Eleanor [Marx] ... told me also that her father hardly ever spoke about religion; neither for nor against. Her mother and elder sister attended sometimes Mr. Bradlaugh’s [atheist] Sunday services, but father dissuaded them from doing so. He told mother if she wanted edification or satisfaction of her metaphysical needs she should find them in the Jewish prophets rather than in Mr. Bradlaugh’s shallow reasoning.
Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. ... The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The criticism of religion is, therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo.