Church and heresy

In his book The Kingdom of God is within you, Count Leo Tolstoi, writes about heresy thus

A heresy is the opinion of men who do not acknowledge the truth of the Church to be indisputable.

This is interpreted to mean that anyone who the church wants to rid themselves of any one, or ruin his reputation, to excite suspicion in regard to the doctrine he held, condemning such a person as guilty of heresy was the easiest and convenient way.

How do you make a Christian of a child? Tolstoi writes

[..] When a child is born, we are taught that a prayer must be read over the mother and child, in order to purify them, for without that prayer the mother remains unclean. For that purpose, and facing the ikons of the saints, whom the common people simply call gods, the priest takes the infant in his arms, reads the exhortation, and by that means he is supposed to cleanse the mother. Then the parents are instructed, nay, even ordered, under penalty of punishment in the event of non-compliance, to christen the child—that is, to let the priest immerse it three times in the water, while words unintelligible to all present are read, and still less intelligible ceremonies are performed, such as the application of oil to different parts of the body, the cutting of the hair, the blowing and spitting of the sponsors at the imaginary devil. All this is necessary to cleanse the child, and make a Christian of him.

And remember once you make a Christian of him/ her, you must teach them to pray

which means that s/he is to stand in front of boards upon which the faces of Christ, the Virgin, and the saints are painted, bow his head and body, while with his right hand, his fingers being folded in a peculiar manner, he touches his forehead, his shoulders, and his stomach, and utters certain Slavonic words, the commonest of which, those which all children learn, are the following: “Mother of God, … Virgin, rejoice,” etc

When they are ready for sex sanctified sex

men are told that if a man and woman desire to have their sexual relation sanctified they must come to church, put crowns of metal upon their heads, swallow some wine, walk three times round a table, accompanied by the sound of singing, and this will make their sexual relation holy and entirely different from any others.

And finally

Before death a man must without fail receive a spoonful of bread and wine; and if there be time to be anointed with oil, that is still better, for it insures his welfare in the future life. After his death his relatives are told that, in order to save his soul, it is well to place in his hand a printed prayer; it is also a good thing to read a certain book over the dead, and for his name to be mentioned in church at stated times.

And that my friends, is all your Christian duty requires of you, from cradle to the grave, so help you god.

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