Note: It is possible that some of these quotes originated from someone other than the one it is attributed to below.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."  Edmund Burke

"If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.” Bishop Desmond Tutu    

"Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented." Elie Wiesel

" “The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference." Elie Wiesel

There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest." - Elie Wiesel


“I've been fighting my entire adult life for men and women everywhere to be equal and to be different. But there is one right I would not grant anyone. And that is the right to be indifferent.” - Elie Wiesel

"Not to take sides is to effectively weigh in on the side of the stronger." William Sloane Coffin 

"The man who is passive in the face of injustice is as guilty of a crime as the man who openly violates rules of justice. ... The man who does not defend someone, or obstruct the injustice when he can, is at fault as if he had abandoned hid parents or his friends or his country." Cicero (44 BC)

"Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted, the indifference of those who should have known better, the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most, that has made it possible for evil to triumph. Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia

"Well done is better than well said." Benjamin Franklin

“The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.” Plato

"Your silence gives consent." Plato

"You can also commit injustice by doing nothing." Marcus Aurelius

One must speak up in situations where silence can objectively be taken to mean agreement with or sanction of evil. When one deals with irrational persons, where argument is futile, a mere “I don’t agree with you” is sufficient to negate any implication of moral sanction. When one deals with better people, a full statement of one’s views may be morally required. But in no case and in no situation may one permit one’s own values to be attacked or denounced, and keep silent." Ayn Rand

“Neutrality is positively harmful.” Miroslav Volf

“He who is not angry when there is just cause for anger is immoral. Why? Because anger looks to the good of justice. And if you can live amid injustice without anger, you are immoral as well as unjust.”Thomas Aquinas

"Silence becomes cowardice when occasion demands speaking out the whole truth and acting accordingly.”  Mahatma Gandhi

"The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people." Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." Martin Luther King, Jr.

 “The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

"A man dies when he refuses to stand up for that which is right. A man dies when he refuses to stand up for justice. A man dies when he refuses to take a stand for that which is true." Martin Luther King, Jr.

“True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice.” - Martin Luther King Jr.By Martin Luther King, Jr.

"A time comes when silence is betrayal." - Martin Luther King Jr.

"...all too many others have been more cautious than courageous and have remained silent behind the anesthetizing security of stained-glass windows." Martin Luther King, Jr.  Letter from a Birmingham Jail", August 1963

"The arc of the moral universe may bend towards justice, but it does not bend on its own. To secure the gains this country has made requires constant vigilance, not complacency." Barack Obama

"Silence in the face of evil is itself evil. God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act. Dietrich Bonhoeffer

" Save us from weak resignation. To the evils we deplore."
Verse from last stanza of hymn "God of Grace and God of Glory" written in 1930 by Harry Fosdick and John Hughes.

“Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world...would do this, it would change the earth.”  William Faulkner

It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope. Robert Kennedy

“Every time we turn our heads the other way when we see the law flouted, when we tolerate what we know to be wrong, when we close our eyes and ears to the corrupt because we are too busy or too frightened, when we fail to speak up and speak out, we strike a blow against freedom and decency and justice.” Robert Kennedy

"The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis." Dante

“Silence becomes cowardice when occasion demands speaking out the whole truth and acting accordingly.” Mathatma Gandhi

“Washing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral ”  Paulo Freire

From Isaac Asimov's "Three Laws of Robotics": First Law: A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. [ A law too often violated by humans. ]

"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.

“Apathy adds up, in the long run, to cowardice. Rollo May American psychologist

 “Those who choose not to empathize enable real monsters, for without ever committing an act of outright evil ourselves we collude with it through our apathy.” J.K. Rowling

 “You are not to stand idle when your neighbor’s life is at stake.” Leviticus 19:16

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy. Proverbs 31:8-9

“The road to Auschwitz was built by hate but paved with indifference.” Ian Kershaw, British historian

Your activism should be involuntary right now, instead of invisible." John Pavlovitz, "White Christian Friend, I Hear Your Silence"

