TN state Rep. says Einstein would teach creationism

JR:  Conservatives can’t quite make up their mind whether they hate Albert Einstein or love him. Conservapedia says his theory of relativity is a liberal plot:   “The theory of relativity is a mathematical system that allows no exceptions. It is heavily promoted by liberals who like its encouragement of relativism and its tendency to mislead people in how they view the world.”  The first footnote to that Conservapedia entry states, “Virtually no one who is taught and believes Relativity continues to read the Bible.”

Brad Johnson points out a different right-wing view of Einstein in a TP repost.

Armed with fantasy and lies, Tennessee legislators are attempting to dismantle science education in their state’s public schools. Last week, the Tennessee House voted by an overwhelming 70-23 margin in favor of a radical bill to teach the “controversy” about scientific subjects “including, but not limited to, biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming, and human cloning.” During the debate on HB 368, introduced by Rep. Bill Dunn (R-Knoxville), anti-science conservative Rep. Frank Nicely (R-Strawberry Plains) argued that the “critical thinker” Albert Einstein would have wanted public schools to teach creationism alongside the science of biological evolution:

I think that if there’s one thing that everyone in this room could agree on, that would be that Albert Einstein was a critical thinker. He was a scientist. I think that we probably could agree that Albert Einstein was smarter than any of our science teachers in our high schools or colleges. And Albert Einstein said that a little knowledge would turn your head toward atheism, while a broader knowledge would turn your head toward Christianity.

Watch it:

In fact, Nicely falsely attributed his quotation to Einstein, a Jewish humanist and professed agnostic, who never argued that scientific knowledge leads one to Jesus Christ. The statement is actually a mangled paraphrase of the 16th century philosopher Francis Bacon, who argued that “a little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism; but depth in philosophy bringeth men’s minds about to religion.”

“Why do we spend so much time arguing two theories, the theory of creationism and the theory of evolution, when neither side can prove without a doubt that they are right?” Nicely concluded. Nicely and climate-denier Rep. Sheila Butt (R-Columbia) are trying to reconcile their evangelical Christianity with science and democracy by perverting all three “” trying to wrap the lessons of faith in pseudoscientific garb, reinterpreting lessons of the observed world to fit a preconceived fantasy, and then breaking down the walls between religion and the state that protect them both.

There is another pathway to reconcile religious faith and scientific knowledge. Religious leaders like Malcolm Brown understand that natural selection does not refute “the human capacity for love, for altruism, and for self-sacrifice.” Evolutionary biologists like Kenneth Miller see the miracle in a “vision of life that spreads across the planet with endless variety and intricate beauty.”

As Albert Einstein actually said, “To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their primitive forms “” this knowledge, this feeling, is at the center of true religiousness.”

(HT: Dean’s Corner)


Rep. FRANK NICELEY (R-Strawberry Fields): I think that if there’s one thing that everyone in this room could agree on, that would be that Albert Einstein was a critical thinker. He was a scientist. I think that we probably could agree that Albert Enstein was smarter than any of our science teachers in our high schools or colleges. And Albert Einstein said that a little knowledge would turn your head toward atheism, while a broader knowledge would turn your head toward Christianity.

Now I want to quote one other person: Thomas Sowell. In my opinion, the smartest man in America today. I’ve read him for twenty years. He’s a genius, and he is a critical thinker. And he says, why in our colleges and in our high school, why do we spend so much time arguing two theories, the theory of creationism and the theory of evolution, when neither side can prove without a doubt that they are right, when there are so many cold hard facts that our children need to know that we could be spending that time teaching? So if I was a teacher, I would teach them both as theories, and let the child as he grows up make up his own mind. And I’d spend my time teaching them cold hard facts like two and two is four and pi r squared.

Brad Johnson, in a TP repost.

Related Post:

ideology masqerading as scholarship”

50 Responses to TN state Rep. says Einstein would teach creationism

  1. Peter M says:

    And we are going to compete with countries like China in this century for world preeminence when we have people in many states such as Tennessee still living in 1859- amazing.

  2. Leif says:

    Heads up: Off topic but needs a outlet. Perhaps even a post Joe.

    After 40 million years King Crabs are invading the Antarctic. The cold waters have kept King Crabs at bay and the ecosystem has evolved WITHOUT their shell crushing abilities to contend with.

