Christians vrs Atheists: Who's killed the most?

One of the recurring themes of evangelical Christianity is that atheism means people have no reason to look after each other, supporting the allegation that it led the deaths of millions during the 20th century. Disregarding for a moment the reality that wars are caused by elite power conflicts and generally have little to do with religious belief or a lack thereof, I thought I'd check out who led some of the more famous wars and genocides in history...

Submitted by Rob Ray on February 11, 2010

Starting with the most famous of all:

The Holocaust
Leader: Hitler
Deaths: Between 11 and 17 million people
Unfortunately, this is a bad start for the religious, Hitler was a devout Catholic who drew on his religion as a justification for what became the Holocaust.

Hitler

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.

Hitler to General Gerhard Engel, 1941

I am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so.

Rwanda Genocide
Leader: Théodore Sindikubwabo
Deaths: 500,000-1million
Oops, another loser for the men of the cross. Theodore, who memorably told his fellow Hutus to "get working" (ie. kill more Tutsis), was not only a Catholic and backed by the powerful Rwandan Catholic church (left over from Belgium's christian-led occupation of the country), he claimed divine inspiration was behind the massacre, saying God would help the Hutus against the "enemy."

Colonising of the Americas
Leaders: Colombus, the European Monarchs, the easrly US presidents
Deaths: Anywhere between 8.4 million and 100 million people (due to lack of records)
Oh dear. Originally found and gutted by a man who cited God every time he opened his mouth (try Howard Zinn for more), followed by a succession of very religious monarchs and religious types who jumped the boats to get away from Europe's restrictions on them, who deliberately introduced massive disease into the native population of an entire continent. Not looking good this. It's paralleled by similar events in Australia.

Cromwell's Irish campaign
Leader: Oliver Cromwell
Casualties: 50,000
He may have killed a king, but Old Ironsides was also a puritan who ordered or condoned the killing, torture and deportation of tens of thousands of Irish people.

The Irish famine
Leader: Lord John Russell
Casualties: 4 million
Good old CoE our John, this holds true incidentally for a number of different leaders of British atrocities, from Rhodesia to China and the Americas.

Vietnam
Leaders: Nguyen Van Thieu (Catholic), Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon (Protestant, Quaker), Ho Chi Minh (Atheist)
Casualties: approx 3.5 million
Bit of a no-score draw, they were all arseholes who killed many innocents, the US significantly more than the rest but only because they had better weapons.

Soviet war/post-war repression
Leader: Joseph Stalin
Deaths: 10-20 million
Yep, caught the atheists cold there, Uncle Joe was a stone cold killer and a hard-headed atheist.

Right, got to get back to work, but I might follow this up a little more later (people are more than welcome to chime in btw), there's a list of some of the most famous genocides on Wikipedia here.

Comments

james678

14 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by james678 on February 11, 2010

Hitler was an athest.
He was not a devout Catholic. He was a cynical neo darwinist atheist who banned Christianity after using state of the art technology to efficiently kill thousands of Catholic priests and the head of the Lutheran Church.
The first quote regarding the scourging was taken from Mien Kampf, Hitler's propoganda attempt to seduce a nominally Christian country to Naziism. That was written at a time when people were starving in the streets of Germany and looking to channel their desperation and anger.
The second quote to Engel was never uttered. Taken from Engel's supposed diaries, Engel admitted later his book was a hoax.
The Nazis began as the Thule society, a collection of atheists, neo pagans and satanists.
Satanism was very prominent in the SS culture. The Allies considered prosecuting the Nazis for Christian persecution after the War, but decided it would be duplicating their efforts, since they already had prosecutions going for the Holocaust. Germany never did fully return to faith.

I don't know why you would list wars as religious killing. Wars are always about resources, land, water, oil, etc, fought between gangs, tribes or cultures.
The stat you should be concerned with is the communists atheists murder of 125 million people in peacetime during the 20th century That's a conservative estimate but it represents the effort to promote an atheistic society..

