of experiencing God." -

"To be of no church is dangerous. Religion, of which the rewards are distant and which is animated only by Faith and Hope, will glide by degrees out of the mind unless it be invigorated and reimpressed by external ordinances, by stated calls to worship, and the salutary influence of example." -

"The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state. It must be the guide and the critic of the state, and never its tool. If the church does not recapture its prophetic zeal, it will become an irrelevant social club without moral or spiritual authority." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

"The opening of the first grammar-school was the opening of the first trench against monopoly in Church and State." - James Russell Lowell

"The church of tomorrow must be universal. It cannot belong to a particular class, race or nation, but must transcend all such barriers so the brotherhood of man may be extended among us." - Ralph S. Meadowcroft

"Abuse resembles a church procession; it always returns to the point from which it set out." - Vincenzo Monti

"I condemn Christianity, I bring against the Christian Church the most terrible charge any prosecutor has ever uttered. to me it is the extremist thinkable form of corruption, it has had the will to the ultimate corruption conceivably possible. The Christian Church has left nothing untouched by its depravity, it has made of every value a disvalue, of every truth a lie, of every kind of integrity a vileness of soul. People still dare to talk to me of its ‘humanitarian’ blessings! To abolish any state of distress whatever has been profoundly inexpedient to it: it has lived on states of distress, it has created states of distress in order to externalize itself." - Friedrich Nietzsche, fully Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

"My own mind is my own church." - Thomas Paine

"Time makes more Converts than Reason...the adulterous connection of church and state." - Thomas Paine

"For when man comes to front the everlasting God, and look the splendor of His judgments in the face, personal integrity, the dream of spotlessness and innocence, vanishes into thin air: your decencies and your church-goings and your regularities and your attachment to a correct school and party, your gospel formulas of sound doctrine - what is all that, in front of the blaze of the wrath to come?" -

"The decline of religion in modern times means simply that religion is no longer the uncontested center and ruler of man’s life., and that the church is no longer the final and unquestioned home and asylum of his being." - William Barrett, fully William Christopher Barrett

"The consciousness of abiding safety in the bosom of the Church is one of the most serious obstacles to an honest confrontation with the Christian faith." - Peter L. Berger, fully Peter Ludwig Berger

"The continuous and widespread fragmentation of the church has been the scandal of the ages. It has been Satan’s master strategy. The sin of disunity probably has caused more souls to be lost than all other sins combined." - Paul Billheimer

"From the patristic period to the present, the Church has affirmed that misuse of the world’s resources or appropriation of them by a minority of the world’s population betrays the gift of creation since “whatever belongs to God belongs to all.”" - Bishops' Pastoral Letter "Economic Justice For All" NULL

"People are driven from the church not so much by stern truth that makes them uneasy, as by weak nothings that make them contemptuous." - George Arthur Buttrick

"For a man to argue, “I do not go to church; I pray alone,” is no wiser than if he should say, “I have no use for symphonies; I believe only in solo music.”" - George Arthur Buttrick

"The Miracles of the Church seem to me to rest not so much upon faces or voices or healing power coming suddenly near to us from afar off, but upon our perceptions being made finer, so that for a moment our eyes can see and our ears can hear what is there about us always." - Willa Cather, fully Willa Sibert Cather

"Leave every church Independent; not Independent from brotherly Counsel, God forbid it that we should refuse that; but when it comes to power, that one Church shall have the power over the rest, then look for a Beast." - John Cotton

"If nowhere else, in the relation between Church and State, “good fences make good neighbors.”" - Felix Frankfurter

"In the beginning the church was a fellowship of men and women centering on the living Christ. Then the church moved to Greece, where it became a philosophy. Then it moved to Rome, where it became an institution. Next it moved to Europe, where it became a culture, and, finally, it moved to America, where it became an enterprise." - Richard Halverson, fully Richard Christian Halverson

"If the church doesn’t listen to the world, then the world will never listen to the church." - Bernard Häring

"In biblical days prophets were astir while the world was asleep; today the world is astir while church and synagogue are busy with trivialities." - Abraham Joshua Heschel

