Remembering Marx... or not

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In our Friday morning staff meeting (at First Presbyterian Church, Jackson that is), Ligon invariably asks me to lead in a devotional. This morning I reflected for a moment or two on the fact that on August 26, 1824, Karl Marx was baptized as a Lutheran. His Jewish father had declared himself a Lutheran when, two years before Marx's birth (in 1818), Prussia had made it impossible for lawyers like Karl's father to get the top jobs.

At 15, Marx was confirmed and continued to profess a form of Christianity until his university days, when ... well, the rest is history. Passing over Federal Vision views of Marx's spiritual standing (he had been baptized, after all), I commented on the fact that the only working-class individual Marx -- the champion of the proleteriat -- knew was his maid-servant, Helen Demuth, who lived in his London home (along with his wife, Jenny) from 1845 until Marx's death in 1883. He never paid her but did father a child by her -- a son, Freddie, whom he never acknowledged. One biographer suggests he only met him once despite the fact Freddie visited his mother through the back door of the house (Karl insisted that he use the back door). 

The author of Das Kapital was constantly in debt, borrowing without ever repaying, then inheriting a substantial amount of money that paid him an annual income three times that of an average skilled worker. It is doubtful if Karl ever "worked" a day in his life.

Co-author (along with Engels) of The Communist Manifesto (Engels -- the original limousine leftist -- financed Marx for much of his life), Karl Marx is perhaps most famous for the statement "Religion is the opiate of the people." Along with Nietzsche, Darwin and Freud, Marx's writings would lead to rise of the explicitly atheistic state. Al Mohler has concluded (cf Weber) that "eventually modernity would lead society's disenchantment with the enchanted world, by which he meant a world in which God is necessary and meaningful, and its entrance into a disenchanted (or secular) world." As Mohler concludes (in Atheism Remix) a tepid introduction to Christianity turns out to be a poor preparation for life, and an even poorer introduction for hearing the gospel.

Posted August 27, 2010 @ 8:13 PM by Derek Thomas
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