I hope you all had wonderful holidays! A new year begins and our countdown continues. One month to the release of “Out of the Storm” and only two more copies to give away. Congrats to Ruth B. for winning last month’s! Leave a comment here or on Facebook and it could be yours, too!
To mark this moment we are going to take another glance at my short story, Fire in a Storm.
“He was secret police and he knew his purpose. Religion was the enemy and God, the deception. Then a glimpse of gold and silver, and the woman who wore it, threatened everything he trusted.”
As we stated in November’s blog, the main character in Fire in a storm is a member of the NKVD or “Stalin’s secret police.” As such, he has had Marxist-Leninist atheism drilled into his brain and has accepted those philosophies. Namely:
“Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.” (Marx, K. 1976)
I must admit to hearing that often enough during the months I spent in Russia a few years ago. That last line was often ready and waiting on many an atheist’s tongue. How much more so, I imagine, in the midst of the communist regime and the heart of the persecution against religion.
Marx wrote further: “The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusions about its condition is the demand to give up a condition that needs illusions. The criticism of religion is therefore in embryo the criticism of the value of woe, the halo of which is religion. Criticism has plucked the imaginary flowers from the chain, not so that man will wear the chain without any fantasy or consolation but so that he will shake off the chain and cull the living flower.”
Ok, I admit I had to read it several times, but I wanted to understand what made my character tic. It seems many Soviet leaders of the early 1900s interpreted this as: God is an illusion, therefore religion is a dome of illusion, deceiving people into false happiness and hope. How can you experience real happiness, and real life, when you are caught up in the false?
I guess I’m in real trouble because I most certainly believe in God as did many good people in the Soviet Union when this philosophy corrupted laws and led to the persecution we discussed last month. Strange how an idea about saving people from their “happy” illusions can lead to that people’s destruction… all because they decided they wanted to hang on to the beliefs that have made them happy. Leave it to a man like Lenin to militarize a philosophy.