Karl Marx called religion the opiate of the people and I think he’s largely right. To preach about justice, or to pray for justice, can never replace actually working for it.

Religion should avoid being partisan politically, but religion that avoids politics altogether also avoids the struggle for human betterment. What difference does it make whether we believe in civil rights, or feminism, or peace, if our voice is unheard in the actual political struggle that will shape our future world?

Much religion is like a child’s seat in the back of a car with a steering wheel connected to nothing. Praying to God for peace and justice implies that we humans are not the ones who are fighting and oppressing one another. Such praying acts like God is the one who needs to change. Religion has been an opiate if at the end of our prayer we do not rise to liberate our brothers and sisters from their actual political oppression.

One who prays for justice but does not work for it, is like an infant hoping it can fill its belly by sucking its thumb.