Positive Atheism's Big List of
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‘The Scream’ by Edward Munch (This image is in the public domain.)Joseph Addison (1672-1719) English essayist

Joseph AddisonTo be an atheist requires an indefinitely greater measure of faith than to receive all the great truths which atheism would deny.
-- Joseph Addison, mistaking the notion that atheism is something other than simply the absence of theism, being, at minimum, unconvinced by theists' claims; this popular idea contributes largely to the stigma against the unchurched, in "The Spectator, 239" (8 March 1711)

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‘The Scream’ by Edward Munch (This image is in the public domain.)Pope Adrian IV (1100?-1159)
Roman Catholic Pope (1154-1159), the only Englishman to attain the papacy

It is not doubted, and you know it, that Ireland and all those islands which have received the faith, belong to the Church of Rome; if you wish to enter that Island, to drive vice out of it, to cause law to be obeyed and St Peter's Pence to be paid by every house, it will please us to assign it to you.
-- Pope Adrian IV, in a letter to King Henry II, presuming to own even Ireland that he would "assign" it to the King of England, in Lloyd M Graham, Deceptions and Myths of the Bible (1975), p. 468, quoted from Helen Ellerbe, The Dark Side of Christian History

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‘The Scream’ by Edward Munch (This image is in the public domain.)Spiro Theodore Agnew (1918–1996)
US Vice President (1969–1973) under Richard M Nixon; Agnew resigned in shame in 1973 after having been charged with tax evasion; When presidential counsel John Erlichman asked him why he kept Agnew on the ticket in 1972 election, Nixon supposedly replied that "No assassin in his right mind would kill me." He claimed, in a 1969 Life Magazine feature on him, that his IQ was a whoppin' 125 points.

Spiro Agnew, Nixon's own protection from the assassin's bullet... nattering nabobs of negativism ...
-- Spiro Agnew, summarizing his view of any who disagreed with the Nixon Administration's policies at the time, in a speech in San Diego (May, 1970); quoted from a taped actuality of the former vice-president aired on XM News (November 1, 2007), excerpted by Positive Atheism

... pusillanimous pussyfooters ...
-- Spiro Agnew, summarizing his view of any who disagreed with the Nixon Administration's policies at the time, quoted from Lance Morrow, "Naysayer to the Nattering Nabobs" in Time (Sepember 30, 1996), excerpted by Positive Atheism

... vicars of vacillation ...
-- Spiro Agnew, summarizing his view of any who disagreed with the Nixon Administration's policies at the time, quoted from Lance Morrow, "Naysayer to the Nattering Nabobs" in Time (Sepember 30, 1996), excerpted by Positive Atheism

... hopeless, hysterical hypochondriacs of history ...
-- Spiro Agnew, summarizing his view of any who disagreed with the Nixon Administration's policies at the time, quoted from Lance Morrow, "Naysayer to the Nattering Nabobs" in Time (Sepember 30, 1996), excerpted by Positive Atheism

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‘The Scream’ by Edward Munch (This image is in the public domain.)Asghar Ali Afridi
Former 28-year-old student of Dr Younus Shaikh; the latter was convicted of blasphemy in Pakistan in August, 2001, for teaching that Mohammed did not practice Islam until after he had received his revelation

     • See also: Syed Bilal
     • 
See also: Abdul Wahid Qasmi

I had heard from the sermons in the mosques that those who blaspheme deserve to be killed immediately. It was a weakness of faith that we did not do it.
-- Asghar Ali Afridi, relating his alleged response to Dr Shaikh's teaching, quoted from Barry Bearak, "Death to Blasphemers: Islam's Grip on Pakistan," New York Times, May 12, 2001

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‘The Scream’ by Edward Munch (This image is in the public domain.)Clemente Díaz Aguilar
Missionary in Guatemala

My captors stole everything from me.... Those who captured me, in front of me, divided up my money, and later they led me into the hands of the torturers. In the long hours of torture, they asked me constantly about other pastors ... of some churches in the capital; they asked me also about my views on liberation theology and about the liberation of the people of Israel. The Torturers, tired of doing so much damage to me, rested for a while; then I recognised some of them: two are members of a singing duo from these churches [Verbo and Misión Elim]; I begged [them] to recognise me because I recognised them; then they asked me questions about my capture, my complete name, my address, my church and my activities. When they realised I was not the person they were looking for, they begged my forgiveness, saying "Brother, we are also Christians."
-- Clemente Díaz Aguilar, from "Sectas y religiosidad en America Latina," pub. Instituto Latinoamericano de Estudios Transnacionales, Casilla 16637, Correo 9, Santiago, Chile, October, 1984, pp.21-22, quoted from Therion Ware, "Christianity -- Killing For Christ?"

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Pastor: Army Kills "Demons," Not Indians

"The Army doesn't massacre the Indians. It massacres demons, and the Indians are demon possessed; they are communists. We hold Brother Efraín Ríos Montt like King David of the Old Testament. He is the king of the New Testament."
-- Unnamed Pastor, quoted in "Sectas y religiosidad en America Latina," pub Instituto Latinoamericano de Estudios Transnacionales, Casilla 16637, Correo 9, Santiago, Chile, October, 1984, p 23. When Jimmy Carter cut off aid to Montt, Pat Robertson and other fundamentalist Christians sent millions to support his regime in the name of Christ. Quoted from Therion Ware, "Christianity -- Killing For Christ?."

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‘The Scream’ by Edward Munch (This image is in the public domain.)A A Allen
American faith-healer of the Christian huckster variety

A. A. AllenWhen you can turn people on their head and shake them and no money falls out, then you know God's saying, "Move on, son."
-- A A Allen, to Marjoe Gortner, quoted in James A Haught, "Covering the Bible Belt II: A Freethinker’s Testimony"

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James Ammerson
Retired Colonel; member of the Texas-based American Veterans in Domestic Defense

[The United States may have to] burn a couple of nations down.
-- James Ammerson, in a speech after rambling through several topics ranging from Moore's monument to President Bush's portrayal of Islam as a peaceful religion, at a December 16, 2002, rally in support of Judge Roy Moore's placing of a 5280-pound granite monument of an abbridged version of the Protestant listing of the first stone tablets edition of ten religious edicts of a minority tribe of ancient Hebrews, quoted from Conrad Goeringer, "Moore holds firm as judge may issue stay -- supporters, separationists face off in Montgomery" (AANEWS: December 20, 2002)

I've read the Koran, and I believe Allah's proper name is Lucifer.
-- James Ammerson, in a speech at a December 16, 2002, rally in support of Judge Roy Moore's placing of a 5280-pound granite monument to ten religious edicts of a minority tribe of ancient Hebrews, quoted from Conrad Goeringer, "Moore holds firm as judge may issue stay -- supporters, separationists face off in Montgomery" (AANEWS: December 20, 2002)

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‘The Scream’ by Edward Munch (This image is in the public domain.)George W Andrews (1906-1971)
US Representative from Alabama

George W. Andrews worries in God's behalfThey put the Negroes in the schools, and now they've driven God out.
-- George Andrews, in response to the US Supreme Court's verdict in Engle v. Vitale (barring school-sponsored prayer), quoted from Robert E Nordlander, "Madalyn Murray O'Hair: The Making of a Modern Myth" (Freethought Today, November, 1988)

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‘The Scream’ by Edward Munch (This image is in the public domain.)Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)
Father of medieval scholasticism

St. AnselmFor I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe -- that unless I believed, I should not understand.
-- St Anselm, "St Anselm on the Existence of God," in Medieval Philosophy: Selections from Augustine to Buridon (1964) p. 109, quoted from George H Smith, Why Atheism?

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‘The Scream’ by Edward Munch (This image is in the public domain.)Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)
Roman Catholic philosopher

     • See Thomas's More Reasonable Sayings

Clearly the person who accepts the Church as an infallible guide will believe whatever the Church teaches.
-- Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica

If forgers and malefactors are put to death by the secular power, there is much more reason for excommunicating and even putting to death one convicted of heresy.
-- Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica

As regards the individual nature, woman is defective and misbegotten, for the active power of the male seed tends to the production of a perfect likeness in the masculine sex; while the production of a woman comes from defect in the active power.
-- Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica

That the saints may enjoy their beatitude and the grace of God more abundantly they are permitted to see the punishment of the damned in hell.
-- Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica

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‘The Scream’ by Edward Munch (This image is in the public domain.)Herbert W Armstrong
Founder of the Worldwide Church of God; publisher of The Plain Truth

Moses made mistakes, Abraham made mistakes, David made mistakes, Elijah made mistakes...
-- Herbert W Armstrong, explaining why the world did not end in 1972, as he had foretold, quoted from David Milsted, The Cassell Dictionary of Regrettable Quotations (1999)

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‘The Scream’ by Edward Munch (This image is in the public domain.)Arnaud-Amaury
Abbot of Citeaux, 1209

Kill them all; for God knoweth them that are His. (Tuez-les tous; Dieu reconnaitra les siens.)
-- Arnaud-Amaury, when asked by the Crusaders what to do with the citizens of Beziers who were a mixture of Catholics and Cathars, the Abbot takes the concept of the afterlife to its logical conclusion, in Henry C Lea, The Inquisition of the Middle Ages, also in Helen Ellerbe, The Dark Side of Christian History, critical editing by Cliff Walker

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‘The Scream’ by Edward Munch (This image is in the public domain.)Roger Ascham
Elizabethan writer

Italianate Englishmen are incarnate devils ... for they first lustfully condemn God, then scornfully mock his word, and also spitefully hate and hurt all the well wishers thereof.... They count as fables the holy mysteries of religion.
-- Roger Ascham, quoted in George H Smith, "The Case Against God Sequel," speech was delivered at the Freedom From Religion Foundation mini-convention, San Francisco, July 31, 1999

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‘The Scream’ by Edward Munch (This image is in the public domain.)John Ashcroft
George W Bush's Attorney General (2001)

John AshcroftCivilized people -- Muslims, Christians and Jews -- all understand that the source of freedom and human dignity is the Creator.
-- John Ashcroft, defining "civilized people" specifically as "Muslims, Christians, and Jews" -- specifically, monotheists -- speaking to a group of Christian broadcasters, on February 18, 2002, quoted from Rob Morse, "The gospel according to John (Ashcroft)"

Any citizen who's offended ... can leave the service.
-- John Ashcroft, baiting atheists, separationists, and non-Evangelicals in a speech given at a January 13 political function in Denver, Colorado, on supporting faith-based initiatives, during which Ashcroft quoted the Bible and said fear and bigotry lead to discrimination against faith-based charities in the past, quoted from the Denver Post (January 14, 2003)

For the first time in a long time, our leaders in Washington understand what Americans of all religious backgrounds have long held to be true: through faith, all things are possible.
-- John Ashcroft, baiting atheists, separationists, and non-Evangelicals in a speech given at a January 13 political function in Denver, Colorado, on supporting faith-based initiatives, during which Ashcroft quoted the Bible and said fear and bigotry lead to discrimination against faith-based charities in the past, quoted from the Associated Press (January 14, 2003)

We are a nation called to defend freedom -- a tradition that is not a grant of any government or document, but is an endowment from God.
-- John Ashcroft, as if deliberately ignoring the very document he allegedly swore to uphold, speaking to a group of Christian broadcasters, on February 18, 2002, quoted from Rob Morse, "The gospel according to John (Ashcroft)"

[The war on terrorism isn't a religious war, but] a defense of our right to make moral choices, to seek fellowship with God that is chosen and not commanded.
-- John Ashcroft, speaking to a group of Christian broadcasters, on February 18, 2002, quoted from in Rob Morse, "The gospel according to John (Ashcroft)"

Christianity is a faith in which God sends his son to die for you, [while Islam is] a religion in which God requires you to send your son to die for him.
-- John Ashcroft, in January, 2002, quoted from Rob Morse, "The gospel according to John (Ashcroft)"

