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Quotes About Martyrdom

Quotes tagged as "martyrdom" (showing 1-30 of 50)
“There are perhaps many causes worth dying for, but to me, certainly, there are none worth killing for.”
Albert Dietrich, Army GI, Pacifist CO: The World War II Letters of Frank and Albert Dietrich

Chuck Palahniuk
“The only difference between a suicide and a martyrdom really is the amount of press coverage.”
Chuck Palahniuk, Survivor

John Keats
“I have been astonished that men could die martyrs
for their religion--
I have shuddered at it,
I shudder no more.
I could be martyred for my religion.
Love is my religion
and I could die for that.
I could die for you.
My Creed is Love and you are its only tenet.”
John Keats

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

Mahatma Gandhi
“They may torture my body, break my bones, even kill me. Then they will have my dead body, but not my obedience.”
Mahatma Gandhi

“For the church, the many abuses of human life, liberty, and dignity are a heartfelt suffering. The church, entrusted with the earth’s glory, believes that in each person is the Creator’s image and that everyone who tramples it offends God. As holy defender of God’s rights and of his images, the church must cry out. It takes as spittle in its face, as lashes on its back, as the cross in its passion, all that human beings suffer, even though they be unbelievers. They suffer as God’s images. There is no dichotomy between man and God’s image. Whoever tortures a human being, whoever abuses a human being, whoever outrages a human being abuses God’s image, and the church takes as its own that cross, that martyrdom.”
Oscar A. Romero, The Violence of Love

Christopher Hitchens
“Every November of my boyhood, we put on red poppies and attended highly patriotic services in remembrance of those who had 'given' their lives. But on what assurance did we know that these gifts had really been made? Only the survivors—the living—could attest to it. In order to know that a person had truly laid down his life for his friends, or comrades, one would have to hear it from his own lips, or at least have heard it promised in advance. And that presented another difficulty. Many brave and now dead soldiers had nonetheless been conscripts. The known martyrs—those who actually, voluntarily sought death and rejoiced in the fact—had been the kamikaze pilots, immolating themselves to propitiate a 'divine' emperor who looked (as Orwell once phrased it) like a monkey on a stick. Their Christian predecessors had endured torture and death (as well as inflicted it) in order to set up a theocracy. Their modern equivalents would be the suicide murderers, who mostly have the same aim in mind. About people who set out to lose their lives, then, there seems to hang an air of fanaticism: a gigantic sense of self-importance unattractively fused with a masochistic tendency to self-abnegation. Not wholesome.

The better and more realistic test would therefore seem to be: In what cause, or on what principle, would you risk your life?”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

Augustine of Hippo
“Often the contempt of vainglory becomes a source of even more vainglory, for it is not being scorned when the contempt is something one is proud of.”
Augustine of Hippo, Confessions

Chuck Palahniuk
“The martyrdom of me.”
Chuck Palahniuk, Choke

Ursula K. Le Guin
“Dead anarchists make martyrs, you know, and keep living for centuries. But absent ones can be forgotten.”
Ursula K. Le Guin, The Dispossessed

“Be of good comfort, Mr. Ridley, and play the man! We shall this day light such a candle by God's grace, in England, as I trust never shall be put out. ”
Hugh Latimer

Richard Rohr
“If we seek spiritual heroism ourselves, the old ego is just back in control under a new name. There would not really be any change at all, but only disguise, just bogus self-improvement on our own terms.”
Richard Rohr, Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life

Wilfred Owen
“But the old man would not so, but slew his son,
And half the seed of Europe, one by one.”
Wilfred Owen, The War Poems

Mehmet Murat ildan
“They say martyrdom is the highest rank a believer can achieve! Do not believe in this! The highest rank is the life itself, it is the existence itself! There is no rank in death, but only nothingness! Rank exists only in life! Stick to the life, stay away from death! Neither kill nor die!”
Mehmet Murat ildan

Thomas Jefferson
“Politics, like religion, hold up the torches of martyrdom to the reformers of error.”
Thomas Jefferson, Letters of Thomas Jefferson

“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

Christopher Hitchens
“One of the questions asked by al-Balkhi, and often repeated to this day, is this: Why do the children of Israel continue to suffer? My grandmother Dodo thought it was because the goyim were jealous. The seder for Passover (which is a shame-faced simulacrum of a Hellenic question-and-answer session, even including the wine) tells the children that it's one of those things that happens to every Jewish generation. After the Shoah or Endlösung or Holocaust, many rabbis tried to tell the survivors that the immolation had been a punishment for 'exile,' or for insufficient attention to the Covenant. This explanation was something of a flop with those whose parents or children had been the raw material for the 'proof,' so for a time the professional interpreters of god's will went decently quiet. This interval of ambivalence lasted until the war of 1967, when it was announced that the divine purpose could be discerned after all. How wrong, how foolish, to have announced its discovery prematurely! The exile and the Shoah could now both be understood, as part of a heavenly if somewhat roundabout scheme to recover the Western Wall in Jerusalem and other pieces of biblically mandated real estate.

I regard it as a matter of self-respect to spit in public on rationalizations of this kind. (They are almost as repellent, in their combination of arrogance, masochism, and affected false modesty, as Edith Stein's 'offer' of her life to expiate the regrettable unbelief in Jesus of her former fellow Jews.) The sage Jews are those who have put religion behind them and become in so many societies the leaven of the secular and the atheist.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

Christopher Hitchens
“In Sarajevo in 1992, while being shown around the starved, bombarded city by the incomparable John Burns, I experienced four near misses in all, three of them in the course of one day. I certainly thought that the Bosnian cause was worth fighting for and worth defending, but I could not take myself seriously enough to imagine that my own demise would have forwarded the cause. (I also discovered that a famous jaunty Churchillism had its limits: the old war-lover wrote in one of his more youthful reminiscences that there is nothing so exhilarating as being shot at without result. In my case, the experience of a whirring, whizzing horror just missing my ear was indeed briefly exciting, but on reflection made me want above all to get to the airport. Catching the plane out with a whole skin is the best part by far.) Or suppose I had been hit by that mortar that burst with an awful shriek so near to me, and turned into a Catherine wheel of body-parts and (even worse) body-ingredients? Once again, I was moved above all not by the thought that my death would 'count,' but that it would not count in the least.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

Søren Kierkegaard
“People unable to bear the martyrdom [...] unintelligently jump off the path, and choose instead, conveniently enough, the world’s admiration of their proficiency. The true knight of faith is a witness, never a teacher, and in this lies the deep humanity in him which is more worth than this foolish concern for others’ weal and woe which is honoured under the name of sympathy, but which is really nothing but vanity.”
Søren Kierkegaard, Fear and Trembling

Ernst Jünger
“The anarch sticks to facts, not ideas. He suffers not for facts but because of them, and usually through his own fault, as in a traffic accident. Certainly, there are unforeseeable things – maltreatments. However, I believe I have attained a certain degree of self-distancing that allows me to regard this as an accident.”
Ernst Jünger, Eumeswil

Ignatius of Loyola
“My birth is imminent. Forgive me, brethren. Do not prevent me from coming to life.

– As he faced the prospect of being devoured by wild beasts for his faith”
Ignatius of Loyola

Christopher Henry Dawson
“But its exclusive character and irreconcileable hostility to the religious cults and ceremonies with which the whole social life of the city-state and the empire were inseparably connected at every turn, brought the Christians into inevitable conflict with the government and with public opinion. To the man in the street, the Christian was an anti-social atheist who would take no part in the public feasts and the games, which played such a large part in city life. To the authorities he was a passive rebel, who would neither take his share of municipal offices nor pay loyal homage to the Emperor. Hence the rise of persecution, and the driving of the Christians into an underground existence, as a proscribed sect. The Church grew under the shadow of the executioner's rods and axes, and every Christian lived in the peril of physical torture and death. The thought of martyrdom coloured the whole outlook of early Christianity. But it was not only a fear, it was also an ideal and a hope. For the martyr was the complete Christian, he was the champion and hero of the new society and its conflict with the old, and even the Christians who failed in the moment of the trial - the lapsi - looked on the martyrs as their saviours and protectors”
Christopher Henry Dawson, Religion and World History: A Selection from the Works of Christopher Dawson

William Beckford
“Persecution produced its ordinary effect. The people courted martyrdom. They came from all parts to deride Zouloulou, whom nothing disconcerted - and to get their heads cut off. (“The Story of Prince Alasi and the Princess Firouzkah”)”
William Beckford, Episodes of Vathek

“As Luxenberg's work has only recently been published we must await its scholarly assessment before we can pass any judgements. But if his analysis is correct then suicide bombers, or rather prospective martyrs, would do well to abandon their culture of death, and instead concentrate on getting laid 72 times in this world, unless of course they would really prefer chilled or white raisins, according to their taste, in the next.”
Ibn Warraq

Criss Jami
“A man of God has many brothers. He is a wounded soldier - he is familiar with the pain one feels in his heart, as a close and loving brother, when a brother falls victim of evil men or turns to evil desires (the latter sometimes even betrayal). Because of this, too, he is and must be well-acquainted with and trained in the strengths of hope and the gentleness of forgiveness and mercy.”
Criss Jami, Killosophy

Stephanie Burgis
“Elissa pulled away from Stepmama and rose to her feet. She gazed down at Mr Collingwood’s tormented face and smoothed back the jet-black hair from his fore- head. I could have sworn I saw a glowing halo rise around her as she spoke. “You must forgive me, my love, and learn to forget me, for my sake.”

“Oh, my Lord,” I said. “You’ve been waiting your whole life for this, haven’t you?”

“Can you doubt it?” said Angeline. “Look at the two of them! He’s as bad as she is.”
Stephanie Burgis, Kat, Incorrigible

Criss Jami
“If life is music, I sometimes feel as though I was born on the off-beat of the song, and I love it. As Christian numbers reportedly decrease in America, my love for Christ feels as though it increases. I must be honest about such strange feelings: I now want to be thought unfaithful about as much as a bougie aristocrat wants to be thought a hobo.”
Criss Jami

Elizabeth Goudge
“You're mad, you missionaries,' ejaculated Tai Haruru angrily. 'What good do you think you do, crawling out to the extremities of all the different world's ends and dying there like lizards spiked on sticks?'
Brother Balaam jabbed his thumb over his shoulder at the church behind him. 'Ye'll get no civilization worth havin' in a new country unless ye lay down a few martyrs' bones for a foundation,' he said. 'They generate. Slow but sure.”
Elizabeth Goudge, Green Dolphin Street

“Along with our over-giving is our own conditional giving pattern, which can fuel so much of our resentment and feelings of “victimization” by the people to whom we are giving. We may be completely unaware of our expectations of those we assist, and our own anger and resentment may catch us off guard. This is why our martyrdom is so hard on those around us. They are aware of the price we are exacting, even when we are in denial about our own motives and expectations.”
Mary Crocker Cook, Awakening Hope. A Developmental, Behavioral, Biological Approach to Codependency Treatment.

“We will martyr ourselves, suffering under the weight of a non-reciprocal relationship until some part of us bursts in protest. Suddenly, we lose our mind, and allowing ourselves to heap all manner of nastiness, name calling, patronizing, death threats on the “deserving” jerk who has it coming after all we do for him/her! As the final insult rings across the room and we regain consciousness, we are horrified by what has come out of our mouth. After all, we LOVE these people, and we quickly move into anxious terror that this time we have gone too far . . . this time we crossed the line and they will leave us. So, we hunker back down and the martyrdom begins again. It’s a terrible cycle.”
Mary Crocker Cook, Awakening Hope. a Developmental, Behavioral, Biological Approach to Codependency Treatment.

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