Reinhold Niebuhr
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"Karl Paul Reinhold Niebuhr" was an American theology/theologian, ethics / ethicist, public intellectual, commentator on politics and public affairs, and professor at Union Theological Seminary (New York) /Union Theological Seminary for more than 30 years. The brother of another prominent theological ethicist, H. Richard Niebuhr, he is also known for authoring the Serenity Prayer, and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1964.[ Hall of Famous Missourians] Among his most influential books are Moral Man and Immoral Society and The Nature and Destiny of Man. Starting as a minister with working-class and labor class sympathies in the 1920s oriented to Liberal Christianity/theological pacifism, he shifted to Neo-Orthodox/neo-orthodox realist theology in the 1930s and developed the theo-philosophical perspective known as Christian realism. He attacked utopianism as ineffectual for dealing with reality, writing in The Children of Light and the Children of Darkness (1944):

:"Man's capacity for justice makes democracy possible; but man's inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary."

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Goodness, armed with power, is corrupted; and pure love without power is destroyed.

There is no cure for the pride of a virtuous nation but pure religion.

Forgiveness is the final form of love.

Evil is not to be traced back to the individual but to the collective behavior of humanity.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

The Christian doctrine of sin in its classical form offends both rationalists and moralists by maintaining the seemingly absurd position that man sins inevitably and by a fateful necessity but that he is nevertheless to be held responsible for actions which are prompted by an ineluctable [inescapable] fate.

Human Beings are just good enough to make democracy possible...just bad enough to make it neccessary.

The tendency to claim God as an ally for our partisan value and ends is the source of all religious fanaticism.

Nothing worth doing is completed in our lifetime; therefore, we must be saved by hope.

There are historic situations in which refusal to defend the inheritance of a civilization, however imperfect, against tyranny and aggression may result in consequences even worse than war.

Family life is too intimate to be preserved by the spirit of justice. It can be sustained by a spirit of love which goes beyond justice.

God, give us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, courage to change the things which should be changed, and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.

Nothing worth doing is completed in our lifetime; therefore we must be saved by hope. Nothing true or beautiful makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore we must be saved by faith. Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore, we are saved by love.

Frantic orthodoxy is never rooted in faith but in doubt. It is when we are unsure that we are doubly sure.