Unique among the nations, America recognized the source of our character as being godly and eternal, not being civic and temporal. And because we have understood that our source is eternal, America has been different. We have no king but Jesus.
-- John Ashcroft, Commencement address given on May 8, 1999, upon receiving an honorary degree at ultra-right-wing and ultra-fundamentalist Bob Jones University, also known for its anti-African-American segregationist policies

If America is to be great in the future, it will be if we understand that our source is not civic and temporal, but our source is godly and eternal.
-- John Ashcroft, Commencement address given on May 8, 1999, upon receiving an honorary degree at ultra-right-wing and ultra-fundamentalist Bob Jones University, also known for its anti-African-American segregationist policies

We must embrace the power of faith, but we must never confuse politics and piety. For me, may I say that it is against my religion to impose my religion.
-- John Ashcroft, address in 1998, singing a completely different tune from what he said at the Bob Jones Commencement

Frankly, the president, during the first opportunity I had to be in a Cabinet meeting, before we started the meeting, he said, "Folks, before we begin this meeting, I'm going to call on General Ashcroft and ask him invite the wisdom and presence of God in what we do."
     And I thought to myself how ashamed I'd been that so many times in my life I had entered upon great important tasks and I had cheated myself and those that I had served of a blessing.
-- John Ashcroft, addressed an annual religious patriotic rally, to the Honor America program, at First Federated Church, Des Moines's largest church (July 1, 2001)

[Ashcroft vowed to] spare no effort to preserve the rights of all our citizens to pledge allegiance to the American flag.
-- John Ashcroft, stumping not for the Pledge of Allegiance itself, but for the inclusion of two very controversial and divisive words: "under God," quoted from Associated Press, "Bush Asks Court to Back Pledge Recital," wherein both Bush and Ashcroft are quoted as clearly equating the restoration of the Pledge to it's pre-McCarthy Era form with the banning of the entire Pledge (December 20, 2003)

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Ashcroft Changes His Tune

We're going to protect and honor the Constitution, and I don't have the authority to set it aside.... If I had the authority to set it aside, this would be a dangerous government, and I wouldn't respect it.
-- John Ashcroft, during an October, 2001, edition of ABC News's Nightline, one month before he, Bush, and Cheney unveiled plans to prosecute those accused of "terrorism" in military trials conducted under relaxed rules of evidence and partial secrecy, thereby skirting the government's obligation to uphold the Constitution and ensuring that any such trials would lack international credibility, quoted from Peter Slevin and George Lardner Jr., "Bush Plan for Terrorism Trials Defended: Military Tribunals Appropriate in War, Ashcroft Says; Critics Cite Constitution," Washington Post (November 15, 2001)

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Staff Bible Studies and Prayer Meetings
      (and if thou doth not partake, whence cometh thine credibility?)

The purpose of the Department of Justice is to do the business of the government, not to establish a religion.... It strikes me and a lot of others as offensive, disrespectful and unconstitutional. . . . It at least blurs the line, and it probably crosses it.
-- Justice Department Attorney, who, like many of Ashcroft's critics, is unwilling to be identified by name, quoted from Dan Eggen, "Ashcroft's Faith Plays Visible Role at Justice [Department]: Bible Sessions With Staffers Draw Questions and Criticism" (Washington Post: May 14, 2001)

It's alienating. He's using public spaces to have a personally meaningful event to which I would not be welcome, nor would I feel welcome.
-- Another Justice Department Attorney, who, like the attorney quoted above, is unwilling to be identified by name, quoted from Dan Eggen, "Ashcroft's Faith Plays Visible Role at Justice [Department]: Bible Sessions With Staffers Draw Questions and Criticism" (Washington Post: May 14, 2001)

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‘The Scream’ by Edward Munch (This image is in the public domain.)Mohamed Atta
Egyptian terrorist; leader of the September 11, 2001 attack which destroyed the World Trade Center; ironically, Atta joined radical Islamic circles while studying urban planning in Germany

