Those pesky accomodationists

As we know, the New Atheists do not like “accomodationists.”  The problem is that accomodationists do not come down hard enough on religion.  By failing to recognize just how dangerous and bad religion is, the accomodationists are considered part of the problem.

So you have to wonder, did Madalyn Murray O’Hair and her group have their battles with accomodationists?  It turns out they did.  Jon Murray, who helped run American Atheists with his mother, was upset by the fact that other atheists were being too respectful to religion.  They had been hardcore in the past, but they were going soft.  And Jon did not like this one bit.  So he fired off an article for their magazine, American Atheist.

Who were these other accomodationist atheists ?


The Soviet Union.

I kid you not.  In 1987, Gnu atheist Jon Murray complained in writing that the Soviet Union was getting much too soft on the question of religion.  Read it for yourself:



[Kindly uploaded by Freeman 78756FOX]

[The following excerpts were written by Jon G. Murray

in the “American Atheist” of October, 1987. Jon Murray

is the son of Madalyn Murray O’Hair, who brought the

successful lawsuit in the ’60s to ban public school

prayers. Murray’s totalitarian ramblings in no way

represent all atheists, but form an example of yet

another group which, while apparently promoting some

side issue, is actually advancing socialism.]

“…If you [an atheist] are confronted by religionists and you show

any sign of compromise or indecision, it will be used against you as

they go for the jugular.  This is why the Soviet Union has guarded its

internal affairs so since the end of World War II. It has been attacked

and harassed more than any other nation on earth, with the possible

exceptions of China and Cuba… The adoption of a hard-line internal

policy has been a survival necessity, as has the dedication of a large

proportion of the Soviet economy to “defense.”…If the West had left

the Soviet Union alone, it might not have as much to harp about now

concerning alleged human rights violations.

“Knowing the background of the situation as I do, I am deeply

concerned about new Soviet policies with respect to religion….They

must feel, knowing that religion versus Atheism is one of two basic

factors that keep the cold war going, that they need to show the West

over and over again that they are being fair to the religious. Such a

policy cuts no ice with me, as an Atheist. I think that the religous in

any nation should get what they richly deserve for setting back all of

human culture for thousands of years.

“When a delegation of American Atheists last visited the Soviet

Union, we had an interesting discussion with a high-level official with

the Soviet Bureau of Atheism in Moscow. We asked if the official Soviet

position was to allow parents or, particularly, grandparents to teach

religion to their children, when they were being presented with public

school instruction on Atheism? The answer was yes … We then asked

if it would be all right for that same grandmother to teach her

grandchild about the “superior values of capitalism.” The answer was a

very firm no… We could not make our Soviet counterpart see that one

was equally as dangerous to the overall future of his country as the


“As an Atheist leader, I think that this ultimate sacrifice

[allowing Western religion to invade the Soviet Union] is a mistake.

Opening up to religion and democratization could be the fatal

combination for socialism … If the Socialist countries open up to

religion, religion will destabilize them from the ground up, thus

softening them up for the invasion of capitalism. The Soviet Union,

China, and Cuba are basically poor, working-class countries, and they

will be simply used as slave labor camps for capitalism.

“Religion will move in and destroy the rational base of Socialism.

Once that is accomplished, the idea of democratization is injected into

the culture, thinning out and destroying the leadership, turning

elections into popularity contests, and displacing the workers and

denying them the right to direct participatory self-government. Then

capitalism takes over the economic system, and production for use turns

into production for profit, and workers become wage slaves.”

“I think that the religous in any nation should get what they richly deserve for setting back all of human culture for thousands of years.” Sounds like it could be a sig file for many gnu blogs, eh?

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4 Responses to Those pesky accomodationists

  1. Gregory says:

    Re: “Religion will move in and destroy the rational base of Socialism.”

    This in reply from a paper I’m currently writing on “Instead of Capitalism vs. Socialism,” i.e. that ‘outdated’ conversation from the 20th century Cold War:

    “Jesus was the first socialist, the first to seek a better life for mankind .” – Mikhail Gorbachev (As quoted in The London Daily Telegraph, 16 June 1992.)

  2. Crude says:

    Alright, Mike, you apparently know how to dig. I’m impressed.


  3. physphilmusic says:

    The part about forbidding parents to instruct their children in religion makes me shudder. If any of the gnu atheists started espousing that openly, I would immediately sound the alarm to call for a coalition among all theists including even the most wacky and naive six day creationists. I would rather support Bob Jones University than state-supported prohibitions on private religious instruction.

  4. The Deuce says:

    “The part about forbidding parents to instruct their children in religion makes me shudder. If any of the gnu atheists started espousing that openly…”

    Dawkins already did just that, though he backed off it later:

    And, somewhat less openly, there was Daniel Dennet with his “cultural zoos” bit:

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