Hungary’s 1956 Revolution


How many remember the 1956 Hungarian Revolution?

It’s coming on 61 years since those days, and Budapest is again honoring those Freedom Fighters who sought to throw off the tyrannical yoke of communism. 

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https://welovebudapest.com/en/2017/10/19/free-budapest-events-honor-hungarys-1956-revolution/

Our dear friend Adam von Dioszeghy was there in 1956. He was also there in 1945 as a 7 year old in the midst of the raging World War II battle of Budapest, pitting the forces of the allied air forces bombing from above, and a fierce street battle between the German Army and the Soviet Red Army in the street directly in front of Adam’s apartment.

Diana and I had the honor of visiting Adam and his wife Aliz in Budapest this past May. Among other things, Adam gave us a tour of those places in Budapest from 1945 and 1956. Click the link below to see the tour.

https://ayearningforpublius.wordpress.com/2017/06/05/a-navy-reunion-and-more-a-personal-walk-through-history/

On returning from Hungary I published a book for Adam. You can see it by clicking on the picture below.

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Adam von Dioszeghy – a friend and a man who knows and values liberty.

I salute you my friend.

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Don Johnson – October 2017

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Liberty and the Honor of Respecting the Flag

I’ve always stood for the playing of the National Anthem and the presentation of the American flag. Image result for standing for the national anthem
Has it always been a mark of honor and respect? Or had it become somewhat of a rote habit?

The recent dustups in the NFL with professional athletes sitting or kneeling contrary to the custom of standing with an attitude and posture of respect, coupled with an extended stay in Paris have broadened and deepened my appreciation of this long standing flag etiquette. 

Thousands of American, British, Canadian and French soldiers, sailors and airmen died bringing liberty back to captive France in 1944. More than 18,000 French civilians also died in pushing out the evil of Nazism from France and restoring liberty. Many of the civilian deaths were due to the heavy allied bombings of the coastal Norman cities in places like Saint Lo and Caen.

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The reception of the “liberators” was mixed as could be expected – towns and homes were destroyed, and loved ones lost in the carnage.

But what I found some 73 years later were many memorials of much gratitude on the part of the French. And this gratitude seemed to extend from 1944 to the present day. For example, in driving to the village of Sainte-Mère-Église, I looked up at the second floor of an old building and saw three small and tattered flags – French, British and American. These flags, off the beaten tourist path showed me that someone still held a heart of gratitude.

And in researching further,  I found this story:

“ … Franck Maurouard and his family of Normandy, France, have not forgotten the sacrifices made by American soldiers trying to liberate France from German occupation during World War II.

Each Memorial Day for the past 10 years, Franck, his wife, Anne, and their children, Alexandre, 16, and Eloise, 14, have decorated the graves of two American Rangers who died in the D-Day invasion, June 6, 1944.

They volunteered to care for the graves in Colleville sur Mer cemetery by applying to Les Fleurs de la Memoire, an organization that encourages French citizens to remember on Memorial Day the graves of Americans who gave their lives to liberate France and who remain forever in French soil. Les Fleurs de la Memoire (lesfleursdelamemoire.com) represents 132 French Fraternal Associations, 70 French towns and villages, and 3,677 French citizens who have adopted, in perpetuity, 10,451 graves.

Maurouard, who served in the French Navy for 17 years and is now a laboratory technician at the school where his wife teaches, requested to be assigned the grave of one Ranger from the 2nd Battalion and another from the 5th Battalion. But he has done far more than decorate the graves of Pvt. Joseph Trainor of Wisconsin and Pvt. Elmo Banning of Sedan, Kan.

He researched the details of their deaths and shortened lives and searched for their surviving relatives. He and his family developed a close relationship with Pvt. Banning’s family, now residing in California. … “    Read more  here and here.

I’ve walked the grounds of Colleville sur Mer, and yes, there are flowers at the foot of the grave markers – in 2017.

There are similar stories to be found from other places of liberation.

Why do so many in France still honor  their liberators from 1944?

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I believe it is because liberty has value. And because liberty has value, there is a cost for its purchase, and a cost for its restoration when lost. I believe the French, having lost and regained liberty, go to great lengths to honor that cost – a cost measured in the many lives lost in achieving liberty once more.   

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Fortunately we here in the United States have not experienced the traumatic loss of liberty as was experienced in France in the 1940s. Many of our military have witnessed that loss of liberty elsewhere, and have fought to purchase or restore liberty in hostile places far from home.  There is a yearning for liberty among the oppressed of the world – always has been and always will be.

Perhaps those professional athletes irreverently sitting before the flag are in ways they, or we,  may not fully understand – perhaps they are sitting in ways reflecting that yeaning for liberty they perceive as having been lost.

I respect that right of expression. In years past, and even today, many say “I may not agree with what you say, but I will fight to the death for your right to say it.” 

My wish is that our younger generations would be taught the lessons of places like 1944 France. My wish is that they would learn these lessons and honor those many who did “ … fight to the death for your right to say it.” 

Martin Luther King Jr. found another way to achieve huge change for the good in this nation. Would that the NFL athletes seek other avenues of change.

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Don Johnson – October 2017




Has it been

My Racist Past

Racism is very much a topic today, and I found myself in a very contentious conversation just the other day. I don’t need to discuss it in detail here, but it did leave me with a few thoughts on a few episodes from my past that I would like to share.

Background: My home town, a mining town in Montana, was a melting pot of people from all over the world. In the old days there were NO SMOKING signs in the mines written in 14 different languages. The town had its enclaves of folks from various ethnic  backgrounds: Fin Town, German Gulch, Meaderville (Italian), Dublin Gulch — and more.

For the most part it seemed these groups got along with one another. Miners often had to work day-by-day alongside others with the language of mining the only common language. Oh, each group had their own pet and derogatory names for others not like them, but I don’t recall it went much further than that. My grandmother would often sit at our kitchen table cussing out the “Cousin Jacks” and “Cousin Jennies”. The real no kidding fights were between the union miners and the “Company” and between the fans and students of the rival public high and the Catholic high school football and basketball teams. Over time, the ethnic barriers were sometimes worn away, often by marriage.

But there weren’t many blacks in our town. One fellow, a tall lanky guy, was quite a good swimmer and a team mate of mine – we were friends, and he was one of us.

My dad was a soft spoken sort, and well liked around town, and I don’t recall him expressing racist or anti-Semitic sentiments. Not so with some other adults in my life who often broke out in strong racist, ethnic or anti-Semitic tirades. I think I escaped this sort of racism for the most part, and in later years fully bought into King’s “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character” philosophy of life.

