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Taverner

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Name: Jason Taverner
Gender: Male
Hometown: California
Home country: USA
Current location: The Great San Francisco Bay Area
Member since: Fri Apr 9, 2004, 12:58 AM
Number of posts: 55,476

About Me

I am who that I am...I can be no other! No gods, no masters, no leaders! YOU are both your salvation and your Satan! Exclamation points are cool!

Journal Archives

League of Militant Atheists - A Favorite Strawman of Many



In many arguments here, theists cite the League of Militant Atheists as proof that it the Soviet Union was a revolution FOR Atheism.

Let's do a little reading now:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/League_of_Militant_Atheists

The League of Militant Atheists (also Union of Belligerent Atheists (Russian: Союз воинствующих безбожнико?; Society of the Godless (Общество безбожнико?; Union of the Godless (Союз безбожнико?), was an antireligious organization of workers and others that developed in Soviet Russia under the influence of the ideological and cultural views and policies of the Communist Party in 1925–1947. It "consisted of Party members, members of the Komsomol youth movement, workers and army veterans".

The League embraced workers, peasants, students, and intelligentsia. It had its first affiliates at factories, plants, collective farms (kolkhoz), and educational institutions. By the beginning of 1941, it had about 3.5 million members of 100 nationalities. It had about 96,000 offices across the country. Guided by Bolshevik principles of antireligious propaganda and party's orders with regards to religion, the League aimed at exterminating religion in all its manifestations and forming an anti-religious scientific mindset among the workers. It propagated atheism and scientific achievements, conducted 'individual work' (a method of sending atheist tutors to meet with individual believers to convince them of atheism, which could be followed up with public harassment if they failed to comply) with religious people, prepared propagandists and atheistic campaigners, published anti-religious scientific literature and periodicals, organized museums and exhibitions, conducted scientific research in the field of atheism and critics of religion. The League's slogan was "Struggle against religion is a struggle for socialism", which was meant to tie in their atheist views with economy, politics, and culture. One of the slogans adopted at the 2nd congress was "Struggle against religion is a struggle for the five year plan!" The League had international connections; it was part of the International of Proletarian Freethinkers and later of the Worldwide Freethinkers Union.


Whew!

OK - so the group was not some paramilitary organization as some here have claimed.

As per 'persecution of Christians,' their persecution amounts to:

- Going to churches and obnoxiously debating with believers

- Working (albeit unsucessfully) to purge the USSR of all belief in God

- Trying to convert Theists to Atheists in the military, at the workplace, in schools, etc.


Now under Stalin there was real persecution of the religious, but under Stalin EVERYONE was persecuted, from high ranking party members, to ditch diggers, to people wearing glasses. If you did not like somebody on your block, you placed an anonymous tip to the NKVD and nobody every saw them again.

The one time they did try to remove religion from the USSR, Operation North - where they forcibly moved Jehovas Witnesses and practitioners of non-Orthodox religions to Siberia. Were they sent to labor camps? Were they stripped of their possessions? No and no.

The idea was to just get them out of their hair. Similar to the British Exile of the Anabaptists to the 13 colonies, except it was, well, fucking Siberia.
'
So all the lies Christians state about being killed for believing in God - all of it made up.

In Stalinist times you were killed for not being Stalin or Beria.

Let me follow up with what eventually became of the League of Militant Atheists:

The climate of the campaign against religion was changing in the late 1930s and early 1940s. The regime slowly became more moderate in its approach to religion. Yaroslavsky, in 1941 warned against condemning all religious believers, but said that there were many loyal Soviet citizens still possessing religious beliefs. He called for patient and tactful individual work without offending the believers, but "re-educating" them. He claimed that religion had disappeared in some parts of the country but in other parts (especially in the newly annexed territories) it was strong, and he warned against starting brutal offensives in those areas.

He alleged that there were very few attempts to re-open churches and that this was a sign of the decline in religion. He branded those who tried to re-open churches as "former kulaks" and "falsifiers of figures". This report was contradicted, however, by the LMG's own figures (based on the 1937 census) that found perhaps half the country still held religious beliefs, even if they had no structures to worship in any longer and they could no longer openly express their beliefs.[30]

An answer to this report was found when Nazi Germany invaded in 1941, and churches were re-opened under the German occupation, while believers flocked to them in the millions. In order to gain support for the war effort (both domestic and foreign; the allies would not support Stalin if he continued the campaign ) against the German forces that were effectively "liberating" religious believers from the persecution against them, Stalin ended the antireligious persecution and the LMG was disbanded. All LMG periodicals ceased to publish by September 1941. Its official disbandment date is unknown, but traced somewhere between 1941–1947.

Yaroslavsky turned his attention to other pursuits and in 1942, he published an article on Orthodox writer Dostoevsky, for his alleged hatred of the Germans.



