Note: Dr. Tom Snyder contributed to this column.
Atheist, secular educators and pseudo-intellectual social critics from the left like to promote the false argument that religion has killed more innocent people than any other force in the history of mankind. They also claim that religion has been the cause of more wars in human history than any other.
These wild claims are completely false.
First, according to “The Irrational Atheist” by Vox Day, before the 20th century more than 133 million people were killed by genocide, political murders and mass murder, but only about 2.65 million murders (less than 2 percent) were for religious reasons, such as the Christian Crusades, witch-hunts and the Aztecs slaughtering their neighbors, and most of those took place over several centuries.
Also, in the 20th century alone, atheist regimes from the socialist left – such as Stalinist Russia, Mao’s China, the Cambodian and Vietnamese Communists and Yugoslavia – murdered more than 153 million people in 65 short years!
In contrast to this atheist, leftist slaughter, practically no political murders, mass murders or genocides were committed by Christians for religious reasons in the 20th century, but the pagan National Socialists in Germany killed 6 million Jews during World War II, and the Muslim jihadists during the Armenian genocide in Turkey killed about 2 million Christians in 1915-1916 and are killing scores of Jews in Israel and Christians in Iraq/Syria today under the Islamic State and other Muslim groups.
Finally, according to the “Encyclopedia of Wars” by Charles Phillips and Alan Axelrod, published in 2004, there have been 1,763 wars in recorded human history, and only 123 of those, or 7 percent, involved religious conflict.
Interestingly, of those 123 “religious wars,” 66 of them, nearly 50 percent, involved Islam!
It also should be noted that the kind of Muslims the Islamic State represent are the kind who sided with Hitler during World War II. These Islamist ideologues are a clear and present danger, a great evil that’s threatening the whole world, not just the Middle East and Israel.
So, when liberal atheists like Sam Harris (on page 12 of his book “The End of Faith”) say that humanity’s tendency to slaughter one another “generally have their roots in religion,” he’s not telling the truth. He’s spreading a vicious lie, consciously or unconsciously.
Sadly, however, our schools and universities, including private ones, have picked up this atheist lie. Also, the mass media (including many pseudo-intellectual, misinformed celebrities and renowned “journalists”) are also spreading this lie. (See movies like Bill Maher’s “Religulous,” “White House Down,” where Christians are seen as the extremist jihadists, or “Cloud Atlas,” where a modern Christian clergyman supports slavery, when in Great Britain, America and Africa it was Christians who led the fight against slavery and racial discrimination.)
Both of these influential social institutions, Big Education and Big Media, are leading America’s children and grandchildren to self-destruction. They are deceiving our children about who are the real bad guys, and most of their fingers are pointing at Christians and Christianity, who are persecuted and killed more than any other group by atheist socialists, Muslims and Hindus. Even the United Nations and the U.S. federal government have participated in spreading this lie.
This heinous lie is nothing but blasphemous slander.
Jesus Christ did not come to kill people, but to save them from sin and evil. Christianity has been the greatest force in history when it comes to building hospitals, creating schools and universities, saving lives, feeding the hungry, helping the truly needy, spreading liberty, fighting evil like National Socialism and international communism, helping criminals and substance abusers change their lives, aiding orphans, leading the fight against slavery and forced segregation and ameliorating the terrible effects of war.
In fact, Christianity has been such a powerful force for good in the last 2,000 years that you can’t really accomplish much good without it and without preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Lest anyone call this statement supporting Christian faith anti-Semitic or anti-Jewish, let us remember that Christianity’s founder, Jesus Christ, was Himself a Jew.
So, next time you run up against an irrational atheist, loony secular progressive, or even a stranger on the street ranting and frothing at the mouth against religion, Christianity, God, the Bible, or the “religious right,” tell them they’ve been taught to believe a malicious lie. Ask them to recount what the Muslims are doing around the Middle East and the world now. Tell them that in reality atheists, leftists and totalitarian governments like Adolf Hitler’s or Joe Stalin’s have murdered more people and been the cause of more war and death than any other factor, except for the pseudo-religious Muslim jihadists who follow the war demigod, Allah.
As Jesus said, the Truth will set you free: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).