RELIGION AND UNITY-STRUGGLE-UNITY WITH PROGRESSIVE RELIGIOUS FORCES

by Bob Avakian

Revolution #012, August 21, 2005, posted at revcom.us

EDITORS' NOTE: The series, "The Coming Civil War and Repolarization for Revolution in the Present Era," is available online at revcom.us and in pamphlet form from RCP Publications. This article has been edited for publication and footnotes have been added.

Within the fight against the juggernaut--the rolling monster of war and repression, driven forward by the Bush regime--and including the growing "fascistization" (growing repression of an essentially fascist nature and even developments toward outright fascist rule) there is the whole question of the battle around morality: against traditional morality and Christian Fascism, around the question of homosexuality, around the question of women and in particular abortion, around the question of separation of church and state, and so on. We need to play a much greater role in the ideological and also in the political battle around this, in the battle around public opinion and in important political struggles in these spheres.

We need to be intervening in and carrying out a process of unity-struggle-unity with a great diversity of people around this whole realm of morality and values. As part of this, we need to increase exponentially and in multiplying ways our work with religious forces. We need to be working with them in general anyway, but we also need to work with them specifically in terms of maximizing their role in, first of all really coming to grips with, and second of all battling against Christian Fascism. One of the interesting things that happened after a talk I gave on religion ("Christianity and Society--The Old Testament, The New Testament, Christian Fascism, Social Change and Revolution," available in audio at bobavakian.net) was that, after this talk, one of these progressive religious people made the comment: "I kind of get this point on unity-struggle-unity, because it's working on me." [laughter]

There was also an interesting exchange where I was talking with another important and influential progressive clergyman who does work in the prisons. At one point, I asked him, "What is it you do there?" And he explained that what he is trying to do, in basic terms, is to get people to move from things like Pentecostalism and similar fundamentalist versions of Christianity to a more thinking Christianity. So I asked: "How are you doing?" [laughter]He answered: "I'm making some progress, I see some results." So I said, "Well, that's good."

Now, that is probably not the response you would expect from a stereotypical dogmatic communist. But the point is, yes, I have had, and hopefully will continue to have, some good discussion and struggle with people like this about a communist as opposed to a religious worldview--and, in talks I have given, which some of these progressive religious people have heard, I have hammered at the religious scriptures and put forward atheism quite boldly and strongly--but I am very interested in the question of how, from their own viewpoint, progressive religious people like this can wage and contribute to the overall struggle against the Christian Fascists. We have a role to play, including through struggle waged in a good way, to help and enable these people to maximize their own positive aspect and their contributions to the overall struggle. Yes, we should struggle with them ideologically, but most of them are not going to be won to communism, certainly not in an immediate framework, so we need to continue to have dialogue with them, we have to learn from them--there are important things we can learn from them--and at the same time we have to try to enable them to play the most positive role they can play in the struggle.

These progressive clergy and other progressive religious people need to have meetings with other people like themselves, they need to "go on the road," they need to engage this question of fascism, particularly Christian Fascism--they need to challenge it, they need to attack it--they need to recognize, first of all, what a grave danger it is posing to society and to everything that they stand for, as well as the future of humanity in the largest sense. We need to be working--uniting and struggling--in a good way with these people. If we can apply the correct method and approach to this, and unite with and help unleash other forces on the basis of applying this method and approach, then (if you'll pardon the expression) it will be possible to "achieve miracles" in transforming the political terrain and the political terms of things, with regard to the fascist, and specifically the Christian Fascist, danger in particular, and more generally in terms of the whole direction of society (and ultimately the world overall).

 

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