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View Diary: The Pope pissed me off today (127 comments)

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  •  Atheism, Secularism, Theism: Props (9+ / 0-)

    As a student of history, anytime any side in the debate talks about religion being behind most wars, or atheism, or secularism, I have to laugh.

    MOST wars of consequence are waged for power. Whether they are wars of conquest, or genocidal campaigns, they are at their heart power plays. You can motivate the cannon fodder by religion, of course (the Crusades). Or you can be an atheistic regime bent on domination (Lenin, Pol Pot).

    Nazi Germany was a Christian nation, but it wasn't involved in a religious war. No more than the godless Khmer Rouge was committing genocide in order to promote atheism in Cambodia (mostly an anti-intellectual bent there on top of seeking raw power).

    So I don't get the Pope focusing on Germany in WWII regarding atheism. If he wanted to point to an atheistic regime, he should have just mentioned Stalin and been done with it.

    •  Or that heathen Cecil Rhodes. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mnemosyne, ExStr8, neroden, Temmoku, bluicebank

      the intelligence community is no longer geared towards telling the president what they think the president wants to hear

      by Salo on Thu Sep 16, 2010 at 08:15:51 PM PDT

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    •  Its a mixture of economics, power, and religion. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      neroden, bluicebank

      Religion is definitely in 3rd position.  It can be argued which one is in first.

      Born OK the first time.

      by Road Dog on Thu Sep 16, 2010 at 08:42:21 PM PDT

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      •  We can agree the Pope is light on history (5+ / 0-)

        Atheism (or secularism) in Nazi Germany had nothing to do with its nationalistic and militaristic campaign.

        At its heart, Nazi Germany was about acquiring power, of reasserting the nation emerging from the aftermath of WWI.

        My point is that religion is often a motivator (when it is used). To be sure, no "fights for" atheism or agnosticism. The populace is motivated for reasons other than those doing the motivating. Nationalism is the usual culprit, the usual motivator.

        What motivated Emperial Japan to attack China? Surely it wasn't over religion. Our own bloodiest Civil War wasn't over religion. Did the Roman Empire invade due to its pantheism?

        I'd put religion further down the list. Nationalism, competition for natural resources, lust for power or wealth ... all other motivators are secondary, imho.

    •  The Pope has always been about temporal power. (1+ / 0-)
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      Pandoras Box

      Look up the history of the position.  With a few rare exception, the Popes have always been all about power plays.  They are in the category you describe.  Most of them were basically medieval warlords with a few extra pretensions (sometimes, a lot of extra pretensions).

      If I'm not mistaken, the Roman Catholic Church still claims that they ought to be the temporal rulers of the world, as they did through most of the Middle Ages.

      -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

      by neroden on Thu Sep 16, 2010 at 09:57:59 PM PDT

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    •  -- (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      taonow, Pandoras Box

      Stalin was not an atheist or a religious person, neither. To say that Stalin had an inclination in either direction is giving him too much credit as far as his mental state was concerned. Stalin was not in a position to make any sane human decisions because of mental imbalance, which undercuts the theory that atheism is at the root of all evil, noting that evil is strictly a religious term.
      Void discourse.

      "A time is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will trigger a revolution." -- Cézanne

      by toilpress on Thu Sep 16, 2010 at 10:08:10 PM PDT

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