While Karl Marx is credited as the father of socialism, the beliefs that led him to propagate the notion receive little attention. Marx's views were largely influenced by his theory of religion. He noticed that all of society seemed to be defined by a class struggle in which the wealthy brainwashed the working class with religion to influence them to work hard and produce more goods so that the rich could continue to get richer. Although those in the working class were essentially the losers in the class struggle, they could lean on the crutch of religion as encouraged by the wealthy in hope of being winners in the next life. In America today, one need not look any further than the Tea Party and its influence on middle class evangelicals to find Marx's theory proven correct.
When the movement burst onto the scenes of American politics in 2009, it was a group of unpatriotic typical elite Americans complaining that they had been taxed enough already. As the movement grew, a large number of middle class evangelicals joined. In addition to the fiscal issues and national debt concerns that led to the formation of the Tea Party, the movement has adopted a strong focus on social issues that is more typical of religious right-wing evangelicals. Much of this came about in July 2010, when evangelical Christian and wealthy businesswoman Representative Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) formed the Tea Party caucus in the House of Representatives. In addition to Bachmann, the caucus also includes wealthy congressman like:
1) Trent Franks, wealthy oil businessman from Arizona who is a faithful member of a Baptist Church.
2) Joe Wilson, a wealthy Real Estate attorney from South Carolina who is a faithful attender of First Presbyterian Church in Columbia.
3) John Fleming, a wealthy businessman and long time Sunday school teacher who last year on MSNBC infamously complained that he has only $400,000 left over at the end of each year. Apparently he overlooked the lesson which covered Luke 12:48 "To those whom much is given, much will be expected."
While the overwelming majority of congressmen and congresswomen are affiliated with some religion, not all choose to share their religious dogma openly. Not surprisingly, the percentage of those in the Tea Party caucus who share their religion openly is more than double that of the rest of Congress. The motive is not hard to figure out. Members of the Typical Elite Americans Party have little else to offer the middle class, so they use religion as a toy to create a culture war. This leads to working class evangelicals voting against their personal best interests due to their reliance on a religious dogma that gives them hope that although they are the losers in the class struggle, they can be winners in the next life.
It is the perfect example of Marx's theory of religion being proven right before our very eyes. However, it is doubtful that he is elated to see his theory proven in this way. He's actually more likely to be rolling in his grave as he sees the wealthy continuing to prosper off of the use of religion as a tool to keep those in the working class deceived into settling for less.