American Minute with Bill Federer
In 1570, Ivan the Terrible attacked Novgorod, which had been for centuries a successful Russian Republic on the Baltic Sea.
Ivan’s first command was to subjugate the church.
He stripped cathedrals and monasteries of their valuables; put priests and deacons in shackles and flogged them til they paid a ransom; and he ordered some 500 clergymen beaten to death.
Ivan laid waste to 90 percent of the farmland surrounding Novgorod.
Ivan’s 6,000 secret police, called Oprichniki, pillaged, burned, arrested and terrorized with cruel violence.
Men, women and children were roasted over fires; tied to sleds and dragged through town; trapped under ice in the Volkhov River and if they managed to surface they were shoved back under.
According to The First Pskov Chronicle, 60,000 people were senselessly slaughtered by Ivan the Terrible.
The French Revolution’s Reign of Terror, led by Robespierre, head of the “Committee of Public Safety,” France’s version of a Department of Homeland Security.
In a speech titled “The Terror Justified,” Robespierre told the National Assembly, February 5, 1794:
“Lead … the enemies of the people by terror … Terror is nothing else than swift, severe, indomitable justice.”
Robespierre attacked Christianity and turned churches into Temples of Reason.
The secular French French government beheaded 40,000 in Paris then slaughtered 300,000 in the Vendee from 1793-1796.
During World War II, Nazi General Hans Frank executed a reign of terror in Poland, plundering and committing mass murder of millions of Poles and Jews in death camps.
After the war, Hans Frank was arrested. During his imprisonment, Fr. O’Conner led him to believe in the atonement of Christ for his sins and he became a Roman Catholic.
At the Nuremberg Trials, August 31, 1945, Hans Frank was convicted and executed. Being remorseful at his trial, Hans Frank stated:
“At the beginning of our way we did not suspect that our turning away from God could have such disastrous deadly consequences and that we would necessarily become more and more deeply involved in guilt.
At that time we could not have known that so much loyalty and willingness to sacrifice on the part of the German people could have been so badly directed by us.
Thus, by turning away from God, we were overthrown and had to perish …”
Nazi leader Hans Frank continued:
“Before all, God pronounced and executed judgment on Hitler and the system which we served with minds far from God. Therefore, may our people, too, be called back from the road on which Hitler — and we with him — have led them.
I beg of our people NOT to continue in this direction, be it even a single step; because Hitler’s road was the way without God, the way of turning from Christ, and, in the last analysis, the way of political foolishness, the way of disaster, and the way of death …
His path became more and more that of a frightful adventurer without conscience or honesty, as I know today at the end of this Trial.
We call upon the German people … to return from this road which, according to the law and justice of God, had to lead us and our system into disaster and which will lead everyone into disaster who tries to walk on it … everywhere in the whole world.”
Another government without God was the Soviet era where millions were killed in purges.
Josef Stalin said:
“Crisis alone permitted the authorities to demand — and obtain — total submission and all the necessary sacrifices from its citizens.”
Vladimir Lenin stated: “The goal of socialism is communism,” which is nothing more than disguised dictatorship, as Franklin Roosevelt explained to the American Youth Congress, February 10, 1940:
“The Soviet Union … is run by a dictatorship as absolute as any other dictatorship in the world.”
Stalin controlled citizens through “fear and food.”
The people were kept in constant fear that government agencies would falsely accuse them and cart them away in the night, and the people were kept in a continual shortage of food, so they could not have the resources to rebel.
Stalin engineered a famine in his war against the kulaks that killed millions.
Richard Pipes discussed the absolute power of Stalin in his book Communism-A History (Random House, 2001):
“To break the resistance of the peasants in the Ukraine, the North Caucasus, and the Kazakhstan, Stalin inflicted on these areas in 1932-33 an artificial famine, shipping out all the food from entire districts and deploying the army to prevent the starving peasants from migrating in search of nourishment.
It is estimated that between 6 and 7 million people perished in this man-made catastrophe.”
Richard Pipes recorded in his book, Communism-A History:
“Stalin’s regime needed another crisis … as Fidel Castro, the leader of Communist Cuba, would explain … ‘The revolution needs the enemy… The revolution needs for its development its antithesis’ … And if enemies were lacking, they had to be fabricated …”
Richard Pipes continued:
“In 1934, a prominent Bolshevik, Sergei Kirov, the party boss of Lenningrad, was assassinated under mysterious conditions … evidence points to Stalin …
Kirov was gaining too much popularity in party ranks for Stalin’s comfort …
His assassination brought Stalin two advantages: it rid him of a potential rival and provided a rationale for instigating a vast campaign against alleged anti-Soviet conspirators …
Purges of the 1930’s were a terror campaign that in indiscriminate ferocity and number of victims had no parallel in world history … Authorities … beat them until they confess to their crimes they have not committed.
In February 1945, Alexander Solzhenitsyn was arrested in the Soviet Union for writing politically incorrect comments against Stalin.
Solzhenitsyn was imprisoned for eight years, as he described in his autobiographical lecture, printed in the Nobel Foundation’s publication, Les Prix Nobel, 1971:
“I was arrested on the grounds of what the censorship had found in my correspondence with a school friend, mainly because of certain disrespectful remarks about Stalin, although we referred to him in disguised terms.
A further basis for the ‘charge’ were drafts of stories and reflections which had been found in my map case.”
Alexander Solzhenitsyn was Awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1970, but the Communist government did not allow him to leave the country to accept it.
Solzhenitsyn began publishing The Gulag Archipelago in 1973. It was translated into 35 languages and sold over 30 million copies. In response to international pressure, the Soviet Union expelled him on FEBRUARY 13, 1974.
The following year in Washington, D.C., Alexander Solzhenitsyn warned:
“I … call upon America to be more careful … because they are trying to weaken you … to disarm your strong and magnificent country in the face of this fearful threat-one that has never been seen before in the history of the world.”
Alexander Solzhenitsyn explained how Russia became socialist:
“Over a half century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of old people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: ‘Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened …’
Since then I have spent well-nigh 50 years working on the history of our revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies …
But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some 60 million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat:
‘Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.'”
Another Russian author, Dostoevsky, in his book, The Brothers Karamazov, had the character Ivan Karamazov contend that if there is no God, “everything is permitted.”
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), remembered for his line “God is dead,” explained how atheism will inevitably reject morality (“Twilight of the Idols,” The Portable Nietzsche, ed., trans. Walter Kaufman, NY: Penguin Books, 1976, p. 515–6):
“When one gives up the Christian faith, one pulls the right to Christian morality out from under one’s feet …
Christianity is a system, a whole view of things thought out together. By breaking one main concept out of it, the faith in God, one breaks the whole: nothing necessary remains in one’s hands.
Christian morality … has truth only if God has truth—it stands or falls with faith in God.”
Patrick Henry stated:
“It is when a people forget God that tyrants forge their chains.”
Self-Educated American Contributing Editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s books here.