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Refuting The Myth That Hitler, Stalin And Pol Pot Were Atheists


SilentLoner
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Found this article recently. What do you guys think of it? An accurate assessment? I've long known that the line about Hitler being atheist was BS, but this article makes some good points about Stalin and Pol Pot too. 

 

Refuting the myth that Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot were atheists

 

http://www.examiner.com/article/refuting-the-myth-that-hitler-stalin-and-pol-pot-were-atheists-1

 

 

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This is not really an iron-clad case for Stalin's religiosity.  Under Stalin, atheism was preached in the schools and while the church was allowed to survive on a limited basis, it was largely controlled by the government.  You can't easily separate Russian culture with orthodoxy but that doesn't mean the communists and Stalin in particular didn't give it the old college try.

 

IMO, the better argument to make in all of these cases is that religion or lack of it was not the primary motivator; rather it was ideology and unchecked political and military power.  If people are too stupid to suss out the details of what really took place, you aren't going to convince them any way. 

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I agree with Vigile. There are other underlying causes as to what happened. Instead I like to redirect away from carnage as that seems to be ubiquitous throughout human history and behavior regardless of ones religious or non religious beliefs. I think pointing to countries with a high amount of secularism like Japan UK etc. that are successful with a significant portion of their population reporting as non-religious. While at the same time point out that the countries with the highest concentration of religion struggle the most and are often 3rd world countries. Now you have changed the paradigm from violence to overall success in modern context of religion vs non religion in gov. Its easy to point out the scars of history its hard to find the successes sometimes doing the easy thing is not doing the right thing.

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Guest r3alchild

Its true that atheists can do bad things, its also true that religious people can do bad things. All this proves is that anyone can do bad things.

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Its true that atheists can do bad things, its also true that religious people can do bad things. All this proves is that anyone can do bad things.

Combined with the fact that Christians and atheists can both do good things, this shows that Jesus doesn't change anyone's behavior.

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I don't know much about Pol Pot but as for the other two... I don't understand anyway why everyone focuses on the bosses. Just how many people would hitler and stalin have been able to kill with their own hands?

 

Yeah thought so.

 

Most of the killing came from the people they ruled. People who were in total much more than the ones oppressing them. Again, I'm not that sure about Russia back in stalin's days but I know that even today about two thirds of my fellow Germans are nominally christian (split roughly evenly between cocklick and protestant church). Back then it was quite a bit more.

 

So, what's a Good Christian™ to do when someone commands her to slaughter innocents? I'd posit it boils down to what the (mostly christian) people were willing to do if a führer told them to, rather than the führers themselves.

 

Even if hitler was an atheist, most of the genocide was committed by christians. And I guess it wasn't that different with stalin's Russia. Doesn't exactly shine a light of rightfulness on those christians does it? :fdevil:

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I agree Thurisaz I think people like to shoulder all of the blame on to Hitler for the actions of many. its not like he was the only anti-Semite in the world at the time. A lot of countries simply didn't want Jewish refugees and turned them back to their deaths. It was a problem of culture at the time if it wasn't Hitler it would have been someone else. People just don't want to accept that their actions have consequences. After all Hitler did get TIME magazines man of the year award despite his anti-sematic leanings.

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Hitchens addresses this very topic in multiple debates / interviews that can be viewed on youtube.  I think he makes a great case for all three of these leaders.  Hitler and Stalin both had an emissary at the Vatican.  The Catholic Church did recognize the Nazi party and much church teaching did did begin to reflect Nazi thinking inside the German-controlled states.  The Catholic church recognized and celebrated Hitler's birthday until it was clear he lost the war and the Anti-Sematism tied directly to Hitler's motivations concerning the Jewish people reamained official doctrine of the Vatican until the 1960's.  Did the catholic church birth the Nazis - no, lots of factors birthed the Nazis but many of Hitler's antisematism came directly from church teachings.  The Catholic church certainly did not do anything to stop the Nazi movement or even condemn it.  The church did what it always does, cuddles up to every form of power it can leech off of until it it's exposed to be immoral, they it slides away while somebody takes the fall.  One very sad thing is that while the German people were held accountable for the atrocities of the Nazis (regardless of their support or resistance), the Catholic Church was clearly pro-nationalist socialist and yet no one was ever brought to justice.