14th October, 1941, midday

"The best thing is to let Christianity die a natural death.... When understanding of the universe has become widespread... Christian doctrine will be convicted of absurdity....
"Christianity has reached the peak of absurdity.... And that's why someday its structure will collapse....
"...the only way to get rid of Christianity is to allow it to die little by little....
"Christianity the liar....
"We'll see to it that the Churches cannot spread abroad teachings in conflict with the interests of the State." (p 49-52)

Adofl Hitler, Table Talk

The Outlaw

14 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by The Outlaw on February 11, 2010

Some of your examples were pre-20th Century rendering them useless (as you stated 20th century).

Though i totally agree, Religion does cause war and has throughout its long history killed alot more than any atheist.

And as that fucking comrade above said - the war's aint just thought by/for religion (even if the people carrying them out were religious). Vietnam was more about stopping the communist threat to the west.

petey

14 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by petey on February 11, 2010

the opening paragraph is surely right, but really, the rest is tired stuff. if you want to put your finger on individuals, cromwell, the popes who called the crusades, and the leaders of the arab conquests (don't know any names) were motivated by religion (and much else). but stalin studied in a seminary, yet bormann stated explicity that nazism and xianity were incompatible (and much else, there's this link which i wish had further cits but has no reason to be sympathetic to xianity). which column to put them in?

these were times in which everyone was a member of some sect - marx was baptized too (lutheran i believe). to say that the 'leader' of the famine or of the rwandan genocide was a member of a church doesn't really say anything. though it may seem useful in polemics, a religious partisan will be able to slide out by saying that the participation in mass killing 'proves' that a person was not a 'real' christian, or otoh that the OT justifies killing for godly reasons (like invading iraq).

Rob Ray

14 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Rob Ray on February 11, 2010

Actually the first quote is from a public speech he made, not Mein Kampf. Fair enough about the second quote - if you can point to where Engel made that retraction I'll get rid of it - but the fact remains he actively used Catholicism as a means to motivate fascism, much as Franco did with the Falange.

I'd also like to see some realistic (ie. non-partisan) sources backing the suggestion he was a satanist or a pagan, this guy for example does some work debunking the idea.

It's highly disingenuous to say Hitler was anti-Catholic, he happily engaged with the Pope and indeed was tacitly supported by Vatican on several occasions, there was certainly no specific pogrom against the church and indeed, in the Balkans there was active collaboration by Catholic preachers and Nazis in gunning down the church's religious rivals.

Actually 125 million is the absolute top limit given by reputable historians, the "conservative" figure is more like 10 million by Stalin, 20 million by Zedong (more on that later). If we're going by top limits, the one round of genocide by Christian settlers in the Americas outstrips the worst estimates of Leninist/Stalinist/Maoist murder.

Rob Ray

14 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Rob Ray on February 11, 2010

Crusades
Leaders: Various
1 million
Bearing in mind that the population of the world in the 11th century was 1/20th what it is today, and the weaponry consisted of bows, arrows and sharp bits of metal, this brutal war between Christian Europe and the Muslim Middle East was even worse than it sounds.

Witchcraft burnings
Leaders: various
Casualties: 40-100,000
Fairly obviously, a bit of a Christian one.

Iraq dictatorship
Leaders: Saddam Hussein, various US Presidents
Casualties: 500,000-1.2 million
Another secular leader, but Hussein professed to be an active Sunni Muslim, appearing in various propaganda posters dressed in full headdress and robe, praying to Mecca. On the other side, UN sanctions, led by religious US presidents, are thought ot have led to the deaths of over 200,000 chirldren.

Iraq occupation
Leaders: George Bush (United Methodist) Tony Blair (CoE, then Catholic)
Casualties: 1 million
Hey here's a plan, a bunch of Saudis have attacked America, lets invade Iraq and hold it for half a decade despite the fact it's no threat whatsoever! Oh, and God told them to do that.

Cambodia's Killing Fields
Leader: Pol Pot
Casualties: 1.5 million
Another straight-up one led by an atheist.

China's Great Leap Forward
Leader: Mao Zedong
Casualties: 49-78 million
The largest of the major massacres carried out by Leninist-inspired revolutionaries. Again, Mao wasn't a big fan of God.

