"Let us … simply settle for this moderating moral imperative: that it is time that the world adopt a position that refuses to countenance religion as an acceptable justification for, excuse or extenuation of crimes against humanity."
— Wole Soyinka, a Nobel literature winner who has taught at Emory University in Atlanta, in Wole Soyinka: Religion Against Humanity Speech at United Nations
"This fall Mainers will vote whether to allow same-sex couples to become legally married. Because I am a Unitarian Universalist pastor, and a straight, married man who believes in the importance and value of marriage, I support giving gays and lesbians the right to marry. I support the freedom to marry because I support marriage. Marriage is a good thing; it promotes commitment, fidelity and family stability. If these conservative family values are good for straight couples, they’re also good for gay and lesbian couples. I’m a straight man who has been married for 33 years. Our marriage will not be threatened if other couples are given the same freedom we already have. Marriage is strengthened, not threatened, by people who want to get married."
— Unitarian minister J. Mark Worth, writing in a Maine newspaper: Standing on the side of love — Opinion — Bangor DailyNews — BDN Maine
"The bulk of charitable donations in this country are made by individuals, and the passions of individuals do not typically align with the broader exigencies of a particular social moment. Nationally, 32 percent of the $298 billion given away last year went to religious institutions, 13 percent to cultural organizations and 12 percent to social services, according to a report issued annually by the American Association of Fundraising Counsel."
Ginia Bellafante, writing in Bulk of Charitable Giving Not Earmarked for Poor - NYTimes.com
And there’s the rub for people who think private giving is more efficient than paying taxes to social safety net programs run by government. Giving a lot of money to your church might be a good thing and might make you feel better. Giving a lot of money to your university might be a good thing. But that sort of giving really does little to create a realistic social safety net for those in need. And in the real world some people will be in need, very often through no fault of their own. Or through no fault of our own or your own, because most of us will be vulnerable at one time or another.
"There is some degree of mythmaking and truth-stretching in every campaign, but the extent to which Republicans have embraced ignobility in this campaign is astounding. They have used their convention podium to unleash a whole lot of half-truths, so many that fact-checkers have been working overtime. But trying to chase down every lie is like trying to catch every bug in a log. It’s almost impossible. If the news media has to pour so much energy into fact-checking, which is noble and necessary, I worry that the big picture gets short shrift. … [H]ow can a party that incessantly repeats the mantra that our rights were granted by God repeatedly violate a basic tenet of almost every religion: truth-telling?"
— Charles M. Blow, writing in his column: The G.O.P. Fact Vacuum - NYTimes.com
"For the Sikh community, it doesn’t matter that it was mistaken for being Muslim. What matters is that individuals should not be targeted for their faith."
— Eric Ward, an expert in hate crimes who was formerly with an interfaith coalition called the Center for New Community, quoted in Samuel G. Freedman’s column, If the Sikh Temple Had Been a Mosque — On Religion - NYTimes.com
"Islamophobia has become so mainstream in this country that Americans have been trained to expect violence against Muslims — not excuse it, but expect it. And that’s happened because you have an Islamophobia industry in this country devoted to making Americans think there’s an enemy within."
— Reza Aslan, an Iranian-American writer and scholar on religion, quoted in Samuel G. Freedman’s column, If the Sikh Temple Had Been a Mosque — On Religion - NYTimes.com