In the Words of Leo Tolstoy

NOTICE: We’ve had a problem lately with slanderous and abusive comments. The site admins have decided to disable all comments for the foreseeable future. 

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“No longer able to believe in the Church religion, whose falsehood they had detected, and incapable of accepting true Christian teaching, which denounced their whole manner of life, these rich and powerful people, stranded without any religious conception of life, involuntarily returned to that pagan view of things which places life’s meaning in personal enjoyment.”

“Not only does the action of Governments not deter men from crimes; on the contrary, it increases crime by always disturbing and lowering the moral standard of society. Nor can this be otherwise, since always and everywhere a Government, by its very nature, must put in the place of the highest, eternal, religious law (not written in books but in the hearts of men, and binding on every one) its own unjust, man-made laws, the object of which is neither justice nor the common good of all but various considerations of home and foreign expediency.”

tolstoy

“Condemn me if you choose — I do that myself, — but condemn me, and not the path which I am following, and which I point out to those who ask me where, in my opinion, the path is.”

“The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of doubt, what is laid before him.”

Pro-Life Quotes from Famous Women

“The rights of children as individuals begin while yet they remain the foetus…Whoever has read the ‘Weekly’ knows I hold abortion (except to save the life of the mother) to be just as much murder as the killing of a person after birth is murder.
– Victoria Woodhull (first female candidate for President of the United States)

“The gross perversion and destruction of motherhood by the abortionist filled me with indignation, and awakened active antagonism. That the honorable term ‘female physician’ should be exclusively applied to those women who carried on this shocking trade seemed to me a horror. It was an utter degradation of what might and should become a noble position for women.”
– Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell (first woman to receive a medical degree in the United States)

Elizabeth Blackwell

Elizabeth Blackwell

“Dr. Oaks made the remark that, according to the best estimate he could make, there were four hundred murders annually produced by abortion in that county alone….There must be a remedy for such a crying evil as this.”
– Elizabeth Cady Stanton

“When we consider that women are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we wish.”
– Elizabeth Cady Stanton

“I deplore the horrible crime of child-murder…We want prevention, not merely punishment. We must reach the root of the evil, and destroy it.”
– Susan B. Anthony

“Guilty? Yes, no matter what the motive, love of ease, or a desire to save from suffering the unborn innocent, the woman is awfully guilty who commits the deed. It will burden her conscience in life, it will burden her soul in death; but oh! thrice guilty is he who, for selfish gratification, heedless of her prayers, indifferent to her fate, drove her to the desperation which impels her to the crime.”
– Susan B. Anthony

“We must not be surprised when we hear of murders, of killings, of wars, of hatred. If a mother can kill her own child, what is left but for us to kill each other.”
– Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa

“It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.”
– Mother Teresa

“Abortion kills twice. It kills the body of the baby and it kills the conscience of the mother. Abortion is profoundly anti-women. Three quarters of its victims are women: Half the babies and all the mothers.”
– Mother Teresa

“Abortion is the ultimate exploitation of women.”
– Alice Paul (author of the 1923 U.S. Equal Rights Amendment)

Alice Paul

Alice Paul

“My case was wrongfully decided, and has caused great harm to the women and children of our nation.”
– Norma McCorvey (former plaintiff in Roe v. Wade)

“Child murderers practice their profession without let or hindrance, and open infant butcheries unquestioned…Is there no remedy for all this ante-natal child murder?”
– Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Norton (early feminist)

Dietrich Bonhoeffer Quotes

“Destruction of the embryo in the mother’s womb is a violation of the right to live which God has bestowed upon this nascent life. To raise the question whether we are here concerned already with a human being or not is merely to confuse the issue. The simple fact is that God certainly intended to create a human being and that this nascent human being has been deliberately deprived of his life. And that is nothing but murder.”

“There are things for which an uncompromising stand is worthwhile.”

“We are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice, we are to drive a spoke into the wheel itself.”

“In the New Testament our enemies are those who harbour hostility against us, not those against whom we cherish hostility, for Jesus refuses to reckon with such a possibility.”

