Montesquieu
 

XXIV.22 How dangerous it is for religion to inspire horror for things that are indifferent

A cer­tain honor which reli­gious pre­ju­di­ces esta­blish in the Indies makes the various cas­tes view each other with hor­ror. That honor is based solely on reli­gion : these family dis­tinc­tions do not cons­ti­tute civil dis­tinc­tions. The Indian exists who would think him­self disho­no­red if he ate with his king.

These sorts of dis­tinc­tions are tied to a cer­tain aver­sion for other men, very dif­fe­rent from the sen­ti­ments which the dif­fe­ren­ces of ranks are sup­po­sed to ins­pire, which to us include love for infe­riors.

The laws of reli­gion will avoid ins­pi­ring contempt for any­thing but vice, and above all avoid tur­ning men away from love and pity for men.

The Mohammedan and the Indian reli­gions encom­pass an infi­nite num­ber of peo­ples. The Indians hate the Mohammedans because they eat cat­tle ; the Mohammedans detest the Indians because they eat pigs.