Always a strong and vocal critic of the Religious Right, Vidal succeeded Kurt Vonnegut as the American Humanist Association’s honorary president in 2009.

The idea of a good society is something you do not need a religion and eternal punishment to buttress; you need a religion if you are terrified of death.

I’m a born-again atheist.

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I regard monotheism as the greatest disaster ever to befall the human race.

This separation was absolute in our original Republic. In the 1950s they actually got the phrase In God We Trust onto the currency, in direct violation of the First Amendment.

Vidal was a giant of American intellectual life in the second half of the 20th century.

Great American intellect and freethinker Gore Vidal is dead. Buckley Jr. But the sky-godders do not give up easily. It is curious how little understood this amendment is–yes, everyone has a right to worship any god he chooses but he does not have the right to impose his beliefs on others who do not happen to share in his superstitions and taboos.

Christianity is such a silly religion.

Once people get hung up on theology, they’ve lost sanity forever. More people have been killed in the name of Jesus Christ than any other name in the history of the world.

Vidal was also a political pundit who once came close to fisticuffs with conservative William F. during a live TV debate at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. The acclaimed author wrote 25 novels, including scandalous best-sellers like Myra Breckinridge and scholarly, historical works like Burr and Lincoln. Vidal also wrote more than 200 essays, seven plays and numerous TV and movie scripts, including an uncredited rewrite on the 1959 classic Ben-Hur.

The following is a sample of quotes attributed to Vidal, quotes relevant to humanists, atheists and other freethinkers:

. Vidal, 86, celebrated writer, cultural critic, atheist and honorary president of the American Humanist Association, died of pneumonia at his Hollywood Hills home on Tuesday, July 31.

In the First Amendment to the Constitution, the Founders made it clear that this was not to be a sky-god nation with a national religion like that of England, from whom we had just separated