First Reformed Quotes

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Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.
Martin Luther King Jr. (Let Nobody Turn Us Around: Voices on Resistance, Reform, and Renewal an African American Anthology)
To be GOVERNED is to be watched, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, regulated, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, checked, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have neither the right nor the wisdom nor the virtue to do so. To be GOVERNED is to be at every operation, at every transaction noted, registered, counted, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, prevented, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished. It is, under pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be placed under contribution, drilled, fleeced, exploited, monopolized, extorted from, squeezed, hoaxed, robbed; then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, vilified, harassed, hunted down, abused, clubbed, disarmed, bound, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, derided, outraged, dishonored. That is government; that is its justice; that is its morality.
Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (General Idea of the Revolution in the Nineteenth Century)
Justice is the first virtue of social institutions, as truth is of systems of thought. A theory however elegant and economical must be rejected or revised if it is untrue; likewise laws and institutions no matter how efficient and well-arranged must be reformed or abolished if they are unjust. Each person possesses an inviolability founded on justice that even the welfare of society as a whole cannot override. For this reason justice denies that the loss of freedom for some is made right by a greater good shared by others. It does not allow that the sacrifices imposed on a few are outweighed by the larger sum of advantages enjoyed by many. Therefore in a just society the liberties of equal citizenship are taken as settled; the rights secured by justice are not subject to political bargaining or to the calculus of social interests.
John Rawls (A Theory of Justice)
First is the danger of futility; the belief there is nothing one man or one woman can do against the enormous array of the world's ills — against misery and ignorance, injustice and violence. Yet many of the world's great movements, of thought and action, have flowed from the work of a single man. A young monk began the Protestant reformation, a young general extended an empire from Macedonia to the borders of the earth, and a young woman reclaimed the territory of France. It was a young Italian explorer who discovered the New World, and 32-year-old Thomas Jefferson who proclaimed that all men are created equal. "Give me a place to stand," said Archimedes, "and I will move the world." These men moved the world, and so can we all.
Robert F. Kennedy
First drafts are for learning what your novel or story is about. Revision is working with that knowledge to enlarge & enhance an idea, to reform it . . . Revision is one of the true pleasures of writing.
Bernard Malamud
Justice is the first virtue of social institutions, as truth is of systems of thought. A theory however elegant and economical must be rejected or revised if it is untrue; likewise laws and institutions no matter how efficient and well-arranged must be reformed or abolished if they are unjust.
John Rawls (A Theory of Justice)
...Turn our thoughts, in the next place, to the characters of learned men. The priesthood have, in all ancient nations, nearly monopolized learning. Read over again all the accounts we have of Hindoos, Chaldeans, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Celts, Teutons, we shall find that priests had all the knowledge, and really governed all mankind. Examine Mahometanism, trace Christianity from its first promulgation; knowledge has been almost exclusively confined to the clergy. And, even since the Reformation, when or where has existed a Protestant or dissenting sect who would tolerate a free inquiry? The blackest billingsgate, the most ungentlemanly insolence, the most yahooish brutality is patiently endured, countenanced, propagated, and applauded. But touch a solemn truth in collision with a dogma of a sect, though capable of the clearest proof, and you will soon find you have disturbed a nest, and the hornets will swarm about your legs and hands, and fly into your face and eyes. [Letters to John Taylor, 1814, XVIII, p. 484]
John Adams (The Letters of John and Abigail Adams)
I know it is a cliché, but reformed rakes do make admirable husbands. Why? First of all, their wild oats are thoroughly sown. The second reason? They know how to please a woman between the sheets. Think about it. After all, that is what made them rakes in the first place.
Emma Wildes (Lessons From a Scarlet Lady (Northfield, #1))
Have you ever noticed how statists are constantly “reforming” their own handiwork? Education reform. Health-care reform. Welfare reform. Tax reform. The very fact they’re always busy “reforming” is an implicit admission that they didn’t get it right the first 50 times.
Lawrence W. Reed
Recovery can take place only within then context of relationships; it cannot occur in isolation. In her renewed connection with other people, the survivor re-creates the psychological facilities that were damaged or deformed by the traumatic experience. These faculties include the basic operations of trust, autonomy, initiative, competence, identity, and intimacy. Just as these capabilities are formed in relationships with other people, they must be reformed in such relationships. The first principle of recovery is empowerment of the survivor. She must be the author and arbiter of her own recovery. Others may offer advice, support, assistance, affection, and care, but not cure. Many benevolent and well-intentioned attempts to assist the survivor founder because this basic principle of empowerment is not observed. No intervention that takes power away from the survivor can possibly foster her recovery, no matter how much it appears to be in her immediate best interest.
Judith Lewis Herman (Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror)
We get called dishonoring for pointing out the garbage in the church, yet nobody ever seems to think it's dishonoring that somebody put the garbage there in the first place.
D.R. Silva
I am opposed to animal welfare campaigns for two reasons. First, if animal use cannot be morally justified, then we ought to be clear about that, and advocate for no use. Although rape and child molestation are ubiquitous, we do not have campaigns for “humane” rape or “humane” child molestation. We condemn it all. We should do the same with respect to animal exploitation. Second, animal welfare reform does not provide significant protection for animal interests. Animals are chattel property; they are economic commodities. Given this status and the reality of markets, the level of protection provided by animal welfare will generally be limited to what promotes efficient exploitation. That is, we will protect animal interests to the extent that it provides an economic benefit.
Gary L. Francione
Holiness is the union we experience with one another and with God. Holiness is when more than one become one, when what is fractured is made whole. Singing in harmony. Breastfeeding a baby. Collective bargaining. Dancing. Admitting our pain to someone, and hearing them say, "Me too." Holiness happens when we are integrated as physical, spiritual, sexual, emotional, and political beings. Holiness is the song that has always been sung, perhaps even the sound that was first spoken when God said, "Let there be light.
Nadia Bolz-Weber (Shameless: A Sexual Reformation)
In the twenty-first century, we use a nineteenth-century school model with twentieth-century values. There’s clearly something wrong with this picture.
Zander Sherman (The Curiosity of School: Education and the Dark Side of Enlightenment)
Build your house on granite. By granite I mean your nature that you are torturing to death, the love in your child's body, your wife's dream of love, your own dream of life when you were sixteen. Exchange your illusions for a bit of truth. Throw out your politicians and diplomats! Take your destiny into your own hands and build your life on rock. Forget about your neighbor and look inside yourself! Your neighbor, too, will be grateful. Tell you're fellow workers all over the world that you're no longer willing to work for death but only for life. Instead of flocking to executions and shouting hurrah, hurrah, make a law for the protection of human life and its blessings. Such a law will be part of the granite foundation your house rests on. Protect your small children's love against the assaults of lascivious, frustrated men and women. Stop the mouth of the malignant old maid; expose her publicly or send her to a reform school instead of young people who are longing for love. Don;t try to outdo your exploiter in exploitation if you have a chance to become a boss. Throw away your swallowtails and top hat, and stop applying for a license to embrace your woman. Join forces with your kind in all countries; they are like you, for better or worse. Let your child grow up as nature (or 'God') intended. Don't try to improve on nature. Learn to understand it and protect it. Go to the library instead of the prize fight, go to foreign countries rather than to Coney Island. And first and foremost, think straight, trust the quiet inner voice inside you that tells you what to do. You hold your life in your hands, don't entrust it to anyone else, least of all to your chosen leaders. BE YOURSELF! Any number of great men have told you that.
Wilhelm Reich (Listen, Little Man!)
Before such people can act together, a kind of telepathic feeling has to flow through them and ripen to the point when they all know that they are ready to begin. Anyone who has seen the martins and swallows in September, assembling on the telephone wires, twittering, making short flights singly and in groups over the open, stubbly fields, returning to form longer and even longer lines above the yellowing verges of the lanes-the hundreds of individual birds merging and blending, in a mounting excitement, into swarms, and these swarms coming loosely and untidily together to create a great, unorganized flock, thick at the centre and ragged at the edges, which breaks and re-forms continually like clouds or waves-until that moment when the greater part (but not all) of them know that the time has come: they are off, and have begun once more that great southward flight which many will not survive; anyone seeing this has seen at the work the current that flows (among creatures who think of themselves primarily as part of a group and only secondarily, if at all, as individuals) to fuse them together and impel them into action without conscious thought or will: has seen at work the angel which drove the First Crusade into Antioch and drives the lemmings into the sea.
Richard Adams (Watership Down (Watership Down, #1))
Surrender is no guarantee that an armed police officer will not shoot you.
Steven Magee
Most people end up being conformists; they adapt to prison life. A few become reformers; they fight for better lighting, better ventilation. Hardly anyone becomes a rebel, a revolutionary who breaks down the prison walls. You can only be a revolutionary when you see the prison walls in the first place.
Anthony de Mello
It has been broadly observed that the first Reformation of the early 1500s placed the Bible in the hands of the people and that the Second Reformation will place the ministry in the hands of the people.
Greg Ogden (Unfinished Business: Returning the Ministry to the People of God)
The American university has become the final stage of the most all encompassing initiation rite the world has ever known. No society in history has been able to survive without ritual or myth, but ours is the first which has needed such a dull, protracted, destructive, and expensive initiation into its myth. The contemporary world civilization is also the first one which has found it necessary to rationalize its fundamental initiation ritual in the name of education. We cannot begin a reform of education unless we first understand that neither individual learning nor social equality can be enhanced by the ritual of schooling. We cannot go beyond the consumer society unless we first understand that obligatory public schools inevitably reproduce such a society, no matter what is taught in them.
Ivan Illich
For anybody who suspects that we need to reform the drug laws, there is an easier argument to make, and a harder argument to make. The easier argument is to say that we all agree drugs are bad—it’s just that drug prohibition is even worse.
Johann Hari (Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs)
Ethan Nadelmann, one of the leading drug reformers in the United States, had explained: "People overdose because [under prohibition] they don't know if the heroin is 1 percent or 40 percent...Just imagine if every time you picked up a bottle of wine, you didn't know whether it was 8 percent alcohol or 80 percent alcohol [or] if every time you took an aspirin, you didn't know if it was 5 milligrams or 500 milligrams.
Johann Hari (Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs)
At some point, during the early hours of the morning, the dreams found their way in. they were dark dreams, treacherous, submerging Violet in their murky depths until she incapable of finding her way to the surface. At first the images were harmless, like some sort of crazy kaleidoscope, drifting in and out of focus, colliding and splintering and reforming again.
Kimberly Derting (The Last Echo (The Body Finder, #3))
Our problem is one of spirituality. If a man comes to speak to me about the reforms to be undertaken in the Muslim world, about political strategies and of great geo-strategic plans, my first question to him would be whether he performed the dawn prayer in its time.
Sa'eed Ramadan
Choosing Luther and Calvin instead of the spiritual reformers who were their contemporaries, Protestant Europe got the kind of theology it liked. But it also got, along with other unanticipated by-products, the Thirty Years’ War, capitalism and the first rudiments of modern Germany. “If
Aldous Huxley (The Perennial Philosophy)
The cop and the criminal. Who would have ever seen that coming?” “I saw it from a mile away…and you’re a reformed criminal.” “I stole your heart, didn’t I?” “I stole yours first, Asa.” “You can’t take something that was yours all along, Red.
Jay Crownover (Asa (Marked Men, #6))
Ours is not the first generation to understand the dire need for health reform. And I am not the first president to take up this cause, but I am determined to be the last.
Barack Obama
Change does not surface when you are not ready to be the catalyst. Your reaction matters, not your inaction.
Michael Bassey Johnson
If anyone attempted to rule the world by the gospel and to abolish all temporal law and sword on the plea that all are baptized and Christian, and that, according to the gospel, there shall be among them no law or sword - or need for either - pray tell me, friend, what would he be doing? He would be loosing the ropes and chains of the savage wild beasts and letting them bite and mangle everyone, meanwhile insisting that they were harmless, tame, and gentle creatures; but I would have the proof in my wounds. Just so would the wicked under the name of Christian abuse evangelical freedom, carry on their rascality, and insist that they were Christians subject neither to law nor sword, as some are already raving and ranting. To such a one we must say: Certainly it is true that Christians, so far as they themselves are concerned, are subject neither to law nor sword, and have need of neither. But take heed and first fill the world with real Christians before you attempt to rule it in a Christian and evangelical manner. This you will never accomplish; for the world and the masses are and always will be unchristian, even if they are all baptized and Christian in name. Christians are few and far between (as the saying is). Therefore, it is out of the question that there should be a common Christian government over the whole world, or indeed over a single country or any considerable body of people, for the wicked always outnumber the good. Hence, a man who would venture to govern an entire country or the world with the gospel would be like a shepherd who should put together in one fold wolves, lions, eagles, and sheep, and let them mingle freely with one another, saying, “Help yourselves, and be good and peaceful toward one another. The fold is open, there is plenty of food. You need have no fear of dogs and clubs.” The sheep would doubtless keep the peace and allow themselves to be fed and governed peacefully, but they would not live long, nor would one beast survive another. For this reason one must carefully distinguish between these two governments. Both must be permitted to remain; the one to produce righteousness, the other to bring about external peace and prevent evil deeds. Neither one is sufficient in the world without the other. No one can become righteous in the sight of God by means of the temporal government, without Christ's spiritual government. Christ's government does not extend over all men; rather, Christians are always a minority in the midst of non-Christians. Now where temporal government or law alone prevails, there sheer hypocrisy is inevitable, even though the commandments be God's very own. For without the Holy Spirit in the heart no one becomes truly righteous, no matter how fine the works he does. On the other hand, where the spiritual government alone prevails over land and people, there wickedness is given free rein and the door is open for all manner of rascality, for the world as a whole cannot receive or comprehend it.
Martin Luther (Luther and Calvin on Secular Authority (Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought))
Manz, formerly one of Zwingli's closest allies, held that there was no biblical warrant for infant baptism. Refusing to recant his views, he was tied up and drowned in the River Limmat.
Christianity's Dangerous Idea: The Protestant Revolution: A History from the Sixteenth Century to the Twenty-First
We are approaching a very historical event in the history of our nation, the United States of America. For the first time in our history, Americans voted for president –elect, Barrack Hussein Obama, as the first African-American president. We are so optimistic about the presidency of President Obama, not only for being the country's first African American president, but for what he represents. Mr. Obama brings a new positive energy, deep global understanding of the intricacies of world affairs, and deep commitment for social justice and reform in our great country, the United States of America.
Aladdin Elaasar
What had once been sins punishable by the medieval Church against the faithful were thus transformed by the Reformation into crimes punishable by the state, enforceable even against those who did not share the faith.
Geoffrey R. Stone (Sex and the Constitution: Sex, Religion, and Law from America's Origins to the Twenty-First Century)
But no social change can come about until the consciousness of individuals is changed first. When a young man asked Carlyle how he should go about reforming the world, Carlyle answered, “Reform yourself. That way there will be one less rascal in the world.” The advice is still valid. Those who try to make life better for everyone without having learned to control their own lives first usually end up making things worse all around.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience)
Even though the restriction couldn’t be enforced under federal law, the state ban on interracial marriage in Alabama continued into the twenty-first century. In 2000, reformers finally had enough votes to get the issue on the statewide ballot, where a majority of voters chose to eliminate the ban, although 41 percent voted to keep it.
Bryan Stevenson (Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption)
The Stoics believed in social reform, but they also believed in personal transformation. More precisely, they thought the first step in transforming a society into one in which people live a good life is to teach people how to make their happiness depend as little as possible on their external circumstances. The second step in transforming a society is to change people’s external circumstances. The Stoics would add that if we fail to transform ourselves, then no matter how much we transform the society in which we live, we are unlikely to have a good life.
William B. Irvine (A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy)
It is most certainly not the function of the Holy See to introduce Church reforms. The first duty of the Pope is to act as primary bishop, to watch over the traditions of the Church—her dogmatic, moral and liturgical traditions.”17
Christopher A. Ferrara (The Great Facade: The Regime of Novelty in the Catholic Church from Vatican II to the Francis Revolution)
One major reason why radical economic reform was almost impossibly difficult to introduce in the Soviet Union was the strength of vested interests – in the first place, the bureaucracies of the economic ministries and the regional party organizations.
Archie Brown (The Rise and Fall of Communism)
New Rule: Just because a country elects a smart president doesn't make it a smart country. A couple of weeks ago, I was asked on CNN if I thought Sarah Palin could get elected president, and I said I hope not, but I wouldn't put anything past this stupid country. Well, the station was flooded with emails, and the twits hit the fan. And you could tell that these people were really mad, because they wrote entirely in CAPITAL LETTERS!!! Worst of all, Bill O'Reilly refuted my contention that this is a stupid country by calling me a pinhead, which (a) proves my point, and (b) is really funny coming from a doody-face like him. Now, before I go about demonstration how, sadly, easy it is to prove the dumbness that's dragging us down, let me just say that ignorance has life-and-death consequences. On the eve of the Iraq War, seventy percent of Americans thought Saddam Hussein was personally involved in 9/11. Six years later, thirty-four percent still do. Or look at the health-care debate: At a recent town hall meeting in South Carolina, a man stood up and told his congressman to "keep your government hands off my Medicare," which is kind of like driving cross-country to protest highways. This country is like a college chick after two Long Island iced teas: We can be talked into anything, like wars, and we can be talked out of anything, like health care. We should forget the town halls, and replace them with study halls. Listen to some of these stats: A majority of Americans cannot name a single branch of government, or explain what the Bill of Rights is. Twenty-four percent could not name the country America fought in the Revolutionary War. More than two-thirds of Americans don't know what's in Roe v. Wade. Two-thirds don't know what the Food and Drug Administration does. Some of this stuff you should be able to pick up simply by being alive. You know, like the way the Slumdog kid knew about cricket. Not here. Nearly half of Americans don't know that states have two senators, and more than half can't name their congressman. And among Republican governors, only three got their wife's name right on the first try. People bitch and moan about taxes and spending, but they have no idea what their government spends money on. The average voter thinks foreign aid consumes more twenty-four percent of our budget. It's actually less than one percent. A third of Republicans believe Obama is not a citizen ad a third of Democrats believe that George Bush had prior knowledge of the 9/11 attacks, which is an absurd sentence, because it contains the words "Bush" and "knowledge." Sarah Palin says she would never apologize for America. Even though a Gallup poll say eighteen percent of us think the sun revolves around the earth. No, they're not stupid. They're interplanetary mavericks. And I haven't even brought up religion. But here's one fun fact I'll leave you with: Did you know only about half of Americans are aware that Judaism is an older religion than Christianity? That's right, half of America looks at books called the Old Testament and the New Testament and cannot figure out which came first. I rest my case.
Bill Maher (The New New Rules: A Funny Look At How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass)
The squad was a joke at first—not many people are afraid of dwarves—but then Princess Ella got wise and hired a bunch of guys who are rumored to be half ogre to be the squad’s muscle. Those guys are scary. They could break you in half with their pudgy pinkie fingers. Now crime has gone way down…but it hasn’t disappeared. To stay ahead of the ogres, I’ve had to be smarter about my marks. Royals are still easy targets, but I can’t be sloppy
Jen Calonita (Flunked (Fairy Tale Reform School, #1))
Godly marriages and their fruit of faithful children change the world. Thus, the first job of Christian parents is to evangelize and disciple their own children. Their children are their closest neighbors, the poor and needy among them, who need the gospel. Raising godly children spreads the kingdom of Christ
Elise Crapuchettes (Popes and Feminists: How the Reformation Frees Women from Feminism)
In the wake of the Reformation, it was the Bible that reorganized Europe as modern nation-states. Developing vernaculars through Bible translation was only the first step towards linguistic nation-states. The Bible also provided the theological justification for fighting to build independent nation/states such as Holland.
Vishal Mangalwadi (The Book that Made Your World: How the Bible Created the Soul of Western Civilization)
The situation is established not only to provoke defensiveness but to sidetrack the reformer into answering the wrong questions.... In this, the pattern of discourse resembles that of dinnertime conversations about feminism in the early 1970s. Questions of definition often predominate. Whereas feminists were parlaying questions which trivialized feminism such as "Are you one of those bra burners?" vegetarians must define themselves against the trivializations of "Are you one of those health nuts?" or "Are you one of those animal lovers?" While feminists encountered the response that "men need liberation too," vegetarians are greeted by the postulate that "plants have life too." Or to make the issue appear more ridiculous, the position is forwarded this way: "But what of the lettuce and tomato you are eating; they have feelings too!" The attempt to create defensiveness through trivialization is the first conversational gambit which greets threatening reforms. This pre-establishes the perimeters of discourse. One must explain that no bras were burned at the Miss America pageant, or the symbolic nature of the action of that time, or that this question fails to regard with seriousness questions such as equal pay for equal work. Similarly, a vegetarian, thinking that answering these questions will provide enlightenment, may patiently explain that if plants have life, then why not be responsible solely for the plants one eats at the table rather than for the larger quantities of plants consumed by the herbivorous animals before they become meat? In each case a more radical answer could be forwarded: "Men need first to acknowledge how they benefit from male dominance," "Can anyone really argue that the suffering of this lettuce equals that of a sentient cow who must be bled out before being butchered?" But if the feminist or vegetarian responds this way they will be put back on the defensive by the accusation that they are being aggressive. What to a vegetarian or a feminist is of political, personal, existential, and ethical importance, becomes for others only an entertainment during dinnertime.
Carol J. Adams (The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory)
First is the danger of futility; the belief there is nothing one man or one woman can do against the enormous array of the worlds ills -­‐-­‐ against misery, against ignorance, or injustice and violence. Yet many of the worlds great movements, of thought and action, have flowed from the work of a single man. A young monk began the Protestant reformation, a young general extended an empire from Macedonia to the borders of the earth, and a young woman reclaimed the territory of France. It was a young Italian explorer who discovered the New World, and 32-­‐year-­‐old Thomas Jefferson who proclaimed that all men are created equal. 'Give me a place to stand,
Robert F. Kennedy
an aristocracy come to power, convinced of its own disinterested quality, believing itself above both petty partisan interest and material greed. The suggestion that this also meant the holding and wielding of power was judged offensive by these same people, who preferred to view their role as service, though in fact this was typical of an era when many of the great rich families withdrew from the new restless grab for money of a modernizing America, and having already made their particular fortunes, turned to the public arena as a means of exercising power. They were viewed as reformers, though the reforms would be aimed more at the newer seekers of wealth than at those who already held it. (“First-generation millionaires,” Garry Wills wrote in Nixon Agonistes, “give us libraries, second-generation millionaires give us themselves.”)
David Halberstam (The Best and the Brightest)
A memory is least accurate when most reflected upon, and most accurate when least pondered. Together, those two facts make eyewitness testimony basically worthless. This isn’t what most people believe. Psychologists Dan Simons and Christopher Chabris published a study in 2011 revealing that 63 percent of those surveyed in the United States believe memory works like a video camera, and another 48 percent believe memories are permanent. An additional 37 percent said that eyewitness testimony was reliable enough to be the only evidence necessary to convict someone accused of a crime. Those are seriously shocking facts to a psychologist or a neuroscientist, because none of those things is true. You don’t record everything you see, nor do you notice everything that comes into your mind. The only things that make it past the ears and eyes are those things to which you attend. Memories are not recordings. The moment your first kiss was over, the memory of it began to decay. Each time you recall it, the event is reformed in your mind anew and differently, influenced by your current condition and by all the wisdom you’ve acquired since and all the erroneous details you’ve added.
David McRaney (You Are Now Less Dumb: How to Conquer Mob Mentality, How to Buy Happiness, and All the Other Ways to Outsmart Yourself)
In consequence of Darwin's reformed Theory of Descent, we are now in a position to establish scientifically the groundwork of a non-miraculous history of the development of the human race. ... If any person feels the necessity of conceiving the coming into existence of this matter as the work of a supernatural creative power, of the creative force of something outside of matter, we have nothing to say against it. But we must remark, that thereby not even the smallest advantage is gained for a scientific knowledge of nature. Such a conception of an immaterial force, which as the first creates matter, is an article of faith which has nothing whatever to do with human science.
Ernst Haeckel (The History Of Creation V1: Or The Development Of The Earth And Its Inhabitants By The Action Of Natural Causes)
The attempt to create defensiveness through trivialization is the first conversational gambit which greets threatening reforms. This pre-establishes the perimeters of discourse.
Carol J. Adams (The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory)
We're going to Change the Culture with PBIS, Shift the Paradigm with PBL, and close the Achievement Gap with SDAIE. Sounds good, right? Well, that's usually the extent of it.
Fröderick Frankensteen (Paradigm Shi*ted: You couldn't make this stuff up if you tried...)
We are not the first Christians trying to make sense of the Bible and trying to proclaim it faithfully and winsomely in the world in which we live.
Stephen J. Nichols (The Reformation: How a Monk and a Mallet Changed the World)
Whereas land reform was the first act of the Bolsheviks, it was the last act of the Whites: that, in a peasant country, says it all.
Orlando Figes (A People's Tragedy: The Russian Revolution, 1891 - 1924)
Such dangers aside, you can greatly improve your prayer life if you combine these first two principles: set apart time for praying, and then use practical ways to impede mental drift.
D.A. Carson (A Call to Spiritual Reformation: Priorities from Paul and His Prayers)
Owing to the shape of a bell curve, the education system is geared to the mean. Unfortunately, that kind of education is virtually calculated to bore and alienate gifted minds. But instead of making exceptions where it would do the most good, the educational bureaucracy often prefers not to be bothered. In my case, for example, much of the schooling to which I was subjected was probably worse than nothing. It consisted not of real education, but of repetition and oppressive socialization (entirely superfluous given the dose of oppression I was getting away from school). Had I been left alone, preferably with access to a good library and a minimal amount of high-quality instruction, I would at least have been free to learn without useless distractions and gratuitous indoctrination. But alas, no such luck. Let’s try to break the problem down a bit. The education system […] is committed to a warm and fuzzy but scientifically counterfactual form of egalitarianism which attributes all intellectual differences to environmental factors rather than biology, implying that the so-called 'gifted' are just pampered brats who, unless their parents can afford private schooling, should atone for their undeserved good fortune by staying behind and enriching the classroom environments of less privileged students. This approach may appear admirable, but its effects on our educational and intellectual standards, and all that depends on them, have already proven to be overwhelmingly negative. This clearly betrays an ulterior motive, suggesting that it has more to do with social engineering than education. There is an obvious difference between saying that poor students have all of the human dignity and basic rights of better students, and saying that there are no inherent educationally and socially relevant differences among students. The first statement makes sense, while the second does not. The gifted population accounts for a very large part of the world’s intellectual resources. As such, they can obviously be put to better use than smoothing the ruffled feathers of average or below-average students and their parents by decorating classroom environments which prevent the gifted from learning at their natural pace. The higher we go on the scale of intellectual brilliance – and we’re not necessarily talking just about IQ – the less support is offered by the education system, yet the more likely are conceptual syntheses and grand intellectual achievements of the kind seldom produced by any group of markedly less intelligent people. In some cases, the education system is discouraging or blocking such achievements, and thus cheating humanity of their benefits.
Christopher M. Langan
The idea that the word of God should be permitted to calcify slowly into a language normal people can’t read is one of the reasons we had a Protestant Reformation, a movement launched by a monk whose first act a er defying a church council with, “My conscience is captive to the word of God” was to hole himself up in Wartburg castle and translate the Bible into German. There he sat; he could do no other.
Mark L. Ward Jr. (Authorized: The Use and Misuse of the King James Bible)
He did notice Tony’s gleaming white teeth for the first time. Tony wasn’t known for his smiling. He tried to find a suitable word to describe this smile, but the only word that came to him was expensive.
Jim Lowe (New Reform (New Reform Quartet #1))
Just as that puzzled savage who has picked up - a strange cast-up from the ocean? - something unearthed from the sands? - or an obscure object fallen down from the sky? - intricate in curves, it gleams first dully and then with a bright thrust of light. Just as he turns it this way and that, turns it over, trying to discover what to do with it, trying to discover some mundane function within his own grasp, never dreaming of its higher function. So also we, holding Art in our hands, confidently consider ourselves to be its masters; boldly we direct it, we renew, reform and manifest it; we sell it for money, use it to please those in power; turn to it at one moment for amusement - right down to popular songs and night-clubs, and at another - grabbing the nearest weapon, cork or cudgel - for the passing needs of politics and for narrow-minded social ends. But art is not defiled by our efforts, neither does it thereby depart from its true nature, but on each occasion and in each application it gives to us a part of its secret inner light.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (Nobel Lecture)
Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue. But if you mouth it, as many of our players do, I had as lief the town crier spoke my lines. Nor do not saw the air too much with your hand, thus, by use all gently, for in the very torrent, tempest, and (as I may say) whirlwind of your passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance that may give it smoothness. O, it offends me to the soul to hear a robustious periwig-pated fellow tear a passion to tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of the groundlings, who for the most part are capable of nothing but inexplicable dumb shows and noise. I would have such a fellow whipped for o'erdoing Termagant. It out-herods Herod. Pray you avoid it. Be not too tame neither, but let your own discretion be your tutor. Suit the action to the word, the word to the action, with this special observance, that you o'erstep not the modesty of nature. For anything so overdone is from the purpose of playing, whose end, both at the first and now, was and is, to hold, as 'twere, the mirror up to nature, to show virtue her own feature, scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time his form and pressure. Now this overdone, or come tardy off, though it make the unskillful laugh, cannot but make the judicious grieve, the censure of the which one must in your allowance o'erweigh a whole theatre of others. O, there be players that I have seen play, and heard others praise, and that highly (not to speak profanely), that neither having th' accent of Christians, nor the gait of Christian, pagan, nor man, have so strutted and bellowed that I have thought some of Nature's journeymen had made men, and not made them well, they imitated humanity so abominably. Reform it altogether! And let those that play your clowns speak no more than is set down for them, for there be of them that will themselves laugh, to set on some quantity of barren spectators to laugh too, though in the mean time some necessary question of the play be then to be considered. That's villainous and shows a most pitiful ambition in the fool that uses it. Go make you ready.
William Shakespeare
President Barack Obama and many liberal-minded commentators have been hesitant to call this Islamist ideology by its proper name. They seem to fear that both Muslim communities and the religiously intolerant will hear the word “Islam” and simply assume that all Muslims are being held responsible for the excesses of the jihadist few. I call this the Voldemort effect, after the villain in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books. Many well-meaning people in Ms. Rowling’s fictional world are so petrified of Voldemort’s evil that they do two things: They refuse to call Voldemort by name, instead referring to “He Who Must Not Be Named,” and they deny that he exists in the first place. Such dread only increases public hysteria, thus magnifying the appeal of Voldemort’s power. The same hysteria about Islamism is unfolding before our eyes. But no strategy intended to defeat Islamism can succeed if Islamism itself and its violent expression in jihadism are not first named, isolated and understood. From: Maajid Nawaz's article titled, 'How to Beat Islamic State', December 11th, 2015.
Maajid Nawaz
Mastery requires patience. The San Antonio Spurs, one of the most successful teams in NBA history, have a quote from social reformer Jacob Riis hanging in their locker room: “When nothing seems to help, I go and look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that last blow that did it—but all that had gone before.
James Clear (Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones)
What is needed, now, is a new view, to reassess and reform the concept of God. It is the experience of going beyond the norm to achieve insight as to how life events are connected on a “higher” level. We now have an idea of how the process happens in the brain and, importantly, how to develop this innate potential in today’s world. This knowledge could be the first small step toward finding the common ground for us to stand on to work toward a new spiritual literacy.
Robert Ornstein (God 4.0: On the Nature of Higher Consciousness and the Experience Called “God”)
Most televangelists, popular Christian preacher icons, and heads of those corporations that we call megachurches share an unreflective modern view of Jesus--that he translates easily and almost automatically into a modern idiom. The fact is, however, that Jesus was not a person of the twenty-first century who spoke the language of contemporary Christian America (or England or Germany or anywhere else). Jesus was inescapably and ineluctably a Jew living in first-century Palestine. He was not like us, and if we make him like us we transform the historical Jesus into a creature that we have invented for ourselves and for our own purposes. Jesus would not recognize himself in the preaching of most of his followers today. He knew nothing of our world. He was not a capitalist. He did not believe in free enterprise. He did not support the acquisition of wealth or the good things in life. He did not believe in massive education. He had never heard of democracy. He had nothing to do with going to church on Sunday. He knew nothing of social security, food stamps, welfare, American exceptionalism, unemployment numbers, or immigration. He had no views on tax reform, health care (apart from wanting to heal leprosy), or the welfare state. So far as we know, he expressed no opinion on the ethical issues that plague us today: abortion and reproductive rights, gay marriage, euthanasia, or bombing Iraq. His world was not ours, his concerns were not ours, and--most striking of all--his beliefs were not ours. Jesus was a first-century Jew, and when we try to make him into a twenty-first century American we distort everything he was and everything he stood for.
Bart D. Ehrman (Did Jesus Exist?: The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth)
My concern with democracy is highly specific. It begins in observing the remarkable fact that, while democracy means a government accountable to the electorate, our rulers now make us accountable to them. Most Western governments hate me smoking, or eating the wrong kind of food, or hunting foxes, or drinking too much, and these are merely the surface disapprovals, the ones that provoke legislation or public campaigns. We also borrow too much money for our personal pleasures, and many of us are very bad parents. Ministers of state have been known to instruct us in elementary matters, such as the importance of reading stories to our children. Again, many of us have unsound views about people of other races, cultures, or religions, and the distribution of our friends does not always correspond, as governments think that it ought, to the cultural diversity of our society. We must face up to the grim fact that the rulers we elect are losing patience with us. No philosopher can contemplate this interesting situation without beginning to reflect on what it can mean. The gap between political realities and their public face is so great that the term “paradox” tends to crop up from sentence to sentence. Our rulers are theoretically “our” representatives, but they are busy turning us into the instruments of the projects they keep dreaming up. The business of governments, one might think, is to supply the framework of law within which we may pursue happiness on our own account. Instead, we are constantly being summoned to reform ourselves. Debt, intemperance, and incompetence in rearing our children are no doubt regrettable, but they are vices, and left alone, they will soon lead to the pain that corrects. Life is a better teacher of virtue than politicians, and most sensible governments in the past left moral faults to the churches. But democratic citizenship in the twenty-first century means receiving a stream of improving “messages” from politicians. Some may forgive these intrusions because they are so well intentioned. Who would defend prejudice, debt, or excessive drinking? The point, however, is that our rulers have no business telling us how to live. They are tiresome enough in their exercise of authority—they are intolerable when they mount the pulpit. Nor should we be in any doubt that nationalizing the moral life is the first step towards totalitarianism. We might perhaps be more tolerant of rulers turning preachers if they were moral giants. But what citizen looks at the government today thinking how wise and virtuous it is? Public respect for politicians has long been declining, even as the population at large has been seduced into demanding political solutions to social problems. To demand help from officials we rather despise argues for a notable lack of logic in the demos. The statesmen of eras past have been replaced by a set of barely competent social workers eager to take over the risks of our everyday life. The electorates of earlier times would have responded to politicians seeking to bribe us with such promises with derision. Today, the demos votes for them.
Kenneth Minogue (The Servile Mind: How Democracy Erodes the Moral Life)
To compete with China in the twenty-first century, the United States will have to give similar precedence to education reform and expand access to educational and training opportunities for all Americans, not just a select or privileged few.
Fiona Hill (There Is Nothing For You Here: Finding Opportunity in the Twenty-First Century)
The first discovery of Dostoievsky is, for a spiritual adventurer, such a shock as is not likely to occur again. One is staggered, bewildered, insulted. It is like a hit in the face, at the end of a dark passage; a hit in the face, followed by the fumbling of strange hands at one's throat. Everything that has been forbidden, by discretion, by caution, by self-respect, by atavistic inhibition, seems suddenly to leap up out of the darkness and seize upon one with fierce, indescribable caresses.   All that one has felt, but has not dared to think; all that one has thought, but has not dared to say; all the terrible whispers from the unspeakable margins; all the horrible wreckage and silt from the unsounded depths, float in upon us and overpower us. There is so much that the other writers, even the realists among them, cannot, will not, say. There is so much that the normal self-preservative instincts in ourselves do not want said. But this Russian has no mercy. Such exposures humiliate and disgrace? What matter? It is well that we should be so laid bare. Such revelations provoke and embarrass? What matter? We require embarrassment. The quicksilver of human consciousness must have no closed chinks, no blind alleys. It must be compelled to reform its microcosmic reflections, even down there, where it has to be driven by force. It is extraordinary how superficial even the great writers are; how lacking in the Mole's claws, in the Woodpecker's beak! They seem labouring beneath some pathetic vow, exacted by the Demons of our Fate, under terrible threats, only to reveal what will serve their purpose! This applies as much to the Realists, with their traditional animal chemistry, as to the Idealists, with their traditional ethical dynamics. It applies, above all, to the interpreters of Sex, who, in their conventional grossness, as well as in their conventional discretion, bury such Ostrich heads in the sand!
John Cowper Powys (Visions and Revisions: A Book of Literary Devotions)
Jan van Leyden announced that a new world order [anabaptism] had been revealed to him and promptly began to implement it. Money was abolished; polygamy was legalized; marriage was made compulsory for women. Those who dissented faced execution.
Christianity's Dangerous Idea: The Protestant Revolution: A History from the Sixteenth Century to the Twenty-First
To understand the workings of American politics, you have to understand this fundamental law: Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservatives are evil. For the first side of this equation, I need no sources. As a conservative, I can confidently attest that whatever else my colleagues might disagree about—Bosnia, John McCain, precisely how many orphans we’re prepared to throw into the snow so the rich can have their tax cuts—we all agree that liberals are stupid. We mean this, of course, in the nicest way. Liberals tend to be nice, and they believe—here is where they go stupid—that most everybody else is nice too. Deep down, that is. Sure, you’ve got your multiple felon and your occasional war criminal, but they’re undoubtedly depraved ’cause they’re deprived. If only we could get social conditions right—eliminate poverty, teach anger management, restore the ozone, arrest John Ashcroft—everyone would be holding hands smiley-faced, rocking back and forth to “We Shall Overcome.” Liberals believe that human nature is fundamentally good. The fact that this is contradicted by, oh, 4,000 years of human history simply tells them how urgent is the need for their next seven-point program for the social reform of everything.
Charles Krauthammer (Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes, and Politics)
Contemporary attitudes toward urban parks fall into three levels of sophistication. The first, the most naive assumption, is that parks are just plots of land preserved in their original state. If asked to discuss the issue at all, many laymen have maintained this much, that parks are bits of nature created only in the sense that some decision was made not to build on the land. Many are surprised to learn that parks that an artifact conceived and deliberated as carefully as public buildings, with both physical shape and social usage taken into account. The second, a little more informed, is that parks are aesthetic objects and that their history can be understood in terms of an evolution of artistic styles independent of societal considerations. The third is the view that each of the elements of the urban park represents part of planners' strategy for moral and social reform, so that today, as in the past, the citizen visiting a park is subject to an accumulated set of intended moral lessons.
Galen Cranz (The Politics of Park Design: A History of Urban Parks in America)
Social democracy as we now know it underwent its moment of speciation when Eduard Bernstein began to question the orthodoxy of revolution. His essential postulate was the absence of crises. The Steven Pinker of socialism, he pointed to the empirical fact that no serious crisis had rocked the capitalist economy for the past two or three decades, which invalidated the Marxian prophecy of a system trending towards collapse. Since it was not prone to malfunctioning, the idea of seizing power, smashing decrepit capitalism and installing a completely different order had become redundant; instead social democracy could continue to grow in strength, extract piecemeal reforms and gradually lift the working class out of the mire. Rosa Luxemburg very famously objected that the crisis tendencies had merely been postponed. In the near future, they would burst forth with even more dreadful violence. Ignoring her prognosis, the social democrats in the making went ahead and presently gave their first demonstration of how they dealt with catastrophe: by expediting it through consent.
Andreas Malm (Corona, Climate, Chronic Emergency: War Communism in the Twenty-First Century)
But you didn’t mention Orrigar I, the first king of the House of Chaldarina. He put an end to years of unrest and civil strife. Neither did you mention Ronnick II, the one who reformed the monetary system and forbade the Great Houses to mint their own coins, thus stabilizing our currency. At the time it saved Ximerion from going bankrupt.” “I’m sorry. I told you we weren’t big—” “It’s not that, Hemarchidas. You remembered the fighting kings, those who brought war, destruction and ephemeral glory. Or those who ended tragically. You forgot the wise administrators, those who kept the peace, those who brought prosperity. You needn’t feel embarrassed, though. So did history.” Hemarchidas looked at his friend as if he saw him for the first time. “So, all in all, Hemarchidas, I’d rather history forgot me.
Andrew Ashling
Many of the first 2,000 or so nights of my life ended in civil disobedience: crying, begging, bargaining, until—on night 2,193, the night I turned six years old—I discovered direct action. The authorities weren’t interested in calls for reform, and I wasn’t born yesterday.
Edward Snowden (Permanent Record)
I was extremely curious about the alternatives to the kind of life I had been leading, and my friends and I exchanged rumors and scraps of information we dug from official publications. I was struck less by the West's technological developments and high living standards than by the absence of political witch-hunts, the lack of consuming suspicion, the dignity of the individual, and the incredible amount of liberty. To me, the ultimate proof of freedom in the West was that there seemed to be so many people there attacking the West and praising China. Almost every other day the front page of Reference, the newspaper which carded foreign press items, would feature some eulogy of Mao and the Cultural Revolution. At first I was angered by these, but they soon made me see how tolerant another society could be. I realized that this was the kind of society I wanted to live in: where people were allowed to hold different, even outrageous views. I began to see that it was the very tolerance of oppositions, of protesters, that kept the West progressing. Still, I could not help being irritated by some observations. Once I read an article by a Westerner who came to China to see some old friends, university professors, who told him cheerfully how they had enjoyed being denounced and sent to the back end of beyond, and how much they had relished being reformed. The author concluded that Mao had indeed made the Chinese into 'new people' who would regard what was misery to a Westerner as pleasure. I was aghast. Did he not know that repression was at its worst when there was no complaint? A hundred times more so when the victim actually presented a smiling face? Could he not see to what a pathetic condition these professors had been reduced, and what horror must have been involved to degrade them so? I did not realize that the acting that the Chinese were putting on was something to which Westerners were unaccustomed, and which they could not always decode. I did not appreciate either that information about China was not easily available, or was largely misunderstood, in the West, and that people with no experience of a regime like China's could take its propaganda and rhetoric at face value. As a result, I assumed that these eulogies were dishonest. My friends and I would joke that they had been bought by our government's 'hospitality." When foreigners were allowed into certain restricted places in China following Nixon's visit, wherever they went the authorities immediately cordoned off enclaves even within these enclaves. The best transport facilities, shops, restaurants, guest houses and scenic spots were reserved for them, with signs reading "For Foreign Guests Only." Mao-tai, the most sought-after liquor, was totally unavailable to ordinary Chinese, but freely available to foreigners. The best food was saved for foreigners. The newspapers proudly reported that Henry Kissinger had said his waistline had expanded as a result of the many twelve-course banquets he enjoyed during his visits to China. This was at a time when in Sichuan, "Heaven's Granary," our meat ration was half a pound per month, and the streets of Chengdu were full of homeless peasants who had fled there from famine in the north, and were living as beggars. There was great resentment among the population about how the foreigners were treated like lords. My friends and I began saying among ourselves: "Why do we attack the Kuomintang for allowing signs saying "No Chinese or Dogs" aren't we doing the same? Getting hold of information became an obsession. I benefited enormously from my ability to read English, as although the university library had been looted during the Cultural Revolution, most of the books it had lost had been in Chinese. Its extensive English-language collection had been turned upside down, but was still largely intact.
Jung Chang (Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China)
The historical sequence is quite simple, really," she continued, warming to her theme. "The first catastrophe was the Reformation. The Reformation led to the Industrial Revolution. The Industrial Revolution created the British Empire. The British Empire necessitated the Public Schools. The Public Schools engendered the Class System. The Class System made Socialism inevitable. And Socialism - which by bad luck arrived just as it couldn't be afforded - brought about the collapse of the economy." "I shall vote Liberal next time," said Angela virtuously.
Angela Thirkell (High Rising (Barsetshire, #1))
During my first few months of Facebooking, I discovered that my page had fostered a collective nostalgia for specific cultural icons. These started, unsurprisingly, within the realm of science fiction and fantasy. They commonly included a pointy-eared Vulcan from a certain groundbreaking 1960s television show. Just as often, though, I found myself sharing images of a diminutive, ancient, green and disarmingly wise Jedi Master who speaks in flip-side down English. Or, if feeling more sinister, I’d post pictures of his black-cloaked, dark-sided, heavy-breathing nemesis. As an aside, I initially received from Star Trek fans considerable “push-back,” or at least many raised Spock brows, when I began sharing images of Yoda and Darth Vader. To the purists, this bordered on sacrilege.. But as I like to remind fans, I was the only actor to work within both franchises, having also voiced the part of Lok Durd from the animated show Star Wars: The Clone Wars. It was the virality of these early posts, shared by thousands of fans without any prodding from me, that got me thinking. Why do we love Spock, Yoda and Darth Vader so much? And what is it about characters like these that causes fans to click “like” and “share” so readily? One thing was clear: Cultural icons help people define who they are today because they shaped who they were as children. We all “like” Yoda because we all loved The Empire Strikes Back, probably watched it many times, and can recite our favorite lines. Indeed, we all can quote Yoda, and we all have tried out our best impression of him. When someone posts a meme of Yoda, many immediately share it, not just because they think it is funny (though it usually is — it’s hard to go wrong with the Master), but because it says something about the sharer. It’s shorthand for saying, “This little guy made a huge impact on me, not sure what it is, but for certain a huge impact. Did it make one on you, too? I’m clicking ‘share’ to affirm something you may not know about me. I ‘like’ Yoda.” And isn’t that what sharing on Facebook is all about? It’s not simply that the sharer wants you to snortle or “LOL” as it were. That’s part of it, but not the core. At its core is a statement about one’s belief system, one that includes the wisdom of Yoda. Other eminently shareable icons included beloved Tolkien characters, particularly Gandalf (as played by the inimitable Sir Ian McKellan). Gandalf, like Yoda, is somehow always above reproach and unfailingly epic. Like Yoda, Gandalf has his darker counterpart. Gollum is a fan favorite because he is a fallen figure who could reform with the right guidance. It doesn’t hurt that his every meme is invariably read in his distinctive, blood-curdling rasp. Then there’s also Batman, who seems to have survived both Adam West and Christian Bale, but whose questionable relationship to the Boy Wonder left plenty of room for hilarious homoerotic undertones. But seriously, there is something about the brooding, misunderstood and “chaotic-good” nature of this superhero that touches all of our hearts.
George Takei
The English criminal code, later known as the "Bloody Code," was brutal in the late 18th century. By the time the first legal reforms were enacted in 1826, 220 crimes—many of them relatively petty crimes against property as Dickens describes in the rest of the paragraph—were punishable by death.
Susanne Alleyn (A Tale of Two Cities: A Reader's Companion)
The problem with revolution, with the wave of violence it carries with it, is that it's like a flash flood - it sweeps everything away, and nothing looks the same as it once dd. And you think this is good, change was what you wanted in the first place, change was what you needed. But suddenly you have a country you must govern, people whose basic needs must be met. You must stabilize a currency... reform a constitution. Those are not the things young men dream of. They dream of dying for their country; dream of honor in battle. No one dreams about sitting at a desk and arguing over phrases.
Chanel Cleeton (Next Year in Havana)
. . . they who plead an absolute right cannot be satisfied with anything short of personal representation, because all natural rights must be the rights of individuals; as by nature there is no such thing as politic or corporate personality; all these things are mere fictions of law, they are creatures of voluntary institution; men as men are individuals, and nothing else. They, therefore, who reject the principle of natural and personal representation, are essentially and eternally at variance with those who claim it. As to the first sort of reformers, it is ridiculous to talk to them of the British constitution upon any or upon all of its bases; for they lay it down that every man ought to govern himself, and that where he cannot go himself he must send his representative; that all other government is usurpation; and is so far from having a claim to our obedience, it is not only our right, but our duty, to resist it.
Edmund Burke
India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, and many others in the post-independence leadership—though, emphatically, not all within this cohort—deeply believed that the combination of liberal democracy, civic nationalism, and socialist economics was essential to successfully building a modern Indian state.
Bibek Debroy (Getting India Back on Track: An Action Agenda for Reform)
Robert Ingersoll's character was as nearly perfect as it is possible for the character of mortal man to be... none sweeter or nobler had ever blessed the world. The example of his life was of more value to posterity than all the sermons that were ever written on the doctrine of original sin... The genius for humor and wit and satire of a Voltaire, a wide amplitude of imagination, and a greatness of heart and brain that placed him upon an equal footing with the greatest thinkers of antiquity. He stands, at the close of his career, the first great reformer of the age. {Thomas' words at the funeral of the great Robert Ingersoll}
Charles S. Thomas
But hell can endure for only a limited period, and life will begin again one day. History may perhaps have an end; but our task is not to terminate it but to create it, in the image of what we henceforth know to be true. Art, at least, teaches us that man cannot be explained by history alone and that he also finds a reason for his existence in the order of nature. For him, the great god Pan is not dead. His most instinctive act of rebellion, while it affirms the value and the dignity common to all men, obstinately claims, so as to satisfy its hunger for unity, an integral part of the reality whose name is beauty. One can reject all history and yet accept the world of the sea and the stars. The rebels who wish to ignore nature and beauty are condemned to banish from history everything with which they want to construct the dignity of existence and of labor. Every great reformer tries to create in history what Shakespeare, Cervantes, Moliere, and Tolstoy knew how to create: a world always ready to satisfy the hunger for freedom and dignity which every man carries in his heart. Beauty, no doubt, does not make revolutions. But a day will come when revolutions will have need of beauty. The procedure of beauty, which is to contest reality while endowing it with unity, is also the procedure of rebellion. Is it possible eternally to reject injustice without ceasing to acclaim the nature of man and the beauty of the world? Our answer is yes. This ethic, at once unsubmissive and loyal, is in any event the only one that lights the way to a truly realistic revolution. In upholding beauty, we prepare the way for the day of regeneration when civilization will give first place—far ahead of the formal principles and degraded values of history—to this living virtue on which is founded the common dignity of man and the world he lives in, and which we must now define in the face of a world that insults it.
Albert Camus (The Rebel)
Most incarcerated women—nearly two-thirds—are in prison for nonviolent, low-level drug crimes or property crimes. Drug laws in particular have had a huge impact on the number of women sent to prison. “Three strikes” laws have also played a considerable role. I started challenging conditions of confinement at Tutwiler in the mid-1980s as a young attorney with the Southern Prisoners Defense Committee. At the time, I was shocked to find women in prison for such minor offenses. One of the first incarcerated women I ever met was a young mother who was serving a long prison sentence for writing checks to buy her three young children Christmas gifts without sufficient funds in her account. Like a character in a Victor Hugo novel, she tearfully explained her heartbreaking tale to me. I couldn’t accept the truth of what she was saying until I checked her file and discovered that she had, in fact, been convicted and sentenced to over ten years in prison for writing five checks, including three to Toys “R” Us. None of the checks was for more than $150. She was not unique. Thousands of women have been sentenced to lengthy terms in prison for writing bad checks or for minor property crimes that trigger mandatory minimum sentences. The collateral consequences of incarcerating women are significant. Approximately 75 to 80 percent of incarcerated women are mothers with minor children. Nearly 65 percent had minor children living with them at the time of their arrest—children who have become more vulnerable and at-risk as a result of their mother’s incarceration and will remain so for the rest of their lives, even after their mothers come home. In 1996, Congress passed welfare reform legislation that gratuitously included a provision that authorized states to ban people with drug convictions from public benefits and welfare. The population most affected by this misguided law is formerly incarcerated women with children, most of whom were imprisoned for drug crimes. These women and their children can no longer live in public housing, receive food stamps, or access basic services. In the last twenty years, we’ve created a new class of “untouchables” in American society, made up of our most vulnerable mothers and their children.
Bryan Stevenson (Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption)
Many of us have the mote and beam problem (see Matt. 7:3–5)—that is, we can easily see the faults of others, but not our own. So before we start holding others up to scrutiny to see if they are worthy of us, maybe we ought to work first on becoming a “right person” for someone else. Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles offered this counsel: “If the choice is between reforming other Church members [including fiancés, spouses, and children] or ourselves, is there really any question about where we should begin? The key is to have our eyes wide open to our own faults and partially closed to the faults of others—not the other way around! The imperfections of others never release us from the need to work on our own shortcomings.” 5 Therefore, when we focus on finding the right person, we should also focus on becoming the right person for someone else. The strengths we bring to a marriage will undoubtedly contribute to the success of the marriage.
Thomas B. Holman
Profitable as it was to him, Jefferson hated slavery. He regarded it as a curse to Virginia and wished to see it abolished throughout the United States. Not, however, in his lifetime. He said that his generation was not ready for such a step. He would leave that reform to the next generation of Virginians, and was sure they would make Virginia the first southern state to abolish slavery. He thought the young men coming of age in postwar Virginia were superbly qualified to bring the American Revolution to this triumphant conclusion because, as he said, these young men had “sucked in the principles of liberty as if it were their mother’s milk.”18
Stephen E. Ambrose (Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West)
The last thing I want to tell you is this: in a real revolution—not a simple dynastic change or a mere reform of institutions—in a real revolution the best characters do not come to the front. A violent revolution falls into the hands of narrow-minded fanatics and of tyrannical hypocrites at first. Afterwards comes the turn of all the pretentious intellectual failures of the time. Such are the chiefs and the leaders. You will notice that I have left out the mere rogues. The scrupulous and the just, the noble, humane, and devoted natures; the unselfish and the intelligent may begin a movement—but it passes away from them. They are not the leaders of a revolution. They are its victims: the victims of disgust, of disenchantment—often of remorse. Hopes grotesquely betrayed, ideals caricatured—that is the definition of revolutionary success. There have been in every revolution hearts broken by such successes. But enough of that. My meaning is that I don’t want you to be a victim.
Joseph Conrad (Under Western Eyes)
Manifest in this trade (commercial sale of indulgences via bankers) at the same time was a pernicious tendency in the Roman Catholic system, for the trade in indulgences was not an excess or an abuse but the direct consequence of the nomistic degradation of the gospel. That the Reformation started with Luther’s protest against this traffic in indulgences proves its religious origin and evangelical character. At issue here was nothing less than the essential character of the gospel, the core of Christianity, the nature of true piety. And Luther was the man who, guided by experience in the life of his own soul, again made people understand the original and true meaning of the gospel of Christ. Like the “righteousness of God,” so the term “penitence” had been for him one of the most bitter words of Holy Scripture. But when from Romans 1:17 he learned to know a “righteousness by faith,” he also learned “the true manner of penitence.” He then understood that the repentance demanded in Matthew 4:17 had nothing to do with the works of satisfaction required in the Roman institution of confession, but consisted in “a change of mind in true interior contrition” and with all its benefits was itself a fruit of grace. In the first seven of his ninety-five theses and further in his sermon on “Indulgences and Grace” (February 1518), the sermon on “Penitence” (March 1518), and the sermon on the “Sacrament of Penance” (1519), he set forth this meaning of repentance or conversion and developed the glorious thought that the most important part of penitence consists not in private confession (which cannot be found in Scripture) nor in satisfaction (for God forgives sins freely) but in true sorrow over sin, in a solemn resolve to bear the cross of Christ, in a new life, and in the word of absolution, that is, the word of the grace of God in Christ. The penitent arrives at forgiveness of sins, not by making amends (satisfaction) and priestly absolution, but by trusting the word of God, by believing in God’s grace. It is not the sacrament but faith that justifies. In that way Luther came to again put sin and grace in the center of the Christian doctrine of salvation. The forgiveness of sins, that is, justification, does not depend on repentance, which always remains incomplete, but rests in God’s promise and becomes ours by faith alone.
Herman Bavinck
Christian reformism arose originally from the ability of its advocates to contrast the Old Testament with the New. The cobbled-together ancient Jewish books had an ill-tempered and implacable and bloody and provincial god, who was probably more frightening when he was in a good mood (the classic attribute of the dictator). Whereas the cobbled-together books of the last two thousand years contained handholds for the hopeful, and references to meekness, forgiveness, lambs and sheep, and so forth. This distinction is more apparent than real, since it is only in the reported observations of Jesus that we find any mention of hell and eternal punishment. The god of Moses would brusquely call for other tribes, including his favorite one, to suffer massacre and plague and even extirpation, but when the grave closed over his victims he was essentially finished with them unless he remembered to curse their succeeding progeny. Not until the advent of the Prince of Peace do we hear of the ghastly idea of further punishing and torturing the dead. First presaged by the rantings of John the Baptist, the son of god is revealed as one who, if his milder words are not accepted straightaway, will condemn the inattentive to everlasting fire. This has provided texts for clerical sadists ever since, and features very lip-smackingly in the tirades of Islam.
Christopher Hitchens (God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything)
What a glorious Savior he is! Once again consider Christ in his entire identity, life, and work. In his birth, he is the divine Son and Lord who chooses to become our Mediator in obedience to his Father’s will. In his life, as the incarnate Son, he is still the sovereign King who willingly and gladly chooses to die for us. In his death, he does not die as a victim or martyr but as one who is fully in control, choosing to die for us. By his death, he pays for our sin, destroys death, and defeats Satan by putting him under his feet in triumph. In his resurrection, which is inseparable from his life and death, the Father by the Spirit exalts the Son and inaugurates the glorious new covenant age of the new creation. From that posture of authority, the glorified and exalted Son pours out the Spirit, once again proof that he is Lord and Messiah/King. From that same posture of authority, the exalted and ascended Lord rules over his people, governs history, and will return in power to consummate all that he has begun in his first coming.
Stephen J. Wellum (Christ Alone---The Uniqueness of Jesus as Savior: What the Reformers Taught...and Why It Still Matters (The Five Solas Series))
Though I thought Red (Auerbach) wasn't mean enough to (Tommy) Heinsohn it seemed he was too mean to Satch (Sanders) and (Don) Nelson. He'd yell at them for no reason at all, as a pair, and he was cruel. He used to embarrass the whole team as he jumped up and down and yell at them as though they were referees. This offended my sense of justice, and so when of my first reforms when I succeeded Red as coach was to being giving Satch and Nelson the respect they deserved. That season, unfortunately, Satch and Nelson played like ghosts at first. ... It wasn't that they were goofing up, but neither of them seemed to be there, and I couldn't put my finger on exactly what they were doing wrong, but finally I'd boil over and yell at them. Then, of course, they'd play better. For weeks I tried yelling at them only when they were guilty of something, but I didn't work. Then I tried yelling at them when they were clearly innocent; some players, like Heinsohn, could become productively engaged when wrongly accused. But that didn't help either. Then it dawned on me that it didn't matter so much why I yelled at Satch and Nelson; I just had to do it regularly, at certain intervals, the way you take vitamin pills. After only a few months as player -coach I found myself thinking, "Okay, it's 7:20. Time to yell at Satch and Nelson." Needless to say, Red became less of an ogre to me and I became more of one to the players.
Bill Russell (Second Wind)
Before your words first, present your character, Before reforming others first be an example, Before proclaiming the truth first show your truthfulness, Before presenting reality first show your realness, Before talking about loyalty first present your loyalty, Before talking about cleaning first see if are you clean, Before speaking first look at your actions!
Aiyaz Uddin
In the same way, current Chinese growth has nothing to do with Chinese values or changes in Chinese culture; it results from a process of economic transformation unleashed by the reforms implemented by Deng Xiaoping and his allies, who, after Mao Zedong’s death, gradually abandoned socialist economic policies and institutions, first in agriculture and then in industry.
Daron Acemoğlu (Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty)
So the first step that those of us who wish to explore the meaning of resurrection must take is to recognize that the founding moment of the Christian story is not about either an empty tomb or the resuscitation of a deceased body. Its original proclamation asserted that in some manner God had raised Jesus into being part of who God is. Jesus was raised by God into God.
John Shelby Spong (Unbelievable: Why Neither Ancient Creeds Nor the Reformation Can Produce a Living Faith Today)
But I would urge that the expository method (understood as that which explains extended passages of Scripture in course) be restored to that equal place which it held in the primitive and Reformed Churches; for, first, this is obviously the only natural and efficient way to do that which is the sole legitimate end of preaching, convey the whole message of God to the people.
Robert Lewis Dabney (Evangelical Eloquence)
Currying favor with special interests at the expense of the public good is a way for politicians to fund their campaigns and secure their future for when they leave government. It has been firmly enshrined as the primary source of money for politics since the Sherman Act did away with patronage. So long as politicians are able to tap special interests for these purposes, they will find ways to reward them with public policy—and they will do whatever it takes to protect the programs they have already put in place. What reformers really need to do first is attack the way the business of politics is conducted, rather than focusing on the products of that business. Then, and only then , will the cancer of cronyism be removed from the body politic.
The first wall attacked by Luther was the idea that popes, bishops, monks, and priests are spiritually superior to laity. His view was that all Christians belong to the same spiritual estate by virtue of their baptism and faith. These alone grant entrance into the kingdom of God. This was an early version of what came to be known as the “priesthood of all believers.” Luther demolished the second wall when he rejected the Roman assertion that only the pope has the right to interpret Scriptures. Luther strongly emphasized that laypeople have the right to read and interpret the Scripture for themselves. The third wall torn down was the claim that only the pope could summon church councils. Luther reminded his German readers that the emperor, not the pope,
John D. Woodbridge (Church History, Volume Two: From Pre-Reformation to the Present Day: The Rise and Growth of the Church in Its Cultural, Intellectual, and Political Context)
YEARLY OATH AGAINST CORRUPTION “I ________________ do swear in my name, in the name of my spouse ________ and my children _______, … and _______ or my parents _______, ________ or Mother India that I will not take bribes in any form, cash or kind, while holding the office of the ________ and I will not knowingly allow anyone under my charge to take bribes in any form, cash or kind.
Meenakshi Sundaram V.R, Let's Transform India - First Things First
In order to understand how engineers endeavor to insure against such structural, mechanical, and systems failures, and thereby also to understand how mistakes can be made and accidents with far-reaching consequences can occur, it is necessary to understand, at least partly, the nature of engineering design. It is the process of design, in which diverse parts of the 'given-world' of the scientist and the 'made-world' of the engineer are reformed and assembled into something the likes of which Nature had not dreamed, that divorces engineering from science and marries it to art. While the practice of engineering may involve as much technical experience as the poet brings to the blank page, the painter to the empty canvas, or the composer to the silent keyboard, the understanding and appreciation of the process and products of engineering are no less accessible than a poem, a painting, or a piece of music. Indeed, just as we all have experienced the rudiments of artistic creativity in the childhood masterpieces our parents were so proud of, so we have all experienced the essence of structual engineering in our learning to balance first our bodies and later our blocks in ever more ambitious positions. We have learned to endure the most boring of cocktail parties without the social accident of either our bodies or our glasses succumbing to the force of gravity, having long ago learned to crawl, sit up, and toddle among our tottering towers of blocks. If we could remember those early efforts of ours to raise ourselves up among the towers of legs of our parents and their friends, then we can begin to appreciate the task and the achievements of engineers, whether they be called builders in Babylon or scientists in Los Alamos. For all of their efforts are to one end: to make something stand that has not stood before, to reassemble Nature into something new, and above all to obviate failure in the effort.
Henry Petroski
There can be no question but that the great principles of freedom of conscience, separation of church and state, and voluntarism in religion, so basic in American Protestantism and so essential to democracy, ultimately are derived from the Anabaptists of the Reformation period, who for the first time clearly enunciated them and challenged the Christian world to follow them in practice.
Harold S. Bender (The Anabaptist Vision)
No judgment, no mockery, no grudge, no assumption - just fall. Fall head over heels for the world, like you did for your first love. Remember the loss of appetite, remember the sleeplessness, remember the constant desire to see them - once you feel that kind of intense attachment to the world, that day the world will have a true lover - that day the society will have a high voltage human.
Abhijit Naskar (High Voltage Habib: Gospel of Undoctrination)
All great reforms have a unique aspect where, at first, one man steps forward as a champion to represent many millions of supporters. His goal is the same as the heart’s desire inside hundreds of thousands of men from centuries before. The world waits until someone finally appears as the herald of the masses to raise the flag of their deepest desire and lead them to victory with a new idea.
Adolf Hitler (Mein Kampf)
Even mighty states and kingdoms are not exempted. If we look into history, we shall find some nations rising from contemptible beginnings and spreading their influence, until the whole globe is subjected to their ways. When they have reached the summit of grandeur, some minute and unsuspected cause commonly affects their ruin, and the empire of the world is transferred to some other place. Immortal Rome was at first but an insignificant village, inhabited only by a few abandoned ruffians, but by degrees it rose to a stupendous height, and excelled in arts and arms all the nations that preceded it. But the demolition of Carthage (what one should think should have established is in supreme dominion) by removing all danger, suffered it to sink into debauchery, and made it at length an easy prey to Barbarians. England immediately upon this began to increase (the particular and minute cause of which I am not historian enough to trace) in power and magnificence, and is now the greatest nation upon the globe. Soon after the reformation a few people came over into the new world for conscience sake. Perhaps this (apparently) trivial incident may transfer the great seat of empire into America. It looks likely to me. For if we can remove the turbulent Gallics, our people according to exactest computations, will in another century, become more numerous than England itself. Should this be the case, since we have (I may say) all the naval stores of the nation in our hands, it will be easy to obtain the mastery of the seas, and then the united force of all Europe will not be able to subdue us. The only way to keep us from setting up for ourselves is to disunite us. Divide et impera. Keep us in distinct colonies, and then, some great men from each colony, desiring the monarchy of the whole, they will destroy each others' influence and keep the country in equilibrio. Be not surprised that I am turned into politician. The whole town is immersed in politics.
John Adams
A consciousness of wrongdoing is the first step to salvation.’ This remark of Epicurus’ is to me a very good one. For a person who is not aware that he is doing anything wrong has no desire to be put right. You have to catch yourself doing it before you can reform. Some people boast about their failings: can you imagine someone who counts his faults as merits ever giving thought to their cure?
Seneca (Letters from a Stoic)
Don't promote yourself as a country of constitutionality and compassion if you honestly believe that putting people in prison and treating them like animals is justified. Stop all the hype that we live in a free and democratic society. I used to ramble on about the same stuff. But now—are we really a country that believes in fairness and compassion? Are we really a country that treats people fairly? I've met good men—yes, good men—in prison who made mistakes out of stupidity or ignorance, greed, or just bad judgment, but they did not need to be sent to prison to be punished; eighteen months for catching too many fish; two years for inflating income on a mortgage application; three months for selling a whale's tooth on eBay; fifteen years for a first-time nonviolent drug conspiracy in which no drugs were found or seized. There are thousands of people like these in our prisons today, costing American taxpayers billions of dollars when these individuals could be punished in smarter, alternative ways. Our courts are overpunishing decent people who make mistakes, and our prisons have no rewards or incentives for good behavior. In this alone criminal justice and prison systems contradict their own mission statements (244).
Bernard B. Kerik
Buddha is the only prophet who said, "I do not care to know your various theories about God. What is the use of discussing all the subtle doctrines about the soul? Do good and be good. And this will take you to freedom and to whatever truth there is." He was, in the conduct of his life, absolutely without personal motives; and what man worked more than he? Show me in history one character who has soared so high above all. The whole human race has produced but one such character, such high philosophy, such wide sympathy. This great philosopher, preaching the highest philosophy, yet had the deepest sympathy for the lowest of animals, and never put forth any claims for himself. He is the ideal Karma-Yogi, acting entirely without motive, and the history of humanity shows him to have been the greatest man ever born; beyond compare the greatest combination of heart and brain that ever existed, the greatest soul-power that has even been manifested. He is the first great reformer the world has seen. He was the first who dared to say, "Believe not because some old manuscripts are produced, believe not because it is your national belief, because you have been made to believe it from your childhood; but reason it all out, and after you have analysed it, then, if you find that it will do good to one and all, believe it, live up to it, and help others to live up to it." He works best who works without any motive, neither for money, nor for fame, nor for anything else; and when a man can do that, he will be a Buddha, and out of him will come the power to work in such a manner as will transform the world. This man represents the very highest ideal of Karma-Yoga.
Vivekananda (Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda (9 volume set))
Unlike all earlier Roman reformers, Gaius sponsored not just a single initiative but a dozen or so. He was the first politician in the city, leaving aside the mythical founding fathers, to have an extensive and coherent programme, with measures that covered such things as the right of appeal against the death penalty, the outlawing of bribery and a much more ambitious scheme of land distribution than Tiberius had ever proposed.
Mary Beard (SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome)
As long as high schools strive to list the number of Ivy League schools their graduates attend and teachers pile on work without being trained to identify stress-related symptoms, I fear for our children’s health. I am not mollified by the alums of my daughter’s school who return to tell everyone that the rigor of high school prepared them for college, making their first year easier than they’d anticipated. If they make it that far.
Candy Schulman
We can't say, "Listen, you barbarians: These holy books of yours are filled with murderous nonsense. In the interest of getting you to behave like civilized human beings, we're going to redact them and give you back something that reads like Kahlil Gibran. There you go ... Don't you feel better now that you no longer hate homosexuals?” However, that's really what one should be able to do in any intellectual tradition in the twenty-first century.
Sam Harris
Conflating prosperity with providence and opting for acquisitiveness as the lesser of two evils until greed was rechristened as benign self-interest, modern Christians have in effect been engaged in a centuries-long attempt to prove Jesus wrong. “You cannot serve both God and Mammon.” Yes we can. Or so most participants in world history’s most insatiably consumerist society, the United States, continue implicitly to claim through their actions, considering the number of self-identified American Christians in the early twenty-first century who seem bent on acquiring ever more and better stuff, including those who espouse the “prosperity Gospel” within American religious hyperpluralism.190 Tocqueville’s summary description of Americans in the early 1830s has proven a prophetic understatement: “people want to do as well as possible in this world without giving up their chances in the next.
Brad S. Gregory (The Unintended Reformation: How a Religious Revolution Secularized Society)
World War Two had certainly made everybody very tough. And I became a public relations man for General Electric in Schenectady, New York, and a volunteer fireman in the village of Alplaus, where I bought my first home. My boss there was one of the toughest guys I ever hope to meet. He had been a lieutenant colonel in public relations in Baltimore. While I was in Schenectady he joined the Dutch Reformed Church, which is a very tough church, indeed.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Slaughterhouse-Five)
At Lowell, a Female Labor Reform Association put out a series of “Factory Tracts.” The first was entitled “Factory Life as It Is By an Operative” and spoke of the textile mill women as “nothing more nor less than slaves in every sense of the word! Slaves, to a system of labor which requires them to toil from five until seven o’clock, with one hour only to attend to the wants of nature—slaves to the will and requirements of the ‘powers that be.’ . . .