 

Stalin had an fantastic opportunity to reign in power - there was a centuries-old establishment of power in Russia known as the Russian Orthodox Church.  Stalin knew he would never rule the country without dismanteling the power structure of the church.  Once accomplished, he could slide his dirty little paw into the glove that had been holllowed out by church power.  He took the totalitarianism of the church, and put himself in its place.  This is pure Macieveli.  He may have hated religion but it was a calculated hatred that served a polical power shift.  Once in power, he was well aware of the usefulness of religion which is why he allowed seminaries to re-open as long as they could be supportive to him as opposed to being subversive...again pure machiaveli.  If we can say anything about Russia it is that their economic/politcal philosophies were transformed into an ultimate authority - Russian Orthodox belief was not a "voluntary religion" like we see lke in the denominational buffet line that is American Christianity.  Stalinism was the new religion - he rid himself of the church hieracrchy and assumed their power in order to do whatever the hell he wanted.  It wouldn't have worked if the blueprint for tyranny hadn't already been laid out for him for centuries by the church.

 

Pol Pot considered himself a god and expected to be treated as such - there is no questioning a god of course. He was not like a Jesus or a Horus, but very similar to the current and past leaders of North Korea. I know little about him but on a spectrum of a state based on secular humanism versus a state based on a religous belief - it's easy to see where Pol Pot ranks.  If Christians want a religious state, I'll gladly contribute to their immagration fees to North Korea.

 

The problem with all of them is that they demmanded absolute authority so that tyranny could not be put into check.  Yes there are good athiests and bad Christians as well as vice versa.  But we have to recognize that these atrocities were made possible by a leader who believed he was super-autnomous.  Each one of them created in themselves an unquestionalbel authority - Sometimes it was extended to them by the Catholic Church, sometimes it was stolen from the Russian Orthodox church, sometimes it was just slipping on a divine nature like an overcoat.  Either way, the mindset of religion played a great help in their rise to power.

 

Fantastic article - thanks for sharing.  I'm tired of religious views of history.

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Joseph Stalin was an atheist.

Joseph Stalin committed genocide.

Atheists commit genocide.

 

 

Joseph Stalin had a mustache.

Joseph Stalin committed genocide.

People with mustaches commit genocide.

 

Oh wait, Hitler had a mustache and commited genocide too.  

It's true!!!!!

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Found this article recently. What do you guys think of it? An accurate assessment? I've long known that the line about Hitler being atheist was BS, but this article makes some good points about Stalin and Pol Pot too. 

 

Refuting the myth that Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot were atheists

 

http://www.examiner.com/article/refuting-the-myth-that-hitler-stalin-and-pol-pot-were-atheists

Given that the author proves himself a complete and utter ignoramus on historical fact, I'd say you can dismiss this article to the rubbish bin where it belongs.

Hint to help you out. "Joseph Stalin was raised to be a Catholic Priest".  That single quote alone should suffice to show that he has no idea WTF he's talking about. This is clearly yet another case of "we atheists must show that we are clean and pure as the wind-driven snow and all evil comes from religion".

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Found this article recently. What do you guys think of it? An accurate assessment? I've long known that the line about Hitler being atheist was BS, but this article makes some good points about Stalin and Pol Pot too. 

 

Refuting the myth that Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot were atheists

 

http://www.examiner.com/article/refuting-the-myth-that-hitler-stalin-and-pol-pot-were-atheists

Given that the author proves himself a complete and utter ignoramus on historical fact, I'd say you can dismiss this article to the rubbish bin where it belongs.

Hint to help you out. "Joseph Stalin was raised to be a Catholic Priest".  That single quote alone should suffice to show that he has no idea WTF he's talking about. This is clearly yet another case of "we atheists must show that we are clean and pure as the wind-driven snow and all evil comes from religion".

