Difference between revisions of "Militant atheism"

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Journalist Charles Moore in the ''[[Daily Telegraph]]'', authored an article entitled "Militant atheists: too clever for their own good",<ref>[http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2007/04/07/do0701.xml "Militant atheists: too clever for their own good"]
 
Journalist Charles Moore in the ''[[Daily Telegraph]]'', authored an article entitled "Militant atheists: too clever for their own good",<ref>[http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2007/04/07/do0701.xml "Militant atheists: too clever for their own good"]
 
</ref>
 
</ref>
which discussed Richard Dawkins, and mentioned Christopher Hitchens and A.C. Grayling; the author felt that the atheist movement may be acquiring the characteristics of "intolerance, dogmatism, righteousness, moral contempt for one's opponents."<ref name="Moore">
+
which discussed Richard Dawkins, and mentioned Christopher Hitchens and [[A. C. Grayling]]; the author felt that the atheist movement may be acquiring the characteristics of "intolerance, dogmatism, righteousness, moral contempt for one's opponents."<ref name="Moore">
 
{{cite book|author=Charles Moore|title=Militant atheists: too clever for their own good|url=http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/personal-view/3638990/Militant-atheists-too-clever-for-their-own-good.html|publisher=[[Brill Academic Publishers]]|quote=I feel that atheism may be acquiring precisely those characteristics that atheists so dislike about religion intolerance, dogmatism, righteousness, moral contempt for one's opponents. Dawkins also tells us that "there are very few atheists in prison". He suggests that "atheism is correlated with higher education, intelligence or reflectiveness, which might counteract criminal impulses". What begins to emerge – and it lurked strongly behind the anti-religion side of the Intelligence Squared debate – is the idea that atheism is an elite state, a superior order of being, a plane of enlightenment denied to thickoes.|accessdate=10 March 2011}}
 
{{cite book|author=Charles Moore|title=Militant atheists: too clever for their own good|url=http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/personal-view/3638990/Militant-atheists-too-clever-for-their-own-good.html|publisher=[[Brill Academic Publishers]]|quote=I feel that atheism may be acquiring precisely those characteristics that atheists so dislike about religion intolerance, dogmatism, righteousness, moral contempt for one's opponents. Dawkins also tells us that "there are very few atheists in prison". He suggests that "atheism is correlated with higher education, intelligence or reflectiveness, which might counteract criminal impulses". What begins to emerge – and it lurked strongly behind the anti-religion side of the Intelligence Squared debate – is the idea that atheism is an elite state, a superior order of being, a plane of enlightenment denied to thickoes.|accessdate=10 March 2011}}
 
</ref>
 
</ref>

Revision as of 17:19, 1 January 2013

Joseph Stalin, the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953, founded the League of Militant Atheists, whose chief aim was to propagate militant atheism and eradicate religion.[1]

Militant atheism is a term applied to atheism which is hostile towards religion.[2][3][4][5][6][7] Militant atheists have a desire to propagate the doctrine,[3][8] and differ from moderate atheists because they hold religion to be harmful.[4][3][2] Militant atheism was an integral part of the materialism of Marxism-Leninism,[9][10] and significant in the French Revolution,[11] atheist states such as the Soviet Union,[12][13] and Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.[14] The term has also been applied to political thinkers.[15] Recently the term militant atheist has been used to describe the New Atheism movement,[16] which is characterized by the belief that religion "should not simply be tolerated but should be countered, criticized and exposed by rational argument wherever its influence arises."[17][18][19]

Concepts

British philosopher Julian Baggini postulates an atheistic active hostility to religion as militant and says hostility "requires more than just strong disagreement with religion – it requires something verging on hatred and is characterized by a desire to wipe out all forms of religious belief."[2] Militant atheists, Baggini continues, "tend to make one or both of two claims that moderate atheists do not. The first is that religion is demonstrably false or nonsense, and the second is that it is usually or always harmful."[2] According to Baggini, the "too-zealous" militant atheism found in the Soviet Union was characterized by thinking the best way to counter religion was "by oppression and making atheism the official state credo."[20]

As such, philosopher Kerry S. Walters contends that militant atheism differs from moderate atheism because it sees belief in God as pernicious.[4] In the same vein, militant atheism, according to theologian Karl Rahner, regards itself as a doctrine to be propagated for the happiness of mankind and combats every religion as a harmful aberration;[3] "militant" atheism differs from the philosophy of "theoretical" atheism, which he states, may be tolerant and deeply concerned.[3]

The theological roots of militant atheism can be found in thought of Friedrich Schleiermacher, Leo Strauss, Ludwig Feuerbach, as well as in Karl Marx's and Friedrich Engels's critique of religion.[21] Under régimes which espouse militant atheism, such as Albania under Enver Hoxha and Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge, in which traditional religion was banned, when the wave of militant atheism passes, traditional religion may reappear with undiminished strength when conditions allow for the expression of grassroots identities.[22]

Application

Soviet Bloc

The cover of a membership card of the League of Militant Atheists of the USSR

According to Harold J. Berman, a Harvard specialist in Soviet law, "militant atheism was the official religion, one might say, of the Soviet Union and the Communist Party was the established church."[9][10][23] The militant atheism of the Bolsheviks owed its origins not just to the "standard Marxist feeling that religion was the opium of the masses", but also to the fact that the Russian Orthodox Church had "always been a pillar of czarism."[24] The goal of the Soviet Union was the liquidation of religion and the means to achieve this goal included the destruction of churches, mosques, synagogues, mandirs, madrasahs, religious monuments, as well the mass deportation to Siberia of believers of different religions.[12][13][25][26][27][28][29] Under the Soviet doctrine of separation of church and state, detailed in the Constitution of the Soviet Union, churches in the Soviet Union were forbidden to give to the poor or carry on educational activities.[30] They could not publish literature since all publishing was done by state agencies, although after World War II the Russian Orthodox Church was given the right to publish church calendars, a very limited number of Bibles, and a monthly journal in a limited number of copies.[30] Churches were forbidden to hold any special meetings for children, youth or women, or any general meetings for religious study or recreation, or to open libraries or keep any books other than those necessary for the performance of worship services.[30][31][32] Furthermore, under militant atheist policies, Church property was expropriated.[33][34] Moreover, not only was religion banned from the school and university system, but pupils were to be indoctrinated with atheism and antireligious teachings.[35][36][30] For example, schoolchildren were asked to convert family members to atheism and memorize antireligious rhymes, songs, and catechisms, while university students who declined to propagate atheism lost their scholarships and were expelled from universities.[36] Severe criminal penalties were imposed for violation of these rules.[30][37] By the 1960s, with the fourth Soviet anti-religious campaign underway, half of the amount of Russian Orthodox churches were closed, along with five out of the eight seminaries.[38] In addition, several other Christian denominations were brought to extinction, including the Baptist Church, Methodist Church, Evangelical Christian Church, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church.[12][39] Before the Russian Revolution, there were more than fifty thousand Russian Orthodox clergymen, by 1939, there were no more than three to four hundred left.[40] In the year 1922 alone, under the militant atheistic system, 2691 secular priests, 1962 monks and 3447 nuns were martyred for their faith.[41][42] According to Rudolph Joseph Rummel, professor emeritus of political science at the University of Hawaii, 61,000,000 people were killed under the Communism of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.[43]

In an extreme case from the 1920s, the government promoted the khudjum campaign, a movement that encouraged women to voluntarily discard the paranja, as the veil is called in the Turkic-speaking regions, but also brought gangs of militant young atheists to Central Asia who physically assaulted women, often tearing the veil from their faces in the streets of Tashkent, Samarkand, and other cities. —Global Security Watch[44]

Due to the militant atheistic campaigns against Judaism,[45] the religion was inaccessible to its followers;[46] most Soviet Jews focused on a national identity, which fueled a mass dissident movement.[46] Marxist-Leninist militant atheism resulted in the administrative elimination of the clergy, the housing of atheist museums where churches had once stood, the sending of many religious people to prisons and concentration camps, a continuous stream of propaganda, and the imposing of atheism through education (and forced re-education through torture at various prisons).[47][48][49][50] Specifically, by 1941, 40,000 Christian churches and 25,000 Muslim mosques had been closed down and converted into schools, cinemas, clubs, warehouses and grain stores, or Museums of Scientific Atheism.[51][52]

A Soviet propaganda poster disseminated in the Bezbozhnik (Atheist) magazine depicting Jesus being dumped from a wheelbarrow by an industrial worker as well as a smashed church bell; the text advocates Industrialisation Day as an alternative replacement to the Christian Transfiguration Day.

Oscar J. Hammen, a historian, classified Engels as a militant atheist.[53] The ascent of the Bolsheviks to power in 1917 "meant the beginning of a campaign of militant atheism,"[54] and in 1922 Lenin, himself a militant atheist,[55] referred with approval to "militant atheist literature" and demanded that the journal Pod Znamenem Marksizma "must be a militant atheist organ", explaining that he meant militant 'in the sense of unflinchingly exposing and indicting all modern “graduated flunkeys of clericalism”, irrespective of whether they act as representatives of official science or as free lances calling themselves “democratic Left or ideologically socialist” publicists'.[56] In 1923, the Bezbozhnik ("Atheist", or "Godless") magazine appeared,[57] around which the "Union of the Friends of the Bezbozhnik" was formed in 1924. The organization, renamed the League of Militant Atheists (Russian: Союз воинствующих безбожников, Soyuz voinstvuyushchikh bezbozhnikov) in 1929, along with the Tatar Union of the Militant Godless,[58] carried out anti-religious propaganda at the grassroots level.[59][60][61][62] In 1941, soon after the Nazi invasion of the USSR, the newspaper closed, and in 1947 the society itself folded, the task of the anti-religious propaganda being transferred to the more neutrally named All-Union Society for the Dissemination of Political and Scientific Knowledge (Всесоюзное общество по распространению политических и научных знаний).[63] Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, a Soviet concentration camp survivor, wrote of the The Union of the Militant Godless, stating that its members "went on rampages, blew out candles, and smashed icons with axes."[64] The League of Militant Atheists, which was renamed the Znanie Society (Общество "Знание"), published a monthly journal called Nauka i Religya (Science and Religion) which described itself as "a fighting organ of militant atheism", rejecting the view that religion would disappear "of itself."[65][66] In 1961 the Ukrainian branch produced a similar journal called Militant Atheist (Voivnichy Ateist).[66]

In order to promote militant atheism, a banner reading "Monks - the bloody enemies of working people" (Ченці - криваві вороги трудящих) was placed by the government of the Soviet Union at the entrance of Dormition Cathedral of the Kyivan Cave Monastery (1930s).

