Can I be a Marxist-Muslim-Catholic???


#1

Hello, and thank you for visiting this thread. My question is this: Is it possible to be a truly faithful Catholic Christian, while at the same time adhering to fundamental beliefs adopted or adapted from other belief systems? I am Catholic, and I deeply love and respect my Faith. I could not possibly even imagine replacing my Catholic Faith with anything else (it is just simply NOT possible). However, I do see elements in other belief systems that are compatible with Catholicism. Thanks to my girlfriend and best friend, I wholeheartedly agree with Marxism’s condemnation of unfettered capitalism, and I truly admire Islam’s absolute total devotion to God through prayer five times daily and various other Islamic expressions. The following is an exerpt from a message I posted elsewhere, which inspired this thread:

I have a question about what is commonly referred to as “syncretism” - or the merging or fusion of two differing belief systems. (In this case, Islam and Catholicism.) Can a person be a believing Catholic AND a believing Muslim SIMULTANEOUSLY?

Although I am exclusively Catholic, I come from a background in which syncretism, particularly Catholic Christianity with other beliefs, is practiced by many people who are close to me. My grandmother was raised Buddhist but converted to Catholicism when she married my grandfather, and she has practiced elements of both faiths ever since (though she identifies herself as Catholic). My girlfriend of several years has always been (since before I knew her) a truly devout and faithful practicing Catholic while AT THE SAME TIME a dedicated and fervent committed Marxist. And finally, and most appropriately for this thread, my best friend, who is Lebanese with a Muslim father and Catholic (Maronite) mother, is Catholic of the Latin/Roman rite, attends Mass every Sunday and Holy Day and receives the Sacraments regularly, but he also adheres to many Muslim beliefs and practices, including attending mosque with his brother (who identies himself as Muslim), praying five times per day, abstention from pork & alcohol, various other tenets, as well as extensive Biblical and Koranic studies. I believe he is truly a sincerely holy man of deep faith in God.

This may seem naive or idealistic to some people, but I personally cannot find any appearance of internal conflict within any of the people I mentioned above and to whom I have formed very close bonds throughout my life. In fact, I see absolute peace, harmony, happiness, and fullfillment in all three people.

(It is a striking contrast to the rest of my family members who are strictly exclusive, almost extremist, conservative protestant/evangelical, “born-again christians”. This latter group in my family always seems so angry, hostile, aggressive, and deeply unhappy with themselves and with the world around them, which they condemn uncompromisingly.)

Anyhow, I would be most grateful for any thoughts or discussion on this matter. Thank you all for your time. Have a wonderful day.


#2

I don’t think you can be a Catholic and a Muslim at the same time. Either Christ is God, or he is a prophet, you can’t believe both at the same time.

You can however pray 5 times a day if you wish. So, you can take the things that you like from the Muslim faith and apply them to you Catholic faith as long as you don’t contradict the Catholic faith. Same thing with Marxism. If you adopt the unfettered capatalism only, there is nothing wrong with that. Just be carefull what you adopt and how you present it. I don’t see a problem reading and understanding the Koran, but you must always be aware and constantly testing it against your Catholic faith.

It is very true that people who don’t understand your true intentions can be blinded by the wording. And in some cases, poor wording is to blame.

Oh, and just because a certain set of Christians seem unhappy, doesn’t mean the only answer is to adopt the same principles of people you believe are happy. Look to see what is making them happy and apply it to your own life, again always knowing your Catholic faith.


#3

One of the beauties of Catholicism is that it admits the practices and sometimes the beliefs of other faiths, insofar as they do not contradict the Catholic faith. We’re famous for doing it with paganism, co-opting many practices, which often gets us roundly condemned by others.

That being said, some syncretism can’t be abided. Proclaiming belief in two creeds that have no common ground, or so little that one can only absorb what little that is true in the other, is nonsensical. For instance, I can’t believe that a person could really hold Marxism and Cathlicism in their head at the same time without either:

a) just claiming to be that for shock value;

b) not really believing some of the main beliefs of one or the other creed (how can one be a atheist-theist?);

c) or abiding in “blissful ignorance” about their professed beliefs.

