1. Communism and Religion Can’t Coexist, Marx’s line about the ‘opium of the people’ only hints at the ideology’s hostility.

By Marion Smith, The Wall Street Journal, August 30, 2019, Pg. A13, Houses of Worship

Bolivian President Evo Morales, when meeting Pope Francis a few years ago, presented the Holy Father with a crucifix mounted on a hammer and sickle. The stunt prompted a debate that never seems to go away, whether it takes place on the world stage or in obscure religious journals: Is there a religious case for communism?

No amount of hope or hermeneutic effort can cleanse communism’s record of blood—especially the blood of religious adherents. Every communist regime has sought to purge the faith of its people. An atheistic ideology, communism is not only irreligious but antireligious.

The communist hatred of faith is a feature, not a fault. Karl Marx said so himself.

Communist China is today’s worst offender. Since its founding, the People’s Republic of China has tried to control or eradicate every religion within its borders.

Most faiths call their adherents to look up past the things of this world. In communism, this world is all there is—a world of productivity and material goods, but nothing else. Thus the regimes that rule in its name seek to destroy the soul and deny any freedom of conscience. Faith, hope, charity and forbearance are dangerous ideas for a system that relies on fear and envy. And what is dangerous must be destroyed. To create the communist heaven on earth, the faithful must abandon their beliefs or endure a living hell.

Mr. Smith is executive director of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation in Washington.


2. Case of Bishop Hart shows role clericalism plays in abuse cover-up.

By Christopher White, Crux, August 30, 2019

[This is the final installment of Crux’s three-part investigative series into Bishop Joseph Hart, who could become the first U.S. bishop to face criminal prosecution for sexual abuse.] 

For years, clergy abuse survivors fought to have Bishop Joseph Hart’s name stripped from the building of St. Joseph’s Children’s Home in Torrington, Wyoming – a residence for troubled teenage boys known as the Hart’s Children Center.

They had been unsuccessful for over a decade, but after Bishop Steven Biegler arrived in the diocese and deemed two allegations against Hart as credible and substantiated, the name was finally removed in 2018 as a concrete sign that the diocese was acting on the information of abuse.

For Hart’s victims, who were teenage boys themselves when they claim to have been abused by the once beloved priest and bishop, the move was more than mere symbolism – it was a sign of hope that perhaps Hart could still face some form of earthly justice.


3. Democratic Party embraces nonreligious voters, criticizes ‘religious liberty’ in new resolution.

By Caleb Parke, Fox News, August 29, 2019

Despite overwhelming evangelical support for Trump in 2016, some 2020 Democrats are reaching out to religious voters; insight from Michael Wear, former faith adviser to President Obama.

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) passed a resolution Saturday praising the values of “religiously unaffiliated” Americans as the “largest religious group within the Democratic Party.”

The resolution, which was unanimously passed at the DNC’s summer meeting on Aug. 24 in San Francisco, Calif., was championed by the Secular Coalition of America, an organization that lobbies on behalf of atheists, agnostics, and humanists on public policy. The group celebrated the DNC’s move as the first time a major party “embraced American nonbelievers.”

The Freedom From Religion Foundation’s co-president, Annie Laurie Gaylor, called the resolution a “political landmark” that is “long overdue.”


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