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James Baldwin

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I have never seen myself as a spokesman. I am a witness. In the church in which I was raised you were supposed to bear witness to the truth. Now, later on, you wonder what in the world the truth is, but you do know what a lie is.
--
Interview with Julius Lester, "James Baldwin: Reflections of a Maverick" in The New York Times (27 May 1984)

 
James Baldwin

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John remained true to himself; precisely when his disciples’ news seemed to call for a different response, he gave witness to them of that which he had proclaimed in the wilderness before the coming one appeared and had preached to the people. He requested them to witness along with him that this had been his witness from the beginning, and the disciples had to witness along with him that this witness was his conclusion, his yes and amen.

 
Soren Aabye Kierkegaard
 

The God of Peace, the God of Truth will shortly seal this truth, and confirm this witness, and make it evident to the whole world, that the doctrine of persecution for cause of conscience, is most evidently and lamentably contrary to the doctrine of Christ Jesus the Prince of Peace.
Amen.

 
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If the truth of religious doctrines is dependent on an inner experience that bears witness to the truth, what is one to make of the many people who do not have that experience?

 
Sigmund Freud
 

The discourse of truth is quite simply impossible. It eludes itself. Everything eludes itself, everything scoffs at its own truth, seduction renders everything elusive. The fury to unveil the truth, to get at the naked truth, the one which haunts all discourses of interpretation, the obscene rage to uncover the secret, is proportionate to the impossibility of ever achieving this. …But this rage, this fury, only bears witness to the eternity of seduction and to the impossibility of mastering it.

 
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