Sunday, September 16, 2012

'Saturday's Hunter' - Iranian film in which Jews build war machine to take over the world

In light of the global wave of thuggery and violence which has greeted the 'Islamophobic' film Innocence of Muslims, it is interesting to learn that Iran has sponsored an outrageously anti-Semitic film called Saturday's Hunter, which was not only screened at a film festival in Tehran; it has featured in many publications and on local television networks and social networks.

The plot centers around Zionist Rabbi Hanan, an Orthodox Jew wearing a skullcap with long side curls, who takes on his grandson Benjamin (..note the choice of name..) to teach him to create a war machine to destroy all the nations. Little Benjamin completes the transformation that his grandfather wanted to make him into a fearless warrior. "You should not kill people," the grandson says and his grandfather answers: "Only Jews you can not kill."

The Middle East Media Research Institute provide a helpful translation:

Title: "Saturday Hunter"
Woman: "I am Jacqueline, your beautiful nurse."
Cut to another scene
Rabbi Hanan to grandson Benjamin: "You should be grateful to God that He did not create us as women."
Cut to another scene
Rabbi Hanan to woman: "In order to fend off immorality, I hereby purify this woman."
Cut to another scene
Rabbi Hanan: "This is the rule of Hanan."
Cut to another scene
Rabbi Hanan: "Marry me."
Woman: "I can't."
Rabbi Hanan: "I will buy you God's paradise for all eternity.
"God, shave all our sins away from our skins and our bones."
Woman: But I am a Christian. I don't understand the Jews."
Rabbi Hanan: "We don't insist on religious women."
Cut to another scene
Title: "Saturday Hunter"
Rabbi Hanan to Arab: "We are the children of Abraham. Now, who are you?"
Cut to another scene
Benjamin: "In the Holy Book it is written that killing is forbidden."
Rabbi Hanan: "You idiot, the killing of Jews is forbidden.
"We seek peace."
Footage of battlefield
"We are civilized people"
Footage of battlefield
"This is war, you infidels. Don't you get it? It's war."
Footage of battlefield
"The whole world is waiting for you in silence."
Benjamin: "Oh, God!"
Rabbi Hanan:"God waits for you in silence as well."
Footage of battlefield
Rabbi Hanan: "You must not betray the Jews."
Palestinian: "I never want to taste failure or humiliation.
"There is nowhere for you to flee. They will kill you."
Cut to another scene
Rabbi Hanan: "Never reveal your inner thoughts to anyone."

The Elder of Ziyon blog informs us that Menashe Amir, Israel Radio commentator on Iranian affairs, said that prominent Jewish community leaders (in Iran) sent letters of protest to the government in response to the movie, but got no answer. The director of the film, however, sent them a strong response, arguing that 'Judaism is a symbol of evil' and that 'these films will continue and will be filmed in the future'.

Not all Iranians are anti-Semitic, of course: this film has more than a whiff of Ahmadinejad propaganda about it, in preparation for the imminent Israeli onslaught against Iran's nuclear programme. The difference, of course, is the response: Jews in the West are not rioting or burning down Iranian embassies (or, indeed, those of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, etc., etc.). They are generally more secure about their God and relaxed about 'Judeophobic' misrepresentations of their faith. Doubtless they'll wearily watch this Saturday's Hunter and, with a smile and a shrug of the shoulders, raise a glass and greet each other with 'L'Shana Tova'.

They've seen it all before.


Blogger appendix said...

Wow, I think you have a good chance of winning this year's "stating the bloody obvious" Palme D'Or.

16 September 2012 at 07:24  
Blogger Roy said...

@ appendix said...

Wow, I think you have a good chance of winning this year's "stating the bloody obvious" Palme D'Or.

Your remark gives the impression that you think that nobody should draw any attention to the hypocrisy of Muslim protestors.

16 September 2012 at 09:15  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

Double standards.

Why am I not suprised?

16 September 2012 at 09:17  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I wonder whether the differing reactions to these films are at least partly down to surrounding liberal values, including freedom of speech and expression, rather than confidence in the religion.

16 September 2012 at 11:49  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Or it could be the "liberal values" are a product of the religious values of the religion. Islam, as a religion, is hardly capable of adopting such values. Individual Muslims maybe when away from the insanity of the Middle East.

16 September 2012 at 13:53  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Fellows, freedom of individual expression is one thing. State sponsored propaganda is another. One hopes the subtlety is not lost on you, unlike Greg Tingey...

16 September 2012 at 14:03  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "Or it could be the "liberal values" are a product of the religious values of the religion."

When the Catholic Church had significant temporal power, there wasn't much in the way of freedom of speech or expression. In fact, freedom and diversity were much frowned upon too. So, no, it seems rather unlikely.

16 September 2012 at 14:56  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Thank you for the Sunday morning chuckles, You Grace. A version of the trailer with subtitles at the right scenes can be found at MEMRI TV, Lots of other good stuff there too, including a recent one of your George Galloway who, with his aplomb and hyperbolae, appears to have completed his full conversion to Islamist lunacy:

My guess is that the film's popular for the same reason we kids used to watch and snicker at cheesy propaganda flicks back in the commie days: Hilariously over the top acting, but nice chicks, plenty sexual tension, gory violence and fun pyrotechnics. With Iran's women all covered up in public, getting a peek at a pretty face must equal triple-x porn over there. Did you know that the film's director, Mohammad Ghahremani, has been going around saying that he fears for his life, but is bravely ready for martyrdom?

And very unusual props, Your Grace. Unlike in the West where the sterotypical Jew is a swarthy type like me, the "sneaky red-haired Jew" is the ticket in the Middle East and the Balkans. And what's with the "rabbi" lounging about in a fancily-trimmed prayer shawl while not at prayer, the kind of shawl usually favoured by our liberal congregations? And a quill at his desk? An iPhone would be more like it; our rabbis are addicted to them. For a trailer tank of Iranian diesel to feed my voracious truck with I might consider providing some expert consultation...and better wigs and hair dyes.

16 September 2012 at 15:05  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder if this is a reaction to getting their nuclear scientists assasinated

16 September 2012 at 15:24  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

To whom it may concern:

Take the time to watch the 20-minute clip on MEMRI. The trailer attached to this weblog post does not truly explain the film. It is a much more vile film than this short trailer would indicate.


16 September 2012 at 15:47  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...


And why the assumption that it was Israel's hit? The Saudis and the Gulf states are more lkely candidates. The Saudis even went as far to let it be publicly known that they will provide Israeli aircraft a safe air corridor in the event of a strike. That means mid-air refueling, without which any airbortne attack would be impossible. You do know that Iranian a-bombs strapped to mid-range missiles would work equally well on Jews as well as on non-Jews ...on US ME bases, in neighbouring countries and the whole of Europe... right? Not to mention nukes hidden in commercial freighters or tankers off harbours anywhere in the world.

16 September 2012 at 16:13  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Syrian TV produced a similar film in the early naughties reusing the European Catholic Christian idea of gentile children’s blood being used as part of the Passover Ritual (an idea often used to fuel many of the pogroms of medieval Europe and even continued into 20th century East European Catholic culture (e.g. the pogroms which took place in Poland in the immediate post-war era)). Indeed it is rather ironic that we (here in the West – and Christians in particular) can get so superciliously superior when it comes to Islamic hate-mongers as there are plenty of examples of similar hate campaigns throughout Christian history. I think Pope Benedict’s call for freedom of religious belief and conscience is rather ironic given so much of the Catholic Church’s history has been bound up with promoting the very opposite – usually by means of horrific torture and violence. It demonstrates rather well how modern day Christianity owes a good deal to Enlightenment thinking, concerning the rights of the individual (tho’ of course only when it suits). Religion, by its very nature (saved, unsaved, righteous, unrighteous, believers, unbelievers etc.) is inherently discriminating and to pretend otherwise, is facile and/or self-deceiving.