  3. Bob Doublin says:

    Wasn’t Einstein an unapologetic SOCIALIST? They ARE AWARE of this aren’t they? Just curious.

  4. Richard Brenne says:

    When I read this I nearly fell off my dinosaur laughing.

  5. RobertH says:

    Ah, Tennessee… William Jennings Bryan would be so proud: 86 years without a single step forward. Where’s Clarence Darrow when we need him?

  6. Robert In New Orleans says:

    Where is my head vise?

    And people vote for these idiots!?!?!?!?

  7. Sasparilla says:

    Leif, I believe this topic (the King Crabs invading the Antarctic waters because its now warm enough) was covered before (might have been a different article) but was on one of the daily news pages as I remember reading it.

    Of course, this is happening way earlier than predicted (the warming of the water).

    Feel free to put this article over on the daily news page so people can see it.

  8. Ziyu says:

    There have to be some Democrats in TN House. They need to call out the Republican fantasizers on this. Creationism is based on religion. It is not a scientific theory and is unsupported by any evidence. They need to use the same tactics the right uses. Declare that the conservatives are out to create a Christian theocracy government that would rule us and tell us how to live our personal lives.

  9. Joan Savage says:

    If he can’t lay his hands on accurate quotes from Einstein, the legislator might benefit from reading afresh about Jonah. Jonah experienced an initial reluctance to take strong hints about what he should be doing.

    The 1000-year flood in Nashville in 2010 seems like, you know, a hint.

  10. Rob Honeycutt says:

    Lovely mountains in East Tennessee, but this so reminds me of why I moved away.

  11. Russell says:

    In its pious majesty, Tennessee’s electorate has long been susceptible to the apologetics of good Baptist lay preachers like Rep. Nicely and great Vanderbilt divines like Sen. Gore.

  12. Rob Honeycutt says:

    It’s all just so stupid because they know the law is going to be challenged as unconstitutional.

  13. Bryson Brown says:

    With the current membership of the Supreme Court I wouldn’t count on ‘teach the controversy’ failing the test. Both Scalia and Thomas were on the other side last time, and the project then was much less stealthy…

  14. Prokaryotes says:

    Why the United States Is Destroying Its Education System

    A nation that destroys its systems of education, degrades its public information, guts its public libraries and turns its airwaves into vehicles for cheap, mindless amusement becomes deaf, dumb and blind. It prizes test scores above critical thinking and literacy. It celebrates rote vocational training and the singular, amoral skill of making money. It churns out stunted human products, lacking the capacity and vocabulary to challenge the assumptions and structures of the corporate state. It funnels them into a caste system of drones and systems managers. It transforms a democratic state into a feudal system of corporate masters and serfs.

    Teachers, their unions under attack, are becoming as replaceable as minimum-wage employees at Burger King. We spurn real teachers—those with the capacity to inspire children to think, those who help the young discover their gifts and potential—and replace them with instructors who teach to narrow, standardized tests. These instructors obey. They teach children to obey. And that is the point. The No Child Left Behind program, modeled on the “Texas Miracle,” is a fraud. It worked no better than our deregulated financial system. But when you shut out debate these dead ideas are self-perpetuating.

  15. Villabolo says:

    Joe; I think from now on you should give us a ‘hernia’ warning as well as a ‘head vise’ warning.

    Even with the head vises tightly secured, our laughter may bust a gut. :-)

  16. 350 Now says:

    A little credit please to the TN legislators – look at the energy they save by sending their dimmest bulbs to DC!

  17. 350 Now says:

    Rob Honeycutt @10 – I recall hearing the late, brilliant southern writer Wilma Dykeman say something to the effect that the Great Smokies were just 50 miles (but 150 years) from Oak Ridge, TN… (ORNL) Looks like that is still the case with some of these legislators who woo their ultra conservative religious base with anti-science sentiment…

  18. Bill W says:

    As a Christian, I look at it this way: Jesus, who was God incarnate, taught using parables. Why would anybody assume he was being literal in Genesis when there’s so much evidence to the contrary?

  19. Aaron Lewis says:

    And, why would we care what a physicist said about our biology curriculum?

    It would be better to wonder what Sir Ronald Fisher, or some other major biologist thought should be taught in biology.