Rob Ray

14 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Rob Ray on February 11, 2010

Incidentally, a note on this for any other defenders of the faith here, if you're going to say "communists/atheists did this" and refuse to allow communists to say "these people weren't real communists" you'll have to play by the same rules for people who cite religion in their own dirty dealings. You can't disown their religious fervour just because they've fulfilled it in ways you don't agree with.

Submitted by petey on February 11, 2010

Rob Ray

as Franco did with the Falange.

franco, definitely, i'd add him to my own list with cromwell et al.

anyway, here's a selection:

Goebbels notes in a diary entry in 1939: "The Führer is deeply religious, but deeply anti-Christian. He regards Christianity as a symptom of decay. Rightly so. It is a branch of the Jewish race."[22] Albert Speer reports in his memoirs of a similar statement made by Hitler: "You see, it's been our misfortune to have the wrong religion. Why didn't we have the religion of the Japanese, who regard sacrifice for the Fatherland as the highest good? The Mohammedan religion too would have been much more compatible to us than Christianity. Why did it have to be Christianity with its meekness and flabbiness?"[23]

In 1941, Hitler praised an anti-Christian tract from AD 362, neo-platonist and pagan Roman emperor Julian the Apostate's Against the Galileans, saying "I really hadn't known how clearly a man like Julian had judged Christians and Christianity, one must read this...."[24]

In 1941, according to the diary of Nazi General Gerhart Engel, Hitler stated "But i am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so."[25]

Author Konrad Heiden has quoted Hitler as stating, "We do not want any other god than Germany itself. It is essential to have fanatical faith and hope and love in and for Germany."[26]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Hitler%27s_religious_views

Submitted by petey on February 11, 2010

if you're going to say "communists/atheists did this" and refuse to allow communists to say "these people weren't real communists" you'll have to play by the same rules for people who cite religion in their own dirty dealings.

fully agreed

Rob Ray

You can't disown their religious fervour just because they've fulfilled it in ways you don't agree with.

conversely, you can't own their religious fervor because they seem to have fulfilled in ways that suit your own argument.

i'm still unclear on the concept. against whom are you marshalling this information? everyone you've listed above is a mass murderer; some, but few, were motivated by religiosity; all used religious tropes if it suited their purposes. the last of these is a solid blow, at least against xianity, it seems to me: if xianity were really a religion of peace, i'd think there'd be some built-in immunity to its use in any way as an excuse for killing. some xians have gone totally non-violent and have chosen death to resistance.

Rob Ray

14 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Rob Ray on February 11, 2010

Well as I note above, evangelicals tend to argue that being religious makes you a better person alongside the argument that Stalin/Hitler/Mao were anti-religious communists. My point with this is that it's actually quite easy to make the case using the same methodology of "this bastard said he believed in this therefore atheism=brutal massacre" to suggest a much larger variety of mass murder has been carried out directly under the Christian banner over a much longer period.

In the end however what I'm doing is taking the argument to its logical conclusion to show how much of a farce it is. The point is the same one I start with, that it's not the professed beliefs of a given dictator which make the difference. Sindikubwabo didn't help organise the massacre of the Tutsis because of his religion, he used religion to justify outrageously cruel practices designed to destroy his and his allies' perceived rivals. Stalin did the same thing with "communism" and "atheism."

What drives these things is the elites' desire to retain power, not the colour of their armband.

Submitted by james678 on February 11, 2010

lol, who would believe or care about engel after that? interesting that the guy is a fraud and you wont believe anything but a retraction from him. the nazi hierarchy hated christianity.

if you follow hitler's statements regarding the divine, they go from christian propaganda when he begins, to very generic comments about God. this marked the churches opposition to his policies. he began by working with the church and later infiltrating them, finally he began his own national christian church, which banned al christian symbols and the bible in place of nazi and thule images and literature, it's called bait and switch.
when Germans failed to attend he actively persecuted christians. he also asked people to pray to him, that being hitler.
he plotted to kidnap the Pope. the Pope didnt work with him. ive seen people cite diplomatic protocol letters as proof that Hitler worked with the Pope. that's silly. the Pope kept lines of communication going to avoid a bloodbath.Hitler signed an agreement with the Pope for religious liberty of catholics, then reneged.

Hitler arrested and executed the head of the Lutheran church. He killed thousands of Catholic priests who opposed him. the church was working to free catholics and jews from his clutches. not all clergy stood up to him, since they didnt want to be martyrs.again, when you produce clergy from a nominally christian nation, you will produce lukewarm clergy as well.
Germany never fully returned to faith, and is now the most atheistic nation in the world.

i didnt say hitler was a satanist or a pagan, he was surrounded in the thule society and later the DAP by them: atheists, satanists and neo pagans, morphed and evolved into the nazi party.
the history channel has a documentary on it.
most western nations turned to authoritarian rule or socialism in the great depression.
hitler used germany's terrible circumstances to create a scapegoat, the jews and the foreign nations. remember it was a nominally christian nation only, so many people went along with it.the germans had a history of anti christian philosophy, even among christians. nietzsche's biography was substituted for the Bible in German soldiers backpacks.
i'd remind you there was no Holocaust before Hitler and his godless ideology.

125 million dead is the figure that the US Congress gave as to all communist genocide.in the 20th century up until then, though that might have been before Pol Pot.

Submitted by james678 on February 11, 2010

logic would tell us that when the objective moral standards of religion are replaced by godless ideologies ro no ideology at all, it's a slippery slope to hell.

for the atheist, a subjective moral code serves in place of the golden rule.
for an atheist like Jeffery dahmer, it means eating house guests is ok.(he blamed atheism for his crimes).

for an atheist like jim jones (yes, he was an atheist-marxist), campers drink laced fruit drinks.
for Hitler and Stalin and the other leaders of 20th century 'isms' it meant applying neo darwinist principles to humans.
unlike what's stated in the Declaration of Independence, the freedom or jurisdictional charter of the USA, the atheist doesnt believe God bestows inalienable rights to all his children.
the state gives, and can take away since mankind is just another animal in their view.

that includes life itself.

Joseph Kay

14 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Joseph Kay on February 11, 2010

for Hitler and Stalin and the other leaders of 20th century 'isms' it meant applying neo darwinist principles to humans.

you realise that eugenics is pretty much the opposite of natural selection right?

although i realise the distinction may be lost on you, given as you believe in an invisible sky ghost with magic powers and a zombie son with a gift for parables.

Joseph Kay

14 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Joseph Kay on February 11, 2010

also, i don't believe in said sky ghost, ergo i have a nihlistic post-modern void where my morality should be and i eat babies.

Rob Ray

14 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Rob Ray on February 11, 2010

I asked for you to point to his retraction because you said in your first post:

Engel admitted later his book was a hoax

,

implying you have a source confirming this, so asking you to provide that source is hardly unreasonable. I said nothing about believing or disbelieving other pieces of writing which show some evidence his claim was fraudulent (other than asking that they not be written by Mr Jesusrocks of Biblebelt USA), but as yet you haven't provided them. If he's been generally discredited, it shouldn't be hard.

if you follow hitler's statements regarding the divine, they go from christian propaganda when he begins, to very generic comments about God. this marked the churches opposition to his policies.

Which dovetails precisely with my arguments above. Hitler professed himself to be a Catholic when he took power, there is no way around this. However this did not stop him from behaving exactly as he wished or from breaking with the church the moment he felt he was no longer benefiting from his relationship with it.

This repeats time and time again across Christian history - the ideology does not stop people from doing what they want, they merely reinterpret it to suit their goals, dump it for something else (Henry VIII with the CoE, the endless schisms in the US etc) or repent for their sins as though that solves anything.

This is why it's so utterly farcical for christians to argue that because various butchering despots happen to be atheists it must be a rule that atheism is the same thing as amorality. It isn't. Using the example of the crusades and Rwanda, the only difference is that the three or four despots which cropped up in the 20th century - when modern atheistic government became possible - had access to far greater resources, manpower, land and technologies than their Christian predecessors with which to carry out their mad designs.

i'd remind you there was no Holocaust before Hitler and his godless ideology.

