The Two Irreconcilable Faiths of Our Time
In my memoir titled Quintessential Redneck, I wrote humankind sits on a three-legged stool. “The first leg is our societal or cultural underpinning. The next leg is our political underpinning. And last but not least, the final leg is our religious underpinning. In my opinion, the societal and political legs are heavily influenced by the religious underpinning (or the lack thereof). Whether or not you agree with my stool metaphor, please remember the phrase, “The two irreconcilable faiths of our time.”
It is a phrase from a book I’ve not read yet, but hope to read someday. The term is attributed to Whittaker Chambers from his autobiography titled Witness, published in 1952. President Richard Nixon quotes Mr. Chambers in his book titled Six Crisis, published in 1962. Honestly, I’ve not read this book either.
Perhaps providence has brought forth this phrase to me through the two online articles that I have read. The first article was Richard Nixon on The Meaning of the Hiss Case, which I found while reading about Alger Hiss on the Famous-Trials website. Kudos to Professor Douglas O. Linder and the UMKC School of Law. Secondly, I discovered a great article by Richard M. Reinsch on the Action.org website. This article titled Two faiths: The Witness of Whittaker Chambers was published April 12, 2012. This great read also uses the phrase, “The two irreconcilable faiths of our time.” Again, referring to Whittaker’s book Witness.
Communism is a spiritual problem
So, why all the fuss about Whittaker’s phrase? Mr. Chambers, an American, was an agent for the Soviet Military Intelligence from 1932 until 1938. He coordinated espionage activities with high ranking United States government officials. Over time, Whittaker Chambers drifted away from Communism and became a Christian. Looking at his beautiful young child, he realized there must be a Divine Creator. Marxist materialism could not honestly explain the nature of man and the source of his being. Whittaker felt guilty. Richard M. Reinsch quotes Whittaker, “A Communist breaks because he must choose at last between irreconcilable opposites—God or Man, Soul or Mind, Freedom or Communism.”
Upon Whittaker Chamber’s conversion, he outed the other spies in his cell. The most noteworthy person exposed was Alger Hiss. Mr. Reinsch describes Mr. Hiss:
“Hiss, a graduate of Harvard Law School and a former Supreme Court clerk to Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, a close friend of Dean Acheson and John Foster Dulles, an adviser to President Roosevelt at Yalta, the Secretary-General of the United Nations organization conference at San Francisco, and the President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, outwardly personified the New Deal ethos of public service. Seemingly above reproach, Hiss was refined, handsome, and a gentleman and reportedly came to Washington after being transfixed by a radio address of Franklin Roosevelt calling for national renewal.”
Whitaker suffered from depression and was more like a vagabond when compared to Hiss. It took a long time before Alger Hiss ever went to trial. Hiss almost got off scot-free, if it hadn’t been for a young U.S. Representative from California named Richard Nixon. Nixon believed Whitaker over Hiss and persisted in building a case that got Hiss convicted for lying under oath, although the statute of limitations had expired on the espionage charges.
Communism is a liberal heresy
As recorded on the UKMC.edu website, Nixon wrote the following to his daughter:
“Whittaker Chambers, with typical insight, perhaps came closest to the truth when he wrote in Witness that the situation which involved Alger Hiss and himself was not simply “human tragedy,” not just “another fat folder in the sad files of the police,” but rather was a “tragedy of history.” Here, “the two irreconcilable faiths of our time, Communism and Freedom, came to grips in the persons of two conscious and resolute men.” In this sentence, he compressed whole chapters of world history: the rise, development, and-as some would argue- partial decay of the philosophy called “liberalism”; the parallel emergence of a liberal heresy called Communism …”
“These lessons from the Hiss case are important. But more vital still is that we understand why a man like Alger Hiss, with his education and background, joined the Communist Party in the first place. The tendency too often is to try to find some convenient excuse for his conduct and thereby avoid facing up to the real reasons. But none of the typical excuses fit Alger Hiss. He did not join the Communist Party, accept its rigid discipline, and steal State Department secrets for money, position, or a desire for power, or for psychological reasons stemming from some obscure incident in his early life, or because he had been duped or led astray by his wife. He joined the Communist Party and became a Communist espionage agent because he deeply believed in Communist theory, Communist principles, and the Communist “vision” of the ideal society still to come.
He believed in an absolutely materialistic view of the world, in principles of deliberate manipulation by a dedicated elite, and in an ideal world society in which “the party of the workers” replaces God as the prime mover and the sole judge of right and wrong. His morality could be reduced to one perverted rule: anything that advances the goals of Communism is good. Hiss followed his beliefs deliberately and consciously to the utmost logical extreme and ended up in the area of espionage.” –Richard Nixon on The Meaning of the Hiss Case
Much Worse Now
We can learn about today’s political crisis regarding the Maoist assault on Donald Trump and our nation by studying Richard Nixon’s words. If elitist of Alger Hiss’s likes were deeply embedded in the State Department in 1948, it must be much worse now over seventy years later! No wonder a coup occurred against Donald Trump. The Left hated Nixon for what he did to Alger Hiss, and when the opportunity presented itself, they forced Nixon from the presidency. Now more powerful and corrupt, the Deep State took out President Trump.
Yet, the struggle is not really between the political Left and Right, Democrat or Republican. As I visualize my metaphor of a stool, I realize we failed to maintain our religious/spiritual integrity. We failed to heed the warnings of Whitaker Chambers and Richard Nixon. Add to the list. We failed to heed the words of the Apostle Paul. He wrote:
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” – Ephesians 6:12- NIV
No wonder our nation is in trouble. Many believe we have a political crisis. It is actually a spiritual problem. We must choose between the two irreconcilable faiths of our time.