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In the Atheists Are Good Humans Too article the author makes the claim, "Stalin was indisputably an atheist".

I'm curious as to when Stalin became an Atheist because I am not familiar with any historical record where he renounces his religious beliefs. His daughter thought he was a Christian since he taught her about Christianity.

I'm thinking it's another whitewashing of history like when the Catholic church portrayed (and still portrays) the very Catholic Hitler as an Atheist. Since Stalin was a Communist, and we all know all Communists are Atheists (regardless of the facts that many religious, including clergy of the Russian Orthodox Church joined the party). So is Stalin's "atheism" merely another piece of American propaganda targeted towards godless Communism?

In a record of one of Stalin's speeches from 1928 he is reproted to say:

"What has happened is to a certain extent the same manoeuvre (with corresponding reservations, of course) as took place in 1921, when, in view of the famine in the country, the Party led by Lenin raised the question of removing valuables from churches for the purpose of acquiring grain for the famine-stricken regions, basing a large-scale anti-religious campaign on tins, and when the priests, hanging on to the valuables, spoke out against the starving masses and thereby aroused the anger of the masses against the church in general, against religious superstition, in particular, and especially against priests and their leader. There were some cranks in our party then who thought that Lenin only began to understand the need for a struggle against the church in 1921 (laughter), and not before then. This is ridiculous, of course, comrades. Of course, Lenin understood the need for a struggle against the church before 1921 as well. But this is not the point. The point is to link a broad, large-scale anti-religious campaign with the vital interests of the masses, so that it, this campaign, is supported by the masses". J.Stalin. 0 rabotakh aprel'skogo ob'edinennogo plenuma TsK i TsKK. Gosizdat. 1928, pp. 28-30.

He is clearly anti-religious here and more of this can be consulted at KNOL, although being anti-religious (and especially anti-church) does not necessarily imply an intellectual decision to become an atheist/

http://knol.google.com/k/lev-regelson/russian-church-and-stalin/1i7aar4mqflvt/19#

That speech displays a Stalin that is anti-church, much like the people in the Mexican revolution that wrested away land and wealth hoarded by the Catholic church, or for that matter, the United States which separated the powers of church and state.

It's not surprising a dictator would not want competition with a powerful church that sided with the Tsars. I'm guessing those who call Stalin an Atheist are doing so because they didn't like the Russian Revolution displacing the theocratic powers. It's a shame people still refer to the very Christian Stalin as an Atheist, but I suppose Thomas Paine was called such because he didn't hold the church in high regard either.

I see what you're getting at. I am wondering if Stalin weren't saying this to tow the party line, though. Even though I'm an atheist, I've run into enough people who know just when to step around religion - and how.

nice buncha links, thanks. i'm sending the "crabby old guy" site to my dad, he'll love it.

dolphins seem kind of mean. does being smart make you mean? :)

I don't think so - my wife and kids have always told me that I hate spending money, and I think I dress very smartly!

not in the british sense, you... you... pedant, you!

I think dolphins are hungry - they're high up on the food chain for a reason.

In general, they're pretty playful creatures. In the article, I thought it was cute how when humans figured out what was being asked of them, they responded with relief, while dolphins did a round-robin in the water.

You wouldn't want to be an enemy, for sure. Dolphins will encircle predatory animals - like a shark - and systematically attack until the animal's demise.

Still, if you're a friend, dolphins are very very loyal.

Hey, Pedantsareus, there are Brits who dress smartly? Do send pics! ;~) (just another american fashion snob comment)

although, if you dress smartly and don't like spending money, maybe being smart does make you mean, even in england. you can't really dress smartly without spending money, so i don't see how that works.

Charity shops are the thing for those of us who are pensioned and in the midst of a credit crunch! God bless the rich benefactors.

also, thanks for the stuff on stalin's atheism. i think this:

being anti-religious (and especially anti-church) does not necessarily imply an intellectual decision to become an atheist/

is a very fine but important point that is generally missed in the hubub. i'd like to see someone with dawkin's knowledge of science and evolution and, um, someone else's knowlege of history and religion address that one.

Sorry for being British and a pedant, Jonathan, I am what I am.

I spent some time reading the knol stuff on Stalin, and found it fascinating, so I appreciate the comment!

ah, i yam what i yam- popeye's lament, one of my favorites. it actually says something- unlike "it is what it is".

God bless the rich benefactors.

amen.

I think dolphins are hungry - they're high up on the food chain for a reason.

hey, everybody's hungry, no matter where they are on the food chain. that's what "food chain" means.

only humans get involved in feeding others on their off hours. i wasn't expecting this sort of behavior from dolphins, but they don't have to be so mean to other species!

jk, i could really care less about this. i like dolphins, i don't care how mean they are. same with humans.

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