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Is Soviet Style of Anti Religious Propaganda back in Fashion? Part 2

April 30, 2010

Is Soviet Style of Anti Religious Propaganda back in Fashion? Part 2

 

Introduction:

In part one of this series I discussed how the history of the Soviet Union moved to full persecution of religion soon after the revolution. Also how their propaganda was devised and then applied to justify destroying churches and executing clergy. In this part we will be looking at how the modern anti religious activists are continuing in this tradition.

 

Demonization:

Along with the destruction of places of worship and mass arrests there was a consistent barrage of anti religious propaganda. One of the tactics was to demonize religion as being a dangerous agent of oppression. Rallies that featured accusations that the evil money grabbing capitalists and Nazis were behind religion were organized by the state. Not only were Christians demonized but so too were Jews and Muslims.

Down with Religious holidays. Soviet Union attempt to caste religious people as drunks and misfits

 

Celebrity Angry Atheists:

Taking a step away from the Marxist materialist we have others who do have an anti religious agenda that they demand that the world should follow. In most cases you would expect people to put forward their proposal and support it with evidence. However another way of making a policy look good is to demonize the next closest rival. In this way we do have a huge motivation for some ideologues to set out and destroy what stands in their way.

 

If we take the example of Fredrick Nietzsche, we have a person who is so obsessed with hatred of religion that he dedicates his entire life to writing vitriolic passages condemning it. For Nietzsche it was Christ who was evil because he protected the weak and defenseless whereas his Superman (over man etc) was going to wipe the world of these weaklings. Without religion he was free to pick and choose what morality he wanted. Many people who maintain a seething hatred of religion also claim that Nietzsche is one of the greatest minds that they have read. His in your face insults and moral nihilism offers them quick idioms and insults to fling at their enemies (ie: the ones who disagree with their pronouncements). Yet the real question is not why Christians find his hatred of them so distasteful but why do the many on the Left ignore his other agenda of the all powerful individualism? I would assert that it is because he delivers them an arsenal of weaponry to use against their common enemy. Ideological differences seem to be ignored when it comes to ridding the world of a ‘Scourge of Religion’. Nietzsche and Marx are equally important because they are often the sources that people turn to feed their hate. And understanding what fuels hate is one of the best ways to know how to douse its flames.

 

Modern Celebrity Alternatives:

Scratch the surface of someone like Richard Dawkins and you do find some interesting aspects in his choice of words. In science and in technology people are trained to express their ideas dispassionately yet this rule does not seem to apply to Richard Dawkins. For a person who claims to have science at the centre of his universe, he rips into his enemies with excited passion. His book ‘The God Delusion’ should be seen for what it is, a political platform, and not some great work of science. He does spend sometime in the opening of his book telling everyone how scientific and clear headed he is, then within a few pages we get this:

The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.” – Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion

The irony of this ad is that these happy “freethinking” children are actually evangelical Christians. Oops…

It is difficult to see the difference between this rhetoric and Soviet rhetoric. Neither of which is honest and neither which are particularly rational either. If we ask, ‘what does Dawkins want?‘ the answer is simply to expel all religion from the planet and rebuild it in his own image. Nice if you happen to be a Dawkinite Ideologue but watch out of you are in his gun sites. His ability to interpret biblical passages makes many people burst out loud with laughter. And his irrational conclusions that, “even mild and moderate religion helps to provide the climate of faith in which extremism naturally flourishes” is typical of his intolerance to those that do not share his world view. Or as he states it himself: ‘Religion makes good people badand ‘Religion is the root of all evil.‘ Who is he trying to kid by making such statements? Instead it is simply stating that he is
in disagreement with religion he tries to create hysteria and climate of fear where mild and moderate religion is in fact evil. So logically those that adhere to a mild and moderate religion are agents of evil and should be treated accordingly. The logic would be laughable if it was not for the fact that some of his fans take him seriously. Finally we have his claim that teaching children a religion is a form of ‘wicked child abuse.‘ This is also reflected in Soviet posters of a wicked old hag dragging young child by her hair to a church. Did Dawkins realized that such posters existed before he penned his remark?

The Soviet Union version of teaching children religion is a form of “wicked child abuse.” Predates Dawkins book by decades.

 

Another passionate popular source of vitriol is journalist Christopher Hitchens who penned the book “God is not Great, How religion poisons everything.” Misquoting and using creative interpretation skills seem to be a habit that he shares with Dawkins and the Soviets of old. What few people know is that Hitchens was for many years a devout Marxist and only recently claimed that he had abandoned it. Obviously he retains some of his Marxist roots or at least the anti religious component of it.

Soviet Union poster claiming that women are oppressed by religion.

Yet at no stage does anyone seek to take either of these people to task on their motives for writing what could be best described as hatched jobs. Instead they are given a free ride because apparently Atheism is the new helpless victim in swaddling clothes. “Come let us worship.”

To be continued.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 1, 2015 9:15 pm

    I really like the second poster, it’s one of the best examples of early soviet propaganda style. It looks a little like from a children’s book. Here is a higher resolution version here: http://i.imgur.com/3K8ub.jpg

    Like

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