Religious Quotes

I leave pansies, the symbolic flower of freethought, in memory of the Great Agnostic, Robert Ingersoll, who stood for equality, education, progress, free ideas and free lives, against the superstition and bigotry of religious dogma. We need men like him today more than ever. His writing still inspires us and challenges the ‘better angels’ of our nature, when people open their hearts and minds to his simple, honest humanity. Thank goodness he was here.

Today’s secular libertarians, who want to remove biblical religion from public life, have trouble making sense of the civil rights movement because it was so clearly a religiously inspired movement that entered the public arena and made a major difference in American life.

We no longer just take religious identity from our parents, so what’s going on? Why are people going to this series, why are people reading so many books about religion? It’s because they want answers. The answers are no longer just passed down from generation to generation. It’s harder for people. In effect, you have to roll up your sleeve and ask the questions. But if you do it, if you forge your own identity, it can be much more personal and much more meaningful to you.

You have to be careful with fans, they’ll turn on you. They turn quick. Twitter can go dark fast. If you talk about something serious on Twitter, you better be ready. If you try to pull out real facts or talk about political opinions or something religious, forget it. Like if people asked me who I was voting for, you couldn’t touch that one.

On areas like abortion where there is major disagreement among the mainstream religious groups in the Judeo-Christian tradition, I believe that requires a lot more caution. The Jewish position on abortion is very different from the Roman Catholic position. That is reason to be cautious about enacting laws rather than saying to the religious group: instruct your followers on these matters as matters of personal religious belief.

I think there has been an unfortunate tendency for a lot of different groups to forget that distinction between natural law and revealed truth and to say: Our complete agenda is to be enacted into laws governing the entire society. Many different religious groups claim that authority, not only Catholics. A lot of different Protestant groups as well are stepping forward to say: Here is our agenda, it is a moral agenda, ergo it must be enacted into law. I think that the distinction between natural law and more ultimate kinds of doctrine is being lost.

I think it is important that religious leaders of all kinds consciously attempt to distinguish between issues of natural law on which there is consensus among Catholic, Protestant, and Jew and those issues on which there must be a greater degree of tolerance of other peoples’ opinions and of the diversity that is characteristic of American society.

When I was at Notre Dame studying under Joe Evans, Frank O’Malley, and others, there was a very lively debate about the distinction between natural law and revealed truth. Most of the philosophers of church and state expected that what was going to be advocated as the law of the land would be related to natural law. If you attempted to draw lines about certain general moral truths that were derivative of logic and reason, they would prove to be widely shared, and therefore suitable to be enacted into law on both the civic and religious sides.

I cannot imagine how religious persons can live satisfied without the practice of the presence of GOD. For my part I keep myself retired with Him in the depth of centre of my soul as much as I can; and while I am so with Him I fear nothing; but the least turning from Him is insupportable.

The world was sick, and the ills from which it was suffering were mainly due to the perversion of man, his inability to live at peace with himself. The microbe was no longer the main enemy; science was sufficiently advanced to be able to cope with it admirably. If it were not for such barriers as superstition, ignorance, religious intolerance, misery and poverty.

For the religious, passivism [i.e., objects are obedient to the laws of nature] provides a clear role of God as the author of the laws of nature. If the laws of nature are God’s commands for an essentially passive world …, God also has the power to suspend the laws of nature, and so perform miracles.