"Therefore, anyone who knows what is right but fails to do it is guilty of sin." James 4:17 (New Testament)

“We cannot suffer with the poor when we are unwilling to confront those persons and systems that cause poverty. We cannot set the captives free when we do not want to confront those who carry the keys. We cannot profess our solidarity with those who are oppressed when we are unwilling to confront the oppressor. Compassion without confrontation fades quickly into fruitless sentimental commiseration.” Henri Nouwen

"Opinions are cheap and easy and, ultimately, meaningless. Action is what actually matters. What are you going to do about it? And when are  you going to do it? That's the challenge of this essay. (Thoreau's "Resistance to Civil Government") Professor W.E. Smith, Miami University of Ohio, talk at Chautauqua Institute, July 25, 2018

"The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now." Chinese proverb

“The refusal to take sides on great moral issues is itself a decision. It is a silent acquiescence to evil. The Tragedy of our time is that those who still believe in honesty lack fire and conviction, while those who believe in dishonesty are full of passionate conviction.”
Fulton J. Sheen

“Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it. ”  The Talmud

"Silence is a complex matter. It can refer to awe before unutterable holiness, but it can also refer to the coercion where some voices are silenced in the interest of control by the dominant voices. It is the latter silence that Walter Brueggemann explores, urging us to speak up in situations of injustice." Rev. Walter Brueggemann. His book: Interrupting Silence

“How can we expect righteousness to prevail when there is hardly anyone willing to give himself up individually to a righteous cause? Such a fine sunny day, and I have to go, but what does my death matter, if through us thousands of people are awakened and stirred to action?” Sophia Magdalena Scholl (9 May 1921 – 22 February 1943) was a German student and anti-Nazi political [non-violent]activist. She was convicted of high treason after having been found distributing anti-war leaflets. She was executed by guillotine.

First they came...anti-Nazi German pastor Martin Niemöller

"First they came for the socialists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me."

Franciscan blessing  found on a wall in Camp Victor (Ocean Springs, MS) Author unknown

·         May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships, so that you may live deep within your heart.

·         May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may work for justice, freedom, and peace.

·         May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, and war, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain into joy.

·         And may God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done.

James 2: 14-17 (New Testament)

14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

Pity The Nation  Lawrence Ferlinghetti 2007

Pity the nation whose people are sheep,
 and whose shepherds mislead them.
 Pity the nation whose leaders are liars, whose sages are silenced,
 and whose bigots haunt the airwaves.
 Pity the nation that raises not its voice,
 except to praise conquerors and acclaim the bully as hero
 and aims to rule the world with force and by torture.
 Pity the nation that knows no other language but its own
 and no other culture but its own.
 Pity the nation whose breath is money
 and sleeps the sleep of the too well fed.
 Pity the nation — oh, pity the people who allow their rights to erode
 and their freedoms to be washed away.
 My country, tears of thee, sweet land of liberty.




The Danger of Neutrality | Anna Baltzer | TEDxOcala


Sound of Silence  Simon and Garfunkle

Image result for simon and garfunkel sound of silence






Lyrics    video

Hello darkness, my old friend
I've come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence

In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
'Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence

"Fools", said I, "You do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you"
But my words, like silent raindrops fell
And echoed
In the wells of silence

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said, "The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls"
And whispered in the sounds of silence

A Responsive Prayer for Justice  Rebecca Sutton, Program Coordinator of Global Women’s Exchange

Pray for those who are hungry.
Pray harder for those who will not feed them.

Pray for those who struggle each week to pay their bills.
Pray harder for the wealthy who do not care.

Pray for those who are homeless.
Pray harder for those who deny them shelter.

Pray for the sick and lonely.
Pray harder for those who will not give them comfort.

Pray for those who cry out for dignity.
Pray harder for those who will not liste

Pray for those oppressed by unjust wages.
Pray harder for those who exploit them.

Pray for those who bear the yoke of prejudice.
Pray harder for those who discriminate against them.

Pray for those whose basic needs are denied.
Pray harder for public officials who cater to the greedy and ignore those bound unjustly.