Why militant secularism is not a good thing

Oh boy...flame shield up !

What is secularism ? Secularism is the belief that Religion has no play in the government. That Religion and the State are and should be two seperate things. However sometimes Secularism can reach extreme heights to the point where the Secular government acts hostile toward Religion.

These are some examples:

FRANCE (REIGN OF TERROR)

The Reign of Terror was a series of conflicts that took place during the French Revolution.

From Wikipedia:

"Another anti-clerical uprising was made possible by the installment of the Revolutionary Calendar on 24 October. Against Robespierre's concepts of Deism and Virtue, Hébert's (and Chaumette's) atheist movement initiated a religious campaign in order to dechristianize society. The program of dechristianisation waged against Catholicism, and eventually against all forms of Christianity, included the deportation of clergy and the condemnation of many of them to death, the closing of churches, the institution of revolutionary and civic cults, the large scale destruction of religious monuments, the outlawing of public and private worship and religious education, forced marriages of the clergy and forced abjurement of their priesthood."

"The enactment of a law on October 21, 1793 made all suspected priests and all persons who harbored them liable to death on sight. The climax was reached with the celebration of the Goddess "Reason" in Notre Dame Cathedral on November 10. Because dissent was now regarded as counterrevolutionary, extremist enragés such as Hébert and moderate Montagnard indulgents such as Danton were guillotined in the spring of 1794. On June 7 Robespierre, who had previously condemned the Cult of Reason, advocated a new state religion and recommended that the Convention acknowledge the existence of God. On the next day, the worship of the deistic Supreme Being was inaugurated as an official aspect of the Revolution. Compared with Hébert's somewhat popular festivals, this austere new religion of Virtue was received with signs of hostility by an amazed Parisian public."

1819 Caricature by English caricaturist George Cruikshank. Titled "The Radical's Arms", it depicts the infamous guillotine. "No God! No Religion! No King! No Constitution!" is written in the republican banner."

SOVIET UNION

After the fall of the Russian Empire after WW1. Communism ruled Russia. During this time the persecution Religious people was monumental.

Nobel prize winner Aleksander Solzhenitsyn was asked about the atrocities that occurred under the communist regime he and fellow citizens suffered under.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn offered the following explanation:

Over a half century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of old 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 spend well-nigh 50 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 60 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.'

Our program necessarily includes the propaganda of atheism.-Vladimir Lenin

by 1941, 40,000 Churches and 25,000 Mosques had been closed down and converted into schools, cinemas, clubs, warehouses and or Museums of Scientific Atheism.

A Soviet propaganda poster disseminated in theBezbozhnik (Atheist) magazine depicting Jesusbeing dumped from a wheelbarrow by an industrial worker as well as a smashed church bell, the text advocates Industrialisation Day as an alternative replacement to the Christian Transfiguration Day
The destruction of the Bibi Heybat Mosque in Azerbaijan

60,000,000+ people were killed under Communism

League of Militant Atheists in the USSR membership card.

TURKEY

After the Turkish War of Independance the Sultantate was overthrown and "democracy" and Turkey was established. I put "democracy" in quotes because for over 20 years Turkey was a single party state. What alot of people (including Turks) do not know is that Turkey had a simillar thing with the USSR

