Martyrs Quotes

Quotes tagged as "martyrs" (showing 1-30 of 41)
Thomas Jefferson
“The hocus-pocus phantasm of a God like another Cerberus, with one body and three heads, had its birth and growth in the blood of thousands and thousands of martyrs... In fact, the Athanasian paradox that one is three, and three but one, is so incomprehensible to the human mind, that no candid man can say he has any idea of it, and how can he believe what presents no idea? He who thinks he does, only deceives himself. He proves, also, that man, once surrendering his reason, has no remaining guard against absurdities the most monstrous, and like a ship without a rudder, is the sport of every wind. With such persons, gullibility which they call faith, takes the helm from the hand of reason, and the mind becomes a wreck.

[Letter to James Smith discussing Jefferson's hate of the doctrine of the Christian trinity, December 8 1822]”
Thomas Jefferson, Letters of Thomas Jefferson

Jean Cocteau
“All spiritual journeys are martyrdoms”
Jean Cocteau

Shane Claiborne
“A pastor friend of mine said, "Our problem is that we no longer have martyrs. We only have celebrities.”
Shane Claiborne

George Eliot
“Saints and martyrs had never interested Maggie so much as sages and poets.”
George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss

عمر حمد
“سماعاً بني العرب الاكرمين ... اُباة التواني حماة الذمم
أفيقوا فمن نام عن حقه... عراه الأذى ولواه العدم
رعى الله شعباً يريد العلى... ويطلبها تحت خفق العلم
إذا لم نقم قومة حرة... ونرجع عهدا طواه القدم
فأين الفخار الذي ندعي... وأين الإباء وأين الكرم
فتى الشعر هذا مجال قرير... فنادي الإباء ونادي الشيم
ونادي الشباب كبار النفوس... ونادي الشباب عماد الأمم
فلا أمل اليوم إلا بهم... لأن الشباب عماد الأمم
وقل لبني العُرب لا تيأسوا... فإن الهموم ستحُي الهمم
وإن المقام على الضيم عار... ولا يغسل العار إلا بدم
ولابد من نهضة للعلى...بها ترفع العرب ذاك العلم”
عمر حمد, ديوان الشهيد عمر حمد

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

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

Alexandre Dumas
“In all times, and all countries especially in those countries which are divided within by religious faith, there are always fanatics who will be well contented to be regarded as martyrs.”
Alexandre Dumas, The Three Musketeers

Emily Brontë
“However , it’s over, and I’ll take no revenge on his folly – I can afford to suffer anything, hereafter! Should the meanest thing alive slap me on the cheek, I’d not only turn the other, but I’d ask pardon for provoking it – and, as proof, I’ll go make my peace with Edgar instantly – Good night – I’m an angel!”
Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights

Ambeth R. Ocampo
“Rizal learned the right ideas at the wrong time, and for this he was shot.”
Ambeth Ocampo, Rizal Without the Overcoat

Hannah Senesh
“I could have been 23 next July
I gambled on what mattered most, the dice were cast. I lost.”
Hannah Senesh, Hannah Senesh: Her Life and Diary, the First Complete Edition

Christopher Hitchens
“We can always be sure of one thing—that the messengers of discomfort and sacrifice will be stoned and pelted by those who wish to preserve at all costs their own contentment. This is not a lesson that is confined to the Testaments.”
Christopher Hitchens, Love, Poverty, and War: Journeys and Essays

Rosamund Hodge
“The problem with martyrs is that they’re all dead. What do they have to do with us that are simple enough to still be alive? Should we just give up and want to die because death is better than dishonor? But suicide is a sin too so we really are damned if we do and damned if we don't.”
Rosamund Hodge, Crimson Bound

Shannon L. Alder
“If you want to be a good parent then be a great leader. You should live a life with passion for someone and something. The legacy you leave your children shouldn't be how you suffered in gratitude for a life you had no passion for. Rather, it should be how grateful you are to a God that believes fairytales can come true because they came true for you.”
Shannon L. Alder

Adam Gidwitz
“Whether you go your separate ways or stay together, you will continue to witness--against ignorance, against cruelty, and on behalf of all that is beautiful about this strange and crooked world.”
Adam Gidwitz, The Inquisitor's Tale: Or, the Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog

Bangambiki Habyarimana
“Some men are sent to heaven by torturers who thought they were doing god's work by sending them to hell”
Bangambiki Habyarimana, Pearls Of Eternity

