“What you have is a man made ruling political caste that becomes the rule of God on Earth so it was more an ultimate byproduct of Marxist philosophy which was heavily influenced by the thinking of 19th century materialism.
! That wasn’t the reason Stalin did what he did
. Nice try though! Stalin’s reasons are as identical in style as was any barbarous ruling Bishop or theocrat historically may have been. Ultimately, it had to do with the very messy political arrangements that were produced after the Bolshevik Revolution that left in place a large capitalist agrarian economy with a state ran industrial urban center. The conflicts that emerged from this were horrendous. Certainly, Stalin was no saint, but the issues involved had nothing to do with god or obeying god or connected to atheism or godless-materialism
. Both the religious
were involved in this conflict and each belonged to both sides of the conflict, too.
Explaining this Stalinist period in theological terms is like some Southerners here in the U.S. explaining the Civil War in terms of a grand religious struggle. It’s as unfounded as it is comical!
Moreover, you should study Marxism a little more thoroughly than this since Marx’s thoughts had little to do with religious thought at all. His dialectical materialism
was related to how material life (as opposed to his teacher’s view—Hegel—that history moves according to some Zeist Geist
—grand Sprit) becomes arranged under any social order-- and possesses within it-its own contradictions.
affirmation or denial of god necessary for one accepting Marx’s historical analysis here. This is also why you’ll find both atheistic Marxists and theistic Marxists. For example, in places of Central and South America you’ll still find versions of “liberation theology
" that are very much Christian theologically and yet Marxist economically. In fact, they see no contradiction between these two systems of thought.
“The idea was to create some kind of heaven on Earth but what you ultimately end up with is more of hell on Earth.”
Umm…this isn’t Marx
! Marx even critiqued what he called the “Utopian Socialists
.” Many Marxist scholars believe that Marx’s dialectical thought here didn’t and wouldn’t allow for any utopian dream. In fact, Marx himself cared very little for the world that might follow capitalism. He believed that he had established a kind of social science for economic and historical thought only
. There are even indications in some of his writings that he believed whatever communist order might arise after capitalism that, in the end, it too would fail.
Also, you should be aware that such utopian dreams were not the province of modernity—theologians waxed heavily about preparing a heaven on earth here as well. In the 19th century there were theological movements that promoted such things as Amillennialism and Postmillennialism both of which had elements of utopian-like expectations. Added to this were large numbers of apocalyptic movements that also predicted the end of times or expected Christ to return to establish such a heaven on earth era.
Keep in mind that the one who wrote a book entitled Utopia
was neither a modernist
nor an atheist
"So I think you can make more of a link between Stalin and atheism than you can between Jesus who was 100% pacifist and that's what he taught and the Crusades which was kind of violent if you think about it.”
, you can make the connection once you ignore Marxism and the entire history around which the bloodletting occurred. It’s all easy once you ignore facts.
Christ the pacifist
? The one who stated that he didn’t come to bring peace but a sword, and beat the marketers out of the Temple—and vowed that he would return to exact justice in the world? No, this is YOUR
interpretation of Jesus. The Crusaders and some of the theologians at the time certainly saw a different Jesus with equal textual support for their view as you could provide for your own.
“Certainly people did get bit religiously excited but if you take say WW2 you can see people getting excited over a political ideology based around racial supremacy.”
, but a political ideology rooted in economic depression, the mysticism of Nazism, and a long historical tradition of Christian European bigotry towards the Jews. All things that a dominant secular -atheistic social order would likely not come close to accepting as anything other than utterly absurd.
The point is that you don’t get to relativize what believers did in the name of their theology simply because you can cite supposed modern cases wherein bloodshed was had.
The atheism of Stalin had nothing to do with murdering millions of people in anything like what the Crusaders did in the explicit name of their god.
“Not really though, even if you want to go into the Old Testament and the violent passage in there they were only applicable to a specific historical place, time and context.”
, according to you! However, I cited, and can cite more, NT passages that suggest that the OT can be viewed as a kind of guide book for believers now. You may judge this hermeneutical form as poor interpretation—but you can’t prove it
. Likewise, they cited those passages in the usual systematic theological way believers do today in order to justify living peacefully with all men in a secular society. The point is-is that the bible possesses no inherent guide on how to interpret itself. Given this ambiguity, pretty much anything goes. You have to cherry pick which set of passages will yield what interpretation, but, in the end, your justification for doing so will be as arbitrary as was theirs.
“The Crusades had nothing to do with the Canaanites or whatever. The general crux of it was that the Muslims had denied the Christians pilgrimage rights to the Holy Land and the Byzantine Empire was getting it's ass kicked and had petitioned Rome for aid. Though the Crusaders did go berserk and ended up sacking Constantinople and making away with all the gold and religious art they had stashed there.”
Not according to those that justified the Crusades! Recall that Jesus stated that the Law must still be obeyed. Paul stated that the OT was written as an example of how the Church ought to live its life. The book of Hebrews also seems at times to suggest the same principle: OT as a guide for the New Israel
, that is, the church.
So, the theologians at that time understood that there was a literal interpretation of these OT passages, but they also saw in the NT a theological justification for behaving in similar fashion as the Children of Israel had done. You may not like their interpretation, but I doubt you could ever refute it without reverting to a cherry picked set of preferred texts that you see as essential—and round and round the interpretative mulberry bush the believer goes where he ends nobody knows
By the way, there were several Crusades—just thought you should know that.
“It's the Inquisitors and Crusaders that would have to cherry pick him and they would find nothing there to pick, they weren't really interested in what he taught they wanted to use their faith for political and material power, something Jesus even went out of his way to condemn.”
, once more, according to you! But as I demonstrated in the last post and can more thoroughly if need be, they had their cherry picked reasons for doing what they did just as you have your own cherry picked reasons for why they ought not have done so. In the end, unfortunately, there’s no way to decide since the bible isn’t a cohesive, clear, and unproblematic set of works. It is filled with the usual human intentions, biases, ambiguities, and contradictions that mark any set of works produced by human hands.