  20. MartinJB says:

    Heck, I say teach the controversies about evolution… phyletic gradualism or punctuated equilibrium? Selfish genes? Kin selection? Shucks, there are all sorts of controversies in evolution. It would be terrific to expose kids to the kinds of questions scientists debate instead of just presenting science as a bunch of facts to be learned. Teach it as a process for trying to ascertain what the facts are. I’d have LOVED to get some of that stuff in high-school biology.

    Oh, wait, is that not what they meant? Oops!

  21. David B. Benson says:

    I didn’t start seriously reading the bible until long after having learned about Einstein’s theories.

    So there.

  22. FatherTheo says:

    There is only one thing that modern intellectual discourse inevitably teaches–and that thing is false–that all ideas and concepts are equally valid. Thus creationism emerges as a theory equal to evolution.

    A corollary to this idea is that all bridge designs–mere ideas really–are equally sound.

    Does that mean we should start to worry about crossing bridges in Tennessee?

  23. Bill Maddox says:

    As an Athiest, I look at it this way: Jesus, who was not God incarnate, taught by making up stories. Why would anybody assume he was telling the truth when there’s so much evidence to the contrary?

  24. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Is everyone forgetting that Einstein was a socialist? And that Ben-Gurion vetoed the idea that he could become Israeli President because his humanism and humanitarianism made him unreliable. Can you really imagine what his opinion of climate change denialism and the anti-scientific bunkum mobilised in that crusade to destroy humanity would be, let alone the sad idiocy of ‘creation science’? I’m rather sure that he would, taking into account his famous humanism, have a rather poor opinion of Mr Niceley and his assertions.

  25. Richard Brenne says:

    Looking at Einstein’s picture at the top of this post reminds me that he was the Michael Jordan of science, with a few fewer slams off crossover dribble moves.

  26. Steve Metzler says:

    10. Rob Honeycutt:

    Lovely mountains in East Tennessee, but this so reminds me of why I moved away.

    And in the time since you left, they’ve all had their tops removed and been mined.

  27. George Ennis says:

    As many have noted the anti-science movement is not just limited to those who would deny the science of climate change revolution but is in fact an expanding universe which seeks to deny all facts and evidence that conflicts or even potentially conflicts with a political and/or religious narrative.

    We live in dangerous times.

  28. Chris Winter says:

    Joe observes that: “The first footnote to that Conservapedia entry states, ‘Virtually no one who is taught and believes Relativity continues to read the Bible.’ ”

    I suspect that footnote is flat wrong. It’s possible to read the Bible (or at least parts of it) for meaning without taking all of it literally. I’m sure a number of scientists and other intelligent people, who understand Einstein’s theories and are believing Christians, do so.

  29. Chris Winter says:

    And I am not surprised, but still disappointed, to find that someone who falsely interprets the concept of evolution would falsely attribute a quotation in support of his warped viewpoint.

    Frank Nicely opined: “So if I was a teacher, I would teach them both as theories, and let the child as he grows up make up his own mind. And I’d spend my time teaching them cold hard facts like two and two is four and pi r squared.”

    You’re wrong, Rep. Nicely. Everybody knows that pie are round.

    (Yes, it’s a cheap shot, but I couldn’t resist.)

  30. Chris Winter says:

    As long as we’re quoting Einstein, one of his better known quotes is: “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” He was speaking of atomic weapons, but his words apply equally well to global warming — and, it seems, to our current religious and scientific controversies.

    About those controversies, this:

    “Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence.”

    “The further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge.”

    (Quotes from:
    © Kevin Harris 1995)

  31. Gord says:

    Great comments above especially #14.

    I must agree, being a retired teacher and all … the push to innovate our way out of the economic doldrums is fast demonstrating to us the operational problems with our assumptions. When half the grad students are foreign born, we know that we can’t generate prepared minds in the numbers required to do the job.

    Public Education is one of those social experiments that are relatively new when one takes a larger view of history. It is not certain whether the experiment will end up being successful in North America. And the ‘education’ part of Public Education is suspect because it is being replaced by ‘training’.

    There was a time when to be a physician you needed to take several courses in the humanities including Philosophy. The reasoning, at the time, was that the physician needed all the help she/he could get in the area of ethics among others. They understood that training in such a ‘people focused’ career required an educational approach. Docs were required to be both trained and educated.

