C.S. Lewis

To love at all is to be vulnerable. The only places outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell. — C.S. Lewis

Henri Nouwen

It is freeing to become aware that we do not have to be victims of our past and can learn new ways of responding. But there is a step beyond this recognition. . . . It is the step of forgiveness. Forgiveness is love practiced among people who love poorly. It sets us free without wanting anything in return. — Henri Nouwen

Hannah Arendt

Without being forgiven, released from the consequences of what we have done, our capacity to act would, as it were, be confined to a single deed from which we could never recover; we would remain the victims of its consequences forever, not unlike the sorcerer’s apprentice who lacked the magic formula to break the spell. — Hannah Arendt

George Monbiot

As the British political philosopher Isaiah Berlin wrote: “Freedom for the pike is death for the minnow.” In the absence of protections for the weak and the vulnerable, free markets can lead to oppression just as surely as unjust governments. In the name of freedom, taxes for the super-rich are cut. In the name of freedom, companies lobby to drop the minimum wage and raise working hours. In the same cause, US insurers lobby Congress to thwart effective public healthcare; the government rips up our planning laws; big business trashes the biosphere. This is the freedom of the powerful to exploit the weak, the rich to exploit the poor. Freedom? Always ask, for whom? — George Monbiot

Martin Luther King Jr.

He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. It is impossible even to begin the act of loving one's enemies without the prior acceptance of the necessity, over and over again, of forgiving those who inflict evil and injury upon us. Forgiveness does not mean ignoring what has been done or putting a false label on an evil act. It means, rather, that the evil act no longer remains as a barrier to the relationship. — Martin Luther King Jr.

Associated Press

Commenting on news that US Marines were filmed urinating on the bodies of dead Taliban soldiers in Afghanistan: “Reserve Marine Lt. Col. Paul Hackett, who teaches the law of war to Marines before they are sent off to Afghanistan, made it clear Friday that he was not condoning the Marines’ actions. But he warned against judging them too harshly, saying: 'When you ask young men to kill people for a living, it takes a whole lot of effort to rein that in.'” — Associated Press

Bil Keane, Family Circus cartoon

Dolly, speaking of her younger brother: “Billy says he doesn’t hafta go to church anymore ‘cause his phone has an app for that!” — Bil Keane, Family Circus cartoon

James Cone

Ida B. Wells, a fearless anti-lynching organizer, and other African American women leaders “viewed white Christianity as a contradiction of true Christian identity, largely because of its support of segregation and lynching. ‘Would to God that it were,’ complained the National Baptist leader Nannie Helen Burroughs, when she rejected America’s Christian identity, ‘but it is the most lawless and desperately wicked nation on the globe.’ Lynching, she insisted, was ‘no superficial thing . . . it is in the blood of the nation. And the process of eliminating it will be difficult and long.’” — James Cone

Martin Luther King Jr.

I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today—my own government. For the sake of those [soldiers], for the sake of this government, for the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent. — Martin Luther King Jr.