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Apr 23 2013

MP Scott Reid goes after atheists in the House of Commons #DefendDissent

Our beleaguered and religion-soaked cousins south of the border may, from time to time, look northward with envy at Canada’s largely non-religious civil society. Our politics are not replete with the same invocations to the intercession of the supernatural that plague the American landscape; indeed, it is considered somewhat gauche in most circles to make large public shows of one’s private belief. Canada’s approach to religion is largely a ‘live and let live’ one, with the exception of certain rural areas where religious affiliation is held in the same grip as one’s self-identity.

As I’ve discussed at various points in the past, this laissez faire approach to religion has not stopped the Republican North government of Stephen Harper from deciding that Canada’s international role should be to protect religious freedom, despite the repeated warnings of those American officials who have tried the same and realized what a mine-field it becomes. An entirely unnecessary ministry has been created in order to oversee Stephen Harper’s desperate attempt to look after the evangelical base that he needs to be re-elected, but whose actual priorities (destroying women’s health care, legislating Biblical morality) he cannot espouse for fear of triggering a centrist backlash.

Yesterday, while discussing this mission, MP Scott Reid had this to say:

If our goal is to assign guilt, and this is point number three, then it is also true that advocates of all major religions are, or in the past have been, guilty of repressing others.

Atheists have been and continue to be among the world’s worst oppressors of religious minorities. I draw the attention of the House to North Korea, an atheist regime, and the People’s Republic of China and its oppression of Christians, Tibetan Buddhists, Muslims in the Uyghur region and Falun Gong practitioners to make the point. That is probably the world’s largest source of human rights abuse right there: atheism. We might want to look at Stalin’s Russia, Pol Pot’s Cambodia and so on.

The reverse is also true, and this is very important. Members of each faith have done much to assist others to carry on their own faith. If we want to see how true that is, we should go to the Avenue of the Righteous Gentiles in Jerusalem to take a look at the people who are commemorated there. We will see members of all religions, including atheists, many Christians, some Muslims and some people who are members of none of those religions.

Now, some context is crucial before losing our shit (as I did yesterday, before the text was available). This statement comes in the middle of a statement speaking out against the idea of blasphemy laws. His statement, which I encourage you to read in context, is more or less exactly what you would expect to hear from a secularist, the above paragraph notwithstanding. Indeed, when I first heard about this statement on Twitter, I was shocked to note who the speaker was, because Scott Reid is a Unitarian. There is very little to object to in the rest of his statement, and I would encourage you to look at the whole thing in its entirety.

That being said, the abstracted piece is troubling for a number of reasons. First, it is ridiculously hyperbolic and inaccurate to brand atheism as “the world’s largest source of human rights abuse”. Considering that the majority of religious persecution occurs in countries with a strong religious majority who has the ability to enforce its beliefs through the use of state power, and that the most atheistic countries in the world (China notwithstanding, for reasons I will elucidate below) are also the most peaceful, Mr. Reid has decided to abandon anything like facts or reason in his rush to score a bizarre point against atheists.

As I have laid out before, even the examples that he invokes of China, North Korea, Cambodia and Stalinist Russia are piss-poor evidence to support the claim that atheism qua atheism is responsible for human rights abuses. I will absolutely agree that a state mandated belief, or a state mandated non-belief, are dangerous and harmful. I doubt even most atheists would support the idea of state-enforced atheism.

The problem with Reid’s statement, aside from its inaccuracy, is that atheism and religion are not opposite sides of the same coin. Whereas religious belief is often (but not always) accompanied by prescriptions to convert unbelievers or long passages explaining the unworthiness of those who believe differently (and near-pornographic detail of the ways in which they will be punished), atheism has no such claim. There is nothing that logically follows from ‘there are no gods’ that leads to ‘and those who believe should be converted or punished’. If Mr. Reid wishes to lay particular blame, he has undermined the credibility of his own argument by holding atheism out for particular opprobium, and then trying to say “oh and religions are sometimes like this too”.

