While the Bible asserts property rights and the rights of inheritance, socialism assaults them. Marx and Engels put the “abolition of property” first in a ten-step program for implementing communism. That’s not exactly a Christian thing to do. The eighth commandment, “You shall not steal” (Exodus 20:15) applies every bit as much to the men and women who hold the reins of political power as it does to everyone else.
So does the 10th commandment, “You shall not covet” (Exodus 20:17). Coveting, or envy, is a powerful driver of socialism, which is in a perpetual snit that some people have more than others. So when President Obama castigates “Fats Cats” on Wall Street, decries “economic inequality,” and warns, as he did in his 2009 budget statement that a “disproportionate share of the nation’s wealth has been accumulated by the very wealthy,” he stokes a destructive impulse that is condemned by Scripture.
Socialism also runs afoul of the first commandment, “You shall have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20:3). Socialist governments seek to play God — to take His place as the ultimate sovereign. Consider the veneration that Russians once gave to the embalmed remains of Lenin and Stalin, the Nazi-prescribed prayer to Hitler (“Thy Reich [kingdom] comes, thy will alone is law upon the earth”), and the personality cult surrounding North Korea’s “Dear Leader,” Kim Jong-il.
The sixth commandment, “You shall not murder,” is also widely ignored by Marxist regimes. Marx and Engels proclaimed that their aims could be “attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions.” Their disciples, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, and other communist henchmen, killed 100-million people, a “tragedy of planetary dimensions,” as the French publisher of The Black Book of Communism put it.