Secular Quotes

Quotes tagged as "secular" Showing 1-30 of 66
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

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

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

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

“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

“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

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

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

“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

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

Stewart Stafford
“In the West, we've gone from living in holier-than-thou societies to more-liberal-than-thou ones. Call it secular piety but both are just different forms of the same sanctimoniousness.”
Stewart Stafford

Phil Zuckerman
“But the fact that highly secular nations and states fare so well compared to religious nations and states, and the fact that many nations have seen violent crime and other social pathologies decrease over time as secularity has simultaneously increased, does prove that morality clearly doesn’t hinge upon the existence of God, or require belief in God.”
Phil Zuckerman, What It Means to Be Moral: Why Religion Is Not Necessary for Living an Ethical Life

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

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

“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

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

George Gilder
“Religion is primary. Unless a culture is aspiring toward the good, the true, and the beautiful, and wants the good and the true, really worships God, it readily worships Satan. If we turn away from God, our culture becomes dominated by "Real Crime Stories" and rap music and other spew... When the culture becomes corrupt, then the businesses that serve the culture also become corrupt... Secular culture is in general corrupt, and degraded, and depraved. Because I don't believe in secular culture, I think parochial schools are the only real schools.”
George Gilder

Christina Engela
“Worthy of note is the detail that there are NO secular ‘ex-gay’ institutions, only religious ones, which use religion-based homophobia enforced by those who deem LGBT people ‘undesirable’ for questionable religious reasons.

It is obvious that religious prejudice appears to be the sole force behind demands that LGBT people cease to exist – and since religion has no basis in fact, the response therefore to such unfounded prejudice should also be obvious, by demolishing it.”
Christina Engela, Pearls Before Swine

Abhijit Naskar
“Secularism can no longer be seen as a mere philosophical word or ideology of the books. Let me give you a simple example. If you are thirsty and you drink a glass of water, is that act of drinking water a philosophy, or is it a plain, ordinary, necessary act of preservation? Likewise, secularism is no more a philosophy, than drinking water is. Secularism is an act of preserving humanity in the humans.”
Abhijit Naskar, Mad About Humans: World Maker's Almanac

Abhijit Naskar
“A secular government is a human government, whereas a non-secular government is a government of animals.”
Abhijit Naskar, Mad About Humans: World Maker's Almanac

Amit Kalantri
“In India different religions don't pray together but they play together.”
Amit Kalantri, Wealth of Words

Abhijit Naskar
“Threat to secularism in one nation is threat to democracy everywhere.”
Abhijit Naskar, Neden Türk: The Gospel of Secularism

G.K. Chesterton
“As I read and reread all the non-Christian or anti-Christian accounts of the faith, from Huxley..., a slow and awful impression gradually and graphically grew upon my mind - the impression that Christianity must be an extraordinary thing. It was attacked on all sides and for all contradictory reasons.”
G. K. Chesterton

Abhijit Naskar
“Unutma arkadasim (forget not my friend), enemy of secularism is enemy of the people, for enemy of secularism is enemy of progress.”
Abhijit Naskar, Neden Türk: The Gospel of Secularism

“The secular version of becoming godlike: be excellent. Why? Because people imagine gods as vastly excelled version of themselves. The more excellent, the more god.”
Thomas Vato

Abhijit Naskar
“Until the qualities of justice, equality and integration spring out of the hearts of the citizens of a nation, no matter how much we pretend to maintain the illusion of secularism and assimilation through legislative means, internally the country will remain conflicted till eternity.”
Abhijit Naskar, The Shape of A Human: Our America Their America

“World Greatest Peerless Warrior, Benevolent Hindu Sovereign, Secular, Progressive Administrator, Military Strategist,Guerilla Warfare Expert, Innovative Tactician Possessing All Virtues Of Leader Of Men,An Embodiment Of Swarajya/Self Governance In History Of Mankind Was Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.”

Susan Jacoby
“The most regrettable consequence of the discontinuity in the record of American rationalist dissent is that its moral lessons must be relearned in every generation.

It is telling that even so voracious a reader as Garrison was beyond the midpoint of his life when he discovered his spiritual ancestor Thomas Paine. When your own mind is your own church, it can take a very long time for future generations to make their way to the sanctuary.”
Susan Jacoby, Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism

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