    From our point of view education has five pillars to it … we call them the Big Five. They are: art/literature, sciences (both physical and social), mathematics, philosophy, and history. Having a working knowledge of these areas by putting out the ‘brain sweat’ to understand them builds flexible brains that can better apply themselves to their later, life chosen areas of specialty.

  32. Leif says:

    And this one. “I do not know the weapons of WW III but WW IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” A. Einstein.

    I hope WW III will be “WAWW” or the “We All Win War” fought with rational thinking and scientific understanding and insights. WW IV with sonnets…

    GOBP would rather have a few rich and a dead planet. Go Figure and VOTE!

  33. Kiwiiano says:

    “Why do we spend so much time arguing two theories, the theory of creationism and the theory of evolution, when neither side can prove without a doubt that they are right?”

    If Creationism is correct, and the entire universe popped into existence 7000 years ago (or whenever) complete with starlight from distant galaxies and dinosaur bones, you can’t preclude the possibility that it popped into existence at any time. I’m plugging for January 1943. Complete with dinosaur bones, Egyptian pyramids and records of an ancient religion centered around a carpenter from Nazareth, who technically didn’t exist, since nothing existed before 1943.

    They can’t have it both ways.

  34. Russell says:

    In fairness to the Rt Rev Rep Nicely, “two and two is four and pi r squared.” is true for r=0.

  35. Ariel says:

    I’m embarrassed to say that I live in east Tennessee and none of this surprises me. I’m from CA and at age 50 retired to TN because it was
    affordable. This is a state where science is NOT required in high school. It’s also a state where Democrats believe in creationism. I’m sure the Rep. thinks that neither creationism or evolution have been proved to be correct, since he probably went through the TN school system. My husband was a biology teacher and is constantly frustrated at the lack of scientific knowledge here.
    To my mind, I don’t think creationism has ANY place being taught in science because it is a religious ideology, it never came from science
    and can’t be called science because it is entirely faith-based without
    any science at all.

  36. From Peru says:

    JR: sorry for posting my comment twice plus a nonsensical collection of letters(in the third “comment”): for some reason my comment does not appear.

    Maybe some problem with the server?

  37. Daniel J. Andrews says:

    And I’d spend my time teaching them cold hard facts like two and two is four and pi r squared.”

    How nice. What do you teach them after they’ve graduated from Grade 4 though? Or is Grade 4 the highest grade you can attain in public schools down there?

  38. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Bob Doublin #3, apologies for not seeing that you had already mentioned that Einstein was a socialist, as were most decent and notable human beings only a few decades ago. The success of the avaricious, misanthropic, psychopaths of the Right in painting ‘socialism’ as anathema, and the neo-feudal and, as it unsurprisingly turned out, suicidal, doctrine of unhindered, conscienceless individualism they mis-label ‘freedom’, as the only acceptable path for human societies, has turned out to be the decisive debacle in human history, at least in my opinion.

  39. From Peru says:

    Why my comments are not appearing?

    I have tried to post a comment more than 5 times without success.

  40. Charles Higley says:

    Those blithering idiots do not know the difference between the real and spiritual worlds, and we do not eat or live in the spiritual world. One cannot make sentient decisions about the real world when your thinking is screwed up by creationism. Yes, much of relativity and quantum mechanics is fairly strict and more or less set in stone. That does not impinge on us at all, but gives us more confidence in what we do. Religion has to stop trying to replace science, but instead should plan to be the spiritual side of man and interactions with others.

    Religion invented origin stories as back then they were the font of all knowledge and people really liked to know where they came from. As science developed and started to rationally, logically, and usefully explain our world, it replaced those stories. Religion took great exception to these loses, but that’s the real world folks. If religion hurts the individual or society or serves to prevent our improving our lives, then the religion needs to change or be gone. Man invented religion as a way of dealing with our own mortality.

  41. Mark at the Rally says:

    I’m surprised nobody has posted on the rhetorical trick by Rep. Nicely to try to put Thomas Sowell on similar footing as Einstein. If Sowell is “the smartest man in America”, we are in a heap of trouble.

  42. From Peru says:

    Unfortunately for those right-wing extremists, Einstein was not only a brilliant scientist and philosopher, he had an inconvienient (for them) political belief:

    He was a SOCIALIST!