I have little liking or sympathy for our Islamic brethren – nor do the excesses of Judaism or Christianity thrill me either. At present it is Muslims who are doing the killing – for centuries it was the Christians – and before that (if we believe that catalogue of blood lust, putatively known as the Old Testament) the Jews weren’t (and aren’t?) above the odd ‘Jihad’ by another name. Religion: it really fucks up the world don’t it?

16 September 2012 at 16:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did not provide that assumption Avi and do not believe the Jews to be Israel

Although some believe the House of Saud to be Jews, complicated World

16 September 2012 at 16:36  
Blogger John Magee said...

"My guess is that the film's popular for the same reason we kids used to watch and snicker at cheesy propaganda flicks back in the commie days: Hilariously over the top acting, but nice chicks, plenty sexual tension, gory violence and fun pyrotechnics."

"Commie days"?


Gosh. Could that be the time after 1945 when the USSR had taken over all of Eastern Europe and those people's freedoms and self interests destroyed and dissidents there shipped off to the Soviet Gulag in box cars and Western Europe faced the very real threat of the Warsaw Pact led by the USSR invading Western Europe? This was of course considered, then and now, "propaganda" and snickered at by Western Marxist's and their brats. China had been taken over in 1949 by Mao and his Communist thugs with at least 150 million to die there in decades to come?, the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 when in Budapest alone the invading Soviet Army kille dat least 50,000 Hunagrian freedom fighters?. How about and the Berlin Wall built by East Germany to keep it's people imprisoned in their police state with orders to shoot and kill would be escapers (and they did) who dared try and cross the Wall and the East German border?... Then there was Cambodia, Laos , and Viet Nam after 1975 and the holocast there.

People who sat comfortably and enjoyed their freedoms and security in some obscure Western country back then and watched those "cheesy movies" and snicker would consider those "commie days" a joke today.

Those who lived through those times not so long ago didn't then and still don't.

Interesting that the Cold War era is brushed off so casually by some here.

I guess it's who's ox is being goared at the time that makes suffering and national survival important from their point of view.

16 September 2012 at 16:59  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Uh, Magee, we lived in Prague, Dad was active in the Prague Spring of '68, I saw Russians and Warsaw Pact forces roll in, had our place ransacked by Soviet troopers looking for food. We to make a run to Austria through Yugoslavia because Dad had been painting huge anti-occu[pation ,posters and speaking on the free Czech radio service while it was operating. If you wanna see what I looked like as a littler Avi, there's a footage of a rally with Dubcek and Svoboda and in the crowd a little boy sitting on top of his father's shoulder taking a picture of Dubcek. Dubcek laughs, borrows the camera and takes a photo of us. My 2 minutes of fame.

The commie propaganda I'm talking about is the stuff we had to watch in Czechoslovakia.

16 September 2012 at 17:21  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

PS, Magee, I had to watch as one of the Russian soldiers took apart and "confiscated" my fancy battery-operated East German-made train set. But didn't care much at the time because Mom from screaming as she went into hysterics and I was bawling my eyes out because I thought it was all somehow my fault. Dad was busy trying to keep us calm as the troopers were getting somewhat irritated by the spectacle and they had big, black ugly guns. A should've-been-there moment.

So, go ahead ask me again how much I weep for Russia, and why I have it in for the Putin putka (c*nt) and his whore of a former KGB "patriarch."

16 September 2012 at 17:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace,

Looks like Goebbels has managed to find employment in Iran and as ever some chaps here seem to have been sucked into the propaganda vortex.

This makes me reflect that the fanatics running the Iranian regime are holding their breath that Obama will be re-elected so that they can progress unhindered to the creation of their genocide atomic bomb.

16 September 2012 at 17:40  
Blogger John Magee said...


Isn't it stunning that that the Cold War era and the very real threat by the Soviet Union of invading Western Europe through the Fulda Gap on the East German border with West Germany from the 1950's up to it's collapse in 1991 in is called "propaganda" from the "commie days" by people here and brushed off as a joke in 2012?

The cost to the USA and NATO nations to prevent this very real possibility was enormous and sucked out trillions of dollars,pounds, Deutsch marks, and lire, and other members of of NATO national budgets and today it's all pooh poohed by a few here just like the tens of millions killed in the USSR from 1918 to 1991.

What short and selective memories about recent history some people have here and want the rest of to share.

In spite of this flippant attitude about the Cold War and the enormous cost to my country and other NATO nations and disrupting our all of our lives lives from the late 1940'a until 1991 it was a noble cause and we won.The USSR is in the trash bin of history where it belongs. It left an ocean of it's people's blood behind.

I will still support Israel in any war with Iran. I can't hold it against Israel for the foolish things a few of it's supporters abroad with their sellective memories and support and defense of the former USSR and all it stood for believe.

16 September 2012 at 17:51  
Blogger Naomi King said...

Bravo John Magee of course we must support Israel whatever happens.

16 September 2012 at 18:45  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I do not find it strange that such institutions robbed us of fortunes pretending to fight a foe that kills millions

Nor do I find it strange that we are being robbed today, why those same institutions kill millions

Nor will I find it strange when someone turns up claiming to be a saviour, you will probably kill millions in his name

Behind all these titles lurks a devious sacrificial cult

16 September 2012 at 19:06  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

bone. Behind all these titles lurks a devious sacrificial cult

Heard of this theory before. One thinks the truth of the matter is that behind it all lies self preservation. And what better way to preserve yourself, than to wipe out a potential enemy before he does same to you. ‘Sacrifice’ isn’t the word for it., as this implies a cost to one’s self. Paying tribute is. And the justification of this tribute is the cost to yourself of what is required to get to this stage. The most base of tribute is that of the enemy reducing it’s population for you...

There you go, didn’t mention religion once...

16 September 2012 at 19:29  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How ironic that the Iranians are feverishly working away on their atomic bomb that they accuse Israel of constructing a 'death machine'.

With all the threats coming from Iran and militant Islam there can be little doubt who is the biggest threat to peace in the Middle East.

16 September 2012 at 19:33  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Your comprehension software's glitching again, Magee. Read my posts and get consultation from the nearest English language speaker. And don't give me all this Western sacrifice during the Cold War. When the Russkies took over Prague, we thought the great brave Wst would at least give them a hard time. poltroons abandoned us. Nothing but a lot of "relpolitik," peace marches, navel gazing, body painting and rock concerts. Czechs under the bus again. If you had only known how stretched for equipment the "best" of the USSR troops were, how lost, poor in equipment, out of food, demoralized and scared they were. Fulda Gap my arse, their crappy equipment would have broken down before they made through Poland and they would've been eating their own shoes.

16 September 2012 at 20:00  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...


"When the Catholic Church had significant temporal power, there wasn't much in the way of freedom of speech or expression. In fact, freedom and diversity were much frowned upon too. So, no, it seems rather unlikely."

Can you be more specific? I study a period of history where you could get away with an enormous amount of both speech and action (including actions hostile to the Church), but in which the Church is usually imagined to have been at the zenith of its power. Intriguingly enough, the first real attempt in England to ramp up heresy charges into something resembling the modern notion of thought-crimes (De Heretico Comburendo) coincided with the overthrow of Richard II, and an archbishop heavily involved in the Henrecian propaganda machine going into overdrive to secure its initially tenuous hold on power.