Did you only read the Hitler bit of my original post? Go back and read it again. Incidentally, anti-semitism itself was part of every European society for centuries before secular government was even a realistic possibility, including regular pogroms and expulsions.

125 million dead is the figure that the US Congress gave

Erm, not to put too fine a point on it, but the US Congress has something of an interest in making the figures as high as possible. Would you believe the old Soviet figures on how many people the US government killed in the 20th century?

Enigmocracy

14 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Enigmocracy on February 11, 2010

I'm not sure if you can really attribute all of the deaths from The Great Leap Forward to Mao. It was (mostly) a failed program, not an intentional massacre.

Rob Ray

14 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Rob Ray on February 11, 2010

I'm playing devil's advocate a bit, allowing for the dodgy interpretation of the Great Leap Forward as a massacre plays off against getting any time wasters complaining that I'm sugar-coating.

sean mallory

14 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by sean mallory on February 12, 2010

rob ray wrote
Leader: Lord John Russell
Casualties: 4 million
Good old CoE our John, this holds true incidentally for a number of different leaders of British atrocities, from Rhodesia to China and the Americas.

What are you talking about? Leader of what? The Irish famine was not caused by one fat bloke who hoarded the food.

Rob Ray

14 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Rob Ray on February 12, 2010

But the institution he headed mismanaged the situation so badly (selling food out of the country etc) it can be held culpable. So under the rule of "the leader's responsible for the actions of his government" (please note, I don't believe this but that's the rules the Christian right works under, see my note above on the Great Leap Forward) it's Russell who gets the finger.

Just to reiterate, I'm playing the blame game of the Christian right to show up its inadequacies and yes, this is one.

Mark.

14 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on February 12, 2010

You could add Argentina where the church was implicated in supporting the military regime - and sometimes got more directly involved. For example in the case of catholic priest Christian von Wernich who was convicted of crimes against humanity in 2007.
bbc report
guardian report
The Guardian

The case of Christian Federico von Wernich, 69, a former police chaplain at clandestine detention centres, has highlighted the church's alleged complicity with a regime which kidnapped, tortured and murdered thousands during the "dirty war". Fireworks and cheers greeted the sentence delivered by a court in La Plata, south of Buenos Aires, on Tuesday after a three-month trial which has gripped the country. Human rights groups called the ruling historic.

Von Wernich was accused of using his position to comfort prisoners, many of them students and leftwing activists, before betraying their confidences to the police. The prisoners would be murdered and the colleagues they had identified kidnapped. The prosecution accused him of complicity in seven murders, 42 kidnappings and 31 cases of torture. Several witnesses said he was present during torture sessions and killings.

As the bbc report says; "Father Von Wernich initially avoided prosecution by moving to Chile, where he worked as a priest under a false name." One point that was missed in these reports was that von Wernich also spent part of this period in England. According to a statement from the church in Chile:

En septiembre de 2001, siendo ya obispo de Valparaíso Mons. Gonzalo Duarte, el P. von Wernich pide autorización para ir por seis meses a la diócesis de Lancaster, Inglaterra, donde tenía amigos, con el fin de tomar distancia de los rumores que llegaban de Argentina por presuntas violaciones a los derechos humanos cuando había sido capellán de la Policía, y también para hacer una experiencia de pastoral parroquial en Inglaterra. El obispo de Valparaíso le preguntó qué había de cierto en dichos rumores y el sacerdote alegó su inocencia absoluta. El permiso le fue dado por el obispo de Valparaíso y por el obispo de Lancaster.

