Sunday, April 12, 2015

Nikita Khrushchev on God

On April 12th, 1961, Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin was the first man in outer space as his Vostok I spacecraft orbited the Earth in a 108 minute flight.  Upon his return, Soviet Premier Nitika Khrushchev mocked religion by claiming that Gagarin announced: "I went up into space and did not see God anywhere." This was triumph for Soviet atheism at the height of the Cold War.

But like many aspects of the Soviet Space program, not everything was accurate.  Despite the brash bluster of Comrad Khrushchev, Gagarin was never heard uttering that controversial quip.  In addition, Gagarin was a baptized member of the Russian Orthodox Church who was actually quite devout (but privately so as not to scandalize the Soviet state and their scientific socialism hagiography).

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