Posts Tagged ‘quotes’

Problem with religions

May 3rd, 2011 No comments

A friend of mine asked me the other day what I thought was the biggest problem with religions in the world (not just Christianity or religion in America).  Here is what I said:

Religion exists to help explain the world and our purpose in it.  Religions become problematic when instead of offering cohesion to chaos they create their own chaos.

What do you think?  Too simplistic?  What am I missing?

Categories: Faith, Thoughts Tags: , , ,

Where do we go from here?

January 17th, 2011 No comments

The following quotes are from Martin Luther King’s book Where do we go from here?  It contains his honest assessment of where the world was in the late 1960s and what it would take to get things on the right track.  It is a book that cannot be reduced to sound bites and must be read cover to cover to be appreciated.  But, until you have the time do that, let these quotes challenge you.

Concerning worldwide brotherhood:

One of the great liabilities of history is that all too many people fail to remain awake through great periods of social change. Every society has its protectors of the status quo and its fraternities of the indifferent who are notorious for sleeping through revolutions. But today our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenge of change. The large house in which we live demands that we transform this worldwide neighborhood into a worldwide brotherhood.  Together we must learn to live together as brothers or together we will be forced to perish as fools.

Concerning the image of God:

Deeply woven into the fiber of our religious tradition is the conviction that men are made in the image of God, and that they are souls of infinite metaphysical value. If we accept this as a profound moral fact, we cannot be content to see men hungry, to see men victimized with ill-health, when we have the means to help them. In the final analysis, the rich must not ignore the poor because both rich and poor are tied together. They entered the same mysterious gateway of human birth, into the same adventure of life.

Kierkegaard on the Gospel and Power

August 12th, 2010 No comments

After posting a few quick thoughts on power and the nature of the Christian gospel, I found this quote from Søren Kierkegaard, the Danish Theologian.  [Emphasis mine]

When preaching the gospel became a livelihood, even a lush livelihood, then the gospel became good news for the rich and for the mighty. For how else was the preacher to acquire and secure rank and dignity unless Christianity secured the best for all? Christianity thus ceased to be glad tidings for those who suffer, a message of hope that transfigures suffering into joy, but a guarantee for the enjoyment of life intensified and secured by the hope of eternity.

The gospel no longer benefits the poor essentially. In fact Christianity has now even become a downright injustice to those who suffer (although we are not always conscious of this and certainly unwilling to admit it.) Today the gospel is preached to the rich, the powerful, who have discovered it to be advantageous. We are right back again to the very state original Christianity wanted to oppose! The rich and powerful not only get to keep everything, but their success becomes the mark of their piety, the sign of their relationship to God. And this prompts the old atrocity again – namely, the idea that the unfortunate, the poor are to blame for their condition; that it is because they are poor, whereas the rich have not only pleasure but piety as well. This is supposed to be Christianity. Compare it with the New Testament, and you will see that it is as far from that as possible.

Even though this was written over 150 years ago, it rings all the more true today.  The message of the gospel is hope for the weak, not comfort for the privileged; it is restoration of the broken, not security for the empowered.

The church who panders to the powerful and caters to the upper class is nothing but a whore: trading the sanctity of the Good News of the Kingdom of God for a false sense of affirmation and well-being.

Categories: Faith, Thoughts Tags: , , ,

The Descending Spiral of Violence

January 18th, 2010 No comments


The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral,
begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy.
Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it.
Through violence you may murder the liar,
but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth.
Through violence you may murder the hater,
but you do not murder hate.
In fact, violence merely increases hate.
So it goes.
Returning violence for violence multiplies violence,
adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness:
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.


Favorite Thoreau Quotes

September 19th, 2009 No comments
Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau is a personal hero of mine because he authentically lived his life and was willing to call into question the status quo.    His writing span a wide swath of topics from nature to civil disobedience to truth.  He is considered a transcendentalist and was significant in influencing people like Ghandi, JFK, MLK, Tolstoy, Hemingway, George Bernard Shaw and Ralph Waldo Emerson.  Here are a few of my favorite quotes from Thoreau:

If the machine of government is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law.

A man is rich in proportion tothe number of things which he can afford to let alone.

Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life. Aim above morality. Be not simply good; be good for something.

Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each.

I have learned, that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.

Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is in prison.

Our houses are such unwieldy property that we are often imprisoned rather than housed in them.

As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.

Being is the great explainer.

Do not worry if you have built your castles in the air. They are where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.

Faith keeps many doubts in her pay. If I could not doubt, I should not believe.

It is never too late to give up our prejudices.

The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation

Walden Pond

Walden Pond

Edward “Teddy” Kennedy Quotes

August 26th, 2009 No comments
"The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dreams shall never die." - Teddy Kennedy

"The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dreams shall never die." - Teddy Kennedy

Last night, on August 25, 2009, the US Senate lost one of its most famous/notorious members.  Edward “Teddy” Kennedy was serving his ninth term when he passed away after a fight with brain cancer.  At the time he was the second most senior member of the Senate and was the third longest serving senator ever.  After his older brothers John and Robert were assassinated,Ted made a name for himself as one of the most polarizing figures in congress.  He was always unapologetic for his strong liberal views and was consistent in his fight for civil rights for all people.  Love him or hate him, he was a figure to be reckoned with.  Here are a few quotes from Senator Ted Kennedy:

The Constitution does not just protect those whose views we share; it also protects those with whose views we disagree.

It’s better to send in the Peace Corps than the Marine Corps.

Frankly, I don’t mind not being President. I just mind that someone else is.

America will not be America until we free ourselves of discrimination and bigotry

War should be a last resort, not the first response.

It is possible to love America while concluding that it is not now wise to go to war, … The standard that should guide us is especially clear when lives are on the line.

Surely, we can have effective relationships with other nations without adopting a chip-on-the-shoulder foreign policy, a my-way-or-the-highway policy that makes all our goals in the world more difficult to achieve.

The nation lost a courageous woman and a true American hero. A half century ago, Rosa Parks stood up not only for herself, but for generations upon generations of Americans.

Our struggle is not with some monarch named George who inherited the crown. Although it often seems that way.

When we rebuild the land ravaged by the winds and the floods, we must rebuild it to be a more just and fair land.