Bert Christensen's
Truth & Humour Collection
H.L. Mencken

H. L. Mencken Quotes
Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy
No one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public.

Theology is the effort to explain the unknowable in terms of the not worth knowing.

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

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

The great artists of the world are never Puritans, and seldom respectable. No virtuous man--that is, virtuous in the Y.M.C.A. sense--has ever painted a picture worth looking at, or written a symphony worth hearing, or a book worth reading..

The trouble with Communism is the Communists, just as the trouble with Christianity is the Christians.

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

Democracy is also a form of worship. It is the worship of Jackals by Jackasses.

We must respect the other fellow's religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart.

Conscience is the inner voice that warns us somebody is looking.

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

Creator - A comedian whose audience is afraid to laugh.

It is the fundamental theory of all the more recent American law that the average citizen is half-witted, and hence not to be trusted to either his own devices or his own thoughts.

A celebrity is one who is known by many people he is glad he doesn't know

A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin.

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong.

A politician is an animal which can sit on a fence and yet keep both ears to the ground.

Demagogue: One who preaches doctrines he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots.

Immorality: The morality of those who are having a better time.

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

Sunday: A day given over by Americans to wishing that they themselves were dead and in Heaven, and that their neighbors were dead and in Hell.

Sunday School: A prison in which children do penance for the evil conscience of their parents.

Conscience is a mother-in-law whose visit never ends.

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.