Is this poster a relic from a distant past that has no meaning for us today, or is it a reminder of what can happen to anyone who takes their freedoms lightly?
Given the rancor and aggressiveness of today’s militant secularists, that is a question all Christians should ask themselves.
This poster and 39 others like it were exhibited at the Protect Freedom of Religion event at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Denver this weekend. According to an interivew Father Doug Grandon, the priest who first discovered the posters, gave to CNA, the posters
” … remind us that societies can turn very deadly when you have a kind of radical secularism which manifests in an anti-Christian attitude … you see it in all its ugliness through the lens of these posters.”
Father Grandon “believes the posters are important for Coloradans to see because they “give us a warning that this could happen again. Where you have a disrespect for the freedom of religion, a rampant kind of secularism, this could happen again.”
“If we forget these horrific historical examples, and if we become lethargic in our political involvement, our prayers, in our practice of religion, our culture could be lost. It could happen even here.”
The CNA article says in part:
The October 1917 revolution in Russia led to the atheistic, communist government of the Soviet Union which hoped to eradicate religion, and in particular the Catholic Church, from its empire.
To do this, the government produced thousands of different propaganda posters which denigrated Christianity and which the Soviet Central Committee described in 1931 as “a powerful tool in the reconstruction of the individual, his ideology, his way of life, his economic activity.”
Between 1919 and 1922, 7.5 million of these posters were distributed in the Soviet Union. As many as 250,000 copies of a given poster could be made in the 1930s. The propaganda posters continued to be made through 1983.
The posters showing the Bolshevik worldview fall into three basic categories: icons of the worker, women, and the enemy. The Soviet government also produced anti-religious cartoons and postcards.
The posters contain such imagery as Lenin sweeping clergy from the earth, hypocritical priests, and Christians as sheep being fleeced by their priests. (Read more here.)