“'My god,' wrote an atheist to me, 'is humanity.'
"Out of my heart I felt sorry for him. Atheist though he was, he admitted he had a god. But imagine any man serving and reverencing and adoring the human race, the best-known member of which is, as far as he personally is concerned, himself. ... Imagine bowing down to the race which is represented by the man whose face rather revolted me this morning as I looked at it in the shaving mirror. Fancy having as one’s god this mankind which, for all its genius and achievements, is capable of murder and lust and brutal cruelty and filthy speech and obscene thinking. ...
"The most unsatisfactory god in all of the modern pantheon is undoubtedly the god called humanity. I might be able to adore the smooth, gleaming statue of the Greek Zeus. I might conceivably worship a golden calf. I am certain I cannot find anything innately divine about the person I know and live with and find as inadequate and as thoroughly, humanly unsatisfactory as I find myself.
"Yet, scratch the most arrant atheist and you’ll find a believer in some absurd god whom he worships tirelessly, hopelessly. The more vehemently a man denies he has a god, the surer I am that he is serving, with the sacrifices and labours of a lifetime, some god of his own crude fashioning."
—Daniel A. Lord S.J., "Atheism Doesn't Make Sense" (1936)