How the Left Moved into Religion
It is the year of the "ethics of energy," according to the National Council of Churches (NCC), and one cannot but conclude that the left has abandoned Lenin's nostrum of religion as the opiate of the people. They would even have us believe that they were in solidarity with those who "cling to ... religion." At Obama's Sermon on the Mount, he invoked the Bible as his inspiration for ObamaCare and the redistribution of other people's money. A modern-day St. Francis. No matter, as we recently discovered that in the name of ObamaCare, he eliminated freedom of conscience with the recent mandate. This is one of the commandments in "The First Church of Christ Socialist" (a term Billingsley used, National Review, Oct. 28, 1983, 1339).
What, in fact, happened between Lenin's "superstitions" and Obama was Antonio Gramsci. You could call him Obama's godfather. A prominent Italian Marxist, his theory of "Cultural Marxism" was that violent revolution "through the barrel of a gun" was not effective in advanced industrial societies. It was more important to capture the mind of a society. But this contemporary revolutionary doctrine is "far more dangerous: it is based on nonviolent, persistent, and 'quiet' transformation of American traditions, families, education, media and support institutions day-by-day" (Chandler, Shadow World, 26). This program periodically inserts a new DNA sequence into a country's cultural code -- resulting in the metastatic cancer of Marxism.
A high priority for Cultural Marxism is the destruction of religion -- but not like Stalin. While Marxists would need to enter into every civil, cultural, and political activity in a nation, that would not work unless they could successfully target Marxism's greatest enemy -- the Christianity that had created and still pervaded Western culture in all its forms, activities, and expressions. They would have to "change the residually Christian mind ... so that it would become not merely a non-Christian mind but an anti-Christian mind" (Martin, The Keys of This Blood, 250).
Obama's fifth column had a head start with Anna Strong, a notorious pro-Soviet propagandist during the 1930s who claimed, among other things, that Stalin's prisons were so humane that criminals applied for admission and had to be pleaded with to leave. (It could be said that there are only two requirements to be a communist: the ability to lie and the ability to refrain from laughter at the lies.) The following are some highlights that demonstrate how Gramsci's theory targeted religion in the U.S. The Christian Century is "a progressive, ecumenical magazine based in Chicago," which "informs mainline Christianity." Formerly known as Christian Century, it argued in 1946 that Protestantism could not win America until it rid "itself of the illusion that the American mentality is still individualistic and that the churches are gaining because they are recruiting individuals into their membership. The American mind is not predominantly collectivism in its structure." The remedy for this alleged weakness was to submit to the demands of a collectivist church and for a sectarian cooperation -- an ecumenical church. A stepping stone to this secular collectivism was the formation of the National Council of Churches.
The National Council of Churches assumed a position in harmony with the political parties represented by socialism. Following Gramsci's theory, then, radicalism in American life would mean the secularization of religion -- "the distinction between the secular and the sacred" would be "removed from the thinking of the American church." Singer demonstrated that their message was the social gospel "without mention of sin and its punishment or the redeeming work of Christ upon the Cross" (Singer, Unholy Alliance).
"Formerly overt supporters of communism, the NCC recast itself as a leader of the 'religious left.'" While the U.S. was fighting the Cold War, the NCC funded communist regimes in Yugoslavia and Poland and guerrillas in Zimbabwe, Angola, Nicaragua, and Cuba. The NCC considers the U.S. "an oppressor, both at home and abroad" (Chandler, Shadow World, 313). Today the NCC inserts the political correctness gene into presidential politics, as they called on "candidates to tone down their rhetoric about one another's faith and avoid sowing religious discord. ... Candidates should feel comfortable explaining their religious convictions to voters." But the statement warned against placing an overt emphasis on religion, as "there is a point when an emphasis on religion becomes inappropriate and even unsettling in a religiously diverse society such as ours." Note the new value-connoting terms of "inappropriate" and "unsettling."
Current task forces of the NCC include eco-justice, immigration, justice for women, health, racial justice, and living wage. The NCC preaches: "It's Time to Occupy for the Minimum Wage: The Occupy Wall Street movement has brought the growing issue of income inequality to the forefront of public discourse in hundreds of cities and towns across the country ... supporters can take a huge first step -- and one that wouldn't cost taxpayers, rich or poor, a penny -- by rallying around an increase in the federal minimum wage." Revealing another layer in its structure, the NCC joined the Institute for Policy Studies to influence U.S. and foreign defense policies (Chandler ibid., 313).
Liberation theology, which appeared in Latin America during the 1950s and 1960s, spearheaded the second wave of progressive "Marxist Christians." It claims that the New Testament can be understood only as a call for social activism, class struggle, and revolution aimed at overturning the existing capitalist order and installing a socialist utopia where the poor will unseat their oppressors.
