I am not a religionist, but have a sense of ‘sympathy’ and ‘respect’ towards those still caught in the mire of the elaborate systems of religious thought. In answer to your question – I wasn’t aware that you were defending the Church – anymore than I was attacking it. I am the best friend the Church could have on the (Marxist-Leninist – Maoist) Communist Left, as there are many out-there who would see it dismantled and its adherents tried, imprisoned and even executed for its many and continuous crimes (crimes, incidentally, that I certainly do not condone). The point I am making is that ‘good’ can (and does) emerge from religious thinking, and let’s face it, you can’t get anything more evil than predatory capitalism (although it is true that Marx and Engels do equate the two modes of thought). It is a complex issue made far too simplistic by many Marxists (as Socialist Christians are not an issue at all and tend to support Revolution). Religionists, on the other hand, tend to be just as flummoxed when conditions in the real world exceed the limitations set by their ideal interpretation of theology, they like to think is a ‘cure-all’ for everything in life. Reality is often far more complicated than we would like it, but here we are. Of course, it would be preferrable that our daily conditions be quietly productive, peaceful, tranquil and harmonious, but other than in a remote monastery, where is this to be found? Predatory capitalism, by its very nature, advocates violent competition between individuals (for resources), guarantees such an unnatural negation of the ‘group’ that there is bound to be ‘conflict’ at every step. Religion does not have to support or conform to this madness, and is in a unique position to resist and reject this mode of human interaction. The fact that many sections of the religious community fully align themselves with the forces of predatory capitalism speaks volumes. My function is to use knowledge and understanding to clear the ‘dead-wood’ of redundant Socialist ideology (that was once relevant but is now out of date), and the religious bigotry, fears and misunderstandings that are preventing meaningful dialogue between both camps. Those who are religionists and need help and guidance about living within a Socialist Society should approach me and ask for assistance.