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Meditation 231
Quotations XX

"I hate quotations, tell me what you know." Ralph Waldo Emerson.

But as some people do like quotations and think they can be useful in succinctly communicating an opinion, we will publish a selection occasionally, mostly but not entirely relevant. This is the twentieth in an ongoing series.

  1. Reputation is what you are in the limelight; character is what you are in the dark. Many a man's reputation and character would not recognize each other if they met. J Tudor Rees

  2. There is a disposition on the part of institutions of whatever sort - governmental, health, educational, ecclesiastical - to devote much of their energy, not to original purposes, but to self-perpetuation and self-aggrandizement. Antonio Gualtieri

  3. When we make mistakes they call it evil. When God makes mistakes they call it Nature! Jack Nicholson (in The Witches of Eastwick)

  4. Invisible Pink Unicorns are beings of awesome mystical power. We know this because they manage to be invisible and pink at the same time. Like all religions, the Faith of the Invisible Pink Unicorns is based upon both logic and faith. We have faith that they are pink; we logically know that they are invisible because we can't see them. Steve Eley

  5. The greatest step forward in human evolution was made when society began to help the weak and the poor instead of oppressing and despising them. Maria Montessori

  6. It is possible that mankind is on the threshold of a golden age; but, if so, it will be necessary first to slay the dragon that guards the door, and this dragon is religion. Bertrand Russell

  7. It will not do to investigate the subject of religion too closely, as it is apt to lead to infidelity. Abraham Lincoln

  8. The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion. Thomas Paine

  9. The only way they'll ever get me into church will be feet first. Dwight D Eisenhower

  10. "Believing" cannot tip the scales in making a historical judgment about whether something really happened. I can choose to believe that George Washington threw a silver dollar across the Rappahannock, but my believing that he did it has nothing to do with whether or not he really did it. So also with the story of Jesus walking on the water: believing that he did it has nothing to do with whether he really did do it. "Belief" cannot be the basis for historical conclusion; it has no direct relevance. Marcus J. Borg

  11. One should not go into church if one wants to breathe pure air. Friedrich Nietzsche

  12. We are told in the Pentateuch, that god, the father of us all, gave thousands of maidens, after having killed their fathers, their mothers, and their brothers, to satisfy the brutal lusts of savage men. If there be a god, I pray him to write in his book, opposite my name, that I denied this lie for him. Robert G. Ingersoll

  13. Preachers in pulpits talked about what a great message is in the book. No matter what you do, somebody always imputes meaning into your books. Theodore Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss)

  14. The Bible has lost every major battle it has ever fought. The Bible was quoted to defend slavery and the bible lost. The Bible was quoted to keep women silent, and the Bible lost. And the Bible is being quoted to deny homosexuals their equal rights, and the Bible will lose. Bishop John Shelby Spong.

  15. People do not like to think. If one thinks, one must reach conclusions. Conclusions are not always pleasant. Helen Keller

  16. The Cross is a gibbet - rather an odd thing to make use of as a talisman against bad luck, if that is how we regard it. Or is it, instead, a cynical reminder that Virtue usually gets pilloried whenever it makes one of its occasional appearances in this world? Denis Johnston

  17. Reason commands us much more imperiously than a master. If we disobey a master we are unhappy, but if we defy reason we are fools. Blaise Pascal

  18. The good, say the mystics of spirit, is God, a being whose only definition is that he is beyond man's power to conceive - a definition that invalidates man's consciousness and nullifies his concepts of existence.... Man's mind, say the mystics of spirit, must be subordinated to the will of God.... Man's standard of value, say the mystics of spirit, is the pleasure of God, whose standards are beyond man's power of comprehension and must be accepted on faith.... The purpose of man's life...is to become an abject zombie who serves a purpose he does not know, for reasons he is not to question. Ayn Rand

  19. Men willingly believe what they wish. Julius Caesar

  20. I believe that all roads lead to the same place - and that is wherever all roads lead to. Willie Nelson