Inquisition Quotes

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  • You find this curious fact, that the more intense has been the religion of any period and more profound has been the dogmatic belief, the greater has been the cruelty and the worse has been the state of affairs. In the so called age of faith, when men really did believe the Christian religion in all its completeness, there was the Inquisition, with its tortures; there were millions of unfortunate women burnt as witches; and there was every kind of cruelty practised upon all sorts of people in the name of religion.

    Christian   Believe   Men  
  • War! When I but think of this word, I feel bewildered, as though they were speaking to me of sorcery, of the Inquisition, of a distant, finished, abominable, monstrous, unnatural thing. When they speak to us of cannibals, we smile proudly, as we proclaim our superiority to these savages. Who are the real savages? Those who struggle in order to eat those whom they vanquish, or those who struggle merely to kill?

    Peace   Real   War  
  • Being interviewed is one of the most abnormal things that you can do to somebody else. It's two steps removed from the Inquisition.

    Two   Abnormal   Steps  
    Interview on Channel 4, June 1, 1983.
  • If this is how science operates, by silencing those who express opposing views rather than by debating with them, then science is dead and we are in a new era of the Inquisition.

    Views   Eras   New Era  
  • If a man wishes to have God recognized in the constitution of our country, let him read the history of the Inquisition, and let him remember that hundreds of millions of men, women, and children have been sacrificed to placate the wrath, or win the approbation of this god.

    Robert Green Ingersoll (1902). “The Works of Robert G. Ingersoll: Miscellany”
  • I would meet you upon this honestly. I that was near your heart was removed therefrom To lose beauty in terror, terror in inquisition. I have lost my passion: why should I need to keep it Since what is kept must be adulterated? I have lost my sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch: How should I use them for your closer contact?

    Passion   Heart   Sight  
    T.S. Eliot (2011). “The Complete Poems and Plays of T. S. Eliot”, p.31, Faber & Faber
  • There is nothing disastrous in the temporary nature of our ideas. They are always that. But there may very easily be a train of evil in the self-deception which regards them as final. I think God will forgive us our skepticism sooner than our Inquisitions.

    Thinking   Self   Ideas  
    Walter Lippmann (1914). “A Preface to Politics”
  • We cannot permit any inquisition either within or without the law or apply any religious test to the holding of office. The mind of America must be forever free.

    Religious   Law   America  
    Presidential Inaugural Address, delivered 4 March 1925
  • Christianity ... has produced the iniquities of the Inquisition, the egotism and celibacy of the monasteries, the fury of religious wars, the ferocity of the Hussite, of the Catholic, of the Puritan, of the Spaniard, of the Irish Orangeman and of the Irish Papist; it has divided families, alienated friends, lighted the torch of civil war, and borne the virgin and the greybeard to the burning pile, broken delicate limbs upon the wheel and wrung the souls and bodies of innocent creatures on the rack; all this it has done, and done in the name of God.

  • No other work has more often been blamed for more heinous crimes by the perpetrators of such crimes. The Bible has been named as the instigating or justifying factor for many individual and mass crimes, ranging from the religious wars, inquisitions, witch burnings, and pogroms of earlier eras to systematic child abuse and ritual murders today.

  • A public-school system, if it means the providing of free education for those who desire it, is a noteworthy and beneficent achievement of modern times; but when once it becomes monopolistic it is the most perfect instrument for tyranny which has yet been devised. Freedom of thought in the middle ages was combated by the Inquisition, but the modern method is far more effective.’ (1923)

    John Gresham Machen (1923). “Christianity and Liberalism”, p.14, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing
  • I subject my sentences and the words to a kind of Grand Inquisition. I'm trying always to leave out what I think is extraneous. And to find what I think is the most wonderful language to make a beautiful sentence. Not beautiful in the sense of "oh it's flowy" but in the sense that it really does what it's supposed to do, it what I want it to say.

  • Certainty is the enemy of mankind. If you're certain about everything, you have the Inquisition, you have Nazis and you have - that certainty is something to be guarded about.

    Enemy   Nazi   Certain  
    "Actor Sir Anthony Hopkins". "The Tavis Smiley show", January 27, 2011.
  • Throughout all the pain of enslavement and despotism, of inquisition, forced conversion, and massacre, the Jewish people has carried in its heart the yearning for freedom and has given this craving a folk expression which includes every soul in Israel, every single downtrodden pauperized soul!

    Pain   Heart   Israel  
  • If a man really believes that God once upheld slavery; that he commanded soldiers to kill women and babes; that he believed in polygamy; that he persecuted for opinion's sake; that he will punish forever, and that he hates an unbeliever, the effect in my judgment will be bad. It always has been bad. This belief built the dungeons of the Inquisition. This belief made the Puritan murder the Quaker.

    Hate   Believe   Men  
    Robert Green Ingersoll (1909). “Interviews”
  • If you compare the United States with Europe, my view is that what happened in Europe is that the church became deeply distrusted by people, because it sided with the monarchs. It instituted the Inquisition and became part of the repressive state apparatus. That never happened here. We don't have that history.

    Views   Europe   People  
    John Rawls, Samuel Richard Freeman (1999). “Collected Papers”, p.621, Harvard University Press
  • The fruits of Christianity were religious wars, butcheries, crusades, inquisitions, extermination of the natives of America, and the introduction of African slaves in their place.

    Arthur Schopenhauer (2016). “Religion”, p.55, Arthur Schopenhauer
  • The greatest tragedy in the history of Christianity was neither the Crusades nor the Reformation nor the Inquisition, but rather the split that opened up between theology and spirituality at the end of the Middle Ages.

  • Sometimes people have said that Islam, in its own calendar, is still only in the Middle Ages. It's still in the fifteenth century or whatever. And Christianity in the fifteenth century, after all, was full of inquisitions and burnings at the stake, and so on and so on. So give Islam time, and it will reach the point of maturity that other religions have. But Mormonism is much younger than Islam, and it's got there already. So I don't think that's an argument that works.

  • This was a good example of the fascist policing of public discourse in this country by nominal liberals who have become as unthinkingly wedded to dogma as any junior member of the Spanish Inquisition.

  • The decent moderation of today will be the least of human things tomorrow. At the time of the Spanish Inquisition, the opinion of good sense and of the good medium was certainly that people ought not to burn too large a number of heretics; extreme and unreasonable opinion obviously demanded that they should burn none at all.

  • In Europe, the Enlightenment of the 18th century was seen as a battle against the desire of the Church to limit intellectual freedom, a battle against the Inquisition, a battle against religious censorship. And the victory of the Enlightenment in Europe was seen as pushing religion away from the center of power. In America, at the same time, the Enlightenment meant coming to a country where people were not going to persecute you by reason of your religion. So it meant a liberation into religion. In Europe, it was liberation out of religion.

    "The Iconoclast". Interview with Shikha Dalmia, August 1, 2005.
  • The principle of the Inquisition was murderous. . . . The popes were not only murderers in the great style, but they also made murder a legal basis of the Christian Church and a condition of salvation.

  • All events are linked together in the best of possible worlds; after all, if you had not been driven from a fine castle by being kicked in the backside for love of Miss Cunegonde, if you hadn't been sent before the Inquisition, if you hadn't traveled across America on foot, if you hadn't given a good sword thrust to the baron, if you hadn't lost all your sheep from the good land of Eldorado, you wouldn't be sitting here eating candied citron and pistachios. - That is very well put, said Candide, but we must cultivate our garden.

    Garden   Feet   America  
  • When a man is in love, jealous, and just whipped by the Inquisition, he is no longer himself.

    Elizabeth Cooney Leister, Voltaire (1985). “Voltaire's Candide”, Barrons Educational Series Incorporated
  • The world is but a school of inquisition; it is not who shall enter the ring, but who shall run the best courses.

    Running   School   World  
    Michel de Montaigne (2015). “Montaigne's Essays: Top Essays”, p.952, 谷月社
  • Adultery itself in its principle is many times nothing but a curious inquisition after, and envy of another man's enclosed pleasures: and there have been many who refused fairer objects that they might ravish an enclosed woman from her retirement and single possessor.

    Time   Retirement   Envy  
    Jeremy Taylor (1847). “The Rule and Exercises of Holy Living”, p.127
  • It is in the name of Jesus, himself become God, that fanaticism ignominiously condemned to the stake men like Giodano Bruno, Vanini, Étienne Dolet, John Huss, Savanarola, and numerous other heroic victims; that the Inquisition ordered Galileo to belie his conscience; that thousands and thousands of unfortunates accused of witchcraft were burnt alive in popular ceremonies; it was with the express benediction of Pope Gregory XIII that the butchery of St. Bartholomew drenched Paris in blood.

    Religious   Jesus   Men  
  • I feel like Galileo going before the Inquisition to explain that the Sun doesn't revolve around the Earth. I hope I have more success.

    Earth   Sun   Feels  
    1999 Before his interview for selection as Labour's nominee for Mayor of London
  • 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.

    Women   Hysteria   Issues  
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