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. That would be an extension of pragmatism beyond endurance. Santa Claus makes children good in precisely the same way, and yet no one would argue seriously that the fact proves his existence. The defense of religion is full of such logical imbecilities. The theologians, taking one with another, are adept logicians, but every now and then they have to resort to sophistries so obvious that their whole case takes on an air of the ridiculous. Even the most logical religion starts out with patently false assumptions. It is often argued in support of this or that one that men are so devoted to it that they are willing to die for it. That, of course, is as silly as the Santa Claus proof. Other men are just as devoted to manifestly false religions, and just as willing to die for them. Every theologian spends a large part of his time and energy trying to prove that religions for which multitudes of honest men have fought and died are false, wicked, and against God.
Ashlei was free to spout off how much she loved her savior because Jesus was not about to rear back and tell her He did not quite feel the same way, that He had died for the sins of the world just because it was fun and did not want things to be too serious. He was only thirty-three, after all, and might want to martyr himself for other people.
The first time I heard you laugh, I only wanted to say funny things so you would always be laughing. You know what happens to chocolate when you leave it out in the sun? I’m that unfortunate chocolate and you, you are the laughing sun. For this reason, I am offering myself to you not as a martyr or some selfless fool, but as a self-indulgent moth who actively pursues the light without much fear for the flame. The moth who revels in the heat and declares: Burn me.
Christians sometimes make themselves into elephants afraid of mice. You have the Creator of the universe on your side; not to mention, you've been given eternal life. 'Whom or what shall you fear?' To be afraid of anything other than God himself is like an insult to God.
Dreamers like your wife are limited, little Helldiver.” She makes sure I don’t speak.“Understand that. The only power they have is in death. The harder they die, the loudertheir voice, the deeper the echoes. But your wife served her purpose.
[WASHINGTON]It’s alright, you want to fight, you’ve got a hungerI was just like you when I was youngerHead full of fantasies of dyin’ like a martyr?[HAMILTON]Yes[WASHINGTON]Dying is easy, young man. Living is harder
Heroes who shed their blood and lost their lives! You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours. You, the mothers, who sent their sons from far away countries wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.
Oh Lion in a peculiar guise,Sharp Roman road to Paradise,Come eat me up, I'll pay thy tollWith all my flesh, and keep my soul.
I've poured my heart out on this page. Now burn it and destroy the evidence that anyone ever cared this much for you.
I know you not quite wellYet I foolishly surrender my mind to you. Slowly and carefully you have cast a spellNow my virgin heart only longs for you. There is no need to push, I am already falling. Once proudly tall, I’m no longer standing. Knowing well that I am doomed to misery,I will roll the dice and take delight in my suffering.
How like God's love yours has been to me- so wise, so generous, and so unsparing! exclaimed Pancratius. Promise me one thing more- that is, that you will stay near to me to the end, and carry my last legacy to my mother.
I write not for the sake of glory. Not for the sake of fame. Not of the sake of success. But for the sake of my soul.
A mighty fortress is our God, and in Him we are safe for time and for eternity. Shall we murmur if we have less of time than we expected? The less of time, the more of heaven. The briefer life, earlier mortality.
A man of God has many brothers. He is a wounded soldier - he is familiar with the pain one feels in his heart, as a close and loving brother, when a brother falls victim of evil men or turns to evil desires (the latter sometimes even betrayal). Because of this, too, he is and must be well-acquainted with and trained in the strengths of hope and the gentleness of forgiveness and mercy.
Is not the true respect and worship of God the exercising of our power in such a way that we are also respected?
The claim at the heart of this book has been carefully researched by several generations of scholars and is orthodox in academic circles, if not beyond. Christians under the Roman Empire were neither constantly persecuted nor martyred in huge numbers for their faith. They were prosecuted from time to time for alleged sedition, holding illegal meetings or refusing to sacrifice to the emperor. They were, like other convicts, sometimes tortured and executed in horrible ways. They seem to have been regarded by many Romans with distaste as a particularly silly superstition. But Christian stories of thousands of individual and mass martyrdoms over centuries have at best a limited basis in historical fact, and in many cases are sheer fiction.
Some skeptics believe religious people are religious because they fear Hell. It's about as fair as saying skeptics are skeptics because they fear the ridicule of modern society.
[Giordano] Bruno died, despised and suffering, after eight years of agony. From that moment, his works have attracted interest, and he has long been recognized as an important figure in the development of modern thought. Nevertheless, few are familiar with the many and often bewildering pages of his writings. His Italian works have their place in the history of Italian literature. The Latin works in prose and verse are much more bulky and diffuse, but the few who grapple with them are rewarded by passages of great beauty and eloquence.
I used to read in books how our fathers persecuted mankind. But I never appreciated it. I did not really appreciate the infamies that have been committed in the name of religion, until I saw the iron arguments that Christians used. I saw the Thumbscrew—two little pieces of iron, armed on the inner surfaces with protuberances, to prevent their slipping; through each end a screw uniting the two pieces. And when some man denied the efficacy of baptism, or may be said, 'I do not believe that a fish ever swallowed a man to keep him from drowning,' then they put his thumb between these pieces of iron and in the name of love and universal forgiveness, began to screw these pieces together. When this was done most men said, 'I will recant.' Probably I should have done the same. Probably I would have said: 'Stop; I will admit anything that you wish; I will admit that there is one god or a million, one hell or a billion; suit yourselves; but stop.'But there was now and then a man who would not swerve the breadth of a hair. There was now and then some sublime heart, willing to die for an intellectual conviction. Had it not been for such men, we would be savages to-night. Had it not been for a few brave, heroic souls in every age, we would have been cannibals, with pictures of wild beasts tattooed upon our flesh, dancing around some dried snake f
If the Pentateuch is inspired, the civilization of of our day is a mistake and crime. There should be no political liberty. Heresy should be trodden out beneath the bigot's brutal feet. Husbands should divorce their wives at will, and make the mothers of their children houseless and weeping wanderers. Polygamy ought to be practiced; women should become slaves; we should buy the sons and daughters of the heathen and make them bondmen and bondwomen forever. We should sell our own flesh and blood, and have the right to kill our slaves. Men and women should be stoned to death for laboring on the seventh day. 'Mediums,' such as have familiar spirits, should be burned with fire. Every vestige of mental liberty should be destroyed, and reason's holy torch extinguished in the martyr's blood.
Some men are sent to heaven by torturers who thought they were doing god's work by sending them to hell
Saintliness is very odd. When people encounter it, they often take it for something else, something completely unlike it: indifference, mockery, scheming, coldness, insolence, perhaps even contempt. But they're mistaken, and that makes them furious. They commit an awful crime. This is doubtless the reason why most saints end up as martyrs.
If you are willing to kill for your beliefs, you are a murderer; if you are willing to die for your beliefs, you are a martyr.
What a trajedy to be a martyr for love, yet we worship the characters anyways because they remind us of how we struggled.
Another site of Leftist struggle [other than Detroit] that has parallels to New Orleans: Palestine. From the central role of displacement to the ways in which culture and community serve as tools of resistance, there are illuminating comparisons to be made between these two otherwise very different places.In the New Orleans Black community, death is commemorated as a public ritual (it's often an occasion for a street party), and the deceased are often also memorialized on t-shirts featuring their photos embellished with designs that celebrate their lives. Worn by most of the deceased's friends and family, these t-shirts remind me of the martyr posters in Palestine, which also feature a photo and design to memorialize the person who has passed on. In Palestine, the poster's subjects are anyone who has been killed by the occupation, whether a sick child who died at a checkpoint or an armed fighter killed in combat. In New Orleans, anyone with family and friends can be memorialized on a t-shift. But a sad truth of life in poor communities is that too many of those celebrate on t-shirts lost their lives to violence. For both New Orleans and Palestine, outsiders often think that people have become so accustomed to death by violence that it has become trivialized by t-shirts and posters.While it's true that these traditions wouldn't manifest in these particular ways if either population had more opportunities for long lives and death from natural causes, it's also far from trivial to find ways to celebrate a life. Outsiders tend to demonize those killed--especially the young men--in both cultures as thugs, killers, or terrorists whose lives shouldn't be memorialized in this way, or at all. But the people carrying on these traditions emphasize that every person is a son or daughter of someone, and every death should be mourned, every life celebrated.