Thursday June 9, 2016
Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. 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.When Karl Marx wrote this, organized religion was very much the solace of so many people -people who might have otherwise sought more effective means of alleviating their daily suffering had this opiate not been available. Overtime, that solace was slowly eroded and replaced by an entire medicine cabinet full of “opiates.” From sports to TV, to video games and social media, there is a vast multitude of illusions we cling to today that provide a “soul to soulless conditions.”
The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The criticism of religion is, therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo.