In the agreement to rescue Rome [i.e., the Roman Catholic Church's hierarchy] from the predicament of losing its world control to Protestantism, and to preserve the spiritual and temporal supremacy which the popes [had] 'usurped' during the Middle Ages, Rome now 'sold' the [Roman Catholic] Church to the Society of Jesus [i.e., the Jesuits]; in essence the popes surrendered themselves into their hands.
A discovery must be, by definition, at variance with existing knowledge. During my lifetime, I made two. Both were rejected offhand by the popes of the field. Had I predicted these discoveries in my applications, and had those authorities been my judges, it is evident what their decisions would have been.
I read it [history] a little as a duty, but it tells me nothing that does not either vex or weary me. The quarrels of popes and kings, with wars or pestilences, in every page; the men all so good for nothing, and hardly any women at all "" it is very tiresome: and yet I often think it odd that it should be so dull, for a great deal of it must be invention.
In a real world, the one outside the rarified atmosphere where Popes meet Archbishops of Canterbury, people no longer care whether somebody is an Anglican or a Roman Catholic. They already take it for granted that being a "believer" is more important than having a denominational name-tag any day of the week.
I am provoked at the contempt which most historians show for humanity in general; one would think by them, that the whole human species consisted but of about a hundred and fifty people, called and dignified (commonly very undeservedly too) by the titles of Emperors, Kings, Popes, Generals, and Ministers.
Unless I am convicted by Scripture and plain reason-I do not accept the authority of popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other-my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I cannot do otherwise. God help me. Amen.
But history, real solemn history, I cannot be interested in. Can you?" "Yes, I am fond of history." "I wish I were too. I read it a little as a duty, but it tells me nothing that does not either vex or weary me. The quarrels of popes and kings, with wars or pestilences, in every page; the men all so good for nothing, and hardly any women at all - it is very tiresome.
I saw also the relationship between the two popes I saw how baleful (evil; harmful) would be the consequences of this false church. I saw it increase in size; heretics of every kind came into the city (of Rome) Once more I saw the Church of Peter was undermined by a plan evolved by the secret sect (Masonry), while storms were damaging it.
Anne Catherine Emmerich
It is often asserted that as woman has always been man's slave--subject--inferior--dependent, under all forms of government and religion, slavery must be her normal condition. This might have some weight had not the vast majority of men also been enslaved for centuries to kings and popes, and orders of nobility, who, in the progress of civilization, have reached complete equality.
Susan B. Anthony
In my view, the Catholic Church as a community of faith will be preserved, but only if it abandons the Roman system of rule. We managed to get by without this absolutist system for 1,000 years. The problems began in the 11th century, when the popes asserted their claim to absolute control over the Church.
The best attitude to receive the Pope's teachings is to understand that he is a religious leader and the essence of his message comes from the Gospel, not from one ideology or another.And so, if our economic systems are not oriented toward the human person but only concerned with profits, he wants to confront the system and change it. This, by the way, is common to all the popes, it comes directly from the so-called social teachings of the church.
Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo
I despair at the rise of modern violence. I truly give in to despair at times, that deep, futureless pit of despair.... I watch the American slaughterhouse, the casual attacks on popes, presidents, and uncounted others, and I wonder if there are many more out there with the Ability or if butchery has simply become the modern way of life.
We want freedom. We want freedom from the constraints of the cycles of the sun and the moon. We want freedom from drought and weather, freedom from the movement of game, the growth of plants, freedom from control from mendacious popes and kings, freedom from ideology, freedom from want. This idea of freeing ourselves has become the compass of the human journey.
The question before the human race is, Whether the God of nature shall govern the world by his own laws, or whether Priests and Kings shall rule it by fictitious Miracles? Or, in other words, whether authority is originally in the People? Or whether it has descended for 1800 Years in a succession of Popes and Bishops, or brought down from Heaven by the Holy Ghost in the form of a Dove, in a Phial of holy Oil?
Religions are vague, of course. This means that they are easy to follow -you can interpret their prescriptions as you like. but it also means that it is easy to slip up -there is always some injunction you are violating. But Islam has no religious establishment - no popes, no bishops - that can declare by fiat which is the correct interpretation. As a result, the decision to oppose the state on the grounds that is insufficiently Islamic belongs to anyone who wishes to exercise it.
Art as an aesthetic principle was supported by thousands of years of discernment and psychic rewards, but art as a commodity was held up by air. The loss of confidence that affected banks and financial instruments was not affecting cherubs, cupids and flattened popes. The objects hadn't changed: what was there before was there after. But a vacancy was created with the clamoring crowds deserted and retrenched.
The essence of science is that it is always willing to abandon a given idea, however fundamental it may seem to be, for a better one; the essence of theology is that it holds its truths to be eternal and immutable. To be sure, theology is always yielding a little to the progress of knowledge, and only a Holy Roller in the mountains of Tennessee would dare to preach today what the popes preached in the Thirteenth Century, but this yielding is always done grudgingly, and thus lingers a good while behind the event.
H. L. Mencken
Systems of religious error have been adopted in times of ignorance. It has been the interest of tyrannical kings, popes, and prelates to maintain these errors. When the clouds of ignorance began to vanish and the people grew more enlightened, there was no other way to keep them in error but to prohibit their altering their religious opinions by severe persecuting laws. In this way persecution became general throughout Europe.
We all have known good critics, who have stamped out poet's hopes; Good statesmen, who pulled ruin on the state; Good patriots, who, for a theory, risked a cause; Good kings, who disemboweled for a tax; Good Popes, who brought all good to jeopardy; Good Christians, who sat still in easy-chairs; And damned the general world for standing up. Now, may the good God pardon all good men!
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
We always think of saints as these monks or nuns or popes or priests from centuries ago who were celibate or lived very quiet lives. Maybe we don't know a lot about a lot them but what I'm saying is the saints of the 21st century are gonna be regular people - people who've kissed other people. They're gonna be married people.
Hey, this is Europe. We took it from nobody; we won it from the bare soil that the ice left. The bones of our ancestors, and the stones of their works, are everywhere. Our liberties were won in wars and revolutions so terrible that we do not fear our governors: they fear us. Our children giggle and eat ice-cream in the palaces of past rulers. We snap our fingers at kings. We laugh at popes. When we have built up tyrants, we have brought them down. And we have nuclear ********* weapons.
The popes have spoken of human ecology, closely linked to environmental ecology. We are living in a time of crisis: we see this in the environment, but above all we see this in mankind Man is not in charge today, money is in charge, money rules. God our Father did not give the task of caring for the earth to money, but to us, to men and women: we have this task! Instead, men and women are sacrificed to the idols of profit and consumption: it is the 'culture of waste.'
The free-trade idea, logically applied, will abolish usury; and with usury will disappear the chief bone of contention between labor and capital. But, just at this point, free-traders go over to the enemy; and many writers on political economy, in flat contradiction of the essential principles of that science, have made elaborate arguments to prove self-government in finance, impossible! What shall we think of men who, having dethroned kings, demolished popes, destroyed slave oligarchies and assailed tariff monopoly, advise submission to the most oppressive and dishonest of despotisms, Usury?
Why do many believers insist on repeatedly pointing to the crimes of 20th century dictators who led officially atheistic societies as some sort of evidence of their god's existence? It makes no sense. If the rivers of blood on Stalin's hands and Mao's hands, for example, are supposed to prove there is a god, then what do the oceans of blood on the hands of several thousand years' worth of religious kings, queens, presidents, popes, priests, generals, Crusadersm jihadists and tribal chiefs prove? It's not, of course, but if bodycount is somehow the measure of a god's likelihood of existence, then believers lose. It is clear that humans are quite capable of killing with or without images of gods bouncing around in their heads. If anything, however, history suggests that the concept of gods makes the idea of massacring your fellow man (and women and children, too, of course) a lot easier to act upon.
Guy P. Harrison
The stuff of nightmare is their plain bread. They butter it with pain. They set their clocks by deathwatch beetles, and thrive the centuries. They were the men with the leather-ribbon whips who sweated up the Pyramids seasoning it with other people's salt and other people's cracked hearts. They coursed Europe on the White Horses of the Plague. They whispered to Caesar that he was mortal, then sold daggers at half-price in the grand March sale. Some must have been lazing clowns, foot props for emperors, princes, and epileptic popes. Then out on the road, Gypsies in time, their populations grew as the world grew, spread, and there was more delicious variety of pain to thrive on. The train put wheels under them and here they run down the log road out of the Gothic and baroque; look at their wagons and coaches, the carving like medieval shrines, all of it stuff once drawn by horses, mules, or, maybe, men.
GERTRUDE Gertrude Appleman, 1901-1976 God is all-knowing, all-present, and almighty. -A Catechism of Christian Doctrine I wish that all the people who peddle God could watch my mother die: could see the skin and gristle weighing only seventy-nine, every stubborn pound of flesh a small death. I wish the people who peddle God could see her young, lovely in gardens and beautiful in kitchens, and could watch the hand of God slowly twisting her knees and fingers till they gnarled and knotted, settling in for thirty years of pain. I wish the people who peddle God could see the lightning of His cancer stabbing her, that small frame tensing at every shock, her sweet contralto scratchy with the Lord's infection: Philip, I want to die. I wish I had them gathered round, those preachers, popes, rabbis, imams, priests - every pious shill on God's payroll - and I would pull the sheets from my mother's brittle body, and they would fall on their knees at her bedside to be forgiven all their faith.
I remember one Gentleman objected to the Christian Faith, that it made Men insolent, quarrelsom and ill-natur'd. From whence I concluded, (as I told him) that he had never read over the Gospells; truly he could not say that he had read 'em carefully, but yet that in reading the History of what had passed in Christendom, he observed that most of the Quarrels in which this part of the World had been engaged, arose from contentions among the Christian Priesthood. Church-History is chiefly a relation of Church-mens Wrangles, and D. Cave in a late Book of his has denominated every Century from some eminent Quarrel which arose among the Clergy. But besides this, what was the Holy War, what all the holy Massacres and Croisados which filled Europe with Blood, but the Inventions of the Holy Church? And what is holy Inquisition, but a perpetual Series of Murthers carry'd on in barbarous Forms of Law against the common Sense of Mankind? Does History account for any Barbarities so great as those committed by the Popes? Any Cruelties so savage as those of the Holy Inquisition? Any Murthers so solemn, and religiously brutal as the Acts of Faith? Any Pragmaticalness so insufferable as that of the Jesuits? is not their Humanity extinguished by their Christian Religion? Such is their Malice that no Man can eat Bread where they have to do, unless he submit his Faith to their guidance, witness the present French Persecution.
When I became convinced that the Universe is natural - that all the ghosts and gods are myths, there entered into my brain, into my soul, into every drop of my blood, the sense, the feeling, the joy of freedom. The walls of my prison crumbled and fell, the dungeon was flooded with light and all the bolts, and bars, and manacles became dust. I was no longer a servant, a serf or a slave. There was for me no master in all the wide world - not even in infinite space. I was free - free to think, to express my thoughts - free to live to my own ideal - free to live for myself and those I loved - free to use all my faculties, all my senses - free to spread imagination's wings - free to investigate, to guess and dream and hope - free to judge and determine for myself - free to reject all ignorant and cruel creeds, all the "inspired" books that savages have produced, and all the barbarous legends of the past - free from popes and priests - free from all the "called" and "set apart" - free from sanctified mistakes and holy lies - free from the fear of eternal pain - free from the winged monsters of the night - free from devils, ghosts and gods. For the first time I was free. There were no prohibited places in all the realms of thought - no air, no space, where fancy could not spread her painted wings - no chains for my limbs - no lashes for my back - no fires for my flesh - no master's frown or threat - no following another's steps - no need to bow, or cringe, or crawl, or utter lying words. I was free. I stood erect and fearlessly, joyously, faced all worlds. And then my heart was filled with gratitude, with thankfulness, and went out in love to all the heroes, the thinkers who gave their lives for the liberty of hand and brain - for the freedom of labor and thought - to those who fell on the fierce fields of war, to those who died in dungeons bound with chains - to those who proudly mounted scaffold's stairs - to those whose bones were crushed, whose flesh was scarred and torn - to those by fire consumed - to all the wise, the good, the brave of every land, whose thoughts and deeds have given freedom to the sons of men. And then I vowed to grasp the torch that they had held, and hold it high, that light might conquer darkness still.
Robert G. Ingersoll
Exoneration of Jesus Christ If Christ was in fact God, he knew all the future. Before Him like a panorama moved the history yet to be. He knew how his words would be interpreted. He knew what crimes, what horrors, what infamies, would be committed in his name. He knew that the hungry flames of persecution would climb around the limbs of countless martyrs. He knew that thousands and thousands of brave men and women would languish in dungeons in darkness, filled with pain. He knew that his church would invent and use instruments of torture; that his followers would appeal to whip and fagot, to chain and rack. He saw the horizon of the future lurid with the flames of the auto da fe. He knew what creeds would spring like poisonous fungi from every text. He saw the ignorant sects waging war against each other. He saw thousands of men, under the orders of priests, building prisons for their fellow-men. He saw thousands of scaffolds dripping with the best and bravest blood. He saw his followers using the instruments of pain. He heard the groans-saw the faces white with agony. He heard the shrieks and sobs and cries of all the moaning, martyred multitudes. He knew that commentaries would be written on his words with swords, to be read by the light of fagots. He knew that the Inquisition would be born of the teachings attributed to him. He saw the interpolations and falsehoods that hypocrisy would write and tell. He saw all wars that would be waged, and-he knew that above these fields of death, these dungeons, these rackings, these burnings, these executions, for a thousand years would float the dripping banner of the cross. He knew that hypocrisy would be robed and crowned-that cruelty and credulity would rule the world; knew that liberty would perish from the earth; knew that popes and kings in his name would enslave the souls and bodies of men; knew that they would persecute and destroy the discoverers, thinkers and inventors; knew that his church would extinguish reason's holy light and leave the world without a star. He saw his disciples extinguishing the eyes of men, flaying them alive, cutting out their tongues, searching for all the nerves of pain. He knew that in his name his followers would trade in human flesh; that cradles would be robbed and women's breasts unbabed for gold. And yet he died with voiceless lips. Why did he fail to speak? Why did he not tell his disciples, and through them the world: 'You shall not burn, imprison and torture in my name. You shall not persecute your fellow-men.' Why did he not plainly say: 'I am the Son of God, ' or, 'I am God'? Why did he not explain the Trinity? Why did he not tell the mode of baptism that was pleasing to him? Why did he not write a creed? Why did he not break the chains of slaves? Why did he not say that the Old Testament was or was not the inspired word of God? Why did he not write the New Testament himself? Why did he leave his words to ignorance, hypocrisy and chance? Why did he not say something positive, definite and satisfactory about another world? Why did he not turn the tear-stained hope of heaven into the glad knowledge of another life? Why did he not tell us something of the rights of man, of the liberty of hand and brain? Why did he go dumbly to his death, leaving the world to misery and to doubt? I will tell you why. He was a man, and did not know.
Robert G. Ingersoll