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present)
I stared at Constance and wondered if, in her way, she wasn't quite, quite mad. Not a neurological madness, not a disease of the mind, but rather a cultural madness, an infection of expectations which corrupted her perception of what should be and what actually was. Under any other circumstances I would have been praised as a genius, an unmitigated hero and quite possibly a model for social reform in stodgy times; but to Constance all these things made me a rebel.
Claire North (The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August)
It seems quite clear that much of this intense activity for Progressive reform was intended to head off socialism. Easley talked of “the menace of Socialism as evidenced by its growth in the colleges, churches, newspapers.” In 1910, Victor Berger became the first member of the Socialist party elected to Congress; in 1911, seventy-three Socialist mayors were elected, and twelve hundred lesser officials in 340 cities and towns. The press spoke of “The Rising Tide of Socialism.
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present)
The cultural Left has contributed to the formation of this politically useless unconscious not only by adopting “power” as the name of an invisible, ubiquitous, and malevolent presence, but by adopting ideals which nobody is yet able to imagine being actualized. Among these ideals are participatory democracy and the end of capitalism. Power will pass to the people, the Sixties Left believed only when decisions are made by all those who may be affected by the results. This means, for example, that economic decisions will be made by stakeholders rather than by shareholders, and that entrepreneurship and markets will cease to play their present role. When they do, capitalism as we know it will have ended, and something new will have taken its place. […] Sixties leftists skipped lightly over all the questions which had been raised by the experience of non market economies in the so-called socialist countries. They seemed to be suggesting that once we were rid of both bureaucrats and entrepreneurs, “the people” would know how to handle competition from steel mills or textile factories in the developing world, price hikes on imported oil, and so on. But they never told us how “the people” would learn how to do this. The cultural Left still skips over such questions. Doing so is a consequence of its preference for talking about “the system” rather than about specific social practices and specific changes in those practices. The rhetoric of this Left remains revolutionary rather than reformist and pragmatic. Its insouciant use of terms like “late capitalism” suggests that we can just wait for capitalism to collapse, rather than figuring out what, in the absence of markets, will set prices and regulate distribution. The voting public, the public which must be won over if the Left is to emerge from the academy into the public square, sensibly wants to be told the details. It wants to know how things are going to work after markets are put behind us. It wants to know how participatory democracy is supposed to function. The cultural Left offers no answers to such demands for further information, but until it confronts them it will not be able to be a political Left. The public, sensibly, has no interest in getting rid of capitalism until it is offered details about the alternatives. Nor should it be interested in participatory democracy –– the liberation of the people from the power of technocrats –– until it is told how deliberative assemblies will acquire the same know-how which only the technocrats presently possess. […] The cultural Left has a vision of an America in which the white patriarchs have stopped voting and have left all the voting to be done by members of previously victimized groups, people who have somehow come into possession of more foresight and imagination than the selfish suburbanites. These formerly oppressed and newly powerful people are expected to be as angelic as the straight white males were diabolical. If I shared this expectation, I too would want to live under this new dispensation. Since I see no reason to share it, I think that the left should get back into the business of piecemeal reform within the framework of a market economy. This was the business the American Left was in during the first two-thirds of the century. Someday, perhaps, cumulative piecemeal reforms will be found to have brought about revolutionary change. Such reforms might someday produce a presently unimaginable non market economy, and much more widely distributed powers of decision making. […] But in the meantime, we should not let the abstractly described best be the enemy of the better. We should not let speculation about a totally changed system, and a totally different way of thinking about human life and affairs, replace step-by-step reform of the system we presently have.
Richard Rorty (Achieving Our Country: Leftist Thought in Twentieth-Century America)
India is a land where contradictions will continue to abound, because there are many Indias that are being transformed, with different levels of intensity, by different forces of globalization. Each of these Indias is responding to them in different ways. Consider these coexisting examples of progress and status quo: India is a nuclear-capable state that still cannot build roads that will survive their first monsoon. It has eradicated smallpox through the length and breadth of the country, but cannot stop female foeticide and infanticide. It is a country that managed to bring about what it called the ‘green revolution’, which heralded food grain self-sufficiency for a nation that relied on external food aid and yet, it easily has the most archaic land and agricultural laws in the world, with no sign of anyone wanting to reform them any time soon. It has hundreds of millions of people who subsist on less that a dollar a day, but who vote astutely and punish political parties ruthlessly. It has an independent judiciary that once set aside even Indira Gandhi’s election to parliament and yet, many members of parliament have criminal records and still contest and win elections from prison. India is a significant exporter of intellectual capital to the rest of the world—that capital being spawned in a handful of world class institutions of engineering, science and management. Yet it is a country with primary schools of pathetic quality and where retaining children in school is a challenge. India truly is an equal opportunity employer of women leaders in politics, but it took over fifty years to recognize that domestic violence is a crime and almost as long to get tough with bride burning. It is the IT powerhouse of the world, the harbinger of the offshore services revolution that is changing the business paradigms of the developed world. But regrettably, it is also the place where there is a yawning digital divide.
Rama Bijapurkar (We are like that only: Understanding the Logic of Consumer India)
The great cause of the new Republican intake is the reduction of the deficit but to anyone seeking evidence of sincere attempts at deficit-reduction the evidence is baffling. The Republicans showed before Christmas that they would seek to reduce the deficit but not when it came to a matter of the tax breaks that had aggravated the deficit in the first place. Now there's a date set for the abolition of Barack Obama's healthcare plan, parts of which only came into operation at the start of this month. The Republicans are out to destroy the plan. Or, more precisely, to pretend to destroy the plan in the name of making good on election pledges. The measure won't get past the Senate. But suppose it did get past the Senate, what effect would this have on the deficit? The answer is it would aggravate the deficit. Somehow, somewhere, there's an override mechanism that makes destroying Obamacare more important than destroying the deficit. If only one could figure out how it works.
James Fenton
As for the vice of lust - aside from what it means for spiritual persons to fall into this vice, since my intent is to treat of the imperfections that have to be purged by means of the dark night - spiritual persons have numerous imperfections, many of which can be called spiritual lust, not because the lust is spiritual but because it proceeds from spiritual things. It happens frequently that in a person's spiritual exercises themselves, without the person being able to avoid it, impure movements will be experienced in the sensory part of the soul, and even sometimes when the spirit is deep in prayer or when receiving the sacraments of Penance or the Eucharist. These impure feelings arise from any of three causes outside one's control. First, they often proceed from the pleasure human nature finds in spiritual exercises. Since both the spiritual and the sensory part of the soul receive gratification from that refreshment, each part experiences delight according to its own nature and properties. The spirit, the superior part of the soul, experiences renewal and satisfaction in God; and the sense, the lower part, feels sensory gratification and delight because it is ignorant of how to get anything else, and hence takes whatever is nearest, which is the impure sensory satisfaction. It may happen that while a soul is with God in deep spiritual prayer, it will conversely passively experience sensual rebellions, movements, and acts in the senses, not without its own great displeasure. This frequently happens at the time of Communion. Since the soul receives joy and gladness in this act of love - for the Lord grants the grace and gives himself for this reason - the sensory part also takes its share, as we said, according to its mode. Since, after all, these two parts form one individual, each one usually shares according to its mode in what the other receives. As the Philosopher says: Whatever is received, is received according to the mode of the receiver. Because in the initial stages of the spiritual life, and even more advanced ones, the sensory part of the soul is imperfect, God's spirit is frequently received in this sensory part with this same imperfection. Once the sensory part is reformed through the purgation of the dark night, it no longer has these infirmities. Then the spiritual part of the soul, rather than the sensory part, receives God's Spirit, and the soul thus receives everything according to the mode of the Spirit.
Juan de la Cruz (Dark Night of the Soul)
Revolutions are not always brought about by a gradual decline from bad to worse. Nations that have endured patiently and almost unconsciously the most overwhelming oppression, often burst into rebellion against the yoke the moment it begins to grow lighter. The regime which is destroyed by a revolution is almost always an improvement on its immediate predecessor, and experience teaches that the most critical moment for bad governments is the one which witnesses their first steps toward reform.
Alexis de Tocqueville (The Old Regime and the French Revolution)
* Even though the restriction couldn’t be enforced under federal law, the state ban on interracial marriage in Alabama continued into the twenty-first century. In 2000, reformers finally had enough votes to get the issue on the statewide ballot, where a majority of voters chose to eliminate the ban, although 41 percent voted to keep it. A 2011 poll of Mississippi Republicans found that 46 percent support a legal ban on interracial marriage, 40 percent oppose such a ban, and 14 percent are undecided.
Bryan Stevenson (Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption)
Just three months into bail reform, the NYPD cited it as a significant reason behind the immediate spike in crime. In just the first two months of the year, the NYPD released statistics showing that nearly five hundred suspects who would’ve otherwise been in jail awaiting trial committed an additional 846 crimes they wouldn’t have otherwise had the opportunity to commit. Nearly three hundred of those crimes included murder, rape, robbery, felony assault, burglary, grand larceny, and grand larceny auto.208
Matt Palumbo (Dumb and Dumber: How Cuomo and de Blasio Ruined New York)
Every revolution was first a thought in one man’s mind, and when the same thought occurs to another man, it is the key to that era. Every reform was once a private opinion, and when it shall be a private opinion again, it will solve the problem of the age. The fact narrated must correspond to something in me to be credible or intelligible. We as we read must become Greeks, Romans, Turks, priest and king, martyr and executioner, must fasten these images to some reality in our secret experience, or we shall learn nothing rightly.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (Self-Reliance and Other Essays)
Willing as both men were to suggest what and whom Roosevelt might attack—for he was clearly in a fighting mood—they cautioned him to “go a bit slow” at first, and to discuss a program of reform with his colleagues.26 But Roosevelt knew he could achieve little in this job by proceeding deliberately; it was about as powerful, in constitutional terms, as his last. Once again he must exercise his genius for press relations. Instinct told him that these scribes would be of more use to him than the three Commissioners now waiting in the hallway.27
Edmund Morris (The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt)
The First Amendment protects our right to practice our beliefs, and under the Religious Freedom Reform Act (RFRA), the State must present a compelling reason for why they want to enforce rules that inhibit adherence to our religious practices. Clearly, the State of Texas has no compelling reason because these rules were not enacted to promote health and safety, but rather to harass and burden women who terminate their pregnancies. For these reasons, members of The Satanic Temple are not required to comply with the Texas rule on fetal remains.
Lilith Starr (Compassionate Satanism: An Introduction to Modern Satanic Practice)
In each of my five test cases, we fall into an error I’ll describe in the first chapter: of supposing that at the core of each identity there is some deep similarity that binds people of that identity together. Not true, I say; not true over and over again. How plausible I can make this thought will depend upon arguments, but also upon details and upon the scores of stories that illustrate my claims. There’s no dispensing with identities, but we need to understand them better if we can hope to reconfigure them, and free ourselves from mistakes about them that are often a couple of hundred years old. Much of what is dangerous about them has to do with the way identities—religion, nation, race, class, and culture—divide us and set us against one another. They can be the enemies of human solidarity, the sources of war, horsemen of a score of apocalypses from apartheid to genocide. Yet these errors are also central to the way identities unite us today. We need to reform them because, at their best, they make it possible for groups, large and small, to do things together. They are the lies that bind.
Kwame Anthony Appiah (The Lies that Bind: Rethinking Identity)
In 1969 my parents, my sister, my brother Jin-ming, and I were expelled from Chengdu one after another, and sent to distant parts of the Sichuan wilderness. We were among millions of urban dwellers to be exiled to the countryside. In this way, young people would not be roaming the cities with nothing to do, creating trouble out of sheer boredom, and adults like my parents would have a 'future." They were part of the old administration which had been replaced by Mao's Revolutionary Committees, and packing them off to the sticks to do hard labor was a convenient solution. According to Mao's rhetoric, we were sent to the countryside 'to be reformed." Mao advocated 'thought reform through labor' for everyone, but never explained the relationship between the two. Of course, no one asked for clarification. Merely to contemplate such a question was tantamount to treason. In reality, everyone in China knew that hard labor, particularly in the countryside, was always punishment. It was noticeable that none of Mao's henchmen, the members of the newly established Revolutionary Committees, army officers and very few of their children had to do it. The first of us to be expelled was my father. Just after New Year 1969 he was sent to Miyi County in the region of Xichang, on the eastern edge of the Himalayas, an area so remote that it is China's satellite launch base today. It lies about 300 miles from Chengdu, four days' journey by truck, as there was no railway. In ancient times, the area was used for dumping exiles, because its mountains and waters were said to be permeated with a mysterious 'evil air." In today's terms, the 'evil air' was subtropical diseases.
Jung Chang (Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China)
When I first began to criticize small farming, a number of critics (most of them small-scale farmers) roundly condemned me for supporting agribusiness. In my favorite example to date, Joel Salatin, who figures prominently in the grass-fed-beef chapter, condemned my “love affair with confinement hog factories”! This reaction, while wildly inaccurate, is nonetheless important to take seriously. Most notably, it’s almost comically indicative of how narrowly we have framed our options. Joel was serious. His accusation shows that by constricting our choices to animal products sourced from either industrial or nonindustrial operations, by holding up the animal-based alternatives to industrial agriculture as our only alternative, we have silenced discussion of the most fertile, most politically consequential, and most reform-minded choice: eating plants. This alternative to the alternatives changes the entire game of revolutionizing our broken food system. It places the food movement on a new foundation, infuses it with fresh energy, and promotes the only choice that keeps agribusiness executives awake at night.
James McWilliams (The Modern Savage: Our Unthinking Decision to Eat Animals)
For those of you that are unaware, failure is an option. If you really want to be that school district that removes failure from the equation, then you as a district are failing your students. Students need to understand that failure is part of life—it happens. And whether you like it or not, they will have a much more difficult time when they get out of school succeeding because you as a school have never let them experience failure, nor have you given them the opportunity to know what it means to learn from that which they did not the first time understand.
Fröderick Frankensteen (No Diploma Left Behind)
The Turk is the rod of the wrath of the Lord our God. . . If the Turk's god, the devil, is not beaten first, there is reason to fear that the Turk will not be so easy to beat. . . Christian weapons and power must do it. . . (The fight against the Turks) must begin with repentance, and we must reform our lives, or we shall fight in vain. (The Church should) drive men to repentance by showing our great and numberless sins and our ingratitude, by which we have earned God's wrath and disfavor, so that He justly gives us into the hands of the devil and the Turk.
Martin Luther (On War Against the Turk)
Forcing new loans upon the bankrupt on condition that they shrink their income is nothing short of cruel and unusual punishment. Greece was never bailed out. With their ‘rescue’ loan and their troika of bailiffs enthusiastically slashing incomes, the EU and IMF effectively condemned Greece to a modern version of the Dickensian debtors’ prison and then threw away the key. Debtors’ prisons were ultimately abandoned because, despite their cruelty, they neither deterred the accumulation of new bad debts nor helped creditors get their money back. For capitalism to advance in the nineteenth century, the absurd notion that all debts are sacred had to be ditched and replaced with the notion of limited liability. After all, if all debts are guaranteed, why should lenders lend responsibly? And why should some debts carry a higher interest rate than other debts, reflecting the higher risk of going bad? Bankruptcy and debt write-downs became for capitalism what hell had always been for Christian dogma – unpleasant yet essential – but curiously bankruptcy-denial was revived in the twenty-first century to deal with the Greek state’s insolvency. Why? Did the EU and the IMF not realize what they were doing? They knew exactly what they were doing. Despite their meticulous propaganda, in which they insisted that they were trying to save Greece, to grant the Greek people a second chance, to help reform Greece’s chronically crooked state and so on, the world’s most powerful institutions and governments were under no illusions. […] Banks restructure the debt of stressed corporations every day, not out of philanthropy but out of enlightened self-interest. But the problem was that, now that we had accepted the EU–IMF bailout, we were no longer dealing with banks but with politicians who had lied to their parliaments to convince them to relieve the banks of Greece’s debt and take it on themselves. A debt restructuring would require them to go back to their parliaments and confess their earlier sin, something they would never do voluntarily, fearful of the repercussions. The only alternative was to continue the pretence by giving the Greek government another wad of money with which to pretend to meet its debt repayments to the EU and the IMF: a second bailout.
Yanis Varoufakis (Adults in the Room: My Battle with Europe's Deep Establishment)
In his famous entry into the “travel wars,” for example, Charles Dickens scoffed at southerners who told him that public opinion curtailed the mistreatment of slaves. “Public opinion!” Dickens jeered in his American Notes. “Why, public opinion in the slave States is slavery, is it not? … Public opinion has made the laws,” while at the same time “public opinion threatens the abolitionist with death, if he ventures to the South; and drags him with a rope about his middle, in broad unblushing noon, through the first city in the East”—an allusion to the Boston mob of 1835.6
W. Caleb McDaniel (The Problem of Democracy in the Age of Slavery: Garrisonian Abolitionists and Transatlantic Reform (Antislavery, Abolition, and the Atlantic World))
These changes, I believe, can be the basis of a true Islamic Reformation, one that progresses to the twenty-first century rather than regresses to the seventh. Some of these changes may strike readers as too fundamental to Islamic belief to be feasible. But like the partition walls or superfluous stairways that a successful renovation removes, they can in fact be modified without causing the entire structure to collapse. Indeed, I believe these modifications will actually strengthen Islam by making it easier for Muslims to live in harmony with the modern world. It is those hell-bent on restoring it to its original state who are much more likely to lead Islam to destruction. Here again are my five theses, nailed to a virtual door: 1. Ensure that Muhammad and the Qur’an are open to interpretation and criticism. 2. Give priority to this life, not the afterlife. 3. Shackle sharia and end its supremacy over secular law. 4. End the practice of “commanding right, forbidding wrong.” 5. Abandon the call to jihad. In the chapters that follow, I will explore the source of the ideas and doctrines in question and evaluate the prospects for reforming them. For now, we may simply note that they are closely interrelated.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali (Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now)
And our soul by virtue of this reforming grace is made sufficient to the full to comprehend all Him by love, the which is incomprehensible to all created knowledgeable powers, as is angel, or man's soul; I mean, by their knowing, and not by their loving. And therefore I call them in this case knowledgeable powers. But yet all reasonable creatures, angel and man, have in them each one by himself, one principal working power, the which is called a knowledgeable power, and another principal working power, the which is called a loving power. Of the which two powers, to the first, the which is a knowledgeable power, God that is the maker of them is evermore incomprehensible; and to the second, the which is the loving power, in each one diversely He is all comprehensible to the full. Insomuch that a loving soul alone in itself, by virtue of love should comprehend in itself Him that is sufficient [p. 77] to the full--and much more, without comparison--to fill all the souls and angels that ever may be. And this is the endless marvellous miracle of love; the working of which shall never take end, for ever shall He do it, and never shall He cease for to do it. See who by grace see may, for the feeling of this is endless bliss, and the contrary is endless pain.
James Walsh (The Cloud of Unknowing)
The Gospels are the canon within the canon. The Bible, as martin Luther said, is the cradle that holds Christ. The point of gravity is the story of Jesus, the Gospel. The closer a text of the Bible is to that story or to the heart of that story's message, the more authority it has. The father away it is, the less its authority. It's a story of how the God who spoke through prophets and poets was the same God who showed up later in a human body and walked around like he didn't understand the rules. Jesus said God's would is like a father running into the road to meet his no-good child as if the child's no-goodness was no matter. Jesus' stories seemed like nonsense, but then they also seemed like absolute truth at the same time. He just kept saying that the things we think are so important rarely are: things like holding grudges and making judgments and hoarding wealth and being first. Then one night, this Jesus got all weird at dinner and said a loaf of bread was his body and a cup of wine was his blood, and all of it is for forgiveness. All of it means our no-goodness is no matter. Then he went and got himself killed in a totally preventable way. Three days later he blew his friends' minds by showing back up and being all like, "You guys have any snacks? I'm starving.
Nadia Bolz-Weber (Shameless: A Sexual Reformation)
New Rule: If you're going to have a rally where hundreds of thousands of people show up, you may as well go ahead and make it about something. With all due respect to my friends Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, it seems that if you truly wanted to come down on the side of restoring sanity and reason, you'd side with the sane and the reasonable--and not try to pretend the insanity is equally distributed in both parties. Keith Olbermann is right when he says he's not the equivalent of Glenn Beck. One reports facts; the other one is very close to playing with his poop. And the big mistake of modern media has been this notion of balance for balance's sake, that the left is just as violent and cruel as the right, that unions are just as powerful as corporations, that reverse racism is just as damaging as racism. There's a difference between a mad man and a madman. Now, getting more than two hundred thousand people to come to a liberal rally is a great achievement that gave me hope, and what I really loved about it was that it was twice the size of the Glenn Beck crowd on the Mall in August--although it weight the same. But the message of the rally as I heard it was that if the media would just top giving voice to the crazies on both sides, then maybe we could restore sanity. It was all nonpartisan, and urged cooperation with the moderates on the other side. Forgetting that Obama tried that, and found our there are no moderates on the other side. When Jon announced his rally, he said that the national conversation is "dominated" by people on the right who believe Obama's a socialist, and by people on the left who believe 9/11 was an inside job. But I can't name any Democratic leaders who think 9/11 was an inside job. But Republican leaders who think Obama's socialist? All of them. McCain, Boehner, Cantor, Palin...all of them. It's now official Republican dogma, like "Tax cuts pay for themselves" and "Gay men just haven't met the right woman." As another example of both sides using overheated rhetoric, Jon cited the right equating Obama with Hitler, and the left calling Bush a war criminal. Except thinking Obama is like Hitler is utterly unfounded--but thinking Bush is a war criminal? That's the opinion of Major General Anthony Taguba, who headed the Army's investigation into Abu Ghraib. Republicans keep staking out a position that is farther and farther right, and then demand Democrats meet them in the middle. Which now is not the middle anymore. That's the reason health-care reform is so watered down--it's Bob Dole's old plan from 1994. Same thing with cap and trade--it was the first President Bush's plan to deal with carbon emissions. Now the Republican plan for climate change is to claim it's a hoax. But it's not--I know because I've lived in L.A. since '83, and there's been a change in the city: I can see it now. All of us who live out here have had that experience: "Oh, look, there's a mountain there." Governments, led my liberal Democrats, passed laws that changed the air I breathe. For the better. I'm for them, and not the party that is plotting to abolish the EPA. I don't need to pretend both sides have a point here, and I don't care what left or right commentators say about it, I can only what climate scientists say about it. Two opposing sides don't necessarily have two compelling arguments. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke on that mall in the capital, and he didn't say, "Remember, folks, those southern sheriffs with the fire hoses and the German shepherds, they have a point, too." No, he said, "I have a dream. They have a nightmare. This isn't Team Edward and Team Jacob." Liberals, like the ones on that field, must stand up and be counted, and not pretend we're as mean or greedy or shortsighted or just plain batshit at them. And if that's too polarizing for you, and you still want to reach across the aisle and hold hands and sing with someone on the right, try church.
