Marxism and Religion

St Martin’s in the Field – London

It all comes down to freedom of thought. We can all jockey for position but at the end of the day, who is to say what is or isn’t right? I mean, there’s certainly preferred thoughts – yes – and I understand Revelation and religious Authority – but it is a two-way street in secular society. Religions are a problem because they are intolerant by nature. As a Communist my function appears to be to encourage religious people not to give up their beliefs, but rather seek out a way of interfacing theology with Marxism. It’s that simple. When religions refuse to do this, it is invariably because a decision has been made by a man to align that faith with the political rightwing. Why? What is the point of this? Surely, aligning a liberating theology with a destroying political ideology is counter-productive? It makes no difference if Marx and Lenin believe that religion will die out if society becomes just and human beings evolve into Communists. If religions are right, then they will have the opportunity to prove Marxism wrong, and it will be Marxism that dies out. However, one or two Catholic priests have confided in me that in all probability, Marx is right and religion is nothing but living myth! A very lucrative living myth, I might add. The religious position is ‘why take the risk?’ Why let Marxism get the ideological upper hand, when the Church could just as well embrace fascism, defend its powerbase, and keep the masses impoverished and ignorant. This is why a number of leftists deploy an attitude that completely denies the validity of religion and seeks its immediate abolishment as a ‘class enemy’. This seems non-Marxist to me, and ignores education and social evolution. It is better for religions to ‘co-operate’ with Marxism than to oppose it. If anything, a Socialist Revolution generates the conditions whereby religions can assume their original emancipatory function when divorced from the political and educational processes. 

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