Get PJ Media on your Apple

PJM Lifestyle

Jesus Was a Socialist: Soviet Liberation Mythology Invades the West

Khrushchev's Liberation Theology comes of age in the Putin Era.

by
Susan L.M. Goldberg

Bio

December 1, 2013 - 3:00 pm
Page 1 of 3  Next ->   View as Single Page

jesusliberationtheology

In his book Disinformation, Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa details Khrushchev’s plan to convert South Americans to communism through “the judicious manipulation of religion”:

“In 1968, the KGB was able to manueuver a group of leftist South American bishops into holding a conference in Medellin, Colombia. …The official task of the conference was to help eliminate poverty in Latin America. Its undeclared goal was to legitimize a KGB-created religious movement dubbed ‘liberation theology,’ the secret task of which was to incite Latin America’s poor to rebel against the ‘institutionalized violence of poverty’ generated by the United States. …The Medellin Conference did indeed endorse liberation theology, and the delegates recommended it to the World Council of Churches for official approval.” Having already “come under the control of Soviet foreign intelligence,” the WCC ”endorsed liberation theology and made it part of the WCC agenda.”

Liberation Theology, it would seem, was to be the perfect marriage of the intellectual and the religious classes. According to Reverend Robert A. Sirico, “The intellectual power of the liberation theology movement derived from its attempt to justify a traditionally atheistic Marxist movement within a framework that would appeal to religiously minded Latin Americans.” The Acton Institute founder details,

“The theology was not complicated. It combined Marxian economic doctrine with a misrendering and politicization of Christ’s moral injunctions to help the poor. In this respect, it was easily refuted through simple economic logic. The ‘structures of oppression’ that so outraged the liberation theologians were not capitalism but traditional mercantilist policies in which a government-connected elite used the state to inhibit free competition for land and capital and sought trade policies that would benefit large landholders at the expense of craftsmen and small farmers. The ‘liberation’ that these faith-based Marxist ideologues sought could only be found in the overthrow of mercantilist economics and the invigoration of a business economy that would spread economic opportunity and prosperity.

Uprooting the theological error was more complicated. Formal political and theological criticism came from the Catholic Church under Pope John Paul II. Having lived under the totalitarian socialism of both Nazism and communism, he saw the grave dangers that seemingly naïve misunderstandings of economics, combined with religious zeal, could pose for societies. He used his personal influence among Latin American bishops to weigh against the teaching of the liberation theologians, and he directly confronted leaders of Marxist political and ecclesiastical movements for their distortions of traditional Christian teaching. At issue, he said, was not only the danger that liberation theology would lend moral support to would-be totalitarians; he also rejected the attempt to thoroughly politicize Christ’s message on behalf of the poor.”

When Pope Benedict XVI, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, worked as the head of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith from 1981-2005, he enforced Pope John Paul II’s anti-Liberation Theology policy by speaking out against the ideology and sanctioning priests who supported the Marxist ideal. However, Pope Francis’s affirmed (ironically first appointed by Pope Benedict) prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, Archbishop Gerhard Muller, is not as wary of Liberation Theology as his predecessor. Then again, perhaps the new Pope isn’t, either.

Comments are closed.

All Comments   (20)
All Comments   (20)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
Popey, you're an absolute monarch so sell the trillion-dollar treasures in the Vatican, pay reparations, and follow Jesus,
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm not sure about Jesus. I mean, we've come a long way since the Roman Empire. In Jesus' day, the tax man used to be one of the poor person's worst enemies. Now he's the poor person's best friend. Jesus might actually approve of this development.

There's still a difference - spiritually, at least - between charity and taxes. And nobody loses his house, his land, his goods, his job, or his freedom because he neglects to pay his tithes. His taxes, on the other hand...
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Jesus couldn't have been idiotic enough to succumb to the wiles of socialism, the ideology of greed and power masquerading as social justice.

Wherever socialists have gained power, they have done nothing but spread poverty, have a look at wretched employment and growing dependency in America over the last 5 years.

"Utopia is not under the slightest obligation to produce results: its sole function is to allow its devotees to condemn what exists in the name of what does not."

