I am so weary of this worn-out old canard that Christian religion is responsible for violence and wars, and therefore the sooner we abandon it, the better. This is put forward relentlessly and Joseph-Goebbels-like: “Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth.”
All the wars and violence of history that are attributed to religion are about power, dominance, wealth, territory, pride – all values contrary to those of Christianity. They’re called religious wars only because the combatants sometimes fraudulently invoked their Christian identity or their particular sectarian identity as justification. The combatants don’t unilaterally make it a religious war by calling it so. In fact, Christianity itself does not cause conflict. Human failing does. That is the disease. And incidentally, that disease leads to death, for which Christianity is the cure. We shouldn’t confuse the disease and the cure.
There is a deep irony at work here. At the same time violence is attributed wrongly to Christianity, violence that should be attributed to atheism is not. All of the major conflicts of the twentieth century are based explicitly on ideologies of atheist materialism. Nazism was premised on a Darwinian theory of racial superiority. Soviet communism was explicitly premised on Marxist dialectical materialism. These regimes, even apart from war dead, are responsible for a death toll exceeding 30 million souls. Maoist communism was also premised explicitly on atheist metaphysics, and its non-war genocidal body count exceeded even that.
This bridle-high bloodbath is the direct result of ideologies that explicitly and purposefully imagine a God-less reality. The genocides were not merely rationalized by a metaphysical belief, as the purported religious wars were. They directly resulted from practical application of the metaphysical perspective of atheist materialism.
If the body count is the way we’re going to measure the evil wrought by one’s metaphysics, atheist materialism “wins,” hands-down. So can we please stop saying humanist, atheist materialism is better because Christianity causes violence?