The timing of this statement is particularly interesting, given that Mr. Reid represents a west Ottawa riding, and Ottawa’s atheist/skeptic community is about to rally specifically in favour of religious freedom:

An international coalition of atheist and humanist organizations, led by the Centre for Inquiry and our partners the International Humanist and Ethical Union and American Atheists, will protest the arrest and persecution of atheist bloggers and other dissenters in Bangladesh with demonstrations in New York, Washington, London, Ottawa, and other cities around the world on Thursday, April 25.

Bangladesh has recently been at the centre of a human rights crisis as authorities have detained several prominent bloggers for “hurting religious sentiments,” followed by the arrest of a newspaper editor who printed quotations from the targeted bloggers, and two more young people for making “derogatory remarks” about Islam on Facebook. Tens of thousands of people have rallied in the country’s capital to demand more arrests, tougher blasphemy laws, and have threatened violence if their demands are not met by April 25.

These global demonstrations will be unprecedented for the freethought movement, as secularists around the world express their solidarity with those jailed for speaking their minds about religion. Protesters will draw the world’s attention to the plight of those persecuted for exercising their rights to freedom of belief and expression, and attempt to spur the international community to take action and compel the government of Bangladesh to change course.

It would be a powerful statement of his alleged commitment to religious pluralism and tolerance if Mr. Reid were to attend the event, or speak out in support of its aims. His statement certainly demands an explanation to his atheist constituents, or at least a retraction and apology.

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21 comments

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  1. 1
    busterggi

    North Korea is a theocracy for all practical purposes – its leaders are in their 3rd generation as proclaimed divine rulers as much as the pharoahs or Roman emperors. As to the Soviet Union, China, Cambodia et al – these all placed their governing philosophy as the object of worship as much as any god has been.

  2. 2
    snoeman

    @ busterggi: Regarding North Korea as a theocracy – It sure does seem like one, doesn’t it? If memory serves, Kim Il-Sung is still technically the head of state, despite having been dead for nearly 20 years.

  3. 3
    Crommunist

    Hitchens describes it as a “necrocracy”, but yes the worship of the Kim clan is, for all intents and purposes, religious.

  4. 4
    smrnda

    Given the current state of affairs where a number of atheists are being persecuted by theocratic states saying that atheism is the biggest threat to human rights is like saying Germany is a big threat to the national security of Poland – not exactly an up to date view of things. (I agree that I don’t think people persecuted under Stalin or Pol Pot were persecuted in the name of atheism – more out of cults of personality.) Why harp on abuses under Stalin when you’ve got abuses under actual regimes in the present, and more countries gearing up to make ‘offending people’s religious feelings’ a crime?

  5. 5
    composer99

    Maybe Scott Reid would be on to something if (a) the Stalinist & Khmer Rouge régimes were primarily persecuting or killing people on account of the régimes being atheist and (b) if their victims were primarily being persecuted or killed on account of being religious.

    Since as far as I am aware neither condition was true – even if both régimes occasionally persecuted or killed people on account of religious reasons – Reid’s claim rings hollow.

    A similar rebuttal could be leveled against his claims regarding the People’s Republic of China: for his claim to be true, the primary reason for PRC to persecute people would have to be because it is officially atheist, and the primary selection criteria for PRC’s victims would have to be because they are religious.

    Finally, since Reid’s claim includes an appeal to history (“Atheists have been and continue to be among the world’s worst oppressors of religious minorities.” [Emphasis mine.]) then he is on especially shaky ground. Despite the best efforts of the murderous Stalinist & Maoist régimes, they simply don’t stack up to the hundreds of millions killed or oppressed by explicitly religious governments over the last few centuries.

  6. 6
    left0ver1under

    Communism is an ideology. Religion (in the absence of a provable “god”) is an ideology. Bertrand Russell was right when he said that communism and christianity oppose each other so strongly because they are so similar. Every atrocity in history is the result of extremist ideology (political, financial or religious), of one group saying,

    “We’re right, you’re wrong, thereforce we can harass/assault/arrest/imprison/murder/exile you.”

