Edward Abbey Quote

“Fantastic doctrines (like Christianity or Islam or Marxism) require unanimity of belief. One dissenter casts doubt on the creed of millions. Thus the fear and the hate; thus the torture chamber, the iron stake, the gallows, the labor camp, the psychiatric ward.”

~ Edward Abbey


Ratings and Comments


Mike, Norwalk

A really, REALLY incorrect, obtuse and worthless perception. I understand the use of "fantastic" here but, the rest of the red herring is left to a lying - misdirection word salad. I am a hard core believing Christian and a creed of mine is a statement made by Jesus: "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;" There are those blood thirsty hate and war mongers that claim a belief in Jesus to justify their crimes but, they do not follow His doctrine(s). James 2:9 Comes to mind "⋯ believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble." Are those hate and war mongers that harmonize with devils Christians ? ? ? As a Christian, I recognize many belief and doctrine systems that are different than mine within that group that earnestly try and follow the words and doctrines of Jesus. In that, none of those differing doctrines promote fear, hate, torture, the iron stake, the gallows, the labor camp or the psychiatric ward. I can not speak to Islam but, do to close Muslim friends, I would say that is grossly false also. And, because Marxism is a religion of torturing and killing dissenters, what does a fantastic doctrine have to do with it ?

watchman 13, USA

I do agree Mike, and your stance as a Christian is noted.
It is the doctrines of liberty and freedom which unite
the nation or individual with a right standing before God.
As on the battle field one must believe with all their heart otherwise you will loose.
Therefore halfhearted individuals are not chosen.
The testimonies of the Lord are very sure.
So also is the truth when spoken in any language.
Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourself about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that you have kindled. This shall ye have of ( mine hand );
ye shall lie down in sorrow.
So must liberty and freedom be refreshed from generation to generation. A seed shall serve him for a generation as Washington did, so also is it now.
Being set at liberty from the yoke and burden of the state
was case in point with Timothy being set at liberty with Paul.
Where you will find the origin of our Constitution.
The first tool to be hid from the children is the divider.
The second is the plumb.
The third is the line of judgment.
All of which will be revealed.
Sly foxes they are that withhold the truth from the children of men. reprobate !
Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil.
But glory, honor, and peace, to every man that worketh good.
When the vilest of men are exalted the people suffer !

E Archer, NYC

Mike, I have tremendous respect for you, and you have shared much of your faith, trials, and tribulations on this blog for years. And I know that you condemn the violence committed in the name of religion no matter what the denomination. While I do not share the same 'fantastic' beliefs of most fundamentalist Christians, I do believe that 'as we sow, so shall we reap' and the Golden Rule is still golden to me.

I do find Abbey's statement to be very true. Anyone who actively ignores the history and origins of Christianity, Islam, Marxism, and other ideologies that seek to corral all underneath a single belief will agree that their beliefs are obviously 'right' and the others obviously wrong. watchman 13 is a perfect example of one who is sufficiently conditioned that his words are always framed as a 'warning' in old English as if he were a prophet of doom for the unbelievers. This nonsense is what has driven millions away from the best parts of the christian (small 'c') philosophy of love, honor, charity, and mutual respect.

'Fanatics' is too mild a word to describe these types whether Christian, Muslim, or Socialist. None truly espouse freedom -- they can't because they are the tools of those wishing to establish a social order centralizing power into the hands of a few. I never could understand how one who defends Natural Law and a republican form of government could reconcile with the monarchy of a deity -- this doesn't sound 'divine' at all but frankly representing the basest of human tendencies.

"Thus the fear and the hate; thus the torture chamber, the iron stake, the gallows, the labor camp, the psychiatric ward." Absolutely true -- these are the fruits of fanaticism and are still the tools of tyrants clothed in black robes. Millions upon millions have been slaughtered in the name of their gods. I will have none of it. Nor would I expect a fundamentalist to EVER truly examine the origins of the 'faith' he/she has been taught by others conditioned in the same fashion because it would mean they have been robbed of the truth, have spent a lifetime in delusion, and the cost is too great to bear.

I am for philosophy not theology, truth not hope, reason not belief, science not superstition -- yes, even science is nothing but theories -- if only religionists could admit theirs is too. I believe in God, but I doubt my definition would be shared by fundamentalist Christians, Muslims, or Marxists. ;-) But it doesn't matter, because whatever the truth is, it is, and I trust in the process of life, from birth to death, and everything in between. ;-)

watchman 13, USA

If the result of righteousness is peace and quite,
then why such a troubled soul ?
Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth ?
I tell you, Nay; but rather division: Luke 12 : 51.
Study to show thyself approved unto God , a workman that
needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the
word of truth.
It is only said once but once is enough. Shall we choose
oppression or freedom.
Cutting aright, what is for you and what is to you.
Obviously men of faith chose freedom and those that have none choose it to.
It is an oppressor that chooses confusion.
Tools of understanding are for builders, will your house stand ? Keep it plumb and square or the house will fall.
But it would take a builder to understand these things.
But we will not boast of things with out our measure,
but according to the measure of the rule which God hath
distributed to us, a measure to reach even unto you.

Josh Nelson, St Paul

Who is Jesus? Is he some authority? I understand that he was a man like any other man. The myth of his relationship with some sort of god has destroyed millions of lives.

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