Cardinal Ratzinger, now Benedict XVI, addressed liberation theology in 1984 in "Instruction on Certain Aspects of 'Theology of Liberation.'" In his critique, he noted that liberation for Christians is first and foremost liberation from the radical slavery of sin. While it is important for Christians to become involved in struggles for justice, freedom, and human dignity, certain forms of liberation theology are "damaging to the faith and to Christian living," and it uses "in an insufficiently critical manner concepts borrowed from various currents of Marxism."
Black liberation theology is an iteration of liberation theology and made its formal appearance with the publication of the "Black Manifesto," attributing its claims to the Bible. Presented by Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) member James Forman to the National Black Economic Development Conference in Detroit in 1969, "[t]he manifesto was a call to arms for blacks in the United States to overthrow the current government, which it characterized as capitalist, racist, and imperialist, and to set up a black-led socialist government."
Malcolm X rejected Christianity, but his criticisms were adopted by the founders of the black-power movement -- Stokely Carmichael, the Black Panthers, and Ron Karenga. Originally a devout follower of Martin Luther King, Jr., James Cone was seduced by the movement for black power. He is considered the founder of black liberation theology, and his goal was to reconcile black power with Christianity. Jeremiah Wright named him as the preeminent influence on Wright's own theology. Black liberation theology is Marxist ideology based on races rather than economic classes.
In his writings, Cone characterized the U.S. as a "racist society" and admonished black Christians to reject the "White Church." He calls for the "destruction of whiteness, which is the source of human misery in the world." Cone concluded that "[t]he time has come for white America to be silent and listen to black people. ... All white men are responsible for white oppression" (Black Theology and Black Power). He argues that capitalism must be replaced by some sort of "democratic socialism" (Chandler, ibid., 354).
Within this background, Jeremiah Wright no longer appears as an anomaly. Obama joined Wright's Church, Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, in 1992 and remained in it until 2008. According to Kurtz, "Wright's church is not only thoroughly politicized, but is arguably the most radical black church in the country [emphasis mine]. The substance and style of Wright's infamous remarks are part and parcel of a broader, and proudly radical, theology." In his study, Kurtz demonstrated the similarities between Cone and Wright.
Reverend Wright admired Louis Farrakhan, the leader of Nation of Islam, and often praised him both in sermons and in his church's magazine, the Trumpet. Through carefully distorted biblical passages, black liberation theology portrays slavery as oppression of blacks by whites but never as slavery to personal sin, and redemption by Christ means redemption of blacks from white oppression.
A key link of the religious left to Obama was a 1998 Black Radical Congress in Chicago. Reverend Wright shared a panel with Cornel West and Michael Dyson of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and Socialism Commission. The title of the panel was "Faith as a Weapon: Spirituality and the Role of the Church in the Radical Movement" (Loudon, Barack Obama and the Enemies Within, 524, emphasis mine).
Another link of Obama to the religious left is his spiritual advisor, Jim Wallis. Wallis is the founder of Sojourners, which describes itself as a" biblical call to social justice, inspiring hope and building a movement to transform individuals, communities, the church and the world." Originating in Chicago, Wallis was lured to Washington by Institute for Policy Studies. Billingsley named Wallis as a "leader of the radical Christian movement," which his past writings demonstrate (Billingsley, The Generation That Knew Not Josef, 138). In 1978, writing of the Vietnamese who were trying to escape from the North Vietnamese regime in shark-infested waters and targeted by pirates, Wallis wrote that the Vietnamese government had been "harsh" with the boat people, but "[m]any of today's refugees were inoculated with a taste for a Western lifestyle during the war and are fleeing to support their consumer habit in other lands" (Billingsley, ibid., 175).
Commenting on the downing of Korean Airlines flight 007 by Russia, which killed 269, he noted that "we must all be extremely careful lest we become self-righteous in our own indignation and anger over this incident that we become guilty of hypocrisy." Hypocrisy is despised by true religious people and even atheists. What better word to disinfect the Soviet crime than to call our response hypocritical? While excusing the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge, Wallis accused the U.S. of being "the great power, the great seducer, the great captor and destroyer of human life[.]"
In an interview in 1979, Wallis expressed the hope that "more Christians will come to view the world through Marxist eyes." Wallis, funded by Soros, has served on Obama's White House Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnership since 2008.
It is clear that the religious left has penetrated organized religion for decades. Feeding the public with disinformation, they deliberately ignore the fact that Abraham Lincoln fought a civil war to end slavery; they ignore the Civil Rights Act of 1964. More important, they worship a Marxist State instead of God. Are they using "faith as a weapon" to destroy religion?