Scientists and party philosophers in the Soviet Union worked to establish a view of science acceptable to Marxist–Leninist philosophy.[67] In addition to the antireligious substance of each course, the curriculum from the universities in the Soviet Union presented scientific findings correct or incorrect based on their supposed ideological positions, not on the objective, applied, and experimental essence of science.[68] Some Soviet militant atheists also believed science disproved religion because God remained unseen, His miracles were never subject to empirical verification, and certain religious stories were scientifically inconceivable.[69][70] Bruce Sheiman, himself a leader in the Atheist 3.0 movement, has criticized militant atheism for asserting this belief that science is capable of determining the existence of God.[71] Joseph McCabe, a militant atheist,[72] wrote in 1936 that "Russia is doing the finest and soundest reconstructive work of our time, and it is doing this, not only without God, but on a basis of militant Atheism."[73] Christopher Hitchens, a militant atheist, stated that "One of Lenin's great achievements, in my opinion, is to create a secular Russia. The power of the Russian Orthodox Church, which was an absolute warren of backwardness and evil and superstition, is probably never going to recover from what he did to it.[74]

However, militant atheism failed to eradicate Christianity, which resulted in the reopening of churches, the abandonment of the atheist teaching in schools, and the restoration of the seven day week.[75] Moreover, John W. Garver observes that the collapse of the Soviet Union ended the dominance of militant atheism over South-Central Asia and led to the reemergence of Islam in the region.[76]

Czechoslovakia

When Communists seized power in former Czechoslovakia in February 1948, part of their agenda included fighting against a “dangerous ideological enemy that holds enormous influence over the masses”.[77] Thus, the monasteries were seized by the State Security (ŠtB) during three so-called “barbaric nights” in 1950.[77] In total, 3142 people, including male members of religious orders, were coerced into the selected concentration monasteries,[77] which were turned into prison or labor camps secured with guards, who implemented a strict régime aiming at the “political re-education” of monks.[77] The 213 monastery buildings and facilities were confiscated by state and the content of many ancient precious libraries which survived the Turko-Tatar attacks of the Middle Ages was scrapped and used for cardboard production.[77][78]

In 1957 ŠtB arrested university students in eastern Slovakia in the town Košice for holding Bible study meetings.[79] The consequent investigations lead to further arrests of Christians as well as a lawsuit in 1959 with non-public hearing and coverage by state-controlled media.[79] Newspapers brought up the case under titles including: "Poison in gold-foil," "Sects are eradicating the thinking of youth" and "Report on trial with blue crusaders" (Blue Cross [in Slovak "Modrý kríž"] was Christian abstinence association fighting alcoholism).[79][80] The arrested members of Blue Cross were found guilty of "spreading hostile Christian ideology" that "contradicts scientific Marxist ideology."[79] They were sentenced pursuant to a paragraph on subversion of the republic.[79] At the same time their personal correspondence, typewriters and Christian literature were confiscated, including writing by national author Kristína Royová,[79] who was regarded by some authors as the "Slovak Kierkegaard."[81]

Kyrgyzstan

In 1929, when Soviet officials established the Militant Atheist-Marxist Association in the Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republic, over 1,800 clerics – Christian priests, Jewish rabbis, and Muslim mullahs – were denied their electoral rights.[82] Despite this, Jews worshiped in secrecy.[82]

Moldova

In Moldova, according to Mihaela Robila, during "the several decades of state-sponsored militant atheism, drastic methods were used" to prohibit the "expression of religious life"; such methods included the "forcible destruction of religious monuments, liquidation of churches, and mass deportation" of believers of different religions to Siberia.[83]

French Revolution

1819 Caricature by English caricaturist George Cruikshank. Titled "The Radical's Arms", it depicts the infamous guillotine. "No God! No Religion! No King! No Constitution!" is written in the republican banner.

Counter-Enlightenment writers frequently charged the philosophes with militant atheism which sought to destroy the Church and the monarchical form of government."[84] Two prominent militant atheists of the French Revolution included Jacques Hébert and Baron Anacharsis Cloots,[85][86] who both advocated the dechristianisation of France.[11][87] Cloots, says Alister McGrath, did not believe in religious tolerance.[11] He vigorously campaigned for the atheistic Cult of Reason, which was officially proclaimed on 10 November 1793. According to James Gray, Thomas Holcroft,[88][89] an English militant atheist, was instrumental in founding the London Corresponding Society in 1792, "whose main aim was to connect with radical elements in Paris in the same year".[89]

People's Republic of China and the Cultural Revolution

A People's Republic of China propaganda poster stating "Destroy the Old World & Forge the New World," with a worker smashing a crucifix, a Buddha murti, and a classical Chinese sacred text; 1967.

The People's Republic of China is officially an atheist state,[90][91] as atheism is endorsed and promoted by the ruling Chinese Communist Party.[14] When the People's Republic of China was established, militant atheist functionaries compelled the Party to impose control on and limit religious suppliers.[92] As a result, foreign missionaries were expelled from the nation.[92] Furthermore, major religions including Buddhism, Daoism, Islam and Christianity were co-opted into national associations, while minor sects were labelled as reactionary organisations and were therefore banned.[92]

However, during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, a new form of militant atheism made great efforts to eradicate religion completely.[14][93] Under this militant atheism espoused by Mao Zedong, houses of worship were shut down; Buddhist pagodas, Daoist temples, Christian churches, and Muslim mosques were destroyed; artifacts were smashed; and sacred texts were burnt.[14][93] Moreover, it was a criminal offence to even possess a religious artifact or sacred text.[14] However, following the death of Mao Zedong in 1976, many former policies towards religious freedom returned although they are limited and tenuous, as religion is closely regulated by the government.[14]

According to philosopher Julia Ching, the Falun Gong religion was seen by Jiang Zemin, the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, as an ideological threat to militant atheism and historical materialism.[94] Nevertheless, Fengang Yang, a professor at Purdue University, writes that the "predominant view on religion has moved away from militant atheism to a more scientific, objective and consequently more balanced approach to religion."[95]

Politics

History

Sociologist Rodney Stark describes Thomas Hobbes and the other originators of the 'social "scientific" study of religion' as "militant opponents of religion" whose "militant atheism...was motivated partly by politics".[96] The 19th-century political activist Charles Bradlaugh has been called a militant atheist by several authors,[97][98][99][100] and is often credited as the first militant atheist in the history of Western civilization.[101][102] The term has also been applied to other 19th-century political thinkers such as Ludwig Andreas Feuerbach,[103] Annie Besant,[104][105][106] and Schopenhauer.[107]

A significant militant atheist movement known as the Holbachians,[108] disciples of militant atheist Baron d'Holbach,[109] opposed Judaism, Christianity and Deism.[109][110]

The Polish religious leader Stefan Wyszyński decided during his imprisonment (1953–1956) "to defend the faith of the nation against militant atheism by means of the power of the Virgin Mary."[111]

In 1952 philosopher Herbert W. Schneider, when writing on Religion in 20th Century America, wrote of the "few remaining militant atheists" in the United States.[112][113]

Italian Socialist movement

Benito Mussolini was a militant atheist in his early life.[114][115][116][117][118] Like other socialists of the Romagna, Mussolini adopted the militant atheism of the Italian Socialist movement.[119] In his later life, however, Mussolini signed a Concordat with the Church in order to consort with the bishops who blessed the Fascist banners.[114][120]

New Atheism

In The New Atheist Novel, Arthur Bradley and Andrew Tate state that militant atheism is one of the elements "that make up the New Atheist creed."[121] Ian H. Hutchinson, professor of nuclear science and engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has stated that the New Atheism movement constitutes militant atheism because demonstrates an "attack on religion" and a "lack of respect at all for religion."[16] Prof. Hutchinson also states that the arguments employed by the New Atheism movement are extensions of intellectual threads which have existed since the late 19th century.[16] As such, recently, the term militant atheist has been used to describe New Atheist leaders such as Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett and Victor Stenger.[122][123][124][8][125][123][125][124] In an interview with Thomas Bass, which was published in the book Reinventing the Future: Conversations With the World's Leading Scientists, Richard Dawkins identified with the ideology, stating:
I am a fairly militant atheist, with a fair degree of active hostility toward religion. I certainly was hostile toward it at school, from the age of about sixteen onwards. I mellowed a bit in my twenties and thirties. But I'm getting more militant again now. —Richard Dawkins[126]

Paul Davies, an English physicist, defines a form of Christian atheism as being anti-militant-atheism, defining militant atheism as Dawkins' and Hitchens' position "to convince people that God doesn't exist as the most important intellectual task in our society."[127] The same phenomenon takes place in works published by the academic journal titled "Studies: an Irish Quarterly Review,"[128] and "The Literary Review,"[129] as well as in academic literature, such as the Rowman & Littlefield published The Secularization Debate,[130] and the Sydney University Press published Politics and Religion in the New Century, for example.[131]

These individuals have been labelled as militant atheists by other atheists such as Andrew Fiala, Professor of Philosophy at California State University, who in a paper published in the academic journal "International Journal for Philosophy of Religion" states that the 'claim that all religion is poisonous is linked to the final problem with the new breed of militant atheists: intolerance toward religion. It is this characteristic that leads me to call these new atheists “militant".'[124] Fiala believes that much of their critique of religion is based upon the claim that atheism is true and that the claims of religion are false. He writes that "such an approach is often dogmatic in its assertion of cognitive superiority".[124] Michael Ruse, a prominent atheist and biologist at Florida State University, has denounced militant atheism because of its attempt to conflate atheism and Darwinism.[132][133] In addition, Bruce Sheiman, an Atheist 3.0 leader, has stated that "when militant atheists portray religion, they critique every political and organizational misdeed that can be attributed to it" but "portray science in idealized terms, untainted by commercial interests, political intrusions, and ethical conundrums."[134] Richard Dawkins has, in turn, compared Ruse to "Neville Chamberlain, the British prime minister best known for his appeasement policy toward Nazi Germany."[135] Other articles in the popular media make reference to outspoken atheists as militant atheists.[136][137][138]

Figures in the 21st century in the USA and the UK who have been described as militant atheists include Michael Newdow.[139] The Argentinian Supreme Court Judge Carmen Argibay also describes herself as a "militant atheist",[140][141] and the journalist and campaigner Paul Foot has been labelled a militant atheist.[142] Moreover, comedian Kathy Griffin identifies herself as a militant atheist.[143]

Media

Richard Dawkins lecturing on his book The God Delusion; 2006.

Journalist Charles Moore in the Daily Telegraph, authored an article entitled "Militant atheists: too clever for their own good",[144] which discussed Richard Dawkins, and mentioned Christopher Hitchens and A. C. Grayling; the author felt that the atheist movement may be acquiring the characteristics of "intolerance, dogmatism, righteousness, moral contempt for one's opponents."[145] Moore also interpreted Dawkins as promoting the idea that atheism is "a superior order of being".[145] In the same newspaper, Raj Persaud categorised Richard Dawkins as a militant atheist, and said he was "famously virulent views on religion, attacking it as a 'virus of the mind' and an 'infantile regression'."[146]

The editor of Quadrant Magazine, a literary and cultural journal, also refers to Dawkins in these terms, and suggests that Dawkins' views are an extreme example of intolerance.[147]

British writer Theo Hobson in The Guardian claims that "criticisms levelled at religion by militant atheists are often crude and short-sighted".[148] Dawkins has responded to criticisms that he is hostile towards religion, saying "such hostility as I or other atheists occasionally voice toward religion is limited to words" and "It is all too easy to confuse fundamentalism with passion. I may well appear passionate when I defend evolution against a fundamentalist creationist, but this is not because of a rival fundamentalism of my own."[149]

Criticism of the position

Melanie Phillips, a British author, suggests that militant atheism "in junking religion, has destroyed our sense of anything beyond our material selves and the here and now" and "paved the way for the onslaught on bedrock moral values ... and intimidation and bullying to drive this agenda into public policy".[150]

Decca Aitkenhead a writer for the New Statesman, writes that the atheist movement has been accused of "adopting a tone so militant as to alienate potential supporters, and fortify the religious lobby."[151]

1931 phototograph of the destruction of the original Church of Christ the Saviour in Moscow, under the militant atheism of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (video).

John F. Pollard, a British Christian historian, writes that "militant atheism must be resisted by the Church militant."[152]

Simon Blackburn writes that "many professional philosophers, including ones such as myself who have no religious beliefs at all, are slightly embarrassed, or even annoyed, by the voluble disputes between militant atheists and religious apologists".[153] Though he presents no specific criticism of militant atheism, for him, both sides of the debate were presented better by David Hume in his Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, which he then explicates.[153]

Paul Kurtz, considered by many to be the founder of secular humanism,[154] has criticized militant atheists in that "they resist any effort to engage in inquiry or debate" and militant atheism as "becom[ing] mere dogma."[155] Kurtz has criticized the militant atheism of the Soviet Union, which he stated "persecuted religious beleivers, confiscated church properties, executed or exiled tens of thousands of clerics, and prohibited believers to engage in religious instruction or publish religious materials" and praised Mikhail Gorbachev's "dismantling such policies by permitting greater freedom of religious conscience...moving from militant atheism to tolerant humanism."[155] Kurtz cited the commitment to "human freedom and democracy" as humanism's basic difference from the militant atheism of the Soviet Union, which consistently violated basic human rights.[155] Kurtz also stated that the "defense of religious liberty is as precious to the humanist as are the rights of the believers."[50]

Criticism of the term

A popular internet meme image, depicting militant atheists, produced by Mariano Grinbank of True Freethinker, in response to a cartoon created by John Loftus, a militant atheist who criticized the term.

