The difference between going to church and a baseball game is that at church, you sing out “Stand Up for Jesus,” while at a baseball game you shout “Siddown, for Chrissakes!”
Discovering the Church is apt to be a slow procedure but it can take place if you have a free mind and no vested interest in disbelief.
Concentration of power in a political machine is bad; and an Established Church is only a political machine; it was invented for that; it is nursed, cradled, preserved for that; it is an enemy to human liberty, and does no good which it could not better do in a split-up and scattered condition.
The building of a “skyscraper church” would seem to be a move in the right direction.
The church doctrines of obedience to authority, repentance, fear of punishment, self-abnegation, acceptance of outer direction rather than inner assurance, elevation of faith over reason, and intolerance make institutionalized religion an ideal instrument of social constraint. In an unconstitutional partnership with the state, the church can impose the most irresistible, if covert, controls conceivable.
If you say that the history of the Church is a long succession of scandals, you are telling the truth, though if that is all you say, you are distorting the truth.
There are ten church members by inheritance for every one by conviction.
All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.
Any God I ever felt in church, I brought in with me.
“Attend your Church,” the parson cries: To church each fair one goes; The old go there to close their eyes, The young to eye their clothes.