But there was that one episode.

It was in my first year of college at the local school, and three or four of us were cruising around town, mid-day one Saturday,  drinking a few too many beers. We came across one of the few blacks in town, on old man as I recall, slowly crossing the street with a bit of a physical walking effort. The four of us decided this old man would be a good target for some fun. So we started harassing this guy for no other reason than that he was black. The names and insults came out and it was great fun. Then it was over and I went on about living the rest of my life without giving this vile episode further thought.

Years later – about 20 – Jesus Christ came into my life. Shortly thereafter, thoughts of that episode, that had been dead and buried in the back of my mind and soul, came very suddenly and vividly to the front of my remembrance and I could see it replayed right before me.

But what was I to do? I had no idea who he was — he was old at the time and by now, some twenty years later, he undoubtedly had passed on. I was trapped — there was no way I could replay that tape and seek out that old man and beg his forgiveness.

What was I to do?

Psalm 32:5
Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin.

Colossians 2:13
When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins. …

1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Through verses such as these, I discovered in a very real and personal way, why Jesus Christ came into this world. He came to become sin in my stead and provide a forgiveness of sin — even one as vile as the one I recalled from that Saturday many years past.

I have this thought about that old man. One day I will meet him in Heaven, and will go to him seeking his forgiveness. He then reaches out with a big smile on his face and gives me a big hug saying “I have no idea what you are talking about — lets go sit awhile and talk.” 

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The next episode is not one of an act, but one rather of thought and reflection.

It was years after the episode above, perhaps 10 years ago or so.

I was sitting on an airplane, in the very last row. In the seats right in front of me was a Jewish family, and right in front of them a black family.

In a mood of reflection I was grateful for who I was, where I was, and when I was — let me explain.

The “who I was … ” — a white man living in a free United States of America early in the 21st century.

In years past, in my own nation, I could have “owned” that black family and could have done whatever I pleased with them as a family and as individuals. That’s no longer possible, because of great sacrifice by many who preceded me.

In years past in a different nation, I could have rounded up that Jewish family, locked them in a cattle car and sent them off to gruesome slavery and death in a Nazi death camp. That’s no longer possible. Again,  because of great sacrifice by many who preceded me. 

So on that airplane — and now, I am grateful.

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Continuing in this reflective mood, I am reminded that all of us — all of us, me included and especially me — of whatever the color of our skin, are susceptible to the vilest of thoughts and actions.

But as I discovered of my sin in Butte Montana, there is a better way —

Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
             (Christ Jesus being the creator spoken of in Genesis 1)

Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
(He created one race, the Human Race. Not white, black, brown or yellow)

Don Johnson — October 2017

Our Broken Obama Military Can’t Even Manage to Toss Out Traitors

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Please read this commentary —

https://townhall.com/columnists/kurtschlichter/2017/10/02/draft-n2389301

Edit —

And please read Senator Rubio’s remarks —

https://pjmedia.com/trending/2017/10/04/sen-rubio-wants-commie-west-point-officer-drummed-army/

End Edit —

An excerpt from the commentary —

“ …

I don’t enjoy saying that – it gives me no pleasure to have to wonder whether the Army I served in both in active and reserve status for close to 28 years is broken. And it’s not just the Army. The Marines and the Special Ops community, well, they seem to be holding on to the standards the rest have forgotten, but the Navy and the Air Force – they’re broken too. Our military – in terms of strategy, equipment, and leadership, is in crisis. American troops will die if we don’t fix it.

Hell, they already have. … “

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And now my comments:

A tough and very sad commentary by an Army veteran.

I had occasion a few years back to attend an author event at West Point – dinner and the author talk to cadets. To my left at the dinner table was a West Point professor, a major. In conversation I offered a comment that West Point must place much emphasis on history, in particular American history. The major told me, as I recall – and I hope I remember wrong, that there was minimal emphasis on history at the Academy. I was …shocked to hear this.

Over the roughly 70 years of the Communist run in the 20th century, over 100,000,000 people died at the hands of this government sponsored reign of terror in the Soviet Union, China, Cambodia, Cuba and elsewhere. How is it possible that future leaders of our military could not be taught this huge lesson of history?

Will the military academies revamp their programs and their testing to assure that each cadet learns the lessons needed to understand why they are sending young warriors to battle in places like Normandy, Vietnam and Korea. General Eisenhower insisted that soldiers and local German citizens tour the Nazi death camps and take as many pictures as possible. He did this so that history would remember what happened, and why so many liberating soldiers, sailors and airmen died in snuffing out this Satanic evil that had captured most of Europe. Will future cadets be required to view, read and study these atrocities in depth — including the Communist atrocities?

Unfortunately, there aren’t the vivid pictures and testimonies of the record of Communism.

This man, now a commissioned officer and leader of men must be drummed out of the corp. quickly. And he needs to be drummed out with much humiliation and publicity lest we see repeats of the Ft. Hood massacre.

 

Don Johnson – October 2017

Taking A Knee–I’ll Stand Thank You

VA
This is my VA Hospital at West Haven CT.

I visit there quite often for a variety of reasons, mostly minor stuff, and they are treating me quite well.

While there just the other day I noticed the activity in the hallways, waiting rooms and cafeteria, Here’s what I noticed:

Most of us were my age and older, that being in the 70s and 80s and older. Many were in wheelchairs.

Of those in the wheelchairs, many were white being pushed by blacks – many were blacks being pushed by whites.

Lots of chatter between vets – white with white, black with black, black with white, white with black. Comrades in arms all.

The flags outside the building – one for each of the services, and one for the nation.

When you kneel with Colin Kaepernick as a show of disrespect  for your nation (Colin has  publicly stated he disrespects his own country), are you also disrespecting those who do stand with respect at the National Anthem and the showing of the flag? Many of us think that’s what you are doing, and have actually seen such disrespect and heard such words ourselves at the local level.

Of course you have the God given (not government given) and Constitutionally protected right to such a show of protest.  Many of those in that building above fought to protect those rights. Shouldn’t you have a bit of self reflection and civility towards those who have actually sacrificed greatly and refrain from grasping at that right in such a venue of a the National Anthem and display of the flag?  

We don’t deny the Constitutionally protected rights of freedom of speech … of the press …  the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. We took up arms to protect those rights.

And we don’t deny those grievances, especially when it comes to the historic and present day treatment of blacks in this nation.

