Hitler, a Baptist, and an Atheist walk into a bar…

Why would the Baptist be going to a bar? 😉

One of the common expressions that I have heard on occasion personally, and even more in the public square, is that “religion” is responsible for most of the wars, violence, and death associated with them, even in the modern era.[1] Is this true? If so, does it include Christianity? Is it fair to cast Jesus in this light (i.e. responsible for great violence)?

Jesus gun

Like I said, I’ve heard this before, it’s quite common, and we (Christians) usually let it slide, but we shouldn’t. I don’t know if religion is responsible for most war, but I know that Christianity is not.

Christianity is different. Though some self-proclaimed Christians may do horrible things, they do so in opposition to the book/faith/God they claim to follow. Most of the war, and death associated with, in the modern era is due to Atheism and others opposed to Christianity…

On Christianity:

Christianity is a faith that follows Jesus Christ, and the life and teachings of Jesus are recorded in the New Testament. This might seem simple enough, but when people start talking about whether or not Christianity is responsible for war and violence, I’ve found this needs to be mentioned. Jesus said, among many other things opposed to murder and needless violence, that Christians are called to pray for (not fight with) those who persecute us. You cannot read Matthew 5 and think that Jesus is in favor of mass murder. Listen to how Luke describes Jesus’ words in the compilation usually called the “Sermon on the Plain”

But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.

-Luke 6:27-31The Track Record:

Certainly, many people who have claimed to be Christians have done some unspeakable things, but they do so in opposition to the teaching of their leader, Jesus Christ. So what about those who are opposed to Christianity?

It’s not my intention to bash anyone else’s faith, or lack thereof, but it’s a common charge, usually by Atheists, that the world would be better off without religion and “exhibit A” is the amount of war and death religion causes. I don’t think that’s right. I think, the world would be better off with more Christianity, more New Testaments, following Jesus Christ more closely.

But Atheists don’t want to hurt anyone, right? Well, what is their creed? What is their unifying teaching? Simply that there is no God, no higher power holding mankind in check. The “superman” is able to do what he is able to do with only “survival of the fittest” to guide his morality.

Let me also say, one does not need to be a Christian in order to be a moral person. In fact, I’m quite aware of many Atheists, in particular, who are what most of us would consider to be very ethical and moral people. In fact, God ordains institutions and governments to keep us all in check, whether we believe in God or not (cf. Rom. 13). But there is a difference when Christians behave badly and when Atheists do. When Christians murder, it is in opposition to Christianity; when Atheists murder, it might happen to be against the law. That’s different…

So what about some modern “offenders” when it comes to those who’ve been the impetus for war and death?

What about Lenin, Stalin, Mao Zedong, Pol Pot, and … Hitler. These are all Atheists (or at the very least opposed to Christianity).

Yes, the major genocidal movements in modern history are all made possible because there is an inherent belief that all creatures, including humans, are on on evolutionary trajectory which makes some better than others. This is the only justification for such actions.

On the other side, the people who opposed these horrible atrocities are those who hold to the Christian belief that all people are created in the image of God and are, therefore, of equal value. We (Christians) are the good guys. For sure there are many who are not Christians who fight on our side, but they are fighting for Christian ideals. Even our own declaration of independence gives the basis of the belief that all people have value, because we are given value by our creator.

So the next time someone says that “religion” causes pain and suffering in the world, you (as I do) can respond “maybe with the exception of CHristianity, and if you consider ‘Atheism’ a religion too…”

What about you?

  • “wait a second” you say “Hitler was not an Atheist, he was Catholic…” you can see my post: Friday June 22 Monday June 25 “Was Hitler a Christian?”
  • What do you think? Is Christianity a force for good or evil in the world?
  • Is it fair or unfair to lump Christianity in with all other religions?
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________________________ [1] One example of this would be Maher who says religion is responsible for “most wars…” in his TV Movie “But I’m Not Wrong” (2010). May I quickly say, do not watch this video, it’s not only irreverent, it’s downright dirty. I do not endorse this movie.

About John Harris

I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.

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