Quips and quotes - 1
|A simple solution|
The only thing the world really needs is for every child to grow up in
Chief Dan George
|Where love rules|
Where love rules there is no will to power; and where power
predominates, there love is lacking. The one is the
shadow of the other.
|Be fruitful and multiply|
The command 'be fruitful and multiply' was promulgated,
according to our authorities, when the population of the world
consisted of two people.
|The squabbles of religion|
When religious people quarrel about religion, or hungry people about
their victuals, it looks as if they had not much of either about them.
|There's a cost|
If you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.
God made us, not because he knew what we would do, but to find
out what we would do.
|The Latest Decalogue|
Thou shalt have one God only; who|
Would be at the expense of two?
No graven image may be
Worshipped, except the currency.
Swear not at all; for, for thy curse
Thine enemy is none the worse.
At church on Sunday to attend
Will serve to keep the world thy friend.
Honour thy parents; that is, all
From whom advancement may befall.
Thou shalt not kill, but need'st not strive
Officiously to keep alive.
Do not adultery commit;
Advantage rarely comes of it.
Thou shalt not steal; an empty feat,
When it's so lucrative to cheat.
Bear not false witness; let the lie
Have time on its own wings to fly.
Thou shalt not covet; but tradition
Approves all forms of competition.
The sum of all is, thou shalt love
If anybody, God above:
At any rate shall never labour
More than thyself to love thy neighbour.
Arthur Hugh Clough
Aristotle thought there were eight legs on a fly and wrote it down.
For centuries scholars were content to quote his authority.
Apparently not one of them was curious enough to impale a fly and count its
Stuart Chase, quoted Jay Hanson
You have a duty to perform. Do anything else, do any number of
things, occupy your time fully, and yet, if you do not do
this task, all your time will have been wasted.
|Is there any hope?|
|If there is any hope at all, it is that people will come to understand the key systems in their world and then find the courage to make the hard decisions necessary for survival. We must find political means to abandon the competitive, consumptive social system - or we shall perish.|
|Moral leadership does not mean someone to tell us what to do. It means someone to help us discover that we already know what to do, someone who can recognize the smokescreens we all throw into ethical discussions to make us feel good about what we know we should feel bad about, someone to keep reminding us that we are special and precious - all of us, every one of us, but none of us more special or precious than anyone else.|
|An unfortunate choice of teacher|
A cat caught a scorpion, which promised to pass on a secret if the cat
would let it go. The cat agreed. The next time the cat was
approached by its owner it made a backward spring and stuck its claws into
the outstretched hand. The man put the cat into a bag and dropped the
bag into a river.
|The power of prayer|
Once there was a Drag Hunt Ball just outside Oxford, to which I had
unaccountably failed to be asked. I asked God to do something about
it, and God recklessly killed poor King George VI, as a result of
which the Hunt Ball was cancelled.
Antonia Fraser, UK writer
|Recognize your limits|
Teach your tongue to say 'I do not know'.
Maimonides, C12 Jewish philosopher
Whenever someone recognizes something in God and puts a name on it,
then it is not God. God is higher than names or nature.
Fifty Ways To Get Political
|First reduce consumption, then re-use what you can, then recycle everything possible of what's left. Promote this practice in your community and workplace. Besides voting, recycling is currently one of the few ways we participate in public life on a mass scale voluntarily.|
|9. Write letters to the editor|
|Published, they can change minds, and even unpublished, they impact the newspaper.|
|11. Learn about unions|
|If you don't belong to one, get someone who does to explain their purpose, history, and current status. Unions are where many of the most important political battles of our era were fought - and often won.|
|21. Be eco-wise|
|Compost, save water, conserve energy, car pool - all of these contribute to the public good, model good behaviour, and shift the political centre of gravity in a green direction.|
|23. Join a study circle|
|Self-education is a fast track to political empowerment. Pick an issue you care about, hook up with some friends who feel likewise, and start reading, thinking, and talking about it. If you then come up with some better ideas than the people currently holding the levers of power and get your plans adopted, it won't be the first time such things have happened.|
|25. Adopt a creek (or a tree or a hillside or ...)|
|Learn to care for it, learn everything you can about it, and we guarantee it will heighten your political sensibilities.|
|41. Eat lower on the food chain|
|Food is the most under-recognized confluence of the personal and political. Eating less meat will positively impact everything from your health to public land management.|
|45. Get rid of your television set|
|Spend the time you save on political activities. This is easily the most radical item on the list, as it involves permanently unplugging yourself from the national propaganda campaign we call advertising.|
|46. Watch television - critically|
If you don't want to pull the plug (or want to plug back
in), tune in with discrimination. You can learn
wonderful things from TV and use it as a tool for political
education, or you can pollute your brain and get drowned in
propaganda. It's up to you.|
IN CONTEXT Fall/Winter 1991
I refuse to accept the view that the bright daybreak of peace and
brotherhood can never become a reality. |
Martin Luther King Jr.
It is because other so-called gods do not right the wrongs of this world
that they expose themselves as not gods.
|The vulnerability of children|
All children are potential victims, dependent on the world's goodwill.
|Money before country|
Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not
constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains.
