Thursday, August 25, 2011

Opium of the People

I'm not in quite the same place as Marx in regard to religion as an opiate. At least not today. He saw religion as an escape hatch for the oppressed. It allowed people an illusion of happiness elsewhere in exchange for any hope of happiness in their lives. As such it was a tool for the extension of oppression.

My sense today is that, like opiates, religion may have its uses, especially when carefully prescribed and controlled. Made generally available to the masses as an over-the-counter remedy is something all together different. How can we prevent misapplication and abuse? How might we deter religion being applied inappropriately, or boiled down and mixed with powder of patriotism to yield something really dangerous, like Rick Perry or Michele Bachmann?

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