“When all is said and done, the life of faith is nothing if not an unending struggle of the spirit with every available weapon against the flesh.”

“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

“As high as God is above man, so high are the sanctity, the rights, and the promise of marriage above the sanctity, the rights, and the promise of love. It is not your love that sustains the marriage, but from now on, the marriage that sustains your love. God makes your marriage indissoluble.”

“It is much easier for me to imagine a praying murderer, a praying prostitute, than a vain person praying. Nothing is so at odds with prayer as vanity.”

Quotes on Religion, Philosophy, and Politics

This is a collection of quotes that I’ve recently posted on the WSJ Facebook page.

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“Isn’t it ironic that after 70 years Russia wants God back while we are trying to kick him out?”

– Ravi Zacharias

“Worldly wisdom thinks that love is a relationship between man and man. Christianity teaches that love is a relationship between man-God-man, that is, that God is the middle term.”

– Søren Kierkegaard

“In argument about moral problems, relativism is the first refuge of the scoundrel.”

– Roger Scruton

“We have the worst of both worlds: a Prohibitionary State that gives license to all kinds of evil, but that regulates and restricts actions that are not evil, to manage the chaos that results from the license.”

– Anthony Esolen

“For all of higher civilization’s recorded history, becoming a man was defined overwhelmingly as taking responsibility for a family. That notion — indeed the notion of masculinity itself — is regarded by feminism as the worst of sins: patriarchy.”

– Dennis Prager

“A God who did not abolish suffering–worse, a God who abolished sin precisely by suffering–is a scandal to the modern mind.” 

– Peter Kreeft

“If there is any verse that you would like left out of the Bible, that is the verse that ought to stick to you, like a blister, until you really attend to its teaching.” 

– Charles Spurgeon

“It is true, that a little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism; but depth in philosophy bringeth men’s minds about to religion. For while the mind of man looketh upon second causes scattered, it may sometimes rest in them, and go no further; but when it beholdeth the chain of them, confederate and linked together, it must needs fly to Providence and Deity…as atheism is in all respects hateful, so in this, that it depriveth human nature of the means to exalt itself above human frailty.”

– Francis Bacon

“The human mind is not capable of grasping the Universe. We are like a little child entering a huge library. The walls are covered to the ceilings with books in many different tongues. The child knows that someone must have written these books. It does not know who or how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. But the child notes a definite plan in the arrangement of the books – a mysterious order which it does not comprehend, but only dimly suspects.”

– Albert Einstein

“While sitting on the bank of a river one day, I picked up a solid round stone from the water and broke it open. It was perfectly dry in spite of the fact that it had been immersed in water for centuries. The same is true of many people in the Western world. For centuries they have been surrounded by Christianity; they live immersed in the waters of its benefits. And yet it has not penetrated their hearts; they do not love it. The fault is not in Christianity, but in men’s hearts, which have been hardened by materialism and intellectualism.”

– Sadhu Sundar Singh

“A new philosophy generally means in practice the praise of some old vice.”

– GK Chesterton

“Pride is a poison so very poisonous that it not only poisons the virtues; it even poisons the other vices.”

– GK Chesterton

“He is only a very shallow critic who cannot see an eternal rebel in the heart of the Conservative.”

– GK Chesterton

“Here is found the most fundamental difference between liberalism and Christianity–liberalism is altogether in the imperative mood, while Christianity begins with a triumphant indicative. Liberalism appeals to man’s will, while Christianity announces, first, a gracious act of God…. Liberalism regards Christ as an Example and Guide; Christianity as a Savior. Liberalism makes Him an example for faith; Christianity, the object of faith.”

– J Gresham Machen

“The modernist – the extreme modernist, infidel in all but name – need not be called a fool or hypocrite because he obstinately retains, even in the midst of his intellectual atheism, the language, rites, sacraments, and story of the Christians. The poor man may be clinging (with wisdom he himself by no means understands) to that which is his life. It would have been better that Loisy should have remained a Christian: it would not necessarily have been better that he should have purged his thought of vestigial Christianity.”

