God is often equated with religion, and so are gods. However, for this top ten religion quotes list I have tried to stick strictly to the definition of religion as in a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith (Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Tenth Edition). I found many quotes under the search term “religion quotes” that were more about gods than religion. So, if you are looking for quotes about gods, these are not included.
Mark Twain quotes religion: “Religion consists of a set of things which the average man thinks he believes and wishes he was certain.” I consider that a mere warm-up to this: “Man is a Religious Animal. He is the only Religious Animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion--several of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat if his theology isn't straight. He has made a graveyard of the globe in trying his honest best to smooth his brother's path to happiness and heaven....The higher animals have no religion. And we are told that they are going to be left out in the Hereafter. I wonder why? It seems questionable taste.”
Thomas Jefferson religion quotes: “Compulsion in religion is distinguished peculiarly from compulsion in every other thing. I may grow rich by an art I am compelled to follow; I may recover health by medicines I am compelled to take against my own judgment; but I cannot be saved by a worship I disbelieve and abhor.” Remember he wrote the Jefferson Bible, and these famous words are his “Say nothing of my religion. It is known to my god and myself alone.”
Dave Barry offers a funny insightful religion quote: “The problem with writing about religion is that you run the risk of offending sincerely religious people, and then they come after you with machetes.”
Remember Thomas Hobbes, the English philosopher from the seventeenth century who dabbled in key philosophical doctrines, debates, and authored Leviathan (considered the foundation of Western political philosophy from a different perspective)? His religion quote is: “Fear of things invisible is the natural seed of that which everyone in himself calleth religion.”
Another famous philosopher, Lucius Annaeus Seneca, the brilliant Roman writer says this about religion: “Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.”
“Religion is doing; a man does not merely think his religion or feel it, he “lives” his religion as much as he is able, otherwise it is not religion but fantasy or philosophy” (George Gurdjieff).
As mentioned earlier, finding religion quotes without god in them is more difficult than with. Notice that the quotes are from males. I did find one that I have to add because it is from a female, and it has god and religion in it most profoundly.
“If it were proven that there is no God there would be no religion . . . But also if it were proven that there is a God, there would be no religion” (Ursula K. Le Guin).
Lastly I leave you with this, by unknown author, “Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned.”