"I am beginning to think that Christianity has a lot in common with Marxist-Leninism... God is dialectical materialism; Christ is Karl Marx; the Church is the Party, the elect is the proletariat, and the Second Coming is the Revolution."
"How do heaven and hell fit into that?" I asked.
"Heaven is the socialist millennium, of course. I think hell must be the punishment of the capitalists."
"The medieval Church and the Communist state share four basic dictums. Firts and foremost comes the instruction to seek the life of the spirit: seek pure Marxism. Don't waste your efforts on other trivial things. Gain is avarice, love is lust, beauty is vanity.
"Two: Communists are urged to give service to the state, as Christians must give it to the Church--in a spirit of humility and devotion, not in order to serve themselves or to become a success. Ambition is bad; it is the result of sinful pride...
"Three: both Church and Marx renounce money. Investment and interest payments are singled out as the worst of evils.
"Four, and this is the most iportant similarity, there is the way in which the Christian faithful are urged to deny themselves all the pleasures of this world to get their reward in paradise after they die."
"And Communists?" she asked.
"If they work hard and deny themselves the pleasures of this world, then after they die their children will grow up in paradise..."
"You missed out number five," I said... "Victory over the flesh. Both Church and Communist state preach that."
- Excerpted from Len Deighton's novel 'London Match.'
Views are expressed by a defecting Communist.