Religion was fast losing ground, atheism was growing. What Darwin did in Biological science, a Jewish German also did in Social sciences. Karl Marx so much adored Darwin’s work that he sought to dedicate the English translation of his (Marx’s) work “Capital” to Darwin. In the German edition already carried the tag: “From a devoted admirer of Charles Darwin”. Here, note that religion here refers to Christianity. Karl Marx on observing Europe and the German society made the infamous statement: “Religion is the Opium of the people.” Marx had the rather unfortunate fate of growing up a Jew in Germany- a country with a remarkable feature of an even Catholic- Protestant distribution. Marx’s statement should have been much more explicitly put: “Christianity is the Opium of its people”. His social theory: “The theory of dialectical Materialism” explained human existence in terms of socio-economic forces while Darwin’s Theory of Evolution did in terms of natural forces so that there was no need for any supernatural forces.
Science had found mechanistic explanations for all observable phenomena. This was the steep descent into secular humanism. In 1885, German philosopher Friedrich Nietzshe pronounced rather infamously: “God is Dead”. Please note as I have always stated, I am not atheist or agnostic.
Christianity would later profit from its big destroyer, Charles Darwin by using his theory as a basis for Imperialism and colonialism. In a rather astonishing shift, Karl Marx was anti imperialist while his adopted role model, Darwin had argued that white Europeans were more advanced than the other races. Kind of more evolved, more removed from their supposed grandfather, the apes. He had submitted in his work: “The Descent of Man” on the “greater differences between men of distant races”. Thus, Africans and Asians were to be liberated from savagery and non-belief. European missionaries arrived on the coasts of Africa on the ship named oddly enough “The good Ship Jesus” to pilfer men for Christ and economic gain. They had arrived with both hands occupied – the bible on the left and shackles on the right. The role of the church in the slave trade is evident in the Ota Benga case. Ota Benga was a Congolese tribesman who was captured by American businessman and missionary Samuel Philips Verner in 1904.He had gone on to be paraded in human zoos around Europe as an example of missing link between man and ape. Remember Darwin’s theory of evolution.
God willing, we shall talk soon about the advent of Christianity in Africa, its propagation via forced conversions and institutionalization of such.