Secular Quotes

Quotes tagged as "secular" Showing 1-30 of 52
Ronald Reagan
“Christmas can be celebrated in the school room with pine trees, tinsel and reindeers, but there must be no mention of the man whose birthday is being celebrated. One wonders how a teacher would answer if a student asked why it was called Christmas.”
Ronald Reagan

Henry David Thoreau
“I was once reproved by a minister who was driving a poor beast to some meeting-house horse-sheds among the hills of New Hampshire, because I was bending my steps to a mountain-top on the Sabbath, instead of a church, when I would have gone farther than he to hear a true word spoken on that or any day. He declared that I was 'breaking the Lord's fourth commandment,' and proceeded to enumerate, in a sepulchral tone, the disasters which had befallen him whenever he had done any ordinary work on the Sabbath. He really thought that a god was on the watch to trip up those men who followed any secular work on this day, and did not see that it was the evil conscience of the workers that did it. The country is full of this superstition, so that when one enters a village, the church, not only really but from association, is the ugliest looking building in it, because it is the one in which human nature stoops the lowest and is most disgraced. Certainly, such temples as these shall erelong cease to deform the landscape. There are few things more disheartening and disgusting than when you are walking the streets of a strange village on the Sabbath, to hear a preacher shouting like a boatswain in a gale of wind, and thus harshly profaning the quiet atmosphere of the day.”
Henry David Thoreau, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers

Criss Jami
“Self-righteousness is much like a spiritual egocentricity. It constitutes a secular type of love that thrives under conditionality, one in which is only existent after an individual meets the adopted standards of the condemner; oppositely, unconditional love is a holy love.”
Criss Jami, Salomé: In Every Inch In Every Mile

John  Adams
“It was the general opinion of ancient nations, that the divinity alone was adequate to the important office of giving laws to men... and modern nations, in the consecrations of kings, and in several superstitious chimeras of divine rights in princes and nobles, are nearly unanimous in preserving remnants of it... Is the jealousy of power, and the envy of superiority, so strong in all men, that no considerations of public or private utility are sufficient to engage their submission to rules for their own happiness? Or is the disposition to imposture so prevalent in men of experience, that their private views of ambition and avarice can be accomplished only by artifice? — … There is nothing in which mankind have been more unanimous; yet nothing can be inferred from it more than this, that the multitude have always been credulous, and the few artful. The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature: and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had any interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the inspiration of heaven, any more than those at work upon ships or houses, or labouring in merchandize or agriculture: it will for ever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses. As Copley painted Chatham, West, Wolf, and Trumbull, Warren and Montgomery; as Dwight, Barlow, Trumbull, and Humphries composed their verse, and Belknap and Ramzay history; as Godfrey invented his quadrant, and Rittenhouse his planetarium; as Boylston practised inoculation, and Franklin electricity; as Paine exposed the mistakes of Raynal, and Jefferson those of Buffon, so unphilosophically borrowed from the Recherches Philosophiques sur les Américains those despicable dreams of de Pauw — neither the people, nor their conventions, committees, or sub-committees, considered legislation in any other light than ordinary arts and sciences, only as of more importance. Called without expectation, and compelled without previous inclination, though undoubtedly at the best period of time both for England and America, to erect suddenly new systems of laws for their future government, they adopted the method of a wise architect, in erecting a new palace for the residence of his sovereign. They determined to consult Vitruvius, Palladio, and all other writers of reputation in the art; to examine the most celebrated buildings, whether they remain entire or in ruins; compare these with the principles of writers; and enquire how far both the theories and models were founded in nature, or created by fancy: and, when this should be done, as far as their circumstances would allow, to adopt the advantages, and reject the inconveniences, of all. Unembarrassed by attachments to noble families, hereditary lines and successions, or any considerations of royal blood, even the pious mystery of holy oil had no more influence than that other of holy water: the people universally were too enlightened to be imposed on by artifice; and their leaders, or more properly followers, were men of too much honour to attempt it. Thirteen governments thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favour of the rights of mankind.