    No one was ever able to justify the mass murder or mass exile of another group without specious claims of absolute certainty, and absolute certainty is one thing that most atheists do not claim. And also, as I heard it said once:

    Under communism, you’re persecuted for your religion. Under theocracy, you’re persecuted by religion.

  7. 7
    Sivi

    I was going to say, Reid seems to have confused atheism with communism, and a certain strand of communism at that.

    It’s always embarrassing to see him. He’s the MP for my old riding / my mum’s current riding, which was one of two Reform Party ridings in Ontario when they first ran. West Carleton covers both rural farmland and heavily suburban, affluent Kanata, and is thus pretty well suited to go conservative. Our MPP is also Gordon Campbell, of the provincial Tories, and has been since like the mid-70s.

  8. 8
    Eamon Knight

    @7: Yeah, being a non-Tory in Kanata pretty much sucks, since they usually take the riding by a clear majority (ie. strategic voting is pointless. I so want FPTP deep-sixed).

    We’re actually hoping to get some support from the ORF on the protest — I mean, given the office exists, they can damn well protect atheists, too, else it really means “Office Of Stephen Harper-Approved Religious Freedom”. The march starts at ORF and proceeds to the Bangladeshi High Commission (well, the sidewalk outside — it’s in an office tower). Anyone in Ottawa who can free up Thursday afternoon, come on down!

  9. 9
    Cadence

    Scott Reid represents Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington, which is located to the south and west of Ottawa – most definitely not Ottawa West. It’s mostly rural communities, and it’s right beside the riding I grew up in. For many of its residents, it’s one of those “rural areas where religious affiliation is held in the same grip as one’s self-identity”

    John Baird represents Ottawa West. So, yeah.

  10. 10
    James K

    As an atheist member of my village’s Board of Trustees in Nebraska, this encouraged me to go to the original transcript of the discussion, and then compose an E-mail to Mr. Reed. It seems that he has confused “atheist oppression” (mostly unheard of) with Communist oppression. He cites several notable Communists, and fails to note the large number of nations where atheism is a death penalty offense, and here in the USA it is practically impossible to hold an elected position (besides me it seems) if one is openly atheist.

    Perhaps Canada’s Conservative Party is taking plays from the GOP playbook?

  11. 11
    Holms

    Every time someone has to dredge through history in order to find a regime as ammunition against atheism, they always come up with Stalin, Pol Pot, China and sometimes Nazi Germany. Since only one of those even exists today, I am reminded of the Republican habit of dredging up Abraham ‘he’s totally a republican btw!’ Lincoln.

    If you have so little to use as an example to your point in the current day that you have to search through decades (sometimes centuries) of histroy to come up with any supporting evidence, then I think we can safely say your point is weak.

  12. 12
    Jay S.

    Personality cults are nothing new. We seem to have no trouble identifying these as such when we’re discussing the God-Kings of the ancient world, yet slightly more modern examples seem to be immediately labelled as atheist regimes. I think a thorough understanding of history would help. It usually does.

    Now for something a bit off-topic. Hey Crommunist, watch this video! I think you’ll appreciate it; I saw these guys live at a folk festival near Brisbane, Australia and have since fallen deeply in love. This video mostly pays out Canadians and Australians for their stellar *cough* attitude towards their lands.

    Also, did Stephen Harper really tweet ‘Bacon’ during a hunger strike by a tribal elder? Or is it not as bad as that?

  13. 13
    eveningchaos

    I have heard that, the Juche Idea, the North Korean state sanctioned manifesto, is the world’s 10th largest religion. It has all the trappings and concepts of more established religious beliefs. It also has living (and dead) gods in the form of the Kim family. One could make the same comparison to Maoism, Pol Pot’s twisted philosophy, and Soviet style Communism.

    The problem with these systems of thought is not that they are devoid of credulous belief as within Atheism, but that critical thought is suppressed. Couple that with worship of a slightly different kind than traditional religion sees. The harm to society is much the same as within a Theocracy.

