Textbook purges the history of the effects of Atheism on the Marxist nations but majors on Christian “Fundamentalist” Terrorists
Islam and “Fundamentalist” Christianity are leading sources of religious terrorism according to the textbook; but atheism’s gulags, purges, forced abortions, slave labor camps, and land seizures are not mentioned in the textbook discussion of religious terrorism, or anywhere else
“…it is critical to understand that Muslim terrorism is not the only form of terrorism and that domestic terrorism sparked by fundamentalist Christian organizations has taken the lives of hundreds of innocent people…” Human Geography, Places and Regions in Global Context, p.326
Before we discuss the books labeling Neo- Nazi Aryan groups as representative of what is called fundamental Christianity, I want to point as out as I did earlier, that atheism is a religious view, though not often admitted as so, particularly on college campuses. One of the reasons for this is that the two beliefs, theism and atheism, are polar opposites, and atheist believers have a very strong antagonism for theism and most particularly for those of the “Fundamentalist” faith. This helps to explain academia’s tendency to distort the history of Christianity and to hide or minimize the effects that atheism has had on the world in the last century. So while the Eastern Washington University textbook spends many paragraphs discussing right wing extremist groups and Islamic terrorism, (which it suggests is partly due to the West’s imperialism) it makes no mention of the purges, mass killings, slave labor camps, body part industries or forced abortion policies of Communist Russia or China or North Korea. It also fails to mention any of the left wing bombings and terrorism of the mid-sixties in America.
Now some of you might not think it fair to label the actions of the Russian or Chinese governments as terrorism, so let me give you the books own definition;
“Terrorism is a complicated concept whose definition depends very much on social and historical context. A very simple definition is that terrorism is the threat or use of force to bring about political change. It is commonly understood as actions by individuals or groups of individuals…But the state can also be an agent of terrorism.” Ibid, p. 326
And I think it is safe to say that the Bolsheviks and the Communist Chinese used terrorism to institute political change at the beginning of their revolutions and continually afterwards through on going government policy, and with a vengeance. As a matter of fact, as we shall see, the atheists of Russia and China had at least one thing in common with our secular colleges; their animosity towards historical Christianity.
But back to those hated fundamentalists. While it is not true that most fundamentalists are Neo-Nazis, the book does get at least one thing right in its definition of the term, they say fundamentalism was;
“…a protestant movement that opposed accommodation of modern scientific theory and philosophy to Christian doctrine and especially Darwinian theories about the origin of life on Earth.” Ibid, p.159
They say it started in the late 1900s but this is sort of backhanded way of admitting that the fundamentalist represented a group of believers that resisted reinterpreting the Bible to fit Darwin’s theory of biology and Charles Lyell’s geology. It is very common to imply they started around the turn of the century because that tends to relegate them as representing some kind of new marginal theology; in fact they simply stayed the course, holding the views which had dominated Christendom for two thousand years. While it is true that many of today’s fundamentalists major on distinctives such as “King James only” and can be quite diverse in minor areas, they still hold to the fundamental doctrines of the historic Christian faith.
It was the liberals who were changing the way they viewed the very fundamentals of the faith, not the so called fundamentalists. When Dietrich Bonheoffer came to New York in 1930 he was witness to the battle between the liberal preacher Harry Fosdick and Walter Buchanan who he described as “weighing in on the side of the historic faith and descried as a fundamentalist…” Bonheoffer’s biographer, Eric Metaxas, described how Fosdick attacked virtually every assertion of the Christian faith; the resurrection, the virgin birth, the divinity of Christ, the bible as the word of God, et cetera. Bonheoffer, a student of Barth and not a fundamentalist in every area of his theology, was not impressed by Fosdick, who incidentally was backed by millionaire Rockefeller. Bonheoffer’s professor at Union College in New York, John Baillie, called Bonheoffer;
“…As stout an opponent of liberalism that has ever come my way” Metaxas, Eric, Bonheoffer
Now some of these Neo-Nazis may claim to hold the historic Christian faith, but most I have talked to do not. They generally don’t even accept that Jesus was a Jew, and like many academians (interesting enough) they loathe the tiny Jewish Nation of Israel. If anything is true of American fundamentalists, it is that they are the staunchest supporters of Israel found anywhere outside of Eretz Israel. But enough; I really don’t think that the Neo-Nazi movement is synonymous with fundamentalism, but even if so they certainly don’t represent the majority. None the less it is true that some of these groups have committed domestic terrorism on innocent people, killing, as the text book said, hundreds.
