My mother, Marilyn Mazziotti Moran, lived, ate, and breathed politics. Not politics for the sport of the game, but politics focused on repairing the worm damage to the foundations of America. The election of Ronald Reagan in 1980 offered her the hope that not only could the assault on Constitutional principles be stopped, but that President Reagan could reverse the trend toward the complete subversion of our founding principles. It was a brief moment in time and in December 1988, just after the election of George H.W. Bush, my mother passed away. At least in the years before she died, she was blessed by the knowledge that the man she had touted for decades as a great American patriot, was her President and champion for American democracy against the Soviet Union.
When she died she left behind a file cabinet full of political material that she referred to constantly whether she was writing letters, campaign material, or preparing for a debate. I inherited those papers, but after several years I determined that the information had lost its significance. In stages I disposed of all books, papers, and pamphlets except for two small booklets which have sat on my shelves for about 18 years. Week after week (or less), I have dusted around these booklets as they lay apart from the books to keep from getting lost. The first is the Encyclical Letter of Pope Paul VI, Humanae Vitae or Of Human Life. Humanae Vitae is famous for its reinforcement of the Catholic Church’s teaching, on the regulation of birth. It sounds archaic to the modern ear, but there is a feast of food for thought in its 23 pages. The second booklet is The Encyclical Letter of Pope Pius XI, Divini Redemptorus (Divine Redeemer) on Atheistic Communism. It is only recently that I decided it was time I actually read the two Encyclicals since my mother, a non-practicing Catholic, thought they were worth keeping amongst her papers. I am sorry I waited till now to become acquainted with what is the wisdom of those elders who sit at the gates of the city.
I found the well thought out and comprehensive writing of Pope Pius XI to be most interesting. A Wikipedia biography of the Pontiff who led the Catholic Church from 1922 to 1939, gave me most of what I needed to know about the author of a treatise on Communism during the very era of its march toward dominion in Europe and Asia. What my mother and Pius XI knew was that there can be no peaceful co-existence between Communism and Christianity. The former cannot bear to share the stage with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Like Herod’s insecurity over the existence of another King of the Jews, the State is the only god and there will be no other gods before it. It will not tolerate Christianity and the freedom of spirit, mind, and body that flows from a personal relationship with the Creator through His Son who emptied Himself for us. So, while Christianity cannot have full expression under Communism, it is ironic that communism can be practiced within Christianity precisely because the conviction of Christ should and does inspire Christians to practice community according the principles of the Gospel. Community is therefore a legitimate outgrowth of Gospel living and is a natural expression within Christianity. However, Communism must always be imposed from the top down because it is an artificial faith in an artificial god. It is the religion of the control freak. Christianity blooms from the individual under the inspiration of the Spirit.
I propose to post several paragraphs at a time of Pope Pius XI’s encyclical for digestion, bite by bite. The first thought I had when reading it was, “There is nothing new under the sun.” Yet, I remember an issue of Moody Monthly Magazine from 20 some years ago titled, “New Age, Old Lie” and that is precisely what the world faces today – a new age founded on an old lie. Therefore, the lessons and warnings of Atheistic Communism are as pertinent today as they were on March 19th, 1937 when this encyclical was published. It may be unpopular to call today’s political spirit Atheistic Communism, but it truly is the old lie in the new age. See if you don’t agree after reading this 73 yr. old document.
The first chapter of Atheistic Communism is introductory in nature so I will begin with -
Chapter II: COMMUNISM IN THEORY AND PRACTICE – Doctrine.
8. The Communism of today, more emphatically than similar movements in the past, conceals in itself a false messianic idea. A pseudo-ideal of justice, of equality and fraternity in labor impregnates all its doctrine and activity with a deceptive mysticism, which communicates a zealous and contagious enthusiasm to the multitudes entrapped by delusive promises. This is especially true in an age like ours, when unusual misery has resulted from the unequal distribution of the goods of this world. This pseudo-ideal is even boastfully advanced as if it were responsible for a certain economic progress. As a matter of fact, when such progress is at all real, its true causes are quite different, as for instance the intensification of industrialism in countries which were formerly almost without it, the exploitation of immense natural resources, and the use of the most brutal methods to insure the achievement of gigantic projects with a minimum of expense.
Marxist Evolutionary Materialism
9. The doctrine of modern Communism, which is often concealed under the most seductive trappings, is in substance based on the principles of dialectical and historical materialism previously advocated by Marx, of which the theoricians of bolshevism claim to possess the only genuine interpretation. According to this doctrine there is in the world only one reality, matter, the blind forces of which evolve into plant, animal and man. Even human society is nothing but a phenomenon and form of matter, evolving in the same way. By a law of inexorable necessity and through a perpetual conflict of forces, matter moves towards the final synthesis of a classless society. In such a doctrine, as is evident, there is no room for the idea of God; there is no difference between matter and spirit, between soul and body; there is neither survival of the soul after death nor any hope in a future life. Insisting on the dialectical aspect of their materialism, the Communists claim that the conflict which carries the world towards its final synthesis can be accelerated by man. Hence they endeavor to sharpen the antagonisms which arise between the various classes of society. Thus the class struggle with its consequent violent hate and destruction takes on the aspects of a crusade for the progress of humanity. On the other hand, all other forces whatever, as long as they resist such systematic violence, must be annihilated as hostile to the human race.
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