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Excerpt from “Of Clay and Iron: The Great American Apostasy”

Of Clay and Iron: The Great American Apostasy

From Faith to Stalinism

On August 23, 1944, one million Russian troops invaded Romania. The socialists, who morphed into communists in time (as they always do), took power. And so, the nightmare had begun for the Church, for followers of any kind of faith freely chosen, and for the atheists who were supporting the freedom to worship. This nightmare started building up behind the curtains, it was swiftly infiltrating in the society and it was being built up with the Romanian’s society hands, by the Russian philosophers who were interpreting and applying Marx’s philosophy in a society that had forgotten that pure human evil exists.

The Socialists didn’t break down the doors of the Churches as they walked in the country. The Socialists courted the churches, enticed their leaders with promises of prosperity, equality for their followers, increased revenues for their leaders and privileges. Identity politics was seducing the minds of the Romanian priests.  The religious leaders were flirting with the Marxists and the Russian’s promises of financial security and prosperity, promises that were made to sound as if they were exclusive for the religious leaders, sounded very attractive.  

In their attempt to promote the Socialist agenda, the Soviet philosophers and high-ranked military troops organized a Convention of Religious Leaders, where ministers, pastors, rabies, bishops, mullahs, and even cult leaders were invited. It was a national meeting of religious leaders of all faiths across the country, and about 4,000 religious leaders met. These leaders have been free to lead their flocks as they pleased up to that point, and the Convention was promoted as a unifying and peaceful event, meant to mend and strengthen the connections between the leaders; it was supposed to be a conference that promoted love and acceptance of each other, in other words, tolerance; this was a conference that was meant to convince the few religious leaders who were not yet convinced, that the Socialists did their best to love and welcome them, and help them experience genuine community – values that all people hold dear, especially the religious ones.

However, during the conference it became clear that one of the main beliefs of the Socialists was that community is made of people from all walks of life, regardless of politics and backgrounds, but only as long as the political affiliation and lifestyle aligns to the socialist agenda.  Joseph Stalin was appointed as honorary patron of the Congress.  Darwin, Nietzsche, Hegel and Marx were praised as thinkers that are bringing forth Romania’s “inevitable progress”. The speeches from this Congress were broadcasted across the nation by any media stream available at that time, as it was part of the propaganda mean to pursue the population of the importance of embracing tolerance under the patronage of Stalin. This tolerance was about accepting that, in addition to Jesus’s death on the cross (which is seen in most Christian faiths as the single saving even in the history of humanity), accepting the government as a Father figure will bring spiritual clarity and financial prosperity to the church. The church leaders who prior to this Congress had been bought by the Bolsheviks came to speak one by one, and they were all praising the glorious new era that Romania is heading towards, under the holy guidance of the new government.  Heavy words, like: “This is God’s will for our nation, that we come together with our glorious new party under the government’s guidance.”, were used by some of the leaders to describe the excitement of joining the socialist party during the Congress.

For all people of faith, when the head of the Orthodox Church or the Minister of their congregation says words like: “God spoke to me.”, or “It is prophesied that we will join the Party.”, or “God showed it to me in a dream…”, these words carry a serious weight. The political leaders at the time knew this, so they pursued these leaders to join the party and bribed them to use their authority as heads of the Churches / Synagogues / Mosques to pursue the other leaders in lower functions and their congregations to join the Party. Jesus, Mohammed and Abraham were all seen as Stalin’s equals, who was praised as the modern Savior and Patron of the Church. Stalin’s way was seen as the way of faith, because it was preaching tolerance towards a different way of seeing life. And this new way of seeing life was – supposedly – about being kind towards those who are poor, those who lack the luxury of an abundant life; it was about being more loving, it was about being attentive with various groups of people who have been victims of the rich oppressors. This message sounds very moral and ethical and religious, loving and according to the Bible. What person of faith would ever oppose being loving and kind? The parts that have never been mentioned throughout the entire propaganda period that followed the invasion of the Russian troops were: who decides who is rich and who is poor? Who decides what a lifestyle of abundance is, and what is a healthy balanced diet? How are going to be some persuaded to give what (someone else decides) they don’t need?  The new progressive lifestyle was also encompassing violence towards those who don’t accept having someone make their life choices for them, but that had never been spoken about back in Romania, just like nobody speaks about in here in the States today.

During that Congress in Romania in 1944, Church leaders had been given a choice: either get enrolled in the soviet services or go to jail under the accusation of being traitors. It was not a matter of “if” they will go to jail, it was only a matter of “when”, and by “who’s hands”, if they don’t accept Stalin and his way of “tolerance”.

Talking about a god – any god – as a Savior and Lord became enough reason for arrest, torture, beatings and imprisonment. Talking about the God of the Bible became even more dangerous; some people lost their lives on the spot, as soon as they mentioned Jesus’ Name. The unity of the society had been torn apart by the Bolshevik reward system: the greater the number of religious people that one would turn in, the greater the rewards from the party. In a time when everyone was starving, the ones who were informants of the police were well off, so people would turn each other in in order to make sure their kids have enough food.

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