This text initially appeared on a brand new website concerning the Christian renaissance in Russia, known as Russian Religion. Their introductory video is at finish of this text.
Introduction by Chris Banescu
As a survivor of the Communist Holocaust I’m horrified to witness how my beloved America, my adopted nation, is steadily being remodeled right into a secularist and atheistic utopia, the place communist beliefs are glorified and promoted, whereas Judeo-Christian values and morality are ridiculed and more and more eradicated from the general public and social consciousness of our nation.
Below the decades-long assault and militant radicalism of many so-called “liberal” and “progressive” elites, God has been progressively erased from our public and academic establishments, to get replaced with all method of delusion, perversion, corruption, violence, decadence, and madness.
It’s no coincidence that as Marxist ideologies and secularist ideas engulf the tradition and pervert mainstream pondering, particular person freedoms and liberties are quickly disappearing. As a consequence, Individuals really feel more and more extra powerless and subjugated by a number of the most radical and hypocritical, least democratic, and characterless people our society has ever produced.
These of us who’ve skilled and witnesses first-hand the atrocities and terror of communism perceive absolutely why such evil takes root, the way it grows and deceives, and the sort of hell it would in the end unleash on the harmless and the devoted. Godlessness is all the time step one in the direction of tyranny and oppression!
Nobel laureate, Orthodox Christian writer, and Russian dissident, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, in his “Godlessness: the First Step to the Gulag” handle, given when he obtained the Templeton Prize for Progress in Faith on Could of 1983, defined how the Russian revolution and the communist takeover had been facilitated by an atheistic mentality an an extended technique of secularization which alienated the individuals from God and conventional Christian morality and beliefs. He rightly concluded: “Males have forgotten God; that’s why all this has occurred.”
The textual content of his Templeton Deal with is offered under. The parallels with the present disaster and ethical decay in American society are placing and scary. Those that have ears to listen to, allow them to hear!
“Males Have Forgotten God” – The Templeton Deal with
by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Greater than half a century in the past, whereas I used to be nonetheless a toddler, I recall listening to quite a few older individuals supply the next clarification for the good disasters that had befallen Russia: Males have forgotten God; that’s why all this has occurred.
Since then I’ve spent well-nigh fifty years engaged on the historical past of our Revolution; within the course of I’ve learn a whole bunch of books, collected a whole bunch of private testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my very own towards the hassle of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But when I had been requested as we speak to formulate as concisely as attainable the principle reason behind the ruinous Revolution that swallowed up some sixty million of our individuals, I couldn’t put it extra precisely than to repeat: Males have forgotten God; that’s why all this has occurred.
What’s extra, the occasions of the Russian Revolution can solely be understood now, on the finish of the century, towards the background of what has since occurred in the remainder of the world. What emerges here’s a technique of common significance. And if I had been known as upon to determine briefly the principal trait of the whole twentieth century, right here too, I’d be unable to seek out something extra exact and pithy than to repeat as soon as once more: Males have forgotten God.
The failings of human consciousness, disadvantaged of its divine dimension, have been a figuring out consider all the most important crimes of this century.
The failings of human consciousness, disadvantaged of its divine dimension, have been a figuring out consider all the most important crimes of this century. The primary of those was World Battle I, and far of our current predicament could be traced again to it. It was a warfare (the reminiscence of which appears to be fading) when Europe, bursting with well being and abundance, fell right into a rage of self-mutilation which couldn’t however sap its power for a century or extra, and maybe perpetually. The one attainable clarification for this warfare is a psychological eclipse among the many leaders of Europe as a result of their misplaced consciousness of a Supreme Energy above them. Solely a godless embitterment may have moved ostensibly Christian states to make use of poison fuel, a weapon so clearly past the boundaries of humanity.
The identical sort of defect, the flaw of a consciousness missing all divine dimension, was manifested after World Battle II when the West yielded to the satanic temptation of the “nuclear umbrella.” It was equal to saying: Let’s solid off worries, let’s free the youthful technology from their duties and obligations, let’s make no effort to defend ourselves, to say nothing of defending others-let’s cease our ears to the groans emanating from the East, and allow us to stay as an alternative within the pursuit of happiness. If hazard ought to threaten us, we will be protected by the nuclear bomb; if not, then let the world burn in Hell for all we care. The pitifully helpless state to which the modern West has sunk is in massive measure as a result of this deadly error: the assumption that the protection of peace relies upon not on stout hearts and steadfast males, however solely on the nuclear bomb…
In the present day’ s world has reached a stage which, if it had been described to previous centuries, would have known as forth the cry: “That is the Apocalypse!”
But we’ve grown used to this sort of world; we even really feel at house in it.
Dostoevsky warned that “nice occasions may come across us and catch us intellectually unprepared.” That is exactly what has occurred. And he predicted that “the world shall be saved solely after it has been possessed by the demon of evil.” Whether or not it actually shall be saved we will have to attend and see: it will rely upon our conscience, on our religious lucidity, on our particular person and mixed efforts within the face of catastrophic circumstances. However it has already come to go that the demon of evil, like a whirlwind, triumphantly circles all 5 continents of the earth…
By the point of the Revolution, religion had just about disappeared in Russian educated circles; and amongst the uneducated, its well being was threatened.
In its previous, Russia did know a time when the social preferrred was not fame, or riches, or materials success, however a pious lifestyle. Russia was then steeped in an Orthodox Christianity which remained true to the Church of the primary centuries. The Orthodoxy of that point knew the best way to safeguard its individuals beneath the yoke of a overseas occupation that lasted greater than two centuries, whereas on the identical time warding off iniquitous blows from the swords of Western crusaders. Throughout these centuries the Orthodox religion in our nation grew to become a part of the very sample of thought and the persona of our individuals, the types of every day life, the work calendar, the priorities in each endeavor, the group of the week and of the 12 months. Religion was the shaping and unifying pressure of the nation.
However within the seventeenth century Russian Orthodoxy was gravely weakened by an inside schism. Within the 18th, the nation was shaken by Peter’s forcibly imposed transformations, which favored the financial system, the state, and the navy on the expense of the non secular spirit and nationwide life. And together with this lopsided Petrine enlightenment, Russia felt the primary whiff of secularism; its refined poisons permeated the educated courses in the middle of the nineteenth century and opened the trail to Marxism. By the point of the Revolution, religion had just about disappeared in Russian educated circles; and amongst the uneducated, its well being was threatened.
It was Dostoevsky, as soon as once more, who drew from the French Revolution and its seeming hatred of the Church the lesson that “revolution should essentially start with atheism.” That’s completely true. However the world had by no means earlier than recognized a godlessness as organized, militarized, and tenaciously malevolent as that practiced by Marxism. Throughout the philosophical system of Marx and Lenin, and on the coronary heart of their psychology, hatred of God is the principal driving pressure, extra elementary than all their political and financial pretensions. Militant atheism isn’t merely incidental or marginal to Communist coverage; it isn’t a aspect impact, however the central pivot.
The 1920’s within the USSR witnessed an uninterrupted procession of victims and martyrs amongst the Orthodox clergy. Two metropolitans had been shot, one in every of whom, Veniamin of Petrograd, had been elected by the favored vote of his diocese. Patriarch Tikhon himself handed by means of the palms of the Cheka-GPU after which died beneath suspicious circumstances. Scores of archbishops and bishops perished. Tens of 1000’s of monks, monks, and nuns, pressured by the Chekists to surrender the Phrase of God, had been tortured, shot in cellars, despatched to camps, exiled to the desolate tundra of the far North, or turned out into the streets of their previous age with out meals or shelter. All these Christian martyrs went unswervingly to their deaths for the religion; cases of apostasy had been few and much between. For tens of tens of millions of laymen entry to the Church was blocked, they usually had been forbidden to convey up their kids within the Religion: non secular dad and mom had been wrenched from their kids and thrown into jail, whereas the youngsters had been turned from the religion by threats and lies…
For a brief time period, when he wanted to collect power for the wrestle towards Hitler, Stalin cynically adopted a pleasant posture towards the Church. This misleading recreation, continued in later years by Brezhnev with the assistance of showcase publications and different window dressing, has sadly tended to be taken at its face worth within the West. But the tenacity with which hatred of faith is rooted in Communism could also be judged by the instance of their most liberal chief, Krushchev: for although he undertook quite a few important steps to increase freedom, Krushchev concurrently rekindled the frenzied Leninist obsession with destroying faith.
However there’s something they didn’t anticipate: that in a land the place church buildings have been leveled, the place a triumphant atheism has rampaged uncontrolled for two-thirds of a century, the place the clergy is completely humiliated and disadvantaged of all independence, the place what stays of the Church as an establishment is tolerated just for the sake of propaganda directed on the West, the place even as we speak persons are despatched to the labor camps for his or her religion, and the place, inside the camps themselves, those that collect to wish at Easter are clapped in punishment cells–they may not suppose that beneath this Communist steamroller the Christian custom would survive in Russia. It’s true that tens of millions of our countrymen have been corrupted and spiritually devastated by an formally imposed atheism, but there stay many tens of millions of believers: it’s only exterior pressures that preserve them from talking out, however, as is all the time the case in occasions of persecution and struggling, the attention of God in my nation has attained nice acuteness and profundity.
It’s right here that we see the daybreak of hope: for irrespective of how formidably Communism bristles with tanks and rockets, it doesn’t matter what successes it attains in seizing the planet, it’s doomed by no means to conquer Christianity.
The West has but to expertise a Communist invasion; faith right here stays free. However the West’s personal historic evolution has been such that as we speak it too is experiencing a drying up of non secular consciousness. It too has witnessed racking schisms, bloody non secular wars, and rancor, to say nothing of the tide of secularism that, from the late Center Ages onward, has progressively inundated the West. This gradual sapping of power from inside is a menace to religion that’s maybe much more harmful than any try and assault faith violently from with out.
Imperceptibly, by means of many years of gradual erosion, the which means of life within the West has ceased to be seen as something extra lofty than the “pursuit of happiness, “a objective that has even been solemnly assured by constitutions. The ideas of excellent and evil have been ridiculed for a number of centuries; banished from widespread use, they’ve been changed by political or class concerns of brief lived worth. It has change into embarrassing to state that evil makes its house within the particular person human coronary heart earlier than it enters a political system. But it isn’t thought of shameful to make dally concessions to an integral evil. Judging by the persevering with landslide of concessions made earlier than the eyes of our very personal technology, the West is ineluctably slipping towards the abyss. Western societies are shedding an increasing number of of their non secular essence as they thoughtlessly yield up their youthful technology to atheism. If a blasphemous movie about Jesus is proven all through america, apparently one of the non secular international locations on the earth, or a serious newspaper publishes a shameless caricature of the Virgin Mary, what additional proof of godlessness does one want? When exterior rights are fully unrestricted, why ought to one make an inside effort to restrain oneself from ignoble acts?
Or why ought to one chorus from burning hatred, no matter its foundation–race, class, or ideology? Such hatred is the truth is corroding many hearts as we speak. Atheist lecturers within the West are citing a youthful technology in a spirit of hatred of their very own society. Amid all of the vituperation we neglect that the defects of capitalism characterize the essential flaws of human nature, allowed limitless freedom along with the varied human rights; we neglect that beneath Communism (and Communism is respiration down the neck of all reasonable types of socialism, that are unstable) the an identical flaws run riot in any individual with the least diploma of authority; whereas everybody else beneath that system does certainly attain “equality”–the equality of destitute slaves. This keen fanning of the flames of hatred is changing into the mark of as we speak’s free world. Certainly, the broader the non-public freedoms are, the upper the extent of prosperity and even of abundance–the extra vehement, paradoxically, does this blind hatred change into. The modern developed West thus demonstrates by its personal instance that human salvation could be discovered neither within the profusion of fabric items nor in merely getting cash.
This intentionally nurtured hatred then spreads to all that’s alive, to life itself, to the world with its colours, sounds, and shapes, to the human physique. The embittered artwork of the 20th century is perishing because of this ugly hate, for artwork is fruitless with out love. Within the East artwork has collapsed as a result of it has been knocked down and trampled upon, however within the West the autumn has been voluntary, a decline right into a contrived and pretentious quest the place the artist, as an alternative of trying to disclose the divine plan, tries to place himself within the place of God.
Right here once more we witness the only end result of a worldwide course of, with East and West yielding the identical outcomes, and as soon as once more for a similar cause: Males have forgotten God.
With such international occasions looming over us like mountains, nay, like whole mountain ranges, it might appear incongruous and inappropriate to recall that the first key to our being or non-being resides in every particular person human coronary heart, within the coronary heart’s choice for particular good or evil. But this stays true even as we speak, and it’s, the truth is, probably the most dependable key we’ve. The social theories that promised a lot have demonstrated their chapter, leaving us at a useless finish. The free individuals of the West may moderately have been anticipated to comprehend that they’re beset · by quite a few freely nurtured falsehoods, and to not enable lies to be foisted upon them so simply. All makes an attempt to discover a approach out of the plight of as we speak’s world are fruitless until we redirect our consciousness, in repentance, to the Creator of all: with out this, no exit shall be illumined, and we will search it in useless. The sources we’ve put aside for ourselves are too impoverished for the duty. We should first acknowledge the horror perpetrated not by some outdoors pressure, not by class or nationwide enemies, however inside every of us individually, and inside each society. That is very true of a free and extremely developed society, for right here particularly we’ve certainly introduced all the pieces upon ourselves, of our personal free will. We ourselves, in our every day unthinking selfishness, are pulling tight that noose…
Our life consists not within the pursuit of fabric success however within the quest for worthy religious progress. Our whole earthly existence is however a transitional stage within the motion towards one thing increased, and we should not stumble and fall, nor should we linger fruitlessly on one rung of the ladder. Materials legal guidelines alone don’t clarify our life or give it course. The legal guidelines of physics and physiology won’t ever reveal the indeniable method through which the Creator continuously, day in and time out, participates within the life of every of us, unfailingly granting us the vitality of existence; when this help leaves us, we die. And within the lifetime of our whole planet, the Divine Spirit certainly strikes with no much less pressure: this we should grasp in our darkish and horrible hour.
To the ill-considered hopes of the final two centuries, which have lowered us to insignificance and introduced us to the brink of nuclear and non-nuclear dying, we are able to suggest solely a decided quest for the nice and cozy hand of God, which we’ve so rashly and self-confidently spurned. Solely on this approach can our eyes be opened to the errors of this unlucky twentieth century and our bands be directed to setting them proper. There may be nothing else to cling to within the landslide: the mixed imaginative and prescient of all of the thinkers of the Enlightenment quantities to nothing.
Our 5 continents are caught in a whirlwind. However it’s throughout trials resembling these that the very best items of the human spirit are manifested. If we perish and lose this world, the fault shall be ours alone.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, “Godlessness: the First Step to the Gulag”. Templeton Prize Lecture, 10 Could 1983 (London).
Supply: The Voice Crying within the Wilderness
A video introducing Russian Religion
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