Sunday, August 25, 2013

Does the Russian Orthodox Church wants to ban atheist parades

Should the church call to ban such things in any land?  In today's liberal/secular sympathetic media environment, probably not.  Plus, if we value things like freedom of speech and freedom of religious belief (including the rather religious belief about there not being a God), it is also a bad idea.  And wrong.

However, I do sympathize.  After all, the  admittedly atheistic Soviet State brutally oppressed and crushed the Orthodox Church during its roughly 70 year run.  A former Soviet I knew in graduate school likened being a Christian in the USSR to being a Black in the American South in the 1930s.  And those were the relatively lenient Gorbachev days of the USSR's twilight years.  Imagine in the heyday of Soviet mass-slaughter under Stalin.

So while I think the Church is wrong, I think the proper approach would be for atheists to use this as a learning tool (atheism doesn't always turn out right, sometimes atheists have done bad things, etc.), rather than attacking the Church as if they can't fathom the reason it would be bothered by atheist rallies - which must prove just how mean and hateful those religious types are.   On the always ironically titled Friendly Atheist, I'll leave you to guess which approach is preferred.

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