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Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith by Jon Krakauer
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Under the Banner of Heaven Quotes (showing 1-22 of 22)
“Common sense is no match for the voice of God.”
Jon Krakauer, Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith
“As a means of motivating people to be cruel or inhumane-as a means of inciting evil, to borrow the vocabulary of the devout-there may be no more potent force than religion.”
Jon Krakauer, Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith
“Balanced atop the highest spire of the Salt Lake Temple, gleaming in the Utah sun, a statue of the angel Moroni stands watch over downtown Salt Lake City with his golden trumpet raised. This massive granite edifice is the spiritual and temporal nexus of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), which presents itself as the world's only true religion. Temple Square is to Mormons what the Vatican is to Catholics, or the Kaaba in Mecca is to Muslims. At last count there were more than eleven million Saints the world over, and Mormonism is the fastest-growing faith in the Western Hemisphere. At present in the United States there are more Mormons than Presbyterians or Episcopalians. On the planet as a whole, there are now more Mormons than Jews. Mormonism is considered in some sober academic circles to be well on its way to becoming a major world religion--the first such faith to emerge since Islam.”
Jon Krakauer, Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith
“Although the far territory of the extreme can exert an intoxicating pull on susceptible individuals of all bents, extremism seems to be especially prevalent among those inclined by temperament or upbringing toward religious pursuits. Faith is the very antithesis of reason, injudiciousness a crucial component of spiritual devotion. And when religious fanaticism supplants ratiocination, all bets are suddenly off.”
Jon Krakauer, Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith
“Neither Emma's tears nor her rage were enough to make Joseph monogamous, however; nor were the prevailing mores of the day. He kept falling rapturously in love with women not his wife. And because that rapture was so wholly consuming, and felt so good, it struck him as impossible that God might possibly frown on such a thing.”
Jon Krakauer, Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith
“I was irresistibly drawn to write about Latter-Day Saints not only because I already knew something about their theology, and admired much about their culture, but also because of the utterly unique circumstances in which their religion was born: the Mormon Church was founded a mere 173 years ago, in a literate society, in the age of the printing press. As a consequence, the creation of what became a worldwide faith was abundantly documented in firsthand accounts. Thanks to the Mormons, we have been given an unprecedented opportunity to appreciate--in astonishingly detail--how an important religion came to be.”
Jon Krakauer, Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith
“...Both Elizabeth [Smart] and Ruby [Jessop] were fourteen when they were kidnapped, raped and "kept captive by polygamous fanatics." The main difference in the girls' respective ordeals...is that "Elizabeth was brainwashed for nine months," while Ruby had been brainwashed by polygamist fanatics "since birth." Despite the similarity of their plights, Elizabeth's abusers were jailed and charged with sexual assault, aggravated burglary, and aggravated kidnapping, while Ruby... "was returned to her abusers, no real investigation was done, no charges brought against anyone" involved.”
Jon Krakauer, Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith
“When Debbie was fourteen, she felt "impressed by the Lord" to marry Ray Blackmore, the community leader. Debbie asked her father to share her divine impression with Prophet LeRoy Johnson, who would periodically travel to Bountiful from Short Creek to perform various religious duties. Because Debbie was lithe and beautiful, Uncle Roy approved of the match. A year later the prophet returned to Canada and married her to the ailing fifty-seven-year-old Blackmore. As his sixth wife, Debbie became a stepmother to Blackmore's thirty-one kids, most of whom were older than she was. And because he happened to be the father of Debbie's own stepmother, Mem, she unwittingly became a stepmother to her stepmother, and thus a step grandmother to herself.”
Jon Krakauer, Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith
“…such criticism and mockery are largely beside the point. All religious belief is a function of nonrational faith. And faith, by its very definition, tends to be impervious to to intellectual argument or academic criticism. Polls routinely indicate, moreover, that nine out of ten Americans believe in God—most of us subscribe to one brand of religion or another. Those who would assail The Book of Mormon should bear in mind that its veracity is no more dubious than the veracity of the Bible, say, or the Qur'an, or the sacred texts of most other religions. The latter texts simply enjoy the considerable advantage of having made their public debut in the shadowy recesses of the ancient past, and are thus much harder to refute.”
Jon Krakauer, Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith
“Launching a nice little war to divert national attention was a gambit no less appealing to nineteenth-century politicians than it is to their present-day counterparts.”
Jon Krakauer, Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith
“I [Lorna Craig] would say that teaching a girl that her salvation depends on her having sexual relations with a married man is inherently destructive." Such relationships, Craig argues bitterly, should be considered "a crime, not a religion.”
Jon Krakauer, Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith
“Whether one believes that the faith he spawned is the world's only true religion or a preposterous fable, Joseph emerges from the fog of time as one of the most remarkable figures ever to have breathed American air. "Whatever his lapses," Harold Bloom argues in The American Religion, "Smith was an authentic religious genius, unique in our national history.... In proportion to his importance and his complexity, he remains the least-studied personage, of an undiminished vitality, in our entire national sage.”
Jon Krakauer, Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith
“Alleging that the Mormons had committed a long list of treasonous acts, in May 1857 Buchanan dispatched a contingent of federal officials to restore the rule of law in Utah, including a new territorial governor to replace Brigham Young. More ominously, the new president ordered twenty-five hundred heavily armed soldiers to escort these officials into Salt Lake City and subdue the Saints if necessary. For all intents and purposes, the United States had declared war on the Mormons.”
Jon Krakauer, Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith
“The religious literature handed out by the earnest young missionaries in Temple Square makes no mention of the fact that Joseph Smith--still the religion's focal personage-- married at least thirty-three women and probably as many as forty-eight. Nor does it mention that the youngest of these wives was just fourteen years old when Joseph explained to her that God had commanded that she marry him or face eternal damnation.”
Jon Krakauer, Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith
“We were brought up to be very independent. Our parents taught us that we were given certain talents and we needed to pursue them -- that we shouldn't go through life relying on others when we had all these abilities.”
Jon Krakauer, Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith
“One man's faith is another man's delusion. . . .”
Jon Krakauer, Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith
“But perhaps the greatest attraction of Mormonism was the promise that each follower would be granted an extraordinarily intimate relationship with God. Joseph taught and encouraged his adherents to receive personal communiqués straight from the Lord. Divine revelation formed the bedrock of the religion.”
Jon Krakauer, Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith
“For years he had complained that political leaders were disregarding their sworn duty to safeguard the Mormons' constitutionally guaranteed freedom to worship without being subjected to harassment, and worse, at the hands of the religious majority. Yet in both word and deed, Joseph repeatedly demonstrated that he himself had little respect for the religious views of non-Mormons, and was unlikely to respect the constitutional rights of other faiths if he somehow won the presidency and were running the show.”
Jon Krakauer, Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith
“And if I remain in the dark about our purpose here, and the meaning of eternity, I have nevertheless arrived at an understanding of a few more modest trusts: Most of us fear death. Most of us yearn to comprehend how we got here, and why - which is to say, most of us ache to know the love of our creator.”
Jon Krakauer, Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith
“In any human endeavor, some fraction of its practitioners will be motivated to pursue that activity with such concentrated focus and unalloyed passion that it will consume them utterly.”
Jon Krakauer, Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith
“that's a real big part of what holds this religion together: it's not having to make those critical decisions that many of us have to make, and be responsible for your decisions.”
Jon Krakauer, Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith

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