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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 14, No. 13. October 4, 1951


"We struggle against the Church, we struggle against the clerics, we struggle against the tact that the Church serves the forces of reaction; we straggle against the forces of religion; we consider religion the opium of the people."

—Maurice Thorez, "L'Humanite," 26/3/34.

I am so glad to see that someone has rushed into the breach nobly shouting, "Hosanna, Josef Stalin and the Lord are joined in the holy bonds of dialectic matrimony, Hosanna," but somehow I feel sorry that it had to be Mr. Piper who was expendable. For it is a lost cause, under fire from the enemy on the one side, and being subtly rammed with your own party's manifestos on the other. The trouble lies in the fact that the Communist Party has two attitudes and one basic belief regarding Christianity (for Mr. Piper prefers to argue this on the basis of Christianity rather than Anglicanism—no matter, the same arguments hold). The one attitude is that exemplified in "The Programme of the Communist International" which lays on Communists everywhere the obligation of "systematically and unswervingly combating religion"—(Page 38, English edition); and the other in a direction of the 7th World Congress of the Communist International stating that "the establishment of a United Front with religious-democratic organisations and their adherents is of decisive importance in all countries." For a history of the change in attitude from a public denial of God to an open propagation of the red herring that communism and religion are not absolutely opposed to each other whilst privately believing that they are, you might do well to read Douglas Hyde's "I Believed." For examples of the anti-religious attitude, the one real belief of Communists regarding religion. I advise Marx and Lenin. For an example of the pro-religious front, you need go no further than Mr. L. B. Piper, in Salient.