Catherine Fahringer of the Freedom From Religion Foundation suggested that the label militant was often routinely applied to atheist for no good reason – "very much as was the adjective 'damn' attached to the noun 'Yankee' during the Civil War."[156] The Freedom From Religion Foundation, however, has been called a "militant atheist group" in The Washington Examiner.[157]

A.C. Grayling writes that the charges of militant atheism are pronounced by theists; he states that "when the boot was on their foot they burned us at the stake. All we're doing is speaking very frankly and bluntly and they don't like it."[158] Grayling also likens the appellation 'militant atheist' to that of 'militant non-stamp collector.'[159] Oliver Burkeman has suggested that it is not the case that Grayling is motivated by nothing but a dispassionate quest for the truth; rather Grayling is actively promoting a position, motivated by more than the disbelief in God, and that he is doing more than just not collecting stamps.[160]

See also

Notes and references

  1. Michael Hesemann, Whitley Strieber (2000). The Fatima Secret. Random House Digital, Inc.. Retrieved on 09 October 2011. “Lenin's death in 1924 was followed by the rise of Joseph Stalin, "the man of steel," who founded the "Union of Militant Atheists," whose chief aim was to spread atheism and eradicate religion. In the following years it devastated hundreds of churches, destroyed old icons and relics, and persecuted the clergy with unimaginable brutality.” 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Julian Baggini (2009). Atheism. Sterling Publishing. Retrieved on 2011-06-28. “Militant Atheism: Atheism which is actively hostile to religion I would call militant. To be hostile in this sense requires more than just strong disagreement with religion—it requires something verging on hatred and is characterized by a desire to wipe out all forms of religious beliefs. Militant atheists tend to make one or both of two claims that moderate atheists do not. The first is that religion is demonstrably false or nonsense, and the second is that is is usually or always harmful.” 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Karl Rahner (1975). Encyclopædia of Theology: A Concise Sacramentum Mundi. Continuum International Publishing Group. Retrieved on 2011-06-28. “ATHEISM A. IN PHILOSOPHY I. Concept and incidence. Philosophically speaking, atheism means denial of the existence of God or of any possibility of knowing God. In those who hold this theoretical atheism, it may be tolerant (and even deeply concerned), if it has no missionary aims; it is "militant" when it regards itself as a doctrine to be propagated for the happiness of mankind and combats every religion as a harmful aberration.” 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Kerry S. Walters (2010). Atheism. Continuum International Publishing Group. Retrieved on 10 March 2011. “Both positive and negative atheism may be further subdivided into (i) militant and (ii) moderate varieties. Militant atheists, such as physicist Steven Weinberg, tend to think that God-belief is not only erroneous but pernicious. Moderate atheists agree that God-belief is unjustifiable, but see nothing inherently pernicious in it. What leads to excess, they argue, is intolerant dogmatism and extremism, and these are qualities of ideologies in general, religious or nonreligious.” 
  5. Phil Zuckerman (2009). Atheism and Secularity: Issues, Concepts, and Definitions. ABC-CLIO. Retrieved on 10 March 2011. “In contrast, militant atheism, as advocated by Lenin and the Russian Bolsheviks, treats religion as the dangerous opium and narcotic of the people, a wrong political ideology serving the interests of antirevolutionary forces; thus force may be necessary to control or eliminate religion.” 
  6. Yang, Fenggang (2004). "Between Secularist Ideology and Desecularizing Reality: The Birth and Growth of Religious Research in Communist China". Sociology of Religion 65 (2): 101-119. http://socrel.oxfordjournals.org/content/65/2/101.full.pdf. "Scientific atheism is the theoretical basis for tolerating religion while carrying out atheist propaganda, whereas militant atheism leads to antireligious measures. In practice, almost as soon as it took power in 1949, the CCP followed the hard line of militant atheism. Within a decade, all religions were brought under the iron control of the Party: Folk religious practices considered feudalist superstitions were vigorously suppressed; cultic or heterodox sects regarded as reactionary organizations were resolutely banned; foreign missionaries, considered part of Western imperialism, were expelled; and major world religions, including Buddhism, Islam, Catholicism, and Protestantism, were coerced into "patriotic" national associations under close supervision of the Party. Religious believers who dared to challenge these policies were mercilessly banished to labor camps, jails, or execution grounds.". 
  7. Yang, Fenggang (2006). "The Red, Black, and Gray Markets of Religion in China". The Sociological Quarterly 47 (1): 93–122. http://www.purdue.edu/crcs/itemPublications/articles/Yang3Markets.pdf. "In contrast, militant atheism, as advocated by Lenin and the Russian Bolsheviks, treats religion as a dangerous narcotic and a troubling political ideology that serves the interests of antirevolutionary forces. As such, it should be suppressed or eliminated by the revolutionary force. On the basis of scientific atheism, religious toleration was inscribed in CCP policy since its early days. By reason of militant atheism, however, atheist propaganda became ferocious, and the power of “proletarian dictatorship” was invoked to eradicate the reactionary ideology (Dai 2001)". 
  8. 8.0 8.1 Charles Colson, Ellen Santilli Vaughn (2007). God and Government. Zondervan. Retrieved on 21 July 2011. “But Nietzsche's atheism was the most radical the world had yet seen. While the old atheism had acknowledged the need for religion, the new atheism was political activist, and jealous. One scholar observed that "atheism has become militant . . . inisisting it must be believed. Atheism has felt the need to impose its views, to forbid competing versions."”
  9. 9.0 9.1 Harold Joseph Berman (1993). Faith and Order: The Reconciliati oyn of Law and Religion. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. Retrieved on 2011-07-09. “One fundamental element of that system was its propagation of a doctrine called Marxism-Leninism, and one fundamental element of that doctrine was militant atheism. Until only a little over three years ago, militant atheism was the official religion, one might say, of the Soviet Union and the Communist Party was the established church in what might be called an atheocratic state.” 
  10. 10.0 10.1 J. D. Van der Vyver, John Witte (1996). Religious Human Rights in Global Perspective: Legal Perspectives. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. Retrieved on 2011-07-09. “For seventy years, from the Bolshevik Revolution to the closing years of the Gorbachev regime, militant atheism was the official religion, one might say, of the Soviet Union, and the Communist Party was, in effect, the established church. It was an avowed task of the Soviet state, led by the Communist Party, to root out from the minds and hearts of the Soviet state, all belief systems other than Marxism-Leninism.” 
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Alister E. McGrath. The Twilight of Atheism: The Rise and Fall of Disbelief in the Modern World. Random House. Retrieved on 2011-03-05. “So was the French Revolution fundamentally atheist? There is no doubt that such a view is to be found in much Christian and atheist literature on the movement. Cloots was at the forefront of the dechristianization movement that gathered around the militant atheist Jacques Hébert. He "debaptised" himself, setting aside his original name of Jean-Baptiste du Val-de-Grâce. For Cloots, religion was simply not to be tolerated.” 
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Gerhard Simon (1974). Church, State, and Opposition in the U.S.S.R.. University of California Press. Retrieved on 2011-07-09. “On the other hand the Communist Party has never made any secret of the fact, either before or after 1917, that it regards 'militant atheism' as an integral part of its ideology and will regard 'religion as by no means a private matter'. It therefore uses 'the means of ideological influence to educate people in the spirit of scientific materialism and to overcome religious prejudices..' Thus it is the goal of the C.P.S.U. and thereby also of the Soviet state, for which it is after all the 'guiding cell', gradually to liquidate the religious communities.” 
  13. 13.0 13.1 Simon Richmond (2006). Russia & Belarus. BBC Worldwide. Retrieved on 2011-07-09. “Soviet 'militant atheism' led to the closure and destruction of nearly all the mosques and madrasahs (Muslim religious schools) in Russia, although some remained in the Central Asian states. Under Stalin there were mass deportations and liquidation of the Muslim elite.” 
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 The Price of Freedom Denied: Religious Persecution and Conflict in the Twenty-First Century (Cambridge Studies in Social Theory, Religion and Politics). Cambridge University Press. Retrieved on 2011-03-05. “Seeking a complete annihilation of religion, places of worship were shut down; temples, churches, and mosques were destroyed; artifacts were smashed; sacred texts were burnt; and it was a criminal offence even to possess a religious artifact or sacred text. Atheism had long been the official doctrine of the Chinese Communist Party, but this new form of militant atheism made every effort to eradicate religion completely.” 
  15. Rodney Stark; Roger Finke (2000). Acts of Faith: explaining the human side of religion. University of California Press. Retrieved on 16 July 2011. “The militant atheism of the early social scientists was motivated partly by politics. As Jeffrey Hadden reminds us, the social sciences emerged as part of a new political "order that was at war with the old order" (1987, 590).”
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Ian H. Hutchinson. Ian Hutchinson on the New Atheists. BioLogos Foundation. Retrieved on 29 September 2011. “Ian Hutchinson tells us in this video discussion that New Atheism -- a term used to describe recent intellectual attacks against religion -- is actually a misnomer. It is better, he says, to call the movement “Militant Atheism”. In fact, the arguments made by New Atheists are not new at all, but rather extensions of intellectual threads which have existed since the late 19th century. The only unique quality of this movement is the degree of criticism and edge with which its members write and speak about religion. According to Hutchinson, the books written by New Atheists in the past decade simply restate many of the same arguments which have emanated from atheist thinkers for decades. The militant edge of these arguments is what makes “New” Atheism unique and elevates it to a level of popularity within a subset of the population. It is because these Militant Atheists show no respect at all for religion, says Hutchinson, that they are receiving status as a new movement.”
  17. Simon Hooper. The rise of the 'New Atheists'. Cable News Network (CNN). Retrieved on 10 March 2011. “What the New Atheists share is a belief that religion should not simply be tolerated but should be countered, criticized and exposed by rational argument wherever its influence arises.”
  18. Amarnath Amarasingam. Religion and the New Atheism (Studies in Critical Social Sciences: Studies in Critical Research on Religion 1). Brill Academic Publishers. Retrieved on 10 March 2011. “For the new atheists, tolerance of intolerance (often presented in the guise of relativism of multiculturalism) is one of the greatest dangers in contemporary society.”
  19. Stephen Prothero. God Is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World--and Why Their Differences Matter. HarperOne. Retrieved on 10 March 2011. “For these New Atheists and their acolytes, the problem is not religious fanaticism. The problem is religion itlself. So-called moderates only spread the "mind viruses" of religion by making them appear to be less authoritarian, misogynistic, and irrational than they actually are.”
  20. Baggini 2009 p. 131
  21. Christopher Marsh. Religion and the State in Russia and China: Suppression, Survival, and Revival. Continuum International Publishing Group. “Religious belief is quite distinct from a philosophical viewpoint, however, meaning that almost all previous studies have avoided serious consideration of the theological roots of militant atheism. While it is with Hegel that one must begin to understand Marxist philosophy, one must take a detour through the thought of Schleiermacher, Strauss, and Feuerback before coming to an understanding of Marx's and Engels's critique of religion.”
  22. C. M. Hann (1993). Socialism: ideals, ideologies, and local practice. Psychology Press. “It may disappear from view during the apogee of Marxism-Leninism, when the old temples are likely to be sacred (though only Albania and Cambodia went so far as formally to ban traditional religion per se). When the wave of militant atheism passes and conditions permit the expression of grassroots identities once again, traditional religion may reappear with undiminished strength.”
  23. Harold J. Berman (1998). Freedom of Religion in Russia: An Amicus Brief for the Defendant. HeinOnline. “from the Bolshevik Revolution to the closing years of the Gorbachev regime, militant atheism was the official religion, one might say, of the Soviet Union, and the Communist Party was, in effect, the established church.”
  24. Crane Brinton (1995). A History of Civilization: 1648 to the present. Prentice Hall. 
  25. Dimitry Pospielovsky (1998). The Orthodox Church in the History of Russia. St Vladimir's Seminary Press. “It might be expected that as a Christian leader, he would at least declare that a Christian could not vote for a party that preached and practiced genocide, whether racial or class-based, nor for a party whose ideology included a militant atheism aiming at liquidation of religion.” 
  26. Melvin Ember; Carol R. Ember; Ian Skoggard (2005). Encyclopedia of Diasporas: Immigrant and Refugee Cultures Around the World. Volume I: Overviews and Topics; Volume II: Diaspora Communities (v. 1). Springer Science+Business Media. “The militant atheism of the Soviet period put an end to the traditional beliefs, religion, and rituals of Koreans.” 
  27. Ruth Ellen Gruber (2007). National Geographic Jewish Heritage Travel. National Geographic Society. “But the hundreds of thousands of Jews in the Soviet sector were subject to the regime's ruthless campaign of militant atheism. Synagogues were closed, demolished, or converted for secular use, and religious life was crushed.” 
  28. Albert Lee (1980). Henry Ford and the Jews. Stein and Day. “The atheist Jew, Gubermann, under the name of Jaroslawski and then the leader of the militant atheists in Soviet Union, also declared: 'It is our duty to destroy every religious world concept.'” 