In the case of your grandmother, I’d tend to take her at her word. Wile one may be converted in belief, some practices can be hard to simply drop by the wayside, and often those practices can be “baptized” as it were. This may also be true of some Muslim practices. If your best friend enjoys rich daily prayer, perhaps he might consider the liturgy of the hours?


#4

I would be wary of both Marxism and Islam, but as long as you are looking for positive things they may teach and looking at those aspects in a Catholic way and understand the obvious flaws and errors of both systems I don’t see the problem. Pope John Paul II was certainly wary of unfettered Capitalism but at the same time recognized the inherent evils of communism and fought against it.

This whole exchange reminds me of a very interesting point that was brought to my attention past April. I was listening to EWTN Radio and I think it was on The World Over with Raymond Arroyo that a priest mentioned Pentacostalism in Latin America as the biggest threat facing Catholicism today and called them “Wolves ravaging the flock”, I agreed with the idea behind it but thought it was a bit harsh.

A few weeks later in a US Immigration history class we had a video-conference with the author of a book about immigrants of a Mayan heritage in North Carolina. The author was a labor historian which are by definition about the most liberal, sometimes anti-religious, type of professor that you can come across, which is what made his point all the more powerful. I asked the author about his thoughts on the role of Catholicism in Latin America for these people. He made a very interesting point, he said that one of the most amazing and important things about the Catholic Church is, wherever it goes it allows people to keep and incorporate their indiginous culture into the religion. In otherwards, these people were allowed to be Mayan AND Catholic. Obviously this excludes any form of sacreligious ceremonies or beliefs they may practice, but applies more to cultural things.

He said as a rule the Pentecostals in the area had very little respect of the culture of these people and where Pentacostalism has flourished, native cultures have been threatened. I thought this was a very interesting outlook on Catholicism and the way it can incorporate people of all different cultures and situations. Hope that helps. God bless, and I wish you the best of luck in your soul-searching.


#5

When the USA became an ally of the USSR during WWII, didn’t the Vatican issue a paper (I don’t know the proper term) telling Catholics it was OK to fight on the side of Stalin?

Also, from what I’ve read, JPII put marxist Liberation Theology types on ice.

Let all remember that Liberalism is the father of this Socialism that is pervading morality and culture and that Bolshevism will be its heir.–Pope Pius XI, Quadragesimo Anno 1931


#6

That’s fine. All Marxist theory does is tell you to forfeit your religion and give yourself to the government. Sure sounds Catholic to me.

Geesh.


#7

Hello Everyone. I extend my deepest thanks to all of you who took the time to read my thread and to post a reply. Thank you all very much.

I guess I should clarify that I did not mean to post this question on my own behalf (I should have entitled this thread “Can ONE be a…”) I was actually asking out of concern for those three people I mentioned in the original thread, especially my girlfriend. She and I converse (sometimes even argue) for hours about her views, though I try very hard not to interfere in her personal beliefs (as long as they don’t contradict or offend my Catholic Faith. Thank God, they have not thus far.)

My girlfriend is NOT atheistic, agnostic, or even anti-clerical (otherwise, she and I could never be together). She is a sincere Catholic Christian who truly loves our Faith and Church. But she is extremely, fiercely opposed to free market capitalism. She is utterly convinced that capitalism is anti-Christian, and violates core Church teachings of “love of neighbor”, and she believes that the “welfare state” is the ideal political system for the U.S. and the world. My girlfriend believes very strongly that capitalism and Catholicism are absolutely incompatible.

Basically, my girlfriend believes in “state ownership of the means of production”, etc. Fine. Whatever. But I just get really annoyed when she CONSTANTLY berates me as “un-Christian” and “hypocritical” because I believe quite fervently in free-market competition, etc. (She has a portrait of Pope Leo XIII, flanked by two photos of Marx and Engels, hanging on her bedroom wall. It gets rather irritating sometimes.) Anyhow, I know my girlfriend means well, and I love her very much and I know she loves me. But sometimes I don’t know if I should be worried about our future together because of our somewhat divergent core beliefs (and her constant harping!) about the nature of society and the role our shared Catholic Faith should play in the way we participate in the political process. (But to her credit, apparently Marx was right about globalization and the eventual dominion of the world by multinational corporations - just look at where Wal-mart is headed!) Anyhow, I just don’t know what to do.

