If you’re feeling nostalgic for the Cold War, you could do worse than to grab a copy of our 10th-grade text, World History and Cultures In Christian Perspective, which presents communism as an ongoing threat right now, today. As we mentioned last week, we’ve finally gotten a copy of the 2010 revision of the book, and you’ll be delighted to know that it is still every bit as Red Scared as the 1997 edition we’ve been using for this series up until now.* Like the 1997 edition, the lengthy chapter on the evils of communism presents it as a present threat that might set international dominoes toppling at any moment.
This week, we’ll wrap up our look at the Red Menace with a couple of sidebar sections which explain, just in case the main text hasn’t made the point, why communism is very, very bad indeed. The first is an essay titled “Communism: A Negative System,” which informs us that
Communism is a totally negative system — a denial of all that is true, righteous, and good. In its suppression of the higher aspects of man’s character, it unleashes the beastly aspects — the utterly sinful nature — of man.
Golly! Say what you will about the tenets of national socialism, Dude, at least it’s an ethos!
No God. Communism is based upon the denial of God — atheism. Marx said, “Our goal is to destroy capitalism and dethrone God!” Engels simply declared, “God is man.” Lenin and Stalin did all in their power to stamp out Christianity in Russia.
Oddly, we could not find any source other than right-wing websites for that alleged Marx quote. It’s not entirely out of line with his dismissal of religion as the “opiate of the masses,” but we didn’t find a citation — though Marx did note that atheism has a certain revolutionary utilty: “If I dethrone God I also dethrone the king who reigns by the grace of God.” But that’s different, isn’t it? (Your commie is always obsessed with nuance, isn’t he?)
But Communism’s violent hatred for God, the Bible, and Christianity does not mean that Communists have no sense of the sacred. The Communist ”god” is the supposedly omniscient, omnipotent Communist state. Communism asserts its totalitarian power over the body and soul of every human being under its control and will not tolerate any interference from the God of the Bible and Christianity. This is why Communism and Biblical Christianity must always be locked in mortal combat for the hearts and minds of people everywhere.
Ah, but what about liberation theology, those Marxist-tinged priests and nuns that John Paul II worked so hard to root out, you may ask? You clearly aren’t paying attention: they said “Biblical Christianity,” which doesn’t allow dirty papists to sully the Gospels with communist thinking. That’s like double heresy. QED.
No Creation. Because it is an atheistic system, Communism cannot accept God’s creation of the universe. Instead, Communism chooses to accept evolution, insisting that the only reality is “matter in motion” and that everything in the universe (including thoughts, feelings, and the human will) can be explained only in terms of the material. This inaccurate perception of reality, materialism, contends that matter is eternal and is in a continual process of evolutionary change.
I can has conflation? At least they didn’t say “Darwinism” this time.
No morality. Communism drifts in a sea of relativistic thinking. A natural consequence of atheism is the loss of moral absolutes. No God means no law; no law means no absolute standards of good and evil… This false perception of morality explains why Communists can justify the murder of many millions of people in the countries they have conquered.
As we all know, atheists generally go around killing people because only the fear of hell keeps us from doing so. Wait, that isn’t right –we know we’d remember any murderous rampages. And of course, there’s the inconvenient evidence showing that the most secular countries tend to have the least crime.**
No family ties. Communists despise the family unit. Strong families are important to the freedom and well-being of any society because they promote economic, emotional, and social stability; they preserve traditional values and customs; and they provide moral guidelines and standards of right and wrong… Communism’s goal is to eliminate the family and separate children from their parents… by forcing both father and mother to work long hours just to survive and by placing their children in state-sponsored day cares and schools, where their young, impressionable minds are indoctrinated with Communist principles and propaganda.
[Citation needed] Seriously. They aren’t even trying now. Yeah, yeah, and liberals and feminists and teh gheys want to “destroy the family,” too, and the schools are part of the plot.
No individuality. Communism’s insistence on maintaining the “collective” good of the state destroys the worth of individuals… Indeed, Communism tries to control the very thoughts of individuals with its propaganda; anyone who thinks differently than the state is severely punished and subjected to further attacks on his individuality.
Coming from people who fight against science, censor library books, and try to “cure” people of homosexuality, this is pretty fucking rich.
No hope. Many people under Communism lead lives of quiet despair and frustration because of the utter hopelessness of human life under Communism…
It was at this point that we distinctly heard the ghost of Henry David Thoreau throwing up.
The other sidebar, which is actually longer but will get less discussion here, is an excerpt from a “Christian Anti-Communism Crusade” pamphlet titled “Why Communism Kills.” It begins creatively enough:
Communism kills! This is not debatable. The record is crystal clear. The U.S. Senate Internal Security Subcommittee conducted investigations into the number killed in the Soviet Union and China. Their report stated that 35 million to 45 million had been killed in the Soviet Union and 34 million to 62.5 million in Communist China.
and goes on to suggest that “apologists for Communism” dismiss the death toll as due to cultural factors in Russia and China, and
they do not believe that killing is an essential ingredient of Communism itself. They believe that the triumph of Communism in the United States, England, or Western Europe would not lead to mass slaughter. Are they right or are they suffering from a dangerous delusion?
More to the point, who actually fears a Communist “triumph” in the United States — today, or even in the late 1970s, when this pamphlet originated? (Besides the editors of this textbook and people who fear water flouridation, of course). In any case, we learn that Marx himself called for mass murder in The Communist Manifesto, which we’re pretty sure we’d have recalled.
[Marx wrote that] “the bourgeois, the middle-class owner of property…must indeed, be swept out of the way, and made impossible.” Apologists for Marxism contend that Marx did not intend that this statement should be taken literally. They affirm that he was referring to the gradual elimination of property owners by the transformation of the economic system which Communism would bring to pass. They cannot deny, however, that many followers of Karl Marx, including Stalin, Mao Tse-tung, and Pol Pot have taken this affirmation literally and have proceeded to kill the “middle-class owners of property” once they have acquired power.
This is pretty neat logic. Marx said a thing that didn’t mention killing millions, but since people calling themselves Marxists used it as an excuse to kill millions, he only could have meant “go kill millions.” We will keep this in mind the next time a tea partier says their “refresh the tree of liberty” webpage is not advocating political murder. (Needless to say, Marx could have avoided a lot of trouble by simply adding ” — with votes!”)
In any case, after spending three weeks with this chapter, we are convinced: We have decided that pursuing a communist revolution in the United States is probably not something we should do.
Besides, now that Barack Hussein Obama has been re-elected, it would be redundant, huh?
*Apart from chapters dealing with recent events, the most significant difference is that the 2010 version is a good 100 pages shorter, an economy mostly realized by snipping paragraphs here and there, especially illustrative quotations from other books.
**For nerds, the full study is available here.
Next Week: The Titanic! World War One! The Flu Epidemic of 1918! The Rise of Modern Liberalism! Guess which one the editors consider the worst disaster?
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