Chapter 23: Religion Is Dead, Religio Is Born
It is strange - God creates men, women, full of sex, and the priests of God are against sex. God creates you the way you are, but you are not accepted by the society the way you are. You have to mold yourself according to the ideas of the society. God is secondary; the social norm is primary. And, strangely, nobody sees this contradiction. All these societies, all these religions, all these courts of law go on paying tribute to God.
Once I was in a court because I had inaugurated a church which was lying closed for ten years, because the people who used to worship there had left when the British empire in India disappeared. It was a special church for English people, and it was locked; it was owned by the archbishop of England.
I told a few of my Christian friends, “This is strange - such a beautiful church is simply becoming a ruin, such a beautiful garden is simply not taken care of. Why don’t you start worshipping here? You have a church which is very ordinary, and this church was made for the people who ruled India” - it was all marble. “So why do you continue to worship in a third-class church, when this church is empty and Christ has been imprisoned for ten years? Give him a little fresh air - open the doors!”
It appealed to them. A few young Christians agreed, but they said, “You will have to inaugurate it.”
I said, “That I will certainly do.”
So they broke the lock and I inaugurated the church. They started worshipping in the church; they cleaned it, they tried to make the garden better. But the archbishop of England informed the archbishop of India to put a case against these people. And because I had inaugurated their church, I was also involved in the case, so I had to go to the court. In fact, I had provoked them to do whatsoever they had done. And the church was looking so beautiful. The garden was coming back, and it was looking alive.
I was brought to the court, and the judge asked me, “In the name of God, take the oath that you will speak only truth and nothing else.”
I said, “In the name of God I cannot take the oath. Have you seen God? Has anybody in this court seen God? I have not seen him, and I don’t think he exists at all! Why should I take the oath in the name of God? I can say on my own responsibility that whatever I say will be the truth. But I cannot start it with an ultimate lie. God is the ultimate lie!”
The death of God is the victory of truth. It is freedom for man. Now you need not pray, now you need not ask a favor. Now you need not believe in a messiah, in a savior, in a messenger - they all died with the death of God. Without God there is no savior, no prophet, no messiah. There is no pope, no Ayatollah Khomeini, no shankaracharya. They are all living and exploiting humanity in the name of God - who does not exist at all.