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Quotes About Martyr

Quotes tagged as "martyr" (showing 1-30 of 30)
Oscar Wilde
“A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it.”
Oscar Wilde

Søren Kierkegaard
“The tyrant dies and his rule is over, the martyr dies and his rule begins.”
Søren Kierkegaard, The Journals of Kierkegaard

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
“Heroes who shed their blood and lost their lives! You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours. You, the mothers, who sent their sons from far away countries wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.”
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk

H.L. Mencken
“It is often argued that religion is valuable because it makes men good, but even if this were true it would not be a proof that religion is true. That would be an extension of pragmatism beyond endurance. Santa Claus makes children good in precisely the same way, and yet no one would argue seriously that the fact proves his existence. The defense of religion is full of such logical imbecilities. The theologians, taking one with another, are adept logicians, but every now and then they have to resort to sophistries so obvious that their whole case takes on an air of the ridiculous. Even the most logical religion starts out with patently false assumptions. It is often argued in support of this or that one that men are so devoted to it that they are willing to die for it. That, of course, is as silly as the Santa Claus proof. Other men are just as devoted to manifestly false religions, and just as willing to die for them. Every theologian spends a large part of his time and energy trying to prove that religions for which multitudes of honest men have fought and died are false, wicked, and against God.”
H.L. Mencken, Minority Report

“The ink of the scholar is more holy than the blood of the martyr.”
Anonymous, The Quran

Patricia Briggs
“Being a martyr is highly overrated. ”
Patricia Briggs, Dragon Bones

Christopher Paolini
“So the question becomes, If you are ever faced with this choice are you willing to die for what you believe in? For that is the only way you will deny him. [...] It's a difficult question and not one you can answer until you're faced with it. Keep in mind that many people have died for their beliefs; it's actually quite common. The real courage is in living and suffering for what you believe.”
Christopher Paolini, Eragon

نجيب محفوظ
“أي قتيل في سبيل شيئ فوق نفسه فهو شهيد، وقد تتغير قيم الأشياء أما موقف الإنسان منها فهو قيمة لا تتغير.”
نجيب محفوظ, Sugar Street

Ezra Pound
“Adolf Hitler was a Jeanne d'Arc, a saint. He was a martyr.”
Ezra Pound

Giordano Bruno
“Maybe you who condemn me are in greater fear than I who am condemned.”
Giordano Bruno

Dietrich Bonhoeffer
“The fearful danger of the present time is that above the cry for authority, we forget that man stands alone before the ultimate authority, and that anyone who lays violent hands on man here, is infringing eternal laws, and taking upon himself superhuman authority, which will eventually crush him.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Stevie Smith
“Oh Lion in a peculiar guise,
Sharp Roman road to Paradise,
Come eat me up, I'll pay thy toll
With all my flesh, and keep my soul.”
Stevie Smith, Selected Poems

Philippe Claudel
“Saintliness is very odd. When people encounter it, they often take it for something else, something completely unlike it: indifference, mockery, scheming, coldness, insolence, perhaps even contempt. But they're mistaken, and that makes them furious. They commit an awful crime. This is doubtless the reason why most saints end up as martyrs.”
Philippe Claudel, Brodeck

Ann Aguirre
“This guilt is a joke, and it’s exhausting to watch you martyr yourself.”
Ann Aguirre, Aftermath

“My grandmother always acted in other people's interests, whether they wanted her to or not. If they'd had an Olympics in martyrdom my grandmother would have lost on purpose.”
Emily Levine

Robert G. Ingersoll
“I used to read in books how our fathers persecuted mankind. But I never appreciated it. I did not really appreciate the infamies that have been committed in the name of religion, until I saw the iron arguments that Christians used. I saw the Thumbscrew—two little pieces of iron, armed on the inner surfaces with protuberances, to prevent their slipping; through each end a screw uniting the two pieces. And when some man denied the efficacy of baptism, or may be said, 'I do not believe that a fish ever swallowed a man to keep him from drowning,' then they put his thumb between these pieces of iron and in the name of love and universal forgiveness, began to screw these pieces together. When this was done most men said, 'I will recant.' Probably I should have done the same. Probably I would have said: 'Stop; I will admit anything that you wish; I will admit that there is one god or a million, one hell or a billion; suit yourselves; but stop.'