quinting skyward last week, Turks looked for the new moon. When they should see it Ramadan would begin. Ramadan the mystic month in which the Koran was revealed to Prophet Mohammed. This year the first glint of the new moon had a special, dread significance. Turks had been ordered by their stern dictator, Mustafa Kemal Pasha who made them drop the veil and the fez (TIME, Feb. 15, 1926 et seq.), that beginning with Ramadan they must no longer call their god by his Arabic name, Allah.
No godly man, Dictator Kemal considers that there is no reason why Turks should not call Allah by his Turkish name Tanri. There is no reason except centuries of tradition, no reason except that Turkish imams (priests) all know the Koran by heart in Arabic while few if any have memorized it in Turkish. Strict to the point of cruelty last week was Dictator Kemal's decree that muezzins, calling the faithful to prayer from the top of Turkey's minarets, must shout not the hallowed "Allah Akbar!" (Arabic for "God is Great!") but the unfamiliar words "Tanri Uludur!" which mean the same thing in Turkish.
When imams threatened to suspend services in the mosques and hide the prayer rugs, the Government announced that it was holding 400 brand-new prayer rugs in reserve, threatened to produce "newly trained muezzins who know the Koran in Turkish and are ready to jump into the breach." .........
Nearer & nearer crept the moon to crescent. Ramadan was almost upon Turkey when officials of the Department of Culture (which includes religion) screwed up their courage and told Dictator Kemal that he simply could not change the name of Turkey's god - at least not last week. Already several muezzins had been thrown into jail for announcing that they would continue to shout "Allah Akbar!" The populace was getting ugly, obviously sympathized with the Allah-shouters.
Abruptly Dictator Kemal yielded "Let them pray as they please, temporarily" he growled. Beaming, his Minister rushed off to proclaim the glad respite only a few hours before the new moon appeared. "On account of the general unpreparedness of muezzins and imams," they suavely declared, "prayers may be offered and the Koran recited in Arabic during the present month of Ramadan, but discourse by the imams must be in Turkish."
During Ramadan all Moslems are especially irritable because they eat nothing during the hours of daylight. After the fasting is over Turks will be more tractable, may accept from their Dictator a new name for their God.

Source: Time Magazine (USA), February 20, 1933, page 18:

Word for God
A hard father to his people, Mustafa Kemal told his Turks last December that they must forget God in the Arabic language (Allah), learn Him in Turkish (Tanri). Admitting the delicacy of renaming a 1300-year-old god, Kemal gave the muezzins a time allowance to learn the Koran in Turkish. Last week in pious Brusa, the "green city", a muezzin hallowed "Tanri Uludur" from one of the minarets whence Brusans had heard "Allah Akbar" since the 14th Century. Raging at Kemal Pasha's god, they mobbed the muezzin, mobbed the police who came to save him.
Quick to defend his new word for God, quicker to show new Turkey the fate of the old-fashioned, Kemal the Ghazi, "the Victorious One," pounced on Brusa, had 60 of the faithful arrested, ousted the Mufti (ecclesiastical judge) of the Ouglubjami mosque and decreed that henceforth God was Tanri.

Source: Time Magazine, February 15, 1926, page 15-16:

"Turkey presents today the most promising and challenging field on the face of the earth for missionary service." Thus wrote James L. Barton, missionary executive, in last week's issue of 'Christian Work.' But first he summarized the revolutionary changes in Turkey since 1923. The changes: ......... For a hundred years Christian missionaries have struggled hopelessly to capture the hearts of the Caliph-awed Turks. They had come, said Mr. Barton, to suspect that "the Moslem was outside the sphere of the operation of divine grace."

Source: Turkey, Emil Lengyel, 1941, page 134:

Kemal cared nothing about Allah; he was interested in himself and in Turkey. He hated Allah and made him responsible for Turkey's misfortune. It was Allah's tyrannical rule that paralyzed the hands of the Turk. But he knew that Allah was real to the Turkish peasant, while nationalism meant nothing to him. He decided, therefore, to draft Allah into his service as the publicity director of his national cause. Through Allah's aid his people must cease to be Mohammedans and become Turks. Then, after Allah had served Kemal's purpose, he could discard Him.

page 140-141:

During the early days of Mustafa Kemal's career, many of his followers were under the impression that he was a champion of Islam and that they were fighting the Christians. "Ghazi, Destroyer of Christians" was the name they gave him. Had they been aware of his real intentions, they would have called him "Ghazi, Destroyer of Islam."

Source: Grey Wolf, Mustafa Kemal: An Intimate Study of a Dictator, H.C. Armstrong, 1933

He was drinking heavily. The drink stimulated him, gave him energy, but increased his irritability. Both in private and public he was sarcastic, brutal and abrupt. He flared up at the least criticism. He cut short all attempts to reason with him. He flew into a passion at the least opposition. He would neither confide in nor co-operate with anyone. When one politician gave him some harmless advice, he roughly told him to get out. When a venerable member of the Cabinet suggested that it was unseemly for Turkish ladies to dance in public, he threw a Koran at him and chased him out of his office with a stick.

page 241:

