Christianity is No Opium for the Masses

As atheists get the guts to stand up for not believing in God, they appear to also have a need to mock those who still believe in God. Which is fine. Whatever.

But one of the things they keep saying shows their ignorance of reality. Here is a quote from Robert Heinlein. I’m not sure he’s as much an atheist as an agnostic, but he is still against religion and makes my point well.

History does not record anywhere at any time a religion that has any rational basis. Religion is a crutch for people not strong enough to stand up to the unknown without help. But, like dandruff, most people do have a religion and spend time and money on it and seem to derive considerable pleasure from fiddling with it.

His view of religion has been copied by many people. “Religion is a crutch” is almost a catchphrase now. Intellectual heavyweights such as Jesse “The Mind” Ventura copied Heinlein’s sentiments at one point.

“Organized religion is a sham and a crutch for weak-minded people who need strength in numbers.”

Probably the origin of these ideas was back with Karl Marx who allegedly said “religion is the opium of the masses.”

The gist of these thoughts is that religion makes life easier. People use it as a drug to get through life because they aren’t man enough to face it head-on. Religion somehow makes life easier, more manageable, and is sought by people who want to avoid reality.

This, I believe, shows a massive ignorance of true religion, or rather, a massive ignorance of real Christianity.

I think, religion in general, is rather well summed up by these quotes. Even much of modern Christianity would fit the bill, and I’d agree. Such as Jesse Ventura’s full quote:

“Organized religion is a sham and a crutch for weak-minded people who need strength in numbers. It tells people to go out and stick their noses in other people’s business. I live by the golden rule: Treat others as you’d want them to treat you. The religious right wants to tell people how to live.”

I would actually agree with Mr. Ventura’s full thought.

But if one were to examine true Christianity (no doubt up for debate what that is) he would find a people whose lives are in many ways more difficult and more reality-based than most non-religious people’s lives.

Christianity makes you face your sin. Christians are forced to deal with their real selves, not the figment of their imaginations, nor their view of self after humanism’s steroidal self-esteem indoctrination.

Christianity hits you with reality all over the place. We are to weep with those who weep, which means not only do we deal with our weakness, we are to deal with other people’s weaknesses. We are not just to sympathize, but also to bear one another’s burdens.

If this were tried, it would be found to be no opium at all.

Jesus Christ, the man of sorrow acquainted with grief, taught self-denial, giving all to help those with nothing. This is the essence of the Gospel itself. Jesus did not appear to be high on life while suffering on the cross. The cross is the essence of Christian living. We are living sacrifices, dying daily.

Non-believers need not worry about Judgment Day, giving an account for everything done in the body. They can just buy the stuff they want and not have to sacrifice for the good of someone else. They can eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow they melt into oblivion.

Religion may be a crutch, it may be a drug for many. But Christianity, when tried and done, is no easy thing. It is no easy way out. “If there is no resurrection,” Paul said, “we are of all men most miserable.”

Doesn’t sound like the easy way out to me, nor have I found it to be in experience.