From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2008-10-04:
"Religion, uncontaminated by power, can be the source of a great deal of private solace, artistic inspiration, and moral wisdom. But when it gets its hands on the levers of political or social authority, it goes rotten very quickly indeed. The rank stench of oppression wafts from every authoritarian church, chapel, temple, mosque, or synagogue -- from every place of worship where the priests have the power to meddle in the social and intellectual lives of their flocks, from every presidential palace or prime ministerial office where civil leaders have to pander to religious ones.
"My basic objection to religion is not that it isn't true; I like plenty of things that aren't true. It's that religion grants its adherents malign, intoxicating and morally corrosive sensations. Destroying intellectual freedom is always evil, but only religion makes doing evil feel quite so good."
-- Philip Pullman, "The censor's dark materials", The Guardian, Sept. 29, 2008.
(submitted to the mailing list by Jeffrey L. Copeland)
[And even if at least one religion's essential core is true, as I fully believe mine is, (a) it's not provable and therefore unreasonable to demand others adhere to its rules, and (b) subject to the dangers Pullman mentions, regardless.]