How often, for instance, we hear the following commonplace repeated: ‘Whether Catholics, Protestants, Jews or Free-Thinkers, we’re all Frenchmen,’ exactly as though it were a question of small territorial fragments of the country, as who should say, ‘Whether from Marseilles, Lyon or Paris, we’re all Frenchmen.’ In a document promulgated by the Pope, one may read: ‘Not only from the Christian point of view, but, more generally, from the human point of view …’, as though the Christian point of view — which either has no meaning at all, or else claims to encompass everything, in this world and the next — possessed a smaller degree of generality than the human point of view. It is impossible to conceive of a more terrible admission of religious bankruptcy. That is how the anathema sit have to be paid for. To sum up, religion, degraded to the rank of a private matter, reduces itself to the choice of a place in which to spend an hour or two every Sunday morning.

Simone Weil, The Need for Roots