I love to debate. Recently in the heat of an ongoing Facebook argument, my opponent accused me of being a communist. I believe the last time I was accused of being a communist was grade school. However, after much introspection, I had to admit that I am a communist. In 1991, on the border between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, I became a Christian communist, and I have been a passionate member of my commune ever since.
In my Christian commune, we are taught to behave in ways that bring honor to our leader, and there is a rulebook that hasn’t changed for centuries. In my commune people are expected to follow the leader and the rulebook, and we are guided by a worldview that inspires us to give more to the commune than we take, and what we take from the commune we believe are gifts, not entitlements. There are some in the commune who habitually give less than their ability and take more than they need, but the system seems to overcome its challenges when properly lubricated with grace and forgiveness.
In my commune people often choose to deprive themselves of luxuries so they can afford to help the less fortunate in and outside our commune. Although my commune is often ridiculed, insulted, and despised by its beneficiaries, my commune gives more than it takes from the outside community. My commune feeds the poor and heals the sick outside my commune, even when those outside my commune curse our leader’s name.
There was a heavy price I had to pay to fully reap the promised benefits of my commune membership: I was required to voluntarily choose the leader’s ways over my own. While I wasn’t necessarily kicked out of the commune when I was selfish, it appeared the more I gave, the more I received. Because this contract was built on a supernatural belief, it was difficult to accept until I experienced it.
When I used to live outside the commune, life was more cynical and unhappy. It was confusing and frustrating living outside the commune because the rules were always changing, and they were so complicated everyone was afraid. Outside the commune, people didn’t talk to their neighbors, and they used lawyers to solve even small disagreements. Outside the commune, I was taught that inside the commune life was oppressive and boring, but I discovered the people inside the commune are every bit as fun loving as those living outside the commune. Once inside the commune, I observed that many of the behaviors the outside proclaimed to be liberating were actually enslaving. Until I actually joined the commune, I was a supporter of the anti-commune movement; however, now that I am a communist, I find great comfort in my membership. What I experienced outside the commune routinely failed me, but what I have experienced inside the commune has been consistently positive. For me, life outside the commune was scary and unreliable; however, inside the commune life has been secure and reliable.
Now that I am a communist, I am often insulted and ridiculed by people outside the commune for being a communist. (I guess it is only fair because I used to attack Christian communists myself). My commune is often attacked for being selfish, even though it has proven to be less selfish than the society outside the commune. My commune is routinely called racist, even though my commune’s record on race is superior to that outside the commune. Finally, my commune is accused of propagating untruths, even though little I experienced outside the commune proved reliable. I guess what ultimately led me to exit the society outside and join my Christian commune was the continual disappointments I experienced out there.
I am often encouraged by people living outside to leave my commune and rejoin the society-at-large; however, I already know from experience how frightfully bad life is outside the commune. I no longer desire to live outside my commune, where people are tricked into creating governments strong enough to force their neighbors into behaving and thinking a certain way, only to have those same strong governments oppress the very people who created them, and in ways the creators never intended.
I am proud of my commune’s record on social issues. I know throughout history there have been embarrassments identified by those living outside my commune, yet the historical transgressions of my commune weren’t a reflection of the teachings of our leader, nor were they worse than the transgressions of societies living outside my commune. Though far from the perfection required by those living outside of my commune, my commune’s history has been net positive. It is a shame when those outside my commune bring light to our shortcomings and ignore our successes.
There are some in our commune who live their lives like they really believe our leader is the Truth. From the successes I have observed from these hard core communists, I want to be just like them. Others in our commune live like they believe some of what our leader says is true, and this group experiences varying levels of success. Many who join our commune live their lives exactly like they did when they lived outside the commune, and they are just as insecure and frustrated as they were before they joined. The funny thing about our commune is it only works for the people who live their lives like they believe the leader’s teachings are true.
After living both outside and inside my commune, I prefer living inside. I often get frustrated when those outside my commune want the material benefits my commune produces without the worldview that makes those material benefits possible. It is sad those who choose to live outside my commune don’t understand that it is our worldview, not its resulting benefits, that holds the real power.
Within my commune good and evil are easily discerned, and they are never changing; but outside my commune, good and evil change every election. In my commune I am free to be good; outside my commune I am forced to be whatever is contemporarily decided by the majority (or a panel of life-appointed judges) to be good.
It would be wrong for me to force anyone to join my commune; however, I will testify it has proven better for me than life outside the commune. While it appears life outside my commune is spiraling towards destruction, I know I am secure within my commune. If my choice to voluntarily join my commune and follow the teachings of my leader makes me a communist, I plead I am guilty as charged.