November 14, 2013
Marxism and Religion: Part One, by Andrew Taylor, Nov, 14. 2013
This photo of a priest blessing a navy gun epitomizes the Marxist objection against Religion: as Lenin wrote, in class society religion works hand in glove with the most debased, irrational forces and induces " the exploitation and the stupefaction of the working class." The old Anglican hymn 'All Things Bright and Beautiful', illustrates this sort of religion that blesses inequality and makes it appear 'natural' and just within a divine plan:
"The rich man in his castle, the poor man at his gate:
He made the high and lowly and ordered their Estate".
Marxists embrace a philosophical materialism, which rules out the existence of a superior discrete realm of "grace" above and distinct from "nature". And yet the critique of religion in Marxism is complex, since, as Ernst Bloch noted, religion is not merely or simply mass delusion or arcane DNA carried by humankind, but has also functioned in class society as a radical "principle of hope" carrying along within its mythological structure the utopian hope against hope of "a new heaven and a new earth".
As Elizabeth Johnson states in Quest for the Living God (NY: Continuum, 2008) "Is God dead? If we mean the God imagined as a part of the cosmos, one existence among others though infinitely bigger, the great individual who defines himself over against others and functions as a competitor to human beings, then yes, the God of modern theism is dead." (p.30)
A timely reminder:: Seymour M. Hersh on the chemical attacks trail back to the Syrian rebels, 17 April 2014
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