Virtual Voices

The hidden gospel of socialism

Religion

Little do my socialist friends know, but "The Internationale," the worldwide anthem to communism written (of course) in France and popularized by the Soviet Union, is really about worshipping Christ. I mean, look at the first two lines:

"Stand up, damned of the earth / Stand up, prisoners of starvation."

All of us are damned without Christ, you see, and all starving for the Word as well as the Body and Blood of the Eucharist. How hypocritical, then, of socialists who fail to heed the calling of their founders when they try to live without God.

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And consider the first two lines of the second stanza:

"There are no supreme saviors / Neither God, nor Caesar, nor tribune."

What that means, of course, is that the Trinity doesn't include mortal rulers, but the Triune Godhead of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, co-equal in majesty and power. Clarifying the essence of the Trinity was always important to socialists, even if their modern-day counterparts don't understand this.

The rest of this hymn to God is filled with a calling to spiritual discipline ("So that the spirit be pulled from its prison / Let us fan the forge ourselves"), peace ("Let the armies go on strike"), and the eventual return of Christ ("The sun will shine forever"). What a pity, then, that today's socialists don't revere God the way they should, getting caught up instead in worrying over who will get what portion of the economic pie. That was never what socialism was about.

Now, will someone please send the foregoing to self-appointed voices for Christianity on the left, who are fond of yanking Bible verses from their scriptural and traditional contexts, and forcing them into service of an economic vision that was about as important to Christ as what brand of sandal He wore? Whether it's Jim Wallis, declaring that the Occupy Wall Street protestors are carrying forward "Gospel issues," or Jeremy John, explaining that the Occupiers are battling "Christ's ancient foe, the love of profit above the needs of people," they're engaged in a word game that is no less silly than combing through "The Internationale" to prove it's really a faith document.

In other words, if socialist Christians could start treating the Bible with as much respect and integrity as they would treat texts written by the misguided apostles of their true, underlying faith, we'd all be better off.

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