Bill Maher (The New New Rules: A Funny Look At How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass)
In times of crisis you either deepen democracy, or you go to the other extreme and become totalitarian. Our struggles for democracy have taught us some important and valuable lessons. Over a million citizen activists of all ethnic groups, mostly young people, made history by going door to door, urging voters to go to the polls and send Barack Obama to the White House in 2008. We did this because we believed and hoped that this charismatic black man could bring about the transformational changes we urgently need at this time on the clock of the world, when the U.S. empire is unraveling and the American pursuit of unlimited economic growth has reached its social and ecological limits. We have since witnessed the election of our first black president stir increasingly dangerous counterrevolutionary resentments in a white middle class uncertain of its future in a country that is losing two wars and eliminating well-paying union jobs. We have watched our elected officials in DC bail out the banks while wheeling and dealing with insurance company lobbyists to deliver a contorted version of health care reform. We have been stunned by the audacity of the Supreme Court as it reaffirmed the premise that corporations are persons and validated corporate financing of elections in its Citizens United decision.
Grace Lee Boggs (The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century)
Historically, American liberals have been idealists, pressing forward toward the goals of greater freedom, social equality, and more meaningful democracy. The articulate exposition of a liberal ideology was necessary to convert others to liberal ideas and to reform existing institutions continuously along liberal lines. Today, however, the greatest need is not so much the creation of more liberal institutions as the successful defense of those which already exist. This defense requires American liberals to lay aside their liberal ideology and to accept the values of conservatism for the duration of the threat. Only by surrendering their liberal ideas for the present can liberals successfully defend their liberal institutions for the future. Liberals should not fear this change. Is a liberal any less liberal because he adjusts his thinking so as to defend most effectively the most liberal institutions in the world? To continue to expound the philosophy of liberalism simply gives the enemy a weapon with which to attack the society of liberalism. The defense of American institutions requires a conscious articulate conservatism which can spring only from liberals deeply concerned with the preservation of those institutions. As Boorstin, Niebuhr, and others have pointed out, the American political genius is manifest not in our ideas but in our institutions. The stimulus to conservatism comes not from the outworn creeds of third-rate thinkers but from the successful performance of first-rate institutions. … Conservatism does not ask ultimate questions and hence does not give final answers. But it does remind men of the institutional prerequisites of social order. And when these prerequisites are threatened, conservatism is not only appropriate, it is essential. In preserving the achievements of American liberalism, American liberals have no recourse but to turn to conservatism. For them especially, conservative ideology has a place in America today.
Samuel P. Huntington
From Bourcet he learnt the principle of calculated dispersion to induce the enemy to disperse their own concentration preparatory to the swift reuniting of his own forces. Also, the value of a 'plan with several branches', and of operating in a line which threatened alternative objectives. Moreover, the very plan which Napoleon executed in his first campaign was based on one that Bourcet had designed half a century earlier. Form Guibert he acquired an idea of the supreme value of mobility and fluidity of force, and of the potentialities inherent in the new distribution of an army in self-contained divisions. Guibert had defined the Napoleonic method when he wrote, a generation earlier: 'The art is to extend forces without exposing them, to embrace the enemy without being disunited, to link up the moves or the attacks to take the enemy in flank without exposing one's own flank.' And Guibert's prescription for the rear attack, as the means of upsetting the enemy's balance, became Napoleon's practice. To the same source can be traced Napoleon's method of concentrating his mobile artillery to shatter, and make a breach at, a key point in the enemy's front. Moreover, it was the practical reforms achieved by Guibert in the French army shortly before the Revolution which fashioned the instrument that Napoleon applied. Above all, it was Guibert's vision of a coming revolution in warfare, carried out by a man who would arise from a revolutionary state, that kindled the youthful Napoleon's imagination and ambition. While Napoleon added little to the ideas he had imbibed, he gave them fulfilment. Without his dynamic application the new mobility might have remained merely a theory. Because his education coincided with his instincts, and because these in turn were given scope by his circumstances, he was able to exploit the full possibilities of the new 'divisional' system. In developing the wider range of strategic combinations thus possible Napoleon made his chief contribution to strategy.
B.H. Liddell Hart (Strategy)
John Stuart Mill certainly underwent a spiritual crisis as a young man, which made him unhappy with the colder kinds of rationalism in which he had been instructed by his father. But he never turned toward any idea of God, a conception he regarded as fatuous and unimpressive, not to say self-evidently silly. He turned instead toward a larger and more humane idea of what reform might be, not his father’s ideal of utilitarian measurement but one that took in Mozart, music, love, and literature. He never stopped thinking that alleviating other people’s pain is the first duty of public policy. What liberals have, he thought, is better than a religion. It is a way of life.
Adam Gopnik
Such is Fascist planning-the planning of those who reject the ideal postulates of Christian civilization and of the older Asiatic civilization which preceded ti and from which it derived-the planning of men whose intentions are avowedly bad. Let us now consider examples of planning by political leaders who accept the ideal postulates, whose intentions are good. The first thing to notice is that none of these men accepts the ideal postulates whole-heartedly. All believe that desirable ends can be achieved by undesirable means. Aiming to reach goals diametrically opposed to those of Fascism, they yet persist in taking the same roads as are taken by the Duces and Fuehrers. They are pacifists, but pacifists who act on the theory that peace can be achieved by means of war; they are reformers and revolutionaries, but reformers who imagine that unfair and arbitrary acts can produce social justice, revolutionaries who persuade themselves that the centralization of power and the enslavement of the masses can result in liberty for all. Revolutionary Russia has the largest army in the world; a secret police, that for ruthless efficiency rivals the German or the Italian; a rigid press censorship; a system of education that, since Stalin "reformed" it, is as authoritarian as Hitler's; an all-embracing system of military training that is applied to women and children as well as men; a dictator as slavishly adored as the man-gods of Rome and Berlin; a bureaucracy, solidly entrenched as the new ruling class and employing the powers of the state to preserve its privileges and protect its vested interests; an oligarchical party which dominates the entire country and within which there is no freedom even for faithful members. (Most ruling castes are democracies so far as their own members are concerned. Not so the Russian Communist Party, in which the Central Executive Committee acting through the Political Department, can override or altogether liquidate any district organization whatsoever.) No opposition is permitted in Russia. But where opposition is made illegal, it automatically goes underground and becomes conspiracy. Hence the treason trials and purges of 1936 and 1937. Large-scale manipulations of the social structure are pushed through against the wishes of the people concerned and with the utmost ruthlessness. (Several million peasants were deliberately starved to death in 1933 by the Soviet planners.) Ruthlessness begets resentment; resentment must be kept down by force. As usual the chief result of violence is the necessity to use more violence. Such then is Soviet planning-well-intentioned, but making use of evil means that are producing results utterly unlike those which the original makers of the revolution intended to produce.
Aldous Huxley (Ends and Means)
No doubt the movement which rightly or wrongly we have learnt to call the emancipation of women is in the first place a result of the transformation of society into a capitalist and industrial community, in which the home has lost its importance as an economic and productive unity. But the bitter tone of the champions of Woman’s Rights in their arraignment of man’s rule, the suspiciousness which refused to believe that anything but oppression and masculine tyranny was at the bottom of a great number of laws and customs, which in reality were designed just as much to safeguard women and provide them with protectors and maintenance—the rabidity of militant feminists, in short—was a direct reaction against a dressing-gown and slippers tyranny which was peculiar to non-Catholic Europe at the beginning of the nineteenth century—a revolt against mock heroes who slouched about their homes trying to assert authority over their womenfolk. The other day I came across a book which illustrates in a rather droll way the extent to which Northern European women have taken it for granted that this peculiar North European form of the subjection of women since the Reformation was characteristic of the whole past of Europe. It was a little essay by an English writer, Virginia Woolf—I confess that it is all I have read of hers,1 but she is said to have a great reputation as a novelist.
Sigrid Undset (Stages on the Road)
Hegel did not deceive himself about the revolutionary character of his dialectic, and was even afraid that his Philosophy of Right would be banned. Nor was the Prussian state entirely easy in its mind for all its idealization. Proudly leaning on its police truncheon, it did not want to have its reality justified merely by its reason. Even the dull-witted King saw the serpent lurking beneath the rose: when a distant rumor of his state philosopher's teachings reached him he asked suspiciously: but what if I don't dot the I's or cross the T's? The Prussian bureaucracy meanwhile was grateful for the laurel wreath that had been so generously plaited for it, especially since the strict Hegelians clarified their master's obscure words for the understanding of the common subjects, and one of them wrote a history of Prussian law and the Prussian state, where the Prussian state was proved to be a gigantic harp strung in God's garden to lead the universal anthem. Despite its sinister secrets Hegel's philosophy was declared to be the Prussian state philosophy, surely one of the wittiest ironies of world history. Hegel had brought together the rich culture of German Idealism in one mighty system, he had led all the springs and streams of our classical age into one bed, where they now froze in the icy air of reaction. but the rash fools who imagined they were safely hidden behind this mass of ice, who presumptuously rejoiced who bold attackers fell from its steep and slippery slopes, little suspected that with the storms of spring the frozen waters would melt and engulf them. Hegel himself experienced the first breath of these storms. He rejected the July revolution of 1830, he railed at the first draft of the English Reform Bill as a stab in the 'noble vitals' of the British Constitution. Thereupon his audience left him in hordes and turned to his pupil Eduard Gans, who lectured on his master's Philosophy of Right but emphasized its revolutionary side and polemicized sharply against the Historical School of Law. At the time it was said in Berlin that the great thinker died from this painful experience, and not of the cholera.
Franz Mehring (Absolutism and Revolution in Germany, 1525-1848)
Currying favor with special interests at the expense of the public good is a way for politicians to fund their campaigns and secure their future for when they leave government. It has been firmly enshrined as the primary source of money for politics since the Sherman Act did away with patronage. So long as politicians are able to tap special interests for these purposes, they will find ways to reward them with public policy—and they will do whatever it takes to protect the programs they have already put in place. What reformers really need to do first is attack the way the business of politics is conducted, rather than focusing on the products of that business. Then, and only then , will the cancer of cronyism
No, Jackson, they’ve got a big ol’ reformed-slut alarm that sounds as soon as you step foot on the ground, and then a force field shoots up, separating us and catapulting you to purgatory for the length of the service. After your first six visits, they give you the option of walking there on your own while a sorcerer whispers arcane words and tries to set me up with a doctor, because that’s just how Jews roll.” “I can see your sarcasm is functioning well this morning. Isn’t that going to taint the pancakes?” Ellery struggled to keep his mouth firm. “I can make my pancakes both strawberry and sarcastic. But if you want whipped cream, you’re going to have to shut up, get dressed, and let me have this. Understand?
Amy Lane (A Few Good Fish (Fish Out of Water, #3))
One might object that [debt peonage] was just assumed to be in the nature of things: like the imposition of tribute on conquered populations, it might have been resented, but it wasn’t considered a moral issue, a matter of right and wrong. Some things just happen. This has been the most common attitude of peasants to such phenomena throughout human history. What’s striking about the historical record is that in the case of debt crises, this was not how many reacted. Many actually did become indignant. So many, in fact, that most of our contemporary language of social justice, our way of speaking of human bondage and emancipation, continues to echo ancient arguments about debt. It’s particularly striking because so many other things do seem to have been accepted as simply in the nature of things. One does not see a similar outcry against caste systems, for example, or for that matter, the institution of slavery. Surely slaves and untouchables often experienced at least equal horrors. No doubt many protested their condition. Why was it that the debtors’ protests seemed to carry such greater moral weight? Why were debtors so much more effective in winning the ear of priests, prophets, officials, and social reformers? Why was it that officials like Nehemiah were willing to give such sympathetic consideration to their complaints, to inveigh, to summon great assemblies? Some have suggested practical reasons: debt crises destroyed the free peasantry, and it was free peasants who were drafted into ancient armies to fight in wars. Rulers thus had a vested interest in maintaining their recruitment base. No doubt this was a factor; clearly, it wasn’t the only one. There is no reason to believe that Nehemiah, for instance, in his anger at the usurers, was primarily concerned with his ability to levy troops for the Persian king. It had to be something deeper. What makes debt different is that it is premised on an assumption of equality. To be a slave, or lower caste, is to be intrinsically inferior. These are relations of unadulterated hierarchy. In the case of debt, we are talking about two individuals who begin as equal parties to a contract. Legally, at least as far as the contract is concerned, they are the same.
David Graeber (Debt - Updated and Expanded: The First 5,000 Years)
The Weimar Republic gave nectar to the artists, social reformers and progressive people of all classes. They drank it, unaware that they were sitting close to a dungheap. The Nazi time had already begun in the first years of the Republic. Many, perhaps most, of those favoured by the new regime did not notice or did not want to see what was blatantly obvious. Pleasure had never been so sweet, the arts and architecture so advanced, the theatre so rich in new ideas and techniques. And the cabaret held up a mirror to the new times. Freedom from stereotyped convention produced original talents. In the “intimate theatres” and cabarets, elegant diseuses sang risque songs in a spirit of “anything goes”, titillating the senses of “normal” and homosexual people.
Charlotte Wolff, M.D.
The color-patches of vision part, shift, and reform as I move through space in time. The present is the object of vision, and what I see before me at any given second is a full field of color patches scattered just so. The configuration will never be repeated. Living is moving; time is a live creek bearing changing lights. As I move, or as the world moves around me, the fullness of what I see shatters. “Last forever!” Who hasn’t prayed that prayer? You were lucky to get it in the first place. The present is a freely given canvas. That it is constantly being ripped apart and washed downstream goes without saying; it is a canvas, nevertheless. But there is more to the present than a series of snapshots. We are not merely sensitized film; we have feelings, a memory for information and an eidetic memory for the imagery of our pasts. Our layered consciousness is a tiered track for an unmatched assortment of concentrically wound reels. Each one plays out for all of life its dazzle and blur of translucent shadow-pictures; each one hums at every moment its own secret melody in its own unique key. We tune in and out. But moments are not lost. Time out of mind is time nevertheless, cumulative, informing the present. From even the deepest slumber you wake with a jolt- older, closer to death, and wiser, grateful for breath. But time is the one thing we have been given, and we have been given to time. Time gives us a whirl. We keep waking from a dream we can’t recall, looking around in surprise, and lapsing back, for years on end. All I want to do is stay awake, keep my head up, prop my eyes open, with toothpicks, with trees.
Annie Dillard (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek)
In fact, however, an act of civil disobedience, like any move towards reform, is more like the first push up a hill. Society's tendency is to maintain what has been. Rebellion is only an occasional reaction to suffering in human history; we have infinitely more instances of forbearance to exploitation, and submission to authority, then we have examples of revolt. Measure the number of peasant insurrections against the centuries of serfdom in Europe--the millennia of landlordism in the East; match the number of slave revolts in America with the record of those millions who went through their lifetimes of toil without outward protest. What we should be most concerned about is not some natural tendency towards violent uprising, but rather the inclination of people, faced with an overwhelming environment, to submit to it.
Howard Zinn (Disobedience and Democracy: Nine Fallacies on Law and Order)
Since our civilization is irreversibly dependent on electronics, abolition of EMR is out of the question. However, as a first step toward averting disaster, we must halt the introduction of new sources of electromagnetic energy while we investigate the biohazards of those we already have with a completeness and honesty that have so far been in short supply. New sources must be allowed only after their risks have been evaluated on the basis of the knowledge acquired in such a moratorium. 
With an adequately funded research program, the moratorium need last no more than five years, and the ensuing changes could almost certainly be performed without major economic trauma. It seems possible that a different power frequency—say 400 hertz instead of 60—might prove much safer. Burying power lines and providing them with grounded shields would reduce the electric fields around them, and magnetic shielding is also feasible. 
A major part of the safety changes would consist of energy-efficiency reforms that would benefit the economy in the long run. These new directions would have been taken years ago but for the opposition of power companies concerned with their short-term profits, and a government unwilling to challenge them. It is possible to redesign many appliances and communications devices so they use far less energy. The entire power supply could be decentralized by feeding electricity from renewable sources (wind, flowing water, sunlight, georhermal and ocean thermal energy conversion, and so forth) into local distribution nets. This would greatly decrease hazards by reducing the voltages and amperages required. Ultimately, most EMR hazards could be eliminated by the development of efficient photoelectric converters to be used as the primary power source at each point of consumption. The changeover would even pay for itself, as the loss factors of long-distance power transmission—not to mention the astronomical costs of building and decommissioning short-lived nuclear power plants—were eliminated. Safety need not imply giving up our beneficial machines. 
Obviously, given the present technomilitary control of society in most parts of the world, such sane efficiency will be immensely difficult to achieve. Nevertheless, we must try. Electromagnetic energy presents us with the same imperative as nuclear energy: Our survival depends on the ability of upright scientists and other people of goodwill to break the military-industrial death grip on our policy-making institutions.
Robert O. Becker (The Body Electric: Electromagnetism and the Foundation of Life)
In addition to social and ethical reforms, Christianity was responsible for important economic and technological innovations. The Catholic Church established medieval Europe’s most sophisticated administrative system, and pioneered the use of archives, catalogues, timetables and other techniques of data processing. The Vatican was the closest thing twelfth-century Europe had to Silicon Valley. The Church established Europe’s first economic corporations – the monasteries – which for 1,000 years spearheaded the European economy and introduced advanced agricultural and administrative methods. Monasteries were the first institutions to use clocks, and for centuries they and the cathedral schools were the most important learning centres of Europe, helping to found many of Europe’s first universities, such as Bologna, Oxford and Salamanca.
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow)
In the mid-1980s, Congress authorized the creation of the US Sentencing Commission to examine prison terms and codify norms to correct the arbitrary punishments meted out by unaccountable judges. First, in 1989 the commission’s guidelines for individuals went into effect, establishing a point system for how many years of prison a convicted criminal might get, based on the seriousness of the misconduct and a person’s criminal history. In 1991, amid public and congressional outrage that sentences for white-collar criminals were too light and fines and sanctions for corporations too lenient, the Sentencing Commission expanded the concept to cover organizations. It formalized the Sporkin-era regime of offering leniency in exchange for cooperation and reform. The new rules delineated factors that could earn a culprit mercy. In levying a fine, the court should consider, the sentencing guidelines said, “any collateral consequences of conviction.” 1 “Collateral consequences” was, and remains, an ill-defined concept. How worried should the government be if a punishment causes a company to go out of business? Should regulators worry about the cashiering of innocent employees? What about customers, suppliers, or competitors? Should they fret about financial crises? From this rather innocuous mention, the little notion of collateral consequences would blossom into the great strangling vine that came to be known after the financial crisis of 2008 by its shorthand: “too big to jail.” Prosecutors and regulators were crippled by the idea that the government could not criminally sanction some companies—particularly giant banks—for fear that they would collapse, causing serious problems for financial markets or the economy.
Jesse Eisinger (The Chickenshit Club: Why the Justice Department Fails to Prosecute Executives)
David Simon: The things that reform systems are trauma. Great trauma. Nobody gives up status quo without being pushed to the wall. I believe that politically. The great reformations of society are the result of undue excess and undue cruelty. The reason you have collective bargaining in America and it became powerful is that works were pushed to the starvation point. The reason that you have the civil rights we do is that people were hanging from trees. That notion of the system [being] self-reforming without incredible outside pressure and without first [bringing] about incredible trauma through inhumanity or indifference - I find that to be really dubious. I’m arguing for reform. It’s not like I can say this and say we should throw up our hands and can’t try. Every day, you gotta get up. I’m saying this with the clarity of: there’s no choice but to try. (68)
Jonathan Abrams (All the Pieces Matter: The Inside Story of The Wire)
In the sixteenth century the unity of western European Christendom had been shattered by the rise of Protestantism in its various strands (Lutheran, Calvinist, and Anglican). While the state was regarded as part of the body of Christ, the concept of sharing a political community with those of differing doctrinal commitments was unthinkable. And so it remained at first. Protestant reformers and their Catholic adversaries all insisted that one of the main aims of government was to maintain "true religion." They disagreed, of course. as to which brand of Christianity was true. Thus European history in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries became a chronicle of civil war, of massacre, and of the expulsion of religious minorities. The notion of religious toleration grew less out of any particular brand of Christianity than out of the fear and frustration of protracted civil war. (p. 24)
Jerry Z. Muller (The Mind and the Market: Capitalism in Western Thought)
All of this goes back to Bill Clinton. It’s not a coincidence that radical welfare reform took place on the same watch that also saw a radical deregulation of the financial services industry. Clinton was a man born with a keen nose for two things: women with low self-esteem and political opportunity. When he was in the middle of a tough primary fight in 1992 and came out with a speech promising to “end welfare as we know it,” he could immediately smell the political possibilities, and it wasn’t long before this was a major plank in his convention speech (and soon in his first State of the Union address). Clinton understood that putting the Democrats back in the business of banging on black dependency would allow his party to reseize the political middle that Democrats had lost when Lyndon Johnson threw the weight of the White House behind the civil rights effort and the War on Poverty.
Matt Taibbi (The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap)
What the turbulent months of the campaign and the election revealed most of all, I think, was that the American people were voicing a profound demand for change. On the one hand, the Humphrey people were demanding a Marshall Plan for our diseased cities and an economic solution to our social problems. The Nixon and Wallace supporters, on the other hand, were making their own limited demands for change. They wanted more "law and order," to be achieved not through federal spending but through police, Mace, and the National Guard. We must recognize and accept the demand for change, but now we must struggle to give it a progressive direction. For the immediate agenda, I would make four proposals. First, the Electoral College should be eliminated. It is archaic, undemocratic, and potentially very dangerous. Had Nixon not achieved a majority of the electoral votes, Wallace might have been in the position to choose and influence our next President. A shift of only 46,000 votes in the states of Alaska, Delaware, New Jersey, and Missouri would have brought us to that impasse. We should do away with this system, which can give a minority and reactionary candidate so much power and replace it with one that provides for the popular election of the President. It is to be hoped that a reform bill to this effect will emerge from the hearings that will soon be conducted by Senator Birch Bayh of Indiana. Second, a simplified national registration law should be passed that provides for universal permanent registration and an end to residence requirements. Our present system discriminates against the poor who are always underregistered, often because they must frequently relocate their residence, either in search of better employment and living conditions or as a result of such poorly planned programs as urban renewal (which has been called Negro removal). Third, the cost of the presidential campaigns should come from the public treasury and not from private individuals. Nixon, who had the backing of wealthy corporate executives, spent $21 million on his campaign. Humphrey's expenditures totaled only $9.7 million. A system so heavily biased in favor of the rich cannot rightly be called democratic. And finally, we must maintain order in our public meetings. It was disgraceful that each candidate, for both the presidency and the vice-presidency, had to be surrounded by cordons of police in order to address an audience. And even then, hecklers were able to drown him out. There is no possibility for rational discourse, a prerequisite for democracy, under such conditions. If we are to have civility in our civil life, we must not permit a minority to disrupt our public gatherings.
Bayard Rustin (Down The Line)
Sex for Sara was at first incredibly painful, and for Tim incredibly frustrating. They both felt inadequate, angry, and confused, alternately blaming themselves and then each other. They had been told that if they followed the rules, they would have more satisfying and exciting sex than couples who'd had sex before marriage. The kind of sex that was better because it was pure. But when they got married, they found out that all of that was bullshit. The whole experience was crushingly disappointing. ... The church taught Tim and Sara that God was watching their every move, ready with a head shake. Like a controlling asshole with a killer surveillance system. And for a while that theology worked on Tim and Sara, as I know it has worked on so many. They buried their innate sexual development in order to please the master. And they entered marriage expecting their sex lives to be blessed accordingly.
Nadia Bolz-Weber (Shameless: A Sexual Reformation)
Even more richly than in His name and attributes, God has revealed Himself in His Word as the Triune God. In this revelation He reveals the great mystery, far beyond the comprehension of all creatures, that His simple Divine Essence consists in three Persons; and that not in such a way that each of the three persons would possess one part of the Divine Essence, so that by combining they would form the full God-head; but God is a simple Being, and thus is far from being a combination of parts. God consists not of three Persons, but in three Persons; the full Being of God is in the Father, and the same full Being is in the Son, and in the Holy Spirit. The Father is God; the Son is God, no less than the Father; and the Holy Spirit is God, of the same eternity, glory, and majesty as the Father and Son. Among the Divine Persons there is not a first or last, nor is one greater or less. And still there is but one, simple, Divine Being. God is Tri-une.