[Preface to 'A Defence of the Constitutions of the United States of America', 1787]”
John Adams, A Defense of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America: Akashic U.S. Presidents Series

Emma Goldman
“Do not all theists insist that there can be no morality, no justice, honesty or fidelity without the belief in a Divine Power? Based upon fear and hope, such morality has always been a vile product, imbued partly with self-righteousness, partly with hypocrisy. As to truth, justice, and fidelity, who have been their brave exponents and daring proclaimers? Nearly always the godless ones: the Atheists; they lived, fought, and died for them. They knew that justice, truth, and fidelity are not conditioned in heaven, but that they are related to and interwoven with the tremendous changes going on in the social and material life of the human race; not fixed and eternal, but fluctuating, even as life itself.”
Emma Goldman, The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever

Richard M. Rorty
“My sense of the holy is bound up with the hope that some day my remote descendants will live in a global civilization in which love is pretty much the only law.”
Richard M. Rorty

Stefan Molyneux
“For the most part, people strenuously resist any redefinition of morality, because it shakes them to the very core of their being to think that in pursuing virtue they may have been feeding vice, or in fighting vice they may have in fact been fighting virtue.”
Stefan Molyneux

“Looking at Great-Great Grandpa Baldwin's photograph, I think to myself: You've finally done it. It took four generations, but you've finally goddamned done it. Gotten that war against reason and uppity secularists you always wanted. Gotten even for the Scopes trial, which they say was one of many burrs under your saddle until your last breath. Well, rejoice, old man, because your tribes have gathered around America's oldest magical hairball of ignorance and superstition, Christian fundamentalism, and their numbers have enabled them to suck so much oxygen out of the political atmosphere that they are now acknowledged as a mainstream force in politics. Episcopalians, Jews, and affluent suburban Methodists and Catholics, they are all now scratching their heads, sweating, and swearing loudly that this pack of lower-class zealots cannot possibly represent the mainstream--not the mainstream they learned about in their fancy sociology classes or were so comfortably reassured about by media commentators who were people like themselves. Goodnight, Grandpa Baldwin. I'll toast you from hell.”
Joe Bageant, Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America's Class War

“Modern colonialism won its great victories not so much through its military and technological prowess as through its ability to create secular hierarchies incompatible with the traditional order.”
Ashis Nandy, The Intimate Enemy: Loss and Recovery of Self Under Colonialism

George Bernard Shaw
“The seriousness of throwing over hell whilst still clinging to the Atonement is obvious. If there is no punishment for sin there can be no self-forgiveness for it. If Christ paid our score, and if there is no hell and therefore no chance of our getting into trouble by forgetting the obligation, then we can be as wicked as we like with impunity inside the secular law, even from self-reproach, which becomes mere ingratitude to the Savior. On the other hand, if Christ did not pay our score, it still stands against us; and such debts make us extremely uncomfortable. The drive of evolution, which we call conscience and honor, seizes on such slips, and shames us to the dust for being so low in the scale as to be capable of them. The 'saved' thief experiences an ecstatic happiness which can never come to the honest atheist: he is tempted to steal again to repeat the glorious sensation. But if the atheist steals he has no such happiness. He is a thief and knows that he is a thief. Nothing can rub that off him. He may try to sooth his shame by some sort of restitution or equivalent act of benevolence; but that does not alter the fact that he did steal; and his conscience will not be easy until he has conquered his will to steal and changed himself into an honest man...

Now though the state of the believers in the atonement may thus be the happier, it is most certainly not more desirable from the point of view of the community. The fact that a believer is happier than a sceptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality of happiness, and by no means a necessity of life. Whether Socrates got as much happiness out of life as Wesley is an unanswerable question; but a nation of Socrateses would be much safer and happier than a nation of Wesleys; and its individuals would be higher in the evolutionary scale. At all events it is in the Socratic man and not in the Wesleyan that our hope lies now.