~J.F. Revel, Last Exit to Utopia
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Tanstaafl02, I will seek to show you how one makes a socialist collectivist out of Jesus, or specifically out Matt 25 and "Love your neighbor". A former colleague of mine who supports avidly, indeed, religiously Obama's welfare-ism bases his support squarely on Matt 25 and sees those who oppose it as following the Devil, only he uses the name of Any Rand. Now to my explication:

The German eqivalent to "neighbor" is the "Nächster", i.e., the person "next" to you. Love is always on a one to one basis. One can say "I love my country", but it is not personal like "I love my new born child". I can say "I love the whole wide unverse", but that is secondary compared to the personal "I love that man who begged for something to eat". (Something I experience several times a month here in Germany. My mean temptation is to say to the hungry begger that it should go to a welfare office, that is Matt 25 love. I do not surrender to temptation.) Of course, one can strive to develop a "virtue" of being open to loving each and every person in the world as any single one of them enters into contact with me. But that is a disposition to act with love vis-à-vis any single person who enters your field of awareness as a "Nächster". My interpretation of love preached by Jesus is always primarily one-to-one with openness to each and every one (not "all", a collective term). At this point let me transform "love your 'neighbor'" as the person directly next to you into love your "neighbor" as an abstraction for collectivism.

I will repeat in abbreviation the argument of a big-wig Anglican prelate I once heard. It goes something like the following: << Jesus demanded that I love my neighbor. But who is my "neighbor", surely not just the guy NEXT door nor even all the people in my neighborhood (perhaps containing thousand of inhabitants). No, by neighbor is "everybody" or "all" people, the billions of people through out the entire world. (Note, please, that the "billions of people in the world" is an abstraction and contains billions of "Nächster", i.e., people potentially "next" to me in my individual actions re someone I love but totally unknown personally.) Well, if I love my "all"-neighbor, I must overlook or marginalize the one-to-one love in order to help this "all"-neighbor. The suffering of the my neighbor is really not just specific pains here and now, rather a function of "sinful" structures, e.g., capitalism. In this way sin is no longer personal, rather socio-economically collective. So, loving my neighbor means I must work to change socio-economic structures world-wide, not help on a one-to--one basis THIS person and then that person. The result is that the socio-economic structure is the direct object of my love, the individual being but a beneficiary of structural love. Love is thereby depersonalized. In other words, if I help the neighbor NEXT to me, I must support with help the structural cause of the suffering of the"all"-neighbor, i.e., of the entire world --> The result is that I care for no one in specific before I care for all in general. How to I apply care to "all in gereral"? Answer: state run welfare-ism. And that means collectivism over individual-to-individual care. >>

In accord with the line of argument just presented the clever (mis)interpreter of Scripture transforms fundamentally a direct love of individuals into a love of fundamentally changing structures of the collective. If you think about, private charity, if it blocks structural reform, must be blocked or reduced (a hint at Obama).

I do hope that I shed some lifght on the "wiles of socialism".
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Well, if I love my "all"-neighbor, I must overlook or marginalize the one-to-one love in order to help this "all"-neighbor. The suffering of the my neighbor is really not just specific pains here and now, rather a function of "sinful" structures, e.g., capitalism."

It is capitalism/free enterprise alone that has lifted both my immediate and my all neighbor out of poverty.

Your big-wig Anglican prelate is wrong. He could do with a dose of Milton Friedman who articulates that...in aiming for equality..."A&B decide what C shall do for D"...except that they take a little bit of commission along the way.

A very ugly and stultified society emerges when the self-serving re-distributionist designates himself the moneylender in the name of "morality".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMLjkt87ICo

45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Please read MY words, not your imaginations. I did not mention MY "big-wig" Anglecian prelate", rather one who argued a collectivistic interpretation of love your neighbor. At all points I was critical. I would not bother to respond to a doubtful interpretation of me, but you have per chance hit upon an interesting feature of capitalism. And that would be?

The prelate's version of "love your (all) neighbor" ends up depersonalizing my love for a depersonalized neighbor into a affirmation of mass collectivity, thereby transforming the neighbor into a welfare recipient. I reject this. But, the problem remains as what is to be done with the poverty and sufferings of millions, if not of billions of quite needy INDIVIDUALs who, one by one, if they came into contact with me would be a direct "neighbor"/"Nächster". But they are in the mases and, not possessing divine powers, I cannot love each one personally. Capitalism, as Ludwig von Mises contends, is but the economic extension of human action, action teleologically directed to relieving discomfort by bringing about a preferable state or consumer object. My dealings are based upon self-interest, i.e., what satisfies my self in my daily needs. And that is true for all others. In order to buy food in a grociery I do not need to know the owner, the workers, the farmers producing the food, the transporters, etc. etc. We work in a coordinated form where Matt 25 love is not necessary and, indeed, moralistically disturbs rational economic thought. Hence, the acting individual with acting individual with acting individual with acting individuals ad infinitum acts and interacts economically without needing a "I love all the world" attitude. I cannot love each person individually, partiuclarly if I do not know each person on this planet. However, I can enter into interchange, directly or way indirectly with everyone (buying Japanese goods or American goods here in Germany). An analysis of said mode of coordinated interaction was called by von Mises "methodological individualism".

