To my fellow Christians and people of faith, an open letter from a Christian Socialist

When I drive my car, I see that people either have the Jesus fish on their car or the Darwin fish with legs. Well then, I must ask, why not both? An expression of the total acceptance of the Darwin fish, that all humans evolved from an ape-like ancestor, and, at the same time, the acceptance of the Jesus fish because religion and science are not mutually exclusive insofar as one does not subjugate reason to faith. Why, WHY must you object to the subjugation of your faith to reason?
 
I tell a grim warning, that our religion will die out in a few generations if you refuse to accept rudimentary, basic, undeniable scientific fact. It will die out completely if you cling to your outdated myths. It will die out completely if you cling to literalist interpretations of creation which are, in actuality, and because of their fundamentalist interpretation, illusions. Let’s not beat around the bush here, to think the earth is 6000 years old is an illusion, a fog of scientific denial and ignorance of material reality.
 
If your God is but an ever-receding pocket of scientific ignorance, and not the totality of the scientific endeavor, the force that set all matter into motion, then in 500 years or perhaps even less we will have disproven your foolish notion of ‘God’ and along with it all faiths that refuse to accept scientific fact will go into the dustbin of history.
 
Even more problematic is those that use my faith, and religion generally, to tell the oppressed and exploited people of the earth to work hard, accept their oppressive conditions, to be pacifists and refuse to change their conditions here on earth in hope of a better life after death! What mockery of the Christian legacy is that? No! True Christianity is an emancipatory doctrine firmly rooted in the principle that the meek shall inherit the earth, it is an emancipatory doctrine of liberation! Both liberation in the spiritual sense and thereby, necessarily, of those in this life here on this earth from poverty, oppression, and exploitation everywhere!
 
It is absolutely, positively, and irrevocably incompatible with capitalism, feudalism, and all class society, as well as all forms of systematic oppression and exploitation beyond their historical necessity. And it is against capitalism even more so than feudalism because of its foundations in the sins of greed, gluttony, and pride. It is not to be used as a tool to numb the pain of those who are oppressed but to rouse them up in an open and unrestrained fight against the oppressors and exploiters of the earth!
 
To promote Christianity is one thing, but the realization of the impossibility of secular Judeo-Christian ethics being the foundation of our social structure is another. As Christian Socialist James Connolly said, “We know that Christianity teaches us to love our neighbor as ourselves, but we also know that if a capitalist attempted to run his business upon that plan his relatives would have no difficulty in getting lawyers, judges and physicians to declare him incompetent to conduct his affairs in the business world… Personally I am opposed to any system wherein the capitalist is more powerful than God Almighty. You need not serve God unless you like, and may refuse to serve him and grow fat, prosperous and universally respected. But if you refuse to serve the capitalist your doom is sealed; misery and poverty and public odium await you. No worker is compelled to enter a church and to serve God; every worker is compelled to enter the employment of a capitalist and serve him. As Socialists we are concerned to free mankind from the servitude forced upon them as a necessity of their life; we propose to allow the question of all kinds of service voluntarily rendered to be settled by the emancipated human race of the future.”
Even to you self-proclaimed pacifists, when you assert that your religion, your church should be embodied in, officialized and have power over the state do you not realize what you are doing? The state is that organ in a given society that has a sole, absolute, and legitimate monopoly on violence. It is an inherently repressive institution whereby one class subjugates another by the police, the army, the courts, etc. In other words, by the barrel of a gun. What Christian, in their right mind could claim to be a pacifist and support anything but strict state secularism? And even those like me who are not pacifists, you cannot in your right mind support the state in capitalist society, a tool used to hold down the oppressed and not the oppressors. A tool used solely to keep the poor and bondage by enforcing and prolonging their exploitation.
 
What else is there to say? I admit wholeheartedly that the atheist’s criticism of religion is correct up to and excluding the point where it dictates the necessity of atheism. Take a look in the mirror, when I read the works of Karl Marx on issues such as religion, I, a religious person, find myself agreeing with him. What does that say about our faith? That it was Marx, a brilliant man no doubt, but an atheist, who first discovered and unveiled the laws that dominate human society and the capitalist economy at large? It was Marx, not a man of God, who correctly discovered such things. What does that say about us? Take a look in the mirror damn it! If you truly care about your faith, subjugate it to reason and scrutiny. Reject any and all literalist interpretations, especially those of creation, and stop using it as a tool to keep the oppressed and exploited people’s of the earth in bondage! Turn all organized religion upsidedown from a tool of the oppressor to a tool of the oppressed. You think religion is powerless and pacifistic, but in reality, it is a weapon. For centuries it has been used to hold down the oppressed. Now let it be used to encourage the oppressed to hold down the oppressors until the systematic exploitation of man by man is no more! What more can I say?