Cornel West
“There are hundreds of political prisoners right now in America’s jails who were so taken by Malcolm [X’s} spirit that they became warriors and the powers that be understood them as warriors. They knew that a lot of these other middle-class [black] leaders were not warriors; they were professionals; they were careerists. But these warriors had callings, and they have paid an incalculable and immeasurable price in those cells.”
Cornel West, Black Prophetic Fire

T.S. Eliot
“A martyrdom is always the design of God, for His love of men, to warn them and to lead them, to bring them back to His ways. It is never the design of man; for the true martyr is he who has become the instrument of God, who has lost his will in the will of God, and who no longer desires anything for himself, not even the glory of being a martyr.”
T.S. Eliot, Murder in the Cathedral

“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

Shannon L. Alder
“What a trajedy to be a martyr for love, yet we worship the characters anyways because they remind us of how we struggled.”
Shannon L. Alder

David Ebershoff
“The agony of martyrdom is almost too much to bear. In the early hours, when the loss is fresh, there is no comfort in knowing Glory will live on. We speak of the martyrs in History but we cannot know the actual pain they suffered in their final living hours. They enter the realm of the mythic, but we must never forget these were men like ourselves. When their flesh is torn, they cry out. They suffer as you or I would suffer, although more bravely. Remember Christ. Although I am now an enemy to Joseph's legacy, I shudder when recalling his pain.”
David Ebershoff, The 19th Wife

“When Abbess Ebba received tidings of the near approach of the pagan hordes, who had already wrecked vengeance upon ecclesiastics, monks, and consecrated virgins, she summoned her nuns to Chapter, and in a moving discourse exhorted them to preserve at any cost the treasure of their chastity. Then seizing a razor, and calling upon her daughters to follow her heroic example, she mutilated her face in order to inspire the barbarian invaders with horror at the sight. The nuns without exception courageously followed the example of their abbess. When the Danes broke into the cloister and saw the nuns with faces thus disfigured, they fled in panic. Their leaders, burning with rage, sent back some of their number to set fire to the monastery, and thus the heroic martyrs perished in the common ruin of their house.”
Michael Barrett, A Calendar of Scottish Saints

“St. Triduana devoted herself to God in a solitary life at Rescobie in Angus (now Forfarshire). While dwelling there, a prince of the country having conceived an unlawful passion for her is said to have pursued her with his unwelcome attentions. To rid herself of his importunities, as a legend relates, Triduana bravely plucked out her beautiful eyes, her chief attraction, and sent them to her admirer. Her heroism, it is said, procured for her the power of curing diseases of the eyes.”
Michael Barrett, A Calendar of Scottish Saints

Ayaan Hirsi Ali
“Islam is not unusual in having a tradition of martyrs. What is unique to Islam is the tradition of murderous martyrdom, in which the individual martyr simultaneously commits suicide and kills others for religious reasons.”
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now

Anurag Shourie
“Every war has its martyrs — the unsung heroes who sometimes don’t even know the rationale behind the war they are fighting. They fight because they are trained to, kill because they are told to and die because they are destined to.”
Anurag Shourie, Half A Shadow

Hilary Mantel
“As More says, it hardly makes a man a hero, to agree to stand and burn once he is chained to a stake. I have written books and I cannot unwrite them. I cannot unbelieve what I believe. I cannot unlive my life. pg.404”
Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall

“A heroic, losing battle! I'm tired of brave men who die. There's nothing pretty about losing.”
Warren Eyster, The Goblins of Eros

Bangambiki Habyarimana
“We cherish martyrs not because they died for truth, but because they died for what they believed in and loved”
Bangambiki Habyarimana, Pearls Of Eternity

Sinclair Lewis
“Is it just possible that the most vigorous and boldest idealists have been the worst enemies of human progress instead of its greatest creators? Possible that plain men with the humble trait of minding their own business will rank higher in the heavenly hierarchy than all the plumed souls who have shoved their way in among the masses and insisted on savings them?”
Sinclair Lewis, It Can't Happen Here

Clement of Alexandria
“Zeno said well of the Indians, that he would rather have seen one Indian roasted, than have learned the whole of the arguments about bearing pain. But we have exhibited before our eyes every day abundant sources of martyrs that are burnt, impaled, beheaded.”
Clement of Alexandria, Volume 12. The Writings of Clement of Alexandria

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