But I must respectfully say that such redress of grievances should be much more historically accurate in picking the target of protests. Looking back over the history of this great nation – yes it is a great nation —  we see that it began with the huge flaw of slavery. But it also began with the irony of a slave owner, Thomas Jefferson, penning those foundational words “… All men are created equal … ” which fueled a substantial anti-slavery movement from the beginning of the nation, resulting in the formation of the anti-slavery Republican party in opposition to the pro-slavery Democratic party. And thus it has been ever since – Republican proposing Civil Rights bills from the post Civil War period through to the 1960s with the Democratic party opposing those proposals those same proposals consistently until it became politically expedient for President Lyndon Johnson to support and sign the 1964 Civil Rights Act.  We have seen — those that  will study history — we have seen the Democrat Party as the party of slavery, the party causing the Civil War and 600,000+ war deaths, the party of segregation, the party of the KKK, the party of lynching, the party of  dogs and fire hoses being turned on blacks, the party of keeping blacks away from decent schools …  

Johnson’s “War on Poverty” then created a welfare state which has done much to damage the family structure of so many in the American inner cities, resulting in so many fatherless families and the resulting rise in young boys joining gangs. And the resulting crime associated with absent fathers …

I have a recommendation for Colin Kaepernick and others — spoiled and not smart enough to realize that not all Americans are like those in the Democrat power structure I described above, and are, and have actually been, on the side of all Americans no matter the color of the skin.

Let’s call for a national “Law of Reparations”  to financially pay descendants of American slavery for the sin against their ancestors — with this condition “all such reparations shall be leveled only on and exclusive to members of the Democratic Party, which has perpetrated those vile acts.”

Don Johnson — October 2017

 

 

 

 

Solzhenitsyn ::: Godlessness, The First Step to the Gulag

 

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It has been many years since I have heard the name ‘Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.’ A Russian man imprisoned in the Soviet Gulags who subsequently was able to speak out against the evils of Godless Communism in attempts to warn free peoples in the West of the dangers of “forgetting God.”

What Solzhenitsyn describes of Russia under Communism applies equally when trying to explain the evils of the Nazi Holocaust.  Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened – and a literal, very real, Satanic evil fills in the gap.

Nations, cultures and civilizations often forget God, and Solzhenitsyn here documents  the dire consequences of such forgetfulness.  As individuals we have very limited power against this forgetfulness, but as individuals we have the power to remember God – this is my plea. Discover God — Remember God in your own life. As much as it is in your power, live your own life such that your influence may engender a remembrance of God in your family, your culture and  your nation.   

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Solzhenitsyn ::: Godlessness, The First Step to the Gulag

  “Men Have Forgotten God”
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn — 1983