"For five hundred years these rules and theories of an Arab sheik," he said, "and the interpretations of generations of lazy, good-for-nothing priests have decided the civil and the criminal law of Turkey."
"They had decided the form of the constitution, the details of the lives of each Turk, his food, his hours of rising and sleeping, the shape of his clothes, the routine of the midwife who produced his children, what he learnt in his schools, his customs, his thoughts, even his most intimate habits.
"Islam, this theology of an immoral Arab, is a dead thing." Possibly it might have suited tribes of nomads in the desert. It was no good for a modern progressive State.
"God's revelation!" There was no God. That was one of the chains by which the priests and bad rulers bound the people down.
"A ruler who needs religion to help him rule is a weakling. No weakling should rule.."
And the priests! How he hated them. The lazy, unproductive priests who ate up the sustenance of the people. He would chase them out of their mosques and monasteries to work like men.
Religion! He would tear religion from Turkey as one might tear the throttling ivy away to save a young tree.

page 243:

Further, it was public knowledge that he was irreligious, broke all the rules of decency, and scoffed at sacred things. He had chased the Sheik-ul-Islam, the High Priest of Islam, out of his office and thrown the Koran after him. He had forced the women in Angora to unveil. He had encouraged them to dance body close to body with accursed foreign men and Christians.

Source: Ataturk, The Rebirth of a Nation, Lord Kinross, 1965, page 437:

For Kemal, Islam and civilization were a contradiction in terms. "If only," he once said of the Turks, with a flash of cynical insight, "we could make them Christians!" His was not to be the reformed Islamic state for which the Faithful were waiting: it was to be a strictly lay state, with a centralized Government as strong as the Sultan's, backed by the army and run by his own intellectual bureaucracy.

page 470:

The cleavage in his musical tastes emerged in Istanbul, where he once had two orchestras, one Turkish and one European, brought to the Park Hotel. He listened with constant interruptions, commanding one to stop and the other to play in turn. Finally, as the raki (an alcoholic drink) took effect, he lost patience and rose to leave the restaurant, saying, "Now if you like you can both play together." Another evening, incensed by the sound of the muezzin from a mosque opposite, which clashed with the dance-band, he ordered its minaret to be felled - one of those orders which was countermanded next morning.

page 365:

Some confusion as to his identity persisted, however, for some years to come. Inspecting some soldiers in Anatolia, Kemal once asked, "Who is God and where does He live?"
The soldier, anxious to please, replied, "God is Mustafa Kemal Pasha. He lives in Angora."
"And where is Angora? " Kemal asked.
"Angora is in Istanbul," was the reply.
Farther down the line he asked another soldier, "Who is Mustafa Kemal? "
The reply was, "Our Sultan."

Reading the Quran in Arabic, wearing religious clothing (turban and the burqa for example) and performing prayer in Arabic was strictly banned and the people doing this were either hanged or imprisoned.

IF ANY ATHEISTS ARE OFFENDED

Please do not be, the objective of this blog was not to bash on atheism or atheists. It is to merely show that militant secularism does not result in any good, just look at egypt.

19 Comments
19 Comments
Posted by Lvenger

There's a lot of misinformed info on here I'm afraid. For one, the evils and the injustices committed by the socialist regime had NOTHING to do with atheism. They were linked with the socialist doctrine of communism, not the secular disbelief in any god or supernatural entity. Secondly, the French Revolution created a Cult of reason and cults are traditionally seen as extreme religious practices linked to our history in tribal worship and sacrificing to the gods for some misguided, fear mongering reasons. And finally, it's the Shia Muslims along with other extreme religious sects that are causing trouble, not just secular atheists. It's common to find extreme behaviour linked with religious, not secular tendencies. Crimes committed by secularists are often for warped reasons that have nothing to do with the person's secular beliefs.

Posted by Guardian_of_Gravity

I'm an apathetic Pantheist.

Which is to say I don't believe anyone is right about any supreme powers, but ultimately I don't care about the question.

I do believe that Theocracy is an inherently bad thing to be avoided though. As is Idiocracy. I'm fond of the idea of meritocracy but don't see a fair way to judge merit.

Posted by consolemaster001

@lvenger: I know. I didn't really say atheism is the direct cause of all these things. It's just militant secularism is what's wrong.