G.H. Kersten (Reformed Dogmatics (2 Vols.))
Holgrave, a daguerreotypist (the technology was brand new then, suggesting a cutting-edge man of the future), opines that we shall soon live to see the day “when no man shall build his house for posterity.” He instead imagines a country in which “each generation were allowed and expected to build its own houses,” a simple change that would ameliorate most of society’s ills. “I doubt whether even our public edifices,” he concludes, meaning capitols, courthouses, and other government buildings, “ought to be built of such permanent materials as stone or brick. It were better that they should crumble to ruin once in twenty years, or thereabouts, as a hint to the people to examine into and reform the institutions which they symbolize.” As the ill-gotten remnants of the past, the buildings that have borne witness to the sins of the fathers, the houses we inherit must be destroyed. If we want to truly be free of the past, we must first start by destroying our ancestral homes.
Colin Dickey (Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places)
Jane Addams, the urban reformer who founded Chicago’s Hull House, wrote, “Never before in civilization have such numbers of young girls been suddenly released from the protection of the home and permitted to walk unattended upon the city streets and to work under alien roofs.” The women sought work as typewriters, stenographers, seamstresses, and weavers. The men who hired them were for the most part moral citizens intent on efficiency and profit. But not always. On March 30, 1890, an officer of the First National Bank placed a warning in the help-wanted section of the Chicago Tribune, to inform female stenographers of “our growing conviction that no thoroughly honorable business-man who is this side of dotage ever advertises for a lady stenographer who is a blonde, is good-looking, is quite alone in the city, or will transmit her photograph. All such advertisements upon their face bear the marks of vulgarity, nor do we regard it safe for any lady to answer such unseemly utterances.” The
Erik Larson (The Devil in the White City)
The church's theology bought into this ahistoricism in different ways: along a more liberal, post-Kantian trajectory, the historical particularities of Christian faith were reduced to atemporal moral teachings that were universal and unconditioned. Thus it turned out that what Jesus taught was something like Kant's categorical imperative - a universal ethics based on reason rather than a set of concrete practices related to a specific community. Liberal Christianity fostered ahistoricism by reducing Christianity to a universal, rational kernel of moral teaching. Along a more conservative, evangelical trajectory (and the Reformation is not wholly innocent here), it was recognized that Christians could not simply jettison the historical particularities of the Christian event: the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. However, there was still a quasi-Platonic, quasi-gnostic rejection of material history such that evangelicalism, while not devolving to a pure ahistoricism, become dominated by a modified ahistoricism we can call primitivism. Primitivism retains the most minimal commitment to God's action in history (in the life of Christ and usually in the first century of apostolic activity) and seeks to make only this first-century 'New Testament church' normative for contemporary practice. This is usually articulated by a rigid distinction between Scripture and tradition (the latter then usually castigated as 'the traditions of men' as opposed to the 'God-give' realities of Scripture). Such primitivism is thus anticreedal and anticatholic, rejecting any sense that what was unfolded by the church between the first and the twenty-first centuries is at all normative for current faith and practice (the question of the canon's formation being an interesting exception here). Ecumenical creeds and confessions - such as the Apostles' Creed or the Nicene Creed - that unite the church across time and around the globe are not 'live' in primitivist worship practices, which enforce a sense of autonomy or even isolation, while at the same time claiming a direct connection to first-century apostolic practices.
James K.A. Smith (Who's Afraid of Postmodernism?: Taking Derrida, Lyotard, and Foucault to Church (The Church and Postmodern Culture))
[There is] no direct relationship between IQ and economic opportunity. In the supposed interests of fairness and “social justice”, the natural relationship has been all but obliterated. Consider the first necessity of employment, filling out a job application. A generic job application does not ask for information on IQ. If such information is volunteered, this is likely to be interpreted as boastful exaggeration, narcissism, excessive entitlement, exceptionalism [...] and/or a lack of team spirit. None of these interpretations is likely to get you hired. Instead, the application contains questions about job experience and educational background, neither of which necessarily has anything to do with IQ. Universities are in business for profit; they are run like companies, seek as many paying clients as they can get, and therefore routinely accept people with lukewarm IQ’s, especially if they fill a slot in some quota system (in which case they will often be allowed to stay despite substandard performance). Regarding the quotas themselves, these may in fact turn the tables, advantaging members of groups with lower mean IQ’s than other groups [...] sometimes, people with lower IQ’s are expressly advantaged in more ways than one. These days, most decent jobs require a college education. Academia has worked relentlessly to bring this about, as it gains money and power by monopolizing the employment market across the spectrum. Because there is a glut of college-educated applicants for high-paying jobs, there is usually no need for an employer to deviate from general policy and hire an applicant with no degree. What about the civil service? While the civil service was once mostly open to people without college educations, this is no longer the case, and quotas make a very big difference in who gets hired. Back when I was in the New York job market, “minorities” (actually, worldwide majorities) were being spotted 30 (thirty) points on the civil service exam; for example, a Black person with a score as low as 70 was hired ahead of a White person with a score of 100. Obviously, any prior positive correlation between IQ and civil service employment has been reversed. Add to this the fact that many people, including employers, resent or feel threatened by intelligent people [...] and the IQ-parameterized employment function is no longer what it was once cracked up to be. If you doubt it, just look at the people running things these days. They may run a little above average, but you’d better not be expecting to find any Aristotles or Newtons among them. Intelligence has been replaced in the job market with an increasingly poor substitute, possession of a college degree, and given that education has steadily given way to indoctrination and socialization as academic priorities, it would be naive to suppose that this is not dragging down the overall efficiency of society. In short, there are presently many highly intelligent people working very “dumb” jobs, and conversely, many less intelligent people working jobs that would once have been filled by their intellectual superiors. Those sad stories about physics PhD’s flipping burgers at McDonald's are no longer so exceptional. Sorry, folks, but this is not your grandfather’s meritocracy any more.
Christopher M. Langan
The cathedral in Conakry had an elegant, ornate choir, with a beautiful replica of the Bernini baldachin, surrounded by very beautiful angels. At the time of the first discussions about liturgical reform, Archbishop Tchidimbo returned to Conakry and ordered the destruction of the baldachin and the main altar. We were angry, incredulous at this hasty decision. Rather violently, we passed without any preparation from one liturgy to another. I can attest to the fact that the botched preparation for the liturgical reform had devastating effects on the Catholic population, particularly on the simpler people, who scarcely understood the swiftness of these changes or even the reason for them. No doubt it is regrettable that some priests allowed themselves to be so carried away by personal ideologies. They claimed to be democratizing the liturgy, and the people were the first victims of their actions. The liturgy is not a political object that we can make more egalitarian according to social demands. How could such a strange movement produce in the life of the Church anything but great confusion among the people? Nevertheless,
Robert Sarah (God or Nothing)
Christianity has been the means of reducing more languages to writing than have all other factors combined. It has created more schools, more theories of education, and more systems than has any other one force. More than any other power in history it has impelled men to fight suffering, whether that suffering has come from disease, war or natural disasters. It has built thousands of hospitals, inspired the emergence of the nursing and medical professions, and furthered movement for public health and the relief and prevention of famine. Although explorations and conquests which were in part its outgrowth led to the enslavement of Africans for the plantations of the Americas, men and women whose consciences were awakened by Christianity and whose wills it nerved brought about the abolition of slavery (in England and America). Men and women similarly moved and sustained wrote into the laws of Spain and Portugal provisions to alleviate the ruthless exploitation of the Indians of the New World. Wars have often been waged in the name of Christianity. They have attained their most colossal dimensions through weapons and large–scale organization initiated in (nominal) Christendom. Yet from no other source have there come as many and as strong movements to eliminate or regulate war and to ease the suffering brought by war. From its first centuries, the Christian faith has caused many of its adherents to be uneasy about war. It has led minorities to refuse to have any part in it. It has impelled others to seek to limit war by defining what, in their judgment, from the Christian standpoint is a "just war." In the turbulent Middle Ages of Europe it gave rise to the Truce of God and the Peace of God. In a later era it was the main impulse in the formulation of international law. But for it, the League of Nations and the United Nations would not have been. By its name and symbol, the most extensive organization ever created for the relief of the suffering caused by war, the Red Cross, bears witness to its Christian origin. The list might go on indefinitely. It includes many another humanitarian projects and movements, ideals in government, the reform of prisons and the emergence of criminology, great art and architecture, and outstanding literature.
Kenneth Scott Latourette
It’s the same problem as ever: poverty conceals itself in shame. In order to see, understand, and feel it, you have to come close. You can’t know poverty from a distance; you have to touch it. To recognize and come close-that’s the first step. The second step consists in responding practically and immediately, because a concrete act of mercy is always an act of justice. But a third step is necessary if we are not to fall into mere welfarism: to reflect on the first two steps and open ourselves to the necessary structural reforms. An authentic politics designs those changes alongside, with, and by means of all those affected, respecting their culture and dignity. The only time it is right to look down on someone is when we are offering our hand to help them get up. As I put it in a talk to some religious men and women: “The problem is not feeding the poor, or clothing the naked, or visiting the sick, but rather recognizing that the poor, the naked, the sick, prisoners, and the homeless have the dignity to sit at our table, to feel ‘at home’ among us, to feel part of a family. This is a sign that the Kingdom of Heaven is in our midst.
Pope Francis (Let Us Dream: The Path to a Better Future)
Christianity and other traditional religions are still important players in the world. Yet their role is now largely reactive. In the past, they were a creative force. Christianity, for example, spread the hitherto heretical notion that all humans are equal before God, thereby changing human political structures, social hierarchies and even gender relations. In his Sermon on the Mount Jesus went further, insisting that the meek and oppressed are God’s favourite people, thus turning the pyramid of power on its head, and providing ammunition for generations of revolutionaries. In addition to social and ethical reforms, Christianity was responsible for important economic and technological innovations. The Catholic Church established medieval Europe’s most sophisticated administrative system, and pioneered the use of archives, catalogues, timetables and other techniques of data processing. The Vatican was the closest thing twelfth-century Europe had to Silicon Valley. The Church established Europe’s first economic corporations – the monasteries – which for 1,000 years spearheaded the European economy and introduced advanced agricultural and administrative methods.
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow)
Bernadette flew up to look at houses. She called to say she had found the perfect place, the Straight Gate School for Girls, in Queen Anne. To anyone else, a crumbling reform school might seem an odd place to call home. But this was Bernadette, and she was enthusiastic. Bernadette and her enthusiasm were like a hippo and water: get between them and you’ll be trampled to death. We moved to Seattle. I was swallowed whole by Microsoft. Bernadette became pregnant and had the first of a series of miscarriages. After three years, she passed the first term. At the beginning of her second term, she was put on bed rest. The house, which was a blank canvas on which Bernadette was to work her magic, understandably languished. There were leaks, strange drafts, and the occasional weed pushing up through a floorboard. My concern was for Bernadette’s health—she didn’t need the stress of a remodel, she needed to stay put—so we wore parkas inside, rotated spaghetti pots when it rained, and kept a pair of pruning shears in a vase in the living room. It felt romantic. Our daughter, Bee, was born prematurely. She came out blue. She was diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart syndrome.
Maria Semple (Where'd You Go, Bernadette)
Officers’ violations of law and policy, according to the report, included the following:           Stopping people without reasonable suspicion           Using unreasonable force           Interfering with a member of the public’s right to record police activities           Making enforcement decisions based on an individual’s demeanor, language, or expression           Overreacting to challenges and verbal slights (“contempt of cop” cases)           Engaging in patterns of excessive force, often during stops or arrests that had no basis in law, and sometimes in ways that were punitive or retaliatory           Arresting people without probable cause, including instances when they were engaging in protected conduct such as talking back to officers, recording public policing activities, or lawfully protesting perceived injustices           Arresting people simply for failing to obey officers’ orders, when those orders had no legal basis or justification           Releasing canines on unarmed suspects, without first attempting to use other methods less likely to cause injury           Using unnecessary force against vulnerable groups such as those with mental illnesses or cognitive disabilities, and juveniles
Malcolm K. Sparrow (Handcuffed: What Holds Policing Back, and the Keys to Reform)
Cultural relativists prefer to wrap the issue of sharia in the intellectual equivalent of a black jilbab or blue burqa and intone the old platitudes that we should be nonjudgmental about the religious practices of others. Why? The ancient Aztecs and other peoples practiced human sacrifice, tearing the still-beating hearts out of their sacrificial victims. We teach our children that this happened five hundred years ago, but we don't condone it -- and wouldn't if the practice were suddenly revived in Mexico today. So why do we condone the 'sacrifice' of women or homosexuals or lapsed Muslims for 'crimes' such as apostasy, adultery, blasphemy, marrying outside of their faith, or simply wishing to marry the partner of their choice? Why, aside from the publication of reports by human rights organizations, is there no discernible reaction? In the twenty-first century, I believe that all decent human beings can agree that such barbarous acts should not be tolerated. They can and must be condemned and prosecuted as crimes, not accepted as legitimate punishments. The abuses carried out under sharia are irrefutable. If we are to have any hope for a more peaceful, more stable planet, these punishments must be set aside.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali (Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now)
In any event, should you doubt that your knowledge of Western history is distorted by the work of these distinguished bigots, consider whether you believe any of the following statements: The Catholic Church motivated and actively participated in nearly two millennia of anti-Semitic violence, justifying it on grounds that the Jews were responsible for the Crucifixion, until the Vatican II Council was shamed into retracting that doctrine in 1965. But, the Church still has not made amends for the fact that Pope Pius XII is rightfully known as “Hitler’s Pope.” Only recently have we become aware of remarkably enlightened Christian gospels, long ago suppressed by narrow-minded Catholic prelates. Once in power as the official church of Rome, Christians quickly and brutally persecuted paganism out of existence. The fall of Rome and the ascendancy of the Church precipitated Europe’s decline into a millennium of ignorance and backwardness. These Dark Ages lasted until the Renaissance/Enlightenment, when secular scholars burst through the centuries of Catholic barriers against reason. Initiated by the pope, the Crusades were but the first bloody chapter in the history of unprovoked and brutal European colonialism. The Spanish Inquisition tortured and murdered huge numbers of innocent people for “imaginary” crimes, such as witchcraft and blasphemy. The Catholic Church feared and persecuted scientists, as the case of Galileo makes clear. Therefore, the Scientific “Revolution” occurred mainly in Protestant societies because only there could the Catholic Church not suppress independent thought. ► Being entirely comfortable with slavery, the Catholic Church did nothing to oppose its introduction in the New World nor to make it more humane. Until very recently, the Catholic view of the ideal state was summed up in the phrase, “The divine right of kings.” Consequently, the Church has bitterly resisted all efforts to establish more liberal governments, eagerly supporting dictators. It was the Protestant Reformation that broke the repressive Catholic grip on progress and ushered in capitalism, religious freedom, and the modern world. Each of these statements is part of the common culture, widely accepted and frequently repeated. But, each is false and many are the exact opposite of the truth! A chapter will be devoted to summarizing recent repetitions of each of these statements and to demonstrating that each is most certainly false.
Rodney Stark (Bearing False Witness: Debunking Centuries of Anti-Catholic History)
Sibbes sought to draw his audience’s eyes from their own hearts to the Saviour, for ‘there are heights, and depths, and breadths of mercy in him above all the depths of our sin and misery’. How so? Because, since ‘God’s love resteth on Christ, as well pleased in him, we may gather that he is as well pleased with us, if we be in Christ!’ Thus Christian confidence in our spiritual state rests not on our strength of faith or performance, but upon ‘the joint agreement of all three persons of the Trinity’, that the Father loves the Son, and it is in the Son’s merits, and not our own, that Christians are loved. Because God is a loving community, Christians can be confident. Then, instead of simply laying moral burdens on young and struggling Christians, Sibbes showed them Christ’s attractiveness so that they might love him from the heart. From then, the Christian’s first task is ‘to warm ourselves at this fire of his love and mercy in giving himself for us’. Only when Christians do that do they truly stop sinning from the heart (whereas when they merely alter their behaviour it does nothing for the sin of the heart). In other words, Sibbes believed that the solution to sin is not the attempt to live without sin, but the gospel of God’s free grace.
Michael Reeves (The Unquenchable Flame: Discovering the Heart of the Reformation)
ACORDING to the Apostle, “in many things we all offend” not only once but many times, for “the just man falls seven times a day”. To the wise it is evident that we offend greatly, for we should not commit even a venial sin for all the world could give us.[748] As we offend greatly and in many ways and things, we need to be constantly corrected. Therefore our Letter bids us to constantly correct our soul, lovingly and without anger.   Man should correct himself in two ways. The first and most necessary is to withdraw from evil to good as we are bound to do, for if fraternal correction is binding on a Christian, much more so is the correction of his own soul, with which he is in closer relation. Regarding this correction from evil to good, the wise man says: “The perverse are hard to be corrected.” [749]   One whose good habits are perverted and become evil requires more time to reform than he took to go wrong. For if he gave way to some vice for a year, he will need to practice the contrary virtue for two years in order to change his bad habits for good ones. Hence the sage declares that the perverse are hard to correct, for not only must they uproot the vice but must plant the virtue in its place and wait until it flourishes as the vice did.
Francisco De Osuna (Third Spiritual Alphabet (Contemplative Series Book 5))
as the social sciences advanced in the twentieth century, their course was altered by two waves of moralism that turned nativism into a moral offense. The first was the horror among anthropologists and others at “social Darwinism”—the idea (raised but not endorsed by Darwin) that the richest and most successful nations, races, and individuals are the fittest. Therefore, giving charity to the poor interferes with the natural progress of evolution: it allows the poor to breed.12 The claim that some races were innately superior to others was later championed by Hitler, and so if Hitler was a nativist, then all nativists were Nazis. (That conclusion is illogical, but it makes sense emotionally if you dislike nativism.)13 The second wave of moralism was the radical politics that washed over universities in America, Europe, and Latin America in the 1960s and 1970s. Radical reformers usually want to believe that human nature is a blank slate on which any utopian vision can be sketched. If evolution gave men and women different sets of desires and skills, for example, that would be an obstacle to achieving gender equality in many professions. If nativism could be used to justify existing power structures, then nativism must be wrong. (Again, this is a logical error, but this is the way righteous minds work.)
Jonathan Haidt (The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion)
Firstly, the Azerbaijanian struggle for a measure of autonomy and self-government is genuine and is locally inspired. The facts of history and existing conditions show that Azerbaijan has always been struggling to overthrow the feudal conditions imposed upon it (and upon the rest of Iran) by corrupt Iranian Governments. Secondly, the extent of Russian interference appeared to be negligible. In our travels we saw few Russian troops, and in Kurdistan we saw none at all. The leaders of the Azerbaijanian Government are not Russians but Azerbaijanians, and with few exceptions their sole aim seems to be the recovery and improvement and economic reform of Azerbaijan. There may be some Russian influence by indirect means, but I would suggest that it is less than our own influence in Iran which we exercise by direct control of ministers, political parties, state financiers, and by petty bribery. As for Kurdish Independence. The Kurds ask for an independence of their own making, not an independence sponsored by the British Government. Like the Azerbaijanians the Kurds are seeking real autonomy, and more than that, self-determination. Our present scheme to take them over and use them as a balancing factor in the political affairs of the Middle East is a reflection upon the honest of our intentions, and a direct blow at the spirit of all good men.
James Aldridge (The Diplomat)
In the chapter entitled “You Can’t Pray a Lie” in Twain’s beloved novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Huck Finn has helped hide Miss Watson’s runaway slave, Jim. But Huck thought he was committing a sin in helping a runaway slave. Huck had learned in Sunday school “that people that acts as I’d been acting … goes to everlasting fire.” So in an act of repentance in order to save his soul, Huck wrote a note to Miss Watson and told her where she could find her runaway slave. Now Huck was ready to pray his “sinner’s prayer” and “get saved.” I felt good and all washed clean of sin for the first time I had ever felt so in my life, and I knowed I could pray now. But I didn’t do it straight off but laid the paper down and set there thinking—thinking how good it was all this happened so, and how near I come to being lost and going to hell. And went on thinking. And got to thinking over our trip down the river; and I see Jim before me all the time: in the day and in the night-time, sometimes moonlight, sometimes storms, and we a-floating along, talking and singing and laughing. But somehow I couldn’t seem to strike no places to harden me against him, but only the other kind. I’d see him standing my watch on top of his’n, ‘stead of calling me, so I could go on sleeping; and see how glad he was when I come back out of the fog; and when I come to him again in the swamp, up there where the feud was; and such-like times; and would always call me honey and pet me and do everything he could think of for me, and how good he always was; and at last I struck the time I saved him by telling the men we had smallpox aboard, and he was so grateful, and said I was the best friend old Jim ever had in the world and the only he’s got now; and then I happened to look around and see the paper. It was a close place. I took it up, and held it in my hand. I was a-trembling, because I’d got to decide, forever, betwixt two things, and I knowed it. I studied a minute, sort of holding my breath, and then says to myself: “All right, then, I’ll go to hell”—and tore it up. It was awful thoughts and awful words but they was said. And I let them stay said; and never thought no more about reforming.1 Huck Finn had been shaped by the Christianity he’d found in his Missouri Sunday school—a Christianity focused on heaven in the afterlife while preserving the status quo of the here and now. Huck thought that helping Jim escape from slavery was a sin, because that’s what he had been taught. He knew he couldn’t ask God to forgive him until he was ready to “repent” and betray Jim. Huck didn’t want to go to hell; he wanted to be saved. But Huck loved his friend more, so he was willing to go to hell in order to save his friend from slavery.
Brian Zahnd (A Farewell to Mars: An Evangelical Pastor's Journey Toward the Biblical Gospel of Peace)
To proclaim 'America First' was to deny any need to fight fascism either at home or abroad. When American Nazis and white supremacists marched in Charlottesville in August 2017, Trump said that some of them were 'very fine people.' He defended the Confederate and Nazi cause of preserving monuments to the Confederacy. Such monuments in the American South were raised in the 1920s and 1930s, at a time when fascism in the United States was a real possibility; they memorialized the racial purification of Southern cities that was contemporary with the rise of fascism in Europe. Contemporary observers had no difficulty seeing the connection. Will Rogers, the great American entertainer and social commentator of his time, saw Adolf Hitler in 1933 as a familiar figure: 'Papers all state that Hitler is trying to copy Mussolini. Looks to me it's the KKK he's copying.' The great American social thinker and historian W.E.B. Du Bois could see how the temptations of fascism worked together with American myths of the past. He rightly feared that American whites would prefer a story about enmity with blacks to a reforming state that would improve prospects for all Americans. Whites distracted by racism could become, as he wrote in 1935, 'the instrument by which democracy in the nation was done to death, race provincialism deified, and the world delivered to plutocracy,' what we call oligarchy.
Timothy Snyder (The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America)
Luther's opponent in the Peasants' War, Thomas Muntzer is deeply rooted in mystic tradition . . . Muntzer calls the first step in preparing for God "wonderment": amazement and fright begin when the eternal Word comes into the human heart. "And this wonderment at whether it really is God's Word or not begins to happen when one is a child of six or seven years of age." . . . Muntzer's interest in Gregorian chant and his attempt, rejected by Luther, to integrate it into the German mass, may perhaps be understood as a manifestation of his mystical love for wonderment. In connection with "wonderment," Muntzer quotes from Deuteronomy: "But the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart" (30:14 RSV). . . This inward word, heard through God's revelation in the abyss of the soul, speaks to human beings without mediation, even without the Bible. Muntzer opposed Luther in the understanding of Scripture. Muntzer's view of the living Word of God as being "so very close to you" - and which constitutes the first step of mystical cognition (cognitio experimen- talis) - represents a break with Luther's appeal for sola scriptura, (the Scriptures alone) as the basic principle of the Reformation puts it. What in the controversy over indulgences had served well in fighting the financial manipulations of the Church of Rome's authorities, namely this basic principle and its critical force, soon came to serve the consolidation of a new clerical domination.
