Objectively speaking, it’s easy to understand why communists and fascists are so vehemently atheistic. They’ll tell you it’s because they’re so science-minded that they can’t believe in some all-seeing, all-knowing dude in the sky who dispenses the knowledge of salvation like Santa Claus…but even Google can do nearly that much, so it shouldn’t seem too far out of the realm of possibility that God can manage at least that much.
In actuality, the reason that totalitarians eschew God is that they’re totalitarians. I actually suspect that the great promoters of atheism desperately believe in God. They are obsessed with God in fact and are driven to do everything in their power to thwart Him. They prefer communities, economies, education, science, religiosity, celestial bodies and the general totality of the universe to revolve around them. They don’t like competing in the arena of ideas, and they don’t like having to answer to a higher authority who may hold them in contempt.
Why don’t Fascists and Communists like God? Easy. If people looked to God every time they needed something, then they wouldn’t need to look to government, and absolutists simply can’t have that level of competition.
Needless to say, members of the communist Chinese government are not big fans of religious freedom. They prefer when First Amendment-type rights are dispensed, granted and bestowed upon the masses. They prefer to develop mindsets that view God-given rights as privileges and finite resources that must be greedily rationed. They fear what our Founders embraced.
Inalienable rights – those that can never be wholly be expunged – are unpredictable, volatile, rebellious and demand a higher quality of governance to keep them sated. Totalitarian regimes – those of Marxists, Fascists, Socialists, Progressivists – are invariably lower in quality, so leaders must find ways to lower expectations. And that’s generally by force and coercion.
Communist leaders in China like picking and choosing which religions are allowed to exist within their borders based on which ones will subvert God to Xi Jinping’s arbitrary authority. In order to be legalized, those religions must be willing to systematically ignore the shortcomings that exist in Chinese society.
Churches that will remove religious symbols and replace them with images of Xi Jinping, Churches that will corrupt their teachings to gain a foothold are the only Churches permitted.
Enter Pope Francis – stage Left. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Pope Francis is about to sign an agreement with the Chinese government that will recognize the pope as the leader of the Catholic Church in China – thereby granting parliamentary legitimacy to the Church that Peter built…as if St. Peter required parliamentary legitimacy from anyone other than God…as if St. Peter wasn’t crucified by totalitarians for not subverting the teachings of Christ.
Just the tiniest of compromises, right? All Pope Francis has to do for Xi Jinping’s apportionment of God is to remove the Vatican appointed bishops from their dioceses within China and reinstate excommunicated, Chinese appointed bishops to their posts.
Pope Francis must replace Catholic bishops with communist, government-approved bishops who will by definition follow Xi Jinping’s commandments over God’s. Those bishops will then redefine, reeducate and promote a new priesthood that will generationally, exponentially reorder the Church from within.
Those priests will be promoted to the offices of bishop, archbishop and cardinal, and those malformed leaders will be promoted to the Vatican where they can continue that malformation on a global scale. Or they will be moved into nations that struggle in promoting the priesthood – like the US – where they will subvert and malform the laity in those nations.
So to recap, the Chinese government will recognize Pope Francis as the head of the Catholic Church in China as long as Pope Francis will recognize Xi Jinping as the head of the Catholic Church everywhere else…got it?
There is an underground Catholic Church in China that doesn’t make the Vatican sign a contract promising to obey. I’m not sure why the Catholic Church seeks the communist seal of approval in the first place.
Again, Xi has a contract for Pope Francis to sign. Now, I like a good cautionary tale as much as the next guy. I just never thought in a million years that a sitting pope would play footsie with one. It seems like a poor choice. Most of the Faustian stories that I’ve read don’t end as happily as the one Charlie Daniels envisioned:
“Pessimism is not in being tired of evil but in being tired of good. Despair does not lie in being weary of suffering but in being weary of joy.” ~ G.K. Chesterton The Everlasting Man