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My point is not that Christians or religious people aren't vulnerable to committing terrible crimes. Certainly they are. But it is not religion that produces these things; it is the denial of Biblical religion that generally leads to these kinds of things. The statistics that are the result of irreligious genocide stagger the imagination.
My source is The Guinness Book of World Records. Look up the category "Judicial" and under the subject of "Crimes: Mass Killings," the greatest massacre ever imputed by the government of one sovereign against the government of another is 26.3 million Chinese during the regime of Mao Tse Tung between the years of 1949 and May 1965. The Walker Report published by the U.S. Senate Committee of the Judiciary in July 1971 placed the parameters of the total death toll in China since 1949 between 32 and 61.7 million people. An estimate of 63.7 million was published by Figaro magazine on November 5, 1978.
In the U.S.S.R. the Nobel Prize winner, Alexander Solzhenitsyn estimates the loss of life from state repression and terrorism from October 1917 to December 1959 under Lenin and Stalin and Khrushchev at 66.7 million.
Finally, in Cambodia (and this was close to me because I lived in Thailand in 1982 working with the broken pieces of the Cambodian holocaust from 1975 to 1979) "as a percentage of a nation's total population, the worst genocide appears to be that in Cambodia, formerly Kampuchea. According to the Khmer Rouge foreign minister, more than one third of the eight million Khmer were killed between April 17, 1975 and January 1979. One third of the entire country was put to death under the rule of Pol Pot, the founder of the Communist Party of Kampuchea. During that time towns, money and property were abolished. Economic execution by bayonet and club was introduced for such offenses as falling asleep during the day, asking too many questions, playing non-communist music, being old and feeble, being the offspring of an undesirable, or being too well educated. In fact, deaths in the Tuol Sleng interrogation center in Phnom Penh, which is the capitol of Kampuchea, reached 582 in a day."
Then in Chinese history of the thirteenth to seventeenth centuries there were three periods of wholesale massacre. The numbers of victims attributed to these events are assertions rather than reliable estimates. The figures put on the Mongolian invasion of northern China form 1210 to 1219 and from 1311 to 1340 are both on the order of 35 million people. While the number of victims of bandit leader Chang Hsien-Chung, known as the Yellow Tiger, from 1643 to 1647 in the Szechwan province has been put at 40 million people.
China under Mao Tse Tung, 26.3 million Chinese. According the Walker Report, 63.7 million over the whole period of time of the Communist revolution in China. Solzhenitsyn says the Soviet Union put to death 66.7 million people. Kampuchea destroyed one third of their entire population of eight million Cambodians. The Chinese at two different times in medieval history, somewhere in the vicinity of 35 million and 40 million people. Ladies and gentlemen, make note that these deaths were the result of organizations or points of view or ideologies that had left God out of the equation. None of these involve religion. And all but the very last actually assert atheism.
Religion, and Biblical religion in particular, is a mitigator of evil in the world.
It seems to me that my colleague Dennis Prager's illustration cannot be improved upon to show the self-evident capability of Biblical religion to restrain evil. He asks this in this illustration. If you were walking down a dark street at night in the center of Los Angeles and you saw ten young men walking towards you, would you feel more comfortable if you knew that they had just come from a Bible class? Of course, the answer is certainly you would. That demonstrates that religion, and Biblical religion in particular, is a mitigator of evil in the world.
It is true that it's possible that religion can produce evil, and generally when we look closer at the detail it produces evil because the individual people are actually living in a rejection of the tenets of Christianity and a rejection of the God that they are supposed to be following. So it can produce it, but the historical fact is that outright rejection of God and institutionalizing of atheism actually does produce evil on incredible levels. We're talking about tens of millions of people as a result of the rejection of God.
Originally posted by animekenji
So if you don't believe in creation by a God, and you don't believe humans evolved from lower life forms, then where do you think we came from, and please don't say we were deposited here by aliens as part of some genetic experiment.
SECULARISM – THE MOST EVIL PHILOSOPHY KNOWN TO HUMAN GOVERNMENT
Secularism: The belief that religion should have no place in civil affairs.
Modern Western Secularism: The banning of Christianity from as much of modern life as possible.
A man I worked with back in the 1960s used to say,
“Religion? It has caused more violence and suffering than anything else in history!”
It became somewhat fashionable during the 20th century to claim that the most wicked governments in human history were governments with a religious (usually a Christian) agenda. This claim – totally unsubstantiated by the facts – started to be heard everywhere, especially, of course, among liberals and socialists, and atheists often threw this claim at believers.
The true facts are rather different, indeed, quite dramatically different. I want to give five examples which amount to very powerful evidence that it is God-denying Secularism which has caused more violence and suffering than anything else in history.
1. The French Republic.
It is sometimes forgotten that the French revolution held a very strong anti-church and anti-clerical agenda (apart from its obvious anti-aristocratic motivation). Post-revolution, The French murdered about one million of their own people; often this was without trial or after a 'trial' which can only be called cruel, shambolic and cynical in the extreme. The revolutionaries may have considered the French monarchy somewhat unresponsive and uncaring towards the masses (in fact, the French king had refused to use force against his opponents), but this would prove 'small fry' compared to the wholesale slaughter which followed that revolution. Indeed, in the end the guillotine could not handle the multitudes accounted worthy for slaughter, and mass drowning was employed as a tool of execution. No historian worthy of his salt doubts that many thousands died as a result of that revolution simply because they were the victims of envy, greed and jealousy!
Today it is often claimed that the French Republic was the first truly modern government and the first truly liberal government – in fact it was totalitarian, despotic, often lawless and it raged with a hatred of Christianity and a callous disregard for human life. Moreover, it was this revolution which encouraged people like Marx and Lenin and, yes, Hitler too in their evil designs. How come? Because what happened in France in 1789 showed these 20th century despots how a formerly stable society could be radically – and quite rapidly - changed by the will of the masses when those masses are fed a continual diet of the ideologically appropriate philosophy; the message of France was: get the propaganda right, then find a way of feeding that to the masses and anything becomes possible! Late 18th century France was their 'blueprint.'
2. Nazism and Communism.
In the 20th century alone, more people were slaughtered under secularist governments and in the name of secularist ideologies, such as Nazism and communism, than in all the religious persecutions within western history combined! Most people know that Hitler killed 6,000,000 Jews alone (that is, apart from the other groups which his henchmen slaughtered on a vast scale, including Poles), what is probably far less well-known is that as many as 110-120 million people have been killed by communism alone – in eastern Europe, Africa, Central and South America, southeast Asia and China (the true figures for the massacres and governmentally-caused famines of the Chinese 'Cultural Revolution' and 'Great Leap Forward', for example, are only just emerging and historians have been stunned. Anything from ten to forty million people perished in China).
3. The Spanish Inquisition.
But what of the Spanish Inquisition? It has been claimed that this was one of the greatest evils in European history and that this was an act of Christianity. But what is the truth? I am not going to apologize for things carried out in Roman Catholic countries and one can never excuse torture but I think we should always strive for the truth; Many of us have long suspected that some of the figures hysterically quoted for this “Christian outrage” may be wildly exaggerated; some of the sects as well as some of us Protestants have been guilty here. Two books now give us much greater information on this, Henry Kamen's The Spanish Inquisition and The Inquisition, edited by Brenda Stalcup. In referring to these sources, J.P. Holding writes this,
'Kamen reports that the threat of the Spanish Inquisition has been particularly overblown. Without minimizing the atrocities that were committed, it is nevertheless a fact that many Skeptical sites (relying at times on Helen Ellerbee, a notoriously unreliable source) frame the Spanish Inquisition particularly as one might elsewhere frame Mao's Great Leap Forward. Kamen [K60, 203] notes that, "Taking into account all the tribunals of Spain up to about 1530, it is unlikely that more than two thousand people were executed for heresy by the Inquisition....for most of its existence that Inquisition was far from being a juggernaut of death either in intention or in capability." By Kamen's estimate, for example, "it would seem that during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries fewer than three people a year were executed in the whole of the Spanish monarchy from Sicily to Peru, certainly a lower rate than in any provincial court of justice in Spain or anywhere else in Europe." [K203] This was weighted against people of Jewish and Muslim origin, but let it never be said that the numbers themselves are anything to be flabbergasted about. It is also notable that the impetus for the Inquisition in Spain came first not from the church, but from the king and queen of Spain who asked for an Inquisition to be conducted.' (Quoted from 'Were You Expecting It?' by J.P. Holding. The full article is HERE
4. Witch Hunting.
Somewhat associated with the Inquisition, but also separate in many ways was the issue of 'witch-hunting.' Horrendous death figures have been claimed for this by people like Carl Sagan in their eagerness to pick on an example of 'Christian atrocities.' But in recent years the issue of withcraft has been examined more carefully and the claimed death figures have been greatly revised. Even in 1928 Montague Summers attacked the belief that many witches were burned at the stake in England as "erroneous" and "ignorant" (source: page133, Six Modern Myths by Philip J. Sampson, Inter-Vasity, 2000). "Millions" have somewhat hysterically been claimed to have been put to death as witches by people like Sagan in their eagerness to attack Christianity. As Sampson has pointed out, more recent and better-researched estimates put the figure closer to 150-300 people per year throughout Europe and North America, perhaps somewhere around 60,000 over 300 years. Of course, this cannot be excused but it is wrong to exaggerate and over-embellish the figures. (For any wanting more information on this in a most concise form I can recommend Philip Sampson's book, Six Modern Myths, chapter six, ISBN 0-85111-659-0).
5. The Second World War.
Some have given the Second World War as an example of Christian outrages resulting in millions of deaths but this is a very poor example which can be very quickly refuted! Lets look at this:
The claim is that both Great Britain and the United States on the one hand and Germany on the other hand were 'Christian nations.' But the Nazi party had negated the authority of the German Lutheran Church and the sincere godly pastors were imprisoned; thereafter the Nazis embarked on their road of bloodshed and genocide. Only the pastors who were willing to respect National Socialism were allowed to continue. Hitler and Minister for Propaganda Joseph Goebbels made a determined effort to provide the German people with another ideology and another philosophy to replace the former widespread respect which Germans had held for Christianity. Moreover, continual propaganda sought to undermine Christianity and to encourage respect for Nordic and teutonic pagan mythologies. So, in embarking on their evil and doomed path, the Germany of 1939-1945 cannot be considered a “Christian nation.” However, it was two Christian nations in particular, Great Britain and the United States (plus several other 'Christian nation' allies including Australia, Canada and New Zealand) which were determined to stand up to Hitler's despotism – so this is actually a very strong argument for the moral integrity of Christianity! It was the world's major Christian nations who felt that Hitler could not be allowed to get away with his hideous outrages forever and that some sacrifices were necessary in order to defeat him!!
So I maintain that the popular 20th century argument of liberals and socialists that the most cruel and despotic governments and movements have always been “religious” or “Christian” in philosophy can quite easily be demonstrated to be a complete and utter nonsense; it is governments which have rejected Christianity and strongly promoted other atheistic ideologies which have led to the enslavement and destruction of millions. Secularism (in its many forms) when adopted by human government is a killer!
Copyright Robin A. Brace, 2005. And the copyright said use allowed as long as not commercially used.
(Please note: Sources are not necessarily recommended books in all cases).
Carlyle, Thomas. The French Revolution. IndyPublish.com, 2002.
Hansen, C. Witchcraft at Salem. London: Arrow, 1970.
Levack, BP. Witch-Hunting in Early Modern Europe. Vol III, 1992.
Holding, JP. Were You Expecting It? (Online essay here: www.tektonics.org...)
Kamen, Henry. The Spanish Inquisition, 1997.
Midelfort, HCE. Witch Hunting in Southwestern Germany 1562-1684. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1972.
Purkiss, D. The Witch in History. London: Routledge, 1996.
Roberts, J M. The French Revolution. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997.
Sagan, C. The Demon Haunted World. London: Hooder, 1996.
Sampson, PJ. Six Modern Myths. Leicester: Inter-Varsity Press, 2000.
Stalcup, Brenda. The Inquisition. California: Greenhaven Press.
Stone, L. The Disenchantment of the World. New York Review of Books, 12 Dec, 1971.
Summers M. The Discovery of Witches: A Study of Master Matthew Hopkins.. London: Cayme, 1928.
Originally posted by TheWalkingFox
reply to post by idle_rocker
You did, actually. It was pretty heavily biased information, but I guess it's a start.
So now do Bigwhammy hte favor of presenting the number of deaths from at least 10,000 years of human religion?
Originally posted by WraothAscendant
reply to post by idle_rocker
Someone I can't remember who.
Accused atheism of being misogynist.
Which I find to be a rather shoddy and silly stance.
And I spoke out.