"The policy of seeking values from human beings by means of force,
when practiced by an individual, is called crime.
When practiced by a government, it is called statism ..."
Nathaniel Branden
[Nathan Blumenthal] (1930-2014) Canadian psychotherapist, writer
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Reader comments about this quote:
accurate enough.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 1
    Very true.
     -- cal, Lewisville, tx     
     -- jim k, austin tx      
     -- Mary, MI      
     -- jim k, Austin      

    Religion is: a sacrosanct object of conscience (an ethic(s), a moral(s), a value (system) or an orientation of correctness / enlightenment) believed sufficiently conventional as to qualify an attributable action(s). Religion’s initiating elements of conscience, through fruition of action, encompasses self-obligated pursuits, imperative practices and devoted interests (by way of extreme brevity / example: safety, health, fairness, life style acceptance, monetary equality vs. equality before the law, and well being – an ethical belief sufficient to move a person to action defines religion). A “god”, - ‘causation’, ‘directing authority / phenomenon’ or other ‘relegated source’ - of such enabling elements may or may not be instrumental (or even useful) in defining religion. (by way of example: Buddhism, Taoism, societal ethics or values and Humanism are religions without a god or other extra human manifestation). When a god or other super human phenomenon is implemented into a religion, it is to rationalize and make sense of the conventionally held ethics, morals, values and orientation of correctness based beliefs. Religion is: “real piety in practice, consisting in the performance of all known duties to ⋯ our fellow men.” (Bouvier’s Law Dictionary)

    Religions are recognizable by their moral, value and ethical tenets, by terse example: clothe the naked, feed the hungry, house the homeless, finance the indigent, aide the sick and otherwise afflicted, regulate religious sacraments such as marriage, and aide and abet human sacrifice to gods of pleasure and life style. Religion is a moral and ethical tenet (singularly, collectively or in associated concert) outside the rigid absolutes of natural law (“the laws of nature and of nature’s God” {Declaration of Independence} – gravity, physics, math, life, liberty, property), also recognizable by values and orientation of correctness based dogmatic canons.

    When religion mixes with secular government it is called a theocracy. Branden’s here quote is shown accurate by the example of the occupying statist theocracy infesting this land. A forced value by government is a criminal theocracy by despotism.

     -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 1
    Well said, Mike.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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