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The War on Religion

1 Mikhail Gorbachev, Memoirs (NY: Doubleday, 1996), p. 328.

2 Mikhail Gorbachev, On My Country and the World, (NY: Columbia University Press, 2000), pp. 20-1.

3 The “opiate of the masses” remark is well-known. The source for the quote, “communism begins where atheism begins,” is Fulton J. Sheen, Communism and the Conscience of the West (Indianapolis and NY: Bobbs-Merrill, 1948). Sheen, who spoke and read several languages, translated the quote into English from an un-translated Marx work.

4 Lenin wrote this in a November 13 or 14, 1913 letter to Maxim Gorky. See: James Thrower, God’s Commissar: Marxism-Leninism as the Civil Religion of Soviet Society (Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press, 1992), p. 39.

5 Quoted in Thrower, God’s Commissar, p. 39. Another translation of this quote comes from Robert Conquest, in his “The Historical Failings of CNN,” in Arnold Beichman, ed., CNN’s Cold War Documentary (Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press, 2000), p. 57.

6 See: J. M. Bochenski, “Marxism-Leninism and Religion,” in B. R. Bociurkiw et al, eds., Religion and Atheism in the USSR and Eastern Europe (London: MacMillan, 1975), p. 11.

7 This item was published in a 2002 book by Yale University Press. See: Alexander N. Yakovlev, A Century of Violence in Soviet Russia (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2002), p. 157.

8 See: Daniel Peris, Storming the Heavens: The Soviet League of the Militant Godless (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1998).

9 See: Bertram D. Wolfe, A Life in Two Centuries (Stein and Day, 1981), pp. 403-4.

10 The repression was pursued in varying degrees among the Soviet bloc nations. Among them, Romania, Albania, East Germany, and Czechoslovakia were especially repressive.

11 Richard Wurmbrand, Tortured for Christ (Bartlesville, OK: Living Sacrifice Book Company, 1998), pp. 33-8.

12 See: Paul Kengor, God and Ronald Reagan: A Spiritual Life (NY: HarperCollins, 2004).

13 Richard Pipes speaking at Grove City College, Grove City, Pennsylvania, September 27, 2005.

14 Paul Kengor compared the treatment of the two in an exhaustive, year-long research project that examined history texts used in Wisconsin public schools, which were the same texts used in all states. See: Paul Kengor, “Searching for Bias: World History Texts in Wisconsin Public Schools,” Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, June 2002. A copy of the study is posted on the website of WPRI.