"So today not only the untutored crowd but any man who is greatly puffed up with worldly wisdom is marvelously captivated by ceremonial pomp. Indeed, hypocrites and lightheaded women think that nothing more beautiful or better can be imagined. But those who more deeply investigate and, according to the rule of piety, more truly weigh the value of so many and such ceremonies understand first that they are trifles because they have no usefulness; secondly, that they are tricks because they delude the eyes of the spectators with empty pomp. I am speaking of those ceremonies under which the Romanist masters would have it that great mysteries exist; we experience them to be nothing but pure mockeries. And no wonder that their authors have slipped tot he point of deluding themselves and other with trifling follies! For they have partly taken their pattern from the ravings of the Gentiles, partly, like apes, have rashly imitated the ancient rites of the Mosaic law, which apply to us no more than do animal sacrifices and other like things. Obviously, even if there is no other proof, no one in his right mind will hope for anything good from such an ill-patched hodgepodge. And the thing itself plainly shows that most ceremonies have no other use than to benumb the people rather than to teach them."I knew that Marx couldn't have come up with that whole "religion is the opiate of the masses" thing on his own, and I always suspected that he had help from some Protestant divine. I should have known that it would turn out to be from Calvin!
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Calvin a Marxist or Marx a Calvinist?
John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, 4.10.12 - Their [Rome's] Mysteries are Mockeries