Quotes

Opening monologue, in the HBO miniseries “The Pacific,” by a Marine commander to a group of non-commissioned officers shortly before Christmas 1941: “Those of you who are lucky enough to get home for Christmas, hold your loved ones dearly. Join them in prayers for peace on earth and good will toward all men. And then report back here ready to sail across God’s vast ocean, where we will meet our enemy and kill them all. Merry Christmas.” — anonymous

In 1982 I came across a quote from the humorist Will Rogers, who once asked: “Where the hell is Nicaragua, and what the hell are we doing there?” And that was in 1933. At that point the US had already been involved there for nearly a century. — anonymous

Bumper stickers posted in the inside of a song-taew (small pickup truck with covered bed serving as a tax in Thailand): 2 scenes First, ornate cross, on which hangs a crucified Ronald McDonald (the hamburger chain mascot) Second, figures representing evolutionary history, beginning with an ape, going forward to a man walking and carrying a cross, then back to an ape. Undernearth both are the words "Save Thai Culture" — anonymous

Regard the flesh, the body, matter, as evil, or even inferior, and one has already begun the deviation from Christian truth. — Paul Verghese

So there is a movement from the soul to God, from God to the soul, and from the soul to society and the world. The contemplative life can never be one of self-indulgent absorption, even of a purely personal absorption in and enjoyment of God. Rather there must be an active expression of the inward union and love in relation to the world. — Kenneth Leech

[W]orship does not create an “alternative world” to which we can retreat when ordinary life becomes intolerable. . . . When liturgy becomes a self-absorbed attempt at “religious behavior” or when it calls attention to itself as something “unworldly,” it ceases to be worship and becomes an exercise in self-consciousness. Christian worship is inherently worldly. Its primary symbols are drawn from the messiest activities of human life: giving birth and dying, washing and smearing bodies with oil, eating and drinking, unburdening one’s heart in the presence of another. All this is the septic stuff of the world’s drama—and the stuff of Christian liturgy as well. — Nathan Mitchell

The Kingdom is otherworldly only in the sense that its origin and values lie in the divine order, and because of this its earthly appearance is marked by struggle. — Kenneth Leech

The European is to the other races of mankind what man himself is to the lower animals: he makes them subservient to his use and when he cannot subdue them he destroys them. — Alexis de Tocqueville

As imperial minds plot genocide, God’s messengers enter the world at risk: floating down the Nile in a reed basket (Ex 2:3), spirited out of the country on back roads (Mt 2:14). Against the presence of power is pitted the power of presence: God with us. — Ched Myers

Conservatives have traditionally reduced [the “born again” text of John 3:16] to, “Have you found Jesus?” The individual is set apart and privatized. [Frederic K.] Herzog centers on “Have you found your neighbor?” . . . To be born again is to enter into a relationship with oneself, one that is corporate and in solidarity with others, especially the powerless and poor. — David O. Woodyard