Grievances cannot be redressed until they are known; and they cannot be known but through complaints and petitions. If these are deemed affronts, and the messengers punished as offenders, who will henceforth send petitions? And who will deliver them? Wise governments encouraged the airing of grievances, even those that were lightly founded Foolish governments did the opposite - to their peril. Where complaining is a crime, hope becomes despair.
It is a kind of pride to insist that none of our prayers should ever be petitions for our own needs: for this is only another subtle way of trying to put ourselves on the same plane as God "" acting as if we had no needs, as if we were not creatures, not dependent on Him and dependent, by His will, on material things, too.
Ministers should not pray so loud, and long, as to exhaust the strength. It is not necessary to weary the throat and lungs in prayer. God's ear is ever open to hear the heart-felt petitions of his humble servants, and he does not require them to wear out the organs of speech in addressing him.
Ellen G. White
What discord we should bring into the universe if our prayers were all answered. Then we should govern the world and not God. And do you think we should govern it better? It gives me only pain when I hear the long, wearisome petitions of people asking for they know not what. . . . Thanks-giving with a full heart-and the rest silence and submission to the divine will!
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Where I grew up in Vermont, there is no municipal garbage removal. You have to bring your trash to the dump every weekend. Something like three hours on Saturday morning, the entire town goes in. It is actually a very efficient place to do politics. I would go to the garbage dump, get petitions signed, give out literature, talk to voters.
... so our customary practice of prayer was brought to mind: how through our ignorance and inexperience in the ways of love we spend so much time on petition. I saw that it is indeed more worthy of God and more truly pleasing to him that through his goodness we should pray with full confidence, and by his grace cling to him with real understanding and unshakeable love, than that we should go on making as many petitions as our souls are capable of.
Julian of Norwich
The office of Speaker is almost as ancient as Parliament itself. It emerged in the Middle Ages when the Commons - the ordinary people - of England needed a spokesman in their dealings with the King, someone who would voice their grievances and present their petitions. This was by no means a safe or easy thing to do at that time, and potential spokesman generally had to be pressured into accepting the responsibility.
John Allen Fraser
Too many of us dissipate our energy by being 'for all good causes,' attending meetings and passing resolutions, organizing and presenting petitions "" all this effort to change others, when if we really got down to it we could use this energy to change ourselves... We become tired radicals because we use our weakest weapon: the ballot box, where we are always outnumbered, and refuse to use our strongest weapon: spiritual power.
So what do people see when they read that well-behaved women rarely make history? Do they imagine good-time girls in stiletto heels or do-good girls carrying clipboards and passing petitions? Do they envision an out-of-control hobbyist or a single mother taking down a drunk in a bar? I suspect that it depends on where they stand themselves.
Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
It came at last. "'Dr. Graham, tell me, ' she asked tremulously, 'do you believe that prayers - wicked unreasonable prayers - are granted?' He helped himself to another slice of bread-and-butter before answering. 'Well-' he said slowly, 'it seems hard to believe that every fool who has a voice to pray with and a brain to conceive idiotic requests should be permitted to interfere with the economy of the universe. As a rule, if people were long-sighted enough to foresee the result of their petitions, I fancy very few of us would venture to interfere.' ("The Story of A Ghost")
It is subversive to set up inquisitions like this, state or national, into the thoughts and consciences of Americans. . . . It is subversive for commissions like this to spread hysteria and intimidation throughout the land that Americans are afraid to sign petitions, afraid to read progressive magazines, afraid to make out checks for liberal causes, afraid to join organizations, afraid to speak their mind on public issues. Americans dare not be free citizens! This is the destruction of democracy.
The quest for this unwearied inner peace is constant and universal. Probe deeply into the teachings of Buddha, Maimonides, or a Kempis, and you will discover that they base their diverse doctrines on the foundations of a large spiritual serenity. Analyze the prayers of troubled, overborne mankind of all creeds, in every age-and their petitions come down to the irreducible common denominators of daily bread and inward peace. Grown men do not pray for vain trifles. When they lift up their hearts and voices in this valley of tears they ask for strength and courage and understanding.
