The Study of Man: Communism, Democracy, and the Churches
The record of America’s religious leaders in the struggle against Communism is hardly such as to give satisfaction to those concerned with the role of the churches in the nation’s life. One does not have in mind the tiny (though not insignificant) fraction of clergymen who have been Communists or close fellow-travelers—the vast majority of the American clergy of all denominations have always been free of such sympathies. Yet it remains a fact that for all their sincere devotion to democratic and religious ideals, many representative spokesmen of American religion, particularly of Protestantism and Judaism, have exhibited a strange ambivalence in opposing Communism.
They have criticized its errors, condemned its brutalities and, under the urging of “outside” counsel, repudiated its fronts—but with a curious reluctance, not at all with the passionate zeal with which they denounced Nazism in the 1930′s. Apparently, they have not felt impelled to take the lead in arousing the public conscience to the threat of Communist totalitarianism. By and large, religious leaders, however sincere, have been far less vehement against Communism than against “reaction” and “fascism” at home. Their sense of Communist immorality seems to be dulled by their abhorrence of the ex-Communist “turned informer.” And whereas anti-fascism was regarded as a noble cause, anti-Communism is deprecated as “sterile” and “negative.”
About the Author