"Christian civilization has proved hollow to a terrifying degree: it is all veneer, but the inner man has remained untouched, and therefore unchanged. His soul is out of key with his external beliefs; in his soul the Christian has not kept pace with external developments. Yes, everything is to e found outside – in image and in word, in Church and Bible – but never inside. Inside reign the archaic gods, supreme as of old." - Carl Jung, fully Carl Gustav Jung

"The historical Jesus has a different category of sins from that of the Old Testament or of Paul or of ecclesiastical writers after him. The sins which occupied the attention of Jesus were hypocrisy, wordliness, intolerance, and selfishness. The sins which occupy the principal attention of the Church… are impurity, murder, the drinking of alcohol, swearing, the neglect of the Church’s services and ordinances." - Robert Keable

"Sick or well, blind or seeing, bond or free, we are here for a purpose and however we are situated, we please God better with useful deeds than with many prayers or pious resignation. The temple or church is empty unless the good life fill it. The altar is holy if only it represents the altar of our heart upon which we offer the only sacrifices ever commanded – the love that is stronger than hate and the faith that overcometh doubt." - Helen Keller. aka Helen Adams Keller

"If the church does not recapture its prophetic zeal, it will become an irrelevant social club without moral or spiritual authority." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Every church is orthodox to itself; to others, erroneous or heretical." - John Locke

"Segregation in the church violates something that is basic in the nature of the church. How can a church exclude from “the church of God” those who are children of God? How can it, as “the body of Christ,” withhold the privilege of worship from those who have been brought into union with Christ." - T. B. Maston, fully Thomas Buford Maston

"There is no such thing as a single scheme of salvation. Salvation is not the monopoly of any church. All paths lead to the hilltop of one and the same God-consciousness. The different religions are suited to the different aspirants in their various stages of progress." - Nikhilananda, fully Swami Nikhilananda, born Dinesh Chandra Das Gupta NULL

"Toleration… is not true liberty when it is only a gracious concession by the state to the individual. Gracious concessions are incompatible with liberty of religion which is not something that a state, or an absolutist church offers, but that which the citizen claims and the law protects." - Cecil Northcott

"The true Church government is to leave the conscience to its full liberty… and to seek unity in the Light and in the Spirit, walking sweetly and harmoniously together in the midst of different practices." -

"The Church must either condemn the world and seek to change it, or tolerate it and conform to it. In the latter case it surrenders its holiness and its mission." - Walter Rauschenbusch

"Other La Rochefoucaulds can refer to Count Antoine de La Rochefoucauld (1862–1959) 19th century Rosicrucian, French Author; François de La Rochefoucauld (1558–1645), French Cardinal of the Catholic Church; François Alexandre Frédéric, duc de la Rochefoucauld-Liancourt (1747-1827), Social Reformer; François de la Rochefoucauld, Marquis de Montandré (1672-1739); Frédéric Gaëtan, marquis de La Rochefoucauld-Liancourt (1779-1863) Politician" -

"People are coming to church not simply to partake of the sacred but to partake of sacred community." - Milton J. Rosenberg

"Two orders of mankind are the enemies of church and state: the king without clemency, and the holy man without learning." -

"The Catholic Church rejects nothing which is true and holy in these religions… In Hinduism, men probe the mystery of God and express it with a rich fund of myths, and a penetrating philosophy… In the various forms of Buddhism the basic inadequacy of this changing world is recognized and men are taught with confident application how they can achieve a state of complete liberation… The Church also regards with esteem the Muslims who worship the one, subsistent, merciful and almighty God… They venerate Jesus as a prophet… Given the great spiritual heritage common to Christians and Jews, it is the wish of this sacred Council to foster and recommend a mutual knowledge and esteem." - Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, aka Vatican II

"In times of prosperity the church administers; in times of adversity the church shepherds." - Fulton Sheen, fully Archbishop Fulton John Sheen

"Let any preacher honestly probe into the great causes of human misfortune and misery, and nothing will keep people from his church." -

"How is one to explain that neither Hitler nor Himmler was ever excommunicated by the church?" - Elie Wiesel, fully Eliezer "Elie" Wiesel

"As we have seen over and over again, whenever church and state enter into partnership, human freedom is restricted, intellectual growth is stifled, and education is formalized and routinized to exclude and smother innovation and creativity." - Gerald Alexander Larue

"The church bell sometimes does better work than the sermon." - American Proverbs