"THOSE princes and those republics which desire to remain free from corruption, should above all else maintain incorrupt the ceremonies of their religion. They should always hold them in veneration; for there can be no surer indication of the decline of a country than to see divine worship neglected."
JUST WHAT should a young man or woman know in order to be"In the Know"?
Is there, in other words, some inside information, some special taboo, some real lowdown on life and existence that most parents and teachers either don't know or won't tell?
In Japan it was once customary to give young people about to be married a "Pillow Book." This was a small volume of wood-block prints, often colored, showing all the details of sexual intercourse.
It wasn't just that, as the Chinese say, "one picture is worth ten thousand words." It was also that it spared parents the embarrassment of explaining these intimate matters face-to-face. Today, you can get such information at any newsstand. Sex is no longer a serious taboo. Teenagers sometimes know more about it than adults.
But if sex is no longer the big taboo, what is? For there is always something taboo, something repressed, un-admitted, or just glimpsed quickly out of the corner of one's eye because a direct look is too unsettling.
In some circles there is a strong taboo on Religion, even in circles where people go to church or read the Bible. Here, religion is one's own private business. It is bad form or uncool to talk or argue about it, and very bad indeed to make a big show of piety.
Yet when you get in on the inside of almost any standard-brand religion, you wonder what on earth the hush was about.
In "On Religion no less than Niccolò Machiavelli, the author of The Prince himself, who takes you by the hand and gives you some real lowdown on what religion is all about. It is kind of all you wanted to know about Religion but was afraid to ask!