Debates between atheists like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens on the one hand and former atheists - turned - Christians like Alister McGrath and Peter Hitchens on the other are interesting to watch.
Given the 90th anniversary of Lenin’s secret Shuya Memorandum of 22 March 1922, I thought it might contribute to the continuing debates by quoting a few bits and pieces from Peter Hitchens' reflections, following his five years in Moscow as journalist:
Was the anti-theist teaching of the Soviet schools under Lenin good? Did they produce a good society? (142)
“Vladimir Ilyich Lenin’s secret Shuya Memorandum of 22 March 1922 launched the state-sponsored looting of Russia’s churches in the hope of provoking the Orthodox hierarchy into resistance and so crushing them ... That year, 2 691 priests, 1 962 monks and 3 447 nuns were killed” (133).
“Moscow, despite growing enormously in the 75 years since the Bolshevik putsch, had lost 500 of its 600 churches, many of the m spitefully desecrated, some blown up, some relegated to serve as store-rooms” (135).
“The biggest fake miracle staged in human history was the claim that Soviet Russia was a new civilisation of equality, peace, love, truth, science and progress. Everyone now knows that it was a prison, a slum, a return to primitive barbarism, a kingdom of lies where scientists and doctors feared offending the secret police, and that its elite were corrupt and lived in secret luxury. I saw this myself at first hand when I lived there” (123).
For more see Peter Hitchens’ book: The Rage Against God (Continuum: London & New York, 2010).