Saturday, 16 June 2012

Things Christians say, Part 20: Are you a communist too?

A weekly series of responses to the things Christians say to atheists, based on the video reproduced here on 30th January 2012.  The aim is to tackle one every weekend, to give both a moderate, polite response to each question ('Piano'), followed by a more forceful rebuttal of the same question ('Forte'). 

So - are you a communist too?


Why do you connect atheism and communism?  Oh yes - you think Stalin might have acted in the name of atheism.  See last week's post which was mainly about Hitler but refers to other despots towards the end.



I can tell that you are using the word 'communist' in the McCarthy sense, rather than in the kibbutz sense.

Communism in its purest sense was never intended to become totalitarian in the way that it has done in virtually every country that has tried the experiment.  Originally it was intended to be a fair and just system of mutual government in which everyone is treated equally.  In some senses you might say that it succeeded - not through its own altruism - but due to the religiously motivated feudal systems of government that had preceded most of the 'successful' communist revolutions.  However, it is very much on the decline in recent decades - curiously in anti-correlation with the steady worldwide rise in atheism.

As atheism becomes more popular, communism is on the
decline as you can see from this Wikimedia picture
Strangely, I don't think I have ever met an atheist who is a communist.  In fairness this is probably because I have never knowingly met a real communist.   I know some eastern Europeans who were probably brought up in a completely non-religious environment but I suppose I have never talked about atheism with most of them.  I do have one Romanian friend who is a firm atheist but in his case I have no knowledge of his views of communism.

In short, the answer is that I am not a communist - not even after the disaster of the last UK election where the option is beginning to look less awful than what we have at the moment!  However, although I don't relish the idea of living under totalitarian communism, I'm not completely certain that Russian people were worse off then than they were under the Tsar, or the Chinese than they were before their revolution.

Last week: Hitler acted in the name of atheism
Next week:  I really don't think your marriage can be considered a real marriage!

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