I thank you for your, perhaps, misguided interpretation of me as it allowed me to point out an important aspect of capitalism.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
I didn't mean to identify you with the prelate in saying "your". I was fully aware you weren't endorsing him. I was just writing quickly.

I don't have as big a problem with any of this as you (appear) to. It is not a huge conundrum or dilemma for me, poverty.

In fact, some extremely wealthy people are grossly impoverished of spirit. Alternatively, for me or anyone to declare Joe Blow over there "needy" I consider an insult to Joe Blow.

You can lift yourself out of meager circumstances in America, which differentiates this country from other more class driven societies. (altho' democrats are constantly trying to change all that)

As for Matthew 25..."Love your neighbor...AS YOURSELF" covers all the bases for me and obviates any dilemma over the injunction.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Peace be between us! I have a friend that continaully pushes Matt 25 as a sludge hammer to condemn Republicans for not supporting Obamacare. He can no longer grasp the idea that "love" (sic) at a gun point for collective purposes is hardly one-to-one love. I suspect that has made me touchy on the subject.

Some wealthy people of poor of spirit. A heck of a lot of poor people too--I meet enough here in Germany. Perhaps we all are a bit poor in this respect. I am a bit touchy about condemning wealthy people as my son is super wealthy and I know no man who is so upright and engaged as he. When he, working with other wealthy business men and women, put out large sums of money they are personally involved in projects to help people become self-supporting. Obama is making that difficult.

45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
"He can no longer grasp the idea that "love" (sic) at a gun point for collective purposes is hardly one-to-one love."

Love at gun point is in fact destructive of natural caring and empathy just as forced or guilt driven charity is destructive of spontaneous giving.

The rampant hypocrisy of those who talk the talk but don't walk the walk (people who live very differently from the way they demand other people live, as in our so called political and religious élite) has turned me into an unrepentant :-) cynic.

Bravo to your son.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Good explanation. And "Structural Love" has the advantage of relieving the individual Christian of the necessity of dealing directly with individual poor people.

Let's face it: the conditions of poverty - and often the people who live in it - are not pleasant to middle- and upper-class Christians. Most of us don't like hugging lepers or bringing hot meals to ghetto-dwellers. Sure, we want to "help." We just don't want to "get involved."

The trouble is, the Christian gets absolutely no spiritual benefit from petitioning Caesar to confiscate rich people's wealth and redistribute it to the poor. Charity must be freely given, by choice. If it's taken by force - force of law or force of arms - it's not charity. If it's automatic - built into the structure so people don't have to think about it - it's not charity.

It's taxes. And I think Jesus had something to say about taxes.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
It should be noted that "Liberation Theology" formed the basis for Dr. James Cone's "Black Liberation Theology" created in the 60s as well.

Dr. Cone was also the mentor of Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Wright based his church and (Trinity United Church of Christ) on Black Liberation Theology.

