The priesthood have, in all ancient nations, nearly monopolized learning.... 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.
more John Adams quotes
We think ourselves possessed, or, at least, we boast that we are so, of liberty of conscience on all subjects, and of the right of free inquiry and private judgment in all cases, and yet how far are we from these exalted privileges in fact! There exists, I believe, throughout the whole Christian world, a law which makes it blasphemy to deny or doubt the divine inspiration of all the books of the Old and New Testaments, from Genesis to Revelations. In most countries of Europe it is punished by fire at the stake, or the rack, or the wheel. In England itself it is punished by boring through the tongue with a red-hot poker. In America it is not better; even in our own Massachusetts, which I believe, upon the whole, is as temperate and moderate in religious zeal as most of the States, a law was made in the latter end of the last century, repealing the cruel punishments of the former laws, but substituting fine and imprisonment upon all those blasphemers upon any book of the Old Testament or New. Now, what free inquiry, when a writer must surely encounter the risk of fine or imprisonment for adducing any argument for investigating into the divine authority of those books? Who would run the risk of translating Dupuis? But I cannot enlarge upon this subject, though I have it much at heart. I think such laws a great embarrassment, great obstructions to the improvement of the human mind. Books that cannot bear examination, certainly ought not to be established as divine inspiration by penal laws. It is true, few persons appear desirous to put such laws in execution, and it is also true that some few persons are hardy enough to venture to depart from them. But as long as they continue in force as laws, the human mind must make an awkward and clumsy progress in its investigations. I wish they were repealed. The substance and essence of Christianity, as I understand it, is eternal and unchangeable, and will bear examination forever, but it has been mixed with extraneous ingredients, which I think will not bear examination, and they ought to be separated. Adieu.
more John Adams quotes
So long as there are earnest believers in the world, they will always wish to punish opinions, even if their judgment tells them it is unwise and their conscience tells them it is wrong.
more Walter Bagehot quotes
No matter what happens, somebody will find a way to take it too seriously.
more Dave Barry quotes
Anonymous pamphlets, leaflets, brochures and even books have played an important role in the progress of mankind. Persecuted groups and sects from time to time throughout history have been able to criticize the oppressive practices and laws either anonymously or not at all... It is plain that anonymity has sometimes been assumed for the most constructive purposes.
more Justice Hugo L. Black quotes
Virtue is persecuted more by the wicked than it is loved by the good.
more Buddha quotes
The life of a thinking man will probably be divided into two parts -- the first in which he desires to exterminate modern thinkers, and the second in which he desires to watch them exterminating each other. ... Suppose, for instance, there is an old story and a new skeptic who is skeptical of the story. We have only to wait a little while for a yet newer skeptic who is skeptical of the skeptic. He will probably find the old notion actually a help in his new notion. This process is an abstract truth applying to anything, apart from agreement or disagreement.
more Gilbert Keith Chesterton quotes
Love of justice in the generality of men is only the fear of suffering from injustice.
more François Duc de La Rochefoucauld quotes
We ought to be very cautious in the prosecution of magic and heresy. The attempt to put down these two crimes may be extremely perilous to liberty, and may be the origin of a number of petty acts of tyranny if the legislator be not on his guard; for as such an accusation does not bear directly on the overt acts of a citizen, but refers to the idea we entertain of his character.
more Charles-Louis De Secondat quotes
I hear much of people's calling out to punish the guilty, but very few are concerned to clear the innocent.
more Daniel Defoe quotes
Pity the poor, wretched, timid soul, too faint hearted to resist his oppressors. He sings the songs of the damned, 'I cannot resist, I have too much to lose, they might take my property or confiscate my earnings, what would my family do, how would they survive?' He hides behind pretended family responsibility, failing to see that the most glorious legacy that we can bequeath to our posterity is liberty!
more W. Vaughn Ellsworth quotes
The history of persecution is a history of endeavors to cheat nature, to make water run up hill, to twist a rope of sand.
more Ralph Waldo Emerson quotes
Persecution readily knits friendship between its victims.
more Ralph Waldo Emerson quotes
The liberty of the press would be an empty sound, and no man would venture to write on any subject, however, pure his purpose, without an attorney at one elbow and a counsel at the other. From minds thus subdued by the fear of punishment, there could issue no works of genius to expand the empire of human reason.
more Thomas Erskine quotes
If you suppose that good intentions justify intruding on the lives and properties of your fellow citizens: Do you appreciate being the target of somebody else's good intentions, or haven't you had that particular dubious pleasure yet?
more Cat Farmer quotes
Humanity's most valuable assets have been the non-conformists. Were it not for the non-conformists, he who refuses to be satisfied to go along with the continuance of things as they are, and insists upon attempting to find new ways of bettering things, the world would have known little progress, indeed.
more Josiah William Gitt quotes
Heresy is only another word for freedom of thought.
more Graham Greene quotes
In politics, as in religion, it is equally absurd to aim at making proselytes by fire and sword. Heresies in either can rarely be cured by persecution.
more Alexander Hamilton quotes
Whenever they burn books they will also, in the end, burn human beings.
more Heinrich Heine quotes
It is thus necessary that the individual should finally come to realize that his own ego is of no importance in comparison with the existence of the nation, that the position of the individual is conditioned solely by the interests of the nation as a whole.
more Adolf Hitler quotes
Society's needs come before the individual's needs.
more Adolf Hitler quotes
