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Inspirational and Insightful Quotations #58 --- Slander

Updated on May 1, 2011

Quotations on Slander

When a good man's name is defamed, if he defends himself, the base slanderers say he is a braggart, talking too much of himself. If he does not defend himself, they say that his silence is a confession of his guilt. And when a good man succeeds in any worthy undertaking there is always a gullible public, at least a large number of chronic failures, who are ready to believe anything the slanderers may say about him.

—Joseph O. Haymes, Hereford Brand, Hereford, Texas, Sept. 17, 1925.

He who gossips better have a good memory. The truth can be repeated over and over, but a falsehood gathers to itself, like a snowball all the trash in its rolling way. No slander is ever repeated in the identical way in which it started: and no slander ever reaches its heartbreaking end. Slander is like a forest fire.

—Floyd Poe, Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, Nov. 3, 1948.

An apology for slander is like scraping the mud of one's coat with a chip, after we have knocked him down in the streets.

—S.J. Gibson, Evangelical Magazine and Gospel Advocate, Utica, N.Y., Sept. 25, 1846.

The most dastardly character we know of is the one who mucks into the past of a good man or woman and carries out the wrong that use to be and uses it as stain to slander what is now a good, clean life.

—A.J. Gearheard, The Shreveport Times, Shreveport, La., Aug. 9, 1925.

Gossip is the walking delegate of the slander union.

—W.A. MacKenzie, Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville, Fla., Oct. 16, 1922.

Remember that the voice was given you to give expression to soul, not to slander.

—W.A. MacKenzie, Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville, Fla., Feb. 1, 1924.

The best immunity from slander is to act as though you didn't hear it.

—Dewey O. Miller, Wesleyan Young People's Journal, Syracuse, N.Y., December 1941.

A philosopher was once asked which of all the animals on the earth was the most ferocious and dangerous. He answered that “of the wild, the slanderer, of the tame the flatterer.”

Now some may be disposed to condemn this expression as being too severe, but when we come to take into consideration the amount of misery and heart pangs caused by misrepresentation (notwithstanding the theory than an innocent man need not fear them), we must endorse the idea as being analogous; for we have seen good and innocent persons waste away under the baneful influences of false impressions entertained by those they loved and honored, and who have been hoodwinked by malicious black hearted slanderers whose only incentive has been a jealous, envious heart! While contemplating goodness which they were to vicious to circulate, they so resolved to destroy in the estimation of others.

Again, we have seen men who neatly had some pretensions of goodness of heart and a love for the truth, yet who have been more disposed to believe in and would rather travel much further to propagate an evil rumor to extol than to extol the good actions of a brother or neighbor! And all this without any really defined intention to do any injury, but thus exhibiting the exact condition of such a one’s heart and mind!

We may classify slanderers into two distinct specimens:

First, the wild, bloodthirsty soul–destroying animal who wilfully and maliciously seeks to destroy the reputations of others irrespective of cost, means or labor, and if accomplished still regrets not having been able to strike the arrow deeper!

Second, we have seen the smaller yet equally contemptible specimen and have before referred to them in a brotherly kind of way, who under the guise of friendship and brotherly love like the wolf in the fable swallow up the lamb. They assist the greater devourers or destroyers of men’s reputations!

—F.C. Robinson, Manti Herald and Sanpete Advertiser, Manti, Utah, May 11, 1867.

A good workable resolution is to form the habit of turning every event of life into something good. Believe it or not, it can be done!

A person, for example, slanders your character. "Surely," you say, "nothing good can come from a terrible thing like that."

We disagree. Such an unhappy experience can teach us the lesson of being a little more careful about our own conversation. Perhaps it will make us a little more sensitive to handling the names and reputations of others recklessly. If it does this, then we have learned a lesson that is worth something to us. Such a lesson might save us from a slander suit. It might tend to make us several more friends than we now have. It might improve our own reputations as persons who do not handle carelessly the reputations of other people. It might even enhance the beauty of our own souls.

[Sometimes] we [have] felt compelled to answer every false charge we [have] heard. Then we discovered something--we were spending most of our time correcting false charges. And people, many of them, didn't necessarily believe those corrections. They accepted the word of those whom they WANTED to believe, regardless of the facts.

We have learned that the better way is to rest easy and let the truth vindicate itself. It may take months or years--but truth eventually will rise to the surface, regardless of the weight of lies and false information under which it may be buried.

Today when we hear a false report about ourself, we don't even take the time to deny it. It isn't long until the truth--or the lack of it--is exposed and somebody is branded by the community as a disperser of false information if not a liar.

—H.M. Baggarly, Tulia Herald, Tulia, Texas, Jan. 7, 1954.

We should forget all slander, both on ourselves and on our neighbors. In the first instance, it makes us bitter if we remember. It makes us sour and full of hate. And of all the human sins, perhaps none is so damaging to one's personality and soul as hate. Most important, we should forget that slander we hear on our neighbor. It causes us to gossip and to enlarge the flame which someone started. We should form the habit of letting all slander and gossip go in one ear and out the other instead of letting it go out our months.

—H.M. Baggarly, Tulia Herald, Tulia, Texas, Feb. 4, 1954.

There are too many trying to whiten the world by blackening others.

—Henry F. Cope, Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill., Nov. 3, 1907.

There are many who cannot bear to see a mouse killed who are experts at stabbing one another in the back.

—Henry F. Cope, Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill., Feb. 14, 1909.

Slander is the coward's sword.

—Henry F. Cope, Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill., July 22, 1906.

Slander is the revenge of a coward, and dissimulation his defense.

Catholic Telegraph, Cincinnati, Ohio, Nov. 19, 1831.

Slander is the sum of all villainies and the slanderer is the king of all villains.

—J.B. Cranfill, Baptist Standard, Waco, Texas, Oct. 4, 1894.

Slanderous reports ... are a great injustice to the people. ... It is strange that the American public so long tolerates the unscrupulous persons who are engaged in sending false and slanderous reports ... for the purpose of manufacturing an excited and indignant and furious public opinion. ...

There is no good reason for venting indignation and calling for summary vengeance upon the perpetrators of imaginary wrongs. There is sufficient real wrong in the world upon which to spend one’s virtuous indignation and demand condign punishment, so that there is no necessity for wandering into the realms of imagination upon that business.

—David O. Calder, Deseret Evening News, Salt Lake City, Utah, May 3, 1877.

A crowd of fellows who make it a business to stir up strife in the community ... exercise a kind of terrorism over others. ... If those strife-stirrers were to subsist on their own productions, they would have a continuous unbroken diet of venom, slander and falsehood. ... Such characters are non-producers in the strongest sense of the term, not only consuming the productions of the people they malign and abuse, but who figuratively eat at the vitals of any community that may be so unfortunate as to have their presence.

—David O. Calder, Deseret Evening News, Salt Lake City, Utah, May 25, 1877.

The tendency of man to pass hasty judgment upon their fellows is to their discredit. People who are otherwise reserved and modest manifest no hesitancy in that particular. While they would hesitate perhaps to venture an expression of opinion in relation to the merits of a picture or the quality of a piece of goods, to form which they are probably competent, they precipitately pass upon their fellowmen with whom they perhaps have little or no acquaintance. Derogatory remarks are flippantly made, while the person upon whom the reflection is cast may have virtues and nobility of character of which the speaker is entirely ignorant. In this way characters and reputations are unjustly and carelessly stained and irreparable injury done. This is the case in the walks of ordinary social life, and the same unkind, unscrupulous weapon crops out still more flagrantly in the field of politics. ...

We have observed that the most expert uses of scandal in politics fire their heaviest volleys of filth at the critical moment when time begins to close upon the deciding point of a contest. They may have taken plenty of time to mature the plot, but they spring it when the other party has no time to “rise and complain.”

Among the chief features of this business is the precipitation upon an eager public of genuine or forged correspondence exhibiting real of fabricated crookedness on the part of the unfortunate persons charged with being the writing part of the first or second part.

—Charles W. Penrose, Deseret Evening News, Salt Lake City, Utah, June 8, 1888.

The only method some people have of raising the wind is by blowing up their neighbors. —Henry F. Cope, Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill., March 3, 1907.

Slander soon dies if you take it out of circulation.

—Henry F. Cope, Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill., Jan. 1, 1911.

The meanest gluttons are those who feed upon slander.

American Farmer, Baltimore, Md., September 1860.

Slander is a moth that eats holes in a good name.

Idaho Statesman, Boise, Idaho, Nov. 3, 1918.

A slander is like a hornet. If you can't kill it dead the first blow, you had better not strike at it.

Michigan Farmer, Detroit, Mich., June 16, 1888.

Slander is the meanest means of self-advertisement.

Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, May 6, 1901.


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