 

Yes, Stalin attended seminary school. He had also been forcibly removed from his parents and home and sent to a school where he was also forbidden to speak his native language. He did not complete seminary because after all the years he was in seminary, he could not afford the final tuition and fees to graduate, or something like that. But yes, Stalin had trained to become a priest. I have often suspected that his 'war' against the church was due to abuse he received at the hands of the teachers at the school he had been sent to. Revenge works best when one is in control.

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Found this article recently. What do you guys think of it? An accurate assessment? I've long known that the line about Hitler being atheist was BS, but this article makes some good points about Stalin and Pol Pot too. 

 

Refuting the myth that Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot were atheists

 

http://www.examiner.com/article/refuting-the-myth-that-hitler-stalin-and-pol-pot-were-atheists

Given that the author proves himself a complete and utter ignoramus on historical fact, I'd say you can dismiss this article to the rubbish bin where it belongs.

Hint to help you out. "Joseph Stalin was raised to be a Catholic Priest".  That single quote alone should suffice to show that he has no idea WTF he's talking about. This is clearly yet another case of "we atheists must show that we are clean and pure as the wind-driven snow and all evil comes from religion".

 

 

Actually on the basis of accuracy I'd have to dismiss your comment to the rubbish bin where it belongs as you are the one getting historical facts wrong, lol. Stalin did indeed attend seminary school.

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The claim that he was training to be a 'Catholic' priest didn't seem right to me either as I'm unaware of any Catholic influence in the old Soviet Bloc countries, including Georgia.  In fact I was right.  He was enrolled in Orthodox seminary. 

 

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

When Stalin was sixteen, he received a scholarship to attend the Georgian Orthodox Tiflis Spiritual Seminary in Tbilisi. Although his performance had been satisfactory, he was expelled in 1899 after missing his final exams. The seminary's records also suggest that he was unable to pay his tuition fees.[14] The official Soviet version states that he was expelled for reading illegal literature and for forming a Social Democratic study circle

 

This doesn't sound to me like the church had a great influence on Stalin's life and it certainly doesn't sound like he carried it forward when years later he became leader of the Soviet party. 

 

I'd also argue the writer linked in the OP is ignorant enough about history to not be taken too seriously with this particular claim. 

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That's why I posed the article here and asked for input, I figured it had to be too optimistic. But aside from the Stalin-priest issue, what other flaws would you call out?

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Two people have indicated that they too don't know what they are talking about while trying to tell me that I don't know what I'm talking about.

Stalin did NOT EVER train to be a CATHOLIC priest. I'd be surprised if he ever went into a Catholic church. And the seminaries he was in were NOT CATHOLIC.

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Two people have indicated that they too don't know what they are talking about while trying to tell me that I don't know what I'm talking about.

Stalin did NOT EVER train to be a CATHOLIC priest. I'd be surprised if he ever went into a Catholic church. And the seminaries he was in were NOT CATHOLIC.

 

You do know you could have just pointed that out without acting like something crawled up your ass, right? 

 

I said Stalin attended seminary school, not that it was Catholic.

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The issue isn't "was he vs. wasn't he".  The issue is that atheists do not follow a single text that they proclaim to be the word of God and the answer for life, a text that calls for genocide among other atrocities.  Christians do.  If some atheist rapes somebody that doesn't reflect on me because it isn't a pattern.  If an organized religion has a criminal pattern that does reflect on that religion.  I assume the J. Stalin was an atheist.  But I live a life that is far more ethical than his was.  So it's irrelevant that we had something in common.  Pick any two humans in history and they will have something in common.  Having something in common doesn't mean that thing caused some other effect.

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Hitler on the other hand did attend Catholic School. He attended school at a the Lambach Benedictine Foundation and did poorly. Eventually he dropped out of secondary school.

 

See kids? Stay in school and do your homework to get good grades, or you'll end up a right wing genocidal maniac.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Albert Speer, a close friend of Hitler and later his Armaments Minster, said that Hitler forbade his underlings to leave the church. (IIRC, this is from Gitta Sereny's bio of Speer.) I don't remember why, but I think he didn't want the regime to anger the Church too much.

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The fuckface did whatever it thought it had to do to stay in power; the only "religion" of dictators is power, whatever mask they have to wear to rise in its ranks. One more reason why I say forget this piece of shit and look at those who willingly followed its orders.

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