To Be Born Is Arguably The Worst Injustice, Consent and Existentialism, Psychoanalysis and Parenting

To be born is arguably the worst injustice, one cannot consent to being thrust into existence, for to say “I consent” implies that there is an I, that existence is already attained. It is to be, in the inverted sense, raped by mother nature, a one in a trillion rape, a one in a trillion, horrific injustice. And of course, we are wired to consent after the fact, after we already exist. “I don’t want to die” is the norm thanks to natural selection, and I say that not cynically. I say that as someone who has had depression in the past. In absolutely no way do I defend or support social Darwinism, but natural selection as opposed to human selection has hitherto been responsible for shaping our instincts and minds from birth, not to say that they are not largely malleable by the material conditions and society this mind finds itself in, but that the general trend has been a desire to live and survive, the most deeply rooted instincts.

This is also not an argument against procreation. Yes, we should have fewer babies because of overpopulation, but by all means, have children if you so will. Just know that it is as you will, or the material conditions you find yourself in (i.e. sex, rape, moral stance against abortion or contraception, etc.) and not a non-existent other, not according to the will of the thing you are going to thrust into the world without its consent. But there is a silver lining, being a good parent helps to atone for this injustice, in fac, if you are responsible for creating this thing then it is you alone, with (hopefully) the obligation of the other, that can, and therefore must do to atone for this injustice. 

Perhaps this can explain the paternal/ maternal instinct. “My god I have brought this innocent thing into the world, It’s so helpless.” And then in the subconscious, “It couldn’t even consent to being thrust into existence, I have to give it a happy life and be a good parent to make up for this”, even though it is in most every regard a most happy moment. I think this may be a valid form of subconscious moral reasoning. In essence, you do not choose to exist, someone and something else did. To be born, to exist against your will is in the absolute sense, injustice. But this is an absolutely necessary, and permanent injustice. Not in the sense that immorality, oppression, and exploitation are unjust, but in another, wholly existential and absolute form.

Reforms, Icons and Liberty

Without more unions, without a militant, politically independent and class-conscious working class, any gains in regards to healthcare, pay, and other necessary reforms will be attacked with the utmost scrutiny by the ruling class. The bourgeoisie will declare such reforms a failure despite its successes, horrendously attack it and look only at its faults. It will undo such progress, privatize, and fool the masses into loving the fact that they are essentially being robbed. 
Reforms can come in our current society only by the ruling class, particularly by the liberal bourgeoisie, making concessions to the workers who threaten independence from the two party system. Political movements are de-radicalized by the democrats and turned into a reluctant concession out of fear at best, or totally destroyed by the henchmen of the bourgeoisie at worst. 
Political radicals and leaders who were persecuted by the ruling class in life are canonized, turned into harmless icons and stripped of their radical message by that same ruling class after death. By owning the mainstream media, which are in essence for-profit institutions, the ruling class shapes public opinion. It scorns reform, and fools the masses into hating that while benefits the overwhelming majority of society and embracing that which only benefits the top 1%. 

“Freedom of press” is our slogan too, but their “freedom of press” is subject to the domination of those with capital, those who own the earth, and those who wish to continue and defend this exploitative system, giving the opposition not an ounce of real criticism. 

Democracy at work, along with the grand notions of equality that founded the liberal republics are shaken off and dismissed as ‘socialism’. So long as capital rules, so long as the leftover surplus produced by 100,000 is dictatorially owned by, and given to a tiny minority consisting of 10-20 people in board rooms, so long as there are oppressor classes and private property, slogans of “democracy, equality, liberty” will be just that- slogans. 

Tell me, what liberty is enjoyed by the homeless person, the unemployed, by those who toil 50 hours a week and still live in hunger and poverty, who live in constant fear of losing their job, their home, their food. What liberty is that? True liberty can only exist where there is no systematic exploitation of one person over another, where there is no unemployment, homelessness or poverty. True liberty can only be attained not through formal declaration but by a fight against the oppressors and exploiters of the earth! 

True liberty can exist only in a socialist society, transforming formal declarations of the rights of man, of human rights, from mere formal recognitions and into material reality. True liberty can only exist where there is no state, where there is no ruling class. Onward to socialism!

Why does something exist instead of nothing? And what of God? A philosophical hypotheses 

The subjugation of the absolute is infinitely malleable, though it appears the exact opposite, and often is for human affairs. To bring the absolute under scientific laws which are to us, constant, implies that the laws themselves are the absolute. Yet we know that our universe has a beginning, therefore the absolute we can say is subjugated to the conditions it finds itself in. 