Dorothee Sölle (The Silent Cry: Mysticism and Resistance)
A common problem plagues people who try to design institutions without accounting for hidden motives. First they identify the key goals that the institution “should” achieve. Then they search for a design that best achieves these goals, given all the constraints that the institution must deal with. This task can be challenging enough, but even when the designers apparently succeed, they’re frequently puzzled and frustrated when others show little interest in adopting their solution. Often this is because they mistook professed motives for real motives, and thus solved the wrong problems. Savvy institution designers must therefore identify both the surface goals to which people give lip service and the hidden goals that people are also trying to achieve. Designers can then search for arrangements that actually achieve the deeper goals while also serving the surface goals—or at least giving the appearance of doing so. Unsurprisingly, this is a much harder design problem. But if we can learn to do it well, our solutions will less often meet the fate of puzzling disinterest. We should take a similar approach when reforming a preexisting institution by first asking ourselves, “What are this institution’s hidden functions, and how important are they?” Take education, for example. We may wish for schools that focus more on teaching than on testing. And yet, some amount of testing is vital to the economy, since employers need to know which workers to hire. So if we tried to cut too much from school’s testing function, we could be blindsided by resistance we don’t understand—because those who resist may not tell us the real reasons for their opposition. It’s only by understanding where the resistance is coming from that we have any hope of overcoming it. Not all hidden institutional functions are worth facilitating, however. Some involve quite wasteful signaling expenditures, and we might be better off if these institutions performed only their official, stated functions. Take medicine, for example. To the extent that we use medical spending to show how much we care (and are cared for), there are very few positive externalities. The caring function is mostly competitive and zero-sum, and—perhaps surprisingly—we could therefore improve collective welfare by taxing extraneous medical spending, or at least refusing to subsidize it. Don’t expect any politician to start pushing for healthcare taxes or cutbacks, of course, because for lawmakers, as for laypeople, the caring signals are what makes medicine so attractive. These kinds of hidden incentives, alongside traditional vested interests, are what often make large institutions so hard to reform. Thus there’s an element of hubris in any reform effort, but at least by taking accurate stock of an institution’s purposes, both overt and covert, we can hope to avoid common mistakes. “The curious task of economics,” wrote Friedrich Hayek, “is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.”8
Kevin Simler (The Elephant in the Brain: Hidden Motives in Everyday Life)
I want to, first of all, remove a very major error that exists in the study of Rumi today not only in America but also among a lot of Persians, Turks and others who consider Rumi only as a kind of nationalistic emblem. Rumi was a Muslim, he was a Muslim poet. He never missed his prayers. He said, (عَقل قربان کُن بہ پیش مصطفیٰ) “Sacrifice your intellect at the feet of the Prophet.” Masnavi is a commentary to the Qur’an. He knew the Qur’an extremely well. At the beginning of the Masvani, he says this remarkable sentence, (این کتاب اصول اصول اصول دین) “The book is the principle of the principle of the principle of religion [in respect of its unveiling the mysteries of attainment to the Truth and of certainty].” So it is very very clear that this book is dealing with the heart of the religion. There is no secular Rumi which is authentic. Rumi cannot be secularized … In order to understand Rumi you have to understand that he was not a New Age Poet. He was not born in California. He does not represent what [some of us] are looking for; a kind of bland, sentimental, universality in which you do not do anything for God, you don’t have to reform yourself, you just get together and be happy. He is not that kind of a poet, you must understand that. The relation of Rumi with Islam once severed will make Rumi irrelevant as a spiritual therapist … Anyway, it is very very important to realize that all the message of Rumi, everything he wrote is just in order for us to remember God. – “Rumi and the Renewal Of Life
Seyyed Hossein Nasr
A FAIR IMPRESSION of the pace of Roosevelt’s candidacy for Mayor may be gained by following him through one night of his campaign—Friday, 29 October.44 At 8:00 P.M., having snatched a hasty dinner near headquarters, he takes a hansom to the Grand Opera House, on Twenty-third Street and Eighth Avenue, for the first of five scheduled addresses in various parts of the city. His audience is worshipful, shabby, and exclusively black. (One of the more interesting features of the campaign has been Roosevelt’s evident appeal to, and fondness for, the black voter.) He begins by admitting that his campaign planners had not allowed for “this magnificent meeting” of colored citizens. “For the first time, therefore, since the opening of the campaign I have begun to take matters a little in my own hands!” Laughter and applause. “I like to speak to an audience of colored people,” Roosevelt says simply, “for that is only another way of saying that I am speaking to an audience of Republicans.” More applause. He reminds his listeners that he has “always stood up for the colored race,” and tells them about the time he put a black man in the chair of the Chicago Convention. Apologizing for his tight schedule, he winds up rapidly, and dashes out of the hall to a standing ovation.45 A carriage is waiting outside; the driver plies his whip; by 8:30 Roosevelt is at Concordia Hall, on Twenty-eighth Street and Avenue A. Here he shouts at a thousand well-scrubbed immigrants, “Do you want a radical reformer?” “YES WE DO!” comes the reply.46
Edmund Morris (The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt)
It is the distinctive position of the Reformation with which, over against Rome, it stands or falls, that that which properly constitutes, defines, and perpetuates in unity a Church, is its doctrine, not its name or organization. While a Church retains its proper identity it retains of necessity its proper doctrine. Deserting its doctrine it loses its identity. The Church is not a body which bears its name like England, or America, which remain equally England and America, whether savage or civilized, Pagan or Christian, Monarchical or Republican. Its name is one which properly indicates its faith--and the faith changing, the Church loses its identity. Pagans may become Mohammedans, but then they are no longer Pagans--they are Mohammedans. Jews may become Christians, but then they are no longer Jews in religion. A Manichean man, or Manichean Church, might become Catholic, but then they would be Manichean no more. A Romish Church is Romish; a Pelagian Church is Pelagian; a Socinian Church is Socinian, though they call themselves Protestant, Evangelical, or Trinitarian. If the whole nominally Lutheran Church on earth should repudiate the Lutheran doctrine, that doctrine would remain as really Lutheran as it ever was. A man, or body of men, may cease to be Lutherans, but a doctrine which is Lutheran once, is Lutheran forever. Hence, now, as from the first, that is not a Lutheran Church, in the proper and historical sense, which cannot ex animo declare that it shares in the accord and unanimity with which each of the Doctrines of the Augsburg Confession was set forth.
Charles Porterfield Krauth
We have a crisis in this nation, and it has nothing to do with regulatory reform or marginal tax rates. This book is not going to be about politics. (Sorry to disappoint.) It’s about something deeper and more meaningful. Something a little harder to quantify but a lot more personal. Despite the astonishing medical advances and technological leaps of recent years, average life span is in decline in America for the third year in a row. This is the first time our nation has had even a two-year drop in life expectancy since 1962—when the cause was an influenza epidemic. Normally, declines in life expectancy are due to something big like that—a war, or the return of a dormant disease. But what’s the “big thing” going on in America now? What’s killing all these people? The 2016 data point to three culprits: Alzheimer’s, suicides, and unintentional injuries—a category that includes drug and alcohol–related deaths. Two years ago, 63,632 people died of overdoses. That’s 11,000 more than the previous year, and it’s more than the number of Americans killed during the entire twenty-year Vietnam War. It’s almost twice the number killed in automobile accidents annually, which had been the leading American killer for decades. In 2016, there were 45,000 suicides, a thirty-year high—and the sobering climb shows no signs of abating: the percentage of young people hospitalized for suicidal thoughts and actions has doubled over the past decade.1 We’re killing ourselves, both on purpose and accidentally. These aren’t deaths from famine, or poverty, or war. We’re literally dying of despair.
Ben Sasse (Them: Why We Hate Each Other--and How to Heal)
And after?” “As we discussed. Honor the Covenant. No more forced levies; tax reform; trade reestablished with the outside, minus the tariffs that went into the Merindar personal fortune. That’s to start.” Bran shrugged, rubbed his hands from his jaw to through his hair, then he turned to me. “Mel?” “I would prefer to discuss it later,” I said. “What’s to discuss?” Bran said, spreading his hands. “The little matter of the crown,” Shevraeth said dryly. “If we are finished, I propose we withdraw for the evening. We are all tired and would do the better for a night’s sleep.” I turned to him. “You said to Bran we can leave, whatever we decide.” He bowed. “Good. We’ll leave in the morning. First light.” Bran’s jaw dropped. “I want to go home,” I said fiercely. The Prince must have given some signal undiscernible to me, for suddenly a servant stood behind my chair, to whom Prince Alaerec said, “Please conduct the Countess to the chamber prepared for her.” I got up, said to Bran, “I’ll need something to wear on the ride home.” He slewed around in his chair. “But--“ I said even more fiercely than before, “Do you really think I ought to wear this home--even if it were mine, which it isn’t?” “All right.” Branaric rubbed his eyes. “Curse it, I can’t think for this headache on me. Maybe I’d better turn in myself.” He fell in step beside me and we were led out. I walked with as much dignity as I could muster, holding that dratted skirt out away from my feet. My shoulder blades itched; I imagined the two Renselaeuses staring, and I listened for the sound of their laughter long after we’d traversed the hall and gone up a flight of stairs.
Sherwood Smith (Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1))
One must act radically. When one pulls out a tooth, one does it with a single tug, and the pain quickly goes away. The Jew must clear out of Europe. Otherwise no understanding will be possible between Europeans. It's the Jew who prevents everything. When I think about it, I realise that I'm extraordinarily humane. At the time of the rule of the Popes, the Jews were mistreated in Rome. Until 1830, eight Jews mounted on donkeys were led once a year through the streets of Rome. For my part, I restrict myself to telling them they must go away. If they break their pipes on the journey, I can't do anything about it. But if they refuse to go voluntarily, I see no other solution but extermination. Why should I look at a Jew through other eyes than if he were a Russian prisoner-of-war? In the p.o.w. camps, many are dying. It's not my fault. I didn't want either the war or the p.o.w. camps. Why did the Jew provoke this war? A good three hundred or four hundred years will go by before the Jews set foot again in Europe. They'll return first of all as commercial travellers, then gradually they'll become emboldened to settle here—the better to exploit us. In the next stage, they become philanthropists, they endow foundations. When a Jew does that, the thing is particularly noticed—for it's known that they're dirty dogs. As a rule, it's the most rascally of them who do that sort of thing. And then you'll hear these poor Aryan boobies telling you : "You see, there are good Jews !" Let's suppose that one day National Socialism will undergo a change, and become used by a caste of privileged persons who exploit the people and cultivate money. One must hope that in that case a new reformer will arise and clean up the stables.
Adolf Hitler (Hitler's Table Talk, 1941-1944)
They pray. To whom? To God. To pray to God, - what is the meaning of these words? Is there an infinite beyond us? Is that infinite there, inherent, permanent; necessarily substantial, since it is infinite; and because, if it lacked matter it would be bounded; necessarily intelligent, since it is infinite, and because, if it lacked intelligence, it would end there? Does this infinite awaken in us the idea of essence, while we can attribute to ourselves only the idea of existence? In other terms, is it not the absolute, of which we are only the relative? At the same time that there is an infinite without us, is there not an infinite within us? Are not these two infinites (what an alarming plural!) superposed, the one upon the other? Is not this second infinite, so to speak, subjacent to the first? Is it not the latter's mirror, reflection, echo, an abyss which is concentric with another abyss? Is this second infinity intelligent also? Does it think? Does it love? Does it will? If these two infinities are intelligent, each of them has a will principle, and there is an "I" in the upper infinity as there is an "I" in the lower infinity. The "I" below is the soul; the "I" on high is God. To place the infinity here below in contact, by the medium of thought, with the infinity on high, is called praying. Let us take nothing from the human mind; to suppress is bad. We must reform and transform. Certain faculties in man are directed towards the Unknown; thought, revery, prayer. The Unknown is an ocean. What is conscience? It is the compass of the Unknown. Thought, revery, prayer, - these are great and mysterious radiations. Let us respect them. Whither go these majestic irradiations of the soul? Into the shadow; that is to say, to the light.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
I was dumbfounded to witness this specimen of male beauty in such a compromising position. I had never imagined finding the famous Rick Samuels in a dungeon, let alone in such a vulnerable and decubitus posture. He was my visiting lecturer, who had advised me to be selective in posing pornographically and for high art. He specifically told me that he was careful not to associate himself in the porn industry. Here he was, lying bare among men whom he did not know or have the vision to see. They were using him as a sex object, gratifying themselves regardless of how he felt. The men took turns pumping their swollen instruments into both his orifices until they could stave off their cravings no longer before they released their loads into Rick’s welcoming openings. He was the ‘power bottom,’ otherwise known to the gay underground community as a ‘cum pig’ or a ‘pig bottom.’ That evening was an eye-opener and a reformation. It reaffirmed men’s double standards in their words and actions for me. They were just like seasoned politicians, who promise a world of positive reforms before election. When elected to office, their promises are thrown to the wind. A set of new rules for personal gains then take effect. Thus is the nature of mankind. That evening, Andy, I learned an important lesson that humankind has its strengths and foibles. It is therefore worth the effort to take a closer look at a person’s character instead of embracing the superficiality that could often cloud a sound judgment. My beloved ex-’big brother,’ I am positive in my heart of hearts that you are an honorable gentleman of your word. From the first time I met you to our recent reconnection, you will always be the man I respect, honor, cherish, and, most importantly, LOVE. Young.
Young (Unbridled (A Harem Boy's Saga, #2))
The Clintons’ last act before leaving the White House was to take stuff that didn’t belong to them. The Clintons took china, furniture, electronics, and art worth around $360,000. Hillary literally went through the rooms of the White House with an aide, pointing to things that she wanted taken down from shelves or out of cabinets or off the wall. By Clinton theft standards $360,000 is not a big sum, but it certainly underlines the couple’s insatiable greed—these people are not bound by conventional limits of propriety or decency. When the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee blew the whistle on this misappropriation, the Clintons first claimed that the stuff was given to them as gifts. Unfortunately for Hillary, gifts given to a president belong to the White House—they are not supposed to be spirited away by the first lady. The Clintons finally agreed to return $28,000 worth of gifts and reimburse the government $95,000, representing a fraction of the value of what they took. One valuable piece of art the Clintons attempted to steal was a Norman Rockwell painting showing the flame from Lady Liberty’s torch. Hillary had the painting taken from the Oval Office to the Clinton home in Chappaqua, but the Secret Service got wind of it and sent a car to Chappaqua to get it back. Hillary was outraged. Even here, though, the Clintons got the last laugh: they persuaded the Obama administration to let the Clinton Library have the painting, and there it hangs today. In Living History, Hillary put on a straight face and dismissed media reports about the topic. “The culture of investigation,” she wrote, “followed us out the door of the White House when clerical errors in the recording of gifts mushroomed into a full-blown flap, generating hundreds of news stories over several months.”17
Dinesh D'Souza (Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party)
Managerial abilities, bureaucratic skills, technical expertise, and political talent are all necessary, but they can be applied only to goals that have already been defined by military policies, broad and narrow. And those policies can be only as good as strategy, operational art of war, tactical thought, and plain military craft that have gone into their making. At present, the defects of structure submerge or distort strategy and operational art, they out rightly suppress tactical ingenuity, and they displace the traditional insights and rules of military craft in favor of bureaucratic preferences, administrative convenience, and abstract notions of efficiency derived from the world of business management. First there is the defective structure for making of military decisions under the futile supervision of the civilian Defense Department; then come the deeply flawed defense policies and military choices, replete with unnecessary costs and hidden risks; finally there come the undoubted managerial abilities, bureaucratic skills, technical expertise, and political talents, all applied to achieve those flawed policies and to implement those flawed choices. By this same sequence was the fatally incomplete Maginot Line built, as were all the Maginot Lines of history, each made no better by good government, technical talent, careful accounting, or sheer hard work. Hence the futility of all the managerial innovations tried in the Pentagon over the years. In the purchasing of weapons, for example, “total package” procurement, cost plus incentive contracting, “firm fixed price” purchasing have all been introduced with much fanfare, only to be abandoned, retried, and repudiated once again. And each time a new Secretary of Defense arrives, with him come the latest batch of managerial innovations, many of them aimed at reducing fraud, waste, and mismanagement-the classic trio endlessly denounced in Congress, even though they account for mere percentage points in the total budget, and have no relevance at all to the failures of combat. The persistence of the Administrator’s Delusion has long kept the Pentagon on a treadmill of futile procedural “reforms” that have no impact at all on the military substance of our defense. It is through strategy, operational art, tactical ingenuity, and military craft that the large savings can be made, and the nation’s military strength greatly increased, but achieving long-overdue structural innovations, from the central headquarters to the combat forces, from the overhead of bases and installations to the current purchase of new weapons. Then, and only then, will it be useful to pursue fraud, waste, and mismanagement, if only to save a few dollars more after the billions have already been saved. At present, by contrast, the Defense Department administers ineffectively, while the public, Congress, and the media apply their energies to such petty matters as overpriced spare parts for a given device in a given weapon of a given ship, overlooking at the same time the multibillion dollar question of money spent for the Navy as a whole instead of the Army – whose weakness diminishes our diplomatic weight in peacetime, and which could one day cause us to resort to nuclear weapons in the face of imminent debacle. If we had a central military authority and a Defense Department capable of strategy, we should cheerfully tolerate much fraud, waste, and mismanagement; but so long as there are competing military bureaucracies organically incapable of strategic combat, neither safety nor economy will be ensured, even if we could totally eliminate every last cent of fraud, waste, and mismanagement.
Edward N. Luttwak
The call for justice was a protest as fierce as those of the biblical prophets and of Jesus, and the similarity of the call was no coincidence. As with early Judaism and early Christianity, early Islam would be rooted in opposition to a corrupt status quo. Its protest of inequity would be an integral part of the demand for inclusiveness, for unity and equality under the umbrella of the one god regardless of lineage, wealth, age, or gender. This is what would make it so appealing to the disenfranchised, those who didn't matter in the grand Meccan scheme of things, like slaves and freedmen, widows and orphans, all those cut out of the elite by birth or circumstance. And it spoke equally to the young and idealistic, those who had not yet learned to knuckle under to the way things were and who responded to the deeply egalitarian strain of the verses. All were equal before God, the thirteen-year-old Ali as important as the most respected graybeard, the daughter as much as the son, the African slave as much as the highborn noble. It was a potent and potentially radical re-envisioning of society. This was a matter of politics as much as of faith. The scriptures of all three of the great monotheisms show that they began similarly as popular movements in protest against the privilege and arrogance of power, whether that of kings as in the Hebrew bible, or the Roman Empire as in the Gospels, or a tribal elite as in the Quran. All three, that is, were originally driven by ideals of justice and egalitarianism, rejecting the inequities of human power in favor of a higher and more just one. No matter how far they might have strayed from their origins as they became institutionalized over time, the historical record clearly indicates that what we now call the drive for social justice was the idealistic underpinning of monotheistic faith.
Lesley Hazleton (The First Muslim: The Story of Muhammad)
Testament prophet.39 However, what was this prophet doing? Why was he encouraging Israelites to be baptized in the Jordan River? The answer to these questions comes from John’s actions as well as from his words concerning his ministry. First, John appeared “baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. Then all the land of Judea, and those from Jerusalem, went out to him and were all baptized by him in the Jordan River” (Mark 1:4–5). There are two issues that merit attention: the significance of the Jordan River and the repentance of sins. The geographical location of John’s baptismal ministry is key. John could have chosen a number of places to perform his baptizing ministry, but he chose the Jordan, which was the gate to the Promised Land and the place where Israel re-enacted the Red Sea crossing. When the feet of the Levites touched the waters of the Jordan, the waters stopped flowing and the Israelites crossed the river on dry ground (Josh. 3:11–17). Just as the Holy Spirit in the glory cloud led Israel through the Red Sea, the ark of the Lord led Israel through the Jordan on dry ground to the Land of Promise. The connection between the two events is manifest in the word play in both narratives. The priests, for example, stood on dry ground (בחרבה) (Josh. 3:17), just as Moses turned the sea into dry land (לחרבה) (Ex. 14:21).40 Likewise, the waters of the Jordan “stood still, and rose in a heap” (קמו נד אחד) (Josh. 3:16), just as the waters of the Red Sea “stood upright like a heap” (נצבו כמו נד) (Ex. 15:8; cf. Ps. 78:13).41 Given these parallels between the Red Sea and Jordan River crossings, it seems that John’s activity in the Jordan was connected not only to the idea of a cleansing ritual, but also to the redemptive-historical significance of the Jordan. The connections between the Red Sea, the Jordan River, and John’s
J.V. Fesko (Word, Water, and Spirit: A Reformed Perspective on Baptism)
Church Fathers on the End Times The Church Fathers taught pre-millennialism in the first three centuries. Here are the pre-millennial teachings from the Fathers in their order:   1.        The Roman Empire would split in two. (This took place in AD 395.) 2.        The Roman Empire would fall apart. (This took place in AD 476.) 3.        Out of what was the Roman Empire, ten nations would spring up. These are the ten toes/horns of Daniel’s prophecies. 4.        A literal demon-possessed man, called the Antichrist, will ascend to power. 5.        The Antichrist’s name, if spelled out in Greek, will add up to 666. 6.        The Antichrist will sign a peace treaty between the Jews in Israel and the local non-believers there. This treaty will last seven years. 7.        This seven-year treaty is the last seven years of the “sets of sevens” prophecy in Daniel 9. 8.        At the end of the seven years, Jesus will return to earth, destroy the Antichrist, and establish reign of peace that will last for a literal 1000 years. 9.        They wrote they were taught these things by the apostles. They also wrote that anyone who rises up in the church and begins to say any of these things are symbolic, are immature Christians that can’t rightly divide the word of God, and should not be listened too. (Today these beliefs are included in the doctrines of most of, but not all of, the Reformed, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Eastern Orthodox, and Roman Catholic churches!)   Here are some of the references from the early church fathers on the End Times:   “After the resurrection of the dead, Jesus will personally reign for 1000 years. He was taught this by the apostle John himself.” Papias Fragment 6   “The man of Sin, spoken of by Daniel, will rule two (three) times and a half, before the Second Advent… There will be a literal 1000 year reign of Christ… The man of apostasy, who speaks strange things against the Most High, shall venture to do unlawful deeds on the earth against us, the believers.” Justin Martyr Dialogue 32,81,110
Ken Johnson (Ancient Prophecies Revealed)
Certain shapes and patterns hover over different moments in time, haunting and inspiring the individuals living through those periods. The epic clash and subsequent resolution of the dialectic animated the first half of the nineteenth century; the Darwinian and social reform movements scattered web imagery through the second half of the century. The first few decades of the twentieth century found their ultimate expression in the exuberant anarchy of the explosion, while later decades lost themselves in the faceless regimen of the grid. You can see the last ten years or so as a return to those Victorian webs, though I suspect the image that has been burned into our retinas over the past decade is more prosaic: windows piled atop one another on a screen, or perhaps a mouse clicking on an icon. These shapes are shorthand for a moment in time, a way of evoking an era and its peculiar obsessions. For individuals living within these periods, the shapes are cognitive building blocks, tools for thought: Charles Darwin and George Eliot used the web as a way of understanding biological evolution and social struggles; a half century later, the futurists embraced the explosions of machine-gun fire, while Picasso used them to re-create the horrors of war in Guernica. The shapes are a way of interpreting the world, and while no shape completely represents its epoch, they are an undeniable component of the history of thinking. When I imagine the shape that will hover above the first half of the twenty-first century, what comes to mind is not the coiled embrace of the genome, or the etched latticework of the silicon chip. It is instead the pulsing red and green pixels of Mitch Resnick’s slime mold simulation, moving erratically across the screen at first, then slowly coalescing into larger forms. The shape of those clusters—with their lifelike irregularity, and their absent pacemakers—is the shape that will define the coming decades. I see them on the screen, growing and dividing, and I think: That way lies the future.
