|Three items appear below:
Communism = Atheism? H Edwards
Look at the Stars Anonymous
Edwards to Mr A. H Edwards
Communism = Atheism ?
(Investigator 127, 2009 July)
Once again in #126 Anonymous in his criticism of De Kretser's article (#125) equates Communism with Atheism.
My understanding of Communism is that it is a political ideology whereas Atheism simply questions the existence of a supernatural being. Being a communist doesn't automatically make you an atheist or vice versa.
Mr A refers to "the atheist rule of Russia, China, Cambodia and North Korea", implying that they are all atheists because they are Communist. He should stop and think a little harder before he indulges in such generalisations.
In the former Communist Soviet Russia less than 2% of the population of 150 million (1990 est.) were members of the Communist Party. According to Mr A's tarbrush however, all 150 million were atheists. Since the collapse of the Soviet neither Russia or any of the newly formed autonomous republics have had communist governments. So does that mean that they are no longer atheists?
As for the Far Eastern countries he names, the religions are principally Buddhism and Confucianism, therefore, with no allegiance to the Christian god and Christianity, the political persuasion of their regimes is quite irrelevant.
Mr A doesn't mention Europe where many countries over the past 60 years have seen Communist governments come and go. Does that mean that atheism waxes and wanes accordingly and that the population becomes alternatively Christian and atheist?
Anonymous seems to blame communism for everything when he refers to "the evil results of Communist rule." I suggest that the "evil results" manifested by God-fearing, right wing Christians would be on a par. Surely Mr A is being very selective by not mentioning George W Bush and his "command" from God to invade Iraq or the carpet bombing of Cambodia by a predecessor. And what about the 20-year plunder of the Philippines by the late President Marcos?
Mr A's praise for the Christian Ministries fails to mention that they pay no income or property taxes, are allowed carry on tax exempt businesses, receive government (tax payer) support, receive donations from those buying salvation for their souls and are the richest real estate owners in the world. They can well afford their charity works. However, charities are not the sole province of Christians. Non-Christian and non-church based charities also exist and no doubt atheists are among their members.
Finally, Mr A claims that "Modern Science" began in Christianity. Does he mean chronologically at the time of the Copernican revolution, which followed Christianity's "Dark Ages?" Regardless of its time frame, its nascence was not the result or product of Christianity but the observations and calculations of free thinkers – many of whom suffered at the hands of Christianity for their contribution.
LOOK AT THE STARS
(Investigator 128, 2009 September)
Mr Edwards ($127) thinks I "equate Communism with atheism".
In #126 I wrote of "atheist rule" and "atheistic Communism" without estimating how many atheists were Communists and vice versa. Time, in 1990, reported: "disenchanted atheists are flocking to the old faith…" (October 15, p. 55) But precise figures on who was what are lacking.
Communism and atheism were, however, closely linked. In 1922 Lenin, who founded the Soviet state, wrote: "We must engage in a most decisive battle against reactionary clergy and suppress their resistance with such cruelty that they will remember it for several decades."
Decades-long anti-religion programs followed. Communists confiscated tens of thousands of churches, and the KGB enforced the following:
• Religious education of children by religions prohibited;
The Great Sex Swindle (Drakeford, J.W. 1966) describes the abandonment of religious teaching on sex, marriage and family life and the decriminalization of abortion, bigamy, adultery and incest. This free sex "paradise", however, led to chaos – women became property, family relations were destroyed, and hordes of bastards roamed the cities. In the mid 1930s the regime reversed itself – abortion was outlawed, divorce was made difficult, and large families received tax exemptions.
In 1990 Soviet Parliament passed the "Law on Freedom of Conscience" which scrapped most of the anti-religion laws.
Edwards looks to Marcos of the Philippines as reason to reject Christianity. The Bible, however, foretold that many "imposters" will bring disrepute. (II Peter 3; Jude)
An old rhyme says: "Two men look out through the same bars; One sees mud and one sees stars." Edwards can examine the "mud" and feel depressed, or face the "stars" and feel inspired:
Some ministries get tax relief but to complain about that is simply sour grapes. Others get no support.
Regarding the Bible's role in science – I'll write on that another time. Investigator has already published several lists of Bible-believers who founded scientific disciplines.
Finally regarding "Christianity's dark ages": The Roman Empire collapsed leaving Europe crisscrossed by rampaging, plundering "barbarian" tribes for 800 years starting with Goths, Vandals and Huns, and continued by Saxons, Muslims, Vikings and Mongols. Christians provided islands of stability and preservation of learning through Monasticism when the world was in chaos. Again look for the "stars" and see them shine (Daniel 12:3), not the mud.
Edwards to Mr A.
(Investigator 129, 2009 November)
Oh dear, oh dear, why does Anonymous not read the letters before he responds?
In Communism = Atheism I made two points.
1. That because the powers that be are communist/atheist it doesn't automatically follow that the entire population is also communist/atheist.
2. That the governments of some countries diametrically opposed to those ideologies are equally guilty of "evil results."
In addition to obfuscating the above Mr A ignores a basic question – that regarding "modern science." His examples could hardly be classified as "modern."
As for seeing the stars, if he would stop muddying the waters maybe I could.