    This Office of Religious Freedom should be combating both these types of tyranny, not condemning one by straw-manning Atheism and turning a blind eye to Theocratic violence and oppression.

  14. 14
    John Horstman

    Nationalism is a kind of religion. It makes supernatural claims, mostly about the intrinsic superiority of people who happen to be born in and/or live in the same area. It has complex, frequently-contradictory myths that support its worldview. It is dogmatic and hostile to contradictory evidence. It arguably has gods (Founding Fathers or an extant charismatic leader or somesuch are functionally deified). Even worse, nationalism is nearly always a (coercive, mandatory) state religion. We seem to be latching on to extreme examples here, but it applies equally as well to the USA (in fact, I’d argue that as far as religious affiliation goes, most people here are American Exceptionalists and take that affiliation FAR more seriously than any other religious affiliation – if Christianity and nationalism are in conflict, most people back nationalism and come up with torturous interpretive contortions to rationalize it within the frame of their nominal religion).

  15. 15
    John Horstman

    @14: (Parenthetical continued: for example, look at all of the nominal Christians who reject things like forgiveness – which is arguably the central tenet of the religion – and helping the poor in favor of nationalistic values like retribution, imperialism, and a deeply narcissistic form of market capitalism that posits greed as a virtue.)

  16. 16
    Blake Seidler

    This was my submission to MP Reid:

    Mr. Reid,

    I am an Alberta resident, formerly evangelical Christian, and generally not particularly politically active. However, I do feel the need to add another voice to those who are disturbed by a portion of your comments in the House of Commons on Apr 22. I agree wholeheartedly with your opposition to the implementation of blasphemy laws and laws that prohibit “defamation of religion.” You argued excellently that in many religions and philosophies it is a moral duty to try to change other people’s beliefs. As long as that attempt to convert does not take the form of violence, intolerance, or discrimination (particularly at the state level), and is rooted in reasonable discussion I encourage and applaud efforts to convince others out of incorrect beliefs.

    In the spirit of allowing for cogent criticism of deeply held belief, I would like to draw attention to some errors that you made. You explicitly mention atheism as a type of religious belief, in the following section of your speech:

    “If our goal is to assign guilt… then it is also true that advocates of all major religions are, or in the past have been, guilty of repressing others.
    Atheists have been and continue to be among the world’s worst oppressors of religious minorities. I draw the attention of the House to North Korea, an atheist regime, and the People’s Republic of China and its oppression of Christians, Tibetan Buddhists, Muslims in the Uyghur region and Falun Gong practitioners to make the point. That is probably the world’s largest source of human rights abuse right there: atheism. We might want to look at Stalin’s Russia, Pol Pot’s Cambodia and so on.”

    I would suggest that this claim is flatly wrong. The examples of atheist regimes that you cite do certainly include horrific violations of human rights, yet your statement implies that “atheism” is responsible for those violations, which I contend is absurd. This conflates authoritarian political dictatorships, communism, and cults of personality under the heading of atheistic regimes, and ascribes atheism a causal link to atrocities perpetrated under the auspices of those varied ideologies. Atheism is not an ideology in and of itself, it is merely the lack of acceptance of all theistic ideologies and religions. On its own, this could hardly be a basis for oppression of minorities. Also, the religious oppression within these regimes was not necessarily of minorities, and it was primarily out of political interest rather than any opposition to particular beliefs. Dictators tend to realize that religious institutions allow for organized and coordinated opposition to their power. Religions have historically been a powerful means of fomenting social and political unrest and or revolt, as I’m sure you know.

