Solzhenitsyn: Hatred of God is the Evil in Man's Nature

Though some GOP 'elites' may be heard speaking of God or Christ and even be seen holding a Bible, at bottom they share a common heritage with progressive liberal socialists.  Both are the intellectual heirs of a rebellion against the God of Revelation and Christian theism that began as far back as the Renaissance.  This is why  GOP candidates are allowed occasionally to express pro-morality views, but only as throwaway lines, at least during the primary season.   What infuriates the GOP elite is when someone like Rick Santorum says them with conviction.

For many long years God and pro-moral views were just part of the now happily-defunct winning formula.   But now it’s time to jump onto the decadence band-wagon and throw support in that direction since lying, disorder, death, debauchery, perversion, illegals, global change, 'gay' marriage, open borders, tolerance and abortion are the keys to power, dominance, wealth, status, and position.

It is here that ex-atheist Alexander Solzhenitsyn has much to tell us about the horrendous consequences reaped by a people who rebel against God.  Like America’s progressive liberal and GOP ‘elites,’ Solzhenitsyn initially embraced the revolution against God:

It was Dostoevsky, once again, who drew from the French Revolution and its seeming hatred of the Church the lesson that “revolution must necessarily begin with atheism.” That is absolutely true. But the world had never before known a godlessness as organized, militarized, and tenaciously malevolent as that practiced by Marxism. Within the philosophical system of Marx and Lenin, and at the heart of their psychology, hatred of God is the principal driving force, more fundamental than all their political and economic pretensions. Militant atheism is not merely incidental or marginal to Communist policy; it is not a side effect, but the central pivot.”  Solzhenitsyn

Most of what contemporary Russia has to tell us about that demonic reality can be seen in Solzhenitsyn who warns that once the God of Revelation has been removed from men’s lives, it means the logical end of  modern Western and American history.  In other words, totalitarian Communism and Gulag were not merely Russian experiments  but rather the end of all people who remove the God of Revelation from the center of life.

Atheism said Solzhenitsyn, is based on the evil in man’s nature, and moral relativism, violence, murder and Gulag are the natural expressions of this evil.   Gulag is an essential part of atheist society as it reveals the evil of man’s nature and the folly of the modern humanist dream of earthly happiness.   

Gulag though, is at the same time a starting place for man’s spiritual rebirth, as Solzhenitsyn  describes in Part II of The Gulag Archipelago:

It has granted me to carry away from my prison years on my bent back, which nearly broke beneath its load, this essential experience: how a human being becomes evil and how good.  In the intoxication of my youthful successes I had felt myself to be infallible, and I was therefore cruel.  In the surfeit of power I was a murderer, and an oppressor.  In my most evil moments I was convinced that I was doing good, and I was well supplied with systematic arguments.  And it was only wen I lay there on rotting prison straw that I sensed within myself the first strivings of good.”

Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either—but right through every human heart—and then all human hearts… And even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained.  And even in the best of all hearts there remains… uprooted small corner of evil.”

Slowly it was disclosed to Solzhenitsyn that suffering (Gulag/ the crucible) is the starting point of spiritual redemption:

“Bless you prison, bless you for being in my life.  For there, lying upon the rotting prison straw, I came to realize that the object of life is not prosperity as we are made to believe, but the maturity of the human soul.”   “Your soul, which formerly was dry, now ripens with suffering. And even if you haven’t come to love your neighbors in the Christian sense, you are at least learning to love those close to you.”    The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956

Suffering is the reality of the fallen human condition and for those who do not hate the God of life and other people on account of it, suffering is the beginning of true spiritual life.   Jesus Christ suffered on the Cross, and the suffering in Russia enabled those who underwent it to see this as profoundly as Solzhenitsyn. 

But what of the West and particularly America?  Though there is a vibrant attempt underway to reform the Protestant church there is no strong, national Christian revival but rather the reverse, as Solzhenitsyn perceptively noted many years ago.  As evolutionary humanism, it's theological counterpart and moral relativism cast their nets over the West and America,  Christian conviction in the Revelation of our Heavenly Father, the supernatural, the fall, unchanging Truth and moral absolutes faded and the Western world lost its’ civil courage,

“….both as a whole and separately, in each country, each government, each political party and of course in the United Nations. Such a decline in courage is particularly noticeable among the ruling groups and the intellectual elite, causing an impression of loss of courage by the entire society…..Should one point out that from ancient times decline in courage has been considered the beginning of the end?”

What happened in Russia has already killed the soul of Western Europe and is even now in the last stages of poisoning the soul of America. Thus America and the West are also facing this universal anti-Triune God, orthodox Christian, and faithful Jew phenomenon of state atheism and its politically correct Gulag.  This is the message Solzhenitsyn presented in his American addresses.  In his Harvard commencement in 1978 he castigated  America for its loss of will, loss of truth, and loss of morality as well as its’ love of lies, pleasure, hedonism and materialism together with its satisfaction with legalism in human relations:

Is it possible or impossible to transmit the experience of those who have suffered to those who have yet to suffer?  Can one part of humanity learn from the bitter experience of another or can it not?  Is it possible or impossible to warn someone of danger?…  The proud skyscrapers stand on, point to the sky and say: it will never happen here.  This will never come to us.  It’s not possible here…  Humanity acts in such a way is if it didn’t understand what Communism is, and doesn’t want to understand, is not capable of understanding… The essence of Communism is quite beyond the limits of human understanding.  Its hard to believe that people could actually plan such things and carry them out…

Communism has infected the whole world with the belief in the relativity of good and evil…  Among enlightened people it is considered rather awkward to use seriously such words as ‘good’ and ‘evil.’  Communism has managed to instill in all of us that these concepts are old-fashioned concepts and laughable.  But if we are to be deprived of the
concepts of good and evil, what will be left?  Nothing but the manipulation of one another.  We will decline to the status of animals.”

As godlessness advances over the West and America, destructive and irresponsible freedom is granted boundless space, and even defined as Constitutional rights.  Thus Western and American society said Solzhenitsyn,

“…. appears to have little defense against the abyss of human decadence, such as, for example, misuse of liberty for moral violence against young people, motion pictures full of pornography, crime and horror. It is considered to be part of freedom and theoretically counter-balanced by the young people’s right not to look or not to accept. Life organized legalistically has thus shown its inability to defend itself against the corrosion of evil.”

Throughout Western society and especially here in America suffering is anathema.   It is to be escaped at all costs, meaning that anyone who takes the side of the Revelation of the Triune God, Jesus Christ, creation ex nihilo, sin, immutable truth, unchanging moral law, traditional marriage and procreation rather than death must be crushed. 

Our attempts to escape suffering are legion:  cosmetic surgery, drugs, orgies, abortion, euthanasia, easy divorce, shacking up, decadence festivals, trance festivals, electronic gadgets, role-playing, ‘gay’ marriage,  sodomy, lesbianism, role-playing games, occultism and vast entertainment parks:

We are the products of Disneyland and a society of fakery and plastic everything—including plastic Christianity and plastic Orthodoxy.  Let us be humble enough to recognize it.  (I am not saying, by the way, that one should be forbidden to go to Disneyland or should be constantly scowling—I am only saying that we should be aware of our crippled state and the depth of the true Christianity of suffering.)”    (The Orthodox Revival in Russia, Fr. Seraphim Rose, Sept. 1, 1980)

Solzhenitsyn warned America to wake up and learn from those who have suffered.  Return to America’s orthodox Christian and moral roots and stand firmly in the spiritual war of good against evil.   And do not pursue what is illusory:

“….property and position: all that is gained at the expense of your nerves decade after decade and can be confiscated in one fell night. Live with a steady superiority over life – don’t be afraid of misfortune, and do not yearn after happiness; it is after all, all the same: the bitter doesn’t last forever, and the sweet never fills the cup to overflowing. ”  Alexander Solzhenitsyn

@Linda Kimball