But there was now and then a man who would not swerve the breadth of a hair. There was now and then some sublime heart, willing to die for an intellectual conviction. Had it not been for such men, we would be savages to-night. Had it not been for a few brave, heroic souls in every age, we would have been cannibals, with pictures of wild beasts tattooed upon our flesh, dancing around some dried snake fetich.

Let us thank every good and noble man who stood so grandly, so proudly, in spite of opposition, of hatred and death, for what he believed to be the truth.

Heroism did not excite the respect of our fathers. The man who would not recant was not forgiven. They screwed the thumbscrews down to the last pang, and then threw their victim into some dungeon, where, in the throbbing silence and darkness, he might suffer the agonies of the fabled damned. This was done in the name of love—in the name of mercy, in the name of Christ.

I saw, too, what they called the Collar of Torture. Imagine a circle of iron, and on the inside a hundred points almost as sharp as needles. This argument was fastened about the throat of the sufferer. Then he could not walk, nor sit down, nor stir without the neck being punctured, by these points. In a little while the throat would begin to swell, and suffocation would end the agonies of that man. This man, it may be, had committed the crime of saying, with tears upon his cheeks, 'I do not believe that God, the father of us all, will damn to eternal perdition any of the children of men.'

I saw another instrument, called the Scavenger's Daughter. Think of a pair of shears with handles, not only where they now are, but at the points as well, and just above the pivot that unites the blades, a circle of iron. In the upper handles the hands would be placed; in the lower, the feet; and through the iron ring, at the centre, the head of the victim would be forced. In this condition, he would be thrown prone upon the earth, and the strain upon the muscles produced such agony that insanity would in pity end his pain.

I saw the Rack. This was a box like the bed of a wagon, with a windlass at each end, with levers, and ratchets to prevent slipping; over each windlass went chains; some were fastened to the ankles of the sufferer; others to his wrists. And then priests, clergymen, divines, saints, began turning these windlasses, and kept turning, until the ankles, the knees, the hips, the shoulders, the elbows, the wrists of the victim were all dislocated, and the sufferer was wet with the sweat of agony. And they had standing by a physician to feel his pulse. What for? To save his life? Yes. In mercy? No; simply that they might rack him once again.

This was done, remember, in the name of civilization; in the name of law and order; in the name of mercy; in the name of religion; in the name of Christ.”
Robert G. Ingersoll, The Liberty of Man, Woman and Child

Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia
“The world at large is not easily moved to action; it requires many terrible martyrdoms to disturb its equilibrium of dullness; and even when disturbed, it tends quickly to resume its wonted immobility. It is the thinking, radical elements which are, literally, the movers of the world, the intellectual and emotional disturbers of its stupid equanimity. They must never be suffered to become dormant, for they, too, are in danger of growing absorbed in mere adulation of the martyr and rhetorical admiration of his great work. Idols are created when men are praised, and this is very bad for the future of the human race. The time devoted to the dead would be better employed in improving the condition of the living, most of whom stand in great need of this.”
Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia

Pierce Brown
“Dreamers like your wife are limited, little Helldiver.” She makes sure I don’t speak.
“Understand that. The only power they have is in death. The harder they die, the louder
their voice, the deeper the echoes. But your wife served her purpose.”
Pierce Brown, Red Rising

“The claim at the heart of this book has been carefully researched by several generations of scholars and is orthodox in academic circles, if not beyond. Christians under the Roman Empire were neither constantly persecuted nor martyred in huge numbers for their faith. They were prosecuted from time to time for alleged sedition, holding illegal meetings or refusing to sacrifice to the emperor. They were, like other convicts, sometimes tortured and executed in horrible ways. They seem to have been regarded by many Romans with distaste as a particularly silly superstition. But Christian stories of thousands of individual and mass martyrdoms over centuries have at best a limited basis in historical fact, and in many cases are sheer fiction.”
Teresa Morgan

