I guess one of the most irritating things which comes from discussions about the relationship between faith and wealth is what I would call Opiate-Privilege Dialectic.
If we talk about how faith has helped the poor and the destitute cope with life and give them strength to live, we say that faith is a crutch, an opiate of the masses, which people will throw off once they are wealthy and have the material supports of life.
But when it comes to the people of faith who are wealthy and rich and who have been “blessed” visibly, then like Satan’s accusation of Job, people will say, religion is merely an icing cream atop after we are fat and have met the hierarchy of needs, we can now indulge in the bourgeois pleasures of “religious pursuits”, like the rich indulging in art. But poor people are too busy trying to survive to bother with esoteric religious pursuits, and take away their wealth and their faith will perish as well.
If faith comforts the poor, that is the opiate of the masses, if the rich thanks God for his wealth, that is a bourgeois indulgence, cut the pie anyway you like, you simply cannot win!
One thought on “On Faith and Wealth”
[…] us consider a paradox I have noted before as far as tracing religious beliefs to socio-economic conditions are […]