Consequently, even if it were mentally possible for all of us to believe in the Atonement, we should have to cry off it, as we evidently have a right to do. Every man to whom salvation is offered has an inalienable natural right to say 'No, thank you: I prefer to retain my full moral responsibility: it is not good for me to be able to load a scapegoat with my sins: I should be less careful how I committed them if I knew they would cost me nothing.'
George Bernard Shaw, Androcles and the Lion

Criss Jami
“Our poor world aspires simply to point out where Christians have gone wrong, and that is pretty much where it goes wrong. It is as though many of us, when of the world, are actually all the more judgmental: for we are stuck on a bad Christian while the Christian is pinned to a good Christ.”
Criss Jami, Healology

Laurence Cossé
“I don't believe for a minute that the proof of God's existence is achieved. My faith prohibits me from believing that the proof of God's existence can ever be adduced. My God is not an object for verification, He is a subject for love. My faith is not knowledge, it is acceptance. It is a matter not of calculation but of trust.”
Laurence Cossé, A Corner of the Veil

Hermann Broch
“when the great intolerance of faith was lost, the secular robe of office had to supplant the sacred one, and society had to separate itself into secular hierarchies with secular uniforms and invest these with the absolute authority of a creed. And because, when the secular exalts itself as the absolute, the result is always romanticism, so the real and characteristic romanticism of that age was the cult of the uniform, which implied, as it were, a superterrestrial and supertemporal idea of uniform, an idea which did not really exist and yet was so powerful that it took hold of men far more completely than any secular vocation could, a non-existent and yet so potent idea that it transformed the man in uniform into the property of his uniform, and never into a professional man in the civilian sense; and this perhaps simply because the man who wears the uniform is content to feel that he is fulfilling the most essential function of his age and therefore guaranteeing the security of his own life.”
Hermann Broch, The Sleepwalkers

Umberto Eco
“I'd be willing to bet that the notion of the end of time is more common today in the secular world than in the Christian. The Christian world makes it the object of meditation, but acts as if it may be projected into a dimension not measured by calendars. The secular world pretends to ignore the end of time, but is fundamentally obsessed by it. This is not a paradox, but a repetition of what transpired in the first thousand years of history.

... I will remind readers that the idea of the end of time comes out of one of the most ambiguous passages of John's text, chapter 20...

This approach, which isn't only Augustine's but also the Church Fathers' as a whole, casts History as a journey forward—a notion alien to the pagan world. Even Hegel and Marx are indebted to this fundamental idea, which Pierre Teilhard de Chardin pursued.

Christianity invented History, and it is in fact a modern incarnation of the Antichrist that denounces History as a disease. It's possible that secular historicism has understood history as infinitely perfectible—so that tomorrow we improve upon today, always and without reservation... But the entire secular world is not of the ideological view that through history we understand how to look at the regression and folly of history itself. There is, nonetheless, an originally Christian view of history whenever the signpost of Hope on this road is followed. The simple knowledge of how to judge history and its horrors is fundamentally Christian, whether the speaker is Emmanuel Mounier on tragic optimism or Gramsci on pessimism of reason and optimism of will.”
Umberto Eco, Belief or Nonbelief?

Thomas  Moore
“She was lost in the breeziness of her secular existence and couldn't land anywhere. Nothing was sacred. Nothing could stop her long enough to reflect sufficiently on her life.”
Thomas Moore, A Religion of One's Own: A Guide to Creating a Personal Spirituality in a Secular World

Karla Perry
“The kingdom of God works in all spheres of culture, whether church, family, education, government, arts, business, or media. It is time to stop operating under the mindset that these spheres ought to be separated into secular and Christian, hoarding all the ‘sanctified spheres’ into the church, thereby leaving the world struggling in a vacuum of death. When we suck all the living water into the church, the world is left to die of thirst.”
Karla Perry, Back to the Future: Rebuilding America's Stability

James Gleick
“The library remains a sacred place for secular folk ["What Libraries Can (Still) Do," The New York Review Daily, October 26, 2015].”
James Gleick

Chris Matakas
“The secular world often finds its constituents disenfranchised and solitary as it has spent a great deal of time debating the religious community while failing to build a true community of its own.”
Chris Matakas, My Mastery: Continued Education Through Jiu Jitsu

“ITS nomimal without all on transfer of
regard, that weight of a measure of lines cannot be equal in comparison. The want of privacy is a need of personality not character. Only through devotional love not modernity can you coolect the past, present and future. Timeless is not what you think or hear. Patience is not any big reveal. Never see make how all free?”
Robert Wesley Miller

