We need bravery connected to reflection.
We need more people who are willing to think about the issues and act differently. I applaud Coonrod for standing up for what he believes to be right and true. He does not believe that Marxism and his Christianity can exist together.
In my opinion, today’s American society feels like this image. Just like this rope, American society is made up of many strands that lie interwoven, twisted together, to form a strong whole. When the whole is cohesive it is not as easy to notice the parts. With today’s rift in the American social climate the strands are showing.
I have always been opposed to communism and Marxism because of its atheistic tenets.I was surprised when the Black Lives Matter (BLM) organization said it held Marxist ideology.
I wondered what BLM have to do with atheistic communism and why they thought the ideology of Marx was a good fit for their movement to bring social equality to Black Lives?
Then I saw this at Catholic Culture.org: The workman, according to Marx, creates more value than he is paid for, and this surplus value goes to the employer, who exploits the worker to the extent. The employer puts this surplus value back into his business, and this constitutes capital. The lower the wages, the more capital for the capitalist.
Have you found, that on the whole, working people are not fairly compensated for their work done in today’s market? The pandemic has exposed that Latinx and African-Americans are disproportionately those who have working jobs that cannot be done at home. Where are the labor unions to push for their worker’s rights and compensation? I see big transnational businesses have been able to restrain the organizing power of Labor Unions. Since I believe that the worker is getting short shrift, I can agree with the tenet of Marx that the worker creates more value than he is paid for and I think there is injustice here. [Feel free to disagree.]
When Coonrod says Marxism, and therefore Black Lives Matter and Christianity are incompatible, I wonder if that is too simplistic of a connection? If Black Lives Matter is using the Marxist idea that there is a class struggle and the workers lose, I can go along with that. because in Catholic circles, protection of the working man and working class are a key element of Catholic Social Teaching . Protection of workers by the Church began in earnest with the encyclical “On Labor and Capital” or Rerum Novarum by Leo XIII back in 1891.
If Coonrod is basing his stance against BLM because Communism is associated with a persecution of religion and Marx also did not believe in religion…this is where I’m going to dig deeper.
Pulling apart the strands in this frayed rope, I believe there is a common misperception that Marxism is equal to Communism.The Catholic Culture article even concludes with this statement: The classic position of the Catholic Church on Marxism is the encyclical of Pope Pius XI, Divini Redemptoris, published in 1937.
Divini Redemptoris is written to oppose to atheistic Communism as expressed in the Soviet Union. Marx is mentioned once: 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 theoreticians of bolshevism claim to possess the only genuine interpretation.(paragraph 9). If I wrote the Catholic Culture.org article I would not have summed up Divini Redemptoris as contrary to Marx. I would have used the words of Pope Pius as he explains the encyclical. Divini Redemptoris is written to oppose Bolshevistic Atheistic Communism.
Can I really split hairs like this? Bolshevik atheistic communism is different from pure Marxism?
I think I can. I want to make my site a place for extended conversation on the difficult topics of the day. Take more time to ponder what is going on and why. If you have come this far, stay a little longer and ponder with me.
God, family, and country, in that order, is grouped together as one part of the belief system of America. Historically, America has been predominately Christian. It is easy when you grow up Christian to assume beliefs associated with your patriotism necessarily are connected to your Christian religious beliefs. For a very long time in America, the three were perceived as one. Although, most Christian Americans have lived both belief strands at the same time, American beliefs derive from a different source than our Christian beliefs and consequently are different.
Our Chrisitan beliefs are rooted in the Gospel, the Word of God and the person of Jesus Christ. Our American beliefs are from our Constitution, the development of law, and our shared history. We can go back over our personal history and find places where we wished we had done better. We can look over our American history and see where we could do better. We can’t look over Christ’s history and wonder what He could have done better. Christianity will develop and grow but can’t change.
Catholics understand this idea as the Deposit of Faith. What it means to be American can develop and grow but it is also susceptible to real change. The United States of America does not have a deposit of faith.
I thank Coonrod for his bravery. His actions caused me to think deeper. From my reflection on history and theory, I don’t think the Black Lives Matter message can be dismissed solely based on labelling it Marxist.
For a historical review of Bolshevistic Communism take a look at Anne Applebaum’s Washington Post article where she builds the problem with Bolshevistic Communism as the consolidation of power away from the people and into the hands of a few elite and privileged rulers.I believe the Black Lives Matter movement is closer to fighting Bolshevistic Communism than it is promoting Bolshevistic Communism. I look forward to engaging further on this topic.