“They (religious seekers) want a sense of purpose, a narrative arc to their lives, something that will relieve a chronic loneliness or lift them above the exhausting, relentless toll of daily life. They need an assurance that somebody out there cares about them, is listening to them – that they are not just destined to travel down a long highway toward nothingness.” (Audacity of Hope; p. 202)
Compare what Barack Obama written in his book, above with Karl Marx, below:
Marxism is summed up in the Encarta Reference Library as “a theory in which class struggle is a central element in the analysis of social change in Western societies.” What are the Marxist views of religion? The worker is miserable and alienated, and this sustains religion. Religion, according to Marx was the response to the pain of being alive, the response to earthly suffering. In Towards a Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right (1844), Marx wrote, “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the feeling of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless circumstances.” Marx indicated in this writing that the worker is a revoluntary and used to suffering at the hands of the capitalist. This suffering, lack of purpose, relentless toil of daily life, with no one who cares about their plight, with no one to listen to their struggle, provides the need for religion.
Compare this to Obama’s reasons for people to seek religion: no sense of purpose; loneliness (no one to listen to their struggle); relentless toll of daily life; needing assurance that someone cares about them, will listen to them, that they are nothing.