Robert Royal asks: When are secularists and atheists going to do some of the repenting they expect from Christians?

‘[Atheistic] communism killed at least 100 million people in the twentieth century, 25 million in the former Soviet Union, 65 million in Communist China – in all about seventeen times as many people as there were Jews who died in the Holocaust.  It is hard not to believe that the relative silence about this large fact of the last century reflects an uneasy conscience among many writers and thinkers in the West who had some share in supporting or apologizing for the most murderous regimes the world has ever seen.

Socialist regimes committed many enormous crimes against the Church as well.  Some 300,000 Catholics perished in Mexico, the first socialist country on earth after its revolution.  In Spain during the Spanish Civil War, the so-called Republican forces in which anarchist and communist elements dominated, 7,000 documented cases of martyrdom occurred.  Whole religious orders were wiped out.  Even George Orwell, usually thought of as an advocate of honesty and decency beyond party, shrugged off this obvious fact in his book Homage to Catalonia.

Where such matters have been noticed, the usual rationalization is to say that the Church has been a reactionary force, aligned with oppressive regimes.  It was only natural, we are told, that in the untidy situations of the modern drive toward freedom, that some of these recalcitrant elements would be the target of violence.  But this is a specious claim.  Anyone who looks carefully at the violence against Christians in the last century cannot help but see that quite often the Church had no political position other than the protection of her own rights and a defense of innocents being slaughtered by the millions.  It is telling that the charge against the Church is made in broad, unverifiable historical terms while the defense of known, murderous ideologies gives every actor the benefit of the doubt.

So perhaps it is time for Christians and other victims of secular thought gone wild to begin demanding repentance, too.  If the supporters of communist and brutally anti-Catholic regimes in the past really believed that they were the path to a brighter future for humanity, let them now come forward and confess their error.  Life is difficult to understand.  We often deceive ourselves.  We will be happy to accept a repentant sinner with the same fervor that we hope ourselves to be forgiven.

But do not expect all the professors, journalists, television pundits, religious figures, and politicians who for decades warned us about our “inordinate fear” of communism to rush to public recantation . . . Repentance may be good for the soul, but it is never easy.  Real repentance requires admitting that we have to let go of some cherished illusions and to resolve never to commit the same sin again.  In any generation, few are they willing to undertake that profound reform of soul.’

~ Robert Royal

About these ads
This entry was posted in Atheism, Secularism and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.