As we have lately seen American heroes being torn from their pedestals, have watched the rioting, looting, and destruction in the streets, and have witnessed the call for anarchy from a relative few result in the disarming of our police, there is an uncomfortable heaviness that has fallen upon many, a sense of hopelessness, a realization that there seems little we can do to right the wrongs. In one sense that is true—there is little we can do. Marxist and Communist ideals have been embraced by the politicians and by the populace for a long time, and it is the culminating of those ideals that we are seeing played out today on the American stage. But if there is yet a little we can do, let us at least do that. Let our legacy as individuals and as families be that while all Hell moved to destroy our nation, our people, and our founding principles, there were a few godly men, women, and children who cared enough to stand, to intercede, to be willing to lay down their lives in trying to restore morality and liberty for their posterity (for of course, one cannot have liberty without morality—that has become self-evident at this point in our history).
Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction.
The place that we have the most power to change anything and to influence those around us is in our own lives and the lives of our families, our neighbors, and our friends. Let us begin, then, where we can actually make some progress. Let us begin by taking a long look in the mirror. Where do I find Marxism and Communism in my life, in my home, in my community? Don’t be tempted to believe that you won’t find it there, friend. It’s there. We are the people. If it wasn’t in our hearts and in our lives, it wouldn’t be the strong force that it is in America today. It is real, it is there, and it must be rooted out.
How do I identify it? How do I know what I need to change?
I think for many of us, “Communism” and “Marxism” are vague ideologies. We might know that they are wrong and sound un-American, but we don’t really know how to define them. Because we cannot define them, we cannot identify their tenets either. And if we cannot identify something, we do not know when it has become part and parcel of our own thinking. Karl Marx, the Father of Communism, laid out “ten planks of Communism” in his book The Communist Manifesto. There are many articles online which list the ten planks with examples of how we have implemented them in American society. I am not going to list all ten in this article but just point to a few areas where we are living as Communists and need to learn to live again as free men and women. What follows are summary points (in bold) from several of the basic tenets of Communism so that we may see how they are very much alive and well in America (including in our own communities) and that we need to get serious about “unplanking” them if we are going to reclaim our liberty and have anything left of our godly heritage to pass on to our children and our grandchildren.
1. Abolition of private property – There are at least three ways you can fight locally to re-establish private property rights. The first is to retain control of your own property and its management and refuse to try to control your neighbor’s property. In other words, let’s rethink all those building permits, zoning laws, sundry permissions, setbacks, and other forms of top-down control that keep a man from doing as he sees fit with his own land. Oh, I know, our minds will immediately jump to “Yes, but if we don’t do such and such to make sure he uses the land rightly, he could use it wrongly! Why, what if he ________?” Well, what if he does? Whose property is it? Yours or his? Who paid for it? Under whose charge did God give it? And if he uses his property wickedly, do we not already have sufficient laws on the books to combat his folly? If you are honest, you will see right off with this first point that you have been trained to think like a Communist. You have been trained to see your neighbor as the problem rather than totalitarianism as the problem. Liberty is a scary proposition, friend. Just realize that you cannot have your liberty if you will not allow your neighbor his.
A second way to combat the abolition of private property is to fight the land tax. The time to pay for the land is when we purchase it. If the town can take our property someday, then we do not own it; we rent it. Of course, taxes must be raised for necessary expenses in a community, but they should not be based on what we have in our possession, what we have been entrusted with and are attempting to steward, but rather should be equal among the people. You can see the class warfare bred in this line of “progressive tax” thinking—they have more; they should pay more! I must ask you, why? Do they get more services? If you go to the grocery store with five dollars in your wallet, should you pay more for your quart of milk than a shopper who comes in with only three dollars in his? The apportionment of a head tax rather than a property or income-based tax means that everybody pays equally for the services available to them—and the fact that everyone would be required to pay an equal portion would keep taxes low enough for the poorest to afford. That would mean drastic tax cuts, you say? Many lost services? So be it. Let the people decide how many services they want by how much they are all willing to pay. Why should those who are paying less (by far the majority) decide for those who are paying more? Marxism rears its ugly head again!
Of course, in order to bring taxes to a level that everyone can afford, services need to be stripped back to those which are essential (think of things that are life-sustaining but virtually impossible for households to afford individually—ambulance and fire service, for example, or the construction of the roads and bridges they travel on). Thomas Jefferson said, “To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.” There are many philosophies taught at our local public school which run completely counter to Christianity, yet we receive a bill every year for land taxes—seventy-three percent of which goes directly to funding the local school. We can pay it, or we can ultimately lose our property—even though the school is using our dollars to teach a worldview contrary to our own. That’s tyranny. So a third thing we can do to fight the abolition of private property is to question all local expenditures and stop believing the lie that the public school system is necessary in order for the children in the community to obtain a good education. We were a more literate people once, and we were a thinking people. Public education has led us far from where we once were even with such promises as “no child left behind.” For those who cannot afford private schooling or who cannot home educate, I think we would find an abundance of community members with generous hearts who would gladly give of their own time to act as tutors or who would give out of their own wallets for truly needy children to receive scholarships. The difference is large—if I am giving by choice from my own wallet, I have a measure of control over the type of education being purchased and its ultimate success. But if the money is taken from me in taxation, I have no check against its being misused. In one fell swoop, I am stripped of my money and my voice.
2. A heavy progressive/graduated income tax – While we see this at the local level as the land tax, we see it at the state and national levels as the income tax. The same arguments apply here as in the point above. If I make $50,000 a year, I should be paying the same tax as someone making $75,000 a year or $150,000 a year. Why? Because that’s what is fair and just. The person making $75,000 does not receive more services for paying a larger share of the tax burden. Obviously we need to fight this at local, state, and national levels politically, but I would submit to you that first we need to fight and win this bloody battle in our very hearts. The only possible reason that I could want someone else to have to pay more taxes than I do would be greed. I want something my neighbor has. I don’t truly believe he has a right to steward or to enjoy what God has given him. I want “my share” of his stuff, and I want it now. (While we’re right on it—why should income be taxed at all? The Scriptures say the laborer is worthy of his hire. Did you know that personal incomes weren’t taxed in America until the early days of the Civil War?)
But what about those who are poor? What about the widow? What about the lonely? What about the “disenfranchised”? Don’t we need all these social programs to care for them? God has a plan for the poor, the downtrodden, the burdened, and the distressed. His plan is for the individual, the family, and the church to reach out and help them in the name of Jesus Christ. His plan is not that what He has given us be taken by the heavy hand of the government and redistributed without accountability but that individuals across this land would see the needs they believe God would have them to meet and have the means to meet them. We still have the responsibility as Christians to meet legitimate needs, by the way—the theft that is being perpetrated upon us does not relieve us of our duties before God—but it isn’t as easy as God meant it to be because we have allowed our wealth (our resources) to be eaten up by an ever-growing socialistic system whose ultimate aim is notto care for people but to control them.
So while we are looking in the mirror, let us look long and hard and honestly at this important question: Am I receiving money in my bank account that is being taken from my hardworking neighbors or being borrowed against my children’s and grandchildren’s futures? Maybe if I am honest, I will see that I am. But maybe I won’t know what to do about it. The first thing to do about it is to be humble, to admit that you have been duped. You were raised in a Communist system, and you have been taken in a Communist trap. A trap? Yes, verily. For I daresay that even if you now realize the duping, you see no way out of the result of it. If you are a senior adult, be still. You paid into a rotten system for a lifetime. You believed the government would be there for you in your old age. We, your neighbors, understand that. I think most of us would be hesitant to take that from you at this point. But, friend, you have children and grandchildren who are young enough to avoid being deceived by and taken in the system if you will only warn them. They may have to pay into the system (for now) as a “tax” so that they can keep out of jail, but they don’t ever have to apply to receive from the system. They can learn to save, to do without now so to have later, to go to family and the church with their needs rather than the local welfare office. I understand that I am saying a hard thing. Our forefathers were willing to lay down their lives, their possessions, their sacred honor for our (now withered) liberty. What are we willing to lay down for our descendants? I don’t mean “we” the nation. I mean “we” as in you and me. What am I willing to suffer to try to preserve the right of my children and grandchildren to be free men and women someday? What are you willing to suffer to save yours from the bondage you find yourself in?
If you are a middle-aged or young adult, think seriously about the future you desire. Do you want to find yourself in thirty years where the majority of seniors are today? Does the promise of future “security” mean more to you than the promise of true liberty? Does getting what you can from a myriad of programs seem only “fair” because you pay taxes after all? Does taking from others seem insignificant because everybody’s doing it? Let’s stop looking for excuses to live the Marxist way and start looking for ways to live as patriots. Stop spending money you don’t have (living on credit) or didn’t earn (living on welfare in any of its forms). Start saving for your own future and as much as possible for the futures of your children as well. Stop using other people’s money to feed your family so that you can use your money to feed your vices. Stop expecting other people to take care of you and start taking care of yourself. And when you find you have a need that you can’t meet—and we all will at some point because that is one of the ways God gets us to see that we ultimately need Him—get on your knees and ask God for help (but realize that if you want Him to hear you then, you should be talking with Him now). Go to the local church body and ask them for help as well (but realize that they are going to first be inclined to help their own brethren, so you should be in fellowship with them now and helping to bear the burdens of others). If you are thinking you don’t need that kind of help because it comes with accountability, just realize that these same people you scorn are paying your way already. You are taking from them using the strong arm of the government rather than asking for help honestly, and you will answer for that someday.
3. Equal obligation of all to work – It should not take two salaries to raise a family, so we should question what is going on in America today that makes it hard for husbands or fathers to bring home “enough” and encourages wives and mothers to seek full-time careers. Marx viewed women as cogs that needed to be plugged into the industrial machine and do their part to contribute to society (not for the good of the woman or her family but for the good of the State). God beckons Christian women to a more important sphere of influence—the home. While at first glance work done in the home may not seem to matter as much as work done outside the home, that is due to our warped understanding (evaluating circumstances with a temporal perspective rather than an eternal one). What do we look at to define success in our culture? We generally look at how much money somebody is bringing in. Yet what is money but pieces of paper? (And I mean that quite literally—especially under our fiat system!)* Truly, how much a woman makes in her lifetime serves as a poor indicator of how much lasting good she has done. Remember the old saying “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world”? It points directly to a woman’s influence beginning in the home and then extending outward. We have a very small view of the home today. We do not see it as the center of hope, help, hospitality, healing, education, ministry, and industry that it was meant to be. (Matter of fact, much of what the home was meant to do has been usurped by big government—we need to get serious about calling upon our legislators to stop rolling out new legislation and start rolling back the multitudinous onerous regulations that are curtailing our ability to act as free men and women and build thriving communities.)
God is not looking to shut up half of the redeemed behind walls and keep them from doing anything meaningful—rather, He has given them the high calling of training up the next generation to know and to follow Him. He asks that Christian women be faithful in marriage, do good works, care for the brethren and the stranger, relieve the poor and afflicted, look to the needs of the household, and be creative and industrious with the unique gifts that He has given each of them. (Proverbs 31 and I Timothy 5) And in response to their obedience, He can multiply their reach and their reward. If you view this as a small work, friend, take it up with the Lord. The shards that society has been shattered into today are indicator enough that we threw out something important without understanding its worth. Being equal with men should never have to mean that we have to be the same as men to have any value. On the contrary, God made two distinct genders to fully reflect His image. Men don’t apologize for their role as providers; women shouldn’t have to apologize for embracing the work (and work it is) of running a home, raising a family, and reaching out to the community. I’ll warn you it’s countercultural and extremely underappreciated in our day, but it’s vital to the healing of our nation nonetheless. Why? Because God created three foundations for a functional society: the family, the church, and the civil government. If any one of them is broken (and all three are broken in America), that society cannot long endure. So regardless of what everyone else on your block may choose to do, you can choose to prioritize strengthening your marriage, nurturing your children, honoring and caring for your parents and the elderly, passing on the faith to your descendants, ministering to those with a variety of needs in your church and community, and rebuilding Western civilization by employing the distinct talents God has given you.
Because of the socialistic system we are laboring under, choosing to focus on home and family may require great sacrifice (but then, it required tremendous sacrifice for the Pilgrim mothers and maidens as well). It may mean living very simply, foregoing things that others take for granted, learning to find joy in serving God together rather than in things, stepping back from the media and advertising that bombard us continually with how we (in their minds) should live or what we should have, being willing to receive help (of a non-governmental nature) when we need it, being ready to share out of our resources when others have needs, and committing to steward well the household income we have—even supplementing in whatever way we can without abandoning the home front or our primary duties—and trusting God to supply beyond that.
4. Free education for all children in government schools – When all is said and done, the biggest investment you can make, the most important thing that you can do today to give hope to the next generation, is to educate your own children and grandchildren to recognize and reject Marxism and to choose to live as free men and women before God. If somebody else is training your children and the taxpayer is funding it, know that they are receiving a Marxist education—yes, even in your tiny little “all-American” town. They are receiving a godless, socialistic education that is designed to prepare them to be dependent upon and easily managed by the state in adulthood. But don’t take my word for it; do the research yourself. Look into the names behind the development of the public school system and its teachings in America (Rousseau, Horace Mann, Darwin, John Dewey, and B. F. Skinner among others). Find out what they truly believed. Investigate the powerful teachers’ union (NEA) and look for the agenda behind their positions and decisions. And understand that while that sweet lady who teaches your kindergartner and that very nice gentleman who teaches your second-grader might not seem like they wish them any harm (why, you’ve known them for years after all), they are being paid to indoctrinate all the children in the classroom, including yours. There are even myriad Christians still working in the system across the land. I understand that they didn’t go into teaching to train up Communists. They just wanted to be salt and light and reach children for Jesus. But how can they point children to Jesus when they’re no longer allowed to so much as whisper His glorious name and when all the words they do get to say and all the textbooks and take-home papers they do hand out preach a message and a worldview contrary to His own?
Bring your children home, friend. Get them out of the system and get them into the Word. Learn our true, providential history for yourself and teach it to them. And don’t stop with history—share with them the truth about origins (we are not animals—we are made in the image of God) and art and music and beauty (there are objective standards) and math and language (our thoughts do matter, and our words do have meaning) and a thousand other things! Only by immersing ourselves in all that is good and holy and godly do we learn to identify and reject all that is not. I heard a song on the radio a week or so ago which was sung by a husband-and-wife duo—Joey and Rory. Called “Gotta Go Back,” it reminisces about “the good old days” when life was simpler and not so scary. It’s all very nice for us to say we’ve got to go back; I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiment. But I fear that the American public is almost beyond caring. We are daily sacrificing our children to our gods—prosperity and pleasure being chief among them.
Do you care? Or are you reading this article and making excuses, thinking I must be talking about somebody else’s school and somebody else’s children and grandchildren? I’m not. I’m talking about yours. If you’re the parent, bring them home. If you’re the grandparent, urge your children to bring them home—and if they won’t, spend your afternoons and evenings and weekends doing your best to unteach the Marxism and humanism your grandchildren will be spoonfed daily. One hour of Sunday School a week isn’t going to do it. Education is “little by little, bit by bit” every day of a child’s life. British educator Charlotte Mason once said, “Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life.” Children need to breathe the very words of life daily. They need to learn to recognize all that is false by being immersed in all that is true and righteous and holy.
I’ve only touched on four of the planks of Marxism in this article. It would take pages more to introduce such disturbing matters as the centralization of credit and how our wealth is being stolen through inflation, the takeover of private industry by the government, the abolition of our rights of inheritance, and more. Please take time to check out the resources in the endnotes and learn more about recognizing Marxism and its tenets yourself. If we can recognize Communism, we can fight it. And it is not as easy as playing red team/blue team at the polls. There are many Republicans who are socialists and purveyors of godlessness as well. By all means, go vote. But don’t think it’s going to save America. Getting in the right politicians isn’t going to do it—the majority of them become corrupt and obtain and maintain power by promising constituents more money (socialism alert—it’s not just “more money,” it’s more of somebody else’s money). The only way to bring America back to where she started is to rebuild the foundation she had. She was largely built by individuals and families who loved God and His Word, loved their neighbors, and embraced a multi-generational vision of faithfulness (unlike many modern-day Hezekiahs who are happy enough so long as things are tolerable in their day). She can only be rebuilt by individuals and families who are willing to sacrifice everything to be and do the same.
Copyright © 2020
Note: I was prompted to write this article because I heard three different Christian women ask the title question within the space of one week, and I know that the answer that the Christian community at large tends to give to this question is “pray.” Yes, friend, repent and pray, for without God and His mercy, there is no hope for America. But once you have gotten up off your knees, consider what else God might have for you to do. The work is large, and the laborers are few.
Given below are some of my “top picks” for accessible resources on Communism, Marxism, socialism, humanism, and governmental overreach. Remember, we must begin with our own households and communities and work outward, employing the mote-beam principle of Scripture. (Matthew 7:3-5)
- As I Read It: One Man’s Understanding of the Constitution by Jonathan S. Beal
- A Word in Season (Volumes 1-7) by R. J. Rushdoony
- Biblical Economics in Comics by Vic Lockman
- When a Nation Forgets God: 7 Lessons We Must Learn from Nazi Germany by Erwin W. Lutzer
- Agenda: Grinding America Down and Agenda 2: Masters of Deceit by Curtis Bowers
- IndoctriNation: Public Schools and the Decline of Christianity in America by Colin Gunn and Joaquin Fernandez
- Select videos from PragerU, such as Who is Karl Marx? by Paul Kengor and Was Jesus a Socialist? by Lawrence Reed
* I do not wish to be flip about money or the necessity of having enough to take care of our families, but I do desire to challenge the commonly accepted narrative that the best we can hope for in life is to grow up, marry (or not), make enough money to be “happy,” and then die…only to be quickly and easily replaced by another well-trained cog. There is no hope for the individual or for the family in that scenario; there is only ever the relentless machine operating seamlessly with its barely indistinguishable parts. We do labor in a fallen world; our lives here can never be perfect, but we can do better than that. We can reject man’s utopian plan (which hasn’t yet resulted in “Heaven on earth” in any nation where it’s been tried) and embrace instead the promise of abundant life in Jesus Christ—first in finding salvation, then in learning to do God’s will (not only in obeying the universal commands which apply to all Christians—those summarized in “love God, love your neighbor”—but also in fulfilling the distinct plans He has for each of us as individuals and as families).