Jeffrey S. Ryan: Where are the scary ‘Maoists?’
Recently, the letters page has featured a number of impassioned, angry screeds decrying “attacks” on Christianity. These epistles contend that, without religion, our nation is doomed to moral collapse. The writers warn that “Marxism,” atheism, and “Maoism” (really, you can’t make this stuff up) are gaining a dangerous toehold on America’s culture, threatening our very existence. The writers purport to invoke historical “evidence” to support their alarms. What they demonstrate, though, is an appalling ignorance of historical fact.
Marshall Goodman (“Religion strengthens our society,” Letters, Dec. 11) blames most of the 20th century’s “horrors” on “godless” Darwinism and Marxism. I’m not sure exactly what “Darwinism” is, but I do know that the theory of evolution, which was articulated by Charles Darwin, is the most widely accepted and proven fact in the realm of science. It is also true that many scientists recognize this while also being people of religious faith. What is not true is Mr. Goodman’s contention that Adolph Hitler and fascism are examples of atheism at work. Hitler was a Christian. He justified the slaughter of Jews as a divine mandate. He railed against “secular” schools because they did not teach religion and faith. In his words, “… all character training and religion must be derived from faith … we need believing people.”
Mr. Goodman’s claim that the Ku Klux Klan “burned crosses to intimidate Christians” is historical revisionism writ large. The Klan was avowedly Christian from its inception. Born in the Baptist South, the Klan has always proudly professed its Christian foundation.
Guy Pacot (“Left attack on religion?” Letters, Dec. 26) reliably blames the “progressive liberal left” for an imagined assault on Christianity. As he has in the past, Mr. Pacot expresses his disdain for President Obama, whom he accuses of appointing “numerous Maoists, Marxists, atheists, and eco-tyrannists” to government posts. Mr. Pacot does not identify any of these ne’er-do-wells, of course, because he can’t. (Has anyone out there actually met a Maoist?) At least Joe McCarthy claimed to have actual names of government communists.
Like Mr. Goodman, Mr. Pacot equates fascism with atheism, asserting that fascism and communism destroyed more lives than the Christian Crusades. But, as history records, Hitler justified the Holocaust as ordained by God.
So, Mr. Pacot, does the murder of millions of Jews tip the scales the other way, if only a bit?
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