    Furthermore, besides North Korea (which is better described as theocracy than an atheist regime, since the Kim clan are considered to be divine, and even the dead patriarchs are venerated) the large-scale atrocities referred to by your examples are from decades ago, yet you say that atheists continue to be among the world’s worst oppressors of religious minorities. Are you deliberately ignoring the atheist majority nations of western Europe, most of whom are among the most peaceful, tolerant, and stable in the world? The religiously unaffiliated, of which the modern rational, skeptical atheist movement is a driving component, is measurably the fastest growing segment in polls of religion. I feel this is significant because, as you said, not all religions can be completely right, but they could all be wrong. It seems that the people who realize this and who most carefully consider why it is that they practice the religion they were brought up with conclude that in fact all of them probably are wrong. Those people are atheists. I am one of them. I find it powerfully ironic that you could accuse those whose defining characteristic is doubt to be the among the worst oppressors of opposing beliefs. I also think it is flawed reasoning to use a position that is by definition not religious as an example of the way religious beliefs can result in human rights violations. Please consider this in future discussions of the matter.

    Again, I agree wholeheartedly with you on your promotion of freedom of religion and freedom from religious oppression. I would be with you and any other religious person in opposing state-mandated atheism, were such a thing ever to be proposed in Canada. I genuinely don’t feel atheism needs anything other than values of truth, reason, and evidence to allow for its spread. I promote those values for their own sake, not specifically to promote atheism, but I find that atheism aligns with these values better than any religious belief I have ever been exposed to, so I can only imagine that as scientific literacy spreads, so will atheism.

    I hope this reaches you, as I have the utmost respect for your stance on this matter as expressed in this speech, and it was only this small correction that I felt needed to be addressed.

    Sincerely,

    Blake

  17. 17
    Sophia, Michelin-starred General of the First Mediterranean Iron Chef Batallion

    Dictatorship/tyranny/theocracy: “Do not question the powerful thing!”

    Secular society: “Just tell us if there are any major problems, k?”

    Of course, governments are hilariously ineffeicient ways to sort out problems, but it’s certainly better than “NO QUESTIONS OR COMPLAINTS. You live like we say to and like it or we send in the intimidation brigade.”
    That’s the difference, not the atheism/religion divide. Funny how theocracies and dictatorships fall into the same category though, isn’t it? Hmm?

  18. 18
    sleepingwytch(inactive)

    I have heard that, the Juche Idea, the North Korean state sanctioned manifesto, is the world’s 10th largest religion. It has all the trappings and concepts of more established religious beliefs. It also has living (and dead) gods in the form of the Kim family. One could make the same comparison to Maoism, Pol Pot’s twisted philosophy, and Soviet style Communism.

    The problem with these systems of thought is not that they are devoid of credulous belief as within Atheism, but that critical thought is suppressed. Couple that with worship of a slightly different kind than traditional religion sees. The harm to society is much the same as within a Theocracy.

    This Office of Religious Freedom should be combating both these types of tyranny, not condemning one by straw-manning Atheism and turning a blind eye to Theocratic violence and oppression.

    Now, I am going to preface what I am going to say by saying I really don’t think I’m fairly sure I won’t convince anyone. That being said, I think there are worlds of difference between an Islamic theocracy that stones people to death, and imposes brutal sharia law, and a society like North Korea where people are guaranteed housing, healthcare, given free education, and taught an ideology that, while definitely a cult, actually can’t be called religious due to there being no supernatural element.

    For me, the attitude you describe here, which is a very popular center-left attitude, is false in much the same way that actual non-reformist communists who think Stalin and Mao were badasses taking care of business think that any criticism of Islamic women by Femen is just Islamophobia. Now I actually am kind of non-reformist Communist myself, so while I think the cultic necrocacy of Kim jung Il is despicable, the reality is that North Koreans live in a society where all of their basic needs are met. People will say they aare starving or w/e, but the media says the same about Cubans, and when you put a country under embargo, starving people is generally what is produced. I actually don’t think Kim Jong Un is evil, I think he’s in charge of a cult of him and his family that needs to be broken up, that is a manifestation of counter revolutionary communism, as much I thought of Stalin and Chavez actually, but the society undergirding North Korea is in no way, shape, or form, comparable to backwards Muslim societies because the day to day world and reality is very authentically atheistic, albeit with a cult of personality in some of these societies. But a cult isn’t a religion, and that’s a stickling point that needs to be acknowledged by center-left people. The society in NK is worlds different from the Taliban, and anyone making equivalencies between the two is, sadly, being grossly intellectually dishonest, much in the same manner in fact as non-reformist Communists who assert the Taliban are the victims and “who knows what they believe” etc, and how any protestation of Muslim societies is merely “Imperialism”.

