An outline of
Christian Socialism

for the thoughtful consideration of all who value responsible government, a more responsive economy, rational public discourse, a wider scope for artists and writers, improved social relations, and greater civility and decency in all corners of society.


I. Christian Socialism

Its fixed principle:

The community shall ultimately own the means of production (that is, the land and capital) collectively and use them co-operatively for the good of all.

Its underlying assumptions:

Christian socialism seeks to preserve the balance between:

Christian socialism makes great room for the practice and enjoyment of the arts and sport alongside the struggle for social justice, which, while a serious, need never be a grim affair.

Christian socialism pays great attention to tradition, the mature conviction of the ages, while making the swift decisions needed for the present.

Christian socialism is the contemporary statement of the engaged humane catholicism of twenty-one Christian centuries with roots in the Hebrew prophetic movement and affinities with all persons of good will of every age.

II. The Tradition of Christian Socialism

Scripture:

The Mothers and Fathers of the Church:

In Church Councils:

III. Christian Socialism and Socialist Political Parties

While socialism is an international movement, socialism freely adapts itself in every national environment, just as nation states and national provinces of the church do.

Socialist political parties in this and other nations are communities that try to hold aloft the socialist ideal and put it into practice in national life.

Most socialist parties describe themselves as democratic, multi-tendency organizations with structure and practices that are visible and accessible to all members. As such, these parties appear to be admirably suited to the aims of Christian socialists today. Indeed, most socialist parties have members who call themselves Christians.

One of these parties (Socialist Party USA) uses as a kind of motto this statement: "Socialism and democracy are one and indivisible." This party's aim is "to establish a democracy that places people's lives under their own control."

Such a democracy, the party contends, will be a place

Therefore these parties fight for progressive changes compatible with a socialist future. They support union and electoral actions to present socialist alternatives, in the US independent of the two- party system many take for granted. These parties also strive for "democratic revolutions" to dissolve power now exercised by the few in every nation who control great wealth and the government. By :democratic revolutions" these parties understand radical and fundamental changes in the structure and quality of the economy, the political reality, and the arena of personal relations. They see global implementation of UN human rights conventions as central to their aims.

For more information:

Dennis Wienk, Rector
St. Thomas' Church
PO Box 366, Bath NY 14810
kerouacy@empacc.net


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