Quotes: Evil and Good

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“In our quest for the extraordinary, we often overlook the importance of the ordinary, and I’m proposing that a radical lifestyle actually begins with an extraordinary commitment to ordinary practices that have marked Christians who have affected the world throughout history.” – Radical by David Platt, p. 193

“Why can’t others think and see the world the way I see it?” – Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork, p. 23

“Lyman firmly believed that the best fisherman was he who caught the most fish, regardless of the bait used.” – The Most Famous Man in America: the Biography of Henry Ward Beecher by Debby Applegate, p. 57

“And most pastors in Germany had always preached Christ crucified without seeing–who does?–that he was being crucified all around them every day.” – They Thought They Were Free, The Germans, 1933-1945 by Milton Mayer, p. 87

“When I went back into Darfur with my first reporters, the African journalists, I was asked why I was taking the risk, and I told them, not trying to be too dramatic, that I was not safe because my people were not safe–and how can you be safe if your people are not safe? And so who are your people?  Perhaps everyone is your people.  I was wondering about that.” – The Translator by Daoud Hari, p. 173

“To do its worst, evil needs to look its best.  Evil has to spend a lot on makeup.” – Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be by Cornelius Plantinga, Jr., p. 98

“And the bitterest single disappointment of Nazism–both to Simon, the insensitive bill-collector, and to Hofmeister, the sensitive policeman–was the fact that Hitler had promised that no officer would get more than 1,000 Reichsmarks per month and did not keep his promise.” – They Thought They Were Free, The Germans, 1933-1945 by Milton Mayer, p. 102

“There’s a big difference between not being a bad person and being a good one.” – Life After Yes by Aidan Donnelley Rowley, p. 252

“It also bugs me when I hear about ‘Angelina’s adopted son’ or ‘Rosie’s adopted children’ — as if that word will always separate them instead of binding them together.” – A Little Bit Wicked by Kristin Chenoweth, p. 14

“Fair enough: evil fascinates people who walk down the Tornabuoni and also those who channel surf across daytime TV.  The fastest way to kill the dramas on daytime TV would be to rewrite the scripts so that shows would begin to dwell on moral stabilities–on marital fidelity, loyal friendship, and generous cooperation in the workplace.  Nobody would watch.” – Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be by Cornelius Plantinga, Jr., p. 91

“I know now that there are rare people who will help you carry your burdens through this life.” – The Samurai’s Garden by Gail Tsukiyama, p. 139

“[debating]…whether it was God’s will to install a woodstove to warm the meetinghouse in winter.  Surely, some argued (out of piety or stinginess it was hard to say), such an indulgence would send them down a slippery slope to decadence.” – The Most Famous Man in America: the Biography of Henry Ward Beecher by Debby Applegate, p. 24

Book Review: The Translator by Daoud Hari

The Translator: a Tribesman’s Memoir of Darfur is the story of Daoud Hari, a member of the persecuted Zaghawa tribe, who returns to the Darfur region of Sudan.

Hari had been in Egypt and Israel seeking employment in order to provide for his family, but got arrested for doing so illegally.  After being held in Israel and then Egypt, he is finally going to be handed over to Sudan.

Fortunately, with some help, he was able to escape to avoid being handed over to the government that wants his people dead.  Now released,  he wants nothing more than to see his family again.

Yet, he doesn’t make that his only goal. He decides to do what he can to help his people by using his language skills to translate for researchers and journalists who will get the word out about the genocide.

I must admit, I was quite ignorant about this region. This was a great introduction for me in to what Hari describes as the complex genocide in Darfur.

Of course, the details of the genocide are quite appalling. But Hari does a good job of not focusing on the graphic natures of the horrors nor glossing them over.

He had some interesting things to say about genocide prevention and the American government. He had good things to say about the American people, but not necessarily about the American government. He says, “The proof of a democracy is surely whether or not a government represents the hearts of its people” (p. 86). In context, he seems to be implying that the American government in fact does not represent its people, as the people want action in Darfur, but the government remains inactive.

I also find it saddening to see the role that imperialism had on the region and the negative consequences still felt today. Of course, I’ve seen the negative impact of forcing “superior” Western political ideals on other peoples in my studies of other regions (even after the Western nation relinquishes sovereignty), but here’s just another example.  We in the United States and Western Europe can’t just sit back and point our fingers…our nations aren’t innocent.

If you are as ignorant about Darfur as I was, I’d recommend this book (and even if you know something about the conflict in Darfur). It’s short and personable, and a easy way to begin to grasp the complexities and atrocities in Darfur.