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Wendy Kaminer

  • There are only two states of being in the world of codependency — recovery and denial.

  • Only people who die very young learn all they really need to know in kindergarten.

  • The phenomenal success of the recovery movement reflects two simple truths that emerge in adolescence: all people love to talk about themselves, and most people are mad at their parents. You don't have to be in denial to doubt that truths like these will set us free.

  • ... what might once have been called whining is now exalted as a process of asserting selfhood; self-absorption is regarded as a form of self-expression ...

  • If all issues are personalized, we lose our capacity to entertain ideas, to generalize from our own or someone else's experiences, to think abstractly. We substitute sentimentality for thought.

  • Jargon seems to be the place where right and left brains meet.

  • Under the rubric of religious freedom, we respect the right to worship differently much more than the right to worship not at all.

  • We don't cut off the hands of thieves or castrate rapists. Why must we murder murderers?

    • Wendy Kaminer,
    • in Redbook ()
  • In its more authoritarian forms, religion punishes questioning and rewards gullibility. Faith is not a function of stupidity, but a frequent cause of it.

    • Wendy Kaminer,
    • "The Last Taboo," in The New Republic ()
  • Tolerance is thin gruel compared to the rapture of absolute truths. It's not surprising that religious people are often better protected by atheists and agnostics than each other.

    • Wendy Kaminer,
    • "Absolutisms on Parade," Free Inquiry ()
  • The dissemination of pseudoscience, including such things as the fascination with near-death experiences and the growing belief by Americans — 34 percent of them — in reincarnation are dangerous. They help to break down the standards of reason.

    • Wendy Kaminer
  • What do partners in a co-dependent couple say to each other? 'That was wonderful for you. How was it for me?'

    • Wendy Kaminer

Wendy Kaminer, U.S. lawyer, social critic, writer

(1949)