On Persecution

“But he’s right when he says that just about all the persecution in the world comes from religions,” I said. “I’m not an atheist myself, but I have to admit he has a point there.”

“He can say that only because most Americans can’t remember anything before last week,” Mr. Magundi replied. “The whole history of the twentieth century was a history of the persecution of religion by brutal institutional atheism. The persecutors saw themselves as the light overcoming the darkness of religion; but if Pol Pot, Stalin, Mao, and Hitler are the light, then I’d rather sit in the dark. If, since the fall of the Soviet empire, religion has come back in a persecuting mood, that is of course deplorable. But to say that there are no atheist persecutions demonstrates such an appalling ignorance of history that I really don’t know how to reply. Persecution is not a religious phenomenon, and it is not an anti-religious phenomenon. It is a human phenomenon; and perhaps we could even say that it is a pre-human phenomenon, one that we share with all animals that live in social groups. Religion may provide the excuse for persecution, or atheism may provide it. But it is only the excuse. What we want is not to persecute atheists, or to persecute Jews, or to persecute Buddhists, or to persecute Christians, but simply to persecute someone.”

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One thought on “On Persecution

  1. ” we want… simply to persecute someone ”
    and only by empathising with that someone are we able to overcome that ” want “.

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