Sat Jan 8 19:48:55 PST 2000

In a message dated 00-01-08 21:19:30 EST, you write:

<< Revolutionaries and progressives *must* be able and willing

to work with Xtians. But that is not difficult to do -- I've been doing it for 35 years.

Absolutely. An old time activist in Ann Arbor once told me that the only people could absolutely rely on were the Quakers and the commies. ANd the "Quakers" of any stripe do not insist or even expect that others will share their theology, although the do expect it to be treated respectfully, which doesn''t mean uncritically.

>Revolutoinaries and progressives have

*no* reason whatever to dabble with Xtian thought.


Unless they are Christians, which many of them are.

Marxist anti-religiosity is a hangover from the Enlightenment's aggressive atheism, when "free thought" was radical in itself. Going backa bit, in Milton's time, "atheist" had a lot of the force of "communist" in our time up to the end of the cold war. Hobbes was anathamized as an atheist, probably rightly (and wrote a great chunck of Leviathan which no one now reads to talk around that stuff); Spinoza the same, probably wrongly, as least as Spinoza understood God. In the rural South "free thought" may still be ipso facto radical, but in industrialized areas of North America and Europe it's not any more.

Actually there is another reason for a Marxist who is not a convinced atheist to do theology, which is that in Latin America there is still a powerful current of liberation theology that is both Marxist and Christian. Michael Lowy, a Brazilain Marxist who lives in France, has written a lot on this.


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