• Obihiro, Hokkaido

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Jim Makin’s Nov. 15 letter, “The inner heart of an ideology,” lectures readers about reason, but it contains claims that are anything but rational or factual. For starters, Makin seeks to shift blame for atheist violence and bloodshed by buying into the idea that atheism’s political and societal manifestation — communism — can be described as a “religion.” To call that claim ridiculous would be too kind; communism is nothing less than state-sponsored atheism, and in the last 90 or so years, it has racked up a human rights record that is unparalleled in brutality, oppression and death.

Atheism is a core element of communism, not just a side dish. It gave the purveyors of communism license to remove all threats to its power by any means necessary. As Dostoyevsky put it, “When God is not, anything is permitted.”

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