ONCE in a while, organised religion throws up potent evidence that Karl Marx was right when he said words to the effect that religion was the opium of the masses.
How else would he react, but with a chortle, at the events which followed the publication in a Dan
ish newspaper of a cartoon satirising the Prophet Mohammed?
Marx did not compare organised religion with organised crime. Someone else did that, their reason being that the former was as immoral and godless as the latter.
This was an exaggeration, but the deaths of Christians and Muslims in the aftermath of the publication of the cartoons must make us wonder.
What kind of deity condones or even espouses the murder of fellow human beings over a cartoon? Admittedly, religious adherents have killed each other over even less controversial incidents.
What we know is that many religious people have an interpretation of their faith which is totally different from what their prophets propounded. Christian or Islamic presidents have justified attacks on their own people on the grounds that it was their duty — perhaps not their religious duty — but their duty nevertheless to do so.
All over the world, a president can order the razing of an area which openly opposes his political party in the morning and go to church in the afternoon to sing praises to his master.
Pause for a moment and wonder why this is so. Humankind is fallible, yes, but is faith in a merciful, kind and forgiving supreme being still justified?
The question was asked by a magazine years ago: Is God dead? We know what Marx would have said to that question.