Is religion an opium of the people?????
“Religion is the opium of the people” is one of the most frequently paraphrased statements of German philosopher and economist Karl Marx. It was translated from the German original, “Die Religion … ist das Opium des Volkes” and is often rendered as “religion… is the opiate of the masses.”
Before you start judging me. My roots are firmly planted in Christianity as a religion. I believe in the living God. I follow and pray God and no one else. The only reason I decided to talk about this topic is the appalling things that are currently done in the name of “religion”.
The full quote from Karl Marx says: “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people”. Often quoted only in part, the interpretation of the metaphor in its context has received much less attention.
Marx was making a structural-functionalist argument about religion, and particularly about organized religion. Marx believed that religion had certain practical functions in society that were similar to the function of opium in a sick or injured person.
It reduced people’s immediate suffering and provided them with pleasant illusions which gave them the strength to carry on. Marx also saw religion as harmful, as it prevents people from seeing the class structure and oppression around them, thus religion can prevent the necessary revolution.
To bring it more modern context, Charles Kingsley, a canon of the Church of England, wrote this four years after Marx: “We have used the Bible as if it were a mere special constable’s hand book, an opium dose for keeping beasts of burden patient while they were being overloaded, a mere book to keep the poor in order.”
Those who toil and live in want all their lives are taught by religion to be submissive and patient while here on earth, and to take comfort in the hope of a heavenly reward. But those who live by the labour of others are taught by religion to practise charity while on earth, thus offering them a very cheap way of justifying their entire existence as exploiters and selling them at a moderate price tickets to well-being in heaven.
Religion is a sort of spiritual booze, in which the slaves of capital drown their human image, their demand for a life more or less worthy of man.
It teaches people that it is easier for the poor man to enter the kingdom of God than a rich man who does not give anything to the Lord. If this be true, why the so-called Pastors, Prophets, Reverends, Evangelists and so on, live a lavish and prosperous lives; whilst congregants live in abject poverty.
Why tithes and offerings are not mainly used for purposes they are intended for but rather for “sponsoring” luxury cars, mansions, private jet; et al.
I repeat, I believe in God and there is nothing wrong with religion but rather people who do wrong things under the pretence of it. The Bible warns us as such in Jeremiah 14:14, it says:
“And the LORD said to me: The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I did not send them, nor did I command them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a lying vision, worthless divination, and the deceit of their own minds.”
If we allow this rot to continue, it will justify Karl Marx’s quote that: ” Religion is the opium of the people.” Then we will continue to “staged resurrection miracled”, drinking and/or spraying of pesticides, women and mothers praying naked in front of everyone in order to have babies, congregants continuing to become more poorer as they spend last monies that they do not have on Leaders of churches that are taking them for a ride.
Let us not be blinded by our own faith, religion and/or beliefs that we believe in. Wake up and smell the coffee. In conclusion, I do not believe that religion is the opium of the people but rather religion is used by the oppressor to have total hold on those that are oppressed.
These was used during apartheid, it is nowadays used by fake religion leaders as well. They “opress” gullible congregants who are forever looking for miracles not God himself and have become easy targets on their own selfish enrichments quests.
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Until next week Tuesday, bye-bye for now.
Tshepo Ishmael Phetoane
Editor: FS News Online