Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Opium of the Masses [Guest Post]

As I mentioned recently, I have a newborn in the house right now and therefore my blogging has slowed down quite considerably. Christian from I am an Atheist and this is why was kind enough to send me a guest post to help me fill in the gaps a little while my sleep-meter is on empty. Enjoy this post, and go check out his blog for more.

Back in 1843 in the introduction to his book Critique of Hengel's Philosophy of Right, Karl Marx had the insight to make his now famous quote “Religion is the opiate of the people.” So I got to thinking the other day and was wondering how religion not only oppresses people that believe in it, but also oppresses people who do not believe in it. Well here is my list of 6, which I know by no means is comprehensive.


  1. Abortions are considered illegal in many countries worldwide as its considered murder, but its not a self sufficient organism how can it be.
  2. Women are discriminated against in the majority of religions. The obvious ones that come to mind been the discrimination in Muslim countries, even though other religions deny it its still there.
  3. Teaching of unscientific theories in schools, like creationism instead of evolution. Pseudo-science just the thing to keep people oppressed, whats next?
  4. You can't eat certain food stuffs, Jews are not allowed to eat pork Hindu's are not allowed to eat beef. Beware if you actually want to try something new, I mean you may end up in hell.
  5. Religion does not tolerate sexuality, so your sexuality should be determined not by genes (like science is shedding more and more light on) but by some laws written in a book.
  6. You better like self-righteousness, I mean after all I am going to heaven and you are going to hell, no no no we are both going into the ground to become microbe food.

So here is my list of six, now a question “how has religion oppressed you or people you know today?”


  1. 2 and 5 are the worst in my book. 3 is pretty bad too, but it doesn't seem like oppression like 2 and 5 do--more indocrination into otherwise known lies.

    And depriving people of bacon is just cruel.

    1. 2 and 5 are really bad, but for some reason I find 3 incredibly annoying. I think because I find evolution so beautiful and it irks me that so many people don't get the opportunity to learn about it in school.

    2. Bacon deprivation is a crime I agree. :)

    3. Number two is the worst in this woman's opinion and has been since the beginning of time. Like today they are allowing concealed handguns in the Texas Capitol but not allowing tampons during the repressive abortion vote in case a mad woman might won't to throw them at a stupid man who is suppressing her right to choose...more GOP "religious" stupidity.

    4. The oppression of women is really bad. I wonder if the church wasn't consistently pushing that agenda for all of these centuries if it would be this bad in today's world. It's hard to know for sure, but perhaps if we could look at the issues more rationally we'd be a much more equality-minded society by now.

  2. It is a sad list, for sure, Christian. Good topic. A couple others I thought of were:

    - A tendency to submit to the authority of religious leaders, even against "gut feelings" when they are doing something wrong.

    - Soliciting money from those who cannot truly afford to give it.

    1. Taking money from the poor is really disgusting. That whole "give the church money and you'll get it back tenfold" nonsense. Horrible.

      Submitting to church authority is really bad as well. I used to think that this kind of thing could only happen in a church setting, but then that coach (what was it, penn state?) did those horrible things to children and the people rallied around him. It can happen outside of the church, but in the church is certainly seems more prevalent.


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