    See here:

    And here:

    “Why Socialism?” by Albert Einstein:


    “nowhere have we really overcome what Thorstein Veblen called “the predatory phase” of human development. The observable economic facts belong to that phase and even such laws as we can derive from them are not applicable to other phases. Since the real purpose of socialism is precisely to overcome and advance beyond the predatory phase of human development, economic science in its present state can throw little light on the socialist society of the future.”

    We are now in a Super-predatory phase of human development. The exploitation of man by man and expoitation of Nature had reached levels that treaten to cause our EXTINCTION (alongside with most of life on Earth).

    If the right-wing anti-science, anti-people crowd wants to invoke someone that support the predatory, backward thoughts of them, Einstein is the last person to call.

    I can just guess that Einstein would theach the writings of Charles Darwin, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon and Karl Marx, alongside with the disturbing discoveries of modern science on Climate Change.

  43. From Peru says:

    JR: please help.

    I have tried to post a comment about the political beliefs of Einstein but even after submitting the comment (with some minor modifications) more than 10 times, it doesn’t appear.

    What is happening?

    [JR: You tripped the spam filter. I pulled you out.]

  44. Chris Winter says:

    A thought from Roderick Frazier Nash:

    “It is tempting to regard the extraordinary extension of ethics that radical environmentalists propose as unprecedented in American intellectual history. For the same reason it is easy to judge their chances for changing traditional attitudes and institutions as poor to nonexistent. History, however, provides another perspective. As the preceding chapters have contended, there are grounds for regarding environmental ethics as a logical extrapolation of powerful liberal traditions as old as the republic.”

    It’s not directly relevant, but I think these words from pages 199-200 of Nash’s book will help to counter the daunting presupposition that the changes we are asking for are greater than anything before. (This view is implicit in opposition arguments.)

    Nash’s book compares the anti-slavery movement with our contemporary push to care more for the environment. He does not discuss climate change specifically; but the rejection of slavery was a more wrenching change that what our times demand, and the country survived it.


    THE RIGHTS OF NATURE: A History of Environmental Ethics
    Roderick Frazier Nash
    Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1989

  45. From Peru says:

    Now that JR have pulled my comment out of the spam filter, here is the link to the Einstein essay:

    “Why Socialism?” by Albert Einstein:

    Why it ended up in the spam filter?
    Maybe becuse the word “socialism” is so abused by the anti-science crowd?

  46. From Peru says:

    Einstein was a genius, not only in science, but also in politics.

    In 1948, the same year Israel was born, he warned about the fascist, nazi-like and terrorist political movement that was then the second political force in Israel: the Revisionist Zionist “Freedom Party” (Tnuat Haherut), the political heir of the extreme-right terrorist organization “Irgun”, that committed deadly bombings against the British and massacres against the Palestinian population.

    The warning was a letter sent to the New York Times, made by Einstein and other important Jewish intellectuals:

    “New Palestine Party Visit of Menachem Begin and Aims of Political Movement Discussed”

    This is the first paragraph:

    “Among the most disturbing political phenomena of our times is the emergence in the newly created state of Israel of the “Freedom Party” (Tnuat Haherut), a political party closely akin in its organization, methods, political philosophy and social appeal to the Nazi and Fascist parties. It was formed out of the membership and following of the former Irgun Zvai Leumi, a terrorist, right-wing, chauvinist organization in Palestine.”

    The first 20 years of Israel the far-right stayed out of power. Ben Gurion (1st president of Israel) even compared the Tnuat Haherut leader, Menájem Beguin with Hitler.

    But then, after some alliances with centre-right organizations and the 6-day War, its popularity grew and in 1977 Begin won the elections.

    Since then the right(now called Likud) and the Left alternated in power.

    In the 1990s the Right alliance caused the Palestinian-Israeli peace process to fail.

    In the 2000s Likud and its less extreme split, Kadima, dominated the Israeli politics. Then we have the massacres of Lebanon in 2006 and in Gaza in 2008-2009. Thanks to “liberal”, free-market economic policies that demolished the welfare state of the Israeli early years, poverty soared, reaching 23% in 2010.

    In 2009, after the Gaza Massacre, the shift to the right was even more extreme. The laborist became the 4rth political force, the right Kadima and Likud the 1st and 2nd and the far-right Beitenu the 3rd. Now the right is trying to pass laws to criminalize criticism of Israeli foreign policy and to “relocate” the Israeli Arabs in the Occupied Territories(i.e ethnic cleansing of Arabs).

