Communism in Our Schools and in Our Politics

Even in high school, I found myself offended by my fellow students who were card-carrying communists in their beliefs and sympathies.  In fact, a sizeable number of students clung to Marxism as dogma.  The high school was Central High School for Boys, a school for gifted boys located in Philadelphia, Pa. 

Later, as I continued my studies in the Ivy League, I saw that there was a consistently strong element of intellectuals who were not in the least embarrassed to express their interest in communism.

Once, as I stood with a crowd of students who were watching to see the outcome of events when a cadre of students locked themselves into the Harvard administration building and chained the doors, I was standing next to H.G., a fellow graduate student who had gone to the same high school and college as I had.  He was rooting for the locked in students and for "the revolution," which he hoped was near.  I asked him, "Herb, how can you be for communism or for 'revolution'?  You are the same as I am — Jewish, son of working people or middle-class people — we went to the same high school, the same college!  How can revolution or communism be good for anyone?  He said nothing but looked at me with eyes filled with contempt.  Later, he would become a professor of economics at Harvard University.

Years after these early contacts with communists, I was converted to Christ.  Although I had been anti-communist for years, only when I was welcomed into the Kingdom of God by my Lord and Savior did I begin to fully realize the enormity of the error that lay in Marxist-Engels-communist thought.  Communism was not a doctrine merely to be disputed by men; rather, the communists had picked a (losing) fight with Almighty God.  It was unworthy as a human doctrine not only by the lights and understandings of non-communist thinkers and actors on the political and economic stage, but, as a repudiation of Almighty God, and particularly Jesus Christ, it was a doctrine opposed to God Himself.

It was not only the "part" of communism that announced its atheism that was wrong.  Marx had said that "religion is the opiate of the people."  But all the principles and historical concepts as well as the methodology of dialectical materialism were wrong and attempts to deceive people and turn them away from godly ways.  "Bourgeois morality," attacked by Marxists, was a way of saying Judeo-Christian, biblical values are wrong.  The doctrine of dialectical necessity, whereby history moves forward by a series of steps in a historical thesis, which gives rise to its antithesis, which in turn gives rise to a new cultural-economic paradigm — the synthesis — was itself a denial of the biblical view of history as governed by Divine Providence, and leading to the triumph of Christ over all creation by our redemption, His return and rule, and the final judgment on all the living and the dead.  History is not moving dialectically, as Marx, building on the work of George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, believed.  Rather, history is moving forward providentially.

What irony, then, that when I came to teach history at a public high school in New York City, and the teachers, most of whom were atheists, heard I am conservative and, even worse, a born-again believer.   I was quietly approached by one of the veterans, who said, "You know Jeff, communism collapsed in the Soviet Union, but it is alive and well in this high school."  I realized that by saying this to me, he was challenging not, as he thought, only me, but also Almighty God through His Son Jesus Christ — and that it was a challenge he would sooner or later have reason to regret, for he would surely lose (see Deuteronomy 32:37–39).  I did not rail against him, but kept my peace, knowing he had identified himself as a mocker of the Lord.

On another occasion, another group of leftists were sitting in the cafeteria, laughing uproariously.  When I came in, one called out to me, "Jeff, are we all going to hell?"  I smiled but did not take the bait.  However, two weeks later, I was having lunch and sitting across from one of the communists.  (I didn't just pin this label on these individuals; rather, they self-labeled as communists.)  Another one sat next to me, along with a third gentleman who was not a communist, but, to be kind, let's say he was susceptible to leftwing interpretations of current events.

The one across from me asked me if I thought that people really go to hell.  I replied that if someone committed a crime at 3:00 pm, and for some reason died at 11:00 pm and had not repented of his crime and received Christ as His Lord and Savior, he would find himself in hell.  It was obvious to my colleague that I was referring to any unrepentant individual, not only to a criminal.  My colleague stared at me.  He said, "I find that statement to be very offensive."  The man sitting to my left was making faces at me all the while, which I saw out of the corner of my eye.  He grimaced and contorted his features in mockery of me.  "I'm sorry you feel that way, R.L.," I replied, "But I surely believe that that is exactly what would be the outcome."  He gave me a stare of stern, silent rejection.  I stared back, peaceful, resolute, and content.

Now let's fast-forward: The Democratic Party has been sliding more and more to the Left for decades.  Now there is no doubt in my mind that they have embraced communism.  The Communist Party of the USA (CPUSA) supported Barack Obama in 2012 and its leadership said it would vote for Hillary Clinton but did not officially endorse her in 2016.   "God" was booed at the 2012 Democratic Party convention.  The communist drift that has gone on in that party for decades seems fulfilled in the candidacy of Bernie Sanders and the ascendancy and election of a list of presidential candidates who have embraced the so-called Green New Deal, which is nothing less than a full-fledged plan for the government takeover of the entire economy, suggests the growing ascendancy of communism within our beloved USA.  

As ominous as this development is, we cannot think the battle being waged is between the Dems (communism) and the Republicans, or even the Libertarians.  No.  Republican support alone or "conservatism" (the meaning of this term has been debated for a long time) will also draw us into error.  Opposition to the Democrats must then be couched in a biblical, pro-Christ agenda to be valid.  Republican conservatism without justification in Christ is just another man-made, fallible doctrine destined to collapse, or to lead to sin and hopelessness.  Political aspirations will fail the country if not built on the foundation of Jesus Christ.

Even in high school, I found myself offended by my fellow students who were card-carrying communists in their beliefs and sympathies.  In fact, a sizeable number of students clung to Marxism as dogma.  The high school was Central High School for Boys, a school for gifted boys located in Philadelphia, Pa. 

Later, as I continued my studies in the Ivy League, I saw that there was a consistently strong element of intellectuals who were not in the least embarrassed to express their interest in communism.

Once, as I stood with a crowd of students who were watching to see the outcome of events when a cadre of students locked themselves into the Harvard administration building and chained the doors, I was standing next to H.G., a fellow graduate student who had gone to the same high school and college as I had.  He was rooting for the locked in students and for "the revolution," which he hoped was near.  I asked him, "Herb, how can you be for communism or for 'revolution'?  You are the same as I am — Jewish, son of working people or middle-class people — we went to the same high school, the same college!  How can revolution or communism be good for anyone?  He said nothing but looked at me with eyes filled with contempt.  Later, he would become a professor of economics at Harvard University.

Years after these early contacts with communists, I was converted to Christ.  Although I had been anti-communist for years, only when I was welcomed into the Kingdom of God by my Lord and Savior did I begin to fully realize the enormity of the error that lay in Marxist-Engels-communist thought.  Communism was not a doctrine merely to be disputed by men; rather, the communists had picked a (losing) fight with Almighty God.  It was unworthy as a human doctrine not only by the lights and understandings of non-communist thinkers and actors on the political and economic stage, but, as a repudiation of Almighty God, and particularly Jesus Christ, it was a doctrine opposed to God Himself.

It was not only the "part" of communism that announced its atheism that was wrong.  Marx had said that "religion is the opiate of the people."  But all the principles and historical concepts as well as the methodology of dialectical materialism were wrong and attempts to deceive people and turn them away from godly ways.  "Bourgeois morality," attacked by Marxists, was a way of saying Judeo-Christian, biblical values are wrong.  The doctrine of dialectical necessity, whereby history moves forward by a series of steps in a historical thesis, which gives rise to its antithesis, which in turn gives rise to a new cultural-economic paradigm — the synthesis — was itself a denial of the biblical view of history as governed by Divine Providence, and leading to the triumph of Christ over all creation by our redemption, His return and rule, and the final judgment on all the living and the dead.  History is not moving dialectically, as Marx, building on the work of George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, believed.  Rather, history is moving forward providentially.

What irony, then, that when I came to teach history at a public high school in New York City, and the teachers, most of whom were atheists, heard I am conservative and, even worse, a born-again believer.   I was quietly approached by one of the veterans, who said, "You know Jeff, communism collapsed in the Soviet Union, but it is alive and well in this high school."  I realized that by saying this to me, he was challenging not, as he thought, only me, but also Almighty God through His Son Jesus Christ — and that it was a challenge he would sooner or later have reason to regret, for he would surely lose (see Deuteronomy 32:37–39).  I did not rail against him, but kept my peace, knowing he had identified himself as a mocker of the Lord.

On another occasion, another group of leftists were sitting in the cafeteria, laughing uproariously.  When I came in, one called out to me, "Jeff, are we all going to hell?"  I smiled but did not take the bait.  However, two weeks later, I was having lunch and sitting across from one of the communists.  (I didn't just pin this label on these individuals; rather, they self-labeled as communists.)  Another one sat next to me, along with a third gentleman who was not a communist, but, to be kind, let's say he was susceptible to leftwing interpretations of current events.

The one across from me asked me if I thought that people really go to hell.  I replied that if someone committed a crime at 3:00 pm, and for some reason died at 11:00 pm and had not repented of his crime and received Christ as His Lord and Savior, he would find himself in hell.  It was obvious to my colleague that I was referring to any unrepentant individual, not only to a criminal.  My colleague stared at me.  He said, "I find that statement to be very offensive."  The man sitting to my left was making faces at me all the while, which I saw out of the corner of my eye.  He grimaced and contorted his features in mockery of me.  "I'm sorry you feel that way, R.L.," I replied, "But I surely believe that that is exactly what would be the outcome."  He gave me a stare of stern, silent rejection.  I stared back, peaceful, resolute, and content.

Now let's fast-forward: The Democratic Party has been sliding more and more to the Left for decades.  Now there is no doubt in my mind that they have embraced communism.  The Communist Party of the USA (CPUSA) supported Barack Obama in 2012 and its leadership said it would vote for Hillary Clinton but did not officially endorse her in 2016.   "God" was booed at the 2012 Democratic Party convention.  The communist drift that has gone on in that party for decades seems fulfilled in the candidacy of Bernie Sanders and the ascendancy and election of a list of presidential candidates who have embraced the so-called Green New Deal, which is nothing less than a full-fledged plan for the government takeover of the entire economy, suggests the growing ascendancy of communism within our beloved USA.  

As ominous as this development is, we cannot think the battle being waged is between the Dems (communism) and the Republicans, or even the Libertarians.  No.  Republican support alone or "conservatism" (the meaning of this term has been debated for a long time) will also draw us into error.  Opposition to the Democrats must then be couched in a biblical, pro-Christ agenda to be valid.  Republican conservatism without justification in Christ is just another man-made, fallible doctrine destined to collapse, or to lead to sin and hopelessness.  Political aspirations will fail the country if not built on the foundation of Jesus Christ.