Nation, Race, Blood, and Faith
by Savitri Devi
THE GREAT difference between creedal and non-creedal religions lies in the fact that, while the principle of unity and the sense of brotherhood are to be found, among the followers of a creedal religion, in commonness of belief, (and not necessarily of culture and civilisation) that principle of unity and that sense of brotherhood are to be found, among the followers of a non-creedal religion, in commonness of culture and of civilisation, (and not necessarily of belief).
An Englishman may certainly love his England. But if he is a Christian, he must be feeling that Palestine, where his Lord was born, and preached, and died, is still more holy than England can ever be. If he would go on a religious pilgrimage, it would be to Jerusalem, outside England, not to any place in England. The same with a Frenchman, or any modern European. But just as an ancient Greek used to have his sacred places in Greece, a modern Hindu has still his sacred places within the boundaries of his motherland. Wherever he may go on a pilgrimage, may it be to Benares, to Mathura, to Gangotri or to Rameswaram, he will remain in India, in contact with his own soil. An Indian Mohammadan has to look abroad, to the most sacred spots on earth. So has an Indian Christian. A Hindu enjoys the privilege of regarding his own India, not only as the most beloved or as the most beautiful, but also as the most holy Land on earth.”
No doubt, the Christian nations of Europe are full of patriotic pride. No doubt also, the spirit of war is not what is lacking in them. Yet, they are supposed to be Christian.
But they are not Christian, in spirit.
Christianity is a creed for the uplift of individuals; not a civilisation upon which nations can be built. No nation built upon real Christian doctrine could live, in the midst of historical conditions. It is in collaboration with Christian Churches, that are organisations of this world, and not with Christianity, which is spiritual, that the so-called Christian nations have thrived. And their whole history is in flagrant contradiction with the spirit of Christianity.
Not merely Christianity, but any religion which is based upon a creed, supposed to be “truth” for all men, is in conflict with nationalism.
Greeks are Christians, and so are Bulgarians. They even belong to the same Church. And Christians are supposed to love one another. Yet, if war breaks out between Greece and Bulgaria, the Greek Christian priests will bless the arms which are to carry death among the Bulgarians, and the Bulgarian Christian priests will also bless the arms which are to kill the Greeks. French and Germans are also Christians. Yet, if war breaks out between them, each nation will pray to the same God — a God of love — for its victory over the other….
Nothing is more inconsistent, because they are supposed to be Christian nations. Had they not been so, nothing would have been more natural. But Christianity itself is not natural. And the growth of Europe, with different Church-civilisations at its background, has taken place in spite of Christianity, not according to Christianity.
Any Christian who feels himself nearer to an Atheist of his own country than to a Christian from a foreign land, is not a real Christian. Nay, any follower of a creedal religion who is a nationalist at the same time, is utterly inconsistent. One cannot serve two masters. One cannot put God first, and also one’s Nation first… unless the religion he professes is of such a type, that Nation and God can be taken as the same. This is not the case with Christianity and Islam. But this is the case with Hinduism. Therefore, it can be said that Hinduism is not only the religion which has developed in India, and which gives a living illustration of India’s unity in variety. It is also the religion which, owing to its very outlook, to its very tenets, gives India the basis of a consistent nationalism, entirely in harmony with the spirit of its cult.
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