What I’m reading: Whittaker Chambers’ “Witness”

Whittaker Chambers, American writer, editor, a...

Whittaker Chambers testified against Alger Hiss and was a former communist. Image via Wikipedia

A passage from the book I’m reading, “Witness” by Whittaker Chambers, in the opening pages, that I found evocative in its comparison of Communism and religious faith:

[Communism] is not new.  It is, in fact, man’s second oldest faith.  Its promise was whispered in the first days of the Creation under the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil: “Ye shall be as gods.” It is the great alternative faith of mankind.  Like all great faiths, its force derives from a simple vision. Other ages have had great visions. They have always been different versions of the same vision: the vision of God and man’s relationship to God.  The Communist vision is the vision of Man without God.

It is the vision of man’s mind displacing God as the creative intelligence of the world. It is the vision of man’s liberated mind, by the sole force of its rational intelligence, redirecting man’s destiny and reorganizing man’s life and the world. It is the vision of man, once more the central figure of the Creation, not because God made man in His image, but because man’s mind makes him the most intelligent of animals. Copernicus and his successors displaced man as the central fact of the universe by proving that the earth was not the central star of the universe. Communism restores man to his sovereignty by the simple method of denying God.


One response to “What I’m reading: Whittaker Chambers’ “Witness”

  1. If you enjoy Witness, you may enjoy his other book, Cold Friday (1964) or other books about him:
    – Listed at http://www.whittakerchambers.org/books_hisscase.html
    – Recent books reviewed at http://wcinbooks.whittakerchambers.org/

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