    What exists in society at the end of the day is how it is ordered on a practical level, not the ‘practical’ definition of something being a religion which is actually a cult of personality.

  19. 19
    sleepingwytch(inactive)

    Also, I need to clarify something here. I’ve noticed most FTB’ers are center left. The thing about being center left is actually this: you legitimate the Republican Party by watching and participating in the political system as it’s setup in a manner that suggests the GOP is a legit if tragic political party. The one thing no one ever hears on CNN or MSNBC or any mainstream outlet, is how the GOP should actually be shut down entirely, and should not even be allowed to exist. Because once you take that position, you’ve significantly shifted to the left, and I am out in far left; when the Presidential debate came on between Romney and Obama, I actually made fun of both of them, on purpose, and emphasized that I didn’t believe their debate was genuine or legit in the slightest, that it was just a couple of corporate stooges, one with far better politics than the other, and that one of them (Romney) shouldn’t have even been allowed to be voted for, and the other (Obama) was a corporate sleazeball bullshit artist, in a party of people who implement reform at a snail’s crawl and call anything faster ‘terrorism’ or ‘commie revolution’. I can support an extreme leftist neo-Monarchy if that’s what it’s called and the people wanted it, and the emphasis was away from the ruler, no statues allowed, etc, ruler required to view themselves as a plain old servant to excel with the people. Maybe like scandinavian countries but the Monarchy has more power…I can support actually cuban revolution, venezuelan and bolivian revolution, belorussian revolution, north korean revolution, stalin and mao. People would say I’m an evil commie, but I think in practice Socialism of these sorts leads to far better societies, free of advertising, free of useless variety of consumer products fueled my consumerism. I just..I don’t see Republicans as being legit at all, and Democrats, well, I could very well imagine a society where they are outlawed.

    If I can’t speak my mind freely, and must outwardly hold to a rigid ideological doctrine of some sort, but have guaranteed housing, healthcare, surgeries because I am transsexual, a society based on communal life and not individualistic consumer culture, I’m actually going to pick that society over the one we have in ‘The West’, because I don’t value what I can say about a given politics more than more basic needs. And people over here don’t get that: they think all of the Communists are bad, capitalism center left is better, etc. It’s actually not and inconceivable to me that it ever could have been: if I have those things I listed as guaranteed rights, I care little not about being muzzled to say things politically, because my political needs are, largely, taken care of. Center left people (pretty much everyone here on this board is a democrat or a greenie) don’t get that. I don’t expect any of you to get that, but it’s my perspective and the kind of society I want. This society we have now is mostly full of Democratic Party with controlled opposition Green Party and Republican Party with controlled opposition Tea Party, making their free speech into a never ending tirade of bullshit artistry about how a bunch of dead white guy founding fathers had amazing ideas about creating a system where only white males with property could vote (not even white dudes without property could vote, true story), african americans were considered 3/5ths human, the slave trade was legal, and the ‘savage indians’ needed to have their lands given to more ‘civilized’ settlers. This whole country was founded by bullshit artists: Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson were some of the greatest bullshit artists in the last 300 years, because they talked a good game about ‘liberty’ and ‘fraternity’ and ‘equality’ and how they ‘regreted slavery’ but Thomas Jefferson still owned slaves (mysteriously). It’s bullshit artistry. The resulting system was a system that enslaved african-americans, genocided native americans, it was so backwards. I’m tired of the narrative that these were somehow particularly enlightened men who were the most amazing philosophers ever! They were patriarchial, genocidal, slave owning assholes, and I read Thomas Paine’s age of Reason, an incredible book for it’s time, way ahead of it’s time, but how much of that book actually got implemented in American or French society? Well more of it in France than here, but still, not much really. What people write as pie in the sky ideals means little if the practical result is genociding native americans, continuing enslavement of african americans, imperialist expansion on NATIVE AMERICAN TERRITORY in the name of private property rights (Imperialist aggression), and only property owning white dudes having any political voice. That’s bullshit artistry at it’s finest.

    I’m tired of idolizing dead white guy founding fathers, I’m tired of it, sick of it, and I don’t see any legitimacy whatsoever in fact, in the USA, and think it would be far better if we were actually either 6 or 7 different countries in a loose Federation, or maybe 12 or 13 nations in a looser form of that. Dead white guy founding fathers don’t pay for my surgeries, assholes being held to account in this society and ponying up the money for me to have basic medical needs met rather than them going out to buy their fifth yacht or w/e, do. This society is a huge joke.

  20. 20
    sleepingwytch(inactive)

    I want a society where I can have free housing, free healthcare (transgender healthcare as well), free education, free transportation, freedom (not liberty) from violence, freedom from oppression. I want a government that guarantees only atheists get in power, where there is no ‘debate’ culture of back and forth between political sides: there is only what scientific consensus is, and there is no debate. If people don’t like the scientific consensus, they will then be obligated to engage in science through free education, to change the society; there will be no ‘debate teams’ no ‘creationism vs evolution’, no: only evolution. If that means white dudes have to curb their tongue, why do I care? Why would even the white dudes care? Because propaganda says that society is a bad thing that leads to evil commie dictatorships? If I could have that society and have a statue of stalin or Kim Il Sung on every corner, and bs propaganda books on how amazing they are and their stuff doesn’t stink, that everyone laughs at in private but plays along with in public, versus the system we have now? I would absolutely pick the atheist societies that devolved into counter-revolutionary socialist cults of personality, that have been incorrectly smeared by Hitchens and others, ludicrously, as ‘theocracies” LOL. I am a woman, if I lived in North Korea, I doubt they would force me to walk around in a huge black hefty bag, or stone me to death for being transsexual, I’d wager I could get free surgeries too, because, in a society with free education people would be so educated they’d realize I’m actually a woman. Ideology has no place outside of the cult of personality in those societies: it’s all science, and the cult of personality is put in place to assure that no bourgeouis influence (center left, center, center right capitalists) gain any cultural legitimacy. The reason NK and Soviet Union put faith in major assholes like Kim Il Sung and Stalin was because they were bad motherfuckers that put down the capitalists and religious assholes every single chance they got. I imagine they were largely forgiven for putting statues of themselves everywhere and forcing people to say what amazing bad motherfuckers they were. This society is bullshit: constant debate and I don’t get my surgeries, meanwhile religious lunatics get to go on Fox News and spew transphobic and homophobic vitriol. In a communist society if they tried to do that, they’d get hauled off to the Gulag for spreading Counter Revolutionary propaganda! And no, such a society wouldn’t have free speech: they most certainly wouldn’t be free to speak (neither would many other groups), and I honestly would not care in the slightest that they weren’t free to speak and were forced to work their asses off at gunpoint in a Gulag for being total fucking assholes.

  21. 21
    Stanley James

    stallin went to a russian orthodox seminary in his youth= enough said why he was nuts

    Hitler, Gobbels, Eichmann , Himmler and Mengele were catholicc, and went to catholic schools run by the state via involuntary tiithes. this of course is where they learned their hate

    Only Goebbels ever was excommed – he married a protestant

    see the pictorial history at http://nobeliefs.com/nazis.htm (must be in lower case letters)

    BTW focus on the concordant treaty between the church and the nazis. The missing item is that as a price of the concordant, hitler demanded and got the church to disband the centrum – the catholic center party

    Considered the only force that might have been able to stop the holocuast

    As usual, as we see re polls on gays marryiing, the catholic people are very supportive while their (rape hider) bishops and eg the new pope pulled in aargentina another of their MYTHeological critters from his bag of tricks = calling gay marriage the work of the devil

    Someone buy this bad boy a mirror.

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