Jesus Was A Commie. That’s the title of actor Matthew Modine’s short documentary film that’s been winning film festival awards and critical acclaim.
In Jesus Was A Commie, Modine, who wrote, directed, acted, and narrated the film, says:
According to the Bible, Jesus and his followers chose to own nothing, and shared their belongings. There were no needy people among them. Those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales, put it at the Apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need. By this definition, Jesus and his followers were communists.
“I think that you could define [Jesus] as a Utopian communist, where people would work together to solve our problems," he told The Christian Post, in a recent interview. Modine (Full Metal Jacket, Married to the Mob, Vision Quest, and the soon-to-be-released Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises) further remarked: "The film is not so much about Jesus or communism, but it's about cooperation."
Mr. Modine, like so many other Hollywood leftists and their harder-core Marxist-Leninist brethren, would like to have it both ways. They want to co-opt Jesus Christ and Christianity as their own when it serves their purposes, while at the same time denouncing essential Christian beliefs (especially on issues of sexual morality) and orthodox Christian believers as the real impediment to the realization of paradise on earth.
The Communist Party USA (CPUSA), naturally, finds Modine’s new film “inspiring,” and uses it in a live-stream online video of a recent presentation entitled, Was Jesus a Communist? (Pictured above) The program featured Communist Party functionary Roberta Wood as host, along with Rev. Tim Yeager and Pat Flagg as the commentators.
Rev. Yeager, of Grace Episcopal Church in Oak Park, Illinois, is Chairperson of the Communist Party USA’s Religion Commission. Pat Flagg is a member of the Commission. Yeager is also Financial Secretary/Treasurer of the National Organization of Legal Services Workers, United Auto Workers (UAW) Local Union 2320. In addition to his national CPUSA and union activism, Yeager is also an activist in Chicago-area politics, such as the Occupy Wall Street movement.
A capsule of some of Yeager’s more noteworthy communist and leftist activities is provided on Keywiki, the very useful data site of New Zealand researcher Trevor Loudon.
In a friendly interview with People’s World, official news publication of the CPUSA, Yeager further expounded on the Modine film and his own dialectical synthesis of Christian-Communist unity.
“Jesus called upon his people to be bold for justice,” Yeager told People’s World. "He says the same thing that Karl Marx says at the end of the Communist Manifesto: fear not, stand up, move into this new era, be free, you have nothing to lose but your chains."
The Modine film fits in well with The Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement, which the Left has high hopes of using to reinvigorate the effort of the 1960s to draft Jesus as the leader of the Marxist-Leninist vanguard. A prime example of this liberation theology recrudescence is Occupy Faith NYC, which has brought together many of the veteran leftist church activists to provide OWS a sham Christian face. Judson Memorial Church and Riverside Church, two of Manhattan’s longtime centers of Marxist agitation posing as Christian activism, have been in the forefront. Prominent among the Occupy Faith NYC clergy are Senior Minister Stephen H. Phelps of Riverside Church, Rev Michael Ellick and Rev. Donna Schaper of Judson Memorial Church, Feminist Activist Theologian Dr. Rev. Rita Nakashima Brock, Unitarian Universalist Rev. Jeremy D. Nickel, openly homosexual Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson, and Rabbi Arthur Waskow. Rabbi Waskow is better known for political activism than spiritual depth, having been a key founding member of the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), one of the most influential centers of Marxist activity over the past five decades.
One of the most eminent “Marxist-Christian” OWS spokesmen is Cornel West, Princeton University’s fiery professor of philosophy. Dr. West, a frequent speaker at the communist Brecht Forum in New York City, is fond of referring to himself as ”a Jesus-loving black man.” However, it is difficult to listen to his vitriolic, anti-capitalist rants without getting the notion that his appeals to Christianity are merely intended to make his Marxist message more acceptable to a wider audience. Over the past year, West has been on a national speaking tour with Carl Dix (see here and here) a founding member of the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP), a fanatical Maoist organization notorious for violent street confrontations.
Mao Zedong, hero to the RCP, earned unparalleled infamy as the greatest mass murderer in history. Many of those he killed were, of course, Christians, and his successors now running the Communist Party of China continue his legacy of jailing, torturing, and murdering Chinese Christians. Prof. West and many of the other “Christian Marxists,” apparently prefer to identify with the Communist murderers rather than the Christian martyrs, the oppressors rather than the oppressed.
The Communist regimes in Moscow and Beijing provided Fidel Castro with instructions on dealing with Christians, which in Cuba meant the Catholic Church. Mao’s representative, Comrade Li Wei Han of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party in 1959, sent a communiqué to Castro’s new Communist regime explaining the subversive approach to “converting” Christians to Communism. Comrade Li wrote:
The line of action to follow against the Church is to instruct, to educate, to persuade, to convince, and, gradually, to awaken and fully develop the political conscience of Catholics by getting them to take part in study circles and political activities. By means of these activities, we must undertake the dialectical struggle within religion. Gradually, we will replace the religious element with the Marxist element.
Of course, Castro faithfully employed these methods — along with the customary Communist practice of outright persecution for those “uncooperative” Christians who insisted on following the Gospel according to Mark rather than the gospel according to Marx.
Castro and other Marxist-Leninists look to the first Soviet dictator V. I. Lenin for guidance on all matters. Lenin, in his 1905 work, Socialism and Religion took to task those outspoken Communists who alienated potential Christian allies by publicly brandishing their atheism and their contempt for religion. Lenin wrote:
It would be stupid to think that, in a society based on the endless oppression and coarsening of the worker masses, religious prejudices could be dispelled by purely propaganda methods… That is the reason why we do not and should not set forth our atheism in our Programme; that is why we do not and should not prohibit proletarians who still retain vestiges of their old prejudices from associating themselves with our Party.
Lenin was speaking then as one who was not yet in power, as one who needed to use unwitting Christians as allies to attain power. That was a public utterance aimed at assuaging concerns that Communists are hostile toward religion. Privately, in a 1913 letter to the famous Russian author Maxim Gorky, Lenin left no doubt as to his own prejudices, calling even the idea of god “unutterable vileness.” According to Lenin:
Every religious idea, every idea of a god, even flirting with the idea of god is unutterable vileness of the most dangerous kind, “contagion” of the most abominable kind.
Once he had attained power, Lenin could afford to be more candid. In his 1920 instructions, Tasks of the Youth Unions, Lenin writes:
For a Communist, morality as a whole consists of total discipline and solidarity [with the cause] in the struggle against the exploiters…. Any morality that is taken outside its class conception we totally repudiate…. Morality is completely subordinated to the interests of the proletarian class struggle.
Writing to Foreign Affairs Commissar Georgy Chicherin in 1921 Lenin stressed the Communist virtues of lying and deception: "Telling the truth is a bourgeois prejudice. Deception, on the other hand, is often justified by the goal."
The Communists and their allies and Christian dupes have been religiously following Lenin’s gospel of lies and deception ever since.
Anatoliy Golitsin, the famous Soviet KGB defector who has exposed the Kremlin’s long-range plan of strategic deception, wrote, in his 1984 book, New Lies for Old, of some of the Communist strategists’ conferences aimed at using Christians to further the objective of one-world socialism:
The Christian Peace Conference, composed of East European church leaders, dates from the period of the formulation of the long-range policy . It has played an active part in influencing Western churches in the interests of that policy.
The Second All Christian Congress in Defense of Peace, held in Prague in June-July 1964, attracted one thousand delegates, including representatives of Buddhism and Islam as well as the Orthodox, Catholic, and the Anglican and other Protestant churches. The introductory speech was made by Gromadka of Czechoslovakia, the president of the Christian Peace Conference. Speakers from the Third World included one from Madagascar and one from Uruguay. The congress appealed to all Christians for disarmament, independence, and the eradication of hunger.
Czechoslovakia was, at that time, of course, a communist country behind the Iron Curtain, and Prague was one of the KGB’s most important operational bases. Concomitant with these efforts to subvert Christianity, Golitsyn points out, the communist strategists were also employing similar methods and holding conferences for their recruits (some of which were dedicated Soviet agents, others simply opportunists or muddleheaded religionists) from Islam and Buddhism. Golitsyn continues:
The Great Soviet Encyclopaedia recorded that by 1972 the World Council of Churches had been converted from a "pro-Western" to a "progressive" orientation in its policies on peace, disarmament, and related matters. Assiduous advocacy by the Christian Peace Conference and others of the view that Christianity and communism were natural allies in support of the national liberation movement induced the World Council of Churches to provide funds for African guerrilla movements, including the Rhodesian Patriotic Front, believed to be responsible for a massacre of British missionaries in 1978.
The Rhodesian Patriotic Front Golitsyn refers to was a terrorist group headed by Joshua Nkomo. It was Soviet armed, Cuban-trained, and Marxist-Leninist in orientation. They tortured and murdered black Rhodesians as well as whites. Ditto for the South West Africa People’s Organization (SWAPO) in Namibia, which the World Council of Churches also lavished with funds from unwitting Christians.
And the song remains the same; Matthew Modine, Tim Yeager, Cornell West, Arthur Waskow and the rest of the Jesus-was-a-communist choir are singing from the same Red hymnal that has been in use now for several generations. The results, as cataloged in the massive Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression (1999, Harvard University Press) have been mountains of corpses, unimaginable suffering and torture, and brutal repression on a global scale never before dreamed possible.
Photo: Still from the movie Jesus Was a Commie