"von Wernich asked authorisation to spend six months in the diocese of Lancaster, England, where he had friends, with the aim of distancing himself from rumours that were arriving from Argentina about suspected human rights violations when he was a police chaplain."

jef costello

14 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by jef costello on February 12, 2010

james678

logic would tell us that when the objective moral standards of religion are replaced by godless ideologies ro no ideology at all, it's a slippery slope to hell.

for the atheist, a subjective moral code serves in place of the golden rule.
for an atheist like Jeffery dahmer, it means eating house guests is ok.(he blamed atheism for his crimes).

for an atheist like jim jones (yes, he was an atheist-marxist), campers drink laced fruit drinks.
for Hitler and Stalin and the other leaders of 20th century 'isms' it meant applying neo darwinist principles to humans.
unlike what's stated in the Declaration of Independence, the freedom or jurisdictional charter of the USA, the atheist doesnt believe God bestows inalienable rights to all his children.
the state gives, and can take away since mankind is just another animal in their view.

that includes life itself.

I wouldn't get into serial killers if I were you. A large number were active in their churches and often held positions of responsibility. For example Dennis Rader, better known as BTK (Bind them, torture them, kill them), was president of the congregation council at his church and used his keys to take at least two murder victims into the church where he photographed their corpses in bondage poses.
Humans are just another animal. This doesn't mean that they should not be treated with dignity. I think it's odd that a religion that condemns people to an eternity of suffering because they haven't heard of its teachings is accusing others of being subjective.

Yorkie Bar

14 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Yorkie Bar on February 12, 2010

you believe in an invisible sky ghost with magic powers and a zombie son with a gift for parables.

Borderline misanthrope ;-)

While I obv. disagree with James' opinions on atheism, I do think that he has a point - it is a bit of a stretch to call Hitler's dictatorship Christian. Of course, it's equally difficult to say he was an atheist. And I particularly like James' comments that the Nazis had Satanistic or Pagan influences - because clearly that proves atheism is wrong, religious people masterminding the holocaust.

Yorkie Bar

14 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Yorkie Bar on February 12, 2010

The Irish famine was not caused by one fat bloke who hoarded the food.

..and the catholic church actually closed down a lot of the factories that were making the potatoes and turned them into prisons for children.

Submitted by gypsy on February 13, 2010

weeler

sean mallory

rob ray wrote
Leader: Lord John Russell
Casualties: 4 million
Good old CoE our John, this holds true incidentally for a number of different leaders of British atrocities, from Rhodesia to China and the Americas.

What are you talking about? Leader of what? The Irish famine was not caused by one fat bloke who hoarded the food.

Stalin didn't kill anyone really, while we are at it.

Thats what I was thinking.

Submitted by Dano on February 28, 2010

Joseph Kay

for Hitler and Stalin and the other leaders of 20th century 'isms' it meant applying neo darwinist principles to humans.

you realise that eugenics is pretty much the opposite of natural selection right?

although i realise the distinction may be lost on you, given as you believe in an invisible sky ghost with magic powers and a zombie son with a gift for parables.

Yeah, comrades in here are mistaking social darwinism, the fascist recuperation of evolutionism (based on Herbert Spencer), for neo-darwinism, the modern synthesis of natural selection and classic genetics. Neo-darwinism was formulated in late 1930's/early 40's, and at that time eugenics already had been around for a long time, formulated on the 1890's by Francis Galton. (Neo-darwinism is only a part of today's evolutionary biology, by the way.) Alfred Russel Wallace, the co-author of natural selection, fought those tendencies and argued how natural selection isn't applicable to human social aspects.

gypsy

13 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by gypsy on February 28, 2010

Colonising of the Americas
Leaders: Colombus, the European Monarchs, the easrly US presidents
Deaths: Anywhere between 8.4 million and 100 million people (due to lack of records

)

Yep the colonisation of the americas, especially latin america was done by people supposedly doing gods work. The vatican sanctioned it. I think this sways the kill count to put Christians in the lead.

Caiman del Barrio

13 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Caiman del Barrio on March 1, 2010

Either way though, the basic premise of this blog is flawed and borderline infantile. It implies a rather obtuse analysis of the role religion plays in global conflicts. Any discussion of colonialism, for example, which takes on a literalist interpretation of its instigators' pronouncements is seriously lacking in nuance.

Steven.

13 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Steven. on March 1, 2010

it does say in its first paragraph: "Disregarding for a moment the reality that wars are caused by elite power conflicts and generally have little to do with religious belief or a lack thereof..."

