I was reading a bit about Marx last evening and was struck by his assessment of life as essentially tragic. He could not be more right. However, his view that the church’s worship is a ruse (an opiate for the masses), was his greatest blindness. Religion, as far as Marx was concerned, is merely a glorified version of humanistic psychology. As you know, he felt that the reason people congregate in religious settings is because they seek the succor which the church seems to dispense. While I would cautiously affirm this in a Christocentric, rather than an institutional sense, as a purely-human endeavor, it obviously fails. It is not that comforting words from a member of the clergy are ineffective on an emotional level, but unless they are anchored in the objectivity of a crucified God-man, my belief is that the enabling language will fail to actualize its lofty aspirations. When it comes to themes of injustice, exclusion, greed and alienation, Marx has much to commend him; I cannot say the same for his understanding of religion, however.
P] Have you ever been here on a Sunday when it's packed?
Have you seen the Haitian charladies
the Guatemalan refugees, the elderly and forsaken?
It's a gathering of universal misery.
They don't care about the latest archaeological findings in the Middle East.
They want to hear that Jesus loves them and awaits them.
C]That justifies selling plastic statues of Jesus and bottles of St. Joseph's oil for money?
P] That Jesus is less than a rock poster.
And is holy oil less effective than cocaine at $125/ gram?
Not everyone can afford psychoanalysis.
So they come here to be told 'Go in peace, your sins are forgiven.'
It comforts them, a bit.