Religion: The Importance of Atheism

Religion is immensely important to atheists—as was demonstrated once again last week in Moscow by the Scandal of Sasha Turkin.

Sasha was an honor student in the tenth grade of Moscow's School No. 147. Naturally he applied for membership in the Komsomol, the Communist Youth Organization. But just as the classroom vote on him was about to be taken, according to Moscow's Komsomolskaya Pravda, his friend, Vitali, tried to make everyone laugh by asking Sasha a stupid question: "Do you believe in God?" "Yes," replied Sasha in a hushed voice. "I do."

Inna, the girl friend who had sponsored Sasha's application, blushed crimson,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!