BYU Sociology Department encourages students in Karl Marx’s class struggle

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UPDATE (10/30/2016): Earlier this month, Rick Miller (chair of the Sociology Department at Brigham Young University) left a statement in reply to this article.  In response, LDS Answers has published an “open letter” to Rick Miller explaining why so many Latter-day Saints are having a problem with the BYU Sociology Department’s “t-shirt giveaway”.  Read more.

UPDATE 6:15am (9/29/2016): If you are interested in viewing the comments made before the BYU Sociology Facebook page suppressed opposing viewpoints, please see these screenshots saved by a participant.

UPDATE 1:30pm (9/28/2016): The BYU Sociology Official Facebook page has deleted all comments sharing the words of the Presidents of the Church from their Facebook post. We are saddened by this censorship of any discussion sharing an alternative viewpoint to Karl Marx and Socialism/Communism.

Yesterday, the official Facebook page for the Brigham Young University Sociology Department sponsored a free giveaway featuring a t-shirt with the words, “The class struggle is real” and a portrait of Karl Marx. Was it a joke? Was it humorous? Some of the students seem to be taking it serious.  Others from the LDS community are voicing concern on how Marxism is taught at BYU.  Is Communism cute and harmless?  Is Communism a viable political alternative?

Comments left below the post revealed that many BYU students, because of the influence of the BYU Sociology Department, support Marx and some of his ideologies.

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BYU Sociology Official Facebook page, 9/28/2016

Karl Marx was identified by President Ezra Taft Benson as one of the five men whose ideas are very deceptive and intended to thwart the work of God. (Read more)

As a watchman on the tower, I feel to warn you that one of the chief means of misleading our youth and destroying the family unit is our educational institutions. President Joseph F. Smith referred to false educational ideas as one of the three threatening dangers among our Church members. There is more than one reason why the Church is advising our youth to attend colleges close to their homes where institutes of religion are available. It gives the parents the opportunity to stay close to their children; and if they have become alert and informed as President McKay admonished us last year, these parents can help expose some of the deceptions of men like Sigmund Freud, Charles Darwin, John Dewey, Karl Marx, John Keynes, and others. Today there are much worse things that can happen to a child than not getting a full college education. In fact, some of the worst things have happened to our children while attending colleges led by administrators who wink at subversion and amorality. (Ezra Taft Benson, Strengthening the Family, Conference Report, October 1970, pp. 21-25, also quoted in The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, 307.)

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BYU Sociology Official Facebook page, 9/28/2016

The comments below this giveaway from the BYU Sociology Department revealed that President Benson’s warning was prophetic.  Elder Bruce R. McConkie identified the secret combination of the Latter-day as Communism.

“Moroni here (Ether 8:23–35) speaks of one particular secret combination and prophecies that it will be among us in our day. Next Moroni turns the key so that all who have ears to hear can understand what the secret combination is and can identify those who build it up. ‘For it cometh to pass’, he says, ‘that whoso buildeth it up seeketh to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries’. This is a worldwide conspiracy. It is now entrenched in many nations, and it seeks dominion over all nations. It is godless, atheistic, and operates by compulsion. It is communism.” (Bruce R. McConkie, The Millenial Messiah, p. 65-66)

Learn more at What guidance have leaders of the Church given in regard to the threat of Socialism and Communism?

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BYU Sociology Official Facebook page, 9/28/2016

Some feel that this recent promotion of Marxism parallels with the Nephite civilization when the Nephites began to believe in the secret combination. (Helaman 6:38)  This is a sobering call for parents to become informed and better prepare their children.

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BYU Sociology Official Facebook page, 9/28/2016

What can parents do?

President Benson taught that the purpose of the Book of Mormon is to bring men to Christ by “testifying of Christ and revealing His enemies.” (Ezra Taft Benson, A Witness and a Warning: A Modern-Day Prophet Testifies of the Book of Mormon, p.7)

Jayson S. Kunzler shares valuable insight on using the Book of Mormon to expose and correct Communist and Socialist ideology embraced by many LDS young people.

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Teach your children the grim consequences of applying Marxist theory.  Richard Wurmbrand was tortured for over 14 years in Communist prisons for his Christian faith.

Free online videos telling the story of Richard Wurmbrand!

Receive a free copy from The Voice of the Martyrs.
Receive a free copy from The Voice of the Martyrs.

Following his release, Wurmbrand worked tirelessly to bring awareness of the millions of persecuted men and women, brutally tortured and killed in Communist countries through the influence of the ideas of Karl Marx.  Intense persecution continues today.

In addition to his own autobiography, Tortured for Christ, Wurmbrand authored a biography of Karl Marx documenting Marx’s involvement in Satanism, Marx and SatanPurchase Marx and Satan or read online for free! Should we really be celebrating the man who has more blood on his hands than perhaps any other man in the last days?

Quotations from Karl Marx

“Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.” (Karl Marx, Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right, Introduction, p. 1, 1843.)

“Thus heaven I’ve forfeited, I know it full well. My soul, once true to God, is chosen for hell.” (The Pale Maiden, poem by Karl Marx)

“Look now, my blood-dark sword shall stab
Unerringly within my soul.
God neither knows nor honors art.
The hellish vapors rise and fill the brain.
Till I go mad and my heart is utterly changed.
See this sword? The prince of darkness sold it to me. –
For me beats the time and gives the signs.
Ever more boldly I play the dance of death.” (The Player, poem by Karl Marx)

See also Invocation of One in Despair and Oulanem.

Please teach your children what the prophets have taught regarding Karl Marx, Communism and Socialism.  (See the Joseph Smith Forum Government FAQ compilation)  Share the stories of those who experienced the bitter consequences of Marxist ideology firsthand and instill in your children the principles of liberty and freedom.

“It’s just a joke.” some have responded, “It’s just for a good laugh.” One wonders how funny a Hitler T-shirt promoting antisemitism might be or a Governor Boggs T-shirt promoting extermination. The ideology of Karl Marx is not humorous, funny or just “a joke”. This is particularly true because these BYU students are defending the ideology and scrubbing any dissent.

Awaken to Our Awful Situation (see original post)
Awaken to Our Awful Situation (see original post)

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40 Comments on "BYU Sociology Department encourages students in Karl Marx’s class struggle"

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Aaron
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The cultural Marxism embedded within our society via education, media and other venues has really done a number on my generation. Have our foundations so eroded that we completely disregard the divine word of scripture and the warning voices of prophets? Will we instead embrace THE secret combination of the Latter-Days as lightly and as merrily, as it were if we were going to another movie marathon (part and parcel of the problem)? A false doctrine and a philosophy that has been the cause of mass, heartless murder, reaped terrible havoc and heartbreak the world over? We need to return… Read more »
Kimberly
Guest

I really don’t know what to say about this other than this is the reason I homeschool.

If a modern Prophet of God named Karl Marx as an Anti Christ in our day, why would any covenant keeping Latter Day Saint want to entertain or study the teachings of Karl Marx?

Melissa
Guest

This was at BYU. You gonna homeschool your 20-year-old? 🙂

Anne
Guest
I believe Kimberly was making the observation that parents have the power to make a difference. The only lasting solution to this “awful situation” (Ether 8:24) is for fathers and mothers to turn their focus back to the home, back to their children and prepare the rising generation for the intense war waging against the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In the Book of Mormon, Helaman, Alma and other prophets wore out their lives to “preach the word of God”. They took their children with them and were actively engaged in being a voice for truth. We could learn from their… Read more »
Melissa
Guest

Oh sure, I think that’s all great, but the truth is, there comes a point when your kids are gonna leave home and get exposed to different views than your own, whether you homeschooled them or not. And I’m pretty sure BYU is not the most extreme example of that.

Anne
Guest

It may not be the most extreme “Marxist” school, but it certainly is the most deceptive because students attending BYU and the parents who send their children there believe that they will be taught principles in light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, this is not true. For many, the purpose of home education is not to “shelter” but to expose ideologies like Darwinism, Socialism and so forth in light of the Gospel.

Kenneth
Guest

If she does it right, her 20 year old won’t need a worthless college education in order to produce and contribute to society.

Xerxes
Guest

It’s called academic rigor. Being exposed to alternative thought and ideas shapes minds. It encourages critical thinking and expands knowledge. That’s the point of education.

Aaron
Guest
If communistic principles are being taught at school, in the name of “academic rigor” why censure the alternatives? Why silence those who shared quotes from Church authorities or offered another outlook? For that matter why can’t we discuss Creationism, the idea of a young earth, that the scriptures are literal, why don’t we teach the constitution in depth rather than mere case law? Are any of Marx’s viewpoints being openly challenged? Please don’t take me as critical, it’s just when I see only one perspective drilled at schools and colleges, promoted on television and in the media I call that… Read more »
Miriam
Guest

BYU strives to provide its students with a thorough education. Marxist ideas have shaped the world, like it or not. As a humanities student, I have studied him as a theorist–NOT as an idol or even a good example. Karl Marx lived and his ideas were influential. I don’t see the BYU sociology department trying to say anything beyond that.

Margaret
Guest
I just read the comments made before they were deleted from the BYU Sociology Facebook page, and I suggest everyone read them. Exactly why were these comments deleted? It seems to me that if Marxist theories are to be studied at BYU, the teachings found in the scriptures and quotes from the Prophets should be included in the discussion. Obviously the professors don’t want them included. Some of the comments deleted from the BYU Sociology Facebook page included the following: Quote from Karl Marx: “The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of man is a requisite for their real… Read more »
James
Guest

When I was at BYU in the early 1990s, I can remember being taught pro-Marxism in World Geography, Sociology, Psychology, US History, Environmental Economics, Philosophy and more subtly in other classes. This indoctrination has been taking place for many years. It is not something new. The BYU students and professors may be more open, bold and forward about it currently but the foundation was there long ago.

Tracy
Guest

Well this explains why Bernie sanders was the candidate of choice at byu. ????

Bryce
Guest

As a BYU graduate and flaming homosexual, I find your selective use of prophetic words disturbing. Hugh B. Brown publicly chided Benson in a conference for peddling his idiotic fear of socialism over the pulpit. And, as someone who things that Mormonism is really just religious socialism when practiced in its purest form (remember how you covenanted in the temple to live consecration?), I think y’all just need a couple Xanax. Workers of the world unite!! And also, smash the patriarchy. Close quote.

Caleb Young
Guest
Bryce, I would like to ask a few questions to put your comment in context. Can you please show me the quote you are thinking of by Hugh B. Brown? Can you show me the quotes that prove your generalized statement that this article uses a “selective use of prophetic words” that only shows this article’s opinion? Because as far as I can understand, the First Presidency never detracted from Ezra Taft Benson’s statements on Communism being Satan’s twisted version of God’s plan. Additionally, Pres. Benson as prophet only re-stated what he earlier said as an apostle. I think this… Read more »
Sterling M Jones
Guest

My gosh. Obviously this wasn’t a ringing endorsement of communism, just like President Monson quoting Aldous Huxley in General Conference wasn’t a ringing endorsement of atheism.

Caleb Young
Guest

Any publicity is good publicity, Sterling. BYU should be warning of the dangers of Marx and his communist ideas, not making jokes about them as if there’s nothing wrong with him or his ideas.

Jacob
Guest
Saying that Marx has more blood on his hands than anyone else in the last days is absurd. If you actually knew anything about the theories that the shirt is referencing, you would recognize that they are commonly accepted ideas in both political parties. It’s pretty much a statement of the obvious now, but in the 1800s it was less understood and Marx became famous for his novel explanation. Blaming him for the slaughter and abuse that took place in the name of those theories is like blaming Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and the other apostles for the centuries of… Read more »
Jacob
Guest

For crying out loud, read Elder Oaks’ talk at BYU from just a couple weeks ago. His biggest complaint was that universities need to be safe places for discussing opposing ideas, even ones that we’re uncomfortable with. This is ridiculous.

