Assorted Quotes

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Pre-requisite incrementalism: In order for any law to be respected enough to be enforceable, the morality that undergirds the law must be held in honor by the people generally. This is why the Christian faith, inimical to the gladiatorial games from the start, did not result in the final cessation of the games until 404 A.D. And this also explains why the apostle Paul was not “compromising” when he wrote a letter to the Roman church without a single reference to those games being held in their city. What he was doing—preaching the gospel, planting churches, etc.—was eventually going to end the games. But to get up a petition to end the games without doing this first would have been tilting at windmills. His strategy for eliminating slavery was similar, and a bit more obvious.
- doug wilson


To be deep in history is to cease to be a Protestant.
- John Henry Cardinal Newman (Anglican priest, converted to Catholicism)
Always act, never react.
- Douglas Wilson, quoting his father
But they then went on to wreck this insight by saying that this made marriage a glorified form of prostitution, when they should actually have made the connection in the opposite direction—pointing out that prostitution is of course a grotesque parody of marriage.
- Douglas Wilson
"They indeed will tell you that their researches have proved that if two things are similar, the fair one is always a copy of the foul one" (The Pilgrim’s Regress, p. 67).
On Writing:  
Count the hours spent in writing.  Ask yourself, how much writing have I done?  Write for yourself.  Write to defend the Faith.  Write your experiences.  Write what you want to remember.  So much of the writing is done by idiots; start writing!  We are to write and share the Faith we possess.  We are all naturally lazy; it takes work to write!  God made us rational creatures with certain experiences no one else has.  We must worship with our free will that makes us human beings.
- (Servant of God) Fr. James Hardon (http://www.hardonsj.org/)
Anytime you can make someone else feel something, you've got power over them.
- Lift, Edgedancer, Arcanum Unbounded, The Cosmere Collection
That hardy-oak Puritan once observed that if you tie an animal up, he will know the length of his tether by morning. 
- Douglas Wilson
As any thoughtful observer should be able to tell you, gestures, clothing, facial expressions, and mannerisms are all forms of communication. Because they are forms of communication, there are three basic elements involved: the “speaker,” the “receiver,” and the “medium.” As with all forms of human communication, the boundaries can be pretty fluid sometimes, but at the same time the basic point of it is to communicate something with someone else...
Manners, gestures, clothing, etc., while a means of true communication, are not as precise as other forms of communication.
- Douglas Wilson
There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn’t mind who gets the credit.
- Quoted by Douglas Wilson as a plaque Ronald Reagan kept on  his desk
Once the idea is introduced that one may take the life of a person because he is not useful to the state, then it will not be long before we are taking his life because his ideas are not the same as those of the state.
- Fulton Sheen, in Life Is Worth Living
Every one of the popular modern phrases and ideals is a dodge in order to shirk the problem of what is good. We are fond of talking about "liberty"; that, as we talk of it, is a dodge to avoid discussing what is good. We are fond of talking about "progress"; that is a dodge to avoid discussing what is good. We are fond of talking about "education"; that is a dodge to avoid discussing what is good. The modern man says, "Let us leave all these arbitrary standards and embrace liberty." This is, logically rendered, "Let us not decide what is good, but let it be considered good not to decide it." He says, "Away with your old moral formulae; I am for progress." This, logically stated, means, "Let us not settle what is good; but let us settle whether we are getting more of it." He says, "Neither in religion nor morality, my friend, lie the hopes of the race, but in education." This, clearly expressed, means, "We cannot decide what is good, but let us give it to our children."

(...)

It is quite certain the realists like Zola do in one sense promote morality--they promote it in the sense in which the hangman promotes it, in the sense in which the devil promotes it. But they only affect that small minority which will accept any virtue of courage. Most healthy people dismiss these moral dangers as they dismiss the possibility of bombs or microbes. Modern realists are indeed Terrorists, like the dynamiters; and they fail just as much in their effort to create a thrill. Both realists and dynamiters are well-meaning people engaged in the task, so obviously ultimately hopeless, of using science to promote morality.

- G.K. Chesterton, Heretics
Thucydides' dictum that people will swallow anything if it accords with their prior beliefs.
- Quoted from the Tof Spot, which quotes from Thucydudes, History of the Peloponnesian War, Book IV, 108
Temptation comes in tiny increments
- From here
Amateurs, not experts.
- https://blog.codinghorror.com/strong-opinions-weakly-held/
- Also CS Lewis intro

“But the truth is God has not told us what His arrangement about the other people are. We do know that no man can be saved except through Christ; we do not know that only those who know Him can be saved through Him” (Mere Christianity, p. 64).


Suppose one reads a story of filthy atrocities in the paper. Then suppose that something turns up suggesting that the story might not be quite true, or not quite so bad as it was made out. Is one's first feeling, 'Thank God, even they aren't quite so bad as that,' or is it a feeling of disappointment, and even a determination to cling to the first story for the sheer pleasure of thinking your enemies are as bad as possible? If it is the second then it is, I am afraid, the first step in a process which, if followed to the end, will make us into devils. You see, one is beginning to wish that black was a little blacker. If we give that wish its head, later on we shall wish to see grey as black, and then to see white itself as black. Finally we shall insist on seeing everything -- God and our friends and ourselves included -- as bad, and not be able to stop doing it: we shall be fixed for ever in a universe of pure hatred.

C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity


Maybe the divorce rate is so high these days because mating choices are generally being made by hormone-crazed lust-puppies. 
TOF, on arranged marriages - http://tofspot.blogspot.com/2019/01/love-and-sex.html


"There is no appropriate category in Catholic thought for the phenomenon of Protestantism today (one could say the same of the relationship to the separated churches of the East). It is obvious that the old category of ‘heresy’ is no longer of any value. Heresy, for Scripture and the early Church, includes the idea of a personal decision against the unity of the Church, and heresy’s characteristic is pertinacia, the obstinacy of him who persists in his own private way. This, however, cannot be regarded as an appropriate description of the spiritual situation of the Protestant Christian. In the course of a now centuries-old history, Protestantism has made an important contribution to the realization of Christian faith, fulfilling a positive function in the development of the Christian message and, above all, often giving rise to a sincere and profound faith in the individual non-Catholic Christian, whose separation from the Catholic affirmation has nothing to do with the pertinacia characteristic of heresy. Perhaps we may here invert a saying of St. Augustine’s: that an old schism becomes a heresy. The very passage of time alters the character of a division, so that an old division is something essentially different from a new one. Something that was once rightly condemned as heresy cannot later simply become true, but it can gradually develop its own positive ecclesial nature, with which the individual is presented as his church and in which he lives as a believer, not as a heretic. This organization of one group, however, ultimately has an effect on the whole. The conclusion is inescapable, then: Protestantism today is something different from heresy in the traditional sense, a phenomenon whose true theological place has not yet been determined." - Benedict XVI [The Meaning of Christian Brotherhood (pp. 87-88), by cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.]

How much sand can you put in the sugar bowl before it does not count as a sugar bowl anymore?
- Douglas Wilson