I think you're taking the blog entry too seriously, this wasn't a theoretical article, just a light-hearted piece.

Entdinglichung

13 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Entdinglichung on March 1, 2010

the Nazi leadership members were either nominal christians (Arthur Seyß-Inquart as a devout traditional catholic was in a certain sense a bit exceptional) who to differing degrees practiced their faith (e.g. marrying in church, baptising their children, attending services on important holidays) or adherents of voelkisch-antisemitic varieties of deism or pantheism (Himmler, Hess, Rosenberg, Darre, Streicher), offen labelled as "gottglauebig" ("god believing") ... non of them was an atheist or a pagan (in a polytheistic/traditional sense), all major and relevant atheist organizations in Germany were banned in 1933

Submitted by Choccy on March 2, 2010

Steven.

it does say in its first paragraph: "Disregarding for a moment the reality that wars are caused by elite power conflicts and generally have little to do with religious belief or a lack thereof..."

I think you're taking the blog entry too seriously, this wasn't a theoretical article, just a light-hearted piece.

Yeah i thought it was pretty obvious that it was a bit of fun.

DuckPhup

13 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by DuckPhup on March 11, 2010

The Abrahamic death-cults of desert monotheism (Judaism, Christ-cult, Islam) are totalitarian ideologies.

Naziism, communism and fascism are totalitarian ideologies.

Atheism is not any kind of ideology... it is simply a label that is attached to people who are not stupid and gullible enough to 'believe' in invisible, magical, all-powerful, supernatural sky-fairies.

"Atheism can be construed to be a 'belief', a 'faith', or a 'religion', only in the same sense that one might consider NOT collecting stamps to be a 'hobby'." ~ Unknown

The 20th century conflicts that are mentioned here are the collisions of totalitarian ideologies, wherein an innovation in political philosophy established the 'state' (often in the person of a charismatic and/or powerful authoritarian leader... i.e., 'personality cult'), rather than a supernatural entity, as the supreme power. Non-belief in supernatural operators was a feature of such ideologies... but it does not define those ideologies.

The assertion that millions of people were slaughtered 'in the name of atheism' is patently absurd. It is exactly the same thing as saying that millions of people were slaughtered due to a disagreement over the reasonableness or unreasonableness of 'believing' in invisible, magical, all-powerful, supernatural sky-fairies. It would make just as much sense to declare that since Stalin and Hitler both had hair on their upper lips, their victims were slaughtered 'in the name of mustaches'.

It is much more accurate to say that the victims of Naziism, Communism and Fascism were slaughtered 'in the name of religion', wherein the 'deity' was the 'state'.

Boris Badenov

13 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Boris Badenov on March 11, 2010

DuckPhup

The Abrahamic death-cults of desert monotheism (Judaism, Christ-cult, Islam) are totalitarian ideologies.

if by totalitarian you mean supportive of the absolute power of the state, or a ruling elite, the same can be said of Classical "paganism," Buddhism or indeed any organized religion. Equally death and resurrection are central to many pre-Christian (and non-Jewish) cults (indeed some have argued that many features of Christ's martyrdom were "borrowed" straight from widespread mediterranean cults like that of Mithras).
Unless of course you mean that those bad Jews with their deathly obsessions ruined good European religion....

Choccy

Yeah i thought it was pretty obvious that it was a bit of fun.

I guess it could be "fun" if the tired old "religion killed more people than atheism" strawman hadn't been done to death by Dawkins and his band of merry men (and every self-conscious Atheist I talk to) to the point where I can't stomach it at all anymore, even if it's purely in jest.

Submitted by Yorkie Bar on March 11, 2010

DuckPhup

The Abrahamic death-cults of desert monotheism (Judaism, Christ-cult, Islam) are totalitarian ideologies.

Naziism, communism and fascism are totalitarian ideologies.

Atheism is not any kind of ideology... it is simply a label that is attached to people who are not stupid and gullible enough to 'believe' in invisible, magical, all-powerful, supernatural sky-fairies.

