Monday, March 7, 2022


Whittaker Chambers’ Witness has turned 70. I read it in college and have a copy in my library. From a post about that book:
A spy for Soviet military intelligence during the 1930s, Chambers would build a communist espionage ring in Washington, D.C., with numerous journalists and officials ensconced in the federal government during the New Deal.

Members of this cell transferred to Chambers copies of government documents, reports, and plans. He then relayed this material to the Soviet Union’s intelligence handlers.

Chambers would exit communism in 1938 after a profound Christian conversion heightened his awareness of how the communist ideology persecuted and destroyed the human spirit. ....

Chambers’ turn against communism also was sparked by his acute awareness of the Stalinist purges in the Soviet Union. Those murders spoke to a new reality Chambers accepted—the existence of the soul.

The scientific rationalism he believed in as a communist “fell from me like dirty rags,” Chambers wrote, along with “the whole web of the materialist modern mind.” This materialism had stifled human spirit, “paralyzing in the name of rationalism the instinct of his soul for God.” ....

Chambers described his process of leaving communism as a root-and-branch spiritual conversion, embracing the love and grace of a providential God. Chambers believed God called him to “fight for freedom.” If he did this, God had told him, “all will be well.”

The first stirring inside Chambers, he wrote, began the day he noticed the shape of his daughter’s ear. She was so amazingly made, he observed, that he saw the finger of God in his daughter’s creation.

Communism’s materialist vision of man had lost its hold on him. ....

To believe in man’s essential dignity was to have an answer to Vladimir Lenin’s or Joseph Stalin’s argument that ideological murders were justified. No, says Chambers, the soul is created by God and marks man as an immortal who cannot be destroyed for communist ideology.

Chambers told his wife that in leaving communism, “we are leaving the winning world for the losing world.” We made “the decision to die, if necessary, rather than to live under communism.” .... (more)
Richard M. Reinsch, "Confronting Communism’s Ideological Lie: Whittaker Chambers’ ‘Witness’ Turns 70," March 6, 2022.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated. I will gladly approve any comment that responds directly and politely to what has been posted.