Tag: communism

Chambers, McCarthy, & Trump

An interesting question was posed to me yesterday by a former student, wanting to know what Whittaker Chambers might think of Donald Trump. I gave him my short answer but then decided it would be perhaps insightful to provide a fuller one here today. For those of you unfamiliar with Chambers, here’s a short synopsis of his life. Whittaker Chambers, in the 1920s, became a member of the Communist party because he saw it as the hope of a world… Read more »

Lewis & the Public Square (Part 3)

I’ve been sharing some of the paper I’m going to present at the upcoming C. S. Lewis Foundation summer conference. The theme of the conference is on how Christians can participate in the public square. The last section of my paper draws on Lewis’s insights on that matter. In my previous excerpt, Lewis was writing about some of the pitfalls of democracy. He continues in that vein: Lewis had an exchange on this issue with one of his regular American… Read more »

Chambers: Higher Education & Despair

What led Whittaker Chambers to become a communist? His university education was one source, not because it taught him communism per se, but because it offered nothing to believe in. Faced with a choice between nihilism and communism, he chose the latter. Here’s an excerpt from my new book that I hope you will find enlightening with respect to the decline of higher education. Chambers chose to attend Columbia University, close enough to home that he could save money by… Read more »

Chambers: Death of a Nation?

Those who have read this blog long enough know my affinity for Whittaker Chambers, a man I consider one of the true heroes in American history. That’s why he is one of the subjects of my new book The Witness and the President: Whittaker Chambers, Ronald Reagan, and the Future of Freedom. He had joined the Communist Party in the 1920s, thinking it was the answer to all the world’s crises. Only later did he come to grips with his… Read more »

The Christian Witness to the World

The arrival of Pope Francis in America takes me back in my thoughts to an earlier era when a pope who grew up under communism and understood the horrors of socialist practices worked with an American president who was a Protestant (with a Catholic father) and a British prime minister who was tutored all her early years by her Methodist shopkeeper father (and who later said that C. S. Lewis was one of her spiritual mentors) to overthrow the Soviet… Read more »

Whittaker Chambers: Conservatism or Counterrevolution?

The year: 1938. The occasion: a meeting between Whittaker Chambers, who had, at great peril, left the American communist underground, and General Walter Krivitsky, a defector from Stalin’s secret police. This meeting was instrumental in helping Chambers decide to inform on his former underground associates, and eventually led to the front-page drama of the Chambers-Hiss controversy from 1948-1950. Chambers was hesitant to talk with Krivitsky. He knew it might lead to that fateful decision that would change the rest of… Read more »

The Lewis-Chambers Missed Opportunity

Another of C. S. Lewis’s regular American correspondents was Mary Van Deusen, someone with whom he shared thoughts on deep theological issues and on current events. One of her chief concerns, in the early 1950s, was the knowledge of how communists had infiltrated the American government. In one response to her, Lewis talked about how that issue showcased one problem with the modern concept of democracy: Your question about Communists-in-government really raises the whole problem of Democracy. If one accepts… Read more »