Rob, short of going through all the trackbacks and previous entries, as a communist-socialist (or someone sympathetic to that outlook) is it your view that Christianity needs to be jettisoned, that it’s only real purpose is to keep the peasants under control for their master? You know, cooperating with the feudal lords in the hopes of attaining something in the hereafter?
Well, I have no opinion at all on religion. I am actually pretty pro-religion for a Leftist. I am a Christian myself. I identify with Catholic Liberation Theology. Religion is basically here to stay at least for a while. We just have to make some sort of an accommodation with it. It is simply not going away. However, there is an interesting momentum in the US towards agnosticism and atheism. Now 15% of Americans are agnostics/atheists. This is a remarkable increase over only a decade, and it is driven entirely by young people.
Down in Latin America, they have some really progressive forms of Catholicism and Christianity. There are Christian Catholic Communists in Cuba, and a lot of Liberation Theology types in Venezuela and elsewhere. The FMLN in El Salvador, the URNG in Guatemala, the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, the ELN in Colombia, were armed Left guerrillas whose cadre were all Christians. There were Catholic priests running around with machine guns. This is where I am coming from. Even Sendero Luminoso in Peru was full of Catholics. About 1/3 of their cadre were Catholics and their leader Abimael Guzman says he is still a Catholic. A lot of the FARC cadre are Catholics too.
So in Latin America, the Left is not even really anti-Christianity. The same thing is going on in the Philippines, where a lot of the NPA cadre are Catholics and there are Commie priests who administer to their armed flock.
So anymore, it can’t even really be said that Christianity, especially Catholicism, is an anti-people force pushing opium for the people and pie in the sky. Liberation Theology practices “the preferential option for the poor,” and many Liberation Theologists have even promoted armed struggle to overthrow social fascism and bring in a state of democratic rule.
I think the Left blew it by being so hostile to religion. Buddhism is of course compatible with the Left as is Islam and of course Catholicism is too. Protestantism is harder sell, and Hinduism seems impossible.
Christianity is so easy though. Read the Bible, the New Testament. Jesus was a socialist, a Communist. He threw the moneychangers out of the temple. He said it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into heaven. He hang out with the poor and the downtrodden, with the lowest of the low, the proletarians and even the lumpens. He railed against the crooked rich Jews. He was not anti-government. He said to render under Caesar what he was due.
Anti-government, radical rightwing capitalism has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with Jesusist New Testament Replacement Theology. It is sacrilege. It is heresy. It’s not even Christianity. The marriage of Christianity with rightwing economics makes no sense in any possible universe, but that is what we have now. One can make an excellent argument that capitalism itself is anti-capitalist at its very core.