Religion is intended as a blessing to mankind: a bond between all the creatures of God. THey should be as brothers and sisters, not because they have the same human parents, but because they are all children of one Father (?), of Him (?) who is enthroned in the heavens above. Brothers and sisters must love one another, help, strengthen and support one another. O God! sometimes I wish that there had never been a religion, because that which should unite mankind into one common brotherhood has been through all the ages a cause of strife, of discord, and of blodshed. Members of the same family have persecuted one anoteher because of the different manner in which they worshipped one and the same God. Those who ought to have been bound together by the tenderest love have turned with hatred from one another. Differences of Church (?), albeit in each the same word, God, is spoken, have built a dividing wall between two throbbing hearts. I often ask myself uneasily: is religion indeed a blessing to mankind? Religion which is meant to save us from our sins, how many sins are committed in thy name?
—- R. A. Kartini in Letter of a javanese princess (H. Geertz, 1911)
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