Whether it be your next door neighbor or one of the popular "New Atheists," the claim that religion is the main cause of humanities ills is becoming more and more common and the non-believer seems all to anxious to bombard the believer with such accusations as, "What about all the violence religion has caused?"
If those who attack Christianity continue to insist that the ordinary follower of Christ, who has never done anyone harm, must answer for the crimes committed by self-proclaimed Christians in history, then likewise atheists do not get to turn a blind eye to the brutality caused by their beliefs in recent world history.
In Dinesh D’Souza’s book, What's so Great about Christianity?, he demonstrates that while religion has been guilty of violent acts, its the atheist who has much more to answer for:
“Even taking higher population levels into account, atheist violence surpasses religious violence by staggering proportions. Here is a rough calculation. The world’s population rose from around 500 million in 1450 AD to 2.5 billion in 1950, a fivefold increase. Taken together, the Crusades, the Inquisition, and the witch burnings killed approximately 200,000 people. Adjusting for the increase in population, that’s the equivalent of one million deaths today. Even so, these deaths caused by Christian rulers over a five-hundred-year period amount to only 1 percent of the deaths caused by Stalin, Hitler, and Mao in the space of a few decades.” (2)
When one truly gives their life to Jesus Christ and accepts His invitation to follow, the fruit that results is love, peace, forgiveness, giving, etc.
German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche predicted that the “death of God” movement would lead to the bloodiest century in history and a universal madness. Nietzsche was willing to admit that atheism is devoid of conscience.
Authors Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris, who continue to preach the “moral superiority” of atheism, would do well to reexamine the history of godless governments.
But wait! Wasn't Hitler a Christian? To get an idea of how Hitler really felt about Christianity, see here.
Courage and Godspeed,
Chad A. Gross
1) Sam Harris, The End of Faith.
2) Dinesh D'Souza, What's so Great about Christianity, p. 215.