So much for persecution of Christians, huh?

If only Atheists had it this good in the dark ages....you know, when the CHURCH ran things...

I have so much - yet I act as if it is nothing

I have so much to tell
To see
To celebrate

To be and to hold

All of it

Yet I push it away
As if I don't get it
Gone

To be and to lose

All of it

Bridge Over Troubled Water

Niccolo Machiavelli and Charles Darwin got a bad rap...

Both "Machiavellian" and "Social Darwinist" are terms for people who are far from that of Machiavelli and Darwin.

Let me tell you a story about a King who killed his messengers upon hearing bad news...

--------------------------------------


Niccolo Machiavelli was a gifted, ethical, moral, intelligent and benevolent man.

He was dedicated to Florentine Republicanism, and was a big figure after they ousted the Medici.

After they took power again, they tortured him, and when released he wrote "The Prince."

He wasn't advocating this, he was just telling the world what power is all about.

And it was ugly.

Classic case of killing the messenger.

Move to Charles Darwin.

The man was dedicated to science. He started off his journey on the HMS Beagle a theist, a scholar and an unbiased observer. He was dedicated to the ethics of the Church of England, love of family and a love of his brother man.

During his journey, he witnessed, first hand, how cruel "nature" can be. The weakest are killed by their brothers and sisters. Only the fittest survive. It horrified him.

He wrote "The Origin of Species" with this in mind.

Yet, there is a classification - ironically, very popular among some Christians - called "Social Darwinism."

Darwin never advocated "survival of the fittest" as a social structure, he was merely telling it as it was, with no checks, no balances, nothing to intervene.

God, if he ever existed or could exist - did nothing.

This is what is most damning about Evolution for Christians.

Darwin tells us how it is, and once again, the "kill the messenger" process happens again.


Does there need to be an Atheist/Theist dialogue?

Seriously - I would say that this issue affects both camps. There are a great deal of Christians who feel it is their duty to "save" or "rebuke" Atheists. And at the same time there are a great deal of Atheists intent of "converting" theists.

Neither of these does any good, and if anything creates animosity and resentment on both sides.

Christians, I feel, need to understand that many of us Atheists feel betrayed by religion and faith, and feel as if the nature of religion puts us in crosshairs.

At the same time, Atheists need to understand that most Theists are like them - they have families, homes, are suffering in this economy and what not.

Your thoughts?

Thank a Hippie!

Soviet Era Guitars from Behind the Iron Curtain (warning: pic heavy)

Believe it or not, the USSR and COMECON produced guitars. They actually made some cool ones. As is the norm in Soviet art, they were OUT THERE.

BTW...I want one.











































Need hope? Rev Jesse Jackson's "I am Somebody"

I am Somebody!
I am Somebody!
I may be poor,
But I am Somebody.
I may be young,
But I am Somebody.
I may be on welfare,
But I am Somebody.
I may be small,
But I am Somebody.
I may have made mistakes,
But I am Somebody.
My clothes are different,
My face is different,
My hair is different,
But I am Somebody.
I am black,
Brown,or white.
I speak a different language
But I must be respected,
Protected,
Never rejected.
I am God’s child!








The good Reverend and I might disagree on the existence of a god, but Rev Jackson is one of the few people who hasn't given into cynicism regarding MLK's Dream.

How I feel today about the impending Friday...

This article might explain our theistic friend's delusions...

http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/03/denial-science-chris-mooney

In the annals of denial, it doesn't get much more extreme than the Seekers. They lost their jobs, the press mocked them, and there were efforts to keep them away from impressionable young minds. But while Martin's space cult might lie at on the far end of the spectrum of human self-delusion, there's plenty to go around. And since Festinger's day, an array of new discoveries in psychology and neuroscience has further demonstrated how our preexisting beliefs, far more than any new facts, can skew our thoughts and even color what we consider our most dispassionate and logical conclusions. This tendency toward so-called "motivated reasoning" helps explain why we find groups so polarized over matters where the evidence is so unequivocal: climate change, vaccines, "death panels," the birthplace and religion of the president (PDF), and much else. It would seem that expecting people to be convinced by the facts flies in the face of, you know, the facts.

The theory of motivated reasoning builds on a key insight of modern neuroscience (PDF): Reasoning is actually suffused with emotion (or what researchers often call "affect". Not only are the two inseparable, but our positive or negative feelings about people, things, and ideas arise much more rapidly than our conscious thoughts, in a matter of milliseconds—fast enough to detect with an EEG device, but long before we're aware of it. That shouldn't be surprising: Evolution required us to react very quickly to stimuli in our environment. It's a "basic human survival skill," explains political scientist Arthur Lupia of the University of Michigan. We push threatening information away; we pull friendly information close. We apply fight-or-flight reflexes not only to predators, but to data itself.
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