Until every soul is freely permitted to investigate every book, and creed, and dogma for itself, the world cannot be free. Mankind will be enslaved until there is mental grandeur enough to allow each man to have his thought and say. This earth will be a paradise when men can, upon all these questions differ, and yet grasp each other's hands as friends. It is amazing to me that a difference of opinion upon subjects that we know nothing with certainty about, should make us hate, persecute, and despise each other. Why a difference of opinion upon predestination, or the trinity, should make people imprison and burn each other seems beyond the comprehension of man; and yet in all countries where Christians have existed, they have destroyed each other to the exact extent of their power. Why should a believer in God hate an atheist? Surely the atheist has not injured God, and surely he is human, capable of joy and pain, and entitled to all the rights of man. Would it not be far better to treat this atheist, at least, as well as he treats us?Christians tell me that they love their enemies, and yet all I ask is—not that they love their enemies, not that they love their friends even, but that they treat those who differ from them, with simple fairness.We do not wish to be forgiven, but we wish Christians to so act that we will not have to forgive them. If all will admit that all have an equal right to think, then the question is forever solved; but as long as organized and powerful churches, pretending to hold the keys of heaven and hell, denounce every person as an outcast and criminal who thinks for himself and denies their authority, the world will be filled with hatred and suffering. To hate man and worship God seems to be the sum of all the creeds.
Let my silence grow with noise as pregnant mothers grow with life. Let my silence permeate these walls as sunlight permeates a home. Let the silence rise from unwatered graves and craters left by bombs. Let the silence rise from empty bellies and surge from broken hearts. The silence of the hidden and forgotten. The silence of the abused and tortured. The silence of the persecuted and imprisoned. The silence of the hanged and massacred. Loud as all the sounds can be, let my silence be loud so the hungry may eat my words and the poor may wear my words. Loud as all the sounds can be, let my silence be loud so I may resurrect the dead and give voice to the oppressed. My silence speaks.
I have become intoxicated again.You are such a potent wine, my friend.To escape your withdrawal effects,tomorrow I will drink in excess.Alas, why make me love?I was aware, conscious, and sensible before.I am ill by cause of this illusion.The devil plays tricks on me more and more.I was a harp you immaculately plucked at will.Your score, the nightingale song withinnotes composed to imprison and bear me wings.Oh, if only they could hear how it sings!I am now beyond parched.My strings left untouched.You are no longer an oasis, my friend,but a mirage soon coming to an end.
Self-hatred is self-imprisonment. Self-forgiveness is self-liberation. You have the right to suppress yourself, oppress yourself and depress yourself. You have the right to impress yourself too. Feel happy!
Remembering that only a few years ago men, women, and even children, were imprisoned, tortured and burned, for having expressed in an exceedingly mild and gentle way, the ideas entertained by me, I congratulate myself that calumny is now the pulpit's last resort. The old instruments of torture are kept only to gratify curiosity; the chains are rusting away, and the demolition of time has allowed even the dungeons of the Inquisition to be visited by light. The church, impotent and malicious, regrets, not the abuse, but the loss of her power, and seeks to hold by falsehood what she gained by cruelty and force, by fire and fear. Christianity cannot live in peace with any other form of faith. If that religion be true, there is but one savior, one inspired book, and but one little narrow grass-grown path that leads to heaven. Such a religion is necessarily uncompromising, unreasoning, aggressive and insolent. Christianity has held all other creeds and forms in infinite contempt, divided the world into enemies and friends, and verified the awful declaration of its founder—a declaration that wet with blood the sword he came to bring, and made the horizon of a thousand years lurid with the fagots' flames.
When failure imprisons you for not doing what you should have done, you have no option than to bail yourself on the promise of trying again! Try again!