Malcolm X
“I actually believed that after living as fully as humanly possible, one should then die violently. I expected then as I still expect today”
Malcolm X, The Autobiography of Malcolm X

Annette Vaillancourt
“I am startled by how resistant people are to doing anything nice or nurturing for themselves, especially women. They fear being selfish. This intense clinging to a martyr role doesn’t serve anyone. It makes you brittle, not resilient.”
Annette Vaillancourt, How to Manifest Your Soulmate with Eft: Relationship as a Spiritual Path

“[Giordano] Bruno died, despised and suffering, after eight years of agony. From that moment, his works have attracted interest, and he has long been recognized as an important figure in the development of modern thought. Nevertheless, few are familiar with the many and often bewildering pages of his writings. His Italian works have their place in the history of Italian literature. The Latin works in prose and verse are much more bulky and diffuse, but the few who grapple with them are rewarded by passages of great beauty and eloquence.”
Dorothea Singer, Giordano Bruno: His Life and Thought

Robert G. Ingersoll
“If the Pentateuch is inspired, the civilization of of our day is a mistake and crime. There should be no political liberty. Heresy should be trodden out beneath the bigot's brutal feet. Husbands should divorce their wives at will, and make the mothers of their children houseless and weeping wanderers. Polygamy ought to be practiced; women should become slaves; we should buy the sons and daughters of the heathen and make them bondmen and bondwomen forever. We should sell our own flesh and blood, and have the right to kill our slaves. Men and women should be stoned to death for laboring on the seventh day. 'Mediums,' such as have familiar spirits, should be burned with fire. Every vestige of mental liberty should be destroyed, and reason's holy torch extinguished in the martyr's blood.”
Robert G. Ingersoll, Some Mistakes of Moses

“Another site of Leftist struggle [other than Detroit] that has parallels to New Orleans: Palestine. From the central role of displacement to the ways in which culture and community serve as tools of resistance, there are illuminating comparisons to be made between these two otherwise very different places.

In the New Orleans Black community, death is commemorated as a public ritual (it's often an occasion for a street party), and the deceased are often also memorialized on t-shirts featuring their photos embellished with designs that celebrate their lives. Worn by most of the deceased's friends and family, these t-shirts remind me of the martyr posters in Palestine, which also feature a photo and design to memorialize the person who has passed on. In Palestine, the poster's subjects are anyone who has been killed by the occupation, whether a sick child who died at a checkpoint or an armed fighter killed in combat. In New Orleans, anyone with family and friends can be memorialized on a t-shift. But a sad truth of life in poor communities is that too many of those celebrate on t-shirts lost their lives to violence. For both New Orleans and Palestine, outsiders often think that people have become so accustomed to death by violence that it has become trivialized by t-shirts and posters.

While it's true that these traditions wouldn't manifest in these particular ways if either population had more opportunities for long lives and death from natural causes, it's also far from trivial to find ways to celebrate a life. Outsiders tend to demonize those killed--especially the young men--in both cultures as thugs, killers, or terrorists whose lives shouldn't be memorialized in this way, or at all. But the people carrying on these traditions emphasize that every person is a son or daughter of someone, and every death should be mourned, every life celebrated.”
Jordan Flaherty, Floodlines: Community and Resistance from Katrina to the Jena Six

“{On the death of Hale's esteemed friend and fellow scientist, Luther Burbank. Burbank was much beloved by the population unil in an interview he revealed that he was an atheist. After this, the public turned on him and sent him thousands of letters with death threats. This upset the kind-hearted Burbank, who tried to amiably reply to each letter, so much that it ultimately led to his death}

. . . he was misled into believing that logic, kindliness, and reason could convince and help the bigoted.

He fell sick. The sickness was fated to be his last.

What killed Luther Burbank, at just that time and in just that abrupt and tragic fashion, was his baffled, yearning, desperate effort to make people understand. His desire to help them, to clarify their minds, and to induce them to substitute fact for hysteria drove him beyond his strength. He grew suddenly old attempting to make reasonable a people which had been unreasonable through twenty stiff-necked generations. . .

