Quotations about   purity

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The greatest bloodshed? The most murders? I would say two things: sincere love and a sincere devotion to liberty. … If you kill out of love or for the perfect utopia, you never stop killing because human nature is always imperfect.

Peter Viereck (1916-2006) American poet, historian, academic
“Clio is No Cleo: The Messiness of History,” lecture, Mt. Holyoke College (1997)

Reprinted in Society (Mar 2004) and collected in Strict Wildness (2008).
Added on 3-Feb-21 | Last updated 4-Feb-21
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If there is one thing which a comparative study of religions places in the clearest light, it is the inevitable decay to which every religion is exposed. It may seem almost like a truism, that no religion can continue to be what it was during the lifetime of its founder and its first apostles. Yet it is but seldom borne in mind that without constant reformation, i.e. without a constant return to its fountain-head, every religion, even the most perfect, nay the most perfect on account of its very perfection, more even than others, suffers from its contact with the world, as the purest air suffers from the mere fact of its being breathed.

Max Müller (1823-1900) German-British philologist, Orientalist, religious studies founder
Chips from a German Workshop, Preface (1866)
Added on 23-Oct-20 | Last updated 23-Oct-20
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When the heavy-handed dogmatist requires a categorical assent to the literal truth of the miraculous, in exactly the same sense in which physical facts are true, a tension between faith and reason cannot be avoided.

William Ralph Inge (1860-1954) English prelate [Dean Inge]
“Bishop Gore and the Church of England” (1908), Outspoken Essays: First Series (1911)
Added on 20-Apr-20 | Last updated 20-Apr-20
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Come heed me, my brothers, come heed, one and all
Don’t brag about standing or you’ll surely fall
You’re shining your light and shine it you should
But you’re so heavenly minded, you’re no earthly good

If you’re holding heaven, then spread it around
There’s hungry hands reaching up here from the ground
Move over and share the high ground where you stood
So heavenly minded, you’re no earthly good

John R. "Johnny" Cash (1932-2003) American singer-songwriter, guitarist, actor, author
“So Heavenly Minded, You’re No Earthly Good”
Added on 5-Sep-19 | Last updated 5-Sep-19
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RIPPER: I can no longer sit back and allow Communist infiltration, Communist indoctrination, Communist subversion, and the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.

Stanley Kubrick (1928-1999) American film director, screenwriter, producer
Dr. Strangelove (1964) [with T. Southern, Peter George, based on Red Alert by Peter George]
Added on 31-Jul-18 | Last updated 31-Jul-18
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Strict censure may this harmless sport endure:
My page is wanton, but my life is pure.

[Innocuos censura potest permittere lusus:
Lasciva est nobis pagina, vita proba.]

Martial (AD c.39-c.103) Spanish Roman poet, satirist, epigrammatist [Marcus Valerius Martialis]
Epigrams [Epigrammata], Book 1, epigram 4, ll. 7-8 [tr. Duff (1929)]

An appeal to Emperor Domitian, who became censor-for-life in AD 85. Original Latin. Alternate translations:

The censorship may tolerate innocent jokes:
my page indulges in freedoms, but my life is pure.
[tr. Bohn's Classical (1897)]

A censor can permit harmless trifling:
wanton is my page; my life is good.
[tr. Ker (1919)]

From censure may my harmless mirth be free,
My page is wanton but my life is clean.
[tr. Pott & Wright (1921)]

A censor can relax, wink just one eye:
My poetry is filthy -- but not I.
[tr. Wills (2007)]

As Censor, you can exercise discretion: my jokes hurt no one; let them be. My page may be dirty, but my life is clean.
[tr. Nisbet (2015)]

Let not these harmless sports your censure taste:
My lines are wanton, but my life is chaste.
[tr. 17th C Manuscript]

These games are harmless, censor: let them pass.
My poems play around; but not my life.
[tr. Elliot]

Added on 2-Aug-17 | Last updated 2-Jul-21
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It had snowed in the night, and the world looked very clean, which I knew it not to be. But illusion is nice sometimes.

Robert B. Parker (1932-2010) American writer
Painted Ladies, ch. 22 (2010)
Added on 12-Jul-17 | Last updated 12-Jul-17
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But freedom isn’t free. It shouldn’t be a bragging point that, “Oh, I don’t get involved in politics,” as if that makes someone cleaner. No, that makes you derelict of duty in a republic. Liars and panderers in government would have a much harder time of it if so many people didn’t insist on their right to remain ignorant and blindly agreeable.

Maher - involved in politics - wist_info quote

William "Bill" Maher (b. 1956) American comedian, political commentator, critic, television host.
When You Ride Alone You Ride With Bin Laden (2002)
Added on 16-Feb-16 | Last updated 1-Jun-16
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The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don’t just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and riffle their pockets for new vocabulary.

James Nicoll (b. 1961) Canadian reviewer, editor
“The King’s English,” rec.arts.sf-lovers (15 May 1990)

Nicoll later corrected the final verb to "rifle."
Added on 13-Jan-16 | Last updated 13-Jan-16
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PURITANISM: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.

H.L. Mencken (1880-1956) American writer and journalist [Henry Lewis Mencken]
“Arcana Coelestia,” A Mencken Chrestomathy (1949)
Added on 16-Sep-14 | Last updated 2-May-16
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I’m as pure as the driven slush.

Tallulah Bankhead (1902-1968) American actress
In the Observer (24 Feb 1957)
Added on 19-Dec-13 | Last updated 19-Dec-13
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Nobody is more dangerous than he who imagines himself pure in heart; for his purity, by definition, is unassailable.

Baldwin - pure at heart - wist_info

James Baldwin (1924-1987) American novelist, playwright, activist
“The Black Boy Looks at the White Boy,” Esquire (May 1961)
Added on 14-Jan-11 | Last updated 19-Dec-19
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Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

The Bible (14th C BC - 2nd C AD) Christian sacred scripture
James 1:27 (NIV)

  • TEV: What God the Father considers to be pure and genuine religion is this: to take care of orphans and widows in their suffering and to keep oneself from being corrupted by the world.
  • KJV: Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
Added on 14-Sep-09 | Last updated 26-Oct-18
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