Karl Marx famously said, “Religion is the opiate of the masses.”
No, let’s be more accurate. What he actually said was, “Die religion ist das opium des volkes.”
Before I continue, let me say that my belief in God is a choice not based on argument or evidence. I freely admit that I choose to believe.
Those, like Karl, who choose not to believe, often say that my belief
- in an immortal soul
- and a life after this one
- and in a Creator who gives us both of these,
is nothing less than escapism.
Escapism is an interesting subject.
Lovers of nature take long hikes to escape the artificiality of the indoors.
Lovers of travel take trips to escape the predictability of their surroundings.
Lovers of sports watch games to escape the monotony of daily life.
Lovers of literature read books to escape the chair in which they’re sitting.
Lovers of nicotine and alcohol smoke and drink to escape their current mood.
Lovers of science gather data to escape the idea of a world that is beyond understanding.
In his book, On Stories: And Other Essays on Literature, C.S. Lewis writes about moaning to his friend, J.R.R. Tolkien, about those condescending scientific-types who dismisses fiction with a sniff and a wave of the hand:
“I never fully understood it till my friend Professor Tolkien asked me the very simple question, ‘What class of men would you expect to be most preoccupied with, and hostile to, the idea of escape?’ and gave the obvious answer: jailers.”
I vote for escape.
Escape what you dislike by doing what you like.
In the words of Charles Baudelaire,
“And if sometimes you wake up, on palace steps, on the green grass of a ditch, in your room’s gloomy solitude, your intoxication already waning or gone, ask the wind, the waves, the stars, the birds, the clocks, ask everything that flees, everything that moans, everything that moves, everything that sings, everything that speaks, ask what time it is. And the wind, the waves, the stars, the birds, clocks, will answer, It is time to get high! So as not to be martyred slaves of Time, get high; get high constantly! On wine, on poetry, or on virtue, as you wish.”
If you love nature, get high on nature.
If you love travel, sports, literature or science, get high on those.
And if you love God, get high on him.
I will end with a quote from Oscar Wilde: “Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live; it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.”
Democrats and Republicans, are you listening?
Roy H. Williams