> You seem to be under the impression that the Russians by large are atheists
I never said that. You decided that I must believe that and then prepared an (admittedly interesting) discussion about it.
What I said was actually quite simple. Facts:
1. STALIN and those around him were committed atheists. They were serious. Forget what historians have tried to divine about his beliefs (or lack thereof) and go read what the dudes actually wrote. They weren't playing or pretending.
2. As a result of that viewpoint, Stalin and his cohorts sincerely believed that, since there was no God and no afterlife, the only thing that mattered was the here and now. If that meant that you were obstructionist to their view of the future, you were (at best) persecuted or even killed.
The point I was making here was that Stalin horribly persecuted gays, even though he was an avowed and sincere atheist -- so the idea that religion automatically results in anti-gay philosophy is a terrible oversimplification.