One of the standard features of totalitarian regimes, particularity Marxist/communist based governments is either the abolition of religion or the substitution of the state as God. We should all be familiar with Marx’s quote regarding religion:
“Religion is the opiate of the people.”
Probably the best-known quotation by Karl Marx, the German economist and Communist political philosopher, the original from the German text, in Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right, 1843 is:
Die Religion… ist das Opium des Volkes.
Taken in context, this quote reveals far more than it appears in a casual reading. This has been translated variously as ‘religion is the opiate of the masses’, ‘religion is the opium of the masses’ and, in a version which German scholars prefer ‘religion is the opium of the people’. The context the phrase appears is this:
“Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people.”
I was drinking my coffee this morning and watching the rebroadcast of Hannity on FOX. On Sean Hannity’s show last night, there was a debate about the contraception issue that is raised by Obama’s health care policies. Leslie Marshall, a left wing radio host, yelled out during the debate:
“The Church can’t tell the government what to do!”
The more I thought about this statement, the more I came to realize that we really do have totalitarian statists among us that truly believe that they government is not established to derive its power from the consent of the governed – they believe that government is the ultimate power and exists to tell citizens what to do as the government sees fit. Just like in Marxist ideology, people must become dispensable cogs in the machine of society, none with more value to society than the other. Under such a humanist view, there is no concept of good and evil and the criminal as valuable as the saint. Isn’t that the logical outcome of what these secularists are attempting to do? Does that not inform the beliefs that allow so called “bleeding heart liberals” to explain away and excuse the most heinous of crimes?
In this example, they believe that Church has no power to teach its members what it right and wrong based on its theology, there is only what the government says – there is no morality except for what the government says there is.
This is a perfect example of the F.A. Hayek quote that I posted yesterday from Hayek’s Road to Serfdom and a chapter titled “Why the Worst Get on Top”:
Since it is the supreme leader who alone determines the ends, his instruments must have no moral convictions of their own. They must, above all, be unreservedly committed to the person of the leader; but next to this the most important thing is that they should be completely unprincipled and literally capable of everything. They must have no ideals of their own which they want to realize; no ideas about right or wrong which might interfere with the intentions of the leader.
There is thus in the positions of power little to attract those who hold moral beliefs of the kind which in the past have guided the European peoples, little which could compensate for the distastefulness of many of the particular tasks, and little opportunity to gratify any more idealistic desires, to recompense for the undeniable risk, the sacrifice of most of the pleasures of private life and of personal independence which the posts of great responsibility involve.
The only tastes which are satisfied are the taste for power as such and the pleasure of being obeyed and of being part of a well-functioning and immensely powerful machine to which everything else must give way.
Obama and his cadre of czars are acting as that supreme leader via issuing dictates and his extra-constitutional executive orders.
A “planned” economy and society cannot be implemented unless all citizens are made to be cookie cutter versions of each other – if one drops dead – just assign another to the task – but religion conflicts with that view. Religion teaches that the individual has intrinsic worth. We have value in the eyes of God. Just as Marx saw religion as a roadblock to communism because of its teaching of individual and consistent values coming into conflict with the situational flexibility of the radical humanism of the communist ideology, the secular humanists of today do as well and have adopted his views. They will argue to the death that they don’t – but look past the protestations and you will see that their actions have exactly the same effect. The main argument for Obama in this birth control kerfluffle is that the Catholic organizations won’t have to violate their beliefs because “Obama said so”, when reality says something very different.
Marx at least had the courage of his convictions (although horribly wrong) to state publicly what he was about unlike these cowards today.
I have news for Leslie – shocking though it may be for a Marxist – and make no mistake as I have stated, these people are either pursuing Marxist goals by supporting the Obama administration and the Democrats or they are simply ignorant, a useful idiots with no concept or understanding of the founding principles of the country we live in – but religion does have a trump card. It is called the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Congress shall make NO law…period. Any law that prohibits the free exercise of individual and personal beliefs is unconstitutional. I know that opens the door to things that we might find repugnant but that is the way it is – we either believe in religious liberty for all or none..
In another Hannity segment, I also heard “progressive” Michael Meyers of the New York Civil Rights Coalition try to make the argument that there are “exemptions” and that this doesn’t apply to the Catholic Church but to “health care organizations”. It is one of the most dishonest parsings of the argument that I have heard, similar to the “it isn’t about religious liberty, it is about women’s health issues” – perhaps it is about “women’s health” but that doesn’t preclude the Constitutional issue – unless you believe that any government policy trumps the Constitution…which the statists do believe.
But it isn’t only a US based constitutional battle; this is a battle that rages worldwide. In an article for The Daily Telegraph, Baroness Warsi, the UK’s first female Muslim Cabinet Office minister, says that to create a “more just society” Britons must “feel stronger in their religious identities”.
The minister, who is also chairman of the Conservative Party, says: “My fear today is that a militant secularisation is taking hold of our societies. We see it in any number of things: when signs of religion cannot be displayed or worn in government buildings; and where religion is sidelined, marginalised and downgraded in the public sphere.
“For me, one of the most worrying aspects about this militant secularisation is that at its core and in its instincts it is deeply intolerant. It demonstrates similar traits to totalitarian regimes – denying people the right to a religious identity because they were frightened of the concept of multiple identities.”
Do not be fooled – these totalitarian statists are following the path of Marx to push out religion and substitute the dictates of the state and as Baroness Warsi stated, these are some of the most intolerant people on the face of planet Earth (again that is the reason that I enclose the word “progressive” in quotes when I refer to the political ideology because this is, and these are, the most regressive movement in the world). Just as Marx, these “progressive” secular humanists see anything that primarily teaches Christian morality and a code of behavior that is different from their humanist views is something to be destroyed – to be annihilated at any cost.
Atlas Shrugged is real. We are living it. The worst are getting on top.