– CS Lewis

“Indecency is not wild and lawless. The danger of indecency is exactly that it is tame, dull, direct, inevitable; a mere law in the members. It is automatic evil. Pride makes man a devil; but lust makes him a machine.”

– Malcolm Muggeridge

“… children are simply human beings who are allowed to do what everyone else really desires to do, as for instance, to fly kites, or when seriously wronged to emit prolonged screams for several minutes.”

– GK Chesterton

“What do people mean when they say, ‘I am not afraid of God because I know He is good’? Have they never even been to a dentist?”

– CS Lewis

“Any restoration of persons to the divinely intended norm of being valued as image-bearers will threaten a social order that promotes marginalization of the vulnerable. Healing is always destructive in some way. To declare that persons with disabilities are part of the divine moral norm (that they ‘count’) or to claim that the unborn deserve a right to life even though such does indeed impede the free choice of the mother is to challenge a social order that discounts the validity of humans. Such discounting of individuals usually occurs in order to maintain or to establish power and control by taking advantage of the socially weakest.” 

– James R Thobaben

“I want Atheism to be true and am made uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well-informed people I know are Religious believers. It isn’t just that I don’t believe in God and, naturally, hope that I’m right in my belief. It’s that I hope there is no God! I don’t want there to be a God; I don’t want the universe to be like that.”

-Thomas Nagel

“Here a year or two back me and Loretta went to a conference in Corpus Christi and I got set next to this woman, she was the wife of somebody or other. And she kept talkin about the right wing this and the right wing that. I aint even sure what she meant by it. The people I know are mostly just common people. Common as dirt, as the sayin goes. I told her that and she looked at me funny. She thought I was sayin somethin bad about em, but of course that’s a high compliment in my part of the world. She kept on, kept on. Finally told me, said: I dont like the way this country is headed. I want my granddaughter to be able to have an abortion. And I said well mam I dont think you got any worries about the way this country is headed. The way I see it goin I dont have much doubt but what she’ll be able to have an abortion. I’m goin to say that not only will she be able to have an abortion, she’ll be able to have you put to sleep. Which pretty much ended the conversation.”

– Cormac McCarthy, “No Country for Old Men”

“It is a characteristic of any decaying civilization that the great masses of the people are unconscious of the tragedy. Humanity in a crisis is generally insensitive to the gravity of the times in which it lives. Men do not want to believe their own times are wicked, partly because it involves too much self-accusation and principally because they have no standards outside of themselves by which to measure their times.”

-Fulton J Sheen

“For true pleasure, the price is paid before it is enjoyed. For false pleasure, the price is paid after it is enjoyed.”

-Ravi Zacharias

“I hope no reader will suppose the ‘mere’ Christianity is here put forward as an alternative to the creeds of the existing communions – as if a man could adopt it in preference to Congregationalism or Greek Orthodoxy or anything else. It is more like a hall out of which doors open into several rooms. If I can bring anyone into that hall I shall have done what I attempted. But it is in the rooms, not the hall, that there are fires and chairs and meals. The hall is a place to wait in, a place from which to try the various doors, not a place to live in…When you have reached your own room, be kind to those who have chosen different doors and to those who are still in the hall.”

– CS Lewis

Excellent Excerpts from “The Brothers Karamazov”

“I fancy that Alyosha was more of a realist than any one. Oh! no doubt, in the monastery he fully believed in miracles, but, to my thinking, miracles are never a stumbling-block to the realist. It is not miracles that dispose realists to belief. The genuine realist, if he is an unbeliever, will always find strength and ability to disbelieve in the miraculous, and if he is confronted with a miracle as an irrefutable fact he would rather disbelieve his own senses than admit the fact. Even if he admits it, he admits it as a fact of nature till then unrecognized by him. Faith does not, in the realist, spring from the miracle but the miracle from faith. If the realist once believes, then he is bound by his very realism to admit the miraculous also.”

brothersk

“I am sorry I can say nothing more consoling to you, for love in action is a harsh and dreadful thing compared with love in dreams. Love in dreams is greedy for immediate action, rapidly performed and in the sight of all. Men will even give their lives if only the ordeal does not last long but is soon over, with all looking on and applauding as though on the stage. But active love is labor and fortitude, and for some people too, perhaps, a complete science.”

“‘Tell me yourself, I challenge you – answer. Imagine that you are creating a fabric of human destiny with the object of making men happy in the end, giving them peace and rest at last, but that it was essential and inevitable to torture to death only one tiny creature – that baby beating its breast with its fist, for instance – and to found that edifice on its unavenged tears, would you consent to be the architect on those conditions? Tell me, and tell the truth.’ ‘No, I wouldn’t consent,’ said Alyosha softly.”

“If it were not for the Church of Christ there would be nothing to restrain the criminal from evil-doing, no real chastisement for it afterwards; none, that is, but the mechanical punishment spoken of just now, which in the majority of cases only embitters the heart; and not the real punishment, the only effectual one, the only deterrent and softening one, which lies in the recognition of sin by conscience.”

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Fyodor Dostoevsky

“Each of you keep watch over your heart and confess your sins to yourself unceasingly. Be not afraid of your sins, even when perceiving them, if only there be penitence, but make no conditions with God. Again I say, Be not proud. Be proud neither to the little nor to the great. Hate not those who reject you, who insult you, who abuse and slander you. Hate not the atheists, the teachers of evil, the materialists – and I mean not only the good ones – for there are many good ones among them, especially in our day – hate not even the wicked ones. Remember them in your prayers thus: Save, O Lord, all those who have none to pray for them, save too all those who will not pray. And add: It is not in pride that I make this prayer, O Lord, for I am lower than all men.”

“Remember, young man, unceasingly…that the science of this world, which has become a great power, has, especially in the last century, analysed everything divine handed down to us in the holy books. After this cruel analysis the learned of this world have nothing left of all that was sacred of old. But they have only analysed the parts and overlooked the whole, and indeed their blindness is marvelous. Yet the whole still stands steadfast before their eyes, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Has it not lasted nineteen centuries, is it not still a living, a moving power in the individual soul and in the masses of people? It is still as strong and living even in the souls of atheists, who have destroyed everything! For even those who have renounced Christianity and attack it, in their inmost being still follow the Christian ideal, for hitherto neither their subtlety nor the ardour of their hearts has been able to create a higher ideal of man and of virtue than the ideal given by Christ of old. When it has been attempted, the result has been only grotesque.”

“So long as man remains free he strives for nothing so incessantly and so painfully as to find some one to worship. But man seeks to worship what is established beyond dispute, so that all men would agree at once to worship it. For these pitiful creatures are concerned to not only find what one or the other can worship, but to find something that all would believe in and worship; what is essential is that all may be together in it. This craving for community of worship is the chief misery of every man individually and of all humanity from the beginning of time.”

Roger Scruton Quotes

“Deprive young people of a rite of passage into the social order and they will look for a rite of passage out of it…The effect of current policies has been to subsidize out-of-wedlock births, to remake marriage as a contract of cohabitation, and to drive religion, which is the true guardian of rites of passage, from the public sphere. Those policies have been embarked on with the best of intentions, but with a remarkable indifference to what we know of human nature.”

“When everything is permitted, it is vital to forbid the forbidder.”

“Popular culture today is bent on exalting the trivial, the indecent, the sarcastic, over the deep, the committed and the virtuous. It is difficult for us to envisage that Mozart’s music, in its day, was part of popular culture”

roger scruton

“The misuse of drink in our society is one aspect of the general misuse of pleasure…Public drunkenness, of the kind that led to prohibition, arose because people were drinking the wrong things in the wrong way.”

“We must recognize that liberty is not the same as equality, and that those who call themselves liberals are far more interested in equalizing than in liberating their fellows.”