More than half a century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of older people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.
Since then I have spent well-nigh fifty years working on the history of our Revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous Revolution that swallowed up some sixty million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.
What is more, the events of the Russian Revolution can only be understood now, at the end of the century, against the background of what has since occurred in the rest of the world. What emerges here is a process of universal significance. And if I were called upon to identify briefly the principal trait of the entire twentieth century, here too, I would be unable to find anything more precise and pithy than to repeat once again: Men have forgotten God.
The failings of human consciousness, deprived of its divine dimension, have been a determining factor in all the major crimes of this century. The first of these was World War I, and much of our present predicament can be traced back to it. It was a war (the memory of which seems to be fading) when Europe, bursting with health and abundance, fell into a rage of self-mutilation which could not but sap its strength for a century or more, and perhaps forever. The only possible explanation for this war is a mental eclipse among the leaders of Europe due to their lost awareness of a Supreme Power above them. Only a godless embitterment could have moved ostensibly Christian states to employ poison gas, a weapon so obviously beyond the limits of humanity.
The same kind of defect, the flaw of a consciousness lacking all divine dimension, was manifested after World War II when the West yielded to the satanic temptation of the “nuclear umbrella.” It was equivalent to saying: Let’s cast off worries, let’s free the younger generation from their duties and obligations, let’s make no effort to defend ourselves, to say nothing of defending others-let’s stop our ears to the groans emanating from the East, and let us live instead in the pursuit of happiness. If danger should threaten us, we shall be protected by the nuclear bomb; if not, then let the world burn in Hell for all we care. The pitifully helpless state to which the contemporary West has sunk is in large measure due to this fatal error: the belief that the defense of peace depends not on stout hearts and steadfast men, but solely on the nuclear bomb…
Today’ s world has reached a stage which, if it had been described to preceding centuries, would have called forth the cry: “This is the Apocalypse!”
Yet we have grown used to this kind of world; we even feel at home in it.
Dostoevsky warned that “great events could come upon us and catch us intellectually unprepared.” This is precisely what has happened. And he predicted that “the world will be saved only after it has been possessed by the demon of evil.” Whether it really will be saved we shall have to wait and see: this will depend on our conscience, on our spiritual lucidity, on our individual and combined efforts in the face of catastrophic circumstances. But it has already come to pass that the demon of evil, like a whirlwind, triumphantly circles all five continents of the earth…
In its past, Russia did know a time when the social ideal was not fame, or riches, or material success, but a pious way of life. Russia was then steeped in an Orthodox Christianity which remained true to the Church of the first centuries. The Orthodoxy of that time knew how tosafeguard its people under the yoke of a foreign occupation that lasted more than two centuries, while at the same time fending off iniquitous blows from the swords of Western crusaders. During those centuries the Orthodox faith in our country became part of the very pattern of thought and the personality of our people, the forms of daily life, the work calendar, the priorities in every undertaking, the organization of the week and of the year. Faith was the shaping and unifying force of the nation.
But in the 17th century Russian Orthodoxy was gravely weakened by an internal schism. In the 18th, the country was shaken by Peter’s forcibly imposed transformations, which favored the economy, the state, and the military at the expense of the religious spirit and national life. And along with this lopsided Petrine enlightenment, Russia felt the first whiff of secularism; its subtle poisons permeated the educated classes in the course of the 19th century and opened the path to Marxism. By the time of the Revolution, faith had virtually disappeared in Russian educated circles; and amongst the uneducated, its health was threatened.
It was Dostoevsky, once again, who drew from the French Revolution and its seeming hatred of the Church the lesson that “revolution must necessarily begin with atheism.” That is absolutely true. But the world had never before known a godlessness as organized, militarized, and tenaciously malevolent as that practiced by Marxism. Within the philosophical system of Marx and Lenin, and at the heart of their psychology, hatred of God is the principal driving force, more fundamental than all their political and economic pretensions. Militant atheism is not merely incidental or marginal to Communist policy; it is not a side effect, but the central pivot.
The 1920’s in the USSR witnessed an uninterrupted procession of victims and martyrs amongst the Orthodox clergy. Two metropolitans were shot, one of whom, Veniamin of Petrograd, had been elected by the popular vote of his diocese. Patriarch Tikhon himself passed through the hands of the Cheka-GPU and then died under suspicious circumstances. Scores of archbishops and bishops perished. Tens of thousands of priests, monks, and nuns, pressured by the Chekists to renounce the Word of God, were tortured, shot in cellars, sent to camps, exiled to the desolate tundra of the far North, or turned out into the streets in their old age without food or shelter. All these Christian martyrs went unswervingly to their deaths for the faith; instances of apostasy were few and far between. For tens of millions of laymen access to the Church was blocked, and they were forbidden to bring up their children in the Faith: religious parents were wrenched from their children and thrown into prison, while the children were turned from the faith by threats and lies…
For a short period of time, when he needed to gather strength for the struggle against Hitler, Stalin cynically adopted a friendly posture toward the Church. This deceptive game, continued in later years by Brezhnev with the help of showcase publications and other window dressing, has unfortunately tended to be taken at its face value in the West. Yet the tenacity with which hatred of religion is rooted in Communism may be judged by the example of their most liberal leader, Krushchev: for though he undertook a number of significant steps to extend freedom, Krushchev simultaneously rekindled the frenzied Leninist obsession with destroying religion.
But there is something they did not expect: that in a land where churches have been leveled, where a triumphant atheism has rampaged uncontrolled for two-thirds of a century, where the clergy is utterly humiliated and deprived of all independence, where what remains of the Church as an institution is tolerated only for the sake of propaganda directed at the West, where even today people are sent to the labor camps for their faith, and where, within the camps themselves, those who gather to pray at Easter are clapped in punishment cells–they could not suppose that beneath this Communist steamroller the Christian tradition would survive in Russia. It is true that millions of our countrymen have been corrupted and spiritually devastated by an officially imposed atheism, yet there remain many millions of believers: it is only external pressures that keep them from speaking out, but, as is always the ca se in times of persecution and suffering, the awareness of God in my country has attained great acuteness and profundity.
It is here that we see the dawn of hope: for no matter how formidably Communism bristles with tanks and rockets, no matter what successes it attains in seizing the planet, it is doomed never to vanquish Christianity.
The West has yet to experience a Communist invasion; religion here remains free. But the West’s own historical evolution has been such that today it too is experiencing a drying up of religious consciousness. It too has witnessed racking schisms, bloody religious wars, and rancor, to say nothing of the tide of secularism that, from the late Middle Ages onward, has progressively inundated the West. This gradual sapping of strength from within is a threat to faith that is perhaps even more dangerous than any attempt to assault religion violently from without.
Imperceptibly, through decades of gradual erosion, the meaning of life in the West has ceased to be seen as anything more lofty than the “pursuit of happiness, “a goal that has even been solemnly guaranteed by constitutions. The concepts of good and evil have been ridiculed for several centuries; banished from common use, they have been replaced by political or class considerations of short lived value. It has become embarrassing to state that evil makes its home in the individual human heart before it enters a political system. Yet it is not considered shameful to make dally concessions to an integral evil. Judging by the continuing landslide of concessions made before the eyes of our very own generation, the West is ineluctably slipping toward the abyss. Western societies are losing more and more of their religious essence as they thoughtlessly yield up their younger generation to atheism. If a blasphemous film about Jesus is shown throughout the United States, reputedly one of the most religious countries in the world, or a major newspaper publishes a shameless caricature of the Virgin Mary, what further evidence of godlessness does one need? When external rights are completely unrestricted, why should one make an inner effort to restrain oneself from ignoble acts?
Or why should one refrain from burning hatred, whatever its basis–race, class, or ideology? Such hatred is in fact corroding many hearts today. Atheist teachers in the West are bringing up a younger generation in a spirit of hatred of their own society. Amid all the vituperation we forget that the defects of capitalism represent the basic flaws of human nature, allowed unlimited freedom together with the various human rights; we forget that under Communism (and Communism is breathing down the neck of all moderate forms of socialism, which are unstable) the identical flaws run riot in any person with the least degree of authority; while everyone else under that system does indeed attain “equality”–the equality of destitute slaves. This eager fanning of the flames of hatred is becoming the mark of today’s free world. Indeed, the broader the personal freedoms are, the higher the level of prosperity or even of abundance–the more vehement, paradoxically, does this blind hatred become. The contemporary developed West thus demonstrates by its own example that human salvation can be found neither in the profusion of material goods nor in merely making money.
This deliberately nurtured hatred then spreads to all that is alive, to life itself, to the world with its colors, sounds, and shapes, to the human body. The embittered art of the twentieth century is perishing as a result of this ugly hate, for art is fruitless without love. In the East art has collapsed because it has been knocked down and trampled upon, but in the West the fall has been voluntary, a decline into a contrived and pretentious quest where the artist, instead of attempting to reveal the divine plan, tries to put himsef in the place of God.
Here again we witness the single outcome of a worldwide process, with East and West yielding the same results, and once again for the same reason: Men have forgotten God.
With such global events looming over us like mountains, nay, like entire mountain ranges, it may seem incongruous and inappropriate to recall that the primary key to our being or non-being resides in each individual human heart, in the heart’s preference for specific good or evil. Yet this remains true even today, and it is, in fact, the most reliable key we have. The social theories that promised so much have demonstrated their bankruptcy, leaving us at a dead end. The free people of the West could reasonably have been expected to realize that they are beset · by numerous freely nurtured falsehoods, and not to allow lies to be foisted upon them so easily. All attempts to find a way out of the plight of today’s world are fruitless unless we redirect our consciousness, in repentance, to the Creator of all: without this, no exit will be illumined, and we shall seek it in vain. The resources we have set aside for ourselves are too impoverished for the task. We must first recognize the horror perpetrated not by some outside force, not by class or national enemies, but within each of us individually, and within every society. This is especially true of a free and highly developed society, for here in particular we have surely brought everything upon ourselves, of our own free will. We ourselves, in our daily unthinking selfishness, are pulling tight that noose…
Our life consists not in the pursuit of material success but in the quest for worthy spiritual growth. Our entire earthly existence is but a transitional stage in the movement toward something higher, and we must not stumble and fall, nor must we linger fruitlessly on one rung of the ladder. Material laws alone do not explain our life or give it direction. The laws of physics and physiology will never reveal the indisputable manner in which the Creator constantly, day in and day out, participates in the life of each of us, unfailingly granting us the energy of existence; when this assistance leaves us, we die. And in the life of our entire planet, the Divine Spirit surely moves with no less force: this we must grasp in our dark and terrible hour.
To the ill-considered hopes of the last two centuries, which have reduced us to insignificance and brought us to the brink of nuclear and non-nuclear death, we can propose only a determined quest for the warm hand of God, which we have so rashly and self-confidently spurned. Only in this way can our eyes be opened to the errors of this unfortunate twentieth century and our bands be directed to setting them right. There is nothing else to cling to in the landslide: the combined vision of all the thinkers of the Enlightenment amounts to nothing.
Our five continents are caught in a whirlwind. But it is during trials such as these that the highest gifts of the human spirit are manifested. If we perish and lose this world, the fault will be ours alone.
(World copyright ©1983 by Aleksander Solzhenitsyn; translator: A. Klimoff; reprinted by kind permission of the author.)

Biologist describes growing up under Darwinism in a communist state

 

NOTE: Every now and then I see a good debate, and this post captures a good one.

I regularly read the Intelligent Design web sites https://uncommondescent.com/ and https://evolutionnews.org/ and that’s where this debate occurs. I have edited it for clarity, but it retains the substance of the debate.

The primary protagonists are Dionisio on the ID side and Rvb8 on the atheist side.  Pay special attention to the comments of Dionisio  beginning with the phrase:

“Godlessness: the First Step to the Gulag”
Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Let the debate begin!!!

_________________________

Biologist describes growing up under Darwinism in a communist state

From David Klinghoffer at Evolution News & Views:

You never know who’s going to turn up at Q&A with Jonathan Wells and John West. The Discovery Institute biologist and political scientist, respectively, answered questions from the audience following a performance of the play Disinherit the Wind in Hollywood, California – which was a pretty interesting event in itself.

But then there stands up a biologist from a local university, unidentified, who proceeds to blow everyone away with an account of his experience as a younger man in a formerly Communist country. He explains that under the totalitarian culture of his youth, “Communism was literally welded to Darwinism.”

We recorded his remarks and they form a new episode of ID the Future. Listen to it here. More.

<em>Teapot</em> Cobalt Blue Only nine minutes. Do it on your break. The guy has guts to even talk about this in the age of the SJW (cf Bret Weinstein.)

Also:

One morning in 1938, shortly before leaving the Communist Party, while feeding his young daughter, Chambers concluded that the shape of her ear could not be explained by Marxist materialism. Something this beautiful and unique, Chambers observed, implied design, which implied the existence of God. Understanding the divine gift of his daughter Ellen, also strangely related to the horrific irruption within Chambers of the “screams” from Communism’s suffering victims. He writes “[O]ne day the Communist really hears those screams. [The screams] … do not merely reach his mind. They pierce beyond. They pierce to his soul.” A soul in agony, in this case, a person under persecution by Communist authorities, has attempted to communicate with another soul through memory and across time. The crucial significance of both episodes rests in Chambers embracing the presence of his soul, thus denying the false materialism of Communism and the darkness it had covered him in. As Chambers observed, “A Communist breaks because he must choose at last between irreconcilable opposites—God or Man, Soul or Mind, Freedom or Communism.”

 

36 Responses to Biologist describes growing up under Darwinism in a communist state
 
1 rvb8

‘You never know whos going to turn up at Q&A with Jonathan Wells and John West.’

Yes you do! Unification Church supporters, Christian apologists, ID people, and all those who believe in things unfelt, unknown, ‘special’, intangible, unmeasurable, and just plain, super-natural.

2 Seversky

We can find stories of oppression under all sorts of political and religious regimes. For example, there are the Native American children in the US and Canada who were forcibly sent to Christian-run boarding schools where they were forced to wear the white man’s clothing and forbidden to speak their own languages or practice their own religious and cultural traditions. All done with the best of intentions, no doubt, but still oppression and practiced against those least able to resist it.

3 Dionisio

Here is part of the lyrics of the common anthem shared by the atheist communist parties that were trying to build a communist socioeconomic system, though never succeeded:

Stand up, damned of the Earth
Stand up, prisoners of starvation
Reason thunders in its volcano
This is the eruption of the end.
Of the past let us make a clean slate
Enslaved masses, stand up, stand up.
The world is about to change its foundation
We are nothing, let us be all.

This is the final struggle
Let us group together, and tomorrow
The Internationale
Will be the human race.

There are no supreme saviours
Neither God
, […]

Yes, obviously Darwinian evolution theory validated that anthem and its underlying atheist ideology that promoted, encouraged and called for violent class struggle in order to form an idyllic classless society, which in reality didn’t exist, as it was ironically demonstrated in August 1980 in Gdansk, Poland, when the overwhelmingly Roman Catholic working class rebelled against the ruling atheist communist party and threw them into the trash bin of history.

4 Dionisio

@3 correction:

Yes, obviously Darwinian evolution theory validated that anthem and its underlying atheist ideology that promoted, encouraged and called for violent class struggle in order to form an idyllic classless society, which in reality didn’t exist, as it was ironically demonstrated in August 1980 in Gdansk, Poland, when the overwhelmingly Roman Catholic working class peacefully rebelled against the ruling atheist communist party and threw them into the trash bin of history.

5 Dionisio

@3 correction:

Yes, certainly Darwinian evolution theory validated that anthem and its underlying atheist ideology that promoted, encouraged and called for violent class struggle in order to form an idyllic classless society, which in reality never existed and the communist parties failed to build for obvious reasons*, as it was ironically demonstrated in August 1980 in Gdansk, Poland, when the overwhelmingly Roman Catholic Polish working class supported by the rest of the society peacefully rebelled against the ruling atheist communist party and threw them deep into the trash bin of history.

(*) prophet Jeremiah spoke about this long ago.

6 EricMH

Which oppressive Christian society created the gulags, death camps, gas chambers, etc.?

7 rvb8

EricMH,

Christian? Why do you single out that faith? Is it because, not so secretly, ID is a front for Christian ideas?

In answer to your question, “Which oppressive Christian society created the gulags…? ;

When Christianity had power, (from about 340AD to around 1700AD, and the rise of reason), Christianity had inordinate power.