Mohamed AttaWhen the confrontation begins, strike like champions who do not want to go back to this world. Shout, "Allahu Akbar," because this strikes fear in the hearts of the non-believers.
-- Mohamed Atta, giving instructions to his fellow hijackers (attributed); "Allaju Akbar" is the well-known cry of suicide bombers as they blow up innocent civilian targets, quoted from David Horowitz, "The 'Anti-War' Movement Is A Bigger Problem Than You Think" (The War Room: February 13, 2003)

Make sure that nobody is following you.
-- Mohamed Atta (attributed), in a five-page hand-written document found in luggage belonging to Atta which had been placed on the wrong plane, quoted from Bob Woodward, "Hijacker Leaves Behind Sheaf Of Prayers And Instructions," Washington Post (September 28, 2001)

Remind yourself that in this night you will face many challenges. But you have to face them and understand it 100 percent.... Obey God, his messenger, and don't fight among yourself where you become weak, and stand fast, God will stand with those who stood fast.
-- Mohamed Atta (attributed), in a five-page hand-written document found in luggage belonging to Atta which had been placed on the wrong plane, in a section of the document titled "The Last Night," quoted from Bob Woodward, "Hijacker Leaves Behind Sheaf Of Prayers And Instructions," Washington Post (September 28, 2001)

Everybody hates death, fears death, but only those, the believers who know the life after death and the reward after death, would be the ones who will be seeking death.
-- Mohamed Atta (attributed), in a five-page hand-written document found in luggage belonging to Atta which had been placed on the wrong plane, in a section of the document titled "The Last Night," quoted from Bob Woodward, "Hijacker Leaves Behind Sheaf Of Prayers And Instructions," Washington Post (September 28, 2001)

You should pray, you should fast. You should ask God for guidance, you should ask God for help.... Continue to pray throughout this night. Continue to recite the Quran.
-- Mohamed Atta (attributed), in a five-page hand-written document found in luggage belonging to Atta which had been placed on the wrong plane, in a section of the document titled "The Last Night," quoted from Bob Woodward, "Hijacker Leaves Behind Sheaf Of Prayers And Instructions," Washington Post (September 28, 2001)

Purify your heart and clean it from all earthly matters. The time of fun and waste has gone. The time of judgment has arrived. Hence we need to utilize those few hours to ask God for forgiveness. You have to be convinced that those few hours that are left you in your life are very few. From there you will begin to live the happy life, the infinite paradise. Be optimistic. The prophet was always optimistic.
-- Mohamed Atta (attributed), in a five-page hand-written document found in luggage belonging to Atta which had been placed on the wrong plane, in a section of the document titled "The Last Night," quoted from Bob Woodward, "Hijacker Leaves Behind Sheaf Of Prayers And Instructions," Washington Post (September 28, 2001)

Keep a very open mind, keep a very open heart of what you are to face. You will be entering paradise. You will be entering the happiest life, everlasting life.
-- Mohamed Atta (attributed), in a five-page hand-written document found in luggage belonging to Atta which had been placed on the wrong plane, quoted from Bob Woodward, "Hijacker Leaves Behind Sheaf Of Prayers And Instructions," Washington Post (September 28, 2001)

I pray to you God to forgive me from all my sins, to allow me to glorify you in every possible way.
-- Mohamed Atta (attributed), in a five-page hand-written document found in luggage belonging to Atta which had been placed on the wrong plane, in a section of the document titled "When you enter the plane," quoted from Bob Woodward, "Hijacker Leaves Behind Sheaf Of Prayers And Instructions," Washington Post (September 28, 2001)

Oh, God, open all doors for me. Oh God who answers prayers and answers those who ask you, I am asking you for your help. I am asking you for forgiveness. I am asking you to lighten my way. I am asking you to lift the burden I feel.
     Oh God, you who open all doors, please open all doors for me, open all venues for me, open all avenues for me.
     God, I trust in you. God, I lay myself in your hands....
     There is no God but God, I being a sinner. We are of God, and to God we return.
-- Mohamed Atta (attributed), in a five-page hand-written document found in luggage belonging to Atta which had been placed on the wrong plane, in a section of the document titled "When you enter the plane," quoted from Bob Woodward, "Hijacker Leaves Behind Sheaf Of Prayers And Instructions," Washington Post (September 28, 2001)

