E. Belfort Bax

Why Attack Religion!

(25 August 1906)

Why Attack Religion!, Justice, 25th August 1906, p.6. (letter)
Transcribed by Ted Crawford.
Marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.

Dear Comrades, – Comrade Aldred’s reply to the somewhat stale exhortation conveyed under the above query leaves little to be desired. It so happens that the Neue Zeit for August 4, contains an article by a German comrade (H. Salzmann) on the same subject, and to much the same effect. There seems to be a growing sentiment in the German Party that the favourite “tag,” that “religion is a private matter,” will have to be taken with a very considerable grain of salt, The phrase undoubtedly often covers an unworthy and somewhat hypocritical shirking of a necessary question – and, moreover, for the most part a perfectly useless one. In spite of the attempts sometimes made, no-one is really deceived into thinking that Socialism is compatible with any of the traditional systems of dogma termed religions. Thus, the old “tag” is in short a conventional lie, and surely the of these conventional lies we can do with the better When we find persons calling themselves Socialists like Mr. Ramsay MacDonald trying to make themselves “practical,” with Nonconformist voters and the like, by protesting their zeal for the “religious” indoctrination of children as an apology for their advocacy of secular education, I think it is about time for the thorough-going Socialist or Social-Democrat of the S.D.F to think twice before entrenching himself on the “Why attack religion?” attitude. Modern religion, like modern politics, is a part of the modern capitalist system – one of the wings of the vampire (cf. Walter Crane’s well-known cartoon) – Yours,


E. Belfort Bax


Last updated on 10.7.2004