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Resistance

"But the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns, so that your male and female servants may rest, as you do."    - Torah Redactors ; Deuteronomy 5.14


"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly."    - Albert Einstein ; The World As I See It


“Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation are men who want crops without plowing up the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress. In the light of these ideas, Negroes will be hunted at the North and held and flogged at the South so long as they submit to those devilish outrages and make no resistance, either moral or physical. Men may not get all they pay for in this world, but they must certainly pay for all they get. If we ever get free from the oppressions and wrongs heaped upon us, we must pay for their removal. We must do this by labor, by suffering, by sacrifice, and if needs be, by our lives and the lives of others.”    - Frederick Douglass ; If There Is No Struggle, There Is No Progress, 1857


"Christ asks us not to fear persecution, because — believe me, brothers and sisters — whoever has cast his or her lot with the poor will have to endure the same fate as the poor, and in El Salvador we know what the fate of the poor is: to disappear, to be tortured, to be a prisoner, to be found dead."
   - Archbishop Oscar Romero ; The Word Remains: A Life of Oscar Romero


“We need in every community a group of angelic troublemakers. Our power is in our ability to make things unworkable. The only weapon we have is our bodies, and we need to tuck them in places so wheels don’t turn”      - Bayard Rustin ; Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin


"I did not want to be mistreated, I did not want to be deprived of a seat that I had paid for. It was just time . . . there was opportunity for me to take a stand to express the way I felt about being treated in that manner. I had not planned to get arrested. I had plenty to do without having to end up in jail. But when I had to face that decision, I didn't hesitate to do so because I felt that we had endured that too long. The more we gave in, the more we complied with that kind of treatment, the more oppressive it became."    - Rosa Parkes ; Excerpts from an interview with Lynn Neary, National Public Radio (1992)


"As we gather at tables, grieving the state of our nation, may we gain spiritual strength for the journey ahead, drawing on the deepest wells of wisdom from those on whose shoulders we stand and the various faith traditions that have fueled their freedom march and continue to energize ours. In the spirit of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel and Dr. King, may the pioneers of the civil rights movement collaborate with the young leaders in Ferguson, New York City and other cities, and may they impart their knowledge and understanding of nonviolent resistance that is not passive, but is spiritually active with an abiding faith that the universe is on the side of justice, and that, in the end, love will triumph over evil. May this spiritual strength, fueled by prophetic fire and love, reveal to us our neighbors’ humanity, our own complicity in their suffering and liberate us once and for all from the history that continues to enslave us."    - Peter Heltzel and Cornel West ; A Thanksgiving Prayer


"It is true, if surprising, that those who accept historical crosses in the most radical way and make the least attempt to glorify them, those who least get used to them and least accept 'cheap' answers to the question of theodicy, are the ones who most seriously commit themselves to suppressing historical crosses."    - Jon Sobrino ; Jesus the Liberator


"Suffering cannot be accepted, only fought."    - Jon Sobrino ; Jesus the Liberator


"Suffering in itself has no meaning; the only suffering that has any meaning is the suffering we accept in the fight against suffering."    - Jon Sobrino ; Jesus the Liberator


"But however much the theological right and left might diverge philosophically, their respective political practice shares more similarities than differences in allegiant to empire. From the perspective of radical discipleship, 'biblical authority' is meaningful only insofar as it leasts us to repentance and resistance!"    - Ched Myers ; Binding the Strong Man: a political reading of Mark's story of Jesus


"To question and rebel means to organize resistance. What we need now and what we will need in the coming years is a broad, comprehensive resistance movement against militarism, a movement that includes members of every political grouping from the center to the left. We have to take up the cause of peace, take sides with life, interfere nonviolently and illegally. I think we can learn the most for our purposes from the liberation struggles in the Third World. I have been given a leaflet from the resistance movement in Chile, a leaflet that can be distributed there only at the risk of one’s life. These Chileans are reflecting on their situation, on what it means to live under a dictatorship and what is happening to them as a result. I think we can adopt a great deal of what they say, for they say: ‘Rebel! Don’t cooperate with death! Choose life!’ They also say: ‘Don’t let them steal away your soul! Amen!’"
   - Dorothee Sölle ; Of War and Love


"The faith and courage of the members of our communities in the face of threats, misunderstandings, and persecution for justice’ sake are sustained and strengthened by the support each individual gives the others, by the support each community gives the others, by our very struggle and activity, by meditation on the word of God, and by the recollection of the witness given by those who have struggled for justice."
   - Gustavo Gutierrez ; We Drink From Our Own Wells


We regard ourselves as guilty for keeping silence in the face of the events agitating our country. In the face of repression, detentions, the economic crisis, the loss of jobs by so many workers, murders and tortures, we have kept silent as though we did not belong to that world. The cowardice that keeps silent in the face of the sufferings of the poor and that offers any number of adroit justifications represents an especially serious failure.
   - Gustavo Gutierrez ; We Drink From Our Own Wells


Jesus abhors both passivity and violence as responses sponses to evil. His is a third alternative not even touched by these options. Antistenai tistenai cannot be construed to mean submission.    - Walter Wink ; Jesus and Nonviolence: A Third Way (Facets)


Faith is born out of suffering, and suffering is faith's most powerful contradiction. This is the Christian dilemma. The only meaningful Christian response is to resist unjust suffering and to accept the painful consequence of that resistance.    - James H. Cone ; God of the Oppressed


"I traveled to faith— learning to trust the righteousness of God in spite of trouble and injustice; learning to trust women of many colors regardless of sexism, racism, classism and homophobia in our society; learning to believe in the sanctuary power of family defined in many ways in addition to nuclear; discovering love in a variety of forms that heal, but also believing serious political action is absolutely necessary for justice to prevail in the world of my four black children and other mothers’ children. Faith has taught me to see the miraculous in everyday life: the miracle of ordinary black women resisting and rising above evil forces in society, where forces work to destroy and subvert the creative power and energy my mother and grandmother taught me God gave black women."    - Delores S. Williams ; Sisters in the Wilderness: The Challenge of Womanist God-Talk


"Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not first sit down and estimate the cost, to see whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it will begin to ridicule him, saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or what king, going out to wage war against another king, will not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to oppose the one who comes against him with twenty thousand? If he cannot, then, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for the terms of peace. So therefore, none of you can become my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions."    - Jesus ; Luke 14.27-33


"The dominated classes need to transform their suffering, not submit to it. Submission to suffering is a form of annihilation, but transformation of suffering rekindles a faith that gives life."    - James H. Cone ; A Black Theology of Liberation


"[Jesus] recognized with authentic realism that anyone who permits another to determine the quality of his inner life gives into the hands of the other the keys to his destiny."
   - Howard Thurman ; Jesus and the Disinherited


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