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‘The Scream’ by Edward Munch (This image is in the public domain.)St Augustine of Hippo (354-430)
Numidian Christian theologian, church father, and philosopher

     • See Augustine's More Reasonable Sayings

AugustineThe wounds of a friend are better than the kisses of an enemy. To love with sternness is better than to deceive with gentleness.... In Luke [14:23] it is written: "Compel people to come in!" By threats of the wrath of God, the Father draws souls to his Son.
-- Augustine, setting forth the principle of Cognite Intrare ("Compel them to enter"), Christ's infamous mandate that all must become Christian -- by force, if necessary; Cognite Intrare would be used throughout the Middle Ages to justify the Church's suppression of dissent and oppression of difference, in Walter Nigg, The Heretics: Heresy Through the Ages (1962), p. 138, quoted from Helen Ellerbe, The Dark Side of Christian History, critical editing by Cliff Walker

When, therefore, man lives according to man, not according to God, he is like the devil.
-- Augustine, On Baptism: Against the Donatists (400?), quoted from Encarta Book of Quotations (1999)

There is no salvation outside the church.
-- Augustine, The City of God, B

Man has been naturally so created that it is advantageous for him to be submissive, but disastrous for him to follow his own will, and not the will of his creator.
-- Augustine, in Elaine Pagels, Adam, Eve, and the Serpent, quoted from Helen Ellerbe, The Dark Side of Christian History

Slavery is not penal in character and planned by that law which commands the preservation of the natural order and forbids disturbance.
-- Augustine, quoted from Helen Ellerbe, The Dark Side of Christian History

Women should not be enlightened or educated in any way. They should, in fact, be segregated as they are the cause of hideous and involuntary erections in holy men.
-- Augustine (attributed: source unknown)

Nothing so casts down the manly mind from it's height as the fondling of women and those bodily contacts which belong to the married state.
-- Augustine, De Trinitate

Who can control this when its appetite is aroused? No one! In the very movement of this appetite, then, it has no "mode" that responds to the decisions of the will ... Yet what he wishes he cannot accomplish ... In the very movement of the appetite, it has no mode corresponding to the decision of the will.
-- Augustine, in Elaine Pagels, Adam, Eve, and the Serpent, quoted from Helen Ellerbe, The Dark Side of Christian History

As to the fable that there are Antipodes, that is to say, men on the opposite side of the earth where the sun rises when it sets to us, men who walk with their feet opposite ours, that is on no ground credible. Even if some unknown landmass is there, and not just ocean, there was only one pair of original ancestors, and it is inconceivable that such distant regions should have been peopled by Adam's descendants.
-- Augustine (attributed: source unknown)

AugustineBut even those who delight in this pleasure are not moved to it at their own will, whether they confine themselves to lawful or transgress to unlawful pleasures; but sometimes this lust importunes them in spite of themselves, and sometimes fails them when they desire to feel it, so that though lust rages in the mind, it stirs not in the body. Thus, strangely enough, this emotion not only fails to obey the legitimate desire to beget offspring, but also refuses to serve lascivious lust; and though it often opposes its whole combined energy to the soul that resists it, sometimes also it is divided against itself, and while it moves the soul, leaves the body unmoved.
-- Augustine, The City of God, Book XIV, Ch. 15, (tr., Marcus Dods, 1950), p. 462, quoted from Helen Ellerbe, The Dark Side of Christian History

It is indeed better (as no one ever could deny) that men should be led to worship God by teaching, than that they should be driven to it by fear of punishment or pain; but it does not follow that because the former course produces the better men, therefore those who do not yield to it should be neglected. For many have found advantage (as we have proved, and are daily proving by actual experiment), in being first compelled by fear or pain, so that they might afterwards be influenced by teaching, or might follow out in act what they had already learned in word.
-- Augustine, Treatise on the Correction of the Donatists

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