Following the republican campaign in the US, I cannot but remember things I have followed in my childhood and youth. I mean Soviet anti-American, "anti-imperialist" propaganda. Both are strikingly similar, at least the Republican conservatives and the Christian Right remind me of Communist ideologists, commissars and politruks. Yes, sometimes there is no big difference between fanatical Christians and fanatical Atheists. The world view of both of them is Manichean, built on the idea of an irreconcilable war between the forces of Evil and Good, ideas originating in ancient Iran. For a true Soviet citizen, a "Soviet believer" there were no compromises, he/she had to be uncompromising in his/her fight against imperialists, fascists, nationalists, cosmopolites, etc. He/she had always to be vigilant to discover the enemy ploys, to unmask him. And every rude word was good for the enemy. Because this enemy was an offspring of the Devil. And a good Christian cannot have any contacts, make any deals with the Devil. This is the point. There are adversaries, opponents, even enemies with whom you can make war, but also make peace. But you cannot make peace with an absolute enemy, i.e. with the absolute Enemy who is the Devil, Satan. There is the age-old battle between him, the Prince of darkness, and God of light. Once it will end with the final victory of the Good. This is what the radical Christian right wing believes and this is quite similar to what the radical Bolsheviks believed. They too believed into the last battle that will liberate mankind... As far as I know, there are similar tendencies, similar politruks and fanatics at work in the Islamic world, professing an as uncompromising battle against the Devil and his forces, the Americans, the Zionists, the unbelievers, the false believers as did the Bolsheviks. An uncompromising, merciless battle with lots of bombs exploding in marketplaces, many heads with godless ideas in them cut off, many rockets fired at enemy mosques and churches.
I am more or less an atheist with a strong interest for religion and theology. I can very well communicate and socialise with people who believe in God, communism, liberalism or whatsoever. But I cannot communicate with people believing in Satan's existence. I think I have proven that if you believe in Satan, then you can believe in anything and often also do anything, commit nearly any crime... I grew up in a society where we had to believe in Satan, in the absolute evil of American imperialists and their henchmen (although most of us didn't believe). And I have the feeling that such beliefs are becoming stronger in the US. It makes me feel uneasy.
My grandfather, headmaster of a small country school, lost his job in 1903. He had told his pupils that we humans are descendants of apes, and he had shown to his class pictures of these apes. Somebody among the students' parents had informed the authorities. He had a serious talk with the inspector of schools of the Tzarist ministry of education, and as my granddad was a very straightforward and honest person, he told that he couldn't tell his class anything but the truth and the whole truth of science. Then the inspector told him politely that he should find for himself another job. What he did, becoming a successful businessman.
I think how many such teachers can we now find in the American Bible Belt. How do they solve their problems when confronted with some fundamentalist young-earth-believer from a school board. I dont know. I would like to know.