About my best friend, I think he’ll be just fine. I truly believe he is both a deeply sincere Catholic Christian and Muslim. (He venerates Muhammed as a Saint.) But to be honest, I’m not really clear on what he believes about Christ as Son of God and Savior of the world. We never really talked about that specifically in depth. But I know he loves Jesus a lot and probably believes in Jesus’ divinity. We and some other friends all receive the Sacraments together frequently, and we never fight about religion. I’m glad that we are both Catholic brothers in faith, and that’s the most important thing.

Thanks very much for reading my thread and helping me. I appreciate it. Take care.


#8

Pope Pius IX said that it is impossible to be both a Catholic and a Socialist in his encyclical commemorating the fortieth anniversary of Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum. Marx is a Socialist. Marxism is a brand of Socialism, one that is incompattible with Catholic belief. The condemnation of unfettered capitalism is hardly unique to Marx. In fact, he did not condemn unfettered capitalism. He condemned capitalism. Period. Pope John Paul the Great condemned unfettered capitalism while condemning communism outright. G.K. Chesterton and Hillare Beloc went as far as to suggest a system more just than capitalism called distributionism. Nonetheless, there is no moral equivalency between Marxism and capitalism because Marxism CANNOT be harmonized with Christianity.

Marxism suggests that the only thing that drives history is conflict and that there are certain groups of people that must exist in conflict with others as a result of nature. Marxism misunderstands human nature and cannot be harmonized with a Catholic understanding which understands that people can exist in harmony with one another, that Christ, not human conflict, is the center of history.


#9

Simply, these ideologies stand in such opposition to each other that if you were to develope your own set of beliefs that held all or parts of them as ONE belief, you will have invented something new.

Fundimentally, Marxism is a system of secular government that contains as a basic principle the tenet that there is NO deity. It also removes from the people it governs thier ability to think freely.

This obviously stands in direct opposition to the other ideologies, which are actually religions founded on the priciple that there IS a singular deity.

Islam contains as a fundimental belief that the deity is SINGULAR in character, without containing any other individual parts contained in the whole.

This stands in opposition to Christianity which contains as a fundimental belief that the deity is made up of THREE persons in ONE deity.

Since the tenets of each ideology that I put forth are fundimental in thier nature, the three ideologies you mention are without question, incompatable.

You are looking for a synergy in attempting to combine the three, but you are ending up with something un-named that exists only in your imagination.

Look for followers. Maybe you can start your own religious form of government.! :slight_smile:


#10

I did not read most of the posts, because I have only a few things to say, particularly about the Marxism.

Sir, I would ask you to very, very carefully examine Marxism. The policies it purports are weak in the knees at best, and apt to crumble from a slight blow of the breath at worst. While it is not right to believe in rampant capitalism, it is not right to believe in rampant anything. There are bright sides to Marxism, and there are things that do not work. The same holds true to capitalism.

Also, the idea that you can profess to be Muslim and Catholic at the same time is absurd. I will not cut corners. It is impossible. While there are idea in Islam that agree with Catholicism, it is wholly impossible, and quite ignorant, to claim to hold the beliefs of two Faiths that at their very core conflict with one another. Why at their very core? Our understanding of God. Theirs is quite different from ours, and you would be claiming two different ways of understanding God.

The fact is, it cannot be done. Or, at the least, you would be driving yourself insane by the conflict. There is nothing wrong with reading the Qur’an. There is nothing wrong with reading the works of Marx. But you must understand that these ideals are in opposition to each other, totally and completely. At their base, rather.

At least, that’s how I see it. And I apologise if I have offended anyone. But you asked for an opinion.


#11

Can I be a Marxist-Muslim-Catholic???

NO!


#12

Since I don’t know much about Islam, I will write about Marxism. However, I think that much of the treasury of prayers in the Catholic Church will more than suffice for your spiritual needs.

