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The consideration of human suffering is not one which enters into the calculations of primitive man.
The scapegoat upon whom the sins of the people are periodically laid, may also be a human being.
By religion, then, I understand a propitiation or conciliation of powers superior to man which are believed to direct and control the course of nature and of human life.
For when a nation becomes civilized, if it does not drop human sacrifices altogether, it at least selects as victims only such wretches as would be put to death at any rate. Thus the killing of a god may sometimes come to be confounded with the execution of a criminal.
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Tonight, the whole world is watching America. I believe at our best America is a beacon for the globe. And we lead not by the example of our power, but by the power of our example.
January 1, 1854
May 7, 1941
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