Thursday, October 14, 2004 +

Albert Jay Nock

It is surely a fair question whether a competent practice of religion calls for quite so much apparatus, metaphysical and physical, as the main body of organized Christianity has constructed and is trying not too successfully to keep in running order.

Another neighbor, a patriarchal old Englishman with a white beard, kept a great stand of bees. I remember his incessant drumming on a tin pan to marshal them when they were swarming, and myself as idly wondering who first discovered that this was the thing to do, and why the bees should fall in with it. It struck me that if the bees were as intelligent as bees are cracked up to be, instead of mobilizing themselves for old Reynolds' benefit, they would sting him soundly and then fly off about their business. I always think of this when I see a file of soldiers, wondering why the sound of a drum does not incite them to shoot their officers, throw away their rifles, go home, and go to work.

As a general principle, I should put it that a man's country is where the things he loves are most respected. Circumstances may have prevented his ever setting foot there, but it remains his country.