The churches grow old but do not grow up.
Doris Langley Moore
|Where the power is|
It is useless for the sheep to pass resolutions in favour of vegetarianism
while the wolf remains of a different opinion. |
I have a most peaceable disposition. My desires are for a modest
hut, a thatched roof, but a good bed, good
food, very fresh milk and butter, flowers in front of my
window and a few pretty trees by my door. And should the good Lord
wish to make me really happy, he will allow me the pleasure of seeing
about six or seven of my enemies hanged upon those trees.
The relative value of the various religions is a very difficult thing to
discern. It is almost impossible, perhaps quite impossible.
For a religion is only known from inside. Religion is a form
of nourishment. It is difficult to appreciate the flavour and
food-value of something one has never eaten.
|The tyrants' Bible|
When those who are opposed to all reforms can find no other argument,
their last resort is the Bible. It has been interpreted to favour
intemperance, slavery, capital punishment, and the
subjection of women.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
|The pursuit of wealth|
He that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent.
Proverbs 28:20 (KJV)
|Who is close to God?|
An atheist and an 'infidel' capable of pure compassion,
are as close to God as is a Christian, and consequently know him
equally well, although their knowledge is expressed in other
words, or remains unspoken. For 'God is love'.
|Growth for the sake of growth|
|"Growth for the sake of growth," notes environmental writer Edward Abbey, "is the ideology of the cancer cell." Just as a continuously growing cancer eventually destroys its life-support systems by destroying its host, a continuously expanding global economy is slowly destroying its host - the Earth's ecosystem.|
It is even possible to doubt, whether the anxiety for eternal
safety, which bids one neglect all social duty, and concentrate
all the strength and every moment of existence upon the state of one's own
soul, be anything better than a most insidious and most dangerous form
|The test of civilization|
A decent provision for the poor is the true test of civilization.
|Why economists disagree|
There is self-interest, something we all recognize and are usually too
polite to mention. Any economist who works for a large New York bank
rarely comes up with a conclusion that is adverse to the interest of his
bank as that is understood by his employers. His public truth is what
gains their approval. There has always been in the United States a
healthy suspicion of the views of the economics professor who has a
remunerative consulting relationship with corporations. Certainly his
view will be different from that of an economist who is employed by a trade
union. . . .
There isn't much difficulty in telling who has an axe to grind; our oldest instinct is to ask who is paying.
|True faith is flexible|
True faith is provisional, flexible, undogmatic, open to
doubt and reason.
There are many people who reach their conclusions about life like
schoolboys; they cheat their master by copying the answer out of a
book without having worked out the sum for themselves.
In our era the road to holiness necessarily passes through the world of
What the public wants is called "politically unrealistic." Translated
that means power and privilege are opposed to it.
So far today I've done alright . . .
I haven't gossiped, lost my temper,
been greedy, grumpy, nasty,
selfish or over-indulgent.
I'm very thankful for that.
But in a few minutes, Lord,
|Christians must change|
|Christians need a profound cultural revolution to transform
them into a force that will subvert injustice and tyranny. The weekly
meetings of Christians provide an excellent opportunity for both inner
personal growth and social commitment - if these meetings are
courageously and wisely utilised.
|The popular poet Rod McKuen, in a rare moment of
non-sappiness, once declared that it was clear to him that some people
needed to be "born again and again and again until they finally got it
|Is this what Christian love means?|
|The Christian minister spoke with feeling at the interfaith
dialogue: "The only way I can love people of other faiths fully is to
share with them the love of Jesus. Letting people die unsaved is no
kind of love. I'm sorry if it seems I don't respect you."|
The Rabbi took a deep breath. "I'm sorry if this sounds even less respectful. But my people don't want that kind of love. We've had it too often through the centuries. We know what it leads to. You start by loving us. Then we don't convert and you get frustrated with us. In the end, what begins as love has often ended in death. If that's Christian love, we don't want it."
Diocese of Newark
|A schoolgirl who was assigned to write a review
of a book on penguins did it in just one sentence: "This
book told me more about penguins than I really wanted to know."|
|Hoping to goodness|
|Hoping to goodness is not theologically sound.
|He who would do good to another must do it in
minute particulars. General good is the plea of the
scoundrel, hypocrite, and flatterer.
|Seeing the good|
|In India we have a saying that the fly sits on
the filth as well as the honey, but the bee seeks only the
honey and avoids the filth. And so one of the first vows
given to the religious aspirant is: May I follow the example
of the bee, not that of the fly! As we progress in
the spiritual life, we learn to see the good in everyone.
|To change the world|
|Philosophers seek to understand the world;
the point, however, is to change it.
|Native American viewpoint|
|Why are white people so afraid of the homosexual? In
native American languages we don't even have a word for the homosexual.
In fact, it is well known among us that the most spiritual people
are often homosexuals and these people have been counsellors to our greatest
|The Jesus movement|
|The Jesus movement in Palestine was a self-help community
of poor Jews. They tried in all ways to help each other, shared
the little food they had, and cared for each others' health.
Those involved understood themselves as heirs of the religious tradition of
Israel, and their movement as the beginning of a bringing together of
the entire people, as a restoration of creation.