Christianity used that almost limitless power to burn, torture, threaten, rape, imprison, mark, ridicule, execute, and basically terrorise entire populations; or don’t you know any history?

The gulags were an expression of the, ‘cult of the personality’, Hitler, Mao, and Stalin all used this; a State of religious fervour if you will.

I’m sorry EricMH, when it comes to manipulation and pure evil, religion, and your Christianity, are past masters.

You could blame all this on Darwin of course, but then I woud say, ‘What caused this disgusting inhuman behaviour before Darwin?’

The answer of course is, blind faith, in an All Loving God.

8 ET

“The differences between Biblical creationism and the IDM should become clear. As an unashamedly Christian/creationist organization, ICR is concerned with the reputation of our God and desires to point all men back to Him. We are not in this work merely to do good science, although this is of great importance to us. We care that students and society are brainwashed away from a relationship with their Creator/Savior. While all creationists necessarily believe in intelligent design, not all ID proponents believe in God. ID is strictly a non-Christian movement, and while ICR values and supports their work, we cannot join them.”- John Morris, president of the Institute for Creation Research

9 Dionisio

ET @8:

Timely clarification for the anonymous readers who unfortunately might have squandered precious time reading the nonsense posted @7.

Thanks.

10 Dionisio

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits.” Matthew 7:15-16 (ESV)

“The message of false prophets may be attractive and even seem orthodox. The only way to know for sure is to allow time to see “their fruits” (vv. 16–20). Some of the false prophets’ fruits are mentioned in the New Testament: controversies (1 Tim. 1:3), divisions (1 Tim. 6:3, 4), destruction of faith (2 Tim. 2:18), and self-destruction by heresy (2 Pet. 2:1).” Reformation Study Bible provided by Ligonier Ministries

11 Dionisio

The Golden Rule

Matthew 7:12-14 (ESV)

So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.

For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

Reformation Study Bible provided by Ligonier Ministries:

Often called the “Golden Rule,” this principle was stated by a number of ancient thinkers as, “Do not do to others what you do not want done to you.” Jesus made it a positive obligation. Here it appears after the discussion of God’s goodness and His willingness to give.

Presenting a rosy picture of the Christian life and minimizing that it is filled with trouble does not follow the lead of our Lord (Acts 14:22). It may be that the “false prophets” of v. 15 are especially those who deny that the way is narrow and hard.

12 Dionisio

Matthew 7:21-23 (ESV)

Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

Reformation Study Bible provided by Ligonier Ministries:

The doubling of a name was an address of intimacy (Gen. 22:11; 1 Sam. 3:10; 2 Sam. 18:33; Luke 22:31). It is not claims or feelings of intimacy with Jesus that matter, nor is it simply good works, even miraculous ones; only doing the will of the Father matters. Genuine intimacy with the Father means knowing God and being known by God (1 Cor. 8:2, 3).

13 Dionisio

Another clarification for the anonymous readers who unfortunately might have squandered precious time reading the nonsense posted @7:

Read the comments @10-12.

14 EricMH

@rvb8, I’d like to see your evidence of how anything in the history of Christian atrocities matched the mass murder at the hand of atheists.

15 rvb8

EricMH,

let’s say your right, (I’m not, but to throw you a bone, let’s just imagine the atheist regimes were far worse than the religious ones.)

Don’t you see where that tortured argument leaves religon? Let’s use Christiaity.

It leaves you in a kind of schoolyard taunt, along these lines, “yeah, alright Christians killed and tortured millions, but the atheists were way more worse.”

Do you really want to say that? We know Christianity had a bloody past, but atheism’s worse?

Essentially, ‘we’re not good, but better than you’??

16 rvb8

ET @8,

you use a quote from John Morris claiming no link between Christianity and ID; Heh:)

Dionisio arrives @10 congratulating you for clearing up the old cannard that Christianity and ID are bedfellows.

Unfortuantely @10, 11, and 12, Dio quotes extensively from his/her English Standard Version, Christian Bible, to back you up.

Then @13, Dio proudly instructs readers to ignore my own post @7, and instead directs readers to his Biblical quotes.

In politics, and the law, this is known as a, ‘smoking gun’.

17 drc466

@rvb8,

Christianity used that almost limitless power to burn, torture, threaten, rape, imprison, mark, ridicule, execute, and basically terrorise entire populations; or don’t you know any history?

To put it bluntly – bull. Is it fair and historically accurate to claim that Christianity was used by fringe groups and secular governments to justify hatred, abuse, and even war? Sure. Is it also fair to say that Christian organizations have not always practiced Biblical Christianity faithfully? Also sure – no one is going to argue that inquisitions and witch-burnings didn’t occur. But your sense of scale is ludicrously off-base.

The truth of the matter is that Judeo-Christian beliefs, followed faithfully, have been of greater benefit to the world than any other ideology, political or religious. Abolition, for example, was largely motivated by Christian beliefs in the equality of all men, a belief that is almost universally not shared by non-Christian cultures. Universities were almost entirely Christian-founded institutions, and the “divine-rights” of man were labelled as such based on a Christian understanding of Divine. I could go on and on.

Since you claim to “know history”, would you like to provide everyone with a comparison between the actions of atheist Russia, the Shintoist Japan, and Darwinist Germany, and the Christian France, Britain, America and even Italy, in WW2? Would you like to compare/contrast German treatment of Slavs, Russian treatment of Slavs/Germans, Japanese treatment of Chinese, Filipino, etc., to the treatment of enemy civilians by Allied troops? Would you like to explain for us why Germans were so desperate to surrender to American troops rather than be captured by Russians? Maybe a few words on the Bataan death march, or the rape of Nanking? Perhaps your historical knowledge might even extend to the relative survival rates between POWs of the respective combatants?

The problem is that you were born into a world where Christian philosophy has essentially “won”, and so most 1st-world countries accept Christian ideals and pretend/believe that their non-Christian morals would be the same even if Christianity wasn’t around. You want to know what the world would look like without Christianity? Pull out your history book and study the world of B.C. Or spend some time in pre-missionary Asia, Africa, and Americas.

You live in a world built on Christianity without a clue as to how hard and evil it would be without Christianity, and scorn the belief system that has given you basically everything. That’s fine, you don’t have to agree with me – but don’t expect me to be blind because you choose to be.

18 drc466

Follow-on to my comment above: it is probably unfair to label Germany as “Darwinist”. In reality, the prevailing “religion” in Germany was, unfortunately, Hitler worship. Children said pledges to him in classrooms, teens spent weeks in camps being indoctrinated in Nazi/Hitler ideology, and even the army was required to pledge a vow of allegiance directly to Hitler. So “Hitlerist” Germany is probably a better descriptor. In either case, Christianity was not a significant underlying ideology in the behavior of German armed forces – allegiance to human authority in general and Hitler in particular was.

19 EricMH

@rvb8, no I’m saying atheists who claim eliminating religion is the answer to all our problems are foolish beyond measure.

20 EricMH

rvb8, here’s another fun challenge for you. Name one atheist state that has not mass murdered its population.

21 Dionisio

drc466 @17-18,

Good comments. Thanks.

But don’t expect your interlocutor to understand what you wrote. Understanding requires the will to do it. Your interlocutor doesn’t seem willing to understand anything or engage in serious discussions.

Note the lack of attention to details @16, where your interlocutor referred to the comment @9 as if it were @10.
To make things worse, this interlocutor wrongly associates the comment @9 with the comments @10-12. They are unrelated, because they address different issues.
To top that, the interlocutor misunderstood the comment @13. The interlocutor wrote that the post @13 “instructs readers to ignore” the post @7, and “instead directs readers to” the posts @10-12. That’s obviously wrong. The post @13 clearly states that it is a clarification for those who unfortunately already wasted time reading the hogwash @7.

This lack of attention to details has been seen before in other comments posted by the same interlocutor.
Maybe it’s a reading comprehension issue?
This interlocutor makes the materialists look embarrassingly uneducated.

I was materialist too, educated/indoctrinated in the Soviet Union.
Amazing grace that saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now I’m found.
Was blind, but now I see.
This means that there’s hope. Let’s pray for the spiritually lost and blind readers so that they too are touched by the Divine grace that saves.
One day at the end of this age of grace, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Christ is Lord of all. But then it will be too late for those who didn’t follow Christ before He’s back.

22 Origenes

“In the early days of the German advance into Eastern Europe, before the possibility of Soviet retribution even entered their untroubled imagination, Nazi extermination squads would sweep into villages, and after forcing villagers to dig their own graves, murder their victims with machine guns. On one such occasion somewhere in Eastern Europe, an SS officer watched languidly, his machine gun cradled, as an elderly and bearded Hasidic Jew laboriously dug what he knew to be his grave.

Standing up straight, he addressed his executioner. “God is watching what you are doing,” he said.

And then he was shot dead.

What Hitler did not believe and what Stalin did not believe and what Mao did not believe and what the SS did not believe and what the Gestapo did not believe and what the NKVD did not believe and what the commissars, functionaries, swaggering executioners, Nazi doctors, Communist Party theoreticians, intellectuals, Brown Shirts, Black Shirts, gauleiters, and a thousand party hacks did not believe was that God was watching what they were doing.”

[Berlinski]

23 Dionisio

drc466 @17,

The posts @10-12 relate to your first paragraph @17.

Your interlocutor may not see that well.

24 groovamos

rvb8: not so secretly, ID is a front for Christian ideas

Jewish ID advocate: DI fellow David Klinghoffer

agnostic Jew ID advocate: DI fellow David Berlinsky

Muslim ID advocate: Adnan Oktar

non-committed dualist ID advocate: Groovamos

When Christianity had power, (from about 340AD to around 1700AD, and the rise of reason), Christianity had inordinate power.

Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543): “To know the mighty works of God, to comprehend His wisdom and majesty and power, to appreciate, in degree, the wonderful working of His laws, surely all this must be a pleasing and acceptable mode of worship to the Most High, to whom ignorance cannot be more gratifying than knowledge.” (Copernicus, as cited in Neff 1952, 191-192; and in Hubbard 1905, v).

René Descartes (1596-1650): “Is there not a God…who causes these thoughts to arise in my mind? But why suppose such a being, for it may be I myself am capable of producing them? … And in truth, as I have no ground for believing that Deity is deceitful, and as, indeed, I have not even considered the reasons by which the existence of a Deity of any kind is established, the ground of doubt that rests only on this supposition is very slight, and, so to speak, metaphysical”

Why not get your stories straight dude before posting on here.

burn, torture, threaten, rape, imprison, mark, ridicule, execute, and basically terrorise entire populations

I cant imagine what school you went to where this was taught but I was never taught “entire populations” were “burn(ed), torture(d), threaten(ed), rape(d), imprison(ed), mark(ed), ridicule(d), execute(d), and basically terrorise(d)

25 Dionisio

“Godlessness: the First Step to the Gulag”
Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion on May of 1983

More than half a century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of older people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.

Since then I have spent well-nigh fifty years working on the history of our Revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous Revolution that swallowed up some sixty million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.

[…]

And if I were called upon to identify briefly the principal trait of the entire twentieth century, here too, I would be unable to find anything more precise and pithy than to repeat once again: Men have forgotten God.

The failings of human consciousness, deprived of its divine dimension, have been a determining factor in all the major crimes of this century.

[…]

The only possible explanation for this war is a mental eclipse among the leaders of Europe due to their lost awareness of a Supreme Power above them.

26 Dionisio

“Godlessness: the First Step to the Gulag”
Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion on May of 1983

It was Dostoevsky, once again, who drew from the French Revolution and its seeming hatred of the Church the lesson that “revolution must necessarily begin with atheism.” That is absolutely true. But the world had never before known a godlessness as organized, militarized, and tenaciously malevolent as that practiced by Marxism. Within the philosophical system of Marx and Lenin, and at the heart of their psychology, hatred of God is the principal driving force, more fundamental than all their political and economic pretensions. Militant atheism is not merely incidental or marginal to Communist policy; it is not a side effect, but the central pivot.

That’s the environment I grew up and was educated in.
I could have taught atheism to the strongest atheists today.
Now I can sweep and mop the floor with all their baseless beliefs.
God is amazingly gracious. Who would have thought back then that I could be writing this here today.
Amazing grace that saved a wretch like me.
All glory, all honor, all praise to the Lord.

27 Dionisio

“Godlessness: the First Step to the Gulag”
Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion on May of 1983

The 1920’s in the USSR witnessed an uninterrupted procession of victims and martyrs amongst the Orthodox clergy. Two metropolitans were shot, one of whom, Veniamin of Petrograd, had been elected by the popular vote of his diocese. Patriarch Tikhon himself passed through the hands of the Cheka-GPU and then died under suspicious circumstances. Scores of archbishops and bishops perished. Tens of thousands of priests, monks, and nuns, pressured by the Chekists to renounce the Word of God, were tortured, shot in cellars, sent to camps, exiled to the desolate tundra of the far North, or turned out into the streets in their old age without food or shelter. All these Christian martyrs went unswervingly to their deaths for the faith; instances of apostasy were few and far between. For tens of millions of laymen access to the Church was blocked, and they were forbidden to bring up their children in the Faith: religious parents were wrenched from their children and thrown into prison, while the children were turned from the faith by threats and lies…

28 Dionisio

“Godlessness: the First Step to the Gulag”
Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion on May of 1983

For a short period of time, when he needed to gather strength for the struggle against Hitler, Stalin cynically adopted a friendly posture toward the Church. This deceptive game, continued in later years by Brezhnev with the help of showcase publications and other window dressing, has unfortunately tended to be taken at its face value in the West. Yet the tenacity with which hatred of religion is rooted in Communism may be judged by the example of their most liberal leader, Krushchev: for though he undertook a number of significant steps to extend freedom, Krushchev simultaneously rekindled the frenzied Leninist obsession with destroying religion.

29 Dionisio

“Godlessness: the First Step to the Gulag”
Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion on May of 1983

But there is something they did not expect: that in a land where churches have been leveled, where a triumphant atheism has rampaged uncontrolled for two-thirds of a century, where the clergy is utterly humiliated and deprived of all independence, where what remains of the Church as an institution is tolerated only for the sake of propaganda directed at the West, where even today people are sent to the labor camps for their faith, and where, within the camps themselves, those who gather to pray at Easter are clapped in punishment cells–they could not suppose that beneath this Communist steamroller the Christian tradition would survive in Russia. It is true that millions of our countrymen have been corrupted and spiritually devastated by an officially imposed atheism, yet there remain many millions of believers: it is only external pressures that keep them from speaking out, but, as is always the case in times of persecution and suffering, the awareness of God in my country has attained great acuteness and profundity.

It is here that we see the dawn of hope: for no matter how formidably Communism bristles with tanks and rockets, no matter what successes it attains in seizing the planet, it is doomed never to vanquish Christianity.

30 Dionisio

“Godlessness: the First Step to the Gulag”
Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion on May of 1983

The West has yet to experience a Communist invasion; religion here remains free. But the West’s own historical evolution has been such that today it too is experiencing a drying up of religious consciousness. It too has witnessed racking schisms, bloody religious wars, and rancor, to say nothing of the tide of secularism that, from the late Middle Ages onward, has progressively inundated the West. This gradual sapping of strength from within is a threat to faith that is perhaps even more dangerous than any attempt to assault religion violently from without.

31 Dionisio

“Godlessness: the First Step to the Gulag”
Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion on May of 1983

Imperceptibly, through decades of gradual erosion, the meaning of life in the West has ceased to be seen as anything more lofty than the “pursuit of happiness”, a goal that has even been solemnly guaranteed by constitutions. The concepts of good and evil have been ridiculed for several centuries; banished from common use, they have been replaced by political or class considerations of short lived value. It has become embarrassing to state that evil makes its home in the individual human heart before it enters a political system. Yet it is not considered shameful to make dally concessions to an integral evil. Judging by the continuing landslide of concessions made before the eyes of our very own generation, the West is ineluctably slipping toward the abyss. Western societies are losing more and more of their religious essence as they thoughtlessly yield up their younger generation to atheism. If a blasphemous film about Jesus is shown throughout the United States, reputedly one of the most religious countries in the world, or a major newspaper publishes a shameless caricature of the Virgin Mary, what further evidence of godlessness does one need? When external rights are completely unrestricted, why should one make an inner effort to restrain oneself from ignoble acts?

32 Dionisio

“Godlessness: the First Step to the Gulag”
Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion on May of 1983

Our life consists not in the pursuit of material success but in the quest for worthy spiritual growth. Our entire earthly existence is but a transitional stage in the movement toward something higher, and we must not stumble and fall, nor must we linger fruitlessly on one rung of the ladder. Material laws alone do not explain our life or give it direction. The laws of physics and physiology will never reveal the indisputable manner in which the Creator constantly, day in and day out, participates in the life of each of us, unfailingly granting us the energy of existence; when this assistance leaves us, we die. And in the life of our entire planet, the Divine Spirit surely moves with no less force: this we must grasp in our dark and terrible hour.

33 Dionisio

“Godlessness: the First Step to the Gulag”
Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion on May of 1983

To the ill-considered hopes of the last two centuries, which have reduced us to insignificance and brought us to the brink of nuclear and non-nuclear death, we can propose only a determined quest for the warm hand of God, which we have so rashly and self-confidently spurned. Only in this way can our eyes be opened to the errors of this unfortunate twentieth century and our hands be directed to setting them right. There is nothing else to cling to in the landslide: the combined vision of all the thinkers of the Enlightenment amounts to nothing.

34 Truth Will Set You Free

Dionisio @ 25-33: Brilliant.

groovamos @ 24: Excellent comment.

Also, rvb8’s hatred for ID is minimal compared to his extreme hatred for Christianity. Must be tough carrying around so much hate, especially knowing that ID and Christianity will still be around (and thriving) when he takes his last breath. It was all for naught, rvb8. All for naught. The penny never dropped!

35 Dionisio

TWSYF,

That’s right, all for nothing. He’s never got it.
Really sad.

BTW, regarding Solzhenitsyn’s speech at the Templeton foundation, in the 1970s the famous Russian writer was quite known in the academic/political circles in western Europe and the US but not to many people inside his own country, where his books were not publicly available.

The fear of the free flow of information was enormous in that society.

Do you know why Solzhenitsyn was sent to the Siberian gulag that he made known to the world through his famous books later?

Apparently as a young officer in the soviet troops that ‘liberated’ the former Prussian territories by the Baltic Sea, he wrote a letter to a friend describing the atrocities committed by his fellow army comrades. Obviously his personal letter was censored and he was arrested.

So much for freedom of opinion.

36 groovamos

Truth Will SYF : Excellent comment.

Also, rvb8’s hatred for ID is minimal compared to his extreme hatred for Christianity. Must be tough carrying around so much hate

thx same goes for yours. See RVB doesn’t understand that every religion, including his, must have its sinners for its maintenance. He is in the daily echo chamber telling him what to believe, which is there is a mainstream Christian under every rock, behind every societal problem. It gives them something to believe in, a teleological basis for getting up every morning, even though life, including theirs, is meaningless. They need a political cause to fill the spiritual void.