Love, all alike, no season knows, nor clime, nor hours, days, months, which are the rags of time.John Donne
- To know and to serve God, of course, is why we're here, a clear truth, that, like the nose on your face, is near at hand and easily discernible but can make you dizzy if you try to focus on it hard. But a little faith will see you through. What else will do except faith in such a cynical, corrupt time? When the country goes temporarily to the dogs, cats must learn to be circumspect, walk on fences, sleep in trees, and have faith that all this woofing is not the last word. What is the last word, then? Gentleness is everywhere in daily life, a sign that faith rules through ordinary things: through cooking and small talk, through storytelling, making love, fishing, tending animals and sweet corn and flowers, through sports, music and books, raising kids — all the places where the gravy soaks in and grace shines through. Even in a time of elephantine vanity and greed, one never has to look far to see the campfires of gentle people.
- "The Meaning of Life" in 'We Are Still Married (1989)
- Well, they're taking kids out of the country and sending them over there, National Guard kids and Army Reserve. They're sending kids who are barely prepared for this, and they're sending them over there to kill people, which is a serious thing. And to kill not terrorists, but to kill insurgents. I sort of find myself in agreement, uncomfortably, with Patrick Buchanan, who writes about this in his book, Where The Right Went Wrong. And writes that great powers, the way they skidded off the road, was getting involved in wars. That it's the role of great powers to stay out of wars.
- Real Time with Bill Maher (15 October 2004)
- There is almost no marital problem that can't be helped enormously by taking off your clothes.
- "The Old Scout" in The Writer's Almanac (4 October 2005)
- The party of Lincoln and Liberty was transmogrified into the party of hairy-backed swamp developers and corporate shills, faith-based economists, fundamentalist bullies with Bibles, Christians of convenience, freelance racists, misanthropic frat boys, shrieking midgets of AM radio, tax cheats, nihilists in golf pants, brownshirts in pinstripes, sweatshop tycoons, hacks, fakirs, aggressive dorks, Lamborghini libertarians, people who believe Neil Armstrong's moonwalk was filmed in Roswell, New Mexico, little honkers out to diminish the rest of us, Newt's evil spawn and their Etch-A-Sketch president, a dull and rigid man suspicious of the free flow of information and of secular institutions, whose philosophy is a jumble of badly sutured body parts trying to walk.
- To the cheater, there is no such thing as honesty, and to Republicans the idea of serving the public good is counterfeit on the face of it — they never felt such an urge, and therefore it must not exist.
- Homegrown Democrat : A Few Plain Thoughts From the Heart of America (2004), p. 78
- Jesus said the meek would inherit the earth, but so far all we've gotten is Minnesota and North Dakota.
- None of the men and women who voted for this bill has any right to speak in public about the rule of law anymore, or to take a high moral view of the Third Reich, or to wax poetic about the American Idea.
- If the government can round up someone and never be required to explain why, then it's no longer the United States of America as you and I always understood it. Our enemies have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. They have made us become like them.
- "No need to worry about human rights - we're doing just fine", Salt Lake Tribune, 2 October 2006. URL accessed on 2006-10-14.
News from Lake Wobegon
- "News from Lake Wobegon" is a monologue segment which is heard in the second hour of every performance of "A Prairie Home Companion". The intro and close are nearly always the same:
- It's been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon, my home town, out on the edge of the prairie...
- That's the news from Lake Wobegon, where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.
- See also the Wikipedia article on the Lake Wobegon effect.
The Writer's Almanac
- Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.
- A book is a gift you can open again and again.
- A lovely thing about Christmas is that it's compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together.
- A minister has to be able to read a clock. At noon, it's time to go home and turn up the pot roast and get the peas out of the freezer.
- A young writer is easily tempted by the allusive and ethereal and ironic and reflective, but the declarative is at the bottom of most good writing.
- Beauty isn't worth thinking about; what's important is your mind. You don't want a fifty-dollar haircut on a fifty-cent head.
- Cats are intended to teach us that not everything in nature has a purpose.
- God writes a lot of comedy… the trouble is, he's stuck with so many bad actors who don't know how to play funny.
- Going to church no more makes you a Christian than standing in a garage makes you a car.
- I believe in looking reality straight in the eye and denying it.
- (on sweet corn and sex) I love sweet corn. It truly is better than sex! I'm not lying! All across the Midwest tonight, a husband and wife will finish what husbands and wives do, and the wife will ask the husband: "How was that?" And, if the man is honest, he'll say "Well, it wasn't sweet corn, but it was nice." It's a fact! Sweet corn is better than sex!...fresh sweet corn!...Store bought sweet corn, yes, sex is definitely better than that!
- I think the most un-American thing you can say is, “You can't say that.”
- I want to resume the life of a shy person.
- Intelligence is like four-wheel drive. It only allows you to get stuck in more remote places.
- It was luxuries like air conditioning that brought down the Roman Empire. With air conditioning their windows were shut, they couldn't hear the barbarians coming.
- “Librarians, Dusty, possess a vast store of politeness. These are people who get asked regularly the dumbest questions on God's green earth. These people tolerate every kind of crank and eccentric and mouth-breather there is.”
- Nothing you do for children is ever wasted. They seem not to notice us, hovering, averting our eyes, and they seldom offer thanks, but what we do for them is never wasted.
- One day Donald Trump will discover that he is owned by Lutheran Brotherhood and must renegotiate his debt load with a committee of silent Norwegians who don't understand why anyone would pay more than $120.00 for a suit.
- People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know?
- Selective ignorance, a cornerstone of child rearing. You don't put kids under surveillance: it might frighten you. Parents should sit tall in the saddle and look upon their troops with a noble and benevolent and extremely nearsighted gaze.
- Some luck lies in not getting what you thought you wanted but getting what you have, which once you have got it you may be smart enough to see is what you would have wanted had you known.
- Thank you, dear God, for this good life and forgive us if we do not love it enough. [The last sentence of the short story "State Fair" found in the book Leaving Home.]
- The funniest line in English is “Get it?” When you say that, everyone chortles.
- Where I'm from we don't trust paper. Wealth is what's here on the premises. If I open a cupboard and see, say, 30 cans of tomato sauce and a five-pound bag of rice, I get a little thrill of well-being-much more so than if I take a look at the quarterly dividend report from my mutual fund.
- You'd learn more about the world by lying on the couch and drinking gin out of a bottle than by watching the news.
- If you give your child a vice, why not give it one that will get it through medical school?