“It is impossible for modern adolescents to regard erotic feelings as the preliminary to marriage, which they see as a condition of partial servitude, to be avoided as an unacceptable cost. Sexual release is readily available, and courtship a time-wasting impediment to pleasure. Far from being a commitment, in which the voice of future generations makes itself heard, sex is now an intrinsically adolescent experience. The transition from the virgin to the married state has disappeared, and with it the ‘lyrical’ experience of sex, as a yearning for another and higher form of membership, to which the hard-won consent of the other is a necessary precondition. All other rites of passage have similarly withered away, since no social institution demands them – or if it does demand them, it will be avoided as ‘judgemental’, hierarchical or oppressive.”

“Beauty is assailed from two directions – by the cult of ugliness in the arts, and by the cult of utility in everyday life.”

“That is what religion promises: not a purpose, necessarily, but something that removes the paradox of an entirely law-governed world, open to consciousness, that is nevertheless without an explanation: that just is, for no reason at all. The evangelical atheists are subliminally aware that their abdication in the face of science does not make the universe more intelligible, nor does it provide an alternative answer to our metaphysical enquiries. It simply brings enquiry to a stop. And the religious person will feel that this stop is premature: that reason has more questions to ask, and perhaps more answers to obtain, than the atheists will allow us. So who, in this subliminal contest, is the truly reasonable one? The atheists beg the question in their own favour, by assuming that science has all the answers. But science can have all the answers only if it has all the questions; and that assumption is false. There are questions addressed to reason which are not addressed to science, since they are not asking for a causal explanation.”

Ravi Zacharias Quotes

“What we need is not a religion that is right where we are right, but one that is right where we are wrong.”

“The use or abuse of Christianity in contradiction to the very message of the gospel reveals not the gospel for what it is, but the heart of man. That is why atheism is so bankrupt as a view of life, for it miserably fails to deal with the human condition as it really is.”

“I think the reason we sometimes have the false sense that God is so far away is because that is where we have put him. We have kept him at a distance, and then when we are in need and call on him in prayer, we wonder where he is. He is exactly where we left him.”

“Implicit to the secularized world-view is not just the marginalization of any religious idea but its complete eviction from public credence in forming social policy. If an idea or belief is “religiously based”, be it in a matter of sexuality or marriage or education or whatever, then by that very virtue it is deemed unsuitable for public usage.”

Ravi Zacharias

Ravi Zacharias

“Unless I understand the Cross, I cannot understand why my commitment to what is right must take precedence over what I prefer.”

“One does not get far in a conversation with a Hindu sage or an unsophisticated follower of Hinduism before one of them offers the familiar illustration of four blind people feeling an elephant in the dark and each one coming out with a different description of what it is he or she is feeling – a rope, a tree or some other object, depending on the tail or leg or whatever is being clasped. This story seems to be the best escape hatch to do away with any interpretive burden that keeps with the facts. Yet the obvious seems to escape the one giving the illustration: that smuggled into the analogy is the idea that it is an elephant that is under discussion and not any of those errant pronouncements made by the ones devoid of light and sight.”

“A man rejects God neither because of intellectual demands nor because of the scarcity of evidence. A man rejects God because of a moral resistance that refuses to admit his need for God.”

“On every university campus I visit, somebody stands up and says that God is an evil God to allow all this evil into our world. This person typically says, ‘A plane crashes: Thirty people die, and twenty people live. What kind of a God would arbitrarily choose some to live and some to die?’ I continued, ‘but when we play God and determine whether a child within a mother’s womb should live, we argue for that as a moral right. So when human beings are given the privilege of playing God, it’s called a moral right. When God plays God, we call it an immoral act. Can you justify this for me?’ That was the end of the conversation.”

“Spirituality with an underpinning of pantheistic beliefs is portrayed as being serene, innocuous, all-embracing, mystical, and wonderful…The world is now being constructed on reclaimed land from the sea of faith in which we seek common values without finding common reasons from which those values stem. Yet the deeper one probes into the reasoning, the more one has to wonder whether this disjunction between values and reasons will sooner or later take away from us the water of life.”