Caleb Young
Guest
Jacob, I would disagree with what you share here. The first plank of the Communist Manifesto is the abolition of property rights. Marx himself said “The theory of Communism may be summed up in one sentence: Abolish all private property.” Are you telling me that you think Karl Marx’s communist ideas (like taking away property) were good? That his desire to exterminate not just property rights but also religious rights was normal? That these ‘good’ ideas were somehow twisted from what they are (stealing rights and agency) and turned into Stalin and Hitler… (stealing rights and agency)? Somehow I’m not… Read more »
Ann Clark
Guest
It is difficult to see this come from a church school, where so many parents have sacrificed much to keep their children safe from propaganda and evil conspiracies of men. The vision of BYU was beautiful, but somehow has been lost due to our training in segregating State and church from our public educational training as children. The vision in 1875, when Brigham Young first commissioned the academy was to teach the standard academic curriculum and the doctrines of the restored gospel, and to teach them both by the Spirit of God. The Academy’s founding principal, Karl G. Maeser, took… Read more »
Lloyd
Guest
I wonder if the shirt said Korihor rather than Marx if that would have changed anyone’s view. If we were to compare the two, their teachings are parallel. I would say the main difference is that Marx had a much larger audience, therefor his message has had the ability to do much more harm than Korihor. When I think of all the death and suffering caused by Godless people serving communism or socialism, it is hard for me to fathom how warmly it is embraced in this country. I guess the fight for freedom in the preexistence continues in mortality.… Read more »
James
Guest
This article lacks academic and intellectual rigor and balance. Ezra Taft Benson belonged to a radical political pseudo-secret group known as the John Birch Society. Their main objective at the time was to destroy the “evil” that is communism. Benson’s philosophies of men mingled inappropriately into his scripture and he abused his role as general authority and was corrected on this on a few occasions but the first presidency prior to his tenure in the presidency. This should be acknowledged by the authors of this article, whomever they may be. The fact that Mormons and BYU affiliates cannot have an… Read more »
Lloyd
Guest

The John Birch Society has never been pseudo-secret or radical other than being adamantly opposed to socialism and communism (which is the reason Ezra Taft Benson was a supporter). The scriptures are very clear that Heavenly Father’s plan was based upon freedom and Satan’s plan was based upon force or communism, socialism, fascism and etc.

In regards to Ezra Taft Benson, he understood the “Proper Role of Government” as well as any prophet who ever lived. He had President McKay’s complete support in his political views.
Your philosophical argument is very weak.

Eric
Guest
I emailed the Sociology Department. This is their response: “Dear Eric, I am the chair of the sociology department at Brigham Young University, and I thought it might be appropriate for me to respond to your email. The t-shirt with a picture of Karl Marx and the caption “The Class Struggle is Real” was chosen as part of our social media promotion because the faculty felt that it was a good joke. It was a play on words, a pun, with class struggle referring to the struggle of students trying to get an A in classes at BYU. Our students… Read more »
Rick Miller
Guest
I am the chair of the sociology department at Brigham Young University, and I thought it might be appropriate for me to respond to this post. The t-shirt with a picture of Karl Marx and the caption “The Class Struggle is Real” was chosen as part of our social media promotion because the faculty felt that it was a good joke. It was a play on words, a pun, with class struggle referring to the struggle of students trying to get an A in classes at BYU. Our students got the joke, and our faculty got the joke. Our decision… Read more »
-Amy
Guest

Rick Miller, can you show us the Statement where the First Presidency authorized these teaching tactics as you’ve stated? Thanks, I will look forward to seeing that and be expecting it. -Amy

Jack of Hearts
Guest

I think the fact that the BYU sociology curriculum includes Marx is the evidence you’re looking for. The Board of Trustees approved the curriculum, hence, they have approved the teaching of Marx. As Dr. Miller says, “What better place than at BYU for students to be exposed to the ‘philosophies of men,’ where it can be taught from a gospel perspective by inspired instructors who are faithful disciples of Christ?” Do you intend to answer that question?

Hugh McKail
Guest
I think you might be missing the point. No one is questioning whether Marx should or should not be taught. The question is: how should Marx be taught? Brigham Young established the forerunner of BYU to refute Darwinism, Marxism and other anti-Christian philosophies. “We have enough and to spare, at present in these mountains, of schools where young infidels are made because the teachers are so tender-footed that they dare not mention the principles of the gospel to their pupils, but have no hesitancy in introducing into the classroom the theories of Huxley, of Darwin, or of Miall, and the… Read more »
Jack of Hearts
Guest

“Brigham Young established the forerunner of BYU to refute Darwinism, Marxism and other anti-Christian philosophies.” And yet, that is no longer the mission of BYU. At least, it’s never articulated as such by anyone, General Authority or otherwise. That may have been Brigham Young’s motivation at the time, but the Church follows a living prophet, and the living prophets have not included this in the mission of BYU for some time.