We find everywhere, in the smallest and most finite spaces that there exists infinite finite infinities. Can we say that the all, the universe, the sum of the whole is in fact the absolute? We can indeed, however what we find is the absolute here, we also find to be the absolute there. The absolute is the infinite sum of all possible infinities, it is unfathomable but to the infinite creator (assuming it is a conscious force). 

In theoretical physics, though I do not claim to be any sort of expert in the field by any means whatsoever, we find what we know as virtual particles. Spontaneous particles with an equal and opposite anti-particle come into being and annihilate with one another. Mathematically we can say that +1 and -1 come into being simultaneously and then collide, becoming 0. This is a sort of eternal dialectical process going on all around us, like popcorn (with the exception of Hawking radiation in which one of these particles falls into a blackhole and the other escapes). 

Matter cannot be created or destroyed, yet we know that matter can spontaneously come into being so long as its absolute opposite accompanies its creation. Is it absurd to suggest that, perhaps what happens on the smallest scale so too happens on the largest? That the universe has an equal, opposite counterpart? This could in fact answer the question of “why does something exist instead of nothing?” For in actuality nothing does exist. All we know is a value of -1, and somewhere outside of our reality is an equal but opposite +1. 

Therefore everything adds together into nothing. If then there is a God, an infinite being, than in its infinite power it would forever and irrevocably put up a barrier between itself and its opposite. Therefore God could exist forever, and could have always existed. God, coming into being in the same way I speculate the universe coming into being, a force that is of the substance of spontaneous creation and therefore the creator of itself, the master of mathematics and all of creation, in every possible form. Thus we can say that the subjugation of the absolute is infinitely malleable.

Christianity and Socialism (With a section by James Connolly)

Jesus said that it is easier for a camel to enter into the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. This is absolute, there are no exceptions. You cannot be a kind exploiter or a generous thief. It is one or the other. There is some room for a gray area for the moral, but ineptitude is the state of the moral capitalist. If a capitalist set up his business in a way that attempted to please God he would at once be found insane and made a joke of by his business rivals. It is impossible for such a man to exist. Exploitation is exploitation. There is no generous exploitation, no just injustice. This is absolute. This is not to say people cannot change. For they certainly can, such is the foundation of Christianity. But to continually exploit the poor for personal profit and to serve God at the same time is impossible. This is inseparable from the Christian faith. Christ spoke more of material wealth and greed than anything else. Christianity is supposed to be the religion of the exploited and oppressed, not the exploiter and the oppressor. Let’s take it back to its roots, a religion of radical emancipation of the poor and oppressed.

James Connolly outlines this general sentiment quite well in his work Socialism Made Easy. He does a much better job explaining the necessity of socialism to the Christian faith than I. I have included his section on Religion below:

BUT SOCIALISM IS AGAINST RELIGION. I CAN’T BE A SOCIALIST AND BE A CHRISTIAN.

O, quit your fooling! That talk is all right for those who know nothing of the relations between capital and labor, or are innocent of any knowledge of the processes of modern industry, or imagine that men, in their daily struggles for bread or fortunes, are governed by the Sermon on the Mount.

But between workingmen that talk is absurd. We know that Socialism bears upon our daily life in the workshop, and that religion does not; we know that the man who never set foot in a church in his lifetime will, if he is rich, be more honored by Christian society than the poor man who goes to church every Sunday, and says his prayers morning and evening; we know that the capitalists of all religions pay more for the service of a good lawyer to keep them out of the clutches of the law than for the services of a good priest to keep them out of the clutches of the devil; and we never heard of a capitalist, who, in his business, respected the Sermon on the Mount as much as he did the decisions of the Supreme Court.

These things we know. We also know that neither capitalist nor worker can practice the moral precepts of religion, and without its moral precepts a religion is simply a sham. If a religion cannot enforce its moral teachings upon its votaries it has as little relation to actual life as the pre-election promises of a politician have to legislation.

We know that Christianity teaches us to love our neighbor as ourselves, but we also know that if a capitalist attempted to run his business upon that plan his relatives would have no difficulty in getting lawyers, judges and physicians to declare him incompetent to conduct his affairs in the business world.

He would not be half as certain of reaching Heaven in the next world as he would be of getting into the ‘bughouse’ in this.

And, as for the worker. Well, in the fall of 1908, the New York World printed an advertisement for a teamster in Brooklyn, wages to be $12 per week. Over 700 applicants responded. Now, could each of these men love their neighbors in that line of hungry competitors for that pitiful wage?

As each man stood in line in that awful parade of misery could he pray for his neighbor to get the job, and could he be expected to follow up his prayer by giving up his chance, and so making certain the prolongation of the misery of his wife and little ones?

No, my friend, Socialism is a bread and butter question. It is a question of the stomach; it is going to be settled in the factories, mines and ballot boxes of this country and is not going to be settled at the altar or in the church.

This is what our well-fed friends call a ‘base, material standpoint’, but remember that beauty, and genius and art and poetry and all the finer efflorescences of the higher nature of man can only be realized in all their completeness upon the material basis of a healthy body, that not only an army but the whole human race marches upon its stomach, and then you will grasp the full wisdom of our position.

That the question to be settled by Socialism is the effect of private ownership of the means of production upon the well-being of the race; that we are determined to have a straight fight upon the question between those who believe that such private ownership is destructive of human well-being and those who believe it to be beneficial, that as men of all religions and of none are in the ranks of the capitalists, and men of all religions and of none are on the side of the workers the attempt to make religion an issue in the question is an intrusion, an impertinence and an absurdity.

Personally I am opposed to any system wherein the capitalist is more powerful than God Almighty. You need not serve God unless you like, and may refuse to serve him and grow fat, prosperous and universally respected. But if you refuse to serve the capitalist your doom is sealed; misery and poverty and public odium await you.

No worker is compelled to enter a church and to serve God; every worker is compelled to enter the employment of a capitalist and serve him.

As Socialists we are concerned to free mankind from the servitude forced upon them as a necessity of their life; we propose to allow the question of all kinds of service voluntarily rendered to be settled by the emancipated human race of the future.

I do not deny that Socialists often leave the church. But why do they do so? Is their defection from the church a result of our attitude towards religion; or is it the result of the attitude of the church and its ministers toward Socialism?

Let us take a case in point, one of those cases that are being paralleled every day in our midst. An Irish Catholic joins the Socialist movement. He finds that as a rule the Socialist men and women are better educated than their fellows; he finds that they are immensely cleaner in speech and thought than are the adherents of capitalism in the same class; that they are devoted husbands and loyal wives, loving and cheerful fathers and mothers, skilful and industrious workers in the shops and office, and that although poor and needy as a rule, yet that they continually bleed themselves to support their cause, and give up for Socialism what many others spend in the saloon.

He finds that a drunken Socialist is as rare as a white black-bird, and that a Socialist of criminal tendencies is such a rara avis that when one is found the public press heralds it forth as a great discovery.

Democratic and republican jailbirds are so common that the public press do not regard their existence as ‘news’ to anybody, nor yet does the public press think it necessary to say that certain criminals belong to the Protestant or Catholic religions. That is nothing unusual, and therefore not worth printing. But a criminal Socialist – that would be news indeed!

Our Irish Catholic Socialist gradually begins to notice these things. He looks around and he finds the press full of reports of crimes, murders, robberies, bank swindlers, forgeries, debauches, gambling transactions, and midnight orgies in which the most revolting indecencies are perpetrated. He investigates and he discovers that the perpetrators of these crimes were respectable capitalists, pillars of society, and red-hot enemies of Socialism, and that the dives in which the highest and the lowest meet together in a saturnalia of vice contribute a large proportion of the campaign funds of the capitalist political parties.

Some Sunday he goes to Mass as usual, and he finds that at Gospel the priest launches out into a political speech and tells the congregation that the honest, self-sacrificing, industrious, clean men and women, whom he calls ‘comrades,’ are a wicked, impious, dissolute sect, desiring to destroy the home, to distribute the earnings of the provident among the idle and lazy of the world, and reveling in all sorts of impure thoughts about women.

And as this Irish Catholic Socialist listens to this foul libel, what wonder if the hot blood of anger rushes to his face, and he begins to believe that the temple of God has itself been sold to the all desecrating grasp of the capitalist?

While he is yet wondering what to think of the matter, he hears that his immortal soul will be lost if he fails to vote for capitalism, and he reflects that if he lined up with the brothel keepers, gambling house proprietors, race track swindlers, and white slave traders to vote the capitalist ticket, this same priest would tell him he was a good Catholic and loyal son of the church.

At such a juncture the Irish Catholic Socialist often rises up, goes out of the church and wipes its dust off his feet forever. Then we are told that Socialism took him away from the church. But did it? Was it not rather the horrible spectacle of a priest of God standing up in the Holy Presence lying about and slandering honest men and women, and helping to support political parties whose campaign fund in every large city represents more bestiality than ever Sodom and Gomorrah knew?

These are the things that drive Socialists from the church, and the responsibility for every soul so lost lies upon those slanderers and not upon the Socialist movement.

For more Connolly check out: Marxist.net (CWI source)

Also, there is a section on Marxists.org