Monday, October 22, 2007

Quotes: Religion.

A collection of quotes on various topics. The sentence in bold face is a plain statement of the quote that follows.

Religion uses as a bridle the dread of the hereafter.
Religion 21 …all men needed the bridle of religion, which, properly speaking, was the dread of the Hereafter. George Eliot, Middlemarch.

Using violence to spread the religion of peace.
Religion 22 …and ready to propagate the religion of peace by violence. Hawthorne, Tales and Sketches.

People pray for success in burning villages and slaughtering with pious fierceness.
Religion 237 …the veterans of King Philip’s War, who had burnt villages and slaughtered young and old, with pious fierceness, while the godly souls throughout the land were helping them with prayer. Hawthorne, Tales and Sketches

He decried the flame-licked eternity prescribed for most people by medieval Christianity.
Religion 309 He decried the “small and black and flame-licked” eternity that medieval Christianity had envisioned for the great mass of humanity, as well as the “small and black and…venomous” mind that conceived it. Christianson, Fox at the Wood’s Edge: Loren Eiseley.

JFK’s religion was humane, not doctrinal.
Religion 106 Kennedy’s religion was humane rather than doctrinal. Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

To religion, the present is a place of exile to be endured until reaching the heavenly kingdom.
Religion 73 To a religious movement the present is a place of exile, a vale of tears leading to the heavenly kingdom. Hoffer, The True Believer

JFK on the Pope’s interference in his Presidential campaign: Now I know why Henry VIII set up his own church.
Religion 167 JFK: “Now I understand why Henry VIII set up his own church.” Sorenson, Kennedy

JFK asked clergymen for help in the fight against racism, assuming that they saw the contradiction between racial bigotry and the Christian gospel.
Religion 564 He [Kennedy] pressed for action from clergymen of all faiths, certain they would “recognize the conflict between racial bigotry and the Holy Word.” Sorenson, Kennedy

Using torture to persuade people to worship the Holy Redeemer.
Religion 217 ...this pleasant inquisition and pointed to the Blessed Redeemer, who was so gentle and so merciful toward all men, and they urged the barbarians to love him; and they did all they could to persuade them to love and honor him--first by twisting their thumbs out of joint with a screw; then by nipping their flesh with pincers--red hot ones, because they are the most comfortable in cold weather; then by skinning them alive a little, and finally by roasting them in public. Twain, Innocents Abroad.

A religious belief is not the same thing as a religious sensibility.
Religion 167 A religious sensibility is very different from a religious belief.... Bloom, Western Canon.

People turn to religion to help them solve the problems of existence.
Religion 78 Men turn to various religions to solve mysteries of the human condition, which today, as in earlier times, burden people’s hearts: the nature of man; the meaning and purpose of life; good and evil; the origin and purpose of suffering; the way to true happiness; death; judgment and retribution after death; and, finally, the ultimate ineffable mystery which is the origin and destiny of our existence. Pope John Paul II, Threshold

What unites the Catholic Church with other Christian sects is much greater than what divides them.
Religion 147 What unites us [Catholic Church and other religions] is much greater than what separates us. Pope John Paul II, Threshold

In the Christian Gospel, master and slave become Father and Son.
Religion 227 …Gospel of Christ, in which the paradigm of master-slave is radically transformed into the paradigm of Father-Son. Pope John Paul II, Threshold

If you’re patient enough, you will understand that evil is actually good.
Religion 818 [Jim Blaine]: “But mind you, there ain’t anything ever reely lost; everything that people can’t understand and don’t see the reason of does good if you only hold on and give it a fair shake; Prov’dence don’t fire no blank ca’tridges, boys.” Twain, Roughing It

Missionaries made the Hawaiians permanently miserable by telling them that Heaven was a blissful place that is very hard to achieve.
Religion 877 …long, long before the missionaries braved a thousand privations to come and make them [Hawaiians] permanently miserable by telling them how beautiful and how blissful a place heaven is, and how nearly impossible it is to get there. Twain, Roughing It

Priests want people to be educated only to the degree of trust and reverence.
Religion 439 He had been instructed only in that innocent and ineffectual way in which the Catholic priests teach the aborigines, by which the pupil is never educated to the degree of consciousness, but only to the degree of trust and reverence, and a child is not made a man, but kept a child. Thoreau, Walden.

