Every November of my boyhood, we put on red poppies and attended highly patriotic services in remembrance of those who had 'given' their lives. But on what assurance did we know that these gifts had really been made? Only the survivors—the living—could attest to it. In order to know that a person had truly laid down his life for his friends, or comrades, one would have to hear it from his own lips, or at least have heard it promised in advance. And that presented another difficulty. Many brave and now dead soldiers had nonetheless been conscripts. The known martyrs—those who actually, voluntarily sought death and rejoiced in the fact—had been the kamikaze pilots, immolating themselves to propitiate a 'divine' emperor who looked (as Orwell once phrased it) like a monkey on a stick. Their Christian predecessors had endured torture and death (as well as inflicted it) in order to set up a theocracy. Their modern equivalents would be the suicide murderers, who mostly have the same aim in mind. About people who set out to lose their lives, then, there seems to hang an air of fanaticism: a gigantic sense of self-importance unattractively fused with a masochistic tendency to self-abnegation. Not wholesome. your life?
In all times, and all countries especially in those countries which are divided within by religious faith, there are always fanatics who will be well contented to be regarded as martyrs.
We can always be sure of one thing—that the messengers of discomfort and sacrifice will be stoned and pelted by those who wish to preserve at all costs their own contentment. This is not a lesson that is confined to the Testaments.
The agony of martyrdom is almost too much to bear. In the early hours, when the loss is fresh, there is no comfort in knowing Glory will live on. We speak of the martyrs in History but we cannot know the actual pain they suffered in their final living hours. They enter the realm of the mythic, but we must never forget these were men like ourselves. When their flesh is torn, they cry out. They suffer as you or I would suffer, although more bravely. Remember Christ. Although I am now an enemy to Joseph's legacy, I shudder when recalling his pain.
Every November of my boyhood, we put on red poppies and attended highly patriotic services in remembrance of those who had 'given' their lives. But on what assurance did we know that these gifts had really been made? Only the survivors—the living—could attest to it. In order to know that a person had truly laid down his life for his friends, or comrades, one would have to hear it from his own lips, or at least have heard it promised in advance. And that presented another difficulty. Many brave and now dead soldiers had nonetheless been conscripts. The known martyrs—those who actually, voluntarily sought death and rejoiced in the fact—had been the kamikaze pilots, immolating themselves to propitiate a 'divine' emperor who looked (as Orwell once phrased it) like a monkey on a stick. Their Christian predecessors had endured torture and death (as well as inflicted it) in order to set up a theocracy. Their modern equivalents would be the suicide murderers, who mostly have the same aim in mind. About people who set out to lose their lives, then, there seems to hang an air of fanaticism: a gigantic sense of self-importance unattractively fused with a masochistic tendency to self-abnegation. Not whol
Every war has its martyrs — the unsung heroes who sometimes don’t even know the rationale behind the war they are fighting. They fight because they are trained to, kill because they are told to and die because they are destined to.
Whether you go your separate ways or stay together, you will continue to witness--against ignorance, against cruelty, and on behalf of all that is beautiful about this strange and crooked world.
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.
There are hundreds of political prisoners right now in America’s jails who were so taken by Malcolm [X’s} spirit that they became warriors and the powers that be understood them as warriors. They knew that a lot of these other middle-class [black] leaders were not warriors; they were professionals; they were careerists. But these warriors had callings, and they have paid an incalculable and immeasurable price in those cells.
When Abbess Ebba received tidings of the near approach of the pagan hordes, who had already wrecked vengeance upon ecclesiastics, monks, and consecrated virgins, she summoned her nuns to Chapter, and in a moving discourse exhorted them to preserve at any cost the treasure of their chastity. Then seizing a razor, and calling upon her daughters to follow her heroic example, she mutilated her face in order to inspire the barbarian invaders with horror at the sight. The nuns without exception courageously followed the example of their abbess. When the Danes broke into the cloister and saw the nuns with faces thus disfigured, they fled in panic. Their leaders, burning with rage, sent back some of their number to set fire to the monastery, and thus the heroic martyrs perished in the common ruin of their house.
As Luxenberg's work has only recently been published we must await its scholarly assessment before we can pass any judgements. But if his analysis is correct then suicide bombers, or rather prospective martyrs, would do well to abandon their culture of death, and instead concentrate on getting laid 72 times in this world, unless of course they would really prefer chilled or white raisins, according to their taste, in the next.
Islam is not unusual in having a tradition of martyrs. What is unique to Islam is the tradition of murderous martyrdom, in which the individual martyr simultaneously commits suicide and kills others for religious reasons.
If you want to be a good parent then be a great leader. You should live a life with passion for someone and something. The legacy you leave your children shouldn't be how you suffered in gratitude for a life you had no passion for. Rather, it should be how grateful you are to a God that believes fairytales can come true because they came true for you.
Thus identified with astronomy, in proclaiming truths supposed to be hostile to Scripture, Geology has been denounced as the enemy of religion. The twin sisters of terrestrial and celestial physics have thus been joint-heirs of intolerance and persecution—unresisting victims in the crusade which ignorance and fanaticism are ever waging against science. When great truths are driven to make an appeal to reason, knowledge becomes criminal, and philosophers martyrs. Truth, however, like all moral powers, can neither be checked nor extinguished. When compressed, it but reacts the more. It crushes where it cannot expand—it burns where it is not allowed to shine. Human when originally divulged, it becomes divine when finally established. At first, the breath of a rage—at last it is the edict of a god. Endowed with such vital energy, astronomical truth has cut its way through the thick darkness of superstitious times, and, cheered by its conquests, Geology will find the same open path when it has triumphed over the less formidable obstacles of a civilized age.
It's an insidious idea, this notion that there is life after death. The promise of a reward in the afterlife has been used as an excuse to deny help to the poor, helpless and oppressed; to explain away human misery rather than deal with it. It is an idea that is used to encourage young men and women to kill themselves, and others, so that they can become martyrs. It allows victims of injustice to be told not to worry because justice will be done in the afterlife. It depresses me to think that so many people on the planet live their lives with this notion. Can we truly fulfill our potential as a species as long as we hold on to, and encourage, the perpetuation of the lie of life after death?
Some men are sent to heaven by torturers who thought they were doing god's work by sending them to hell
Is it just possible that the most vigorous and boldest idealists have been the worst enemies of human progress instead of its greatest creators? Possible that plain men with the humble trait of minding their own business will rank higher in the heavenly hierarchy than all the plumed souls who have shoved their way in among the masses and insisted on savings them?
What a trajedy to be a martyr for love, yet we worship the characters anyways because they remind us of how we struggled.
The pages of history are red with the blood of illuminated saints who were murdered by their religions for actually achieving the advertised spiritual rewards.
St. Triduana devoted herself to God in a solitary life at Rescobie in Angus (now Forfarshire). While dwelling there, a prince of the country having conceived an unlawful passion for her is said to have pursued her with his unwelcome attentions. To rid herself of his importunities, as a legend relates, Triduana bravely plucked out her beautiful eyes, her chief attraction, and sent them to her admirer. Her heroism, it is said, procured for her the power of curing diseases of the eyes.
The problem with martyrs is that they’re all dead. What do they have to do with us that are simple enough to still be alive? Should we just give up and want to die because death is better than dishonor? But suicide is a sin too so we really are damned if we do and damned if we don't.
The faithful clamoured to be buried alongside the martyrs, as close as possible to the venerable remains, a custom which, in anthropological terms, recalls Neolithic beliefs that certain human remains possessed supernatural properties. It was believed that canonized saints did not rot, like lesser mortals, but that their corpses were miraculously preserved and emanated an odour of sanctity, a sweet, floral smell, for years after death. In forensic terms, such preservation is likely to be a result of natural mummification in hot, dry conditions.
As More says, it hardly makes a man a hero, to agree to stand and burn once he is chained to a stake. I have written books and I cannot unwrite them. I cannot unbelieve what I believe. I cannot unlive my life. pg.404
A martyrdom is always the design of God, for His love of men, to warn them and to lead them, to bring them back to His ways. It is never the design of man; for the true martyr is he who has become the instrument of God, who has lost his will in the will of God, and who no longer desires anything for himself, not even the glory of being a martyr.
You're mad, you missionaries,' ejaculated Tai Haruru angrily. 'What good do you think you do, crawling out to the extremities of all the different world's ends and dying there like lizards spiked on sticks?'Brother Balaam jabbed his thumb over his shoulder at the church behind him. 'Ye'll get no civilization worth havin' in a new country unless ye lay down a few martyrs' bones for a foundation,' he said. 'They generate. Slow but sure.
We don’t know why God chose to deliver Peter from death and James through death. The text doesn’t say.