My daughter was reading this essay as part of her Peace and Diversity studies class. it says a lot, below is an excerpt, link to full essay at the end.
It is impossible to fill a vessel with what is important if it is already filled with what is useless. It is necessary first to pour out what is useless. It is the same with the acquisition of the true Christian teaching. We must first understand that all the stories about how God created the world six thousand years ago, how Adam sinned, how the human race fell, how the son of God and God Himself, born of a virgin, came into the world and redeemed it, all the fables of the Bible and of the Gospel, all the lives of the saints, and the stories of miracles and relics are nothing but a coarse mixing up of the superstitions of the Jewish nation with the deceptions of the clergy. Only for a man who is completely free from these deceptions can the simple and clear teaching of Christ, which demands no interpretations and is self-comprehensible, be accessible and comprehensible.
This teaching says nothing about the beginning or the end of the world, nor of God and His intentions, and in general nothing about what we cannot know and need not know, but speaks only of what a man has to do in order to be saved: to pass the life into which he has come in this world in the best manner possible, from his birth to his death. For this purpose we need only treat others as we wish to be treated. In this alone does the law and the prophets consist, as Christ has said. To do so, we need no images, no relics, no divine services, no priests, no sacred histories, no catechisms, and no governments. On the contrary, what we need is liberation from all that, because only the man who is free from those fables which the priests give out to him as the only truth, and only the man who is not bound to other people by promises to act as they want him to act, can treat others as he wishes to be treated by them. Only in that case will a man be able to do, not his own will, nor that of others, but the will of God.
But the will of God consists, not in fighting and oppressing others, but in recognizing all men as brothers and serving one another.
~ Leo Tolstoy
If you want to read the entire essay: