Stalin's Communism and Khmer Rogue

Dmasterman
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Stalin's Communism and Khmer Rogue

A notable argument I get from theists is that Atheists Governments are considered to be "Evil dictatorships". Proof of this usually stems from examples of Stalin's communism and the Khmer Rogue. Though this is a strawman argument, I'd like to dwell into a bit.

First off, I've gotten claims that the USSR (though mainly Russia) abuse or mistreat anyone of any religion (possibly gypsies too), and at worse sometimes even slaughter.

However from my own research though Stalin did promote communism and look down at religion he still legally allowed it. So I guess I want to know if anyone knows the truth about what Stalin really did to religious people, or if he really did treat them as badly as said.

 

 

The other topic is the Khmer Rogue. A government or party formed in Cambodia that represented an anti-religious stance as well. Claims of the Khmer rogue went from raiding cities and killing people for any violations against this movement. Though a major claim was their anti religious stance, which if you were religious you were imprisoned or more radically killed.

Of course the Khmer Rogue was ended when the North Vietnamese army rolled in and beat them shortly after the Vietnam War. Did the Vietnamese really destroy a group that promoted atheism? Ironic since I believe before, during and after the Vietnam War, Vietnam had murdered countless Western religious Vietnamese (namely Catholics influenced mainly from the French).

 

So as for the Khmer Rogue, were they really an atheist, anti religious group? If so, did they kill anyone who wasn't an atheist?

Did they really deserve to be conquered/destroyed by a foreign country due to their politics or anti religious ways?

 

And lastly, is this really proof anti-religious or atheist governments are bad?

 

 


Brian37
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A monopoly is what Stalin

A monopoly is what Stalin had. But so do the god/s of Abraham. At best they might let you sit at the back of the bus, but they sure as hell won't tolerate you competing with them.

People mistake labels, politics, religion as being a cure all for all of humanity. It is merely mistaking our drive to be the alpha male as some fictional utopia as being always right.

The problem with humanity is that we think that by gaining resources we will live forever. Humans do not want to face that they are finite and that their race or label or politics or religion will not make them last forever, much less their borders or nations.

The universe will continue until it's own extinction long after our blue dot and all it's life and our sun dies. We are only special to ourselves as individuals, we are nothing and will be forgotten, both friend and foe, after our extinction.

I wish there was a utopia that would vindicate our species that would justify the non-existence of happily ever after. But our behavior and cruelty to each other as a species is as mundane as the rest of nature. The only hope humanity has is not the glory of labels, but the pragmatism we all should want in extending our finite ride.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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Atheistextremist
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This is just a typical adhom attack on atheism

 

The Khmer Rouge practised a form of Theravada Buddhism that elevated the peasantry and encouraged turning away from material things. There is nothing atheistic about this belief system whatever. All other organised faiths with social and political power - other forms of buddhism, catholisicm and islam - were opposed and their possessions seized and property destroyed. The chances this was carried out through some purely atheist agenda is fucking zero.

Clearly, Pol Pot wanted his country to return to the simple, traditional beliefs of the 95 per cent majority of Khmer peoples. Other religions were seen as cultural intruders - which they were.  But most importantly, they challenged the Khmer Rouge's extreme and backward ideologies.

In any case, the regime did not focus on repressing religion. They flat out repressed anything and everything that challenged their concept of agrarian noble savagery. Weird shit they did included:

# Executing intellectuals.  This included people who could speak foreign languages, had educations, or even people who simply wore glasses.  Ironically, the Khmer Rouge's leaders were foreign-educated intellectuals themselves.
# Expelling all foreigners from their country
# Closing down all schools
# Closing down hospitals
# Closing down all banks
# Eliminating currency
# Closing down the postal system
# Destroying private vehicles and other private property
# Forcing the entire population to move out of the cities and work in forced labour camps in the countryside.

As a child, Pol Pot spent a year in a buddhist monastery and 8 years in a Catholic school.Who knows. Maybe the crazy bastard was molested. More likely he was motivated by racism, nationalism and the desire to restore what he saw as his country's original culture. Amish but with guns.

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


Hesed
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Governments

Well, I've never heard that argument.  Most theists I know stand here, " 1Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. 4For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. 6This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing. 7Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor." (Romans 13) 

Granted, some governments have been quite difficult to live under, Stalin, Hitler, Mousolini, Idi Amin, and a whole host of other wonderful individuals.  So, I would lean towards saying that governments (as a whole) are not bad.  This letter was written during a time period when the chief terror agent of the world was Rome.  Am I suggesting that those living under a tyrannical ruler submit, well, no.  And the reason is the belief that vengeance belongs to the Lord, not me.  Now, if He were to rise up an army to exact His vengeance, which, if you believe the text of the Bible, He did, then you have every right to participate.  I'm not inviting any further conversation of what acts in the world were governed by God or by man - it's hard to say; however, if I were to err, I would err on the side of righteousness, e.g., the defeat of a tyrant such as some of the wonderful people I mentioned above.  Are Christians obedient to this Scripture <smile>, well, they're not perfect, and neither is anyone on RR (including me).  I don't know how many times I've been passed on the highway by 'flying fish'.  Such a simple law to obey, and yet our own law enforces lead the way, don't they.  So, in my opinion, you have a choice, obey or become as corrupt as they are.

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Beyond Saving
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Dmasterman wrote:A notable

Dmasterman wrote:

A notable argument I get from theists is that Atheists Governments are considered to be "Evil dictatorships". Proof of this usually stems from examples of Stalin's communism and the Khmer Rogue. Though this is a strawman argument, I'd like to dwell into a bit.

First off, I've gotten claims that the USSR (though mainly Russia) abuse or mistreat anyone of any religion (possibly gypsies too), and at worse sometimes even slaughter.

However from my own research though Stalin did promote communism and look down at religion he still legally allowed it. So I guess I want to know if anyone knows the truth about what Stalin really did to religious people, or if he really did treat them as badly as said.

The soviets did allow religious worship. What they didn't allow was organized religion. So if you were just praying in your home and maybe had a cross or what not you were probably safe (unless you pissed off the wrong people some other way) but if you tried to organize and meet regularly or convert new people to the religion you were persecuted. I'm not convinced that it was so much as an atheism movement as simply recognition that organized religion can be a very powerful political force. When you are trying to be a dictator you have to account for religion one way or the other, either you need their endorsement or you need to destroy them because if people are meeting in church every week and using it to band together to undermine you your dictatorship will be short lived. I know very little about Cambodia so I won't comment on that.  

 

Dmasterman wrote:
 

And lastly, is this really proof anti-religious or atheist governments are bad?

Anti-religious is bad yes. Atheist no. There is a huge difference. Any government that attempts to force a particular belief on the population or force out certain beliefs is bad. Whether it is an atheist government that says kill all the religious or a catholic government that says kill all the protestants they are all bad. Government shouldn't be in the business deciding what people should or should not believe. When it gets into that business it becomes tyrannical. 


EXC
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If you look at these marxist

If you look at these marxist regimes, they operate pretty much like religious cults. They have sacred writings(communist manifesto) which is taken as gospel truth that can not be questioned or tested for validity. An egotistical leader that demands absolute control, obedience and worship. An apocalyptic prophesy where the forces of good and evil do battle followed by an everlasting utopian paradise.

The reason they don't like religion is it's competition to control the great unwashed masses. I don't think men like Stalin, Pol Pot, Hitler spent any time considering whether religion was true or not. They were too absorbed in their goal of absolute power and control. Religion for them was neither true or false but only useful.

 

 

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


jcgadfly
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Hesed wrote:Well, I've never

Hesed wrote:

Well, I've never heard that argument.  Most theists I know stand here, " 1Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. 4For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. 6This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing. 7Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor." (Romans 13) 

Granted, some governments have been quite difficult to live under, Stalin, Hitler, Mousolini, Idi Amin, and a whole host of other wonderful individuals.  So, I would lean towards saying that governments (as a whole) are not bad.  This letter was written during a time period when the chief terror agent of the world was Rome.  Am I suggesting that those living under a tyrannical ruler submit, well, no.  And the reason is the belief that vengeance belongs to the Lord, not me.  Now, if He were to rise up an army to exact His vengeance, which, if you believe the text of the Bible, He did, then you have every right to participate.  I'm not inviting any further conversation of what acts in the world were governed by God or by man - it's hard to say; however, if I were to err, I would err on the side of righteousness, e.g., the defeat of a tyrant such as some of the wonderful people I mentioned above.  Are Christians obedient to this Scripture <smile>, well, they're not perfect, and neither is anyone on RR (including me).  I don't know how many times I've been passed on the highway by 'flying fish'.  Such a simple law to obey, and yet our own law enforces lead the way, don't they.  So, in my opinion, you have a choice, obey or become as corrupt as they are.

You're not suggesting that people submit to a tyrant?

You stand in opposition to the Bible passage you quoted.

I think that's a good thing. That passage is why Christianity was so helpful to the Roman Empire.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin