Wednesday, May 28, 2014
OPIATE FOR THE MASSES
Poppy Field, WWI Memorial, Kansas City, MO
The primary mission of Jesus was to clear a pathway to forgiveness and spiritual life for all mankind. He didn’t set out to establish a religion but was focused on modeling a right way of life. It’s been noted that throughout the ages, if mankind ever encountered something that he could not comprehend, there was generally one of two responses—either fear it or worship it. Consequently, there were a plethora of religious rituals practiced over time including human sacrifices in response to natural phenomena like erupting volcanos and even the rising sun.
One of the most recognizable quotes of Karl Marx states that “religion is the opium of the people”. Atheists seem to love this statement to justify their intellectual contempt for participating in religion and belief in a creator God. But the full text of Marx’s writing was that “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”. The main focus of the root cause of the masses’ pain and suffering as Marx saw it is oppressing economic and political structures. And although opiates can relieve physical pain, they do not get to the cause of the suffering. Today’s society would observe that the 99 percenters are becoming more uneasy with the one percenters at the top of the food chain—many of whom like the Roman elite demonstrate that power over the masses are their opiates.
Jesus’s message from the Sermon on the Mount taught the downtrodden masses how to be blessed. He contrasted the outward circumstances of worldly values which provide temporary happiness with internal kingdom values of eternal hope and joy. And although he didn’t build cathedrals, he did lay the foundation to build a church of believers that would become the heart and soul of a broken world that works to relieve its pain and suffering in the here and now.