What does the Bible say about communism?


#1

Hello, I always wondered… I support the values of communism, not the oppressive government kind, but pure communism… where all property belongs to the public and everyone has equal wealth. It’s like God decreed that the rain should fall on the just and the unjust, so shouldn’t all wealth and property be equal for the deserving and the undeserving? What does the Church say? the main reason I support communism is because not everyone has equal opportunities. Many are born disabled, etc.


#2

[quote="Rocks_91, post:1, topic:313107"]
Hello, I always wondered... I support the values of communism, not the oppressive government kind, but pure communism... where all property belongs to the public and everyone has equal wealth. It's like God decreed that the rain should fall on the just and the unjust, so shouldn't all wealth and property be equal for the deserving and the undeserving? What does the Church say? the main reason I support communism is because not everyone has equal opportunities. Many are born disabled, etc.

[/quote]

God hasn't said anything in the Bible about Communism, but the Catholic Church does. Sadly I don't have any links to give you. But I'll be doing some googling and reading. ;)


#3

It doesn’t speak to communism as it were because it is a political system not developed at the time. It does speak to taking care of the “widows” and “the distribution” for which Deacons were first ordained.

The problem historically with the concept which you mention is it tends to kill the human spirit. It would be like a teacher telling the class they will treat everyone equally. Some students study hard and get great grades, some don’t or can’t get good grades. At the end of the marking period the teacher averages all grades together and everyone winds up with a “C”.

Those who didn’t worked are kind of amused they got a better grade and will want to continue the system. Those who studied hard are mad because they worked hard and what they deserve was taken from them. Those in the middle will do less because they get benefit from those who work hard.

The next marking period the average grade goes to "D; because those who work hard and got an “A” the previous period, don’t work as hard because they lose the benefit.

Eventually either the system fails or the teacher forces those who can work to do so and takes the grades from them and gives to those who won’t work by force. Then people realize the only winners in the system are the teachers who make the rules and everyone else works for them.

Those who can’t get good grades because of disability are then the biggest losers because there are fewer resources (in terms of the pool of grades) available to distribute.

Just replace grades with money and teachers with politicians and you have communism. In the end only the political class wins on the backs of those they rule over. And that does go against the Freedom about which Galatians 5:1 speaks.


#4

The main problem with communism is that it does not take human nature into account.
Therefore, regardless of the claimed good intentions of those who promote it, communism ALWAYS devolves into a repressive totalitarian system which penalizes hard work and thrift and promotes laziness and corruption.

A handy quote from Soviet Russia "we pretend to work and they pretend to pay us".

The state is only a devil when you make it a god.
Give people absolute power and be aware that they will use it.

Pure communism is an absurdity, a pipe dream.People will always consume all that they are allowed and produce as little as they are allowed. That is what forces all communistic societies to be totalitarian. North Korea is a wonderful example.


#5

There's nothing inherently immoral about communal living and shared property in a stateless egalitarian society, which is what communism is and what monasteries do (well, monasteries aren't exactly egalitarian, but you get the point). However, forcing people to live like this, seizing their property, and killing anyone who gets in the way is gravely immoral.

Any political system can work in a Catholic society, methods of political organization may be forbidden on deontological levels but not necessarily consequentialist levels. Just to use communism as an example, a Catholic cannot be a communist because of a belief in historical materialism and the immorality of private property, but a Catholic may be a communist because he believes that communal life and property serves the common good in a superior way to other methods of societal organization.

That said, I'm no communist, it's a terrible system, and as an unrepentant old Whig I have to say you cannot design a society. :cool:


#6

**The following article in the 1907 edition of the Catholic Encyclopedia will go a long way toward answering your question. newadvent.org/cathen/04179a.htm

There was a brief experiment with communism among the early Christians in Jerusalem; apparently an experiment that was purely voluntary, that served a special need at that time of crisis, and that ended with the Dispersion of the Jews by the Romans.

Obviously, it was neither atheistic (the Soviet brand) nor imposed from above by the governors of Jerusalem.

Other experiments among the pre-Christian Greeks are also cited.**


#7

Well, the only kind of governmental communism that the world has known has always involved the killing and starvation of millions. Look to North Korea for the most recent example. Read the Black Book of Communism for historical examples. The results are never pretty. Or look to China where the official Catholic Church is not recognized; it only recognizes the “National Catholic Patriotic Association,” which does not recognize the pope. It’s bad business and always has been.

After so much human suffering from communism, I’m surprised that anyone anywhere is even a little bit enamored of it.


#8

Acts 4:32 -- The community of believers was of one heart and mind, and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they had everything in common.

This was a freely chosen, not state imposed ideal. And no elite group of leaders was
commissioned to take from the rich and redistribute the wealth to the poor. While having first dibs on what remainders did not lend themselves to the equal distribution.

The word "covet" is a word communists should ponder if they wish to remain Christian too.
It's mentioned about 10 times in the Bible

It implies private property - usually a bugaboo with communists. And we haven't even gotten to "Thou Shalt Not Steal ..." yet.

