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My Conversion from Atheism and Communism to Christianity

Steve Beren    

Today, I am a patriot.  I love this country, and defend it.  But I was not always a patriot.  I was once an opponent of the United States, opposed in principle to the very concept of patriotism.  I opposed America and supported its enemies. 

Today, I am an evangelical Christian.  On February 10, 1995, I made a life-changing decision to turn away from my past and to commit my life to Christ.  I certainly had a past worth turning away from.  But I was not always a Christian.  I was once an atheist, opposed in principle to the very concept of Christianity.  I mocked God, and ridiculed faith and moral values.

When I hear the words of Amazing Grace - "that saved a wretch like me" - I know those words are meant for me.  Some people wrestle with the demons of alcoholism or drug addiction or depression.  My demons were different. 

As a 17-year-old college freshman at CCNY, I joined the Young Socialist Alliance, a communist youth group, in November 1968.  For 22 years, as a communist and supporter of the Socialist Workers Party, virtually all my time and resources were devoted to the "movement."  I resigned in December 1990, not because I had changed my mind, but because I was simply "burnt out."  I "retired" from politics, and started to do what most people do - concentrate on career, friendships, family, health, etc.

I was totally broke and heavily in debt, having contributed a large part of my income over the years to the party.  As I worked my way out of debt, I realized I had some "personal issues" to deal with.  I gradually began to see that these "issues" reflected a spiritual lack - a very severe emptiness.  Gradually, and not necessarily according to a plan, I began to read the bible and study religious history.  My life changed.

As a communist, I had done some blatantly dishonest things.  For example, I participated in communist efforts to infiltrate certain key trade unions and certain key industries, lying about my job history and creating false resumes so that I could become a machinist or steelworker or textile worker or airport worker.

I obtained, and held down, a steady honest job.  And I found that I enjoyed working and pursuing a career.  I even had some modest success.  I began to meet spiritually-minded people, and decided to commit my life to Christ, becoming a Christian on
February 10, 1995.  The exact turning point and decision point was a particularly intense 2:00 am
Christian radio talk show, but it really was a process.

After I became a Christian, my life changed in many ways.  I started to examine my past, recognized my failings and sins, and went on a different path.  During that time, I also went through a gradual political evolution, changing my views about government, capitalism, patriotism, the military, etc.  But I was no longer an activist - I was just a private citizen.

After the terrorist attacks on
September 11, 2001
, I realized I had a further contribution to make as a citizen political activist.  I have a particular insight into the true motives of antiwar radicals and far left extremists, and I found myself called to do what I could to help support the U.S.-led war against terrorism.

I hope my example will serve as a reminder of God's love, power, and grace, and perhaps as some inspiration to others.

Steve Beren is available for media interviews and speaking engagments.  To schedule Steve Beren for a speaking engagement, contact or call (206) 325-6341. 

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