  29. (1980) World and Its Peoples. Marshall Cavendish Corporation. “A campaign of militant atheism began. Many churches – as well as synagogues, mosques, and Buddhist temples – were closed or destroyed. For example, some eight thousand Russian Orthodox churches were closed in 1937 alone.” 
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 30.3 30.4 Berman 2009, p. 395. "Under the doctrine of separation of church and state, churches in the Soviet Union were forbidden to engage in any activities that were within the sphere of responsibilities of the state. That meant, for example, that churches could not give to the poor or carry on educational activities. They could not publish literature since all publishing was done by state agencies, although after World War II the Russian Orthodox Church was given the right to publish church calendars, a very limited number of Bibles, and a monthly journal in a limited number of copies. Churches were forbidden to hold any special meetings for children, youth or women, or any general meetings for religious study or recreation, or to open libraries or keep any books other than those necessary for the performance of worship services. Severe criminal penalties were imposed for violation of these rules. The formula of the 1936 and 1977 Soviet Constitutions was: freedom of religious worship and freedom of atheist propaganda – meaning, first no freedom of religious teaching other than the worship service itself, and second, a vigorous campaign in the schools and universities, in the press, and in special meetings organized by atheist so-called 'agitators,' to convince people of the folly of religious beliefs."
  31. Christel Lane (1978). Christian Religion in the Soviet Union: A Sociological Study. State University of New York Press. “Militant atheist measures, both in premeditated and in unforeseen ways, have also caused far-reaching changes in the organisational structure of collectivities, in the ways they perform their religious functions and in which believers satisfy their religious requirements. In the field of organisation, most measures have had the effect of weakening or destroying central organisation and strengthening local independence and spontaneity.” 
  32. J. D. Van der Vyver, John Witte (1996). Religious Human Rights in Global Perspective: Legal Perspectives. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. “Churches, mosques, and synagogues were deprived of almost all activities except the conduct or worship services. Moreover, schools were not merely to avoid the teaching of religion; they were actively to promote the teaching of atheism. These doctringes were spelled out in a 1929 law that remained the basic legistlation on the subject until the Gorbachev reforms of the late 1980s. There was freedom of religious worship, but churches were forbidden to give any material aid to their memebers or charity of any kind, or to hold any special meetings for children, youth, or women, or general meetings for religious study, recreation, or any similar purpose or to open libraries or to keep any books other thanose necessary for the performance of worhsip services. The formula of the 1929 law was repeated in the 1936 Constitution and again in the 1977 Constitution: freedom of religious worship and freedom of atheist propaganda-meaning (1) no freedom of religious teaching outside of the worship service itself, plus (2) a vigorous campaign in the schools, in the press, and in special meetings organized by atheist agitators, to convice people of the folly of religious beliefs.” 
  33. R. J. Overy (2004). The Dictators: Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Russia. W. W. Norton & Company. “The communist regime treated the Church as a political institution rather than as a set of beliefs. On 28 January 1918 the Russian Orthodox Church was formally separated from the state; religious belief was permitted as long as it did not threaten public order or trespass on political soil. Religious property was liquidated, and a twenty-year programme of church closures begun. Religion was banned from schools. The state and the party were officially atheist.” 
  34. Richard Sakwa (1999). The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Union, 1917–1991. Psychology Press. “Marx's view on religion as the 'opiate of the people' under the Bolsheviks took the form a militant atheism that sought to destroy the social sources of the power of the Church, and to extirpate religious belief as a social phenomenon. Uner the slogan of separating Church and state, the Bolsheviks in effect expropriated church property and dramatically limited the Church's ability to conduct a normal religious life.” 
  35. J. D. Van der Vyver, John Witte (1996). Religious Human Rights in Global Perspective: Legal Perspectives. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. “Moreover, schools were not merely to avoid the teaching of religion; they were actively to promote the teaching of atheism.” 
  36. 36.0 36.1 Paul Froese (2008). The Plot to Kill God: findings from the Soviet experiment in Secularization. University of California Press, 58, 79. “Militant atheists also believed that science disproved religion because God remained unseen, his miracles were never subject to empirical verification, and certain religious stories were inconceivable. As such, the Soviet school system consistently promoted "atheistic science" to combat the effects of religion. The curriculum of scientific atheism resembled the curriculum of scientific atheism resembled the curriculum for much of the Soviet educational system, as it was based more on memorization than critical analysis. For homework, schoolchildren were sometimes asked to convert a member of their family to atheism by reciting arguments that were intended to disprove religious beliefs. And schoolchildren often memorized antireligious rhymes, songs, and catechisms. Antireligious ideas infiltrated the most basic in unrelated topics: "Physics, biology, chemistry, astronomy, mathematics, history, geography and literature all serve as jumping-off points to instruct pupils on the evils or falsity of religion." Although many school subjects appear unrelated to religion, Soviets believed that any intellectual activity was intrinsically opposed to religion. The Soviet educational system officially stated that "that bringing up of children in the atheist spirit" was one of its primary missions. University students were also required to actively propogate atheism and were told, "Those who refuse to make such practical application of their study [of scientific atheism] will lose their scholarships and must leave the university. Special pressure was placed on academics and scientists to join the atheist educational organization Znanie, and, b the late 1970s, for example, over 80 percent of all professors and doctors of science in Luthuania became members. The course syllabi from the atheist universities of the Soviet Union indicate how the topic of atheism was presented as a historically logical outcome of scientific development.” 
  37. J. D. Van der Vyver, John Witte (1996). Religious Human Rights in Global Perspective: Legal Perspectives. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. “In 1960 Criminal Code of the Russian Republic imposed a fine for violating lasw of separation from the state and of the school from the church, and, for repeated violators, deprivation of freedom up to three years (Article 142). Such violations included organizing religious assemblies and processions, organizing religious instruction for minors, and preparing written materials calling for such activities. Other types of religious activities were subject to more severe sanctions: thus leaders and active participants in religious groups that caused damage to the health of citizens or violted personal rights, or that tried to persuade citizens not to participate in social activities or to perform duties of citizens, or that drew minors into such group, were punishable by deprivation of freedom up to give years (Article 277).” 
  38. J. D. Van der Vyver, John Witte (1996). Religious Human Rights in Global Perspective: Legal Perspectives. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. Retrieved on 16 August 2011. “These articles of the Criminal Code were enacted as part of the severe anti-religious campaign launched under Khrushchev in the early 1960s, when an estimated 10,000 Russian Orthodox churches-half the total number-were closed, together with five of the eight insitutions for training priests, and the independence of the priesthood were curtailed both nationally and locally.” 
  39. Thomas Hoffmann; William Alex Pridemore (December 2003). Esau’s Birthright and Jacob’s Pottage: A Brief Look at Orthodox-Methodist Ecumenism in Twentieth-Century Russia. Demokratizatsiya. Retrieved on 19 October 2009. “One of these was the resurgence of non-Orthodox Christian confessions, including the Methodist Church – a denomination completely eradicated in Russia during the Soviet era.”
  40. Paul Froese (2008). The Plot to Kill God: findings from the Soviet experiment in Secularization. University of California Press, 58, 79. “There were more than fifty thousand Orthodox priests before the Russian Revolution, and by mid-1939, there were no more than three to four hundred clergy.” 
  41. John Meyendorff (1987). Witness to the World. St Vladimir's Seminary Press. “After having been the state religion for centuries both in Russian and in almost all the countries of Europe, Christianity suddenly was confronted with a militant atheistic system claiming to regulate not only the material, but also the spiritual life of man. The number of those who died for the faith is innumerable: in the year 1922 alone, 2691 secular priests, 1962 monks and 3447 nuns.”  Quoted from N. Struve, Christians in Russia, Harvill Press, London, 1967, p. 38
  42. Timothy Ware (1993). The Orthodox Church. Penguin Books. “The Ottoman Turks, while non-Christians, were still worshippers of the one God and, as we have seen, allowed the Church a large measure of toleration. But Soviet Communism was committed by its fundamental principles to an aggressive and militant atheism. Not only were churches closed on a massive scale in the 1920s and 1930s, but huge numbers of bishops and clergy, monks, nuns and laity were sent to prison and to concentration camps. How many were executed or died from ill-treatment we simply cannot calculate. Nikita Struve provides a list of martyr-bishops running to 130 names, and even this he terms 'provisional and incomplete'. The sum total of priest-martyrs must extend into tens of thousands.” 
  43. R.J. Rummel (1993). Death By Government. Transaction Publishers. “With this understood, the Soviet Union appears the greatest megamurderer of all, apparently killing near 61,000,000 people.”
  44. Reuel R. Hanks (21 October 2010). Global Security Watch--Central Asia. ABC-CLIO, 46. “In an extreme case from the 1920s, the government promoted the khudjum campaign, a movement that encouraged women to voluntarily discard the paranja, as the veil is called in the Turkic-speaking regions, but also brought gangs of militant young atheists to Central Asia who physically assaulted women, often tearing the veil from their faces in the streets of Tashkent, Samarkand, and other cities.” 
  45. Robert S. Wistrich (1995). Terms of Survival: the Jewish World since 1945. Psychology Press. “Anti-Semitism, too, was relatively mild in the USSR during these interim post-Stalin years, despite the militant atheistic campaigns against the Jewish religion and the implication of Jews in economic crimes under Khruschev.” 
  46. 46.0 46.1 David Singer (1998). American Jewish Year, Book 1998. Amer Jewish Committee. “For most Soviet Jews, raised in an atmosphere of militant atheism, Judaism was inaccessible; and so the Soviet Jewish renaissance focused instead on national identity. Israel and its military victories, especially the Six Day War, emboldened thousands of young Jews to form the Soviet Union's only mass, nationwide, dissident movement.” 
  47. De James Thrower (1983). Marxist-Leninist Scientific Atheism and the Study of Religion and Atheism in the USSR. Walter de Gruyter. “In the pre-war period the emphasis was on 'practical atheism' – the more so as Stalin, the sole arbiter in such matters had not made a single theoretical pronouncement on religion or the study of religion – and 'practical atheism' meant schools from the propagation of atheism, the administrative elimination of the clergy, atheist museums where churches had once stood, and a continuous stream of hate-propaganda designed to terrorise the faithful into submission.” 
  48. A short history of Soviet socialism, p. 126. ISBN 9781857283556
  49. Orthodox Christianity and Militant Atheism in the Twentieth Century
  50. 50.0 50.1 Paul Kurtz, Vern L. Bullough, Tim Madigan (1994). Toward a New Enlightenment: the philosophy of Paul Kurtz. Transaction Books. “There have been fundamental and irreconcilable differences between humanists and atheists, particularly Marxist-Leninists. The defining characteristic of humanism is its commitment to human freedom and democracy; the kind of atheism practiced in the Soviet Union has consistently violated basic human rights.” 
  51. Allan Todd, Sally Waller (2011). Origins and Development of Authoritarian and Single Party States. Cambridge University Press. “By the time of the Nazi invasion in 1941, nearly 40,000 Christian churches and 25,000 Muslims mosques had been closed down and converted into schools, cinemas, clubs, warehouses and grain stores, or Museums of Scientific Atheism.” 
  52. Allan Todd, Sally Waller. "Crispin Paine". Present Pasts 1. http://presentpasts.info/index.php/pp/article/viewFile/pp.13/19. "By the time of the Nazi invasion in 1941, nearly 40,000 Christian churches and 25,000 Muslims mosques had been closed down and converted into schools, cinemas, clubs, warehouses and grain stores, or Museums of Scientific Atheism.". 
  53. Freidrich Engels Encyclopedia Britannica 2008.
  54. John F. Pollard (2001). Benedict XV: the unknown pope and the pursuit of peace p. 199.
  55. Edward Craig. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Volume 1. Taylor & Francis. “Lenin, leader of the October 1917 Revolution in Russia, wrote mainly about politics and economics, but as a Marxist of his generation he assumed that ideas about society needed to rest on sound philosophical premises. He was a militant atheist.” 
  56. On the Significance of Militant Materialism Lenin 1922
  57. Журнал "БЕЗБОЖНИК", Москва, СССР (Bezbozhnik Magazine, Moscow, USSR). The page is in UTF-8 encoding. The caption to the front page picture of the No. 1 issue, by Dmitry Moor, shown in the article, is "We've finished with the earthly kings – now it's time to take care of the heavenly ones!"
  58. Alexandre A. Bennigsen, S. Enders Wimbush (1980). Muslim National Communism in the Soviet Union: A Revolutionary Strategy for the Colonial World. University of Chicago Press. “In disgrace after Sultan Galiev's trial in 1928, he was, until his final purge in 1937, chairman of the Tatar Union of Militant Godless.” 
  59. Michael Kemper; Stephan Conermann (2011). The Heritage of Soviet Oriental Studies. Taylor & Francis. “The League of the Militant Godless and the Knowledge Society conducted anti-religious propaganda at the grassroots level.” 
  60. Sabrina P. Ramet (1993). Religious Policy in the Soviet Union. Cambridge University Press. “Local public and voluntary organisations – the Komsomol, the Young Pioneers, workers' Clubs and, of course, the League of Militant Atheists – were encouraged to undertake a whole range of anti-religious initiatives: promoting the observance of the five day working week, ensuring that priests did not visit believers in their homes, supervising the setting-up of cells of the League of Militant Atheists in the army. Public lampoons and blasphemous parades, recalling the early 1920s, were resumed from 1928. One of the main activities of the League of Militant Atheists was the publication of massive quantities of anti-religious literature, comprising regular journals and newspapers as well as books and pamphlets. The number of printed pages rose from 12 million in 1927 to 800 million in 1930.” 
  61. William G. Rosenberg (1990). Bolshevik Visions: First Phase of the Cultural Revolution in Soviet Russia, Part 1. University of Michigan Press. “The publication in 1923 of Yaroslavsky's response to Khegund (see below), signalled the beginning of an organized ant-religious movement. Many in the party still urged caution; the "League of Militant Atheists, formally the a "private union" rather than a party body, was not permitted to function until 1925.” 
  62. M. Searle Bates (2005). Religious Liberty: An Inquiry. Kessinger Publishing Company. “On the other hand, the League of Militant Atheists reported for 1932 an organization of 80,000 cells with 7,000,000 members, besides 1,500,000 children in affiliated groups.” 
  63. Союз воинствующих безбожников (Union of the Militant Atheists) in the Great Soviet Encyclopedia
  64. Joseph Pearce (2011). Solzhenitsyn: A Soul in Exile. Ignatius Press. “In the years immediately before and after the Revolution, the church was shunned and subjected to ridicule by young people and the intelligentsia. Solzhenitsyn rememberd how many fiery adherents were claimed by militant atheism in the 1920s. "Those who went on rampages, blew out candles, and smashed icons with axes have now crumbled into dust, like their Union of the Militant Godless."” 
  65. "Знание", Всесоюзное общество (The All-Union "Knowledge" Society) in the Great Soviet Encyclopedia
  66. 66.0 66.1 John Anderson (1994). Religion, state, and politics in the Soviet Union and successor states. Cambridge University Press. “Finally, various public organisations were drawn into the struggle against religion, most notably the Znanie Society. Formed in 1947, in large part as a successor to the disbanded League of the Militant Godless, the society had begun to expand its work beyond the narrowly anti-religious. In September 1959 it at last produced the first copy of the monthly atheist magazine Nauka i religiya. The unusual decision to commence publication part way through the year perhaps suggested the increasing degree of urgency in anti-religious campaigning. The first editorial reflected this mood in describing the journal as 'a fighting organ of militant atheism' and in its rejection of the view that religion would disappear 'of itself.'” 
  67. Helge Kragh (2008). Entropic Creation. Ashgate Publishing. “In the attempts to establish an ideologically acceptable view of science, the new physics became a matter of considerable controversy in the young Soviet Union. Physicists and party philosophers discussed the problematic relationship of relativity theory and quantum mechanics to Marxist-Leninist philosophy.” 
  68. Paul Froese (2008). The Plot to Kill God: findings from the Soviet experiment in Secularization. University of California Press, 58, 79. “Militant atheists also believed that science disproved religion because God remained unseen, his miracles were never subject to empirical verification, and certain religious stories were inconceivable. The course syllabi from the atheist universities of the Soviet Union indicate how the topic of atheism was presented as a historically logical outcome of scientific development; Soviet college students chose from the following course selections: Physics...Chemistry...Geology...Mathematics...Biology...Medicine...What stands out in these syllabi, in addition to the antireligious substance of each course, is the way in which the curriculum appears to ignore the objective, applied, and experimental essence of science. Instead, scientific findings are presented as correct or incorrect based on their supposed ideological positions. Religion is presented as the historic cofounder of scientific advancement, with atheism providing the phislosophical framework from which to conduct accurate science.” 
  69. Paul Froese (2008). The Plot to Kill God: findings from the Soviet experiment in Secularization. University of California Press, 58, 79. “Militant atheists also believed science disproved religion because God remained unseen, his miracles were never subject to empirical verification, and certain religious stories were scientifically inconceivable. Following World War II and after the dissolution of the League of Militant Atheists, Soviet officials started a campaign to produce natural-scientific arguments against belief in God. For instance, Soviet scientists placed holy water under a microscope to prove that it had no special properties, and the corpses of saints were exhumed to demonstrate that they too were subject to corruption. These activities indicated that atheist propgandists held a very literal interpretation of religious language; for them, holy water and the bodies of saints were expected to hold some physical sign of their divinity.” 
  70. Christian De Duve (2002). Life Evolving: Molecules, Mind, and Meaning. Oxford University Press. “Contrary to what is sometimes claimed, a naturalistic view of the origin of life does not necessarily exlude beleif in a Creator. The notion, propagated at the same time, though for opposite reasons, by militant atheistic scientists and by many antiscientific circles, that the findings of science are incompatible with the existence of a Creator is false.” 
  71. Bruce Sheiman (2009). An Atheist Defends Religion: Why Humanity is Better Off with Religion Than Without It. Penguin Books. “The militant atheist asserts, incorrectly, that science is capable of determining the nonexistence of God.” 
  72. Madalyn Murray O'Hair. The Atheist World. Kessinger Publishing. “This is a listing of the great and near great compiled by Joseph McCabe, ex-Roman Catholic priest and militant Atheist of early in this century.” 
  73. Joseph McCabe (2010). Is the Position of Atheism Growing Stronger?. Kessinger Publishing. “For the news is spreading, and is triumphing even over reactionary opposition that Russia is doing the finest and soundest reconstructive work of our time, and it is doing this, not only without God, but on a basis of militant atheism.” 
  74. Christopher Hitchens (2005). Heaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism. Public Broadcasting Service. “One of Lenin's great achievements, in my opinion, is to create a secular Russia. The power of the Russian Orthodox Church, which was an absolute warren of backwardness and evil and superstition, is probably never going to recover from what he did to it.”
  75. Earle E. Cairns (1996). Christianity through the centuries: a History of the Christian Church. Zondervan. “The failure of militant atheism to eradicate Christianity; the persistence of belief in God, which approximately half of the Russian people expressed in the 1937 census; and the threatening international situation dictated the need for a strategic retreat after 1939. Churches were reopened, the antireligious carnivals were dropped, and the teaching of atheism in schools was abandoned. In 1943 Sergius was permitted to function as the patriarch of Moscow and all Russia. The seven-day week was restored, seminaries were permitted to reopen, and the Orthodox church was freed of many burdensome restrictions.” 
  76. John W. Garver (2006). China and Iran: Ancient Partners in a Post-Imperial World. University of Washington Press. “Post-Soviet Central Asia witnessed a swift revival of Islam. The collapse of Soviet power lifted a seventy-year-long reign of militant atheism and opened the way to reemergence of the long-suppressed Islamic faith of the Central Asian peoples.” 
  77. 77.0 77.1 77.2 77.3 77.4 NMI (2011). Likvidácia kláštorov v komunistickom Československu – Barbarská noc (“Eradication of monasteries in communist Czechoslovakia – Barbaric night”). Nation's Memory Institute. “Už pred rokom 1948 považovali československí komunisti rehole za dôležitý náboženský organizmus, ktorý neželateľne vplýva na obyvateľstvo a usmerňuje ho. Po uchopení moci komunistickou stranou vo februári 1948 sa mohli ich plány namierené proti reholiam uskutočniť. Prvé zásahy voči jednotlivým kláštorom sa objavovali už od leta 1948, kedy boli tieto, pod zámienkou že sú centrami protištátnej činnosti, likvidované. Hoci ich nebolo veľa, naznačovali smer, ktorým sa bude vývoj uberať. Realizácia plánov, ktoré štátna moc s rehoľami mala, sa kvôli iným akciám (ako bola napr. schizmatická Katolícka akcia v júni 1949, príprava tzv. cirkevných zákonov na jeseň 1949) mohla uskutočniť až v prvej polovici roku 1950. ...Po akcii „K“ sa v noci z 3. na 4. mája 1950 uskutočnila aj akcia „K2“, v rámci ktorej boli obsadené aj zvyšné mužské kláštory. Týmito dvoma zásahmi bolo na Slovensku postihnutých 1180 rehoľníkov z 15 reholí, žijúcich v 76 kláštoroch. Po týchto dvoch akciách boli rehoľníci na Slovensku sústredení do kláštorov v Mučeníkoch (dnes Močenok), Hronskom Beňadiku, Podolínci, Kostolnej a v Báči. Režim v tzv. sústreďovacích kláštoroch sa riadil podľa pravidiel blízkych väznici. Popri práci (lepenie vrecúšok, preberanie šípok, stolárske a krajčírske práce, práce v poľnohospodárstve) mali rehoľníci vyhradený čas na politickú prevýchovu. Komunikácia s vonkajším svetom bola úplne vylúčená, alebo sa obmedzovala na minimum. Najprísnejší režim bol v kláštore v Podolínci, kde sa nachádzal najväčší počet rehoľníkov. Objekt bol strážený ozbrojenou strážou so psami, pričom na strážnu službu boli určovaní strážcovia z Leopoldova a iných väzníc. Na budove kláštora boli postupne zamrežované okná a inštalovaný ostatný drôt. Na nádvorí bola vybudovaná strážna veža a okolie bolo v noci osvetľované reflektormi. Rehoľníci, ktorí porušili predpísaný poriadok boli trestaní samoväzbou v pivnici.... V týchto kláštoroch sa akcia zopakovala v noci za asistencie príslušníkov Zboru národnej bezpečnosti, Ľudových milícií a Štátnej bezpečnosti. V akcii „R“ bolo v dňoch 28. – 31. augusta 1950 sústredených 1962 rehoľníčok a obsadených 137 objektov. Rehoľníčky boli sústredené v 16 sústreďovacích kláštoroch. ... Po obsadení kláštorov boli nešetrným zaobchádzaním zo strany štátnych orgánov zničené knižnice a rozkradnuté mnohé vzácne rukopisy, tlače, obrazy a nábytok. Samotné budovy získali najmä krajské a miestne národné výbory, rôzne administratívne úrady, telovýchovné spolky, detské domovy a pod. Komunistická štátna moc nazerala na rehole ako na nebezpečného ideologického nepriateľa, ktorý má značný vplyv na masy. Išlo však aj o hnuteľný a nehnuteľný majetok, ktorý rehole spravovali. V správe pre politický sekretariát ÚV KSČ, ktorá bilancovala získané materiálne hodnoty, bol výsledok akcie označený za najväčší majetkový presun od privlastnenia majetku Nemcov, „znárodnenia“ a pozemkovej reformy. Inak povedané, išlo o rozsahom tretiu najväčšiu krádež od roku 1945. Najbolestnejším dôsledkom zásahov však boli strastiplné osudy tisícok rehoľníkov a rehoľníčok, ktorí sa na niekoľko desaťročí stali prenasledovanou skupinou občanov.”
  78. NMI (2011). Likvidácia kláštorov v komunistickom Československu – Barbarská noc, výpovede svedkov (“Eradication of monasteries in communist Czechoslovakia – Barbaric night, reports of witnesses”). Nation's Memory Institute. “Čiže tá Barbarská noc bola naozaj barbarská, pretože v tom čase, keď sme my takto nacvičovali pokrokové pesničky, tak v tom čase v nákladiakoch odvážali knižnice z týchto inštitúcií, z kláštorov, z rôznych inštitútov, odvážali ich do zberu, do fabriky, kde ich zomleli a urobili z nich kartón. Takže to, čo sa neudialo, ja viem napríklad, že potom, čo ešte spomeniem, že v Rajhrade nám vraveli ľudia z Rajhradu, že tamojšia knižnica, ktorá bola jedna z najstarších knižníc vôbec na území Čiech a Moravy. Za tatárskych pádov, ba aj za tureckého vpádu, keď sa dostali Turci až potiaľ, knižnica nebola zničená a Tatári rešpektovali tzv. bielych mníchov, ktorí im pomáhali liečiť a podobne. Až teraz bola táto knižnica zlikvidovaná, tým, že ju odviezli za onej Barbarskej noci, čiže to nie je nijakým zveličovaním, ak sa táto noc likvidácie kláštorov nazve, Barbarskou nocou. Toľko škôd na kultúrnych pamiatkach sa zaiste málokedy v histórii udialo.”
  79. 79.0 79.1 79.2 79.3 79.4 79.5 Slavka, M. et al. (1994). Naše korene. Vznik a vývoj prebudeneckého hnutia na Slovensku. Bratislava: Nádej. “R.1957 štátna bezpečnosť zatkla Miloša Rataja, vysokoškoláka v Košiciach. Bol to syn Jána Rataja – učiteľa a básnika. Tento s niekoľkými spolužiakmi v internáte sa tajne stretávali, aby rozprávali o Božom slove a spolu sa aj modlili. Niekto ich udal, a bolo z toho veľké vyšetrovanie a súdny proces. Vo Východoslovenských novinách sa objavili články „Jed v pozlátku“ (1951 č.41), „Sekty hubia myseľ mládeže“, „Na margo procesu s modrokrižiakmi“. Bola to príprava na rozšírenie procesu v Bratislave, kde v roku 1959 zatkli bratov: Ing. O. Luptáka, Ing. Vl. Mateja, J. Rosu a J. Hollého zo Starej Turej. Súdne pojednávanie bolo neverejné (sept. 1959). Hlavnou vinou obžalovaných bolo, že rozširovali ako členovia Modrého kríža nepriateľskú kresťanskú ideológiu, ktorá je v rozpore s vedeckou marxistickou ideológiou a teda sú vlastne nepriateľmi socializmu. Preto ich odsúdili podľa paragrafu o podvracaní republiky. Súčasne im zabavili kresťanskú literatúru, hlavne od Kristíny Royovej, osobnú korešpondenciu a písacie stroje.” 
  80. International Blue Cross (2012). About us. IFBC. “The International Federation of the Blue Cross - henceforth referred to as 'International Blue Cross' - is an independent, non-governmental health development organisation, caring for alcohol and drug dependent people and their families. It was established in 1886 in Geneva, Switzerland, and is presently made up of more than a thousand health professionals around the world. ...Who we are: Forty-two national Blue Cross organizations across the world that are independent, non-denominational Christian organizations.)”
  81. Trúsik, Pavol (2/2011). Kristína Royová – slovenský Kierkegaard? (Kristína Royová – Slovak Kierkegaard?). Ostium, Internet journal for humanitarian science. Retrieved on 2011-08-19. “Na záver možno o Royovej povedať, že bola akýmsi slovenským variantom Kierkegaarda...”
  82. 82.0 82.1 Mark Avrum Ehrlich (2009). Encyclopedia of the Jewish Diaspora: Origins, Experiences, and Culture. ABC-CLIO. “1929 Soviet authorities establish a branch of the Militant Atheist-Marxist Association in Kyrgyzstan. More than 1,800 clerics – priests, rabbis, and mullahs – are denied their electoral rights. Nevertheless, Jews attempt to observe Jewish religious traditions in secret.” 
  83. Mihaela Robila (2004). Families in Eastern Europe. Emerald Group Publishing. “During several decades of state-sponsored 'militant atheism,' drastic methods were used to suppress and prohibit any expression of religious life. There was a forcible destruction of religious monuments, liquidation of churches, and mass deportation to Siberia of religious people and believers of different religions.” 
  84. Mark Bevir (2010). Encyclopedia of Political Theory, Volume 1. SAGE Publications. “Moreover, materialism simultaneously was expected to undermine religious faith, and the philosophes, despite their wide variety of religious views, were charged with a militant atheism bent on the destruction of church and throne alike. As these pillars of traditional society were under attack, Counter-Enlightenment writers predicted horrific scenes of anarchy, chaos, perversion, and bloodshed. When the French Revolution culminated in regicide and the Reign of Terror, the bloody warnings of the anti-philosophes suddenly appeared prophetic.” 
  85. Timothy Ferris (2008). The Science of Liberty: Democracy, Reason, and the Laws of Nature. Harper. “Locked up in the Luxembourg prison, he passed the time debating religion with his friend Anacharsis Cloots, a militant atheist, until Cloots was guillotined on March 24.” 
  86. John Keane (2003). Tom Paine: A Political Life. Harper. “nvariably, their conversations turned into heated arguments, with Paine resisting the militant atheism of Cloots, who regularly called himself “Jesus Christ's personal enemy” and berated Paine “for his credulity in still indulging so many religious and political prejudices."” 
  87. Jean-Pierre Gross (1997). Fair Shares for All: Jacobin Egalitarianism in Practice. Cambridge University Press. “It is not without significance in this regard that, while many of the confirmed terrorists were militant atheists, who took naturally to blasphemy and adhered to the dechristianisation movement in the autumn and winter of 1793, the moderates were often deists who shared Robespierre's and Tom Paine's belief in the usefulness of religion.” 
  88. Christine L. Krueger; George Stade; Karen Karbiener; Book Builders Llc (COR). Encyclopædia of British Writers: 19th and 20th Centuries. Infobase Publishing. “Holcroft, Thomas (1745–1809) playwright, novelist A militant atheist and a fervent believer in the individual's capacity for self-improvement, he was drawn into a circle of political and social radicals that included Thomas Paine, John Tooke, William Godwin, and Mary Wollstonecraft.” 
  89. 89.0 89.1 James Gray. Review of The French Revolution and the London Stage 1789–1805, by George Taylor. Cambridge University Press. “In two chapters devoted to reactions of the English stage to the Reign of Terror in France, Taylor notes that Thomas Holcroft (1745–1809), a militant atheist and a pro-Revolutionary zealot, helped to found in 1792 the London Corresponding Society, whose main aim was to connect with radical elements in Paris in the same year.”
  90. China in the 21st century. Oxford University Press. “China is still officially an atheist country, but many religions are growing rapidly, including evangelical Christianity (estimates of how many Chinese have converted to some form of Protestantism range widely, but at least tens of millions have done so) and various hybrid sects that combine elements of traditional creeds and belief systems (Buddhism mixed with local folk cults, for example).” 
  91. The State of Religion Atlas. Simon & Schuster. “Atheism continues to be the official position of the governments of China, North Korea and Cuba.” 
  92. 92.0 92.1 92.2 The New Blackwell Companion to the Sociology of Religion. Wiley-Blackwell. “As soon as the PRC was established, militant atheism compelled the party to impose control and limitations on religious suppliers. Foreign missionaries, who were considered a part of Western imperialism, were expelled, and cultic or heterodox sects that were regarded as reactionary organizations (fandong hui dao men), were banned. Further, major religions – Buddhism, Daoism, Islam, Catholicism, and Protestantism, which were difficult to eliminate and possesed diplomatic value for the isolated regime – were co-opted into national associations.” 
  93. 93.0 93.1 Bryan S. Turner. Religion and Modern Society: Citizenship, Secularisation and the State. Cambridge University Press. “The contrast between religion in American and militant atheism in China could not have been more stark or profound. While the Red Guards under Mao Zedong's leadership were busy destroying Buddhist pagodas, Catholic churches and Daoist temples, the Christian Right were equally busy condemning the communists.” 
  94. Julie Ching (1 January 2001). The Falun Gong: Religious and political implications. American Asian Review. Retrieved on 28 July 2011. “Now, Jiang is emphasizing the need for people, especially party members, to study politics. He accepts the threat of Falun Gong as an ideological one: spiritual beliefs against militant atheism and historical materialism. He wishes to purge the government and the military of such beliefs. His decision is in line with the suspicion of religious protest by the traditional Chinese state. As it turns out, the government's campaign against "evil cults" includes popular folk cults, as well as underground Christians-Catholics and Protestants who meet at house churches.”
  95. Fengang Yang (2004). "Between Secularist Ideology and Desecularizing Reality: The Birth and Growth of Religious Research in Communist China". Sociology of religion: 101. "Under the ride of the Chinese Communist Party, the scholarship of religious research in China has changed from virtual nonexistence in the first thirty years (1949–1979) to flourishing in the reform era (1979–present). Moreover, the predominant view on religion has moved away from militant atheism to a more scientific, objective and consequently more balanced approach to religion. This paper attempts to trace this intellectual history in China and to examine the role of academia in the religious scene. There are three distinct periods in this development: the domination of atheism from 1949 to 1979, the birth of religious research in the 1980s, and the growth of the scholarship in the 1990s, despite political restrictions. Religious research was intended by the government to serve atheist propaganda, but it grew into an independent academic discipline responsive to the desecularizing reality.". 
  96. Rodney Stark "Atheism, Faith and the Social Scientific Study of Religion" Journal of Contemporary Religion Vol 14 No 1 1999, pp. 41–62.
  97. Laurel Brake, Marysa Demoor (2009). Dictionary of nineteenth-century journalism in Great Britain and Ireland. Academia Press. “A well-set Sunday weekly* selling for 1 d, the Secular Review's stance was representative of a relatively moderate style of Secularism, sympathetic to socialism and aligned against the individualism and militant atheism of Charles Bradlaugh and his National Reformer. In its discussion of religion, philosophy, ethics, science and history, and in reviewing Secularism and 'what purports to be so, and is not', the title's stated domain of inquiry was 'this world, without implying disregard or denial of another' (Holyoake 1876).” 
  98. Craig Ott; Harold A. Netland (2006). Globalizing Theology: Belief and Practice in an Era of World Christianity. Baker Academic. “She was a close friend and coworker of Charles Bradlaugh, the militant atheist and first president of the National Secular Society (set up in 1866), and helped to edit his journal, the National Reformer.” 
  99. James Richard Moore (2002). History, Humanity and Evolution: Essays for John C. Greene. Cambridge University Press. “Though at first allied with the militant atheist Charles Bradlaugh (1833–91) and his National Secular Society (NSS), the elder Watts refused in 1877 to defend Bradlaugh's right to republish Knowlton's Fruits of Philosophy, a pamphlet on on birth control.” 
  100. Bryan S. Turner (2011). Religion and Modern Society: Citizenship, Secularisation and the State. Cambridge University Press. “Secularism, when under the inspiration of militant atheists such as Charles Bradlaugh, Member of Parliament for Northhampton in Great Britan, assumed a more striden, uncrompromising and critical relationship to religious belief.” 
  101. Madalyn Murray O'Hair. Agnostics. American Atheist Online Services. Retrieved on 2011-03-05. “Charles Bradlaugh was the first militant Atheist in the history of Western civilization. He was elected to the British parliament six times, and each time that body refused to seat him because he was an Atheist – and because he would not swear his allegiance to queen and country, so help him "God." Everyone in England knew Bradlaugh and his fight, and he raised the issue of Atheism to every person in public life as he sought allies.”
  102. Ian Hill Nish, Hugh Cortazzi (2003). Britain & Japan: Biographical Portraits. Psychology Press. “At South Place, Robert Young also came to know Charles Bradlaugh (1833–91), the first militant Atheist.” 
  103. The Debate Between Feuerbach and Stirner: An Introduction, in The Philosophical Forum 8, numbers 2–4, (1976) – available on the web here
  104. Annie Wood Besant (2003). Theosophist Magazine Collection 1920–1955. Kessinger Publishing. “Madame Blavatsky, a Russian, suspected of being a spy, converted Anglo-Indians to a passionate belief in her Theosophy mission, even when the Jingo fever was the hottest, and in her declining years she succeeded in winning over to the new-old religion Annie Besant, who had for years fought in the forefront of the van of militant atheism.” 
  105. Joel H. Spring (2001). Globalization and educational rights: an intercivilizational analysis. Psychology Press. “Annie Besant had an important influence on Nehru's family and on social reform in India. Born in 1847, she was known in England as 'Red Annie' because of her activities as a militant atheist, socialist, and trade union organizer.” 
  106. S. W. Jackman, Sydney Wayne Jackman (2003). Deviating voices: women and orthodox religious tradition. James Clarke & Co.. “The final chapter of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky's life was to be shared with the individual who probably became her most famous disciple, namely, Annie Besant, who had had two children while married to an Anglican clergyman, but was now a militant atheist and radical.” 
  107. Gerard Mannion (2003). Schopenhauer, religion and morality: the humble path to ethics. Ashgate Publishing. “This work challenges the textbook assessment of Schopenhauer as militant atheist and absolute pessimist.” 
  108. Jean-François Marmontel (1895). Marmontel's Moral Tales. Ballantyne, Hanson & Co.. “It certainly stopped altogether short of the militant atheism of the Holbachian coterie; and it may be doubtful whether, except in the ardour of the novitiate, it reached Voltaire's dislike of positive creeds.” 
  109. 109.0 109.1 Gerald Robert McDermott (2000). Jonathan Edwards Confronts the Gods: Christian Theology, Enlightenment Religion, and Non-Christian Faiths. Oxford University Press. “The Holbachians were disciples of Baron d'Holbach, a militant atheist who opposed both Christianity and desim (because it was theistic).” 
  110. Hyam Maccoby (2006). Antisemitism and Modernity: Innovation and Continuity. Psychology Press. “The Holbachians formed a considerable atheistic movement, which specialized in attacking Judaism as a means of denigrating its offshoot Christianity.” 
  111. George Weigel (1992). The Final Revolution: The Resistance Church and the Collapse of Communism. Oxford University Press. “As his former colleague and biographer Andrzej Micewiski puts it, Cardinal Wyszyński decided, during his imprisonment, "to defend the faith of the nation against militant atheism by means of the power of the Virgin Mary." Crushed under two totalitarianisms since 1939, "the national and the Church would be that the country be freed from unwanted, imposed political submission," through the intercession of the Holy Mother.” 
  112. Herbert Wallace Schneider (1964). Religion in 20th Century America. Athenæum. “For behind the theoretical formulations lie several important legal decisions and group conflicts, all of which tended to weaken the position of the few remaining militant atheists or freethinkers and of the many anticlericals...” 
  113. Will Herberg (1983). Protestant, Catholic, Jew: an essay in American religious sociology. University of Chicago Press. “Herbert W. Schneider speaks of the 'dwindling band of radical secularists' and the 'few remaining militant atheists and freethinkers' (Herbert Wallace Schneider, Religion in 20th Century America [Harvard, 1952], pp. 32, 31, 65).” 
  114. 114.0 114.1 (2004) Fascism: Post-war fascisms. Taylor & Francis. “Mussolini did not have any philosophy: he only had rhetoric. He was a militant atheist at the beginning and alter signed the Convention with the Church and welcomed the bishops who blessed the Fascist pennants. In his early anticerlical years, according to a likely legend, he once asked God, in order to prove His existence, to strike him down on the spot.” 
  115. United States. Directorate for Armed Forces Information and Education (1962). Ideas in Conflict: Writing about the Great Issues of Civilization. Wadsworth Publishing. “He became a militant atheist at an early age and throughout his life, flouted the conventions of Christain morality.” 
  116. William Henry Chamberlin (1941). The World's Iron Age. The Macmillan Company. “Fascism, according to the former militant atheist Mussolini, 'respects the God of the ascetics, of the saints, of the heroes and also God as prayed to by the primitive heart of the people.'” 
  117. Maxine Block, E. Mary Trow (1942). Current Biography: Who's News and Why, 1942. H. W. Wilson Company. “It was also pointed out that Mussolini had been a militant atheist and that the accord with the Pope was one the latter would one day regret, although the Catholic Church had supported the crusade for nationalism and "against Bolshevism.” 
  118. Alfred Mitchell Bingham (1942). Man's estate: adventures in economic discovery. W. W. Norton & Company. “Mussolini was a militant atheist, a militant republican, and a militant Marxist, before he became a fascist.” 
  119. Jasper Godwin Ridley (2000). Mussolini: a biography. Cooper Square Press. “Mussolini, like all the Socialists of the Romagna, had adopted the militant atheism of the Italian Socialist movement.” 
  120. (2002) Five Moral Pieces. Mariner Books. “He started out as a militant atheist, only to sign the Concordat with the Church and to consort with the bishops who blessed the Fascist banners.” 
  121. New Atheist Novel: Fiction, Philosophy and Polemic after 9/11. Continuum International Publishing Group. Retrieved on 2011-03-05. “As we will see, all four have expressed support - whether enthusiastically or more guardedly - for the New Atheism in one form or another: McEwan and Amis have written and spoken admirably of Dawkins, Dennett, Hitchens and Harris on many occasions; Pullman has published an appreciative essay on Dawkins whereas Rushdie has made public comments in support of Hitchens. However, the New Atheist novel is much more than simply a fictionalization of the peculiar cluster of beliefs - militant atheism, evolutionary biology, neuroscience and even political Neo-Conservatism - that make up the New Atheist creed.” 
