Presidential Quotations on Power and Moral Responsibility

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“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

                                                                      Abraham Lincoln

 

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“The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.”

                                                                      John F. Kennedy,

                                                                      based on Dante,

                                                                       Inferno

 

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“Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”

                                                                     Barack Obama

 

 

 

 

Quotations on Bigotry, Justice, and Injustice

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“What a sad era when it is easier to smash an atom than a prejudice.”

                                                                     Albert Einstein

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“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

                                                                     Martin Luther King Jr.

 

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“We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”

                                                                     Elie Wiesel

Quotations on Courage

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I have focused on this theme before, but I believe it is always important.

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“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”    Edmund Burke

While today, we would say people instead of men, the importance of  the message remains. When evil or the potential for it exists, it must be opposed.

 

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“The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”     Albert Einstein

Both men from very different times and different political and social backgrounds give a moral imperative to people to stand up to evil, that it cannot and should not be ignored.