Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855)

"The thing of 'Christendom,' the notion that we are all Christians, people have allowed to prevail and wish to do so; and then they bring forward now one aspect of the teaching, now another. But the truth is that not only are we not Christians but we are not so much as pagans, to whom the Christian doctrine could be preached without embarrassment; but by an illusion, a monstrous illusion ('Christendom,' a Christian state, a Christian land, a Christian world), we are even prevented from becoming as receptive as the pagans were."

"That the official Christianity, what we call Christianity, is not the Christianity of the New Testament, is not a striving after it, has not the remotest resemblance to it—nothing is easier to see, and to get men to see this clearly I should count a small matter, if there were not a very peculiar sort of difficulty involved in it. . . . Precisely what the New Testament understands by Christianity and by being a Christian is— and this the New Testament makes no effort to conceal but emphasizes decisively—what most of all is repugnant to the natural man, is an offense to him, against which with wild passion and defiance he must revolt, or else cunningly try at any price to be rid of it, as for example by the help of a knavish trick, calling Christianity what is the exact opposite of Christianity, and men thanking God for Christianity and for the great and inestimable privilege of being a Christian. So then, when I would make known that what we call Christianity, the official Christianity, is not at all the Christianity of the New Testament, and when to that end I would point out what the New Testament understands by Christianity and by being a Christian, that this is sheer anguish, misery, wretchedness . . ., whereas what we call Christianity is pleasant and merry. . . . The fact that it does not please men might be recorded as a token that what I call the Christianity of the New Testament is the Christianity of the New Testament, since the New Testament itself says again and again that it does not please man, that it is an offense to him."

Christianity A Fortress

Imagine a fortress, absolutely impregnable, provisioned for an eternity. There comes a new commandment. He conceives that it might be a good idea to build bridges over the moats—so as to be able to attack the besiegers. Charmant! He transforms the fortress into a country estate, and naturally the enemy takes it. So it is with Christianity. They changed the method—and naturally the world conquered.

"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use."

"Personality is only ripe when a man has made the truth his own."

"A great man is one that can develop convictions in solitude and carry them out in a crowd."

"The crowd is indeed untruth. . . . Those who speak to the crowd, coveting its approval, those who deferentially bow and scrape before it must be regarded as being worse than prostitutes. They are instruments of untruth."