B.R. Ambedkar
“The conception of secular state is derived from the liberal democratic tradition of west. No institution which is maintained wholly out of state funds shall be used for the purpose of religious instruction irrespective of the question whether the religious instruction is given by the state or any other body.”
B.R. Ambedkar

Sarah Bessey
“The line between sacred and secular is man-made.”
Sarah Bessey, Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible's View of Women

Christina Engela
“When religious law becomes civil law, does the state not cease being secular, and become theocratic or theocentric?”
Christina Engela, Autumn Burning: Dreadtime Stories for the Wicked Soul

“There is no such thing as Christian rap and secular rap. Only people can become Christians. Music can't accept Jesus into its heart. So I am not trying to make Christian music or secular music. I'm just making music. Hip-hop, like all music, is a good thing. I could use it for evil by filling it with violence and misogyny and profanity. Or I can use it to glorify God.”
Lecrae Moore, Unashamed

Criss Jami
“Some people are ignorant of the world but educated in Scripture, and are therefore prone to missing the relevance of Scripture - these sometimes, later, amidst life's challenges and doubts, turn from the faith; other people are ignorant of Scripture but educated in the world, and are therefore prone to missing the truth of Scripture - they are often those who ridicule the faith. The apologist stands somewhere in the center. He articulates where some are prone to understanding the truth in beauty, others the beauty in truth - that of a spiritual Creator in relation to his scientific creation.”
Criss Jami, Healology

“One major teaching of the Protestants that we the Protestants of today must go back to is the fact that the European Protestants did not emphasize five fold ministry the way we do today. Today our teaching on the five fold ministry only tends to view only those called to the five fold ministry as those called to be ministers, while the rest of the congregation is just viewed as laity who just go to secular jobs.”
Sunday Adelaja

Seyyed Hossein Nasr
“There is one exception to this trend, however, and that is that after the debacle of Arab nationalism, a number of secularized Arab thinkers, having no access to the earlier Islamic philosophical tradition except through Western eyes, in contrast to the living Islamic philosophical tra- dition, which has had a continuous life in such places as Iran, have adopted the view of Western rationalism. Then they have tried to look within the Islamic world for a figure with whom they could identify, and they have turned to Ibn Rushd, whom they are now interpreting as the last serious Islamic philosopher, who was also a rationalist. Many gov- ernments have been in favor of this trend, because they have thought that this would create a kind of secularism against the Islamic sentiments of the population and expedite modernism.
In recent years, there have been a number of conferences in Tunisia, Morocco, Jordan, and Egypt, as well as Turkey (which claims to be secu- larist), and other places on Ibn Rushd, trying to present him as the last Islamic philosopher and a rationalist to be used as a model by present- day Muslim thinkers. That phenomenon is there, I agree, but that is not the most important phenomenon, because most of the people who talk in these terms, although they are now popular in the Arab world, do not have that much of a philosophical substance to carry the day; nor is their thought connected to the worldview of their society.”
Seyyed Hossein Nasr, در جستجوي امر قدسي

“In most of the world, people don’t dichotomize the sacred and the secular as we commonly do in the West, so elsewhere religious considerations are much more at the forefront of people’s minds in assessing political issues.”
Garry R. Morgan, Understanding World Religions in 15 Minutes a Day

Deanna Raybourn
“God was seldom discussed in our family except in a very distant sort of way, rather like our cousins in Canada.”
Deanna Raybourn, Silent on the Moor

Russell Kirk
“When, during and after the Reformation, the universities lost their status as so many autonomous parts of the universal church, they lost their independence correspondingly. In Protestant Europe, they came under the jurisdiction of the national churches and of the rapacious national monarchies; in Catholic Europe --although to a lesser extent--they came under the jurisdiction of the reinvigorated and consolidated Papacy, and of the sovereigns who, as in Spain and France, made royal influence over the church establishment within their realms a condition of their support for the Roman cause. The dissolution of medieval universalism meant that learning, like nearly everything else, was forced to submit to new or more rigid denominations. With the complete or partial secularization of society which followed upon the French Revolutionary era, in nearly every country except Britain, the universities were stripped of what remained of their old rights and became little better than state corporations.”
Russell Kirk, Academic Freedom: An Essay in Definition

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