And yet, as sad as that is, the numbers pale into insignificance compared to the hundreds of millions slaughtered in Russia and China by professing atheists. And in documenting this, our second textbook is happily very helpful. Our first textbook though makes no mention of Stalin and only briefly mentions Marx and Lenin, and never in anything but the most positive light. No mention of the purges, slave labor camps, death camps or the Marxist antagonism for “religion” and their relentless drive to see it eradicated from society-by force. In discussing the population theories of Malthus, it says that by following Marx, new solutions to the population “problem” could be generated. It never explains just what these may have been, so I am forced to go to the other textbook and there I find documented what the followers of Marx actually did, in Russia.
All of the following quotes come from the second text, World Regional Geography by McGraw/Hill, mainly chapter 4, unless another source is given.
The textbook says that the Bolsheviks envisioned a “classless society” that would become a “workers’ paradise”, though they admit on p.45 that;
“In communist countries, the expectation of a classless society is contradicted by the status and privileges given to the members of the Communist party.”
The text goes on to explain;
“They saw religion as a tool of the oppressors” and attacked churches and mosques “using dynamite” and making them “science centers” for the Darwinian faith. This open hostility towards theism was also expressed by other atheist leaders in Russia and China;
“We must go to them with the propaganda of atheism, for only this propaganda defines the place of man in the universe…”
Trotsky, Leon, The Position of the Public and the Tasks of Young Workers, 1922
We will substitute materialism for idealism and atheism for theism.” Zedong, Mao, “Examples of Dialectics”, in, Selected works of Mao Zedong. vol. 8
Now think back on the textbooks discussion of the “forced conversions” of Islam and alleged to Christianity in earlier chapters. What was taking place in Russia left no room for freedom of conscience, the spread of the atheistic paradigm was by ruthless force and in a much more systematic manner than that of Islam. And yet the first text omits any mention of efforts made in China and Russia to forcibly eradicate theistic religion from society. The second textbook then goes on to document how the Bolsheviks executed “several hundred thousand” Don Cossacks in 1919, just for starters. Following this, in 1921 they opened up their first “death camps” where they exterminated “opponents of their regime”. Let’s stop for a minute. Hundreds of thousands of Don Cossacks? That number alone, without adding the millions of other deaths which would follow puts the atheist Bolshevik movement far ahead of any Moslem slaughter in one year. The followers of Mohammad slaughtered their thousands, maybe ten thousands, but never hundreds of thousands in such a short period of time. And the Atheists were just warming up.
When Stalin came in to power, “the death camps grew dramatically in size and number”. In 1928 they held only 30000 prisoners but under Stalin, by 1930 the camps held over 600000. Now I’m not sure if these camps represent the “innovative solutions” of Karl Marx that the textbook alluded to in their Malthus discussion, but they did seem to be a way to deal with a population “problem”. These camps became known as GULAGs, an acronym for “Labor directive Camps. As the text explains, “Stalin saw the gulags as a useful tool for economic development. Slave labor was essentially free costing only a few bowls of soup and a few slices of bread a day” for the laborers. Doesn’t sound like a “workers’ paradise” to me. But Stalin put the slaves to work building railroad lines and hydroelectric plants and canals and though they died like flies, more were always available. Many came from the small farmers who had been dispossessed from their lands, called the Kulaks. Even though they were not well to do, they had been successful and made a good living. Stalin labeled them “rich” and had them thrown in the gulags. The textbook goes on to explain how the gulags were “filled with millions more” after Stalin’s purge of 1934, called the great terror. Military officers, artists, scientists, intellectuals and common citizens were all “arbitrarily accused of treason” and tossed in the gulags. After the war, Stalin again sent millions to the camps, to help fuel his “economic recovery”. Not that those slave labor camps weren’t a real boon to the Soviet economy. Stalin was able to put 100,000 workers with pick and shovels to work building the canal from the White Sea to the Baltic. Unfortunately one third of those workers died in the process, but there were millions more where they came from. In the Kolyma mines, millions of political prisoners were put to work. One third of them were expected to die their first year. The rest died in their second year. It is estimated that Stalin killed between 85,000,000 to 100,000,000 people in less than 30 years.
Ronald Reagan called this political system the “evil empire” and was the subject of a great deal of scorn from liberal Americans for the remark. When you consider that all this carnage and total disrespect of human rights took place less than seventy years after Lincoln signed the Proclamation of Emancipation, championing the equality of man under God, you have to wonder how such a government could be seen as anything but evil.
Man is religious by nature and is a very limited creature in his knowledge. Whatever values he decides to espouse or follow, even if it’s no values at all, they are moral decisions based on what or where he has placed his assumptions. If he decides there is no god, then he does so by faith, just as the person who decides that, in fact, there is a god.
So atheism, though it presents itself as the angel of light, appears historically to be the religion of death. And the fact that a “Global” history and geography book would make no mention of the effects of atheistic government in Russia, and fail to mention Mao’s 45 million killed and the total lack of individual rights there, should be a wakeup call for more accountability in American colleges and to those that support them, and send their children there to be educated.