Christianity and communism

January 26, 2012 | By | 2 Replies More

What do Christian scripture and Communism have in common? At Daylight Atheism, Adam Lee explains:

The Bible goes so far as to say that the first community of Christians weren’t just socialists, but communists:

“And all that believed were together, and had all things common; and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.”

—Acts 2:44-45

By some accounts, this verse is what inspired Karl Marx’s dictum, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” Irony of ironies: Communism began in the pages of the Bible!

The above is an excerpt from a post titled “Why We Should Tax the Churches,” and Lee develops this theme in detail, dovetailing with the modern-day struggle between the 1% and the 99%. He isn’t shy about bluntly stating why:

Even when it begins among the poor and disenfranchised, religion almost always ends up being co-opted by the wealthy and powerful and used as a convenient excuse to justify inequality.

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Category: Religion

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (2)

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  1. Adam Herman says:

    Christianity and Communism are alike in that neither is suited to controlling a state. Whereas Judaism and Islam were set up to be state religions, with lengthy legal code covering all issues major and minor that one could imagine being important in ancient times, Christianity was primarily a personal religion uninterested in the specifics of what constitutes moral and immoral behavior. Rather, we are all sinners, and thus need salvation. Once the believer has salvation, his goal is to do what is right and avoid what is wrong, but this isn’t determined by a set of written laws as in Judaism or Islam. For this reason, Christianity has tended to function best in small groups. When Christianity became a state religion, it went down the tubes really fast.

    Communism is also only suited to small groups. The family unit is a communist unit. Each person in the family gives according to their abilities and receives according to their needs. Sometimes this has even worked with groups of as much as a few hundred, such as on a kibbutz, although more often than not it broke down. If a cow is sick in the middle of the night, who comforts it? It’s everyone’s cow, after all. Like Christianity, Communism breaks down completely when a state is run by the philosophy.

  2. Karl says:

    I’ve been under the impression all of these years that anyone who believes their philosophy or religion can somehow insulate its leaders from corruption is just plain hoping they become its next leaders.

    Until people can admit to the corrupting influence of their own associates and ideolog, every philosophy, religion and political system will fail miserably.

    I fully believe that people that are repulsed by the idea of any specific philosophy or worldview becoming dominant understand the self-preservation instinct that ends up corrupting a leaders inabibily to refrain from grabbing for more power. Leaders often exhibit such behavior both as they get to become leaders and also as they try to remain as such.

    When a state becomes over run by such a collective group of “philosopher kings” one had better hope they see their own potential for corruption or forget about the future of such a state of affairs.

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