The Devil's Dictionary
The Devil's Dictionary is a collection of cynical and pessimistic "definitions" of common everyday words written by Ambrose Bierce. The definitions first appeared in his column in a San Francisco newspaper. It was eventually published in book form and still remains in print today, although due a lack of copyright, it is freely available for download online.
Bierce satirized both liberal and conservative positions with his work and frequently made very public and offensive attacks against religion and the church.
Some examples of his work include:
Aborigine (N):Persons of little worth found cumbering the soil of a newly discovered country. They soon cease to cumber; they fertilize.
Christian (n):One who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbor. One who follows the teachings of Christ insofar as they are not inconsistent with a life of sin.
Philosophy:: (n):A route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing.
Pray (v): To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled on behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy.
Rational (adj):Devoid of all delusions save those of observation, experience and reflection.
Religion (n): A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable.
Vote (v): The instrument and symbol of a freeman's power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country.