If a man would follow, today, the teachings of the Old Testament, he would be a criminal. If he would follow the teachings of the New, he would be insane.
All religions are the same: religion is basically guilt, with different holidays.
Moral: a peerless maxim enumerated by God in his Holy Bible, such as that of Deut. 23.1: “If your testicles are crushed or your male member missing, you must never enter a sanctuary of the Lord.”
We must respect the other fellow’s religion, but only in the same sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart.
My Palestinian intellectual friend tells me that he might be willing to admit that God in Hebrew said the Jews could have Israel. But, he said, Allah did not speak it in Arabic to the Arabs.
Each drew his sword / On the side of the Lord.
They were so strong in their beliefs that there came a time when it hardly mattered what exactly those beliefs were; they all fused into a single stubbornness.
You can safely assume that you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.
Suppose some mathematical creature from the moon were to reckon up the human body; he would at once see the essential thing about it was that it was duplicate. A man is two men, he on the right exactly resembling him on the left. Having noted that there was an arm on the right and one on the left, a leg on the right and one on the left, he might go further still and find on each side the same number of fingers, the same number of toes, twin eyes, twin ears, twin nostrils, and even twin lobes of the brain. At last he would take it as a law; and then, where he found a heart on one side, would deduce that there was another heart on the other. And just then, where he most felt he was right, he would be wrong.
It would indeed be a tragedy if the history of the human race proved to be nothing more noble than the story of an ape playing with a box of matches on a petrol dump.
While I was young, when I burned with the love of God, I thought I would convert the whole world to God. But soon I realized that it would be more than enough to convert the people who lived in my town, and I made an effort for a long time, but was not successful. Then I realized that my agenda was still too ambitious, and I focused on the people in my household. But I could not convert them either. Finally I realized: I must work on myself, if I’m really going to have something to offer God. But I didn’t even accomplish this.
I think Derek Wolcott was right: one has to be willing to surrender to a condition of awe, to the astonishment of the soul, to bewilderment, bafflement, humility. Or, as Emerson neatly put it, “Let the bird sing without deciphering the song.”
Before God we are all equally wise and equally foolish.
Just because the solutions of problems are not visible at any particular time does not mean that those problems will never be alleviated — or confined to tolerable dimensions. History has a way of changing the very terms in which problems operate and of leaving them, in the end, unsolved, to be sure, yet strangely deflated of their original meaning and importance.
Antonio Rivera took refuge with other Nationalists in the Alcázar during the Spanish Civil War. As a pacifist, the youth refused at first to help defend the ancient stronghold, and was put on latrine duty. When the situation of the besieged became more desperate, he decided that it would not be inconsistent with his principles to aid in the defense, provided that he did not kill in hatred. He was assigned the position of loader to a heavy machine gun. It was said that he would give the signal to fire with the words: “Tirad — pero sin odio.” (Fire — but without hatred. )
He who would be friends with God must remain alone or make the whole world his friend.