August 24, 2009

Bring Out Your Dead

My email quote of the day guy notes that today is the Feast of St. Bartholomew and, therefore, also the 437th anniversary of the Bartholomew's Day massacre in France.

Among the quotes he includes is this one:

Those who believe in their truth - the only ones whose imprint is retained by the memory of men - leave the earth behind them strewn with corpses. Religions number in their ledgers more murders than the bloodiest tyrannies account for, and those whom humanity has called divine far surpass the most conscientious murderers in their thirst for slaughter. - E. M. Cioran (1911-1995) (A Short History of Decay, Ch. 1)

I've never heard of E.M. Cioran, and without the context it's impossible to properly weigh this passage, but I sincerely hope that he somehow includes the various brands of 20th Century totalitarianism as "secular" religions in his book-keeping, because otherwise he's a moron.

(I would also note that the Bartholomew's Day massacre was the result not of religious differences alone, but of political machinations as well.)

Posted by Robert at August 24, 2009 02:28 PM | TrackBack