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Religious Tolerance logo

Interesting quotes

On the following topics: Media, Memories,
Misogyny, Morality, and Natural Law.

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Media:

bullet Spike Lee, filmmaker: "As we move toward the millennium, the year 2000, the most powerful nations are not those that have nuclear bombs, but those that control the media. That's where the battle is being fought; that is how you control people's minds." (Part of his address at Fisk University, Nashville, TN, 1996-SEP-4)
 
bullet Dorothy Gilliam: "Newsrooms that do not reflect America's diversity do their readers an injustice. they fail to tell the stories of its citizens, they give readers a distorted image of themselves and they grossly twist the reality of minority groups." The Washington Post, 1997-DEC-20.

bullet Malcolm X: "If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing."

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Memories:

bulletMark Twain / Samuel Clemens: "It isn't so astonishing, the number of things that I can remember, as the number of things I can remember that aren't so!"
 
bulletGeorge Santayana: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." (From "Life of Reason" (1905))

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Misogyny:

bullet Jerry Falwell: "Most of these feminists are radical, frustrated lesbians, many of them, and man-haters, and failures in their relationships with men, and who have declared war on the male gender. The Biblical condemnation of feminism has to do with its radical philosophy and goals. That's the bottom line."
 
bullet Randall Terry, head of Operation Rescue; from a speech to a group of anti-abortion Roman Catholic priests, quoted in Front Lines Research: "...make dads the godly leaders [of the family] with the women in submission, raising kids for the glory of God."

bullet Unknown author: "GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE FUNdamental human rights." Seen on a poster.

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Morality:

bullet Anon: "You don't need religion to have morals. If you can't determine right from wrong, then you lack empathy, not religion."
 
bullet Gary Bauer: "Guided by nothing but pop culture values, many children no longer learn how to think about morality and virtue, or to think of them at all. They grow up with no shared moral framework, believing that the highest values are diversity, tolerance and non-judgmentalism." 4
 
bullet Arthur C. Clarke: "One of the great tragedies of mankind is that morality has been hijacked by religion. So now people assume that religion and morality have a necessary connection. But the basis of morality is really very simple and doesn't require religion at all. It's this: "Don't do unto anybody else what you wouldn't like to be done to you." It seems to me that that's all there is to it." 4
 
bulletAlbert Einstein: "A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death."
 
bulletRuth Bell Graham (wife of Billy Graham): "If God doesn't judge America for her immorality, he will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah."
 
bullet Sam Harris: "Human well-being is not a random phenomenon. It depends on many factors - ranging from genetics and neurobiology to sociology and economics. But, clearly, there are scientific truths to be known about how we can flourish in this world. Wherever we can have an impact on the well-being of others, questions of morality apply."
 
bulletMartin Luther King, Jr: "Why is the church always a taillight rather than a headlight?"
 
bulletReinhold Niebuhr: "Groups tend to be more immoral than individuals."

bulletJean-Paul Sartre: "If God is dead, everything is permitted."
 
bullet Haile Selassie: "The preservation of peace and the guaranteeing of man's basic freedoms and rights require courage and eternal vigilance: courage to speak and act - and if necessary, to suffer and die - for truth and justice; eternal vigilance, that the least transgression of international morality shall not go undetected and unremedied."
 
bullet Socrates: "A system of morality which is based on relative emotional values is a mere illusion, a thoroughly vulgar conception which has nothing sound in it and nothing true."
 
bulletEd Stephan "I simply cannot understand the notion that if you're not Christian you can't be moral, let alone that you must be immoral. It's such a juvenile concept; you wonder how the speaker could even form the words." 3
 
bullet George Washington: "Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle."

bullet Oscar Wilde: "The books that the world calls immoral are the books that show the world its own shame."

bullet Ravi Zacharias: When you think of it, really there are four fundamental questions of life. You've asked them, I've asked them, every thinking person asks them. They boil down to this; origin, meaning, morality and destiny. 'How did I come into being? What brings life meaning? How do I know right from wrong? Where am I headed after I die?'

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Natural Law:

bullet Samuel Adams: "The natural liberty of man is to be free from any superior power on Earth, and not to be under the will or legislative authority of man, but only to have the law of nature for his rule."

bullet Jeffrey R. Anderson: "In nature everything is connected, interwoven, subject to natural law. We cannot separate ourselves from that, no matter how hard we try."

bullet Gregory Bateson: "The rules of the universe that we think we know are buried deep in our processes of perception."

bullet John J. Conley: "When it [natural law] survives at all, the appeal to 'nature' is distorted into an appeal to personal preference (my nature), to cultural prejudice (what the majority thinks) or to biology (what animals do)." 5

bullet Clarence Darrow: If ‘natural rights’ means anything it means that the individual rights are to be determined by the conduct of Nature. But Nature knows nothing about rights in the sense of human conception."

bullet Kahil Gilbran: "The bird has an honor that man does not have. Man lives in the traps of his abdicated laws and traditions; but the birds live according to the natural law of God who causes the earth to turn around the sun."

bullet L. Ron Hubbard: "Those fields which most depend upon authoritative opinion for their data least contain known natural law."

bullet Russell Kirk: "Ordinary human laws are the means -- however imperfect -- by which we express our understanding of the enduring moral law."
 
bullet Russell Kirk: "The natural law is an instrument for progress, not a weapon of revolution."
 
bullet Robert Anton Wilson: "It became quite clear to me that the Natural Law mystique, in Catholic, libertarian or neo-pagan forms, remains basically a set of rhetorical strategies to hypnotize others into the state which Bernard Shaw called “barbarism” and defined as 'the belief that the laws of one’s own tribe are the laws of the universe'." 6
 

References used:

  1. "St. Augustine's Letter 211," translated in J.-P. Migne (ed.) "Patrologiae Latinae" Volume 33, (1845).
  2. David R.W. Wadsworth, "Love the sinner but not the sin" at: http://www.voy.com/
  3. Comment posted to CarpetBagger Report about comments by Kathleen Harris. More info.
  4. Taken from an interview with the Council for Secular Humanism in 2004. See: http://www.secularhumanism.org
  5. John J. Conley, "Has Natural Law Died?," America, 2014-DEC-22 issue.
  6. Robert Anton Wilson, "Natural Law, or Don’t Put a Rubber on Your Willy, The Anarchist Library, 1986, at: "http://theanarchistlibrary.org/

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Copyright 1996 to 2016 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.
Copyrights for the individual quotations are normally held by their authors or publishers
Last updated: 2016-MAR-15
Compiled by: B.A. Robinson

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