  122. Elaine A. Heath (2008). Mystic Way of Evangelism. Baker Academic. “Richard Dawkins's Foundation for Reason and Science is out to debunk religion, which Dawkins calls "the God delusion." His book of the same title is a best seller, and Dawkins is not alone. Sam Harris, Daniel C. Dennett, Victor J. Stenger, and Christopher Hitchens are only a handful of militant atheists who are convinced Christianity is toxic to human life.”
  123. 123.0 123.1 Marcelo Gleiser (2010). A Tear at the Edge of Creation. Simon & Schuster. “Scientists such as Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris, philosopher Daniel Dennett, and British journalist and polemicist Christopher Hitchens, a group sometimes referred to as "the Four Horsemen," have taken the offensive, deeming religious belief a form of "delusion," a dangerous kind of collective madness that has wreaked havoc upon the world for millennia. Their rhetoric is the emblem of a militant radical atheism, a view I believe is as inflammatory and intolerant as that of the religious fundamentalists they criticize.”
  124. 124.0 124.1 124.2 124.3 Fiala, Andrew. "Militant atheism, pragmatism, and the God-shaped hole". International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 65 (3): 139–151. http://www.springerlink.com/content/qp43432050116373/. 
  125. 125.0 125.1 Michael Babcock (2008). Unchristian America. Tyndale House. “The change in tone is most evident in the writings of the so-called New Atheists – Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens – men who have been trying to accelerate a process that's been under way for centuries.”
  126. Bass, Thomas A. (1994). Reinventing the future: Conversations with the World's Leading Scientists. Addison Wesley. ISBN 978-0-201-62642-1. “I am a fairly militant atheist, with a fair degree of active hostility toward religion. I certainly was hostile toward it at school, from the age of about sixteen onwards. I mellowed a bit in my twenties and thirties. But I'm getting more militant again now.” 
  127. Brian Mountford. Christian Atheist: Belonging Without Believing. John Hunt Publishing. “Paul 'There's a third description of Christian Atheism you might call 'anti-militant-atheism.' That's to say, an atheism with different priorities from Dawkins or Hitchens; a position that doesn't regard trying to convince people that God doesn't exist as the most important intellectual task in our society. Under the cateogry of anti-militant-atheism you would be saying that religious belief doesn't hold up anything important enough to justify Dawkins in refuting it. So to people like Dawkins and Hitchens one is inclined to say, get a life. Their militant atheism is unattractive and extreme, in such a way that I might be tempted to soften it by taking a halfway position.'” 
  128. (2007) Studies: an Irish quarterly review. Talbot Press. “The leader of militant atheism in this part of the world is Richard Dawkins, a zoologist by training, who holds a chair founded for him at Oxford University.” 
  129. Gillian Greenwood. The Literary Review. Fairleigh Dickinson University. “Yet there is something wrong with Dawkins. He has an obsessive hatred of God or, as he would put it, the idea of God and those who propagate the idea. His life is dominated by his militant atheism.” 
  130. William H. Swatos, Daniel V. A. Olson (2000). The Secularization Debate. Rowman & Littlefield. “But, aren't some scientists militant atheists who write books to discredit religion – Richard Dawkins and Carl Sagan for example? Of course. But, it also is worth note that most of those, like Dawkins and Sagan, are marginal to the scientific community for lack of significant scientific work. And possibly even more important is the fact that theologians (cf., Cupitt 1997) and professors of religious studies (cf., Mack 1996) are a far more prolific source of popular works of atheism.” 
  131. Philip Andrew Quadrio, Carrol Besseling (2009). Politics and Religion in the New Century: Philosophical Reflections. Sydney University Press. “There is, therefore, a particular irony in the most recent spate of militant atheist attacks on the irrationality of religious belief (Dennett 2006; Dawkins 2006; Hitchens 2007; Harris 2004, 2007) which are, at the same time, the most conspicuous examples of slavish commitment to crude, popular ethnic stereotypes, combined with an almost delusional misrepresentation of the facts of recent history. These militant atheists use the rhetoric of critical rationality to wage ideological warfare, not just against religion, but against Muslims.” 
  132. Michael Ruse (1999). Mystery of mysteries: is evolution a social construction?. Harvard University Press. “On reading Dawkins's more recent writings, where he has appointed himself the spokesman for militant atheism as well as militant Darwinism, one might be tempted to link the two.” 
  133. Michael Ruse (2009). Philosophy after Darwin: classic and contemporary readings. Princeton University Press. “To be sure, there are militant Darwinian atheists such as Richard Dawkins. But I see no reason to accept the claim of people like Dawkins that Darwinian science dictates atheism.” 
  134. Sheiman 2009 p. 172. "Militant atheists like Dawkins, Hitchens, and Harris go to great lengths in their books to relegate religion to the lowest cultural status while placing reason and science well above it. The portray science in idealized terms, untainted by commercial interests, political intrusions, and ethical conundrums. But when militant atheists portray religion, they critique every political and organizational misdeed that can be attributed to it. Militant atheists speak of organized religion, but not, correspondingly, of organized science. To be fair, militant atheists need to view religion in the same sanitized way as they view science – or understand science through the same lens of doubt and skepticism as they view religion.
  135. Mark A. Kellner. Is Aggressive Atheism Ascending?. Adventist Review. Retrieved on 2011-03-05. “In his book, Dawkins likens philosopher Michael Ruse, a Florida State University philosophy professor who has worked on the creationism/evolution debate in public schools, to Neville Chamberlain, the British prime minister best known for his appeasement policy toward Nazi Germany. Ruse, in turn, accuses "militant atheism" of not extending the same professional and academic courtesy to religion that it demands from others. Atheism's new dogmatic streak is not that different from the religious extremists it calls to task, Ruse said.”
  136. M. Paulli, Spoils split at 'Nibbie' awards
  137. Johann Harri in The Independent
  138. The Belief Trap: The evolutionary explanation of religion gets stuck. By Judith Shulevitz, Slate 8 March 2006.
  139. The New American Vol. 18, No. 15, 29 July 2002.
  140. The Tablet. Tablet Pub. Co. (2004). “As soon as her appointment was announced, Carmen Argibay told journalists she was a 'militant atheist' and in favour of relaxing the strict abortion laws. Her declarations were met with a barrage of criticism from Catholic media.”
  141. The Catholic world report. Ignatius Press (2004). “Argentine President Nestor Kirchner has proposed Carmen Argibay, who has described herself as a "militant atheist" and proponent of legal abortion, to be a member of the Supreme Court.”
  142. The epistles of Saint Paul. The Guardian. Retrieved on 2011-03-05. “Paul Foot, militant atheist, revolutionary socialist and a man who couldn't listen to a pious sentiment without barking out a guffaw, would have agreed.”
  143. Blase DiStefano. "Foul-Mouthed and Funny", OutSmart, June 2007. Retrieved on 2007-07-01. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. 
  144. "Militant atheists: too clever for their own good"
  145. 145.0 145.1 Charles Moore. Militant atheists: too clever for their own good. Brill Academic Publishers. Retrieved on 10 March 2011. “I feel that atheism may be acquiring precisely those characteristics that atheists so dislike about religion intolerance, dogmatism, righteousness, moral contempt for one's opponents. Dawkins also tells us that "there are very few atheists in prison". He suggests that "atheism is correlated with higher education, intelligence or reflectiveness, which might counteract criminal impulses". What begins to emerge – and it lurked strongly behind the anti-religion side of the Intelligence Squared debate – is the idea that atheism is an elite state, a superior order of being, a plane of enlightenment denied to thickoes.” 
  146. Raj Persaud. Holy visions elude scientists. Retrieved on 10 March 2011. “So the BBC Science series Horizon took up the challenge by putting his hat to the ultimate test: could he get arch-sceptic and militant atheist Prof Richard Dawkins to start believing in God by electrically massaging his temporal lobes? Prof Dawkins, author of A Devil's Chaplain, was the ideal candidate for the latest test of whether science can now explain away religion, given his famously virulent views on religion, attacking it as a "virus of the mind" and an "infantile regression".” 
  147. Science versus Religion. Quadrant Magazine February 2007
  148. Theo Hobson. Atheism is pretentious and cowardly. Retrieved on 10 March 2011. “God knocking is on the increase but the criticisms levelled at religion by militant atheists are often crude and short-sighted.” 
  149. http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Secular-Philosophies/Why-I-Am-Hostile-Toward-Religion.aspx
  150. Melanie Phillips (16 October 2008). The culture war for the White House. The Spectator. Retrieved on 2007-12-31. “I see this financial breakdown, moreover, as being not merely a moral crisis but the monetary expression of the broader degradation of our values – the erosion of duty and responsibility to others in favour of instant gratification, unlimited demands repackaged as ‘rights’ and the loss of self-discipline. And the root cause of that erosion is ‘militant atheism’ which, in junking religion, has destroyed our sense of anything beyond our material selves and the here and now and, through such hyper-individualism, paved the way for the onslaught on bedrock moral values expressed through such things as family breakdown and mass fatherlessness, educational collapse, widespread incivility, unprecedented levels of near psychopathic violent crime, epidemic drunkenness and drug abuse, the repudiation of all authority, the moral inversion of victim culture, the destruction of truth and objectivity and a corresponding rise in credulousness in the face of lies and propaganda – and intimidation and bullying to drive this agenda into public policy.”
  151. Decca Aitkenhead (3 April 2011 21.00 BST). AC Grayling: 'How can you be a militant atheist? It's like sleeping furiously'. The Guardian. Retrieved on 2011-06-28. “Even if this is true, however, the atheist movement has been accused of shooting itself in the foot by adopting a tone so militant as to alienate potential supporters, and fortify the religious lobby.”
  152. Peter C. Kent; John Francis Pollard (1994). Papal Diplomacy in the Modern Age. The Guardian. “Militant atheism must be resisted by the Church militant.”
  153. 153.0 153.1 Simon Blackburn (5 March 2009). Divine Irony. Times Higher Education (THE). Retrieved on 2007-12-31. “I suspect that many professional philosophers, including ones such as myself who have no religious beliefs at all, are slightly embarrassed, or even annoyed, by the voluble disputes between militant atheists and religious apologists... The annoyance comes partly because of the strong sense of deja vu. But it is not just that old tunes are being replayed, but that they are being replayed badly. The classic performance was given by David Hume in his Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion”
  154. (19 October 2009) The New Atheism and Secular Humanism. Center for Inquiry. “Paul Kurtz, considered by many the father of the secular humanist movement, is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the State University of New York at Buffalo.” 
  155. 155.0 155.1 155.2 Kurtz 1994 p. 250 "Ranged against the true believer are the militant atheists, who adamantly reject the faith as false stupid, and reactionary. They consider all religious believers to be gullbile fools and claim that they are given to accepting gross exaggerations and untenable premises. Historic religious claims, they think, are totally implausbile, unbelievable, disreputable, and controvertible, for they go beyond the bounds of reason. Militant atheists can find no value at all to any religious beliefs or institutions. They resist any effort to engage in inquiry or debate. Madalyn Murray O'Hair is as arrogant in her rejection of religion as is the true believer in his or her profession of faith. This form of atheism thus becomes mere dogma.
  156. Catherine Fahringer, The militant atheist, Freethought Today, October 1997.
  157. Ken Klukowski (28 July 2011 5:25 PM). Court dismisses militant atheists' federal suit against Texas Gov. Rick Perry. The Washington Examiner. Retrieved on 31 July 2011. “A militant atheist group, the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), filed a federal lawsuit to prevent Perry from being involved in the event.”
  158. Decca Aitkenhead (3 April 2011 21.00 BST). AC Grayling: 'How can you be a militant atheist? It's like sleeping furiously'. The Guardian. Retrieved on 2011-06-28. “Well, firstly, I think the charges of militancy and fundamentalism of course come from our opponents, the theists. My rejoinder is to say when the boot was on their foot they burned us at the stake. All we're doing is speaking very frankly and bluntly and they don't like it," he laughs.”
  159. Decca Aitkenhead (3 April 2011 21.00 BST). AC Grayling: 'How can you be a militant atheist? It's like sleeping furiously'. The Guardian. Retrieved on 2011-06-28. “"And besides, really," he adds with a withering little laugh, "how can you be a militant atheist? How can you be militant non-stamp collector? This is really what it comes down to. You just don't collect stamps. So how can you be a fundamentalist non-stamp collector?”
  160. Oliver Burkeman (5 April 2011). On “militant atheists”. Retrieved on 12 July 2011. “Grayling’s argument is a close cousin of another one that’s annoyingly common in the otherwise sensible atheist/rationalist/skeptic/anti-pseudoscience movements: the implication that if you’re arguing from a position of scientific rationalism, you must be motivated by nothing but a dispassionate quest for the truth...What distinguishes the two sides isn’t that the rationalist one is dispassionate, but that it happens to be right. If you go around promoting your position that it’s best for people not to believe in gods, via public speaking or books or vigorous debates down the pub, you are a) actively promoting a position and b) doing so for some inner psychological reason other than the mere fact that there isn’t a god. You have an ulterior motive. That’s not a criticism: everyone always does. But you’re not just not collecting stamps.”

Further reading

  • Militant Atheism: the World-Wide Propaganda of Communism by Michel d' Herbigny. Publisher: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (1933) ASIN: B0008BM36U
  • New Myth, New World: From Nietzsche to Stalinism by Bernice Glatzer Rosenthal. Publisher: Pennsylvania State University Press (November 2002) ISBN 978-0271022185
  • Nietzsche and Soviet Culture: Ally and Adversary (Cambridge Studies in Russian Literature) various authors edited by Bernice Glatzer Rosenthal. Publisher: Cambridge University Press ISBN 978-0521452816
  • What the God-seekers found in Nietzsche: The Reception of Nietzsches Übermensch by the Philosophers of the Russian Religious Renaissance. (Studies in Slavic Literature & Poetics) by Nel Grillaert. Publisher: Rodopi (October 22, 2008) ISBN 978-9042024809
  • Stalin's Holy War Religion, Nationalism, and Alliance Politics, 1941–1945 by Steven Merritt Miner. Copyright 2002 by the University of North Carolina Press ISBN 0-8078-2736-3
  • Nietzsche in Russia Publisher by Bernice Glatzer Rosenthal. Princeton Univ Pr ISBN 978-0691102092
  • Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical by Chris Matthew Sciabarra. Publisher: Pennsylvania State University Press ISBN 0271014415
  • The Returns of History: Russian Nietzscheans After Modernity by Dragan Kujundzic. Publisher: State University of New York Press ISBN 978-0791432341
  • A History of Soviet Atheism in Theory, and Practice, and the Believer, vol 1: A History of Marxist-Leninist Atheism and Soviet Anti-Religious Policies, by Dimitry V. Pospielovsky. Palgrave Macmillan, ISBN 0312381328
  • Soviet Antireligious Campaigns and Persecutions (History of Soviet Atheism in Theory and Practice and the Believers, Vol 2),Dimitry Pospielovsky, (November, 1987), Palgrave Macmillan, ISBN 0312009054
  • Soviet Studies on the Church and the Believer's Response to Atheism: A History of Soviet Atheism in Theory and Practice and the Believers, Vol 3, Dimitry Pospielovsky, (August, 1988), Palgrave Macmillan, hardcover: ISBN 0312012918, paperback edition: ISBN 0312012926
  • Great Soviet encyclopedia, ed. A. M. Prokhorov (New York: Macmillan, London: Collier Macmillan, 1974–1983) 31 volumes, three volumes of indexes.
  • The Russian Church and the Soviet State by John Shelton Curtiss, 1917–1950 (Boston: Little, Brown, 1953)
  • Storming the Heavens: The Soviet League of the Militant Godless by Daniel Peris Cornell University Press 1998 ISBN 9780801434853
  • Sacred causes : the clash of religion and politics from the Great War to the War on Terror by Michael Burleigh Paperback: 576 pages Publisher: Harper Perennial (March 11, 2008) ISBN 978-0060580964
  • Religious and anti-religious thought in Russia By George Louis Kline The Weil Lectures Published in 1968, University Press (Chicago)
  • "Godless Communists": Atheism and Society in Soviet Russia 1917–1932. by William B. Husband DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press. 2000. Pp. xviii, 241. $36.00.
  • A History of Russia. Nicholas V. Riasanovsky and Mark D. Steinberg. 7th ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004, 800 pages. ISBN 0195153944
  • Walter Kolarz, How Russia is Ruled, London, Batchworth Press, 1953, pgs. 83-87, "The League of Militant Godless "

External links