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H. L. Mencken quotes page 2

The Christian church, in its attitude toward science, shows the mind of a more or less
enlightened man of the Thirteenth Century. It no longer believes that the earth is flat, but it
is still convinced that prayer can cure after medicine fails.
H. L. Mencken

Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable.
H. L. Mencken

On one issue, at least, men and women agree: They both distrust women.
H. L. Mencken

It is impossible to imagine the universe run by a wise, just and omnipotent God, but it is quite
easy to imagine it run by a board of gods. If such a board actually exists it operates precisely
like the board of a corporation that is losing money.
H. L. Mencken

A good politician is quite as unthinkable as an honest burglar.
H. L. Mencken

All I ask is equal freedom. When it is denied, as it always is, I take it anyhow.
H. L. Mencken

The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for
himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes
to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, and intolerable.
H. L. Mencken

Self-respect: The secure feeling that no one, as yet, is suspicious.
H. L. Mencken

Say what you will about the Ten Commandments, you must always come back to the
pleasant fact that there are only ten of them.
H. L. Mencken

Before a man speaks it is always safe to assume that he is a fool. After he speaks, it is
seldom necessary to assume it.
H. L. Mencken

The theory seems to be that so long as a man is a failure he is one of God's chillun, but that
as soon as he succeeds he is taken over by the Devil.
H. L. Mencken

Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.
H. L. Mencken

The cosmos is a gigantic flywheel making 10,000 revolutions per minute. Man is a sick fly
taking a dizzy ride on it.
H. L. Mencken

Sunday school: A prison in which children do penance for the evil conscience of their parents.
H. L. Mencken

For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.
H. L. Mencken

The plain fact is that education is itself a form of propaganda - a deliberate scheme to outfit
the pupil, not with the capacity to weigh ideas, but with a simple appetite for gulping ideas
ready-made. The aim is to make "good" citizens, which is to say, docile and uninquisitive citizens.
H. L. Mencken

You never push a noun against a verb without trying to blow up something.
H. L. Mencken

Democracy is the worship of jackals by jackasses.
H. L. Mencken

Hanging one scoundrel, it appears, does not deter the next. Well, what of it? The first one is
at least disposed of.
H. L. Mencken

The great artists of the world are never Puritans, and seldom even ordinarily respectable.
H. L. Mencken

It is hard to believe that a man is telling the truth when you know that you would lie if you
were in his place.
H. L. Mencken

Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods.
H. L. Mencken

Marriage is a wonderful institution, but who would want to live in an institution?
H. L. Mencken

Love is the delusion that one woman differs from another.
H. L. Mencken

The kind of man who demands that government enforce his ideas is always the kind whose
ideas are idiotic.
H. L. Mencken

It is now quite lawful for a Catholic woman to avoid pregnancy by a resort to mathematics,
though she is still forbidden to resort to physics and chemistry.
H. L. Mencken

For every problem there is one solution which is simple, neat and wrong.
H. L. Mencken

Suppose two-thirds of the members of the national House of Representatives were dumped
into the Washington garbage incinerator tomorrow, what would we lose to offset our gain of
their salaries and the salaries of their parasites?
H. L. Mencken

The fact that I have no remedy for all the sorrows of the world is no reason for my accepting
yours. It simply supports the strong probability that yours is a fake.
H. L. Mencken

School teachers, taking them by and large, are probably the most ignorant and stupid class
of men in the whole group of menial workers.
H. L. Mencken

A judge is a law student who marks his own examination papers.
H. L. Mencken

The basic fact about human existence is not that it is a tragedy, but that it is a bore.
H. L. Mencken

A man loses his sense of direction after four drinks; a woman loses hers after four kisses.
H. L. Mencken

Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the
other party is unfit to rule -and both commonly succeed, and are right.
H. L. Mencken

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