It is doubtful if the oppressed ever fight for freedom. They fight for pride and power -- power to oppress others. The oppressed want above all to imitate their oppressors; they want to retaliate.
more Eric Hoffer quotes
Force without wisdom falls of its own weight.
more Horace quotes
We have entered a period of intolerance which combines, as it sometimes does in America, with a sugary taste for euphemism.
more Robert Hughes quotes
Our forefathers found the evils of free thinking more to be endured than the evils of inquest or suppression. This is because thoughtful, bold and independent minds are essential to the wise and considered self-government.
more Justice Robert H. Jackson quotes
The patriot, like the Christian, must learn to bear revilings and persecutions as a part of his duty; and in proportion as the trial is severe, firmness under it becomes more requisite and praiseworthy. It requires, indeed, self-command. But that will be fortified in proportion as the calls for its exercise are repeated.
more Thomas Jefferson quotes
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.
more Jesus of Nazareth quotes
Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth.
more Jesus of Nazareth quotes
Persecution is the first law of society because it is always easier to suppress criticism than to meet it.
more Howard Mumford Jones quotes
Persecution, whenever it occurs, establishes only the power and cunning of the persecutor, not the truth and worth of his belief.
more H. M. Kallen quotes
Men are freest when they are most unconscious of freedom. The shout is a rattling of chains and always was.
more D. H. Lawrence quotes
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive... To be 'cured' against one's will and cured of states which we may not even regard as disease is to be put on a level with those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals. For if crime and disease are to be regarded as the same thing, it follows that any state of mind which our masters choose to call 'disease' can be treated as a crime; and compulsorily cured. Even if the treatment is painful, even if it is life-long, even if it is fatal, that will be only a regrettable accident; the intention was purely therapeutic.
more C. S. Lewis quotes
This is a world of compensations; and he who would be no slave must consent to have no slave. Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.
more Abraham Lincoln quotes
Persecution produced its natural effect on them. It found them a sect; it made them a faction.
more Thomas Babington Macaulay quotes
No man survives when freedom fails, The best men rot in filthy jails; And those who cried: 'Appease, Appease!' Are hanged by men they tried to please.
more Hiram Mann quotes
All I ask is equal freedom. When it is denied, as it always is, I take it anyhow.
more H. L. Mencken quotes
The great writers to whom the world owes what religious liberty it possesses, have mostly asserted freedom of conscience as an indefeasible right, and denied absolutely that a human being is accountable to others for his religious belief. Yet so natural to mankind is intolerance in whatever they really care about, that religious freedom has hardly anywhere been practically realised, except where religious indifference, which dislikes to have its peace disturbed by theological quarrels, has added its weight to the scale.
more John Stuart Mill quotes
Everything we shut our eyes to, everything we run away from, everything we deny, denigrate or despise, serves to defeat us in the end. What seems nasty, painful, evil, can become a source of beauty, joy, and strength, if faced with an open mind.
more Henry Miller quotes
There is no truth sure enough to justify persecution.
more John Milton quotes
You have not converted a man because you have silenced him.
more John Viscount Morley quotes
If none of us ever read a book that was “dangerous,” had a friend who was “different,” or joined an organization that advocated “change,” we would all be the kind of people Joe McCarthy wants.
more Edward R. Murrow quotes
My fear was not of death itself, but a death without meaning. I wanted my death to be something the people could relate to, a basis for further mobilization of the community.
more Huey P. Newton quotes
Distrust everyone in whom the impulse to punish is powerful.
more Friedrich Nietzsche quotes
Even today a crude sort of persecution is all that is required to create an honorable name for any sect, no matter how indifferent in itself.
more Friedrich Nietzsche quotes
No external force will ever succeed in making you 'want what you do not want and believe what you do not believe'. A man may take my life, but not my faith.
more Gerhard Oestreich quotes
Loss of liberty is inimical to all forms of literature... The fact is that certain themes cannot be celebrated in words, and tyranny is one of them. No one ever wrote a good book in praise of the Inquisition.
more George Orwell quotes
It was terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander when you were in any public place or within range of a telescreen. The smallest thing could give you away. A nervous tic, an unconscious look of anxiety, a habit of muttering to yourself—anything that carried with it the suggestion of abnormality, of having something to hide. In any case, to wear an improper expression on your face ... was itself a punishable offense. There was even a word for it in Newspeak: facecrime ...
more George Orwell quotes
But if you say, you can still pass the violations over, then I ask, hath your house been burnt? Hath your property been destroyed before your face? Are your wife and children destitute of a bed to lie on, or bread to live on? Have you lost a parent or a child by their hands, and yourself the ruined and wretched survivor? If you have not, then you are not a judge of those who have. But if you have, and can still shake hands with the murderers, then you are unworthy of the name of husband, father, friend, or lover, and whatever may be your rank or title in life, you have the heart of a coward and the spirit of a sycophant.
more Thomas Paine quotes
Most of the harm in the world is done by good people, and not by accident, lapse, or omission. It is the result of their deliberate actions, long persevered in, which they hold to be motivated by high ideals toward virtuous ends.
more Isabel Paterson quotes
 Get a Quote-A-Day! 
Persecution Quotes 1-50 out of 75
   Next 50 Persecution quotes>>
 
Quotes: Index by Author
A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z

More Quotations
Get a Quote-A-Day! Free!
Liberty Quotes sent to your mail box.
RSS Subscribe
Liberty Quotes & Quotations

© 1998-2017 Liberty-Tree.ca