Sunday, January 20, 2013

the religion of man number two...,

"In the first place," he always said, "religion is a relative concept; it corresponds to the level of a man's being; and one man's religion might not be at all suitable for another man, that is to say, the religion of a man of one level of being is not suitable for a man of another level of being.

"It must be understood that the religion of man number one is of one kind; the religion of man number two is of another kind; and the religion of man number three is of a third kind. The religion of man number four, number five, and further is something of a kind totally different from the religion of man number one, number two, and number three.

"In the second place religion is doing; a man does not merely think his religion or feel it, he 'lives' his religion as much as he is able, otherwise it is not religion but fantasy or philosophy. Whether he likes it or not he shows his attitude towards religion by his actions and he can show his attitude only by his actions. Therefore if his actions are opposed to those which are demanded by a given religion he cannot assert that he belongs to that religion. The vast majority of people who call themselves Christians have no right whatever to do so, because they not only fail to carry out the demands of their religion but they do not even think that these demands ought to be carried out.

"Christianity forbids murder. Yet all that the whole of our progress comes to is progress in the technique of murder and progress in warfare. How can we call ourselves Christians?

"No one has a right to call himself a Christian who does not carry out Christ's precepts. A man can say that he desires to be a Christian if he tries to carry out these precepts. If he does not think of them at all, or laughs at them, or substitutes for them some inventions of his own, or simply forgets about them, he has no right whatever to call himself a Christian.

"I took the example of war as it is the most striking example. But even without war the whole of life is exactly the same. People call themselves Christians but they do not realize that not only do they not want, but they are unable, to be Christians, because in order to be a Christian it is necessary not only to desire, but to be able, to be one.