    Al jazeera make several articles warning of a fascist involution of Israeli politics.

    “Israeli minister wants Arabs expelled”

    “The death of Israeli democracy”

    Einstein made a warning 62 years ago about Israeli Fascism. Now it seems that his worst fears are being fullfilled.

    Note: this is off topic for climate, but totally relevant to show the proggressist thought of Einstein and the catastrophic consecuences of the Political Right policies.

    The same people that defend Creationism are also extremist Christian Zionists, that believe that Israel is necessary to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. They specifically oppose frontally the Peace Process, and want the Muslim Mosques in Jerusalem to be destroyed to build a New Temple for Jews, to fullfill the Bible Profecies, at least in their (very discutible) interpretation:

    “for Jesus to return, the Anti-Christ must establish himself in the Jerusalem Temple. For this be possible, the Rock Dome and the Al-Aqsa Mosques in Jerusalem Center must be destroyed.”

    Einstein will denounce Creationists not only as anti-scientific, but also a dangerous extremist religious fanatics, that treaten the world with a full scale war with the Muslim World. In short, they want a Holy War, like in the Crusades, against Islam. They do not care if millions of Jews and Arabs(inluding a lot of Christian Arabs) die in the process.

    The Einsten et al. letter is a must-see, as are the two Al Jazeera stories.

    Pray for the American and Israeli People, to see the catastrophic dead end they are headed for. In Israel, it seems that the only progressive force that resisted the rightist, pro-war wave is the Maki-Hadash alliance (Communist Party of Israel- Front for Equality and Democracy)

    Link to MAKI:

    They gained just 4 sites in the Knesset (Israeli Parliament). I hope that in the next election the Left could have better results to counter the far-right tsunami.

  47. Merrelyn Emery says:

    Chris Winter #44. The USA is not the world! ME

  48. M says:

    #45, From Peru: The reason the spam filter is tripped by the social word is because if you add “social” and “ism” together, the letters after “so” and before “m” make a word that is often found in spam trying to sell stuff to you.

    But yes, anyone who thinks that Einstein would promote Christianity should require some remedial education before they get to control the education policy of their state.

  49. From Peru says:

    M says:

    “if you add “social” and “ism” together, the letters after “so” and before “m” make a word that is often found in spam trying to sell stuff to you”

    What are you saying, a word spelled “cialis”?

    That word exists? Never heard it before. What it means?

  50. From Peru says:

    M says:

    “anyone who thinks that Einstein would promote Christianity should require some remedial education before they get to control the education policy of their state.”

    He would obviously not promote Christianity because he was a JEW.

    But if you are thinking instead he would not promote Christianity because of his Socialist and Humanist ideals, think again.

    Socialism and Communism are totally compatible with Christianity.

    Socialism is a system were the economy is built to serve the People bringing equality in wealth, instead of the current system where the people work to fullfill the interests of the Big Corporations or of the Government.

    (N.B.: That was NEVER applied in history, NOTHING even remotely similar to Socialism was implemented. The “Soviet” Union was quite the opposite of Socialism, as the workers were exploited by a greedy bureocratic class, the Nomenklatura. Same diagnosis for all pseudo-socialist states like China, Vietnam,North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela,Yugoslavia, Warsaw Pact countries,etc. They followed the dead-end of Leninism-Stalinism, a totalitarian ideology that betrayed completely the socialist ideals of Marx and Engels.)

    Communism is an ideal system where there are not class division (all people have equal rights and wealth) and no State (because the people govern itself without public authorities). This is an idealized society that one can be almost sure will be never reached, but an advanced Socialist society could be quite near of that condition.(I hope my grand grand children could see that)

    Christianity, in a similar way, teaches that one should not work for personal interests, but to serve the other people. The commandment “love your neightbour like yourself”, implies that ideally one should share his wealth with the other people.

    See here:

    This currently is impossible, as the current system make the altruist people work for the interests of the powerful and rich people (businessmen, politicians, bureaucrats) and pay for all services one needs (education, health, water, electricity, telecommunications, etc) that should be free (after all, why one pay taxes? Not certainly for paying bureaucrats, military spending or bailouting banks). Very little is left for social solidarity.

    To me the nearest to socialism were the Welfare States of post-WWII North Europe, that at least covered all the basic human needs (specially education and health). Today the wave of the so-called “free market policies” is destroying those islands of advanced civilization.