Quote: There is no God, and Harriet is his prophet (1851 August)

Garson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Fri Jan 28 17:41:45 UTC 2011

 Ben Zimmer said:
> Note the play on the Islamic profession of faith, "There is no god but
> God, and Muhammad is his prophet."
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shahada

Thanks for your response, Ben. I agree that the phrase you give is an
important precursor that gives insight into the construction of the
saying with Harriet Martineau. Indeed the results from the search
pattern that I used were overwhelmed by this profession of faith. I
had to develop a strategy to filter it out to find Harriet.

Other figures have been substituted into comparable sayings: Mr.
Atkinson, Auguste Comte, Karl Marx, Felix Adler, Paul Dirac, man, and
Robert Ingersoll. For example in 1912: There is no God, and Karl Marx
is his prophet.

And there is this passage attributed to Mark Twain (not verified yet by me):

Money is God. Gold and Greenbacks and Stock — father, son, and the
ghost of the same — three persons in one; these are the true and only
God, mighty and supreme; and William Tweed is his prophet.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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