It's also worth noting that in the vast majority of nations, the Church held virtually no temporal power to compel others. It could excommunicate - but in most countries it relied on the secular authorities to enforce its excommunication, which of course they did when it suited them, and ignored when it didn't, or involved anyone favoured at court. In England, although the Church could make certain judgements about religious matters, and on its own property could hold ecclesiastical courts, it had literally no power without the State. In virtually all cases, it had to submit multiple writs, in quite complicated legal processes before any of its judgements could be actioned (assuming the secular authorities agreed).

Maybe you were referring to the Papal States? I have to confess, I'm not enormously familiar with their history.

16 September 2012 at 20:13  
Blogger non mouse said...

It's interesting, Your Grace, how zealots do inform against themselves: simply because they force themselves and their hatred upon others.

Perhaps Britain’s post-war generation was unique in that it seemed, at first, relatively without zealotry. It benefitted from the freedom so hard won by our fathers, our Greatest Generation; and we didn’t face the realities that Avi saw. Yet, our Paradise was false: the marxists were here, and as our resident anti-Christians ever intone, Christian Britain had previously known its share of bloodshed.

I argue that this is not because Christianity is wrong, but because greed and lust for domination inhere in human nature. Traditionally we fought against the power-mongers to preserve rights to freedom and reformation in our own land. We used to deem that right and necessary: we fought against those who zealously sought to subjugate us. Having abandoned such resistance, we now pay exorbitantly for suffering their slings and arrows (pace WS).

Traditionally, we protected our carefully nurtured Judaeo-Christian literacy and its valuable products, against Vikings. So doing, we (and the Irish) contributed immeasurably to the preservation of what was good about Western Civilisation. And when we came to terms with our germanic cousins (in the Danelaw): we even consolidated our gains. But 'twas ever about political hegemony, and the battle nearly always addressed some incursion of foreign power: from Billy Conk on through the Reformation, the Civil War and the Restoration.

Billy Conk, of course, had the backing of his Papaseato: Alexander II (1061-1073). Yet Alexander returns us to our eur-Mediterranean problems, for he had also to contend against mozzies ensconced in his contemporary Spain and Sicily. Even then they were invading zealots, and later it was Suleiman who attacked Vienna in 1529 ... and on, and on. It seems that, like our own franco-german enemies in euroland, the mozzies never give up on the lands of others; especially, of course, they covet the Holy Land.


16 September 2012 at 20:14  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Indeed inspector, a theme put forward very well by Jaan Puhvel in his study of Comparative Mythology

16 September 2012 at 20:21  
Blogger non mouse said...


Your Grace is so right: the Jews have seen it all before. Everyone knows that the Crusades (beginning 1095-99 under Urban II, and his Byzantine influence) weren’t all about poor innocent mozzies being attacked by zealous Christians... The zealous mozzies had invaded Jerusalem in the seventh century and dominated it thereafter.

Therefore, I say atheists are both facile and wrong to condemn Christians for taking arms in these complex issues. Throughout, true Christians have known that God tries us and refines our imperfections; He will strengthen our instinct to maintain the Sixth Commandment ("Thou Shalt not Kill...”), and even the Tenth -"Thou Shalt not Covet... (Exodus 20:1-17, KJV). This does not mean individuals always succeed when faced with the imperatives of the world; nor does it mean that some are not hypocrites. But the faithful know the ultimate Truth: "Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. (Romans 12:19) and "We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ..." (2 Cor. 5:10). Not the judgment seat of Atheists, of course.

True Christianity thus presents ideals to strive for, and it is above politics. For now, we individuals can only do our best, and refuse to rise to the crude bait of mozzie zealots. Ridicule is undoubtedly a good weapon, Your Grace. Though we’d do even better if key politicians recognised the value of preserving Judaeo-Christianity against them.

16 September 2012 at 20:23  
Blogger non mouse said...

....against Islam, that is. Sorry.

16 September 2012 at 20:24  
Blogger John Magee said...


I am absolutely no fan Putin. He is fomer KGB. The KGB were thugs. I often wonder how many arms, legs, and noses of Soviet dissidents Putin may have broken in the basement of Lubyanka KGB prison in Moscow as a KGB officer back in the USSR (not the Beatles version either).

He was the darling of the left in the West during the 1990's and during the 2,000's.That has changed.

The Patriarch of Moscow was also a former KGB agent. If both their conversions to Orthodox Christianity are real and sincere God can forgive and only He knows their hearts. I am not so easily convinced. Trust them? Maybe.

As President Reagan used to say when he met with and after he met with Soviet leaders: "Trust, but verify"

He knew who he was dealing with.

My hunch is that as children Putin and the Patriarch of Moscow Kirill were taken care of by their religious grandmothers (their babuska's) who instilled in them basic Christian religious concepts and values at home while their parents worked. After all the Soviets did to try and erase religion from the USSR it was the grandmothers of Russia and the Ukriane who helped preserve Christianity in the Soviet Union as the baby sitters of the nation for most children. Later, after they went to school, and had to belong to Communist youth groups and heard atheistic propaganda daily in school and also from peer pressure they forgot their faith. As adults when we all sooner or later comtemplate our mortality, for Putin and the future Patriarch, after their country collapsed they perhaps thought again about their religious grandmothers who they loved and about the faith they learned on their knees as little boys. At last that's what I hope about Putin and the Patriarch.

Orthodox Christianity is a deeply rooted in almost every aspect of Russian and Ukrianian culture, life, history, traditions, etc. If the Russian people want to make Orthodoxy their national church again that is their business.

Anyone who lives in a country with a state church (or state religon of any kind) or where a religion was the reason the country was created should be careful of criticizing the majority (perhaps the vast majority) of Russians who may want the same once again for their country.

Personally I do not like the idea organized religion having any official say in what a government does. That's different from government respecting the religion of it's founders or the culture of the majority but not at the expense of or humiliation of minority faiths or non believers. Tolerance is a two way street.

The Russian Orthodox Church hasn't been at all tolerant of Protestant missionaries or of the Catholic Ukrainian Eastern Rite in union with Rome since the collapse of the USSR and the Orthodox Church is once again free. I see both sides of that issue. On the one hand the Russian Orthodox Church lived through unbelievable persecution and when this persecution suddenly ended in rush the Mormons, Baptists, JW's, Scientogists,and even Muslims to fill the spiritual gap and thirst for faith that so many people needed in Russia at that time and still do.

Then there is the issue of freedom of religion and the supposed guarantee of religious freedom by the new Russian Constitution.

Putin is above all a nationalist. He wants to restore the boundaries of the old USSR not under the Red Star but the Romanov Double Eagle. A lot of people would fight that Russian Empire being created again among them the Ukrainians, BelaRusians, Latvians, Estonians, Lithuanians, Georgians, and other former Republics of the USSR now independent nations.

I wonder if old KGB agents are sitting in their dacha's as autumn comes to northern Russia in early September and talk about Putin being a "traitor" and should have never been trusted when he was in the KGB?

Who knows? there are two sides to every story.

16 September 2012 at 21:03  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

John, I trust you got by now it that by commie propaganda I actually meant real commie proganda, made by commies? Is it my long hair that makes you think I'm a leftie hippie and makes you jump to your weird conclkusions? In Prague we used to go to the movies every day and before every feature, there'd be a short propaganda piece, usually dubbed from Russian. It was enjoyable because there was always a bit of saucy stuff going on between the good soldier Ivan and his heroine of socialist labour Natasha, with a little bit of kissing. Then they had scenes of the Red Army slaugtering the Wehrmacht, whose soldiers looked like ridiculous vampires. There might be also a film about the horrible US army in Vietnam, with soldiers looking like Frankenstein monsters, driving around everywhere, eating all the time, while starving Vietnamese kids looked on. At the end the heroic black pajama-clad 'Cong would spear the evil Yankees with his bayonet and break out into some song or other. No one took the stuff seriously, but the acting was pretty good actually and there were always pretty girls, lots of explosions and even funny stuff.

But I'm not saying that my allergy to things Russian is rational or right. The long exposure to their antics and their primitive behaviour made an imprint. There were other Warsaw Pact troops there and they were better behaved and more organized. We didn't leave until '69 and things were getting worse and worse. The mobile black radio station still functioned right until we skipped out, and if you saw the National Museum building's machine-gun pock-marks on the newsreels, it was because the Russians thoughts the radio station was in there, when it was in fact a few miles behind it.

Dad would have been shot at the time because of he was one of the black radio guys, because of his multilingual messages in German and Russian urging soldiers to desert and to head to the Austrian border from which Russians kept away and mostly because of his live report of a friendly-fire battle between a Soviet and a Bulgarian tank on one of the bridges of the Vltava. The Bulgarians won. I imagine the poor crew got a bullet in the head shortly thereafter. Meanwhile at the Summer of Love in Frisco...

16 September 2012 at 21:54  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Your Grace and all and sundry, I'm "off duty" for the next two days.

Shana tova and l'shana ha'ba b'Yerushalayim. A happy Jewish New Year and to those of us still in the Galut, next year in Jerusalem.

16 September 2012 at 22:02  
Blogger bluedog said...

Excellent comment, non mouse @ 20.23 etc.

16 September 2012 at 22:16  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...


While there are nuggets of truth in what you say about Russia, I think you are missing the fundamental point that it is ultimately damaging when an ideology be it political or religous becomes over dominant in any state.

It is pretty well documented how the authoritarian and nationalist structures that existed around the Tsar and the Orthodox Church pre revolution, were in effect taken over and hijacked by the Communists. And anyone of knowledge of life under the Soviets will know that there was a large degree of othodox religous observance under the Communists. Many were secretly christened - not only Putin but Gorbachev as well, and the rituals around the visiting of family graves at Easter were observed even in the darkest times. BTW if anyone witnesses these ceromonies today they will understand how Orthodox Christianity is far more deeply engrained in the Russian psyche than the CofE ever will be in our own. Much of Putin's support (and yes it does exist in large numbers) comes from the elderly and those ouside Moscow who long for the old days of order.

I very much doubt that the old KGB types have very much ambivalence about Putin - since he is very muich their own creature who they put in place to ensure the continued existence of the ancien regime - when they realised that there was rather too much laissez faire and new non KGB oligarchs threatening to muscle in on what they saw as their divine right to continue in power.

I can see no evidence whatsoever to support your assertion that Putin was ever the darling of the left either in Russia or elsewhere - although there may be some who just like Putin because he is seen as anti American, such as Galloway and Assange (who now works for Russia Today) but they hardly count as being on the Left.

I can understand that there are good reasons for supporting Putin as a bulwark against the Islamofacists who have committed more than their fair share of attrocities in the former Soviet Union, but it really does have to be with a long barge pole and a clothes peg on one's nose. The bright spot that at long last a coherent liberal opposition is now starting to develop in Moscow and other cities. That said I would caution agianst being seen interfering too directly in Russian affairs, since as you say there is a very strong Nationalist streak (very understandable given Russia's history) which Putin knows how to play to all too well.

16 September 2012 at 22:42  
Blogger Kitty Shaw said...

Indeed it is rather ironic that we (here in the West – and atheists in particular) can get so superciliously superior when it comes to Islamic hate-mongers as there are plenty of examples of similar hate campaigns throughout atheist history. I think Peter Denshaw's call for freedom of religious belief and conscience is rather ironic given so much of the atheism’s history has been bound up with promoting the very opposite – usually by means of horrific torture and violence. It demonstrates rather well how modern day atheism owes a good deal to Enlightenment thinking, concerning the rights of the individual (tho’ of course only when it suits). Atheism, by its very nature (relativistic morals, end justifies the means, rejection of 'right' and 'wrong', the insanity of believers, etc.) is inherently discriminating and to pretend otherwise, is facile and/or self-deceiving.

I have little liking or sympathy for our Islamic brethren – nor do the excesses of Judaism or Christianity thrill me either. At present it is Muslims who are doing the killing – for centuries it was the Christians (and the Muslims then too) – and before that the Jews weren’t (and aren’t?) above the odd ‘Jihad’ by another name. But atheism whenever it gains authority is the most terrible of all, horror and killing on a scale not imagined by the most ardent of imams - China's cultural revolution, the killing fields, Mexico, Spain, The noyades and terror in France, North Korea, Stalin's purges.
Atheism: it really fucks up the world don’t it?

17 September 2012 at 14:58  
Blogger Youthpasta said...

Peter Denshaw - Another very clueless post. Count up the numbers that have died in truly religious fighting (as opposed to empire building under the guise of religious war) and you find that whilst there are still many deaths due to religion it is not as much as you wish to suggest.
Then take a look at the wonders of the atheist boom in the 20th century and look at the deaths in the name of a secular understanding of the world and we find that in just 1 century atheism led to many millions dying. China, Russia, Vietnam and North Korea are just a few of the countries that have killed millions in this cause. And not just killing millions in fighting against external forces, but killing their own people!

Atheism: It really degrades human worth, doesn't it?

17 September 2012 at 15:03  
Blogger Youthpasta said...

Well that's just weird! ^^

17 September 2012 at 15:06  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, Avi ,

See you in the New Year.

L'Shana Tovah.

17 September 2012 at 15:33  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...


If you mean atheism as a worldview (or more specifically, the anti-deism/anti-theism of many 20th Century regimes), then I'd be cautious about comparing numbers - mainly because the primary reason so many died was not because of an extraordinary new spirit for destruction, so much as it was the appalling development of our ability to annihilate each other on increasingly large scales. Long before atheism (in the modern sense as a coherent worldview) existed, mankind was finding ways to murder one another, to wipe peoples off the face of the planet, and find generally unpleasant ways to make other peoples' lives a complete and total misery for what seems to us very arbitrary reasons.

Whilst I'd contend that the record of Christianity is not quite as stained as some other religions - there is no question that it is stained with the blood not only of fellow Christians, but many many people of different races, creeds, and nations. We can't get away with an argument that only X number of thousands died at the hands of those who stood for, and in many cases were motivated by their Christian beliefs.

However, without suggesting that this is in any way a universal law: I'll observe that it seems to me that "atheism" in a more classical sense - that is, a giving up on faith, and a giving over to worldly thinking and worldly motivations does have a significant part to play in some of the worst excesses of Christian violence through the centuries. I mentioned above how politics was integral to the first burnings of "heretics" in England - and that's a pattern which appears time and time again in the history of the Church.

In that sense DanJ0 is not wrong when he talks about a group of people who use the power that religion affords them to do some pretty horrendous things. There have been untold instances of individuals, from the top of the Church to the local level, who cynically used their position and their social status, not to mention their handle on faith, to ply some thoroughly nasty, vicious, self-serving, and immoral actions. The history of Christianity is riddled with them. But what never ceases to amaze me is just how many of them seem to have all but given up on actual faith - in many cases it's almost like a wilfull suspension of Christian faith, precisely because their minds are so set on worldly power and wealth. In that sense, "atheism" - the abandonment of God for the worldly power of religious institutions - has indeed been a central thorn in the witnessing of the Church - across denominations.

Now as I said - this shouldn't be taken as a universal rule. There are also figures like St. Thomas More, whose conviction and faith was not simply a cover for a lust after power, but who nevertheless presided over decisions that many of us would feel uncomfortable making. How such people come to do such things is of abiding interest to me, and shouldn't, I think ever be dismissed, no matter how uncomfortable it may make us.

17 September 2012 at 15:36  
Blogger John Magee said...

Tory boys

I disagree. The Soviet Union was totally suppressive in every immiginable way possible. The USSR certainly never had a problem with illegal aliens (that applies to Mao's China, Castro's Cuba, or North Korea or any of the other Communist "heavens on earth". Lenin called the stupid Marxist and left wing fools from the West who rushed to the USSR in the 1920's and 1930's "useful idiots". They were usually arrested as spies and sent to the Gulag to die. As an atheist state it cared nothing for the rights of any individual because it believed the people were a mere bundle of atoms that belonged to the state and the state could do with as it pleased and it did. The far left today is unable to ignore the enormous evidence of the brutality and inhumanity of the Soviet Union. With the archives in the old USSR now open to writers this evidence can't be covered up or excused any longer or LIED ABOUT by rewriting history. The defense by the left in the face of all this new material from former Soviet archives in Russia is to compare the inhuman existence in the USSR to life under the Romanovs and tell the lie they were both evil. That is a lie.

Under the Romanov's 300 year rule much of Russia's greatest literature, art, archtecture, and music was created.

The great Russian novelist and thinker, Leo Tolstoy, was an Orhtodox Christian and at times even opposed his church and ended up dying excommunicated by it. His later writings were based on the purity and goodness in Christ's teachings. Had he not died in 1910 and lived to see the Revolution he would have most certainly been shot by the Bolsheviks for condemning their anti religious hatred and their brutality toward the population by mass killings and labor camps.

Tolstoy idealized the Russian peasants and rural life and would have absolutley oppsed the Soviet's forced collectivization of farmers that resulted in the famines in the Ukriane in the early 1930's.

Fyodor Dostoyevsly is perhaps one of the greatest novelist's of all time. He was also a devout Russian Orthodox Christian and once said this:

"If someone proved to me that Christ is outside the truth and that in reality the truth were outside of Christ, then I should prefer to remain with Christ rather than with the truth"

I wonder what the Bolsheviks would have done to him had he lived long enough to see their Revolution? They banned his books for many years.

Pre Revolutionary Russia had a thriving culture of artists, writers, architects, etc. You can read about or view this art on the internet if you take the time. All that was washed away after 1918.

For a brief period the Soviets did allow some avant garde art to exist in the early 1920's to support their propaganda but that was brief and was soon suppressed.

Soviet art like Nazi art (and art in China after Mao's Revolution in 1949) was about their human ant hill societies, they were socialists remember, and their art constantly showed the group doing everything together for the good of the party and state.

It was all trash.

17 September 2012 at 16:17  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Kitty: "Indeed it is rather ironic that we (here in the West – and atheists in particular) can get so superciliously superior when it comes to Islamic hate-mongers as there are plenty of examples of similar hate campaigns throughout the history of communism."

Fixed that for you.

17 September 2012 at 17:56  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

DanJ0, you wag. Communism is ATHEISM'S ‘gift’ to the world. And you know it, rascal !

17 September 2012 at 18:04  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

It's a political ideology based on a particular take on the nature of man. Nothing explicitly to do with atheism as I'm sure most intelligent people realise. The mainfestations we've had of the ideology have been atheistic but their nature is communist/socialist.

17 September 2012 at 18:41  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

It's an even looser relationship that (say) Christianity and Feudalism.

17 September 2012 at 18:43  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

DanJ0. You do come across as tugging on the Inspector’s coat. Not entirely convinced yourself, are you ?

17 September 2012 at 18:59  
Blogger John Magee said...


Those who defend the former USSR should remember that this is an Anglican Blog.

Isn't the present Queen the head of the Church of England? Which is also called The Anglican Church?

The present Queen and Prince Phillip are related by blood to the canonized Romanov Saints: the last Tsar and Tsarina of Russia. Tsar Nicholas II, Empress Alexandra, and their 5 young children murdered by the Bolsheviks in Siberia in July 1918

Her Majesty the Queen's grandfather George V was the nephew of the last Tsar of Russia's mother making the present Queen a disant cousin of the last Tsar and Emperor of Russia Nicholas II. The present Queen is also related to his wife the Empress Alexandra who was a Granddaughter of Queen Victoria.

To make it even more complex Prince Phillip's maternal grandmother Victoria (not Queen Victoria) and the last Tsarina were sisters. That makes the last Empress of Russia the wife of Tsar Nicholas II the great aunt of Prince Phillip.

I wonder how the class hating monarchy loathing Marxist's here feel about the present head of the Church of England as a blood relative of the Russian Orthodox martyred Saints: St Nicholas II, His wife Saint Alexadra, and their daughters Saints Olga, Tatiana, Marie, Anastasia and their son the heir to the Romanov throne, Saint Alexis.

17 September 2012 at 19:11  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Communism is a beast I'll not touch, but its worth noting that Marxism is quite a bit closer to atheism not least because it arises out a philosophy that expressly limits itself to strict materialism.

Just in case you think I'm being silly:

"...the criticism of religion has been largely completed; and the criticism of religion is the premise of all criticism" (Marx, "Contribution to the Critique").

He continues by talking about the foundation of his materialistic approach being the rejection of religion - which he sees as an inversion of the material world, and an obstacle to talking about material problems (i.e. from Marx's perspective, reality).

So at the very least, Marx can not only be understood as "explicitly to do with atheism", but entirely dependent upon it. Marxism and atheism certainly aren't loosely related. Where that features in the debate over Communism depends on how indebted to Marx you see it as being, I guess.

That's not to say that all atheists are communists. But it is difficult to see how the two could so blithely be separated.

17 September 2012 at 19:14  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

John, very much doubt if our secularists have given it a second thought. Surface people mainly, only interested in what they can see and what’s around now.

The Inspector on the other hand posts everything with hindsight in his conscience and with God, Queen and Country in his heart.

He remains your devoted servant, sir.

17 September 2012 at 19:20  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Inspector: "DanJ0. You do come across as tugging on the Inspector’s coat. Not entirely convinced yourself, are you ?"

The equivocating between communist poltical ideology and atheism has been trashed so many times on the Internet that it deserves its own shorthand tag. Surely everyone knows that the equivocation is almost always attempted by Christians who need a response to the carnage caused by the Church during Medieval times.

17 September 2012 at 20:42  
Blogger John Magee said...


I am honored.

You must be familiar with the WW II song popular in Britain and the Empire called "There'll Alway's be an England" sung by Vera Lynn.

Vera Lynn is (last I read) still alive in England today at 95.

I wish young people today would take the time to listen to the original versions of songs from that era and try to understand what the words meant how the tune inspired people back then when they heard it on the radio or played by a bandduring those bleak early years of WW II.

"There'll Aleways be an England" was made a big hit in the USA during WW II by the Canadian singer and Hollywood actress Deanna Durbin.

I am fortunate have my father's collection of 78's from the late 20's through the late 40's and once every few months I bring the albums down from the attic and listen to those happy tunes from that era on his Victrola I've had repaired and cleaned.

Most are in mint condition. Others he liked are a bit worn.

Youtube offers popular music from any that era and literally every song ever recorded. Most recorded from the originals RPM's: 78's 33's, and 45's are "cleaned up" and the scratches gone and the sound you hear is crystal clear.

Perfection is nice but I like the sound when I put the needle down on the 78 in the old wind up Victrola. Scratches and all.

17 September 2012 at 21:20  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

John. There was a time before atomic weapons, when a nation held it’s manhood in high regard. We were THE army, THE air force THE navy. You can understand how DanJ0 would have been in gaol for most of his adult life as the powers that be didn’t need their finest being corrupted by our mouthy princess. Of course, that would not have been his lot as he would have kept his DAMN MOUTH SHUT as the head on his shoulders would have told him to limit his sexual persuasion to himself, or at least to types that used to hang out around public toilets...

The Inspector has the honour of knowing a gal the image of Vera, although fifty years younger. Sandra M in Newton Abbot, Devon.

17 September 2012 at 22:11  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...


I am not sure about what you are disagreeing with. I am also pretty clear that I am not one of the people who you think are defending the Soviet Union. You are right in saying that there are some who claim to be on the left who defend the Soviet Union (the odious Galloway comes to mind as a modern day example), but you forget that there were also those on the Left who were among the sternest and most effective of its critics. It was Muggeridge, who was then a Fabian atheist socialist who with with Gareth Jones (who worked for the liberal Lloyd George) who revealed the horrors of the Holodomor - and Koestler and Orwell who also did much to reveal the nature of the Soviet State were both on the left.

But it is not a case of saying Soviet Communism bad and the Romanov Dynasty/Orthodox Church good - it is quite possible to reach the concusion that both were bad - and to reach the view that the authoritan state established by the former provided the framework which would then be used by the Communists - many historians, with impeccable anti-Communist credentials are quite happy to support such a thesis. You forget that under the Romanovs with the blessing of their State Church that Russia was one of the last countries in Europe to abolish serfdom, frequenly engaged in pogroms, started the use of Siberia as a gulag, set up an extensive Secret police network, tolerated corruption by public officials as routine (just read Dead Souls) and was pretty brutal in the treatment of its colonies.

My position is one of being against totalitarian regimes what ever the underlying ideology be it religous or atheist. Freedom of speech and belief, general human rights and plurality are what I see as being important - and if some religions/atheists support them fine - but if not i am more than willing to condem as well.

As for the Communists totally suppressing everything - I'm afraid that is just garbage. Russian souls (or human souls for that matter are just not that easily suppresed). It is just not true that great art and literature did not occur in Soviet times - the names of Shostakovitch, Pasternak, Solzhenitsyn and Akmatova should be enough to silence you on that score. Yes, they all wrote in resistance to the regime - but I think you will find that is also a pretty common feature of Czarist times as well - remember that Dostoyevsky (who ended up more as a deist rather than Russian orthodox) was subject to a mock execution before his exile to Siberia, Tolstoy as you mention was excommunicated by the Orthodox Church, many other writers (including Pushkin who really is the most loved of Russian writers), artists and musicians were exiled. If anything, I think this supports the theory that it is resitance to the totalitarian mind set, whether it be religous or something else, that produces great art and literature. The reformation in Europe would also be supportiuve of this theory.

BTW Lenin never referred to "useful idiots" - and those who were considered useful idiots were the apologists in the West not those who came to live in Soviet Union, who were not really of much use to anyone.

17 September 2012 at 23:31  
Blogger John Magee said...

Tory boys

Here is how the USSR delt with it's two greatest modern writers:

Alexander Solzhenitsyn, winner of the Nobel Prize for litertaure in 1970 for his book discribing the life in Stalin's labor camps "One Day in the Life of Ivan Deniosovich" was forced to leave the USSR and went into exile in the USA in 1974 and lived in the Vermont until the collapse of the USSR returning to Russia fron the USA in 1994. His most famous book was the trilogy "The Gulag Archipelago". The three volumns are a detailed account of the history of the Soviet Gulag by survivors and archival material. He was part of that evil system from as a prisoner from 1945 to 1954.

Solzehenitsyn returned to the Orthodox Church in exile and was a devout Orthodox Christian until he died in Moscow in 2008.

Pasternak's most famosu book, Dr. Zhivago is novel about a doctor' life in Moscow as a young man from 1905, in then exile in Siberia after the 1918 Revolution. It ends with his death during WW II. Surely you have seen this 1964

Dr Zhivago was banned in the USSR because it was more concerned with individual characters than for the "progress" of socierty. It was also criticised by Soviet censors for an accurate depiction of Stalinism, Collectivim, the Great Purge, and the labor camps in the Gulag.

He also won a Nobel Prize for literature in 1958 but he renounced the prize because he feared retaliation or refusal to return to the USSR because heknew he had a terminal case of lung cancer and wanted to die with his family at his side. Shortly before his death, a priest of the Russian Orthodox Church had given Pasternak the last rites. Later, in the strictest secrecy, an Orthodox funeral liturgy, or Panikhida, was offered in the family's dacha. he was denounced before his death in 1958 by the Union of Soviet Writers who held a trial behind closed doors. Pasternak was denounced as an internal White emigre and a fascist 5th columnist. He spent the last 2 years of jis life dying in his country dacha.

Isn't it fantastic how the USSR treated two of it's greatest modern writers? One was forced into exile in the United States and the other forced to live his last days in disgrace at his country home.

You are correct Lenin did call Western liberals and progressives "useful idiots" but no the people I said who atcually left the West everything behind to go to the "promised land" of the USSR in the 1920's and 1930's. I think it can be assumed they were USELESS idiots.Most as I said were arrested as, spies and died in the Gulag.

Once I read story about over 200 Finnish Americans who left their comfortable life as auto workers in Detroit, USA in the 1920's to go to the people's paradise of the USSR. They took their families with them. Almost perished in the Gulag. They were arrested immediately as spies upon their arrival by ship In Leningrad.

I wonder if they ever thought of their nice homes back in the USA they had abandoned while they traveled in filthy box cars along with their wives and children along with thousands of others to Siberia and their deaths in a labor camps.

18 September 2012 at 01:29  
Blogger John Magee said...

Tory boys

I know almost nothing about Dmitri Shostakovich because I don't care for his music. He was I think denounced and suffered. During the great terror of 1936 many of his family members and friends of his were arrested and shot or sent to the Gulag to die.

He saw the "light" in 1960 and finally joined the Communist party. very sad. He capitulated to a system that murdered so many he knew and loved.

Once again. This is how the USSR treated it creative people. Abuse and denunciation and a life of fear.

18 September 2012 at 01:34  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...


I'm under no illusions whatsover as to how badly the Soviets treated people - those for whom you gave details might be seen as the lucky ones - others such as Anna Akhmatova had far worse fates - just don't live under the illusion that all was sweetness and light for those who lived under the yoke of the Romanovs and the Orthodox Church, or that Putin represents a clean break from the KGB.

18 September 2012 at 12:13  
Blogger John Magee said...

Tory boys

It am well aware life wasn't perfection under the Tsars but it wasn't anything as bad the leftists want you to believe either. It wasn't perfect anywhere then and still isn't. But I am certain by 1925 all but the most fanatic Bolsheviks and dedicated, vengeful, anti monarchist, Christian hating, Marxist supporters of Lenin and Stalin would have prefered life under the last Romanovs anyday when compared to the total destruction of their country and it's economy and the total lack of freedom and being ruled by thugs like Stalin and all the rest they had to endure after 1918. Not to mention the fact by 1925 the Gulag was just beginning to operate with full steam ahead.

Russia in 1914 was on it's way to becoming a Constitutional Monarchy and a world economic super power. WW I changed all that and changed the world forever.

A modern example of a monarch who governed with a heavy hand is the last Shah of Iran. He did all he could to try and Westernize his country and was hated by the mullahs for that reason. When the mullahs and their allies the students and even communists finally got power in 1979 the Shah was forced to leave.

I think its safe to say Iran hasn't been a pleasant place to live since 1979.

The returning Ayatollah Khomeini returned in 1979 and after the revolution he had almost all these students, communists, and others killed when the supporters of the revolution finally realized they got something far far worse than the Shah's Iran ever was.

Sound familiar? The USSR?

The Shah did his best to stop what finally happened in his country.

Had the Iranian Revolution never happened Iran almost certainly would have evolved into a true democracy with a Constitutional Monarch just as Franco's Spain did after his death

All I wanted to do here was make know the horrendous suffering and the deaths of tens of millions of people in the USSR which is being minipulated by people today on the left and others to make it seem (or worse openly deny they ever happened) none the horrors that happened in the USSR after 1918 ever happened. To brush the Soviet holocaust under the rug is pure evil. This denies the millions who died a memory of their deaths under a system that had and has no value of individuals as human being.

Shame on the people today who deny this mass murder of tens of millions in the former USSR done in the name of Karl Marx never happened and know it did happen and was far worse than anyone can imagine.

Change always follows progress but progress does not always follow change.

18 September 2012 at 19:00  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...


It is difficult to see what point you are making - since I am not trying to brush what happened in the USSR under the rug and i certainly don't think it should be ignored or forgotten. Since I don't engage in moral relativism, i am quite happy to see the Romanov, USSR and Putin regimes all as bad things, but to quote Tolstoy an unhappy family is unhappy after its own fashion

I also don't accept that the Romanov regime or the Shah would have somehow mutated into true democracies - such things happen because of the actions of ordinary people taking action against the despots. If I have a faith it is that human beings can and will eventually achieve this through their own actions whatever the despots throw against them.

18 September 2012 at 22:45  
Blogger John Magee said...

Tory boys

I guess my point is that there are two sides to every story. Then there is the truth.

When the Holomodor, Ukrainian forced famine, and Russian holocaust of tens of millions by the Soviets was denied by a regular visitor here and when that wasn't possible after I posted proof. When examples of the mass murders were posted and then trivialized I decided it was time to set the record straight in my own small way to honor these millions of dead in the USSR.

Thank you.

19 September 2012 at 00:42  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Genocide denial, especially by one of our own, is a serious charge, John. I checked previous posts and threads and can't find an example.

19 September 2012 at 22:23  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

PS, I don't often see eye-to-eye with tory boys ...I think we may have crossed swords here there in the past... but after reading his posts here, I must say that I don't see anything "problematic."

19 September 2012 at 22:37  
Blogger John Magee said...


It's interesting how you twist what I say here in your posts mentioning my name into stuff I either never said or what you imagine I have "implied".

I never suggested or said that in any post that communism or fascism were "foreign" to Europe. That is your fantasy and assumption. Over and over I have discribed Nazism as "pagan" or "Nordic pagan". I also said many times that Communism evolved form the events of the French Revolution.

Both Communism and Nazism were "socialist" and of course were created in Europe. The name of the Nazi Party in Germany was the "National SOCIALIST German Workers Party" It was both nationalist and socialist. The Communist Party of the USSR called represented the Union of Soviet SOCIALIST Republics.

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels were the children of converted German Jews who's background and cultural values were not 100% form a Christian "millieu" were they?
This is a fact of their lives so please don't try to lable me "anti-Semitic" because I mention them.

Hitler and Stalin were the sons of Christians.

Please tell me why there were so many Jews in the Bolshevik leadership before, during, and after the Russian Revolution of 1917 that gave the world the USSR?
That is a fact of that event so pelase don't make me to be an "anti-Semite" by brining this up.

There are a lot of details form history that you do't want to surface and if they do you will play the anti-Semite card because you will deny historical facts that you want to be either hidden or denied altogether

Nazism and fascism were created in Christian Europe mostly by FORMER Christians and in the case of Communism former Jews. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels were the children of converted German Jews and lein was 1/4 Jewish.

I have also said over and over that Nazism and Communism BOTH reject God.

In the post below is one you made in Cranmer's "Saturday Hunter" movie commenty box.

You say that I "imply" things below which means you want people to think what you think I said which I never did.

Your following post contains stuff I either never said or which historically is not completely accurate:

"No, Carl, my "theory" doesn't exonorate communism; it merely puts it in its historical context. My point was that it's inaccurate to imply, as Magee does, that fascism, communism and nazism were foreign, presumably from outer space ideologies which victimised Christians. These ideologies emerged in a Christian milieau, developed in and gained traction in Christian populations, and the majority of their adherents considered themselves Christians. To deny that is to deny obvious facts of history. It's convenient to blame the depravity of the Wehrmacht, the SS and the German killer-squads, the sonderkomandos solely on Nazism. Yet, the Nazis knew well that they couldn't count on the German urbanized and bourgeois people at large to commit to the kind of popular and mass savagery they could rely on in Eastern Europe."

Of course no mention is made above of the over 22 million Orthodox Christians the Nazi's killed in the USSR, or almost 3 million Catholic Poles, and almost 1 million Christian Serbs the Nazi's killed during WW II.

20 September 2012 at 15:14  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

John, I sked for examples of my or others' supposed denial of the Ukrainian famine, but you choose to rehash outstanding issues. Fine. This is what I have to say.

First, I’m not a mind reader, so when you utilize standard antisemitic tropes, take gratuitous cheap-shots at Jews, Judaism, the Talmud, rabbis and even the Jewish calendar without apparent rhyme or reason, the conclusion that you are an antisemite is inevitable. Yet, you are not a Holocaust denier, seem to be balanced in some areas of history and appear supportive of Israel. These are not positions typical of antisemites. In the context of everything I’ve read from you, my personal assessment, with which you are free to disagree, is that you have a spotted, even biased view of history, poor ability in assessing others’ position and in debates which should be scholarly, you respond in highly-emotional, personalized ways. This is an honest opinion, not a veiled insult.

To wit, you totally misinterpreted a situation and my disgust with the prosecution...persecution, I will say...of the Pussy Riot women who targeted Putin and a specific church already sullied by a former KGB apparatchik at its head, one which offered its services as an electioneering venue for the current regime. However you may feel, Pussy Riot is not a typical group of leftist twits seeking to gratuitously insult religion, but a political protest movement acting against a dictatorial regime, however poorly. While my position was no different from that of His Grace’s or Carl’s, you and Dodo singled me out as having it in for Eastern Orthodoxy, which then cascaded a whole phantasmagoria of Gentile-hate accusations, denials of Eastern European war-dead and whatnot. That was truly nuts, if you ask me.


21 September 2012 at 00:32  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...


The latest example is your manufacturing a charge that I denied or trivialized the Ukrainian famine or the Holodomor, when I was actually personally attacking you. Feel free to reciprocate, btw, but don’t convert my ad hominem attacks into an imagined hatred of Christians and contempt for Gentiles on my part. And now, when I ask you to show examples of who denied the Ukrainian famine, you come out with another broadside of prepared ammo. On that note, I’ll mention that only fifteen or so countries recognize the Holodomor as a genocide, that decent main-stream scholars have honest disagreements and that the Ukrainian parliament itself was split on the issue and passed the genocide interpretation with a very slim majority. On that issue, one of the most prominent Ukrainian activist, Oleksander Kramarenko, honestly and bravely declared, “Miracles do not happen in this world. The world will never recognize an act of genocide that is not perceived as such by the absolute majority of the people who suffered as a result of it.” Read his full article at where Kramarenko offers real solutions, based on statistics and forensics …not just conjectures… towards empirically establishing intent behind the famine. If you ask me where I stand, I am reluctant to form a conclusion because of a strong bias. In my gut, I feel near-certain that the Soviets implemented, directed and possibly even pre-planned a regional famine to destroy the Ukrainians in Ukraine, and as Kramarenko argues, the Ukrainian minorities in Russia itself. But I mistrust my judgment due to my experiences with Russians in Prague which have strongly prejudiced me and so, rightly or wrongly, it is best that I refrain from forming strong conclusions. Genocide is not a light charge to make. And neither is genocide-denial or trivialization, I might add.


21 September 2012 at 00:35  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

... aaand, 3

Regarding Jews, Christians and Communism. The origins of Communism, Fascism and National socialism are still debated in the field of intellectual history. I see them, along with positive developments such as parliamentary monarchies, modern democracy, human rights, science, free enterprise and classical liberalism as by-products of the Christian cultural continuum. A weak pseudo-Pagan revival among a handful of Romantics and ultra-nationalists, or a minority of secular Jews amidst a European Jewish minority do not define these movements. As for Russia, the comparatively few Jews among a majority of Christians who turned to the left were Social Democrats, Bundists, various shades of Socialists and Mensheviks, and only the most secularized and radicalized types joined Bolsheviks. Had I been around in the pre-Revolution days, when the Crown and Church oppressed the Jews, robbed and dispossessed them, kept them in ghettos and settlement areas and murdered them with a wave after wave of savage pogroms, I assure you that I too would have sided with the anti-monarchists, if not the communists. I too would have had little love for the White Army and Ukrainian peasant pogromchiks who erased old religious Jewish communities which had nothing to do with the upheavals of the times. We now know how it turned out; the Bolsheviks and Lenin in particular stopped the discrimination and the pogroms on one hand, but applied the same savagery and religious oppression to all traditional Christians and Jews and all non-Bolshevik "moderns" as well. But that’s hindsight, isn’t it?

And finally in , "22 million Orthodox Christians the Nazi's killed in the USSR, or almost 3 million Catholic Poles, and almost 1 million Christian Serbs the Nazi's killed during WW II." Uh-uh; won’t wash. First, I'm not denying the massive number of European war dead. And no, the Nazis didn't target Russians, Ukrainians, Poles, Serbians or others for their religion. Regardless of what plans Hitler may have had for the Slavs, the Wehrmacht went only after those who opposed, threatened its operations or safety, or got in the way of their lebensraum in Western Poland. Not because they were Christians. Christians of any nationality who collaborated, who formed friendly fascist governments, energetically pursued partisans and collected or murdered Jews were safe and even quite comfortable.

So there you have it. Let's see what you do with this.

21 September 2012 at 00:35  
Blogger John Magee said...

The Nazi's specifically targeted the Christian Russians, Ukrainians, Poles, Serbs, and mass murdered them soley because of their RACE. They were treated them like animals, millions were taken to Germany as slave labor, at least 25 millions Christian Slavic peoples of central and Eastern Europe were killed by the Nazi's (in the case of 800,000 Christian Serbs many were shot by Muslim Nazi SS units) during WW II. These numbers include 22 in the USSR alone and almost 3 million in Poland.I am half Slavic because of my Czech mother so the Nazi hatred of Slavic peoples is personal. The Nazi's gave the entire Czech population in 1941 a required free "physical" by Nazi doctors. In reality these were "race evaluations" to be carried out had Nazi Germany won WW II. The majority Catholic and minority Protestant Czechs were divided into three catagories: 1/3 "worthy enough to be Germanized", 1/3 sent to the East as slave labor for German colonists in Russia and the Ukraine, 1/3 exterminated. All Slavic peoples were designated by Nazi racist ideology as UNTERMENSCHEN (Subhumans).This name
was based on Nazi racist ideology spelled out in Hilter's "Mein Kampf" ("My Struggle) he wrote in 1923. In this book he told the world what he planned to do if he ever got power in Germany someday and took over Europe: exterminate the Jews, Slavs, and others.

The Nazi's took over 300,000 blond Polish childen from their mothers and sent them to Germany to be "adopted" and Germanized. Very few ever returned to their Polish mothers after the war.

In order to reduce the entire Polish population into submission and stop their children and future generationns from being educated as future Nazi slaves. The Nazi's designated the Polish educated classes, the aristocracy, professsionals of all types, skilled technicians, and others arrested and killed. A large part of the 2.5 million Polish Roman Catholics killed by the Nazi's were Catholic clerics and monks. All Catholic school and seminaries were closed in Poland from 1939 to 1944. Pope John Paul II had to attend a secret seminary in Krakow. Had the Nazi;s discovered this he and all others would have been shot.

The Polish Roman Catholic Saint, Father Maximiliann Kolbe, was imprisonned in Auschwitz by the Nazi's with many other Polish priests. He died after volunteering to take the place of a man who was scheduled to be punished for breaking some camp rules and who was married and had a family.

All I ask is that TV documentaries on WW II include the Christian Holocaust carried out by the Nazi's in Central and Eastern Europe, their killing of Protest and Catholic clerics, as well as show documentaries about the Communist holocaust of between 40 - 60 millions Russian and Ukrainian Eastern orthodox Christans in the USSR from the time of the Russian revolution in 1917 through the seath of Stalin in 1952 and continuing until 1956 under Kruschev.

I am NOT an anti-Semite because I want the story of the mass murder of the Christian Slavic people of Eastern Europe to be at last given equal attention to the well know and just as evil Nazi Holocaust of the Jews of WW II. Equal attention now at last must be given the martyrdom of 40 - 60 million Christian Slavic Russians and Ukrainians in the USSR after 1917.

21 September 2012 at 17:29  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...


What you say about what the Nazis did to the Slavs is absolutely right - and of course they went after those Slavs who were not Orthodox Christians - including the godless Commissars and there were also atrocities commited against the many Asians/Moslems who fought in the Soviet Army. As well as MUslim SS - you also forget that there were not a few Catholic Slavs - most notably in Croatia and the Ukraine who were not above joining in attrocities against their Orthodox brethren.

While I am aware that your complaint that the Nazi holocaust against the Jews draws attention away from the other attrocities which occurred is a pretty common one in Russia (and is ceratinly reflected in school histories where the emphasis on the Jewish Holocaust is pretty minimal and the anti-semnitism of the Romanovs and of Stalin receives practically no mention) - you should also be aware that it is also put forward by many who are more than keen to promote anti-semitism. It really however shouldn't be a case of one or the other - both need to be explained and understood. European History I'm afraid cannot be reduced to simple lists of goodies and baddies.

21 September 2012 at 22:42  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...

I should add that when, as I have seen with my own eyes, thugs on the streets of Moscow and in the Trtyakov gallery of all places, dressed in nazi style uniform aiming their bile at Jews and Moslems, and glorifying everything which they believe to be Slavic - and all this is largely tolerated by Putin (certainly to a much greater extent that a bunch of tone deaf singers making a silly protest inside an Orthodox church) then imho it is pretty obvious that we have a problem here and now.

21 September 2012 at 22:50  

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