How To Blame Atheism
Evangelical Christianity’s all-time favorite hobby is blaming atheism for all the bad shit that happens in the world. Their attempt fails on every single level every single time, but it sure is fun as hell watching them grasp at straws with lies, false attributions, and clearly revisionist history.
Fun Cool Facts
Now this one is my personal favorite because Christians are incapable of grasping nuance and the subtleties of an argument. Pay close attention to my exact words…
The probable total number of people killed specifically and solely in the name of god or through some byproduct of religion:
- Millions upon millions upon millions
The probable total number of people killed specifically and solely because they refused to reject [their] god:
- Very likely zero
Sure, the distant past has shown us a few (just a few) very disturbed tyrants who did not believe in god, but specifically and solely, it very likely never happened.
Anyone who’s opened a history book (including the bible) knows that millions upon millions of lives have been taken in the name of god – including the refusal to accept someone else’s god. Now pay close attention. Atheists reject all notions of god. Got it? It’s a thoroughly fair and reasonable disconnect to point out – as well as the crux of the point I am making here. You offer no compelling argument by marrying my assertion to a few scattered historical acts of genocide by past communist regimes…because you can’t prove causation. All you have is an interesting correlation.
Which brings us to…
Causation Versus Correlation
I don’t feel like giving the lecture, so first read up on it yourself if you don’t know the difference.
Let’s make this clear. I do not deny that a few secular communist leaders of the past had a penchant for committing murderous atrocities. (So you read a history book. Mazel tov.) But that in and of itself does not speak to the reasons why.
Approximately 92% of the the world population believes in a supreme being in one form or another. Attributing the faith-based proclivities OF A NEAR TOTALITY to an unpleasant fate is utterly ludicrous. Theists represent the overwhelmingly vast majority of the planet – including the past populations of nations once lead by atheistic governing bodies with a demented fuck at the helm. Any fate (good, bad, or indifferent) of the near totality could be attributed to their faith…because they represent the near totality! I mean, who else is there to persecute? The other scattered 8%?
From Wikipedia on Pol Pot:
“The Khmer Rouge also classified by religion and ethnic group. They banned all religion and dispersed minority groups, forbidding them to speak their languages or to practice their customs. They especially targeted Buddhist monks, Muslims, Christians, Western-educated intellectuals, educated people in general, people who had contact with Western countries or with Vietnam, disabled people, and the ethnic Chinese, Laotians and Vietnamese. Some were put in the S-21 camp for interrogation involving torture in cases where a confession was useful to the government. Many others were summarily executed. Confessions forced at S-21 were extracted from prisoners through such methods as raising prisoners by their arms tied behind and dislocating shoulders, removing toenails with pliers, suffocating a prisoner repeatedly, and skinning a person while alive.”
Minority groups, western intellectuals, the educated, the disabled, ethnic Chinese, Laotians, and Vietnamese, and fucking western contractors. And you think Pol Pot was out on some atheist mission to kill religion? The guy was a sick twist with a bug up his ass about nearly everyone.
There’s a bowl of 10 million M&Ms – 9.2 million of which are green. I’m a sick twisted hungry tyrant (who happens to be an atheist) who eats the entire bowl. Does this really mean that I’m persecuting the green ones because of their color? You can’t possibly know such a thing.
If some guy opened fire upon a crowd at a football game, could you fairly argue that he killed all those people because he was a football fan? Or because they were football fans? Of course not. Again, one has absolutely nothing to do with another – at least not necessarily. Maybe he was just some wacko who lived near the stadium and wanted to kill as many people as possible in front of a live viewing audience. Similarly, if a communist or fascist leader has no specific belief in any god, it does not logically follow that anything he says or does is in the name of (or motivated by) atheism.
The hypothetical guy who killed all those people at the stadium did so because he was a deeply sick fuck, not because he was a football fan. Stalin persecuted and executed some number of that staggering 92% because he was a deeply sick fuck, not because he was an atheist.
But clearly though, history is filled with many accounts of murder specifically in the name of god – such as the Christian Crusades (1095-1291) and the attacks on 9/11. Only the most disingenuous among us would deny that. Millions upon millions upon millions.
Theist A killed Theist B because they either believed in the wrong god or refused to accept the god of Theist B.
What Never Happened
Atheist X killed Theist Y because they either believed in any god or refused to become an atheist.
Note the clear distinction between one believer killing another for embracing the wrong god and a non-believer killing a believer for embracing any god. Never happened. Ever.
Who’s Really to Blame?
Political and socio-economic factors caused communist atrocities (against people who just happened to be believers), not theological ones. Remember, 92% of the planet believes in a supreme being in one form or another. Again, in this instance, wouldn’t you expect this to be the fate of the overwhelming demographic majority? Look at the god damn numbers.
Tell me, when was the last time an atheist strapped a bomb to his chest and blew up a cafe or train station because the people inside didn’t embrace evolution.
Listen to this executioner’s decree and further delude yourself that atheism has taken more lives than the name of any god.
How about a couple of small-scale insignificant conflicts known as the Crusades and the Holocaust? Those had nothing to do with religion at all, right? All that mayhem and murder must have been over a lost bar wager.
Theists, especially Christians, hate this fact and try to dismiss it with silly arguments about oil fields and communist regimes and other such nonsense, but there’s no getting around it. Sure, I’ll happily admit that religion has done (and still does) some wonderful things for society (like charity and other humanitarian efforts), but religion as a whole has also taken more lives than any other cause in the history of mankind.
Our Pal Hitler
The Christian fundamentalist mind functions at a very primitive level.
This is how they process information:
- Hitler = Bad
- Atheist = Bad
- Hitler = Atheist
This is why so many Fundies believe (or at least want to believe) that Adolph Hitler was an atheist. This is an utterly laughable postulation and easily refuted by opening up an easily obtained copy of Mein Kampf ($17.60 at Barnes & Noble) or through a multitude of free resources on the internet.
ATTENTION SELF-DECEIVING CHRISTIANS
OR ANYONE ELSE WHO NEVER OPENED A WORLD HISTORY BOOK
Here are just two of my favorite Mein Kampf quotes that prove to Hitler’s theology as a Christian:
“The folkish-minded man, in particular, has the sacred duty, each in his own denomination, of making people stop just talking superficially of God’s will, and actually fulfill God’s will, and not let God’s word be desecrated. For God’s will gave men their form, their essence and their abilities. Anyone who destroys His work is declaring war on the Lord’s creation, the divine will.” (Page 562)
Hitler believed in god, and he was a Christian. End of story.
This is where you’re average bible-punching idiot shifts into “Well, he wasn’t a REAL Christian…” mode, but that’s another rant for another day.
I could cite a hundred other proofs (not that the two above aren’t more than enough), but I’ll include one more because this one is a gem. The following is an excerpt from a speech that Hitler gave in Munich on April 12, 1922:
“My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God’s truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter.
In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison.”
The photo on the right shows Hitler with guy pal Archbishop Cesare Orsenigo, the papal nuncio in Berlin. It was taken On April 20, 1939 when Orsenigo celebrated Hitler’s birthday. (Rumor has it they were teamed up when the party broke into an unplanned game of charades. “Movie title…first word…sounds like kike…”) The celebration was initiated by Pacelli (Pope Pius XII) and quickly became a tradition.
Religious sayings were also placed on their military gear. To the left is a German army belt buckle which reads “Gott Mit Uns.” In case your German is a bit rusty, this means “God With Us.” Unless you’re living in total denial of all that is glaringly obvious, this is undeniable proof of Hitler’s religious charge.
Hitler worked closely with Pope Pius to convert Germanic society to Catholicism and supported the church. The Church absorbed Nazi ideals (including distrust and hatred of the Jews) and preached them as part of their sermons. In turn, Hitler mandated Catholic teachings in public schools.
Here you can see Catholic clergy and Nazi officials, including Joseph Goebbels (far right) and Wilhelm Frick (second from the right) giving the Nazi salute.
Hitler affirmed the Christian faith, never shut down a Christian church, and claimed that his actions during the war were fully consistent with biblical teachings and its commandments.
With just a few clicks of the mouse you can find hundreds of other historically documented proofs on your own, which I encourage you to do.
Know that you will also find tons of Christian propaganda that frantically tries to refute this, but that’s certainly expected.
Many claim that Hitler was just “playing the part” to appease and sway those in his command who believed in god. (Laughable, isn’t it?) This is nothing more than a knee-jerk reaction to keep such atrocities away from the name of god, that’s all. But sweet dreams to those who choose to delude themselves.
As they say in law, res ipsa loquitur (“the thing speaks for itself”). Hitler believed in the Judeo-Christian god and accepted Jesus Christ as his personal lord and savior. Period.
Pinko Commie Bastards
For those deluded and misguided armchair historians who love to argue that people have been killed in the name of atheism – an utterly laughable position, I offer up this comment (an email excerpt) from Cliff Walker of Positive Atheism Magazine:
Had you studied Russian history and culture, you would not be saying something like this. But you have not studied Russian history and culture; instead, you are cloaking your hatred and bigotry as a pretense for knowledge of Russian history and culture. And had you been a student of Russian history and culture, you would be talking about Communism combined with a certain Russian cultural idiosyncrasy. You certainly would not be talking about atheism. This is because atheism is simply the absence of a god-belief, regardless of the reason, regardless of the vehemence (or lack thereof) with which the atheism is held, and regardless even of the atheist’s own awareness (or lack thereof) that she or he is an atheist. As such, atheism transcends all ideologies (except theism) and is almost always incidental to each of these ideologies.
Most importantly, there’s no explaining any of this to a person who would do all this without first checking the facts – an armchair historian, sociologist, and philosopher, all wrapped into one, if you will. Communism, when practiced as a religion, combined with Russian culture, was the fatal combination. Atheism was incidental to the whole thing. Had Stalin held his atheism like I hold mine, he would have (1) never been accepted as a leader of the Soviet Union, and (2) never permitted the execution of even a single criminal or rebel.
Ah, but Stalin was much more of a Communist than he was an atheist. And Stalin was much more of a Russian than he was either a Communist or an Atheist. His atheism was incidental to both – if he was even an atheist at all! Yes, I said if he was an atheist, because we don’t know what Stalin’s real feelings were. He did not start out as the Premier of Russia but grew up as a boy and advanced his way through the Soviet military. During any phase of his growth, education, military service, and political leadership, for him to admit any religious faith could have been fatal to his goals, fatal to his leadership, and probably even fatal to his body at one point. If he was religious, then he, like virtually all who suffered under that regime, kept his mouth shut tight. Atheism was enforced because it was the most scientific and because it is almost impossible to form an atheistic movement of any kind (particularly a rebellious movement), whereas religions are very conducive to swaying the membership over to specific ideas and loyalties and thus make dangerous enemies of the state.
In other words, the Communists leaders chose atheism: atheism neither created nor encouraged Communism!
Of course, trying to explain any of this to people whose understanding of atheism came from the pulpit, from an apologetics video, from radio talk shows, or from television shows (not necessarily “The 700 Club”), would be like trying to administer medicine to the dead, apologies to Thomas Paine.
For this reason, I will keep my reply short and sweet so that our readers can be inspired to pick up a scholarly article (or three) on Russian history and Russian culture (or perhaps even hold some lengthy dialogues with Russians, as I often do, seeing as how I live in the Russian section of Portland, Oregon).
Perhaps our readers will then be able to see what it took for a man to be held as an effective leader by the Russian public (as if the Soviet ballots ever listed more than one candidate for any given office).
The question in that culture and in those times is this: How many criminals and “rebels” and such would a man need to slaughter before the Russian populace would hail him as their powerful leader, march in a parade, and sing patriotic songs about him, etc.?
But explaining this is a waste of effort, which is why my sending this to you is but a mere formality, done in honor of Positive Atheism’s policy and for no other reason. It is not my burden to provide for you an education in history, culture, or atheism.
By the way, did you know that Stalin “hated” religion so much that in 1951 he awarded “Stalin’s Prize” to an English clergyman named Hewlett Johnson?
You can squawk all you want about the distant past and the likes of Stalin and Pol Pot and lather yourself up in a tired old argument, but at the end of the day all you have are a few scattered past atrocities that don’t even come close to what the history of man has taught us about the most evil among us who believe. Get over it.
We all know who’s to blame, and it ain’t those who don’t believe in god.