Marx and Religion : A Short Note
January 18, 2007 2:07am CST
Marx's idea of religion is somewhat ambiguous. At least the exponents of Marxist ideology have turned the table on him. That is why a clarification is to sought. Sloganeering Marxists have repeatedly said that religion is the opium of the masses. The question is that did Marx wanted to mean what underlies in this short precept? Had he really wanted religion to be bypassed by the masses? The truth lies elsewhere. The downtrodden people all over the world down the ages have been pained at the way they they have been trated. There is every reason for them to have suffered the angst of of existence. In clinical science, we have been offered to go for anagesia for the physical pains we suffer and this way we have found a true remedy for all sorts of our physical pains. What happens to the suffering people who don't have any way whatsoever to smooth their pains of existential pain? What they will do in that case? Who will shelter them in their times of misery? Marx also had no answer in his time. Rather he opined that suffering people have no other options but to take to religion which like opium can soothe their pains at least for the time being. And there is absolutely nothing wrong of them in their falling prey to religion. Without the benevolent impact of analgesia of religion, there is no way for them to bear with the situation. So, Marx never repudiated religion but rather he supported the role played by religion in no uncertain terms. Without this prejudice, the oft-quoted slogan "Religion is opium of the masses" turns out to be vague political jargon not in conformity with the Marx's idea of religion.