"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."
Karl Marx 1818 -1883
People usually know the last sentence, but not the entire quote.
I'm not a Marxist, as such, but Marxian analyis has influenced me all my adult life.
Appreciate you posting the whole quote.
It's one of those frequently misquoted, and misunderstood, quotes.
Marx was no different from most philosophers, He had some good ideas, and some not so good ideas. He's also been misunderstood, and had many of his philosophies twisted to
support the agendas of assholes.
Great post. This is the insight into religion that liberal atheists don't understand. Instead of trying to empathize with the oppressed who desperately turn to religion, they prefer to feel superior by casting disdain on the religious working class. (And by the latter, I don't mean privileged, US evangelical fanatics.)
Religion gives people hope. The oppressed can hope for a better "life" in heaven; they can also hope that their oppressors are punished.
Theocracies, in particular, used religion as a tool because they decided who went to heaven and who did not. People toed the line or they would go to hell. If they protested, then they went to hell earlier.
The problem you face David is that many Yanks will have a knee jerk reaction to Marx, not realising that he was a working class man who had some thoughtful philosophies and that the communism they fear is nothing like he predicted or proposed. I suspect that few will have read the communist manifesto.