søndag den 25. oktober 2015

Christianity and Socialism by Horace Jarvis - Introduction

Gray's note: Jarvis doesn't note which version of the Bible, or publisher, he was quoting from nor make reference to editions, etc with other non-Biblical quotes.

There are among religious people many good and sincere citizens who could be very useful to society, who are prepared to sacrifice everything for their principles. The Salvation and Church Army. Nuns, who renounce marriage and motherhood, and dedicate their lives to helping the poor, the aged or the infirmed. There are also hundreds and thousands of workers for churches, christian associations, and "do good societies", who hope to leave this world a better place than they find it, and who are seriously interested in peace and the betterment of the human race, and the alleviation of suffering.

Christians often claim that their religion is a comfort in times of trouble, but in political crises (which are now continuous) and also in wars, they are in a hopeless philosophical position, like a ship without a captain in a stormy sea.

Because of this they easily become victims of wily politicians and ruthless statesmen, and instead of helping to work for a better social world order, find themselves unintentionally supporting corrupt regimes and dedicating their lives to maintaining these systems. Their naive blindness to the real nature and background of religion prevents them from seeing clearly the material tasks of this life.

"The greatest curse of humanity is ignorance. The only remedy is knowledge. Religion, being based on fixed authority, is naturally opposed to knowledge. Science needs investigation and criticism. Religion is opposed to both these." Robert Blatchford.

Socialists who take a realistic view of man's problems, will look on the miracles of the Bible, the virgin birth, the resurrection, life after death and all the paraphernalia of religion as an obstruction to social progress. It is difficult to understand how any normally educated person can take it seriously, and hard to believe that thousands of people still consider stories that are the equivalent of Andersen's fairy tales, are true.

Christians might do well to follow the advice of the Bible (1. Cor. 13.11) "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put aside childish things." So long as they are tied to the Bible, they can never put aside childish beliefs which prevent them from understanding socialism.

It is quite obvious that if Christians are guided by the Bible and the priests, they cannot be expected to see through the much more skilful propaganda of the politicians, television, radio and newspapers, on life's more important matters.

One must oppose religion because it stands in the way of socialism and the understanding the latter necessitates. A man under the influence of drugs and alcohol cannot be expected to make a good socialist; but if he can be freed from these, at least there is a chance.

One cannot hope to change the world if the ideas that have made it remain unchallenged.

"Philosophers up to know have merely interpreted the world; what we have to do is change it." Karl Marx.

To be continued. Next: What is Religion?

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