Thursday, July 10, 2008

Imagine no religion

The Freedom from Religion foundation is now funding billboards in several cities that say “Imagine no Religion.”

Go ahead, imagine no religion. All you have to do is study Communism, since atheism is a foundation for Communism. The advertisement for The Black Book of Communism says,
As the death toll mounts—as many as 25 million in the former Soviet Union, 65 million in China, 1.7 million in Cambodia, and on and on—the authors systematically show how and why, wherever the millenarian ideology of Communism was established, it quickly led to crime, terror, and repression (Harvard University Press).

When people want to talk about atrocities committed by "Christians," one of the biggest examples is usually the Inquisition. Estimates for the number of people the Roman Catholic Church executed during the Inquisition range from 32,000 to 125, 000.

Even if we assume the higher figure is more accurate, and rounded the number of Inquisition deaths to 100,000, that would mean that in the 20th century alone, atheist-Communists killed about 1,000 people for every one person killed in the Inquisition !

So go ahead, imagine no religion. It’s easy if you try.

7 comments:

Robert C said...

Nice try!! The Inquisition was carried out IN THE NAME OF CHRISTIANITY!! The Soviets killed people for many different reasons including wiping out the intelligentsia, wiping out political rivals, and wiping out "less than perfectly formed" human beings... NONE OF WHICH had ANYTHING TO DO WITH RELIGION!!

If you want a good example of religiously motivated genocide from the 20th Century, look at the Nazi's my friend... just like the Inquisition: Christians killing Jews just because they're Jews!! How many do you count in that Holocaust??

Dennis said...

Robert C,

The hallmark of Communism was the religion of atheism and atheism and we can see the result of countries permeated with atheistic philosophy!

And Hitler was no more Christian than Muhammad!

Atheist and secular governments behave the way they do because they believe they have no one to whom they are accountable.

So-called "Christians" who have committed atrocities in the name of Christ have done so in direct opposition to the religion they claim to represent. Search the New Testament--you will find that some wars are just, but you will find nothing about slaughtering or torturing people just because they disagree with our religion. In fact, we are taught to love our enemies.

Robert C said...

Hey Dennis- You're right that religion doesn't TEACH murder and torture, but it's the "us against them" attitude it creates that pits groups of human beings together for no other reason than their beliefs. In other words, when a religion TEACHES you that believers will live in eternal bliss and happiness and non-believers, will burn in eternal flames... this creates a attiturde that allows the "the saved" to kill the sub-humans without regret or compassion... they are lost souls and will burn in eternity anyway, why not wipe them out now for rejecting (our) religion.

That's how (I believe) religion is destroying the planet... terrorism itself is another great example... no religious differences, no terrorism.

And, the hallmark of communism was (and still is) no private property and government (then public) owned resources, businesses, and property. Banishing religion was ANOTHER way to banish INEQUITIES in human beings, not THE WAY.

Atheism was never the HALLMARK of communism. Just an additional aspect to creating equality. Religious people might think otherwise, but that is like a lawyer who doesn't like lawyer jokes... just a sensitvity on the subject.

If Hitler wasn't motivated by religion when he screamed "Juden, Juden, Juden" in every speech, then the Soviets weren't either.

Dennis said...

Robert C.

I think your response illustrates the problem of lumping so much together under one label and then imagining that it's all the same.

I don't imagine for a minute (for example) that just because the atheists in the Soviet Union, China, North Korea, Cuba, and elsewhere slaughtered millions and millions of people (far more than those who called themselves Christians ever have)--I don't think for a minute that this means all atheists are monstrous murderers or that atheism necessarily leads to this kind of behavior. Certainly there are atheist humanists who believe in doing good.

But your statement about "when a religion TEACHES you that believers will live in eternal bliss and happiness and non-believers, will burn in eternal flames... this creates a attiturde that allows the "the saved" to kill the sub-humans without regret or compassion..."

This may be true in some cases (especially in Islam and for some Medieval "Christians" in positions of power. but Christians who really take the New Testament seriously, and who genuinely love and are devoted to Jesus Christ DO NOT view the unsaved as "sub-human."

On the contrary, we view the unsaved as people for whom Jesus loved so much he gave his life!

We believe he commands us to show that same kind of love to the "unsaved." And so genuine Christians have given millions, if not billions of dollars to send missionaries not only to "save" the lost, but to feed, cloth, house, educate and provide medical care for them!

We have built hospitals, schools, orphanages, homeless shelters, clinics, pregnancy centers, youth centers, homes, etc.--not to help Christians, but to help the "unsaved"

This is a crucial distinction: There are, and always have been, people who call themselves Christians who have oppressed and killed unbelievers. I am just as opposed to them as you are--maybe even more so because they bring discredit on my Lord.

But there have also been--in all generations--Christians who take the New Testament seriously and who love Jesus more then they love to live; and if you really looked into it, you would find that these Christians have brought incredible good and healing to this world.

Of course, being Christian is both a point in time as well as a progressive journey. It is a point in time in the sense that most true Christians can look back at a particular time in which they repented of their sinfulness and turned to Jesus Christ in loving devotion (faith) as their Lord and Savior.

It is progressive in the sense that it is a journey toward becoming more and more "holy" and all Christians are at different points in this journey.

Critics of Christianity, unfortunately, often like to point to those whom they deem as "hypocrites" and use that as an excuse to discredit all of Christianity. But that's what it is--an excuse, but I digress)

Anyway, I'm sure you will agree that ideas have consequences. I think the religion of atheism is directly behind Communism's dismal human rights record (we may have to agree to disagree on that).

I think that in most cases the human rights abuses by "Christians" were NOT CAUSED by New Testament Christianity, but were carried out by Christians-in-name-only and yes, in all too many cases by genuine Christians as well (for example, in the case of slavery), but that they were acting AGAINST the teachings of the New Testament and Jesus, not in obedience to those teachings.

Next, maybe my choice of the word "hallmark" was not the best, but atheism and communism have always seemed to go hand-in-glove. I think only someone with an apologetic agenda can try to deny that atheism had nothing to do with the oppression and slaughter that has taken place in all Communist countries.

[You mentioned lawyers' sensitivity to lawyer jokes: As an aside that has nothing to do with anything: I learned some of my best lawyer jokes when I worked as a library intern in a law school library :-)

Finally, you wrote, "If Hitler wasn't motivated by religion when he screamed "Juden, Juden, Juden" in every speech, then the Soviets weren't either."

No Hitler wasn't motivated by religion. He was motivated by hatred (or Satan :-) But Communists, on the other hand, were taught that "religion is the opiate of the people" and therefore is a force that is detrimental to society and the common good and needs to be suppressed, oppressed and eradicated. Communism and atheism really do go together hand in glove. And the results were not only a dismal failure, they are truly terrifying.

Robert C said...

Hi Dennis-
I appreciate the time and effort you put into your response. I wouldn't try to respond point for point because it would just open up 1,000 more arguments and rebuttals and so on and so on.

On the whole, I see you giving a pass to 'murder in the name of Christianity' because it's not a part of the New Testament, but you don't give the same consideration to 'murder in the name of Atheism.' So... you think that Atheists around the world support genocide and it is a major part of Atheism to support murdering Christians?

Why the double standard...? What you ascribe to one, you must ascribe to the other. Unless of course you have a sensitivity one way or another.

I think that Christianity teaching people that "those who do not accept the Lord will suffer eternal damnation" is just plain dangerous. We both know that neither Atheism or Christianity teaches hate or murder. But only one of them condemns the other to eternal damnation...

Dennis said...

Robert, I'm not sure how you could have read my post and responded the way you did.

You wrote, "I see you giving a pass to 'murder in the name of Christianity' because it's not a part of the New Testament,"

No, I did not give them a pass. About such people I wrote, "I am just as opposed to them as you are--maybe even more so because they bring discredit on my Lord."

Then you wrote, "So... you think that Atheists around the world support genocide"

But I specifically wrote: "I don't think for a minute that this means all atheists are monstrous murderers or that atheism necessarily leads to this kind of behavior. Certainly there are atheist humanists who believe in doing good."

Over the years I have discovered that many who disagree with me often take issue with what they imagine me to have said, or what they imagine me to believe, rather than interacting with what I have actually written.

But I think you are right about one thing. We've probably chased this rabbit about as far as profitable.

I appreciate a good discussion--even strong debate--that does not degenerate into personal attacks or name-calling. Thank you for that!

Robert C said...

Yes, Dennis. You say that in words. But at the same time (in contradiction with your own words) you seem to focus on Atheism when it comes to 'murder in the name of Atheism' but when it's 'murder in the name of Christianity' you have a million excuses and justifications for it... "I don't believe that, other believers don't think that, that's not written in the scriptures etc..." All I'm saying is: Try to use the same logic for both arguments. It works both ways and I see you driving a one way street.

If you ascribe 'murder in the name of Atheism' to Atheists, they you MUST ascribe 'murder in the name of Christianity' to Christians. If you don't ascribe that to Christians, then don't ascribe it to Atheists...

You want to have it both ways, but you can't.