quote by Barbara Jordan

Today, I am an inquisitor. I shall not sit here and be an idle spectator to the diminution, the subversion, the destruction of the Constitution.

— Barbara Jordan

Instructive Inquisitor quotations

Some of my colleagues want to be The Anchorman on the Mount.

Others see themselves as the Ace Reporter. Because of 60 Minutes, there's a whole herd of them determined to be The Grand Inquisitor and a heady number want only to be The Friendliest Anchor on the Block. At least one wants to be Jesus.


...in the negative part of Professor's Hayek's thesis there is a great deal of truth. It cannot be said too often - at any rate, it is not being said nearly often enough - that collectivism is not inherently democratic, but, on the contrary, gives to a tyrannical minority such powers as the Spanish Inquisitors never dreamt of.

Witches admitted their relations with the devil.

Our blood boils - how could they be forced to admit this when there is no devil. But reason tells us this is not true. The devil does exist and was in fact the inquisitor.

Subject opinion to coercion: whom will you make your inquisitors? Fallible men;

men governed by bad passions, by private as well as public reasons. And why subject it to coercion? To produce uniformity. But is uniformity of opinion desirable? No more than of face and stature.

People with an investment in government power will torture logic like a medieval inquisitor rather than face the facts. ... There's a simple way to keep money out of politics: Keep politics out of our money.


The pope being informed of the great increase of Protestantism, in the year 1542 sent inquisitors to Venice to make an inquiry into the matter, and apprehend such as they might deem obnoxious persons.

... because real thoughts come from outside and travel with us like the noodle soup we take to work; in other words, inquisitors burn books in vain. If a book has anything to say, it burns with a quiet laugh, because any book worth its salt points up and out of itself.

A spoiled saint, a Pharisee, an inquisitor, or a magician, makes better sport to Hell than a mere common tyrant or debauchee.

To believe in God is not hard. Inquisitors, Byron and Arakcheev believed in Him. No, believe in man!

Admiring yourself?” The Inquisitor’s voice but through his reverie.

“You wont look so pretty when the Clave gets through with you.” “You do seem obsessed with my looks.” Jace turned away from the mirror with some relief. “Could it be that all this is because you‘re attracted to me?


Books wont stay banned. They wont burn. Ideas wont go to jail. In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost. The only sure weapon against bad ideas is better ideas. The source of better ideas is wisdom. The surest path to wisdom is a liberal education.

There is only one thing that arouses animals more than pleasure, and that is pain. Under torture you are as if under the dominion of those grasses that produce visions. Everything you have heard told, everything you have read returns to your mind, as if you were being transported, not toward heaven, but toward hell. Under torture you say not only what the inquisitor wants, but also what you imagine might please him, because a bond (this, truly, diabolical) is established between you and him.

In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost.

The only sure weapon against bad ideas is better ideas.

There is nothing that can help you understand your beliefs more than trying to explain them to an inquisitor.

But every state, says an inquisitor, has established some religion.

No two, say I, have established the same. Is this a proof of the infallibility of establishments?


The heart asks pleasure first, And then, excuse from pain;

And then, those little anodynes That deaden suffering; And then, to go to sleep; And then, if it should be The will of its Inquisitor, The liberty to die.

For what I saw at the abbey then (and will now recount) caused me to think that often inquisitors create heretics. And not only in the sense that they imagine heretics where these do not exist, but also that inquisitors repress the heretical putrefaction so vehemently that many are driven to share in it, in their hatred for the judges. Truly, a circle conceived by the Devil. God preserve us.

For every prophet there are a thousand interpreters to distort the essence of the religion, to replace the bright flame with the heat of the inquisitors' pyres.

The Christian ethic did not raise the worth of female life much above the Jewish: nor did the clinical ethic raise it much above the clerical. This is why most of those identified as witches by male inquisitors were women; and why most of those diagnosed as hysterics by male psychiatrists were also women.

