If the Old Testament were a reliable guide in the matter of capital punishment, half the people in the United States would have to be killed tomorrow.
Ours is a government of checks and balances. The Mafia and crooked businessmen make out checks, and the politicians and other compromised officials improve their bank balances.
Asthma doesn't seem to bother me any more unless I'm around cigars or dogs. The thing that would bother me most would be a dog smoking a cigar.
Humor is a social lubricant that helps us get over some of the bad spots.
If you pray for rain long enough, it eventually does fall. If you pray for floodwaters to abate, they eventually do. The same happens in the absence of prayers.
Radio is the theater of the mind; television is the theater of the mindless
Totalitarianism is patriotism institutionalized.
There are few pages of history which do not demonstrate that public prayer and ritual never inoculated people against mass-madness and cruelty. What is needed is emphasis on morality and manners.
The hair is real - it's the head that's a fake.
Impartial observers from other planets would consider ours an utterly bizarre enclave if it were populated by birds, defined as flying animals, that nevertheless rarely or never actually flew. They would also be perplexed if they encountered in our seas, lakes, rivers, and ponds, creatures defined as swimmers that never did any swimming. But they would be even more surprised to encounter a species defined as a thinking animal if, in fact, the creature very rarely indulged in actual thinking.
Thousands of years ago only Christ could walk on the water. Today anybody can do it; you just step on the garbage.
Ideas have consequences, and totally erroneous ideas are likely to have destructive consequences.
There is scarcely a page of the Bible on which an open mind does not perceive a contradiction, an unlikely story, an obvious error, an historical impossibility of one sort or another.
One of the nice things about problems is that a good many of them do not exist except in our imaginations.
I used to be a heavy gambler. But now I just make mental bets. That's how I lost my mind.
Dark energy is perhaps the biggest mystery in physics.
If there is a God, the phrase that must disgust him is - holy war.
Son of a bitch! You're Steve Allen!
In a rational society we would want our presidents to be teachers. In our actual society we insist they be cheerleaders.
Without laughter life on our planet would be intolerable. So important is laughter to us that humanity highly rewards members of one of the most unusual professions on earth, those who make a living by inducing laughter in others. This is very strange if you stop to think of it: that otherwise sane and responsible citizens should devote their professional energies to causing others to make sharp, explosive barking-like exhalations.
The problem is that once the untrained mind has made a formal commitment to a religious philosophy - and it does not matter whether that philosophy is generally reasonable and high-minded or utterly bizarre and irrational
I do not understand those who take little or no interest in the subject of religion. If religion embodies a truth, it is certainly the most important truth of human existence. If it is largely error, then it is one of monumentally tragic proportions—and should be vigorously opposed.
There are hundreds of millions who believe the Messiah has come. If he did, then it is unfortunately the case that his heroic sacrifice and death have had no effect whatsoever on the very problem his coming might have been expected to address, for history demonstrates, beyond question, that we Christians have been just as dangerous, singly and en masse, as non-Christians.
The Bible is unfortunately unclear on a long list of moral and social questions and sex is one of them. On the one hand, there are expressions of admiration for the reportedly virgin mother of Jesus, but other portions of scripture speak quite accommodatingly of polygamy.
I cannot see how it can be argued that one should speak in tones of reverence and awe about the alleged divine instruction-in Psalms-to grab the defenseless bodies of innocent infants and dash their brains out against the nearest rocks or walls.
Sometimes things which at the moment may be perceived as obstacles-and actually be obstacles, difficulties, or drawbacks-can in the long run result in some good end which would not have occurred if it had not been for the obstacle.
This is The Tonight Show. I can't tell you too much about it, other than the fact that this program is going to go on forever.
Physical fitness is in. I recently had a physical fit myself.
I'm all for sex. Seven nights a week. Days, too.
Civilization itself . . . can easily be swept aside when mob passions are aroused.
Millions of Germans had absolute faith in Hitler. Millions of Russians had faith in Stalin. Millions of Chinese had faith in Mao. Billions have had faith in imaginary gods.
The fundamentalist believer is mostly a weird intellectual who often lacks real faith altogether. As a self-appointed attorney for God, who is in no need of attorneys, he very easily turns out to be more godless than the agnostic and the unbeliever. At all events, he seems deaf to poetry.