Quakers sacrificed people so that their consciences could be clear.
Religion 48 [The Quakers] showed how zealous men might sacrifice the welfare and even the lives of their fellow men to the overweening purity of their own consciences. Boorstin, The Americans: Colonial Experience

Religion consists of persecution, religious pride and love of contradiction.
Religion 139 “Persecution, religious pride, the love of contradiction,” Crevecoeur observed in late 18th-century America, “are the food of what the world commonly calls religion.” Boorstin, The Americans: Colonial Experience

Men invented God in order to comfort their fear of the unknown.
Religion 583 The history of religions is that of shivering, frightened people who have attempted to put a roof over their heads against the night and blackness and fears and terrors of the unknown…why man has invented God. Irving Stone, The Passions of the Mind (Life of Freud).

Come and worship our gods or we will kill you and your gods.
Religion 230 “Put away your gods and come and worship ours, or we will kill you and your gods.” Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov.

Man does not want a God so much as miraculous intervention in his life.
Religion 231 …for man seeks not so much god as the miraculous. Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov.

All great religious teachers, east or west, have believed that man must shed his possessions.
Religion 78 ...his [St. Francis’s] belief that in order to free the spirit we must shed all our earthly goods is the belief that all great religious teachers have had in common, eastern and western, without exception. Clark, Civilization.

Religion exists in man because man is the only animal who can contemplate his situation.
Religion 173 [Religion] appears in a man simply because man is the only animal, so far as we know, who can ponder on his situation. Mencken, Minority Report.

Religion makes people good the way belief in Santa Clause makes children good, but no one would argue that as proof for the existence of Santa Claus.
Religion 249 It is often argued that religion is valuable because it makes men good, but even if this were true it would not be a proof that religion is true…Santa Claus makes children good in precisely the same way, and yet no one would argue seriously that that fact proves his existence. Mencken, Minority Report.

When men fight for their religion, the religion is false, wicked and against God.
Religion 250 …religions for which multitudes of honest men have fought and died are false, wicked and against God. Mencken, Minority Report.

People should care more about being good human beings rather than good Catholics or Episcopalians.
Religion 295 “But I think one should care more about being a good woman than a good Episcopalian, Aunt Nancy.” Jewett, A Country Doctor.

Christ told us that life is a time of probation, but people insist on trying to be happy in life.
Religion 572 …but Christ, the Son of God, came down upon earth and told us that this life is but a flash, a time of probation; yet we cling to it and think to find happiness in it. Tolstoi, War and Peace.

We profess Christian forgiveness, but we kill criminals, and a priest provides services before they die.
Religion 635 Pierre: We all profess the Christian law of forgiveness of injuries and love for our neighbor, the law in honor of which we have raised forty times forty churches in Moscow—but yesterday a deserter was knouted to death and a minister of that same law of love and forgiveness, the priest, gave the soldier the cross to kiss before his execution. Tolstoi, War and Peace.

Black old-timer to a balloonist who had landed in his field: Howdy, Jesus, how’s your pa?
Religion 249 [Black old-timer who couldn’t run from cotton field in which balloonist descended]: “Howdy, Massa Jesus; how’s yo’ pa?” Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years
Christ united God and man, thus transforming man.
Religion Catholic 136 The mystery of the Church: The Son of God, uniting Himself to human nature and conquering death with His Death and Resurrection, redeemed man and transformed him into a new creation. Pope John Paul II, Threshold [The inherent injustice of the concept of “Original Sin,” that humans are condemned, not because of what they did, but because of what Adam did. Because Adam sinned, all mankind became sinners. If that is not unjust, I don’t know what is. Apparently God’s concept of justice is more tyrannical than the human view of justice. Would seem to imply that God does not care about individuals]

Religious fundamentalists impose their religion on everyone.
Religion fundamentalist 94 In countries where Fundamentalist movements come to power, human rights and the principle of religious freedom are unfortunately interpreted in a very one-sided way—religious freedom comes to mean freedom to impose on all citizens the “true religion.” Pope John Paul II, Threshold

Religious Fundamentalism is tyranny by religion.
Religious Fundamentalism 422 Slowly, I began to see that [religious] Fundamentalism had a down side…did not tolerate debate, nor did it seek balance…appeared to be less a God-centered existence than a man-ordered set of demands…less a kinship within a Christian community that tolerated difference than it was an intrusion by people single-mindedly focused on their own organizational objectives. Bradley, Time Present, Time Past.

Assumption that people who shut themselves away from the world are holier than those who live within the world. [Possible that shutting themselves within the walls is an escape from the courage and choices needed to live outside the walls.]
Religious orders 149 Because we have come here and shut ourselves within these walls, we are no holier than those that are outside…. Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov.

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