Phil Fletcher
Guest
“It would be a poor lighthouse that gave off a different signal to guide every ship entering a harbor.” (Spencer W. Kimball, Conf. Rept., Apr. 1976, p. 7) The implications should be obvious. The Lord does not send several different Gospel plans; neither does He send prophets to preach different doctrinal interpretations. What has President Monson articulated about such, is the living prophet even included in the mission of BYU? Once upon a time President Joseph F. Smith intervened and dismissed teachers possessed of a Darwinist zeal, but the student body vehemently rejected the action and rebelled. Because generations preceding… Read more »
Jack of Hearts
Guest

“The implications should be obvious. The Lord does not send several different Gospel plans; neither does He send prophets to preach different doctrinal interpretations.” Indeed. It would seem then that either the prophets are not in fact prophets, or that Brigham Young was not providing a doctrinal interpretation on the founding of BYU. Perhaps that was his reason for founding the school, but that is not the reason articulated by modern prophets and apostles. And because I have a testimony of latter day prophets from Joseph Smith to now, I choose to follow the living prophets.

Caleb Young
Guest
Jack of Hearts, The doctrine behind this issue is that the Lord will not continue to give us revelation and instruction we will not accept. If we refuse to listen when they warn against Marx and communism, they will stop warning us. However, the word of deceased prophets still stands as scripture. BYU’s first educational goal is: “All students at BYU should be taught the truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ.” One of the truths contained in this gospel and the teachings of prophets is that communism is Satan’s plan. Therefore, BYU (by their own current mission statement) is… Read more »
Kevin
Guest

There are corrupt teachers and departments at BYU. They get a kick out of making fun of the prophets and apostles. They teach students how to justify breaking the Church standards. You can’t let your guard down when you go there.

Jack of Hearts
Guest

As a graduate of BYU, I can happily say that not once in five years did I have a professor mock the prophets and apostles or teach students “how to justify breaking Church standards.” Obviously that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen, but it’s ridiculous to imply that somehow the faculty of BYU is in revolt against the Church and everyone is too clueless to recognize it.

Hugh McKail
Guest
While I generally disagree with all of your comments, because of your worldview, with this comment I am honestly in unbelief. Did you never talk to professors after class? Did you never take any controversial subjects? Were you a strictly engineering major with no generals? In Biology, I was a witness to the mocking of Joseph Fielding Smith, Bruce R. McConkie, Joseph F. Smith and Ezra Taft Benson. While my professor belittled the Presidents of the Church, he bore his testimony to the “beauty and magnificence” Darwinian Evolution. In Utah History, the professor attempted to undermine the integrity of Wilford… Read more »
Jack of Hearts
Guest
“Did you never talk to professors after class?” I often spoke with professors before class, after class, and in their offices. “Did you never take any controversial subjects?” I took plenty of controversial subjects, am married to a biologist currently completing an advanced degree at BYU, and have a brother studying genetics there. “Were you a strictly engineering major with no generals?” Nope, I studied history; hence my fascination with Church history. “Do I need to keep going? Because I can. It would be easy to give names and dates.” Please do. Otherwise it’s just hearsay. “I am sure you… Read more »
Caleb Young
Guest
The real problem here is not whether there are corrupt professors at BYU. The issue is that socialism/communism is Satan’s plan as stated by Ezra Taft Benson in General Conference. We should not “mock at sin.” Proverbs 14:9 As has been discussed on the other page titled “An Open Letter to Rick Miller”, any publicity is good publicity. Making a joke of Marx is inadvertently supporting his teachings. Marx and his communist philosophies are not funny. As the author of the article has said: “one wonders how funny a Hitler T-shirt promoting antisemitism might be or a Governor Boggs T-shirt… Read more »
Roger Matthews
Guest
The presentation of Marx’s poem “The Player” is genuous. It is first of all from Marx’s liberal idealist days, i.e., several years before he became a “Marxist,” or communist, in the modern sense. Second, the poem is not a political statement but about a violinist that summons up the power of darkness. The player is apparently either Mesphistopheles or Lucifer. Third, Marx was fascinated by the ramifications of early industrial capitalism, among them the dark psychological toll it was taking on workers, in the extreme suicide. In that, he was dead on, as the statistics of the time, and even… Read more »
Caleb Young
Guest
Marx’s poems are an output for his beliefs. All works of art reflect the feelings and thoughts of the artist. Whether or not Marx was speaking of himself in this poem or not, I find it interesting that even before he became an avowed communist his poems reflect very dark thinking – lustful relationships, demonic powers and instruction, and death. Marx went on to ‘champion’ ideas that Ezra Taft Benson called “Satan’s plan on earth.” The first planck of the communist manifesto is the abolition of private property. Marx said: “The idea of God is the keynote of a perverted… Read more »
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