From .................... PEOPLE'S DAILY NEWS

July 24, 1994

By Dominic Taranowski

During this critical time in world history, when the U.S. government denounces the disarmament overtures of the USSR, no effort should be spared in unifying all sectors of American society oriented toward social justice. One unity that must not be neglected is that between Communists and Christians. Though the theology and ideology may be quite different, the separation that has often been antagonistic must be mended for the common good. We must seek out the common ground that exists.

It is useful to look at the Nicaraguan Revolution in this context.

The majority of Nicaragua's population is Christian.

Ernesto Cardenal, [Roman] Catholic priest and Nicaraguan Minister of Culture, states in Margaret Randall's book, Christians in the Nicaraguan Revolution, that the promised land proclaimed by Jesus is not to be patiently anticipated in the next world, but rather built here today.

He further equates this earthly kingdom of God with Marx's perfect communism.

Early Christians lived in communes in which there was no private ownership and citizens received from the society in accordance with their contributions. Over the centuries this definition of Christianity has been largely distorted by the church, which, so as not to break with tradition, has allied itself with the capitalists in our day.

The Catholic Church, with its notorious Vatican Bank, is a chief example. There is, then, a distinct difference between Christianity and "churchianity."

Jesus, a member of the working class, taught his followers to denounce an unjust distribution of wealth and work for the betterment of society.

The church, which has always made profits its first concern, has brainwashed the common Christian into passive subservience through the use of dogma and rituals. The poor, they say, will get theirs in the next world.

In most socialist countries today, there are no homeless, no undernourished children, no unemployment. But there is free health care and education.

It is hard to imagine the subversive carpenter from Nazareth condemning such things. After all, Jesus was committed to assisting "the least of these": the poor. Capitalism is clearly anti-Christian.

Liberation theology is revolutionary Christianity.

Of course, there is no denying that the Christian belief in and worship of a God is in conflict with Marxism. Still, such contradictions should not overshadow our similarities. It should be clear to every sober-minded person that our country is on a dangerous path. The U.S. war machine has appropriated a lopsided portion of our society's wealth. Despite Irangate, there is still a bizarre personality cult of Reagan and the president is still hailed much like a pharaoh. The coercive media trains the public not to question capitalism.

A bright future lies in ending the often factionalized nature of our movement. Though there may be great differences in our beliefs, Communists and Christians must make an effort to stand united with the other allies in our movement to transform American society in favor of peace and the working class.