Communism a False Religion
In his discourse “Political Creed and Character,” Dr. Robert Lindner discussed the reason why communism appeals to many people: “Every prerequisite for institutionalization as a religion—a secularized religion, it is true, yet still a religion—is present in communism. Almost from the moment of its conception it has borne the hallmarks of a system of faith and worship. To its slightest details it satisfies the necessary conditions for a commanding theological system, thus lending itself effortlessly to the deepest motives of men. The parallels between the biography of Marxism and that of any great religion are inescapable. Portents and a time of troubles—of wars, bloodshed, suffering and unrest—nourished the soil that was to become the seed-bed for a new faith. An outrider and prophet . . . appeared in the form of a generation of preachers finally embodied in the person of the German philosopher Hegel. Following him, there arrived the bearer of the Word, the messiah, Karl Marx. His deification requires no documenting. . . .
“Nor is this all that establishes the true nature of communism to be a religion in fact. Together with all other theologies, it possesses an eschatology embracing judgment and a vision of last things—the green pastures of a proletarian heaven when the state finally withers away and a classless society of joyful equals obtains, and the blackhell of social coventry to the remotest generations for the unregenerate. A hagiography, too, it can count among its attributes: what amounts, in effect, to a Calendar of Saints and a roll of canonized martyrs is an intrinsic part of its devotional appeal. An assertive body of dogma embedded in sanctified texts inscribed with the ineffable Word, a hierarchy of priests and functionaries entrusted with ceremonial rituals and protocols, a set of mysteries and initiatory rites—these, and more, eloquently complete the picture and proclaim what has been disguised as a social and political system to be, in actuality, a full-panoplied, bona fide religion. To recognize this real nature of communism and to see its point-for-point correspondences with every great theological system of which we have any knowledge is to begin to solve the mystery of its magnetism for all men, especially for those without a faith, those who suffer from the unfulfillment of this deep need. . . . We should not wonder at the success of communism, for so much of its success is rather that of religion.”—Must You Conform?