Can Christianity and communism mix?

Dear Subcomandauntie, I've been reading into communism and socialism and have found that they reflect most of my beliefs. But I have one small problem: I'm a Christian, though I am pro-choice, an evolutionist and have problems with the church. But some communist websites I've been reading say that communism and Christianity don't mix - even though they have common beliefs about helping the poor and share and share alike. I'm trying to find my place on the political spectrum and it seems nowhere will have me. Can you suggest any societies or groups where I might fit in? Yours, Lost Sheep

September 1, 2004 · 2 min read

Dear Lost Sheep,

Hallelujah that you found Subcomandauntie. The websites thou describes are of the old, scary and cult-like left. But forget that “there’s no room at the inn” crap; there are lots of radical church groups doing good work out there. You didn’t say whether you are Catholic, but Subcomandauntie says Amen to the international (and anarchist) group Catholic Worker. Founded by journalist Dorothy Day and philosopher Peter Maurin in 1933, it originally promoted the biblical promises of justice and mercy. Maurin and Day opened a “house of hospitality” where the homeless, hungry and forsaken were always welcome. Nowadays their God-loving anarchist successors protest against injustice, war and violence in all forms.

Similarly, Church Action on Poverty is currently tackling the exploitation of migrant workers by gangmasters, and also dabbles in asylum-seeker rights.

And you may find a niche in the peace movement. Pax Christi, for example, is a radical Christian anti-war group that believes in social justice and non-violent direct action.

Then there’s always the Quakers. But Friends’ worship meetings may not be for the gregarious: Quakers meet in complete silence.

But do steer clear of the Christian Socialist Movement. It’s shamelessly affiliated to the Labour Party: even the prime minister is a member, and leading patron rev Leslie Griffiths just slithered into the House of Lords.

Subcomandauntie’s message to them is: God is watching.



The crack pipe of peace

Dear Auntie _ War, famine, economic depression and global warming - the idea that 'another world is possible' seems remoter than ever. Will we ever have a just and peaceful world? _ Desperate for peace, Preston

Learning by number

Dear Auntie _ At one of the Gaza protests in London, Stop the War put the number of protesters at around 100,000 but the police insisted it was only 20,000. Can Auntie reassure me that the Met has a scientific methodology for estimating crowd numbers? _ Numberless in London

No hope

Dear Auntie, All my left-wing friends seem to be overjoyed about Obama winning the US election, holding real hope that he will bring change, that he'll stop the wars, and that he'll somehow make America all cuddly and nice. But haven't we been here before? I'm getting flashbacks to the expectations people had of politicians like Tony Blair and Bill Clinton, and how quickly they betrayed us. Is it terrible that I think Obama will be just more of the same? Hopeless, London


Both feet not in the grave

Dear Auntie, Having reached 50, I've become invisible. It's the only explanation of why people look right through me. I'm ignored in shops and at bus stops; and getting served at the bar is an endurance test, as men and younger women always take priority. I have a lifetime of experience as an activist, but these days there's always a 'Darren' or 'Ryan' whose opinion matters more. I'd go as far as saying they don't even hear me speak! It seems white hair and wrinkles are taken as an early indication of Alzheimer's. But I'm not ready to go gently into the night and as Auntie looks of a similar age, does she have any advice? The invisible woman, London

Do what I say, not what I inhale

Dear Auntie, _ My daughter is starting to ask awkward questions such as 'Mum, did you take drugs when you were young?' I don't want to lie but I don't want her to venture down the same route. What do I tell her? _ Amy in London

Nice smelling poo

Dear Auntie, _ I'm a vegetarian who is fed up having to justify why I don't eat anything with a face on it. And it's the environmentalists who are also meat eaters who seem the most personally affronted by my choices. Do you have any suggestions how I can deal with this? _ Chickpea not chicken lover, Totnes