Are we surprised?
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
I doubt that all too many know just how unpapel the current papal (sic) Franciscus (he often signs things without "Pope") is. Please check "Harvesting the Fruits of Vatican II" (or somethng similar), a blog by Louie Verrecchio. Read his numerous articles. Verrecchio contends convincingly that Pope Frank is indeed a "modernist", i.e., the embodiment of Vat II's intent to remake the Church as a pastoral organization and sideling outdated belief. Bishop Fellay, chief of the Pius Brotherhood, called Franciscus a "modernist", was challenged and answered with a series of astute articles proving his point (alas in German). In Germany there is an excellent website "Katholisches.info"; which has a couple of dozen penetrating articles revealing the deviant belief (if that is the word for Franciscus's emotional activism), one article, saying it all, bares the (translated) title "Franciscus, the Pope Who Got Rid of the Church -- the Revolution the Cardinals Wanted" in which sections from "Evangelii Glaudium" were quoted to highlight an insulting vocabulary addressed to those who think traditionally and that leave one convinced of a pope who sees himself as sort of a "collector of ideas" (he is askewing the magisterial office), thereby surrendering the magisterial function, specifically to local bishops not to be corrected. Here in Germany some Cardinals and Bishops cite "the Spirit of Francis" to sanction remarried Cahtolics at communion, the day after pill, and etc.. I advise turning to "Gloria.tv"; and to the section in English and read the reports of the Pope. One of which is the Pope's urging Catholics not to pay attendtion to the liturgy and, instead, rush out into the streets and get "bruised" and "dirty" with the people there--a odd missionary "doctrine" (sic) that invalidates implicitly monastery life. Oh, something new, according to to the ostentatious pope, Jesus did not get angry with the money changers, he just pretended to be so. I take it that the Pope's happy-go-lucky Catholicism cannot accept a fully "human" Jesus with human reactions and emotions. Given the number of times the pope puts down cognitive knowledge of the faith as just "apparent knowledge" for us "Neo-Pelagians" (SIC!), I am tentatively coming to the conclusion that the man is a doubter re his own personal faith, an intellectual doubt that he seeks to make up emotionally by rushing with frenzy into a flurry of activism, just hoping for the encounter with Jesus in a Penecostal-type experience. Finally a liberal Catholic sociolgist in England warned, under this Pope, the vew, the very few serious and Church going Catholics could defect. Give me back Pius X and send Francis I out to pasture.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thank you Prof. lw for the info. I wish I could read German!

And I'll have to remember "Pope Frank." Maybe he would like "Pope Frankie" even better.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
The blueprints for Marxian infiltration of the Catholic Church and destroying it from within, and by extension, Liberation Theology, can be traced back to Antonio Gramsci. He actually told the Soviets how to infiltrate the church and destroy it from within. There has to be some way to halt this, especially seeing how thanks to that, we can't even trust people to convert to Christianity now, especially if they are from a Marxist background.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
For decades now, a lot of influential clergy in Catholic and Protestant churches have been sympathetic to Marxism, if not outright Marxists. And a lot of clergy have believed in embracing our corrupt culture, rather than being a bulwark against it. With these sorts of strong influences, its no wonder that churches all over the place have been straying from the Gospel, and declining in numbers.

I think there will always be a small remnant of sincere Christians. Persecution is growing though around the world. Thankfully Christianity has grown stronger during past persecutions, but it won't be a barrel of laughs to live through what's coming. And currently we generally have very inadequate leaders throughout the churches to help us face persecution.

You're right, EJO1, that Gramsci has had a huge effect, not only in the churches but in our schools, colleges, entertainment, etc. It didn't require a Khruschev to ruin our churches. There have been plenty of useful idiots for many decades.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
And what's worse is that even Marx only continued the influence of Rousseau, who was, alongside Voltaire and Sade, responsible for the French Revolution.

At this point, probably the only way, the ONLY way Marxism, Rousseauism, and the like can be totally destroyed is if the entire planet and all of humanity is to be completely destroyed. Even the movements in Communist Poland ultimately failed, due to how much influence the Marxists have and Rousseauists have, heck, all of the Enlightenment. Having sat through multiple courses where teachers praised some bad things... and knowing Education exists solely because of Rousseau, showing just how depraved education truly is... It's better off that we were never created at all.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well, I still look forward to the next world. And I think people like Marx, Rousseau and their followers provide pretty good evidence that Satan exists and is very powerful. And as C. S. Lewis or someone like him said, this world is sort of a training ground for the next one. That helps me put some things in perspective, when I can remember it!
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Catholics need to wake up and see that Pope Francis is a modernist, with sympathy for left-wing "social justice." And Francis has shown that he has a very muddled understanding of what conscience is. He doesn't appear to be the brightest bulb in the clerical Christmas tree.

Vatican II modernism, "social justice" and homosexual clergy are ruining the Catholic Church, and Francis is, at best, no better than a useful idiot for these movements.

To give Francis and Putin their due, though, at least they didn't make the foolish argument that Democrats and Neocons made, of helping the opposition to Assad in Syria.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Because, of all the things Putin is, the one thing he's NOT is a fan of Islam.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes, in this age of Obama, Cameron and other leaders who dislike their own countries, its kind of striking to see this side of Putin.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
View All