Marxism is inherently flawed. Certainly on a small scale we can voluntarily share our goods in common: take the great Religious Orders for an example. However, on a large scale, we require private property and a division of labor to have any kind of advanced society beyond the Stone Age. Look at the computer you type on: the hundreds of components that make it up are probably from around the world. Even a pencil requires the division of labor to handle its production.

Besides this division of labor, products need a method of pricing, not only of the finished product, but also of the intermediary goods which create it. A free-market system is the only way we can find these prices, according to the great economists Mises and Hayek. Communism has tried again and again, and it has failed in this department. Lenin was forced to ease up on the economic restriction with his New Economic Plan of 1922. North Korea is shored up with Chinese money, and a growing urban market. And Chinese Communism has gone the way of all flesh.


#13

Can I be a Marxist-Muslim-Catholic???

DO YOU WANT TO BELIEVE THAT JESUS CHRIST IS ONLY A PROPHET?

DO YOU WANT TO BELIEVE THAT THERE IS NO GOD?

OR DO YOU WANT TO BELIEVE ON THE HOLY TRINITY?

YOU JUST HAVE TO CHOOSE ONE!!


#14

Marxism has always been the enemy of Religion. Marxist Catholic is an Oxymoron. Islam is a corruption of the Catholic Faith. It is a Heresy which will lead you to Apostasy. It is the Father of Lies who is enticing you to dilute your Pure Catholic Faith. Do not listen to him.


#15

Your girlfriend may be interested in reading about Simone Weil. She was an intellectual who was concerned about the oppressed and was, at first, a Marxist. She later became critical of popular Marxist thought in her work “Oppression and Liberty”. Her concern for the oppressed and suffering eventually led to her search for God and into Catholicism (although she was never baptised in the Church). Her ascetic life and her decision to limit her intake of food (in sympathy for the plight of her compatriots in France during WWII who were starving) are not unlike the lives and deaths of some saints.

Here is one site about Simone Weil: members.aol.com/geojade/Introduction.htm


#16

Down to the nitty gritty,

Catholics believe Jesus is God,

Muslims believe Jesus is NOT God, only a prophet

Marxists believe there is NO God,

It would be impossible to follow or reconcile any two of these beliefs, yet alone all three.


#17

If you want directed prayer throughout the day, pray the Divine Office.

The body count due to Marxism is about 100 million dead and growing. Add in the Nazis (National Socialism, the National Socialist German Worker’s Party) and there’s another 50 million. How anybody can still be attracted to it is beyond my understanding. If you’re looking for an alternative to “unfettered capitalism” (which is certainly not the kind practiced in most countries), read some Catholic economic teaching. I am by no means well acquainted with these teachings, but here are a few links I found:

absoluteastronomy.com/encyclopedia/R/Re/Rerum_Novarum.htm

mdemarco.web.wesleyan.edu/gkc/distrib/


#18

[quote=Eden]Your girlfriend may be interested in reading about Simone Weil. She was an intellectual who was concerned about the oppressed and was, at first, a Marxist. She later became critical of popular Marxist thought in her work “Oppression and Liberty”. Her concern for the oppressed and suffering eventually led to her search for God and into Catholicism (although she was never baptised in the Church).
[/quote]

Another very interesting person who followed a similar path (and who did enter the Catholic Church later in life) is Malcolm Muggeridge.


#19

[quote=UKcatholicGuy]NO!
[/quote]

I disagree!! After all, the Sunday bulletins of the University of Kentucky’s Newman Center state, “We welcome people of every political persuasion. We embrace you with the love of Jesus and welcome you to join us in worship.” So it must be OK to be a Marxist Catholic and probably a Muslim Catholic too ;).

(A little inside humor–you would only understand it if you’re a student at UK and a devout Catholic.)


#20

[quote=Anima Christi]I disagree!! After all, the Sunday bulletins of the University of Kentucky’s Newman Center state, “We welcome people of every political persuasion. We embrace you with the love of Jesus and welcome you to join us in worship.” So it must be OK to be a Marxist Catholic and probably a Muslim Catholic too ;).

(A little inside humor–you would only understand it if you’re a student at UK and a devout Catholic.)
[/quote]

:rotfl::rotfl:


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