Posted by Guardian_of_Gravity
Posted by lykopis

Interesting blog with a lot of information. Militant secularism has generated horrible crimes against humanity -- and it's worth being discussed.

Posted by consolemaster001
Posted by Lvenger

@consolemaster001: What kind of militant secularism are you talking about? The kind Dawkins, Dennet, Harris and the no longer with us Hitchens advocate? Or do you mean something else?

Posted by Guardian_of_Gravity

Generally I think the government should stand on the people's merits, not that of the church's.

Posted by Durakken

You are mistaking your definitions.

Secularism and Atheism are not the same thing. Nor is Religion and Theism.

Secularism the separation of Religion and State.

Your 3 examples are not Secularism. Quite the opposite. They are cults of one form or another.

But the fun part... There was a Militant Secular uprising and overthrowing of Sectarian nonsense... It formed The USA.

Edited by consolemaster001

@lvenger: The kind of stuff that include mass murder. For example there's egypt.

Posted by consolemaster001

@durakken: I said that in the first few sentances come on man !

Posted by Lvenger
Posted by Durakken

@consolemaster001 said:

@durakken: I said that in the first few sentances come on man !

What you said and what I said are different as far as what you are referring to.

Edited by mrdecepticonleader

@lvenger said:

@consolemaster001: What kind of militant secularism are you talking about? The kind Dawkins, Dennet, Harris and the no longer with us Hitchens advocate? Or do you mean something else?

Militant secularism? Don't you mean just secularism?

Edited by lykopis

If you take modern times into account, countries like China and North Korea can be looked to when thinking in terms of "militant secularism".

And a secularist does not exclude a person of faith -- there are many Christians, Jews and Muslims who believe very strongly and advocate secular governments but when thinking about countries who actively murdered their own people for expressing their religious beliefs and destroyed places of worship under the banner of atheism, then it would be fair to point out those injustices.

Posted by mrdecepticonleader

@lykopis said:

If you take modern times into account, countries like China and North Korea can be looked to when thinking in terms of "militant secularism".

And a secularist does not exclude a person of faith -- there are many Christians, Jews and Muslims who believe very strongly and advocate secular governments but when thinking about countries who actively murdered their own people for expressing their religious beliefs and destroyed places of worship under the banner of atheism, then it would be fair to point out those injustices.

Exactly. The title of the thread I have issue with. Since anyone would have an issue with "Militant Secularism" as it is called. But secularism itself is a good thing and its easily the best option to go for in a society, its the most fair since its not based around any religious bias or presupposition but is fair and enables laws that are equal to both religious and non religious people.

Posted by ARMIV2

@lykopis said:

If you take modern times into account, countries like China and North Korea can be looked to when thinking in terms of "militant secularism".

And a secularist does not exclude a person of faith -- there are many Christians, Jews and Muslims who believe very strongly and advocate secular governments but when thinking about countries who actively murdered their own people for expressing their religious beliefs and destroyed places of worship under the banner of atheism, then it would be fair to point out those injustices.

I say exactly.

Edited by Durakken

Secularism is largely for keeping Sectarians from killing and oppressing each other... It's nonsensical to think that a secular government would ever "attack" a religion. The separation of Religion and State not about killing religion, it's about letting religious be left alone less they do something psycho like stone people or chop their heads off and then the reaction is to the person's criminal action... not the religion.

Posted by WillPayton

I believe the American Revolution was an example of "Militant Secularism".

Whatever evils were done under regimes like the Soviet Union were more to do with control and the extreme ideologies of the people in power, people like Stalin. Those people/regimes wanted power and control, and when you want total control you're not willing to share it with others. Organized religion in many cases is simply that, a means of control. If you doubt this then look at Medieval European history for examples. So it's not surprising that the Soviets would want to outlaw organized religion.

In fact, look at most totalitarian regimes in history, you'll see a pattern. They tend to either outlaw religion or coop it to enforce their own power. The current Middle East is full of examples of totalitarian theocracies. North Korea is also a form of such, with those in power being the focus of the cult-like worship. "You do not question the Dear Leader." "The Dear Leader is perfect and knows best." "The Dear Leader is benevolent and only wants what's best for you." Sound familiar?

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