On the heels of celebrating the 50th anniversary of the moon landing—an event heralded as a triumph of Capitalism over Socialism—Americans are today divided over whether we’d be better-off as a socialist country. Not surprisingly, this division is largely along party lines with 57% of Democrats viewing Socialism positively compared to only 16% of Republicans. Conversely, Democrat support for Capitalism fell 10% in the space of only two years to 47% compared to 71% of Republicans who view Capitalism positively.
To be clear not all Democrats support policy positions extreme enough to be classified as socialist. As exemplified in Tuesday’s CNN Democratic primary debate, there is a fight between moderates, progressives, and democratic socialists for the soul of the party. It is not unfair to say that the extreme political left have attempted a hostile takeover of one of our nation’s most established political parties—so much so that ardent progressives like former Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) are now considered moderates within their own party. Understanding the shifting landscape is important because Socialism is antithetical to God’s moral standard and principles for governing.
The course of our nation is set by the political ideology of those governing it. If that ideology is antithetical to the Bible, then our nation will be led away from God. As forerunners, we are not motivated by party affiliation. Instead, we are motivated by how closely aligned our political leaders are to God’s moral standard and biblical principles for governing. When these standards are challenged, we feel obligated to speak into them.
Moreover, as Christian citizens of the United States of America, we have a responsibility to use our influence over our elected officials to uphold righteousness and to allow it opportunity to succeed on a national level. This is because we have a responsibility to resist evil wherever we have influence—which in our country includes the national conversation. As such, when we see an anti-biblical ideology compete for supremacy in our government, we are compelled to identify it and the threat that it poses. In this case the threat is Socialism—not the Democratic Party, although it is to a large degree committed socialists within the party that are empowering Socialism in America.
In 2018, 46 candidates belonging to the Democratic Socialists of America won their primaries. Among these, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Rashida Talib (D-MI) were elected to Congress. And self-identified socialist Bernie Sanders (I-VT) won more than 12 million votes in the 2016 Democratic presidential primaries, losing the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by only 3,775,437 votes.
Empowered by his popularity in 2016, Sanders is again running for president. In a campaign speech Sanders made a full-throated defense of his socialist ideology, arguing that such policies as Medicare for all and free college tuition are popular with the voters. He concluded his comments with the declaration, “At the end of the day, the one percent may have enormous wealth and power, but they are just the one percent. When the 99 percent stand together, we can transform society. These are my values, and that is why I call myself a democratic socialist.”
Leaders of the House Progressive Caucus supported Sanders’ comments, making it clear the liberal wing that comprises roughly 40% of the party would accept the label of socialism for their policy proposals. Furthermore, presidential candidate and former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper was faced with a sea of waving “Bernie” signs and a chorus of booing at the California Democratic Convention when he told more than 4,500 delegates and observers, “If we want to beat Donald Trump and achieve big progressive goals, socialism is not the answer.”
Bernie Sanders is not alone in his socialist ideology; he is merely the only presidential candidate willing to embrace the term. During the Democratic primary debates, presidential candidates advocated policies such as the Green New Deal, gun confiscation, giving every adult in our nation $1,000 every month, increasing taxes on the middle class and taxing the “ultra-rich” at 70%, abolishing the entire private health insurance system and creating a government run health system, free college tuition, and free health care for illegal immigrants. These are fundamentally socialist policies.
Recognizing the trend within the Democratic Party toward overtly socialist policies, President Trump sought to frame the 2020 campaign as a referendum on Socialism, proclaiming in his state of the union address, “Here in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country. America was founded on liberty and independence – not government coercion, domination, and control. We are born free, and we will stay free. Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.”
Concerned by this “to be or not to be” campaign rhetoric, along with widespread support for such socialist policy proposals, Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) introduced on Monday a resolution forcefully condemning the “failed experiment” of Socialism. In his prepared remarks for the Senate, Daines warned, “A radical, socialist, far-left movement is growing across this country. And it has taken root as the new voice of the Democratic Party.”
The resolution notes that “socialist policies such as the Green New Deal and socialized medicine would— (1) eliminate the private property rights of all people in the United States; and (2) force taxpayers to pay trillions of dollars to implement”. With this in mind, Senator Daines said, “It was renowned economist Milton Friedman who said, ‘One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results.’ Radical Democrats are advocating for disastrous policies that would wreck our economy under the guise of cleaning up the environment.”
If passed, Senator Daines’ resolution would make it the official position of the U.S. Senate that Marxism and Socialism are “failed ideologies.” (To read the full copy of the resolution, see the bottom of the works cited below.) This is important because history and God’s Word both reveal Socialism to be an ideology at war with God.
- The fruit of Socialism is death and destruction
Perhaps no other ideology has resulted in more death and destruction than Socialism, including the deliberate execution of millions of Christians. Indeed, death and destruction are the usual fruit of Socialism, making it a natural ally with God’s enemy who comes only to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). As such, Socialism is evil.
Interchanging the terms Socialism and Communism, BB&T Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Free Enterprise Leadership at The Citadel Richard Ebeling observes:
The entire history of communism in the twentieth century was that of tyranny, terror and torture. Not one country that followed the Soviet revolutionary model in the hundred years after the Bolshevik Revolution in November 1917 practiced anything noticeably different in form or content.
The noted Russian mathematician and Soviet-era dissident, Igor Shafarevich, who died on February 19, 2017 at the age of 93, ended his 1975 book, The Socialist Phenomenon, with the following conclusion and indictment:
Most socialist doctrines and movements are literally saturated with the mood of death, catastrophe and destruction . . . One could regard the death of mankind as the final result to which the development of socialism leads.
- Socialism is based on a materialistic worldview that establishes the State as savior
According to Bernie Sanders, the greatest problem in the world is the unequal distribution of wealth, “The issue of wealth and income inequality is the great moral issue of our time, it is the great economic issue of our time, and it is the great political issue of our time.” Julie Roy writes at the Christian Post:
This betrays a fundamentally materialistic worldview, which is the basis of socialism.
To socialists, all that really exists is the material world. In fact, Karl Marx, the father of socialism/communism, invented the notion of dialectical materialism — the belief that matter contains a creative power within itself. This enabled Marx to eliminate the need for a creator, essentially erasing the existence of anything non-material.
To socialists, suffering is caused by the unequal distribution of stuff — and salvation is achieved by the re-distribution of stuff. There’s no acknowledgment of spiritual issues. There’s just an assumption that if everyone is given equal stuff, all the problems in society will somehow dissolve.
We need look no further than Europe to see the fruit of this worldview. European countries that have embraced Socialism are largely atheistic and agnostic. No longer must they look to God to meet their needs because the government stands ready to provide for their needs—and even many of their desires—by redistributing wealth. Ultimately, the citizenry look to the government from cradle to grave instead of looking to God.
- Socialism encourages envy, coveting, laziness, and stealing
God commands us not to covet our neighbor’s possessions (Ex. 20:17). Instead, we are to work hard (Eph. 4:28) and to be content in all our circumstances (Php. 4:11–13). The appeal of Socialism is the promise of receiving the possessions of others without having to work for it. This is evil. Wealth redistribution takes away what another person earned in order to give it to someone who has not earned it simply because he wants it and believes he should be entitled to it.
However, God’s Word teaches that a person who refuses to work should not eat (2 Thess. 3:10–12), and someone who doesn’t work to provide for his family has denied the teachings of Christ (1 Tim. 5:8). Furthermore, this is a kind of stealing—something else God commands against (Exo. 20:15). As Rick Phillips notes, “Even when Peter was accusing Ananias of being greedy and dishonest, the apostle admitted the man’s right to dispose of his personal property (Acts 5:4).”
- Socialism promotes class warfare
At the heart of Socialism is class warfare. This is why Bernie Sanders posted on his Facebook page, “Let us wage a moral and political war against the billionaires and corporate leaders, on Wall Street and elsewhere, whose policies and greed are destroying the middle class of America.” GotQuestions.org explains how Karl Marx believed that “Once private property was abolished, a person’s identity would be elevated and the wall that capitalism supposedly constructed between the owners and working class would be shattered. Everyone would value one another and work together for a shared purpose. Government would no longer be necessary, as people would become less selfish.”
Class warfare is evil (Prov. 14:31). According to God, everyone has equal worth because we are all created in the image of God (Gen. 1:27). This is why racism, xenophobia, and chauvinism are evil—they deny the teaching that all human beings are equally valuable because of their status as imagers of God.
- Socialism seeks to destroy the family and marriage
The State, understood to be massive government, is the highest authority in Socialism. To promote faithfulness to the State and conformity of thought, Socialism seeks to thwart God’s created design by replacing the family with the State as the primary influence and educator for children. Julie Roys explains:
Friedrich Engels, co-author with Marx of the “The Communist Manifesto,” once wrote that the society he envisioned would be one where “the single family ceases to be the economic unit of society. Private housekeeping is transformed into a social industry. The care and education of the children becomes a public affair.”
Similarly today, Bernie Sanders calls for a “revolution” in childcare and for the government to provide early childhood education beginning with children as young as six-weeks-old. And, he’s a proud supporter of gay marriage — what Kengor calls ‘communism’s Trojan Horse’ to secure the final takedown of traditional marriage.
Such disregard for God’s created design is evil.
As Christian citizens of America who have been granted authority to influence the course of our nation by choosing our elected officials and holding them accountable, we cannot ignore the threat that Socialism poses to our nation. Socialism is antithetical to God’s moral standard and biblical principles for governing. As such, it must be resisted—regardless of political affiliations.
One way to resist is to educate others and to expose how widespread socialist ideology is becoming in our country. How many people know that the Washington Post on Saturday tried to convince us that Abraham Lincoln was supportive of Karl Marx’s Socialism, avidly reading his works and surrounding himself with Marxist sympathizers? How many people know that because of increased awareness through candidates such as Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, membership in the Democratic Socialists of America increased from 7,000 to 50,000 between November of 2016 and November of 2018? How many people know that Socialism is rooted in humanism and atheism? How many people know that Socialism is evil because it embraces attitudes and practices that God defines as evil?
Perhaps one of the greatest things we can do today is to warn our friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors of the growing threat of Socialism in America. Socialism is rapidly growing in power and influence. More importantly, Socialism is evil. Being opposed to God and His commandments, Socialism truly belongs to the spirit of Antichrist, and we as Christians should have nothing to do with it.
1. Newport, Frank. “Democrats More Positive about Socialism Than Capitalism.” News. Gallup, August 13, 2018. https://news.gallup.com/poll/240725/democrats-positive-socialism-capitalism.aspx.
2. “2019 Democratic Primary Debate.” Moderators Jake Tapper, Dana Bash and Don Lemon. CNN. Television, 8:00 p.m. July 31, 2019.
3. McCammond, Alexi. “By the Numbers: Democratic Socialist Victories in the 2018 Midterms.” Axios, September 14, 2018. https://www.axios.com/democratic-socialist-candidates-who-have-won-in-2018-midterms-6bf604a3-ee98-4ab3-9e63-349aec324c43.html.
4. “DSA Wins 091418.” Democratic Socialists of America, n.d. Source: Axios DocumentCloud. https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4883516-DSA-Wins-091418.html.
5. Williamson, Kevin. “The Democrats Are the Socialist Party Again.” National Review, June 20, 2019, 11:13 a.m. https://www.nationalreview.com/magazine/2019/07/08/the-democrats-are-the-socialist-party-again/.
6. “2016 Democratic Popular Vote.” Real Clear Politics, n.d. https://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/democratic_vote_count.html.
7. Schwartz, Jack. “How Socialism Made America Great.” Daily Beast, June 29, 2019, 10:31 p.m., ET. Last updated July 1, 2019, 5:00 p.m., ET. https://www.thedailybeast.com/how-socialism-made-america-great.
8. Golshan, Tara. “Read: Bernie Sanders Defines His Vision for Democratic Socialism in the United States.” Vox, June 12, 2019, 3:45 p.m., EDT. https://www.vox.com/2019/6/12/18663217/bernie-sanders-democratic-socialism-speech-transcript.
9. Touchberry, Ramsey. “‘Bring It On’: Progressive Democrats Embrace Socialism Label Amid Repeated Trump Attacks.” US. Newsweek, June 12, 2019, 4:28 p.m., EDT. https://www.newsweek.com/democrats-socialism-trump-progressive-sanders-1443684.
10. Wright, Jasmine and Kyung Lah. “John Hickenlooper Booed for Saying ‘Socialism Is Not the Answer.’” CNN, June 2, 2019, 6:31 a.m., ET. https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/01/politics/john-hickenlooper-booed-socialism/index.html.
11. Phillips, Amber. “Should Democrats Embrace Socialism? The 2020 Primary, in Four Factions.” Analysis. Washington Post, June 12, 2019. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/06/12/should-democrats-embrace-socialism-primary-factions/?utm_term=.768f52176f8c.
12. “Democratic Presidential Debate – June 26 (Full) | NBC News.” YouTube video, 2:35:59. Posted by “NBC News,” June 26, 2019. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJ6MrDO0kgY.
13. “Democratic Presidential Debate – June 27 (Full) | NBC News.” YouTube video, 4:02:47. Posted by “NBC News,” June 27, 2019. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cX7hni-zGD8.
14. “2019 Democratic Primary Debate.”
15. Fandos, Nicholas, Jon Huang, Thomas Kaplan and Katie Rogers. “Transcript: Trump’s State of the Union, Annotated.” New York Times, February 5, 2019. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/02/05/us/politics/trump-state-of-union-speech-transcript.html.
16. Schwartz, Ian. “Trump: ‘America Will Never Be a Socialist Country’; ‘We Were Born Free and We Will Stay Free.’” Real Clear Politics, February 5, 2019. https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2019/02/05/trump_america_will_never_be_a_socialist_country_we_were_born_free_and_we_shall_stay_free.html.
17. “Proceedings and Debates of the 116th Congress, First Session.” Congressional Record, 165, no. 128:(2019), 28. https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CREC-2019-07-29/pdf/CREC-2019-07-29.pdf.
18. Re, Gregg. “Daines Introduces Resolution Condemning Socialism, Saying ‘Pivotal’ Moment Has Arrived.” Fox News, July 30, 2019. https://www.foxnews.com/politics/daines-to-introduce-resolution-condemning-socialism-saying-pivotal-moment-has-arrived.
19. Justice, Tristan. “Sen. Steve Daines Proposes Resolution Condemning ‘Disastrous Policies’ of Socialism.” National Review, July 30, 2019. https://thefederalist.com/2019/07/30/sen-steve-daines-proposes-resolution-condemning-disastrous-policies-socialism/.
20. “Proceedings and Debates of the 116th Congress, First Session.” Congressional Record, 165, no. 128:(2019), 28.
21. “Proceedings and Debates of the 116th Congress, First Session.” Congressional Record, 165, no. 128:(2019), 28.
22. Justice, “Sen. Steve Daines Proposes Resolution Condemning ‘Disastrous Policies’ of Socialism.”
23. Ebeling, Richard. “Socialism: Marking a Century of Death and Destruction.” Future of Freedom Foundation, March 6, 2017. https://www.fff.org/explore-freedom/article/socialism-marking-century-death-destruction/.
24. “Inequality in America: A National Town Hall.” Bernie Sanders, n.d. https://www.sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/video-audio/inequality-in-america-a-national-town-hall.
25. Roys, Julie. “5 Reasons Socialism Is Not Christian.” Opinion. Christian Post, July 12, 2016. https://www.christianpost.com/news/5-reasons-socialism-is-not-christian-opinion.html.
26. Phillips, Rick. “Socialism Is Evil.” Reformation 21 (blog), February 19, 2016, 12:57 p.m. http://www.reformation21.org/blog/2016/02/socialism-is-evil.php.
27. U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders. “The right-wing in this country is waging a war against women and, let me be very clear, it is not a war that we are going to allow them to win. But if they do want political warfare, we must expand the field of battle, and we must be on the offensive.” Facebook, April 29, 2012. https://www.facebook.com/senatorsanders/posts/10150781969192908.
28. “How Should a Christian View Socialism?” Got Questions, n.d. https://www.gotquestions.org/socialism-Christian.html.
29. Roys, “5 Reasons Socialism Is Not Christian.”
30. Brockell, Gillian. “You Know Who Was into Karl Marx? No, Not AOC. Abraham Lincoln.” History. Washington Post, July 27, 2019. https://www.washingtonpost.com/history/2019/07/27/you-know-who-was-into-karl-marx-no-not-aoc-abraham-lincoln/?utm_term=.6576492e988c.
31. Solis, Marie. “What’s Next for the Democratic Socialists of America?” Vice, November 1, 2018, 1:44 p.m. https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/kzjdvm/whats-next-for-the-democratic-socialists-of-america.
32. Democratic Socialists of America. “Democratic Socialists of America Exceeds 50,000 Members.” Medium, September 2, 2018. https://medium.com/@dsaportlandoregon/democratic-socialists-of-america-exceeds-50-000-members-4208107e857b.
SENATE RESOLUTION 289—EXPRESSING THE SENSE OF THE SENATE THAT SOCIALISM POSES A SIGNIFICANT THREAT TO FREEDOM, LIBERTY, AND ECONOMIC PROSPERITY
Whereas Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines socialism as—
(1) ‘‘any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods’’; and
(2) ‘‘a system of society or group living in which there is no private property’’;
Whereas socialism and the policies advocated by self-described ‘‘democratic socialists’’ have an underlying historical connection to the Marxist theory;
Whereas history has witnessed countless failed Marxist-inspired regimes;
Whereas, because of the perverse incentives and inherent flaws of the Marxist theory, socialism inevitably leads to societal rot, resulting in devastation, economic poverty, and destruction;
Whereas prominent elected officials in the Senate and the House of Representatives are self-described socialists and espouse socialist proposals;
Whereas socialist policies such as the Green New Deal and socialized medicine would—
(1) eliminate the private property rights of all people of the United States; and
(2) force taxpayers to pay trillions of dollars to implement;
Whereas Alexis de Tocqueville wrote, ‘‘Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word, equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.’’;
Whereas Margaret Thatcher once stated, ‘‘Socialist governments . . . always run out of other people’s money’’, and thus the way to prosperity is for the state to give ‘‘the people more choice to spend their own money in their own way’’;
Whereas free-market capitalism is the greatest engine for human advancement in the history of the world, bringing more people out of poverty and into prosperity than any economic model in the history of mankind;
Whereas the United States is the single greatest country in the history of the world, due in large part to its system of government that secures the private property rights of all citizens through the genius of the Constitution of the United States; and
Whereas, on February 5, 2019, in the State of the Union address, President Donald J. Trump declared—
(1) ‘‘We are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country’’; and
(2) ‘‘America will never be a socialist country’’: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Senate—
(1) acknowledges that Marxism and socialism are failed ideologies;
(2) recognizes that socialism poses a significant threat to the freedom, liberty, and economic prosperity of all countries and people around the world;
(3) accepts that socialism is a failed experiment of governance that inevitably ends in misery and suffering;
(4) declares that, throughout the history, tradition, and national civic spirit of the United States, the United States has been a beacon of light shining like a lighthouse to the rest of the world, demonstrating that freedom and liberty are the surest foundation of government; and
(5) affirms that the United States should never be a socialist country.
“Proceedings and Debates of the 116th Congress, First Session.” Congressional Record, 165, no. 128:(2019), 28. https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CREC-2019-07-29/pdf/CREC-2019-07-29.pdf.