By Al Benson Jr.
Years ago I had a friend on the East Coast who was the pastor of a small, independent Separatist church. He was also quite a student of history. He had, over the years, talked with several people that had been Communists and had broken with the Party. He mentioned on a couple occasions talking with a man who had been the editor of the major Communist “newspaper” in the country. The man’s name was Louis Budenz and at the time I believe he lived in Newport, Rhode Island. Mr. Budenz told the pastor once that “the patriotism of the 20th century will be Communism.” On first thought that might sound rather ridiculous, but, in looking at our culture today, you can see that, in many ways, it was a very accurate description.
How many of our patriotic and conservative folks today have joined in petitions and drives to “get prayer back into public schools?” These well-intentioned folks do not begin to realize that the public, or government school system is, itself, a revolutionary vehicle. Far from being as “American” as motherhood and apple pie, the government school system is, instead, a leading component of the revolutionary mindset—in fact it is a necessary component for promoting that revolutionary mindset in future generations of students. Karl Marx believed in and promoted its use in the tenth plank of the Communist Manifesto. The public school has never been reformed from the revolutionary intent of its founders in this country (Unitarians and socialists) nor will it ever be. It continues to be an instrument of socialist propaganda and it’s highly doubtful if it will ever be anything else. That doesn’t mean there are not good people that work for the system, there are. But these folks have no real clue about its true foundations or what it was founded to counteract.
The late and noted theologian, R. J. Rushdoony, in his book The Nature of the American System , noted that the “public or statist schools’ began their history as a “subversive movement” and that their aim from day one was to subvert the old order of things. Part of that subversion was the attempt to rid the country of church schools, thereby doing away with Christian education and thinking. In our day many Christians, conservatives, patriots, and even many Southern Heritage folks seem to think the government schools are just wonderful and, at best, all they really need is just a little “fine tuning” to make them what they should be. These good folks have imbibed the revolutionary Kool Aid and don’t even realize it. Still other good, conservative folks want to preserve the Pledge of Allegiance with the words “Under God” in it. They seem to think they are performing some sort of patriotic duty for America if they manage to do this. More revolutionary Kool Aid! How many of these folks even realize that the Pledge of Allegiance was written by a defrocked socialist minister who was asked to leave his church because of his socialist views—and sermons in which he claimed Jesus was a socialist? How many good Southern folks who are in favor of the Pledge realize that the part about “one nation indivisible” was inserted in there as a final slap in the face at the legal secession their ancestors fought and bled to preserve? The “under God” part was only tacked on in the 1950s to make the whole thing more palatable. Yet, people today seem to think they are somehow being patriotic if they rise up and defend a Pledge written by a socialist. They have also sampled the Kool Aid of revolution and, thanks to their almost total lack of knowledge, they don’t begin to realize it. So, under the illusion of defending patriotism they are, in fact, promoting socialism.
The ultimate aim of the promoters of the revolutionary mindset is the destruction of God and His truth and the replacing of these with themselves and their “truth.” It helps them in their anti-Christ agenda if they can get lots of patriotic folks to unwittingly further the program they are promoting. Pastor Steve Schlissel of New York has observed that: “The popular culture hates—not just the Reformed faith, but—Christianity…For man has undertaken the gigantic effort of interpreting the whole world, and all the things that are therein, in their essence, origin, and end, what is called purely and strictly scientifically, that is, without God, without any invisible, supernatural, spiritual element, and simply and alone from the pure data of matter and force. All the foundation work of that enterprise is done. The West is simply putting the broom to the dust of deity that remains on the periphery of our shared space. Our culture is very serious about eliminating God from the Public Square…As moderns see things, there is no need for God, not even as a limiting concept.” Needless to say, such a situation did not arise overnight. It has been progressing for some time now, while most Christians and patriots have been pretty much asleep. Something else the dregs of this revolutionary potion contributes to is spiritual drowsiness, lack of concern and, among Christians, lack of spiritual discernment in critical areas.
Unfortunately, we have, whether we realize it or not, been much influenced by Enlightenment thinking. Just before the socialist revolts of 1848 in Europe (the revolts that sent myriads of communists and socialists scurrying to this country) a Dutch Calvinist scholar and statesman, Guillaume Groen van Prinsteer published a series of lectures which he had given over a period of two years to several close friends. He titles these Lectures on Unbelief and Revolution. His theory was (and he was probably correct) that the unbelief caused by the European Enlightenment was what led to the terrorism and wild excesses of the French Revolution. In regard to the Enlightenment he said: “…the Enlightenment has thrown civilization back into the abyss of unbelief. Like the Reformation, so the Revolution touches every areas of life and study. With the former the principle was subjection to God; and with the latter the principle became revolt against God.” And Rev. P. K. Keizer, a pastor in the Reformed Church in the Netherlands wrote: “During the eighteenth century, Europe sank into a Deistic religion…Deism is atheism in disguise since it removes God from everyday life. The French Revolution turned out to be…a total change in thought and attitude. It started in France but eventually engulfed all of Christendom. In essence, the causes of the French Revolution should not be sought in the social problems of those times but in man’s evil desire to become autonomous—independent from his Creator.” Is it any different today? In the White House dwells a man who thinks he is the messiah, or at least the Vice President of the world.
The French Revolution was responsible for many following revolutions in Europe, including the 1848 socialist revolts which sent to many fleeing socialists and communists to America, many of which ended up either joining Mr. Lincoln’s armies or helping to establish the Republican Party, both before and during the War of Northern Aggression. Read the book Lincoln’s Marxists for an in-depth study of this particular issue. It’s still available on Amazon.com
So the Enlightenment, with its rampant unbelief (apostasy) has created for us many problems that we are still dealing with today and it has helped to create much of the revolutionary mindset that even Christians and conservatives are still influenced by, though again, most, not having any firm grasp of history, fail to realize. Evangelical Christians continue to come down on the wrong side of many social and political questions because they simply don’t know the history and have been consciously taught not to worry about it. Therefore, they cannot deal with many questions in their true context and so they end up attempting to deal with them only in the context of where they are at present.
The Bible historian, Louis Berkhof has observed that: “The study of doctrinal truth apart from its historical background leads to a truncated theology. There has been too much of this in the past, and there is a great deal of it even in the present day.” The same principle should be applied to social and political issues, which are, at root, theological.
Until Christians, conservatives, Southern patriots, home schoolers, and others of our persuasion can begin to throw off revolutionary and Enlightenment thinking and begin to look at important issues in the light of Scripture and a sound interpretation of their historical context, we will continue to spin our wheels, fighting meaningless little battles that do nothing more than enable us to think we are “doing” something, and the “patriotism” of the 21st century will continue to be Communism.
(Write to P O Box 55, Sterlington, Louisiana 71280 for information on the mini-history course that deals with the period of the War of Northern Aggression.)