The Washington Post‘s On Faith page featured a strange and rambling article recently by “independent researcher in sociology and evolution” Gregory Paul chiding conservatives for doubting Darwin even as they supposedly push what Paul caricatures as an Ayn Randian “Social Darwinist” capitalism. Paul wants to know why conservative Christians in particular fail to champion Marxism since communists drew their inspiration from the early Christian Church. Christianity, not Darwinism, is the natural accompaniment to Marxism-Leninism. Got that?
Today on the same page CSC senior fellow Jay Richards, author of Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not the Problem which Paul attacks in his article clearly without having read a word of it, graciously gives Mr. Paul a brief education.
Mr. Paul insists [regarding the early Jerusalem church], “Now folks, that’s outright socialism of the type described millennia later by Marx — who likely got the general idea from the gospels.” No serious biblical scholar, or economist, would mistake the practice of the early Jerusalem church for Marxism. First of all, Marx viewed private property as oppressive, and had a theory of class warfare, in which the workers would revolt against the capitalists-the owners of the means of production-and forcibly take control of private property. After that, Marx thought, private property would be abolished, and the state would own the means of production on behalf of the people. There’s none of this business in the books of Acts. These Christians are selling their possessions and sharing freely.
Second, the state is nowhere in sight. No Roman centurions are breaking down doors and sending Christians to the lions (that was later). No government is confiscating property and collectivizing industry. No one is being coerced. The church in Jerusalem was just that-the church, not the state. The church doesn’t act like the modern communist state.
On his desk in the Kremlin, by the way, V.I. Lenin kept a statuette of a monkey contemplating a human skull while sitting atop a stack of books labeled DARWIN. We guess that Lenin, unlike Marx, neglected to study his Bible.