Steven Johnson (Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software)
Learn how to critique. The value of exercises is very much a product of the quality of the critique, because it is in the critique that lessons can be drawn for all to see. Today, many critiques are poor quality. Often, they are not a critique at all, but just a narrative of who shot whom. At other times, the critique is stifled by an etiquette that demands no one be criticized and nothing negative be said. Too often, critiques can be summarized as “The comm was fouled up but we all did great.” There are a number of things you can do locally to improve the quality of critiques: First, the commanding officer can set a ground rule that demands frankness in critiquing. A good way to encourage this is for the CO to give a trenchant self-critique of his own actions and encourage others to do the same. Beginning a critique with the most junior officers and ending up with the most senior can also help encourage frankness. Second, a critique should be defined as something that looks beyond what happened to why it happened as it did. It may be helpful to look for instances where key decisions were made and ask the man who made them such questions as, “What options did you have here? What other options did you have that you failed to see? How quickly were you able to see, decide and act? If you were too slow, why? Why did you do what you did? Was your reasoning process sound, and if not, why not?” Third, the unit commander can attempt to identify individuals who are good critiquers and have them lead the critique. Not everyone can do it well; it takes a certain natural ability. Finally, the unit can hold a class on critiquing and from it develop some critique SOPs. These can help exercise participants look for key points during the exercise, points that can later serve to frame the critique. These actions are not substitutes for an overall reform of Marine Corps training. But they are concrete ways you can improve your own training. And just as individual self-education will be important after the schools are reformed, so these actions will help you train even after overall training is improved.
William S. Lind (Maneuver Warfare Handbook (Westview Special Studies in Military Affairs))
If Nixon set out to be the man who redefined the Republican political center in the post–New Deal, post–Fair Deal age, he did not, nor did any other young Republican politician, dare campaign by suggesting a return to the America that had existed before the New Deal. The phrase “creeping socialism” was about as close as they got to attacking the New Deal on its domestic reforms. Rather, the catchphrases were about a need to return to Americanism. It was better to attack Communism and speak of domestic treason than it was to be specific about reversing the economic redistribution of the New Deal. In fact, Nixon’s essential response to all issues was to raise the specter of Communism: “The commies,” Nixon told the Chicago Tribune’s Seymour Korman during his harsh 1950 senatorial campaign against Helen Gahagan Douglas, “don’t like it when I smash into Truman for his attempted cover-up of the Hiss case ... but the more the commies yell, the surer I am that I’m waging an honest American campaign.” He was, he liked to say, the number one target of the Communists in America. In those early campaigns, he was, it seemed, a man who needed an enemy and who seemed almost to feel that he functioned best when the world was against him. Such men, almost surely, eventually do get the enemies they so desperately want. If the leaders of a nation as powerful as the United States needed, above all, personal confidence—Oliver Wendell Holmes once said of the young Franklin Roosevelt that he had a third-rate intellect but a first-rate temperament—Nixon was ill-prepared for his long journey in American politics. Emotional strength and self-confidence were missing from him. Everything with Nixon was personal. When others disagreed with him, it was as if they wanted to strip away his hard-won veneer of success and reduce him to the unhappy boy he had once been. In political terms that had bitter consequences: He would lash out at others in attacks that seemed to go far beyond the acceptable norms of partisanship; if others struck back at him, he saw himself as a victim. Just beneath the surface of this modern young politician was a man who, in Bob Taft’s phrase, seemed “to radiate tension and conflict.” He was filled with the resentments of class one would have expected in a New Deal Democrat.
David Halberstam (The Fifties)
The negative perception of a changed city aligned with dispensational eschatology. A drastic change from above would be required to stop the flood of secularism and societal decay. With their embrace of dispensationalism, evangelicals shifted their focus radically from social amelioration to individual regeneration. Having diverted their attention from the construction of the millennial realm, evangelicals concentrated on the salvation of souls and, in so doing, neglected reform efforts.8 An individualistic soul-saving soteriology emerged from a dispensational theology. Theologically conservative Christians had shifted their priority from concern for both the individual and larger society to more exclusively a concern for the individual, and the first half of the twentieth century witnessed the formation of this shift. In The Great Reversal, David Moberg asserts that “there was a time when evangelicals had a balanced position that gave proper attention to both evangelism and social concern, but a great reversal in the [twentieth] century led to a lopsided emphasis upon evangelism and omission of most aspects of social involvement.”9 Marsden notes that “the ‘Great Reversal’ took place from about 1900 to about 1930, when all progressive social concern, whether political or private, became suspect among revivalist evangelicals and was relegated to a very minor role.”10 Fundamentalists developed a suspicion about social engagement and withdrew from social concerns spurred by their rejection of larger society. This rejection of secular culture arose from anxiety about the changes that occurred in the early part of the twentieth century when fundamentalists felt they were under siege from secular society. Marsden recognizes that “fundamentalism was the response of traditionalist evangelicals who declared war on these modernizing trends. In fundamentalist eyes the war had to be all-out and fought on several fronts. At stake was nothing less than the gospel of Jesus’ blood and righteousness.”11 The twentieth century witnessed fearful white Protestants yielding to the temptation to withdraw from the city and engaging in the exact opposite behavior demanded by Jeremiah 29:7 to “seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile.” There was an intentional abandonment of the city in favor of safety and comfort. Jerusalem was to be rebuilt in the suburbs.
Soong-Chan Rah (Prophetic Lament: A Call for Justice in Troubled Times)
By appealing to the moral and philosophical foundation work of the nation, Lincoln hoped to provide common ground on which good men in both the North and the South could stand. “I am not now combating the argument of necessity, arising from the fact that the blacks are already amongst us; but I am combating what is set up as moral argument for allowing them to be taken where they have never yet been.” Unlike the majority of antislavery orators, who denounced the South and castigated slaveowners as corrupt and un-Christian, Lincoln pointedly denied fundamental differences between Northerners and Southerners. He argued that “they are just what we would be in their situation. If slavery did not now exist amongst them, they would not introduce it. If it did now exist amongst us, we should not instantly give it up. . . . When it is said that the institution exists; and that it is very difficult to get rid of it, in any satisfactory way, I can understand and appreciate the saying. I surely will not blame them for not doing what I should not know how to do myself.” And, finally, “when they remind us of their constitutional rights, I acknowledge them . . . and I would give them any legislation for the reclaiming of their fugitives.” Rather than upbraid slaveowners, Lincoln sought to comprehend their position through empathy. More than a decade earlier, he had employed a similar approach when he advised temperance advocates to refrain from denouncing drinkers in “thundering tones of anathema and denunciation,” for denunciation would inevitably be met with denunciation, “crimination with crimination, and anathema with anathema.” In a passage directed at abolitionists as well as temperance reformers, he had observed that it was the nature of man, when told that he should be “shunned and despised,” and condemned as the author “of all the vice and misery and crime in the land,” to “retreat within himself, close all the avenues to his head and his heart.” Though the cause be “naked truth itself, transformed to the heaviest lance, harder than steel,” the sanctimonious reformer could no more pierce the heart of the drinker or the slaveowner than “penetrate the hard shell of a tortoise with a rye straw. Such is man, and so must he be understood by those who would lead him.” In order to “win a man to your cause,” Lincoln explained, you must first reach his heart, “the great high road to his reason.” This, he concluded, was the only road to victory—to that glorious day “when there shall be neither a slave nor a drunkard on the earth.” Building on his rhetorical advice, Lincoln tried to place
Doris Kearns Goodwin (Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln)
It really is location, location, location. If you’re going to live with peace of heart and with hope and courage, you have to know your place in the work of God. There are two markers of that work that really do locate you, tell you what God is doing, and inform you as to how you should live right here, right now. As I have said before, you live between the “already” and the “not yet.” First, it is vital for you and me to always remember that we live in the “already” of complete forgiveness. Forgiveness is not a “hope it will be” thing. It’s an “accomplished and done” thing. You do not have to hope that you will be forgiven. You do not have to be concerned that the process of forgiveness will somehow fail. Why? Because your complete and final forgiveness was accomplished on the cross of Jesus Christ. The perfect sacrifice of the completely righteous Lamb fully satisfied the holy requirements of God and left you righteous and without penalty in his sight. So you never have to worry that you will be so bad that God will reject you. You never have to hide your sin. You never have to do things to win God’s favor. You never have to cower in shame. You never have to rationalize, excuse, defend, or shift the blame. You never have to pretend that you are better than you are. You never have to present arguments for your righteousness. You never have to fear being known or exposed. You never have to compare the size of your sin to the size of another’s. You never have to parade your righteousness so it can be seen by others. You never have to wonder if God’s going to get exhausted with how often you mess up. All of these are acts of gospel irrationality because you have been completely forgiven. On the other end, it is essential to understand the “not yet” of your final repair. Yes, you have been fully forgiven, but you have not yet been completely rebuilt into all that grace will make you. Sin still remains, the war for your heart still rages, the world around you is still broken, spiritual danger still lurks, and you have not yet been fully re-formed into the image of the Lord Jesus Christ. The cross of Jesus guarantees that all of these broken things will be fixed, but they are not fixed yet. So as I bask in the complete forgiveness that I have been given and enjoy freedom from the anxiety that I will not measure up, I cannot live unwisely. One danger (sin) still lives inside me and another (temptation) still lurks outside me, so I am still a person in daily and desperate need of grace. Forgiveness is complete. Final restoration is yet to come. Knowing you live in between the two is the key to a restful and wise Christian life. For further study and encouragement: 2 Peter 3:1
Paul David Tripp (New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional)
In the light of the evidence it is hard to believe that most crusaders were motivated by crude materialism. Given their knowledge and expectations and the economic climate in which they lived, the disposal of assets to invest in the fairly remote possibility of settlement in the East would have been a stupid gamble. It makes much more sense to suppose, in so far as one can generalize about them, that they were moved by an idealism which must have inspired not only them but their families. Parents, brothers and sisters, wives and children had to face a long absence and must have worried about them: in 1098 Countess Ida of Boulogne made an endowment to the abbey of St Bertin 'for the safety of her sons, Godfrey and Baldwin, who have gone to Jerusalem'.83 And they and more distant relatives — cousins, uncles and nephews - were prepared to endow them out of the patrimonial lands. I have already stressed that no one can treat the phenomenal growth of monasticism in this period without taking into account not only those who entered the communities to be professed, but also the lay men and women who were prepared to endow new religious houses with lands and rents. The same is true of the crusading movement. Behind many crusaders stood a large body of men and women who were prepared to sacrifice interest to help them go. It is hard to avoid concluding that they were fired by the opportunity presented to a relative not only of making a penitential pilgrimage to Jerusalem but also of fighting in a holy cause. For almost a century great lords, castellans and knights had been subjected to abuse by the Church. Wilting under the torrent of invective and responding to the attempts of churchmen to reform their way of life in terms they could understand, they had become perceptibly more pious. Now they were presented by a pope who knew them intimately with the chance of performing a meritorious act which exactly fitted their upbringing and devotional needs and they seized it eagerly. But they responded, of course, in their own way. They were not theologians and were bound to react in ways consonant with their own ideas of right and wrong, ideas that did not always respond to those of senior churchmen. The emphasis that Urban had put on charity - love of Christian brothers under the heel of Islam, love of Christ whose land was subject to the Muslim yoke - could not but arouse in their minds analogies with their own kin and their own lords' patrimonies, and remind them of their obligations to avenge injuries to their relatives and lords. And that put the crusade on the level of a vendetta. Their leaders, writing to Urban in September 1098, informed him that 'The Turks, who inflicted much dishonour on Our Lord Jesus Christ, have been taken and killed and we Jerusalemites have avenged the injury to the supreme God Jesus Christ.
Jonathan Riley-Smith (The First Crusade and the Idea of Crusading)
As the months rolled on, John and Sarah began to understand themselves less as teachers and more as parents, living into the names Baba and Kama Kiwawa. It was clear the boys needed something Keu couldn’t provide, consistent support and affection. Sarah started giving out hugs and bandages, and John role-modeled manhood by providing food, shelter, and an education. But unlike many parents, John and Sarah didn’t dole out punishments. They left that to the council. On his first visit, Keu had appointed six boys with hair sprouting on their chins as the elders of Kiwawa. He spent a week with them on a hill near Kiwawa where he instructed them in the ways of a traditional elder council, showing them how to resolve problems that might arise according to the Pokot traditions. And each night after the guard heard John’s snores rumbling out of the camper, the council built a fire and legislated the day’s problems according to the nomadic values they had learned, sometimes choosing to defer ruling on more complicated matters until Keu returned. Stolen writing stick? The elders huddled together in the shadow of the illuminated acacia tree. The oldest returned and pointed at the offender: “Water-fetching duty for a week.” “Oee,” the boys would shout, the Pokot version of Amen. “Refusing to share meat?” “Three rope whippings.” “Oee.” “Crying because you miss your mother?” “Spend more time with Kama,” the oldest boy would say with compassion. “Oee.” “We were modeling the Pokot elders by becoming the keepers of justice and fairness. You see, Pokot elders can never settle a matter based on anger or some personal retribution. That is so unacceptable,” Michael explained. “A punishment is meant to reform the person as quickly as possible so the criminal can be brought back into the group. This is because every single person has a job to do, whether it is to fetch water, herd cows, or stand guard against Karamoja. And if you are gone, then someone else has to work harder in your absence. Nomads do not have prisons like the modern world, which changes our whole entire judicial system. In America you can lock somebody up in prison for two years for just a small crime like stealing a cow. And while in prison they are taken out of the community and are expected to think about what they have done. And then after those two years of isolation, a group of psychologists and lawyers and I don’t know who else will examine that person and see if they have changed their stealing ways. If not, then they lock them back up,” he said, turning an invisible key. “In America there is the potential to give up on somebody, to leave them outside of the community. But there are no prisons in the desert, and without prisons the elders are left with two choices: reform you or kill you. And as I said, if they kill you, they are not only losing a good worker, but also a brother and a son. And the desert has already taken so many of our sons.
Nathan Roberts (Poor Millionaires: The Village Boy Who Walked to the Western World and the American Boy Who Followed Him Home)
In 2006, researchers Brendan Nyhan and Jason Reifler created fake newspaper articles about polarizing political issues. The articles were written in a way that would confirm a widespread misconception about certain ideas in American politics. As soon as a person read a fake article, experimenters then handed over a true article that corrected the first. For instance, one article suggested that the United States had found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The next article corrected the first and said that the United States had never found them, which was the truth. Those opposed to the war or who had strong liberal leanings tended to disagree with the original article and accept the second. Those who supported the war and leaned more toward the conservative camp tended to agree with the first article and strongly disagree with the second. These reactions shouldn’t surprise you. What should give you pause, though, is how conservatives felt about the correction. After reading that there were no WMDs, they reported being even more certain than before that there actually were WMDs and that their original beliefs were correct. The researchers repeated the experiment with other wedge issues, such as stem cell research and tax reform, and once again they found that corrections tended to increase the strength of the participants’ misconceptions if those corrections contradicted their ideologies. People on opposing sides of the political spectrum read the same articles and then the same corrections, and when new evidence was interpreted as threatening to their beliefs, they doubled down. The corrections backfired. Researchers Kelly Garrett and Brian Weeks expanded on this work in 2013. In their study, people already suspicious of electronic health records read factually incorrect articles about such technologies that supported those subjects’ beliefs. In those articles, the scientists had already identified any misinformation and placed it within brackets, highlighted it in red, and italicized the text. After they finished reading the articles, people who said beforehand that they opposed electronic health records reported no change in their opinions and felt even more strongly about the issue than before. The corrections had strengthened their biases instead of weakening them. Once something is added to your collection of beliefs, you protect it from harm. You do this instinctively and unconsciously when confronted with attitude-inconsistent information. Just as confirmation bias shields you when you actively seek information, the backfire effect defends you when the information seeks you, when it blindsides you. Coming or going, you stick to your beliefs instead of questioning them. When someone tries to correct you, tries to dilute your misconceptions, it backfires and strengthens those misconceptions instead. Over time, the backfire effect makes you less skeptical of those things that allow you to continue seeing your beliefs and attitudes as true and proper.
David McRaney (You Are Now Less Dumb: How to Conquer Mob Mentality, How to Buy Happiness, and All the Other Ways to Outsmart Yourself)
It serves the American socialists as a leading argument in their endeavor to depict American capitalism as a curse of mankind. Reluctantly forced to admit that capitalism pours a horn of plenty upon people and that the Marxian prediction of the masses' progressive impoverishment has been spectacularly disproved by the facts, they try to salvage their detraction of capitalism by describing contemporary civilization as merely materialistic and sham. Bitter attacks upon modem civilization are launched by writers who think that they are pleading the cause of religion. They reprimand our age for its secularism. They bemoan the passing of a way of life in which, they would have us believe, people were not preoccupied with the pursuit of earthly ambitions but were first of ali concerned about the strict observance of their religious duties. They ascribe ali evils to the spread of skepticism and agnosticism and passionately advocate a return to the orthodoxy of ages gone by. It is hard to find a doctrine which distorts history more radically than this antisecularism. There have always been devout men, pure in heart and dedicated to a pious life. But the religiousness of these sincere believers had nothing in common with the established system of devotion. It is a myth that the political and social institutions of the ages preceding modem individualistic philosophy and modem capitalism were imbued with a genuine Christian spirit. The teachings of the Gospels did not determine the official attitude of the governments toward religion. It was, on the contrary, thisworldly concems of the secular rulers—absolute kings and aristocratic oligarchies, but occasionally also revolting peasants and urban mobs—that transformed religion into an instrument of profane political ambitions. Nothing could be less compatible with true religion than the ruthless persecution of dissenters and the horrors of religious crusades and wars. No historian ever denied that very little of the spirit of Christ was to be found in the churches of the sixteenth century which were criticized by the theologians of the Reformation and in those of the eighteenth century which the philosophers of the Enlightenment attacked. The ideology of individualism and utilitarianism which inaugurated modern capitalism brought freedom also to the religious longings of man. It shattered the pretension of those in power to impose their own creed upon their subjects. Religion is no longer the observance of articles enforced by constables and executioners. It is what a man, guided by his conscience, spontaneously espouses as his own faith. Modern Western civilization is thisworldly. But it was precisely its secularism, its religious indifference, that gave rein to the renascence of genuine religious feeling. Those who worship today in a free country are not driven by the secular arm but by their conscience. In complying with the precepts of their persuasion, they are not intent upon avoiding punishment on the part of the earthly authorities but upon salvation and peace of mind.
Ludwig von Mises (Theory and History: An Interpretation of Social and Economic Evolution)
The essence of Roosevelt’s leadership, I soon became convinced, lay in his enterprising use of the “bully pulpit,” a phrase he himself coined to describe the national platform the presidency provides to shape public sentiment and mobilize action. Early in Roosevelt’s tenure, Lyman Abbott, editor of The Outlook, joined a small group of friends in the president’s library to offer advice and criticism on a draft of his upcoming message to Congress. “He had just finished a paragraph of a distinctly ethical character,” Abbott recalled, “when he suddenly stopped, swung round in his swivel chair, and said, ‘I suppose my critics will call that preaching, but I have got such a bully pulpit.’ ” From this bully pulpit, Roosevelt would focus the charge of a national movement to apply an ethical framework, through government action, to the untrammeled growth of modern America. Roosevelt understood from the outset that this task hinged upon the need to develop powerfully reciprocal relationships with members of the national press. He called them by their first names, invited them to meals, took questions during his midday shave, welcomed their company at day’s end while he signed correspondence, and designated, for the first time, a special room for them in the West Wing. He brought them aboard his private railroad car during his regular swings around the country. At every village station, he reached the hearts of the gathered crowds with homespun language, aphorisms, and direct moral appeals. Accompanying reporters then extended the reach of Roosevelt’s words in national publications. Such extraordinary rapport with the press did not stem from calculation alone. Long before and after he was president, Roosevelt was an author and historian. From an early age, he read as he breathed. He knew and revered writers, and his relationship with journalists was authentically collegial. In a sense, he was one of them. While exploring Roosevelt’s relationship with the press, I was especially drawn to the remarkably rich connections he developed with a team of journalists—including Ida Tarbell, Ray Stannard Baker, Lincoln Steffens, and William Allen White—all working at McClure’s magazine, the most influential contemporary progressive publication. The restless enthusiasm and manic energy of their publisher and editor, S. S. McClure, infused the magazine with “a spark of genius,” even as he suffered from periodic nervous breakdowns. “The story is the thing,” Sam McClure responded when asked to account for the methodology behind his publication. He wanted his writers to begin their research without preconceived notions, to carry their readers through their own process of discovery. As they educated themselves about the social and economic inequities rampant in the wake of teeming industrialization, so they educated the entire country. Together, these investigative journalists, who would later appropriate Roosevelt’s derogatory term “muckraker” as “a badge of honor,” produced a series of exposés that uncovered the invisible web of corruption linking politics to business. McClure’s formula—giving his writers the time and resources they needed to produce extended, intensively researched articles—was soon adopted by rival magazines, creating what many considered a golden age of journalism. Collectively, this generation of gifted writers ushered in a new mode of investigative reporting that provided the necessary conditions to make a genuine bully pulpit of the American presidency. “It is hardly an exaggeration to say that the progressive mind was characteristically a journalistic mind,” the historian Richard Hofstadter observed, “and that its characteristic contribution was that of the socially responsible reporter-reformer.
Doris Kearns Goodwin (The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism)
I think that if we are going to reform the world, and make it a better place to live in, the way to do it is not with talk about relationships of a political nature, which are inevitably dualistic, full of subjects and objects and their relationship to one another; or with programs full of things for other people to do. I think that kind of approach starts it at the end and presumes the end is the beginning. Programs of a political nature are important end products of social quality that can be effective only if the underlying structure of social values is right. The social values are right only if the individual values are right. The place to improve the world is first in one’s own heart and head and hands, and then work outward from there. Other people can talk about how to expand the destiny of mankind. I just want to talk about how to fix a motorcycle. I think that what I have to say has more lasting value.
Robert M. Pirsig (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance)
In 1945-50, and within the first eighteen months of the Alianza, there were five coups against eighteen constitutional governments, while only two countries – Mexico and Venezuela, even bothered to propose credible agrarian reform. Above all, American corporate capital which had developed historical interest in promoting mass consumption in Western Europe, approached Latin America via a series of special relations of domination and alliance with local oligarchies.
Mike Davis
While a fair split of the pie is important, reforming business can’t just be about redistributing the pie, because doing so reduces profits. This leads to two problems. First, if reform makes their company less profitable, many CEOs won’t pursue it voluntarily – they might sign statements, but not put them into practice. Pie-splitting then has to be forced on businesses through regulation, but regulation only leads to compliance, not commitment.
Alex Edmans (Grow the Pie: How Great Companies Deliver Both Purpose and Profit – Updated and Revised)
This was just the first of several pivotal points in U.S. history when government reformers would choose to grant political rights instead of achieving real justice by addressing economic inequality
Mehrsa Baradaran (The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap)