Abraham Lincoln on Forgetting God

Abraham Lincoln“We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown.

But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.

Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to God that made us! It behooves us, then to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.”

Abraham Lincoln, Proclamation for a National Day of Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer, April 30, 1863

Quotes on America, Freedom, Independence

Here are some quotes for this day on which we celebrate our independence and freedom.

“Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.”  – Abraham Lincoln

“Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison.” – Henry David Thoreau

“A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.” – Thomas Jefferson

“Years ago I recognized my kinship with all living things, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on the earth. I said then and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it; while there is a criminal element, I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.” – Eugene V. Debs

“What the people want is very simple – they want an America as good as its promise.”  – Barbara Jordan

“They came for the communists,
and I did not speak up because I wasn’t a communist;
They came for the socialists,
and I did not speak up because I was not a socialist;
They came for the union leaders,
and I did not speak up because I wasn’t a union leader;
They came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak up for me. ”
– Martin Niemoller

“It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have these three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence to practice neither.” – Mark Twain

“We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”  – Victor Frankl

“People hardly ever make use of the freedom they have. For example, the freedom of thought. Instead they demand freedom of speech as a compensation.” – Søren Kierkegaard

Quotes on Peace

“If there is to be peace in the world,
There must be peace in the nations.

If there is to be peace in the nations,
There must be peace in the cities.

If there is to be peace in the cities,
There must be peace between neighbors.

If there is to be peace between neighbors,
There must be peace in the home.

If there is to be peace in the home,
There must be peace in the heart.”
– Lao Tzu (570-490 B.C.)

“I prefer the most unfair peace to the most righteous war.” – Cicero.

“The most disadvantageous peace is better than the most just war.” – Desiderius Erasmus

“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” – Mother Theresa (1910-1997)

“I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.” – Mohandas K. Gandhi

“And they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” – Isaiah 2:4

“If you want to make peace, you don’t talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies.” – Moshe Dayan (1915-1981

“The best way to destroy an enemy is to make him a friend.” – Abraham Lincoln

“This is the way of peace: Overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth, and hatred with love.” – Peace Pilgrim.

“The God of peace is never glorified by human violence.” – Thomas Merton

“Returning violence for violence only multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“As peacemakers we must resist resolutely all the powers of war and destruction and proclaim that peace is the divine gift offered to all who affirm life.” – Henri J. M. Nouwen

“Peace is the only battle worth waging.” – Albert Camus (1913-1960)