''The more one examines things closely, the more one will be convinced that the social edifice rests entirely on the cross and that what still saves us from a general upheaval is that the various governments in this part of the world, perhaps by instinct and habit rather than by conviction and wisdom, continue to maintain the religious establishment. In France, the culpable foolishness of the government having favoured the spread of impiety or indifference became too generalised, we see the consequences.
Whenever education ceases to be religious, there is no longer national education. You will still make mathematicians, physicists etc., but it is a question of making men, Moreover, a proper system of education to create real public spirit will be religious or it will not accomplish anything.
Religion surrounds us on all sides; everything speaks its language to us. Its characters are imprinted on our flags, our coinage, our medals of honour, our ornaments, our buildings, and all our monuments. It animates, vivifies, perpetuates, and infuses our legislation. It sanctions our customs; it presides over our treatises. It has formed the great European family. Its gentle laws calmed our ferocity and helped unite our divergent spirits. From St Petersburg to Madrid, people made contracts in the name of the very holy and indivisible Trinity. It was the great family title and the proof of a common kinship. The hideous hand of revolutionary genius came to efface this sacred formula...''
- Joseph de Maistre