Counting the Reasons to Defund

The 20 Most Memorable Leftist Excesses of Public Broadcasting

Communists Make Better Christians

8. Bill Moyers insists the Nicaraguan dictators were better Christians than their American critics (1987).

    With support from Castro’s Cuba and the Soviet Union, Nicaragua’s communist Sandinista dictatorship ruled the country from 1979 to its electoral defeat in 1990. But on December 9, 1987, in a small series titled God and Politics, PBS host Bill Moyers insisted that the communists had found Jesus, and the Americans were somehow the oppressive imperial menace.

    Moyers touted the children of the revolution and their paintings: “The black birds symbolize the long oppression of Nicaragua by the Somoza dictators who came to power, half a century ago, with the help of the United States government. The white dove of freedom soars with the Sandinista revolution whose heroes included Jesus Christ, George Washington and the nationalist hero Augusto Sandino, long martyred by the Somozas. It is the vision of rebuilding society through religion and revolution that has drawn many North American Christians to support the FSLN, the Sandinista Front for National Liberation. Liberation theology has become to them a 20th century reformation placing a church squarely on the side of the poor. They come as if to Mecca, to stand with the people’s church and the Sandinistas.”

     Methodist missionary Paul Jeffrey suggested America was like the Roman crucifiers: “Nicaragua is like Palestine 2000 years ago, and the United States today is like Rome was then. And to be here is to see the world from the other side. And, and to see how the wrath of the empire, exercised against this poor, bankrupt little country, makes people suffer here. And in a very real sense they are Jesus and they’re suffering as Christ suffered. And I think we North Americans, as we can somehow open ourselves up to that, it can have a redemptive value for us, just as the suffering of Christ does.”

    Moyers aired another minister, George Baldwin, insisting the Christian gospel is “revolutionary” and “radical.” Moyers applauded the sound of subversion: “You’re a dangerous man, you know that?...If your example were followed, multiplied, your ideas spread -- they’re subversive to this world.” Baldwin replied: “That’s right. I do want to be a danger to that world.”