The ACLU’s Communist, Atheist Roots

The ACLU’s Communist, Atheist Roots

December 16th, 2010

Dr. Paul Kengor,

The ACLU seems unusually active right now. What  gives? Maybe it’s   the Christmas season, which always seems to spring the  ACLU into high   gear, making it more miserable than usual.

I tried to ignore the latest round of ACLU legal  challenges against   religious Americans, but they became too much. The  surge has been   remarkably ecumenical, not singling out Protestant or  Catholic   interests.

First, I got an email from Mat Staver’s group,  Liberty Counsel,   highlighting a bunch of ACLU lawsuits. Then I read a  page-one,   top-of-the-fold headline in the National Catholic Register,    “Catholic Hospitals Under New Attack by ACLU,” regarding an ACLU    request to compel Catholic hospitals to do abortions. Next was an email    from a colleague at Coral Ridge Ministries, forwarding a Washington Times article. Then came another email from yet another Christian group on lawsuits somewhere in Florida. And on and on.

That was just a sampling of this year’s Christmas  cheer, courtesy of   the American Civil Liberties Union. At least the ACLU  always finds a   way to unite Protestants and Catholics.

In the interest of faith and charity, I’d like to  add my own   ecumenical offering—a history lesson. It concerns some  fascinating   material I recently published on the ACLU’s early founders,  especially   three core figures: Roger Baldwin, Harry Ward, and Corliss  Lamont. I   can only provide a snapshot here, but you’ll get the picture.

First, Roger Baldwin: Baldwin was the founder of the  ACLU, so far to   the Left that he was hounded by the Justice Department  of the   progressive’s progressive, Woodrow Wilson. Perhaps it was a faith    thing. Wilson was a progressive, but he was also a devout Christian,    and Roger Baldwin was anything but that.

Baldwin was an atheist. He was also a onetime Communist, who, among other ignoble gestures, wrote a horrible 1928 book called Liberty Under the Soviets….

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Old College Pal: Obama Has “Continuing Commitment to Marxist Ideology”

Old College Pal: Obama Has “Continuing Commitment to Marxist Ideology”

December 10th, 2010

Dr. Paul Kengor, American Thinker

…John Drew was a  contemporary  of Obama at Occidental College and a Marxist himself.  In  fact, Drew  was a well-known campus communist when Obama was introduced  to him as  “one of us.”  “Obama was already an ardent Marxist when I met  in the  fall of 1980,” said Drew, going on the record.
Drew  is certainly  cognizant of the gravity of his statement.  “I know it’s  incendiary to  say this,” he adds, but Obama “was basically a  Marxist-Leninist.”  He  noted how Obama, in Dreams from My Father,  stated that when he  got to college, he attended “socialist conferences”  and “hung out”  with Marxist professors.  But what Obama did not explain  or clarify,  says Dr. Drew, is that Obama “was in 100 percent, total  agreement with  these Marxist professors.”
I  asked Drew where,  precisely, he believes Obama stands today.  Of  course, Drew no longer  knows Obama, and his main goal in reaching out to  me was to clarify  where Obama stood at Occidental, which is information  that cannot be  ignored.  That said, he did tell me this: “There are a  lot of brands of  Marxism.  That was one of the key ingredients of my  argument with the  young Barack Obama.  I see evidence of [a] continuing  commitment to  Marxist ideology every time President Obama traces the  furor of the  public to underlying economic conditions and inevitable  changes taking  place in society. In the Marxist model, the economy is  the driving  force behind change in the other spheres of society.”
Drew  shared those  thoughts with me last spring. More recently, however, we  had an even  more illuminating conversation when I had the opportunity to  interview  Drew while I was guest-hosting the Glen Meakem Program,   a terrific radio-talk show broadcast from Pittsburgh.  Here are edited   excerpts of what Drew told me on the air on October 16, 2010:
Drew: As far as  I can tell, I’m the only person in Obama’s extended circle of  friends  who is willing to speak out and verify that he was a  Marxist-Leninist  in his sophomore year of college from 1980 to 1981.  I  met him because I  graduated from Occidental College in 1979, and I was  back at  Occidental visiting a girlfriend.
Kengor: Was Occidental known for radical-left politics?  Would that have been an attraction to Obama?
Drew:  It was  considered the Moscow of southern California when I was there.   There  were a lot of Marxist professors, many of whom I got to know  pretty  well. … What I know absolutely for sure — and this is where I  really  sought you out and I really wanted to be helpful in terms of the   historic record — was to verify that Barack Obama was definitely a   Marxist and that it was very unusual for a sophomore at Occidental to be   as radical or as ideologically attuned as young Barack Obama was….

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