At its best, this is a highly presumptuous posting. At its worst, offensive. But so be it. It is, above all things, honest.
I was reading through a book by Andrew Collier on Marxism and Christianity and I wanted to share my thoughts. Many have already heard of the Messianic narratives underlying Marxist thought–it’s a fairly common proposition where the Proletariat takes the place of the ultimate redeemer for humanity, lifting it from the void of ignorance and sin. In this narrative, the capitalist stands as a Satan-like figure, turning altruism into avarice. It is certainly an interesting argument, if not wholly viable, but what really interests me is the commentary on religion. More specifically, the church as an institution of repression. It should be, in my mind, a place for congregation and reflection. Here are Collier’s thoughts:
“Marxism and Christianity can each learn something from the other about secularity: Marxism should learn the potential for totalitarian commercialism of secularism pushed to its extreme, while Christianity should be reminded by Marxist critique of religion as an alienation-effect that the existence of religion as a separate activity alongside the world is an effect of sin, and that while a worshiper of God is by definition religious, God himself is not the least bit religious. He is more concerned about falling sparrows then about falling tiles from the church roof; he may wish us to spend our money on famine relief or strikers’ support fund rather than new chairs for the church, and he may be more pleased to see us canvassing at elections or playing with our children or drinking beer with our friends than singing hymns. In short, we should never identify devotion to God with devotion to the church” (Christianity and Marxism 126).
This statement also sheds light on my idea of God. I think of God as an immaterial occurrence. Because I don’t (indeed, cannot) think of God in a metaphysical sense, i.e., as a “He,” as a “Father,” as molded to our likeness, and most importantly, as knowable in any sense by man, many would dub me an atheist. But I’m not. I think of God in abstractions–justice, love, possibility, and the like. Things that cannot rightfully be explained via language. It’s in fleeting moments, like looking at someone and knowing you trust them; like taking a deep breath and knowing your life is before you or behind you; like an orgasm that renders you speechless. That is a God I have always intuitively had a connection with and give thanks for.