Atheism is a usual mark of communism and goes with it. Marx and Lenin said that "Religion is the opiate of the people ..." and saw it as a hinderance to the worldwide revolution they were touting as inevitable, and international, and only to end with the destruction of communism or capitalism. They did not believe in "organized religion" or God ... and most Communist and Socialist revolutions from the French through the Russian (and from Portugal and Mexico of 100 years ago, through Spain and Cuba etc. etc.) often persecuted believers, especially Catholics.

Jesus Christ said "I AM the way and the truth and the life ... no one comes to the Father but through me."

It was also Jesus who welcomed the sheep into heaven with the praise "I was hungry and YOU fed me ... etc." What their government did is not mentioned.

Calling oneself a communist ... in communist circles might bring one praise and comfort.

In other circles be careful. Whatever one may MEAN by it ... some people will think of the
vandalous bullies who arrested people at will and sent them to the Gulags without being guilty of anything. Of starting wars they justified by calling the initiators "liberators" and "the people's" republic ... all the while squashing every human freedom you can name.
Speech. Religion. Property. The right to defend oneself. The right to a FAIR trial.

They remember guards in Berlin shooting unarmed people in the back as they tried to flee to freedom. They remember a counter-morality of lies-being-truth if it benefitted the party.

Communism has been condemned for a long time by the Church. During the Reformation
peasant revolts sprung up and there was class warfare over property and goods that went quickly from coveting ... through stealing .. right up to murder (and often tied together with "false witness" for good measure.

catholicessentials.net/communism.htm

"With reference to Communism, Our Venerable Predecessor, Pius IX, of holy memory, as early as 1846 pronounced a solemn condemnation, which he confirmed in the words of the Syllabus directed against "that infamous doctrine of so-called Communism which is absolutely contrary to the natural law itself, and if once adopted would utterly destroy the rights, property and possessions of all men, and even society itself."[1] Later on, another of Our predecessors, the immortal Leo XIII, in his Encyclical Quod Apostolici Muneris, defined Communism as "the fatal plague which insinuates itself into the very marrow of human society only to bring about its ruin."" Encyclical On Atheistic Communism by Pope Pius XI,

Perhaps you "hunger and thirst for justice's sake" as Jesus commended? Good for you (sincerely ... not being sarcastic here)! Give freely of what YOU have. :)

As for calling yourself a "communist" if you are really a fine person - uh - I advise against it.

Scrape it from your shoe so to speak ... or its attachment to you might make you unwelcome. Why hinder the good you might do by saddling yourself with a word so associated with the greatest INJUSTICES perpetrated in human history.

The same thing might go for anyone who's tempted to go around in a "White Power"
T-shirt. One might only mean that they'd rather be "white" when playing Chess pieces --
but people will think of another "White Power" meaning and the misunderstanding will be -
at least partly the T-shirt wearers' fault.

True -- the Church warns of the excesses of Capitalism too.

And Jesus warns the rich not to worship Mammon (money and riches instead of God).

But Jesus calls for the personal sacrifice that will establish justice - not an intrusive world government demanding godlike fealty to itself which considers people "the masses" instead of "holy souls created by God".

Fulton Sheen back in the 1950s saw the Communist "East" as having "a cross without Christ" or sacrifices made to a godless "state"; while the "Christian West" preferred Christ without a cross (sacrifices disdained, pleasure elevated to god status).

*Archbishop Fulton Sheen:
*

"I believe that the whole political and religious situation of the world can be summed up in terms of the divorce of Christ from His cross. **Put the Cross-less Christ on the right side, and the Christ-less Cross of Christ on the left. **

Who picks up the Crossless Christ? Our decadent Western civilization. Christ is weak, effeminate, with no authority to drive buyers and sellers out of temples, and never speaks of self-discipline, restraint and mortification.

Who picks up the Christless Cross? Russia and China, where there is a dedication to a common ideology, the use of discipline and authority to keep peace and order.

But neither can heal.


#9

[quote="Glomung, post:4, topic:313107"]
The main problem with communism is that it does not take human nature into account.
Therefore, regardless of the claimed good intentions of those who promote it, communism ALWAYS devolves into a repressive totalitarian system which penalizes hard work and thrift and promotes laziness and corruption.

A handy quote from Soviet Russia "we pretend to work and they pretend to pay us".

The state is only a devil when you make it a god.
Give people absolute power and be aware that they will use it.

Pure communism is an absurdity, a pipe dream.People will always consume all that they are allowed and produce as little as they are allowed. That is what forces all communistic societies to be totalitarian. North Korea is a wonderful example.

[/quote]

Well put. I agree with you 100%.
As somebody who comes from an ex-communist country, I can tell you its evils haunt people still today after more than 20 years after its fall. (at least in Europe)It is like a cancer in the minds of people that produces hate specially towards religion and Christianity in general an Catholicism in particular. And the combination of communism and secularism which is spreading so quickly nowadays is devastating.

K.


#10

"Thou shalt not steal" and "thou shalt not covet" necessarily imply the right to own property. The government does not have the authority to abolish this right, therefore, Communism cannot be imposed on any one unwilling person.

That being said, persons may freely choose to live in such a community.


#11

[quote="Genesis315, post:10, topic:313107"]

That being said, persons may freely choose to live in such a community.

[/quote]

Yes, in theory.


#12

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.