This is what I like about these head-buttings of ours, dear lady: I think we have earned one…
Ron Collins

Yes: My attempts to remain impartial and detached on matters of history often fall apart when discussing Stalin. I find it very difficult to see Stalin as anything but evil. But I am sure he didn’t see himself that way. His time in the seminary must surely have influenced him. I suppose it could have fostered a sort of love / hate relationship with the church, but such love / hate relationships often manifest in the most vitriolic hatred of all when they break down. Stalin was not just indifferent to the church as those who came after him were; he was a passionate crusader against religion in the same vein as Lenin had been. Was that partly motivated by personal revenge for a church that had rejected him, or was it also motivated by his desire to replace it by sending a message to the church and its followers — I am the new supreme Patriarch now.

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