Soap and Religion

     As the Teacher was speaking with a group of children, a soap maker attempted to embarrass him.  “How can you claim that religion is good and valid when there is so much suffering and evil in the world?  What good are all the books and sermons that your religion has produced?”

     The Teacher motioned to a small child to move through the crowd.  “This is Eric,” the Teacher said.  “He is three.  He is also dirty.  I ask you, what good is soap when Eric and hundreds of children like him are dirty.  How can you pretend that soap is effective?”

     “What a foolish argument,” the soap maker protested.  “If soap is to be effective it must be used.”

     “Precisely,” the Teacher answered.  “If the teachings of our master are to be effective, they must be used.”

From, Stories for the Journey, by William R. White.