Joshua Loth Liebman
The quest for this unwearied peace is constant and universal. Probe deeply into the teaching of Buddha, Maimonides, or a Kempis, and you will discover that they base their diverse doctrines on the foundation of a large spiritual serenity. Analyze the prayers of troubled, overborne mankind of all creeds, in every age-and their petitions come down to the irreducible common denominators of daily bread and inward peace. Grown men do not pray for vain trifles. When they lift up their hearts and voices in the valley of tears they ask for strength and courage and understanding.
Joshua L. Liebman
All the same, we should excuse ourselves, " Vergil said. "Although I am wondering if the meeting was already well concluded when we intruded." He gave Nathaniel a deep look on the last sentence that made Charlotte's caution prickle. She saw the big brother in him, thinking that a private chat with this man was in order. Bianca still had not picked up the cue. "You are making plans regarding the petitions?" "I trust that a petition came up at some point in the visit, " Vergil said dryly. "Correct, Knightridge?" Charlotte wanted to die. "Indeed one did, " she said. "Mr. Knightridge is proving to be a great help in the cause." Bianca beamed. "I always knew that the two of you would find common ground in something." "Yes, we have discovered that we think alike in one small area, " Nathaniel agreed. Charlotte wanted to hit him. "Indeed, " Vergil muttered.
Censorship and the suppression of reading materials are rarely about family values and almost always about controlabout who is snapping the whip, who is saying no, and who is saying go. Censorship's bottom line is this: if the novel Christine offends me, I don't want just to make sure it's kept from my kid; I want to make sure it's kept from your kid, as well, and all the kids. This bit of intellectual arrogance, undemocratic and as old as time, is best expressed this way: "If it's bad for me and my family, it's bad for everyone's family." Yet when books are run out of school classrooms and even out of school libraries as a result of this idea, I'm never much disturbed not as a citizen, not as a writer, not even as a schoolteacher... which I used to be. What I tell kids is, Don't get mad, get even. Don't spend time waving signs or carrying petitions around the neighborhood. Instead, run, don't walk, to the nearest nonschool library or to the local bookstore and get whatever it was that they banned. Read whatever they're trying to keep out of your eyes and your brain, because that's exactly what you need to know.
Il peut arriver des situations (dans les regimes dictatoriaux, par exemple) oe¹ prendre publiquement position est dangereux ; pour le danseur ce l'est pourtant un peu moins que pour les autres, car, s'etant promene sous la lumie¨re des projecteurs, visible de partout, il est protege par l'attention du monde ; mais il a ses admirateurs anonymes qui, obeissant e son appel aussi splendide qu'irreflechie, signent des petitions, participent e des reunions interdites, manifestent dans la rue ; ceux-le seront traites sans menagement et le danseur ne cedera jamais e la tentation sentimentale de se reprocher d'avoir cause leur malheur, sachant qu'une noble cause pe¨se plus que la vie d'un tel ou un tel. (chapitre 6)
That war [Bosnian war] in the early 1990s changed a lot for me. I never thought I would see, in Europe, a full-dress reprise of internment camps, the mass murder of civilians, the reinstiutution of torture and rape as acts of policy. And I didn't expect so many of my comrades to be indifferent - or even take the side of the fascists. It was a time when many people on the left were saying 'Don't intervene, we'll only make things worse' or, 'Don't intervene, it might destabilise the region. And I thought - destabilisation of fascist regimes is a good thing. Why should the left care about the stability of undemocratic regimes? Wasn't it a good thing to destabilise the regime of General Franco? It was a time when the left was mostly taking the conservative, status quo position - leave the Balkans alone, leave Milosevic alone, do nothing. And that kind of conservatism can easily mutate into actual support for the aggressors. Weimar-style conservatism can easily mutate into National Socialism. So you had people like Noam Chomsky's co-author Ed Herman go from saying 'Do nothing in the Balkans', to actually supporting Milosevic, the most reactionary force in the region. That's when I began to first find myself on the same side as the neocons. I was signing petitions in favour of action in Bosnia, and I would look down the list of names and I kept finding, there's Richard Perle. There's Paul Wolfowitz. That seemed interesting to me. These people were saying that we had to act. Before, I had avoided them like the plague, especially because of what they said about General Sharon and about Nicaragua. But nobody could say they were interested in oil in the Balkans, or in strategic needs, and the people who tried to say that - like Chomsky - looked ridiculous. So now I was interested.