No grand inquisitor has in readiness such terrible tortures as has anxiety and no spy knows how to attack more artfully the man he suspects, choosing the instant when he is weakest; nor knows how to lay traps where he will be caught and ensnared as anxiety knows how, and no sharp-witted judge knows how to interrogate, to examine the accused, as anxiety does, which never lets him escape.


The horrors of Vivisection have supplanted the solemnity, the thrilling fascination, of the old unetherized operation upon the human sufferer. Their recorded phenomena, stored away by the physiological inquisitor on dusty shelves, are mostly of as little present use to man as the knowledge of a new comet or of a tungstate of zirconium ... -contemptibly small compared with the price paid for it in agony and torture.

Complete and accurate surveillance as a means of control is probably a practical impossibility. What is much more likely is a loss of privacy and constant inconvenience as the wrong people gain access to information, as one wastes time convincing the inquisitors that one is in fact innocent, or as one struggles to untangle the errors of the errant machine.

Are we to have a censor whose imprimatur shall say what books may be sold, and what we may buy? And who is thus to dogmatize religious opinions for our citizens? Whose foot is to be the measure to which ours are all to be cut or stretched? Is a priest to be our inquisitor, or shall a layman, simple as ourselves, set up his reason as the rule of what we are to read, and what we must believe?

It is in the name of Moses that Bellarmin thunderstrikes Galileo;

and this great vulgarizer of the great seeker Copernicus, Galileo, the old man of truth, the magian of the heavens, was reduced to repeating on his knees word for word after the inquisitor this formula of shame: "Corde sincera et fide non ficta abjuro maledico et detestor supradictos errores et hereses." Falsehood put an ass's hood on science.

Indeed." Will let his cutlery clatter onto his plate. "The Consul? Breaking up our breakfast time? Whatever next? The Inquisitor over for tea? Picnics with the Silent Brothers?" "Duck pies in the park," said Jem under his breath, and he and Will smiled at each other, just a flash, before the door opened and the Consul swept it.


An assassin can be found for every president.

And for every prophet there are a thousand interpreters to distort the essence of the religion, to replace the bright flame with the heat of the inquisitors' pyres. The time came when every book was cast into the fire, when every symphony was reduced to a popular tune and played in all the drinking dens. A sound philosophical basis could be set in place under any vile nonsense.

Has there ever been an Inquisitor who didn't die a horrible death?" Simon wondered out loud. " It's like being the drummer in Spinal Tap.

Alec drew his hand back with a low whistle.

"The Inquisitor meant business." "Of course she did. I'm a dangerous criminal. Or hadn't you heard?" Jace heard the acid in his own tone, saw Alec flinch, and was meanly, momentarily, glad. "She didn't call you a criminal, exactly..." "No, I'm just a very naughty boy. I do all sorts of bad things. I kick kittens. I make rude gestures at nun

He (Jace) glanced down at his bound hands.

His wrists and shoulders had gone from aching to hard, stabbing pain, but he didn’t wince as the inquisitor regarded one of the blades, named it Jophiel, and plunged it into the polished wooden floorboards at her feet. He waited, but nothing happened. “Boom,” he said eventually. “Was something supposed to happen there?” ~pg.303~

The judge placed his hands on the ground.

He looked at his inquisitor. This is my claim, he said. And yet everywhere upon it are pockets of autonomous life. Autonomous. In order for it to be mine nothing must be permitted to occur upon it save by my dispensation.


Catching sight of himself in the long mirrors that ran along the walls, he stiffened in shock...His eyes were surrounded by black shadows, his shirt smeared with dried blood and filthy mud... "Admiring yourself?" The Inquisitor's voice cut through his reverie. "You won't look so pretty when the Clave gets through with you." "You do seem obsessed with my look...Could it be that you're attracted to me?" "Don't be revolting...You could be my son.

Nothing has ever been more insupportable for a man and a human society than freedom. –The Grand Inquisitor