He died, not a martyr to truth, but a victim of the fatuity of blasting dogged falsehood.”
Wilbur Hale

“{The final resolutions at Robert Ingersoll's funeral, quoted here}

Whereas, in the order of nature -- that nature which moves with unerring certainty in obedience to fixed laws -- Robert G. Ingersoll has gone to that repose which we call death.

We, his old friends and fellow-citizens, who have shared his friendship in the past, hereby manifest the respect due his memory. At a time when everything impelled him to conceal his opinions or to withhold their expression, when the highest honors of the state were his if he would but avoid discussion of the questions that relate to futurity, he avowed his belief; he did not bow his knee to superstition nor countenance a creed which his intellect dissented.

Casting aside all the things for which men most sigh -- political honor, the power to direct the futures of the state, riches and emoluments, the association of the worldly and the well- to-do -- he stood forth and expressed his honest doubts, and he welcomed the ostracism that came with it, as a crown of glory, no less than did the martyrs of old.

Even this self-sacrifice has been accounted shame to him, saying that he was urged thereto by a desire for financial gain, when at the time he made his stand there was before him only the prospect of loss and the scorn of the public. We, therefore, who know what a struggle it was to cut loose from his old associations, and what it meant to him at that time, rejoice in his triumph and in the plaudits that came to him from thus boldly avowing his opinions, and we desire to record the fact that we feel that he was greater than a saint, greater than a mere hero -- he was a thoroughly honest man.

He was a believer, not in the narrow creed of a past barbarous age, but a true believer in all that men ought to hold sacred, the sanctity of the home, the purity of friendship, and the honesty of the individual. He was not afraid to advocate the fact that eternal truth was eternal justice; he was not afraid of the truth, nor to avow that he owed allegiance to it first of all, and he was willing to suffer shame and condemnation for its sake.

The laws of the universe were his bible; to do good, his religion, and he was true to his creed. We therefore commend his life, for he was the apostle of the fireside, the evangel of justice and love and charity and happiness.

We who knew him when he first began his struggle, his old neighbors and friends, rejoice at the testimony he has left us, and we commend his life and efforts as worthy of emulation.”
Herman E. Kittredge, Ingersoll: A Biographical Appreciation

Bernard-Henri Lévy
“N"ayez pas peur du kamikaze.
Ce qui l'intéresse dans le risque de mort, ce n'est pas le risque, c'est la mort. Ce qu'il aime dans la guerre, ce n'est pas "vaincre ou mourir" mais mourir et ne surtout pas vaincre.
Sa grande affaire, ce n'est pas, comme dit Clausewitz, proportionner des efforts à la force de résistance de l'ennemi, le renverser, le réduire - mais mourir.
(ch. 16 Debray, Kojève et le prix du sang)”
Bernard-Henri Lévy, War, Evil and the End of History

Thomm Quackenbush
“Ashlei was free to spout off how much she loved her savior because Jesus was not about to rear back and tell her He did not quite feel the same way, that He had died for the sins of the world just because it was fun and did not want things to be too serious. He was only thirty-three, after all, and might want to martyr himself for other people.”
Thomm Quackenbush, Danse Macabre (Night's Dream, #2)

Jake Wood
“By not burning their poppy fields to the ground but instead maintaining a security umbrella that international development agencies could safely work under as they improved these ordinary people's lives, we would win their 'hearts and minds' in the classic manifestation of a successful counter-insutgency operation.
[...]
Maybe our Western values world somebe instilled in these people. But in country where the average life expectancy was 42 and with the price of that life coming in contrasting cheap at $10 plus the bonus of martyrdom, or alien values might just as equally not be snapped up.”
Jake Wood, Among You: The Extraordinary True Story of a Soldier Broken By War

Dave Eggers
“And the only thing worse than the silencing of a martyr, a real martyr – someone with dangerous ideas – is silencing someone who has nothing at all to say.”
Dave Eggers, Your Fathers, Where Are They? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever?

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