"Atheism can be construed to be a 'belief', a 'faith', or a 'religion', only in the same sense that one might consider NOT collecting stamps to be a 'hobby'." ~ Unknown

The 20th century conflicts that are mentioned here are the collisions of totalitarian ideologies, wherein an innovation in political philosophy established the 'state' (often in the person of a charismatic and/or powerful authoritarian leader... i.e., 'personality cult'), rather than a supernatural entity, as the supreme power. Non-belief in supernatural operators was a feature of such ideologies... but it does not define those ideologies.

The assertion that millions of people were slaughtered 'in the name of atheism' is patently absurd. It is exactly the same thing as saying that millions of people were slaughtered due to a disagreement over the reasonableness or unreasonableness of 'believing' in invisible, magical, all-powerful, supernatural sky-fairies. It would make just as much sense to declare that since Stalin and Hitler both had hair on their upper lips, their victims were slaughtered 'in the name of mustaches'.

It is much more accurate to say that the victims of Naziism, Communism and Fascism were slaughtered 'in the name of religion', wherein the 'deity' was the 'state'.

I think you're taking this thread a bit too seriously; it's just meant to be a bit of a laugh. It's not about seriously analysing the causes of genocide, and their relation to theistic belief systems. That would require a rather more thorough analysis than just 'christians vs atheists: who's killed the most".

That said, I have to say I disagree with your statement that "The 20th century conflicts that are mentioned here are the collisions of totalitarian ideologies"; I'd say they were the collisions of nations, both 'totalitarian' and 'democratic', which aren't the result of ideology per se but of economic necessity. Imperialism isn't caused by ideology - just the reverse. It's caused by the need for nation-states to compete for resources, markets and political influence in order to survive.

Entdinglichung

13 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Entdinglichung on March 11, 2010

totalitarianism is total totalitarian, totally!

SeasickTex

13 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by SeasickTex on May 9, 2010

I agree that in most recent wars involved atheism. But if you are to look back a little further in the pre and post Renaissance era, the wars and genocide of that time were based on nothing but religious beliefs. Many wars took place in France and all over Europe that have been known to be influenced by the pope himself. These "holy wars" were led by major religious leaders who rose up against and slaughtered millions of people(protestants) that their only crime was having different beliefs in religion. But it was justifiable in that time because a disagreement in religion was just simply called "witchcraft". But since it was done by religious leaders and not athiests it was ok right? It was not until the Queen of France, Catherine De Medici came up with the concept of seperation between church and state that a crumbling nation began to prosper again. This "holy" genocide lasted for hundreds of years longer than just these Athiest run wars of just this recently passed century. That is why I have my bible sitting next to my copy of "Lord of the Rings" in the fiction section of my bookshelf. It's a good fictional novel. The existance of GOD is a good thoery. Yet it is the only theory that has no proof other than a 2,000 year old book that has been lost in translation and re-written to meet certain leader's approval. The greatest example was in 1611, the post renaissance British ruler, King James I release his approved version of the holy scripture. Hence the "King James Version" The poorly translated, altered, and totally off from the original security blanket that most christians tend to cling their faith to the most. Maybe after these thousands of years, someone would have at least found some sort of physical evidence that could back up these fictional short stories in the bible. I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.

SeasickTex

13 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by SeasickTex on May 9, 2010

Where did you come up with the nickname "Old Ironsides". That name had nothing to do with Cromwell's Irish campaign. Old Ironsides was the nickname for the first U.S. Navy ship the USS Constitution. Named that due to the tactics used by the captain at the time to be able to angle the ship just right to where the British cannon fire seemes to just bounce off the hull

Rob Ray

13 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Rob Ray on May 10, 2010

try googling Cromwell Ironsides. It was his nickname given in 1644 by a defeated enemy general. Amazingly enough people do sometimes come up with phrases entirely independently of US history.

NB// Do you think I'm arguing from a christian perspective? Try reading again, more slowly.

slothjabber

13 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by slothjabber on May 10, 2010

The answer is, in the 20th century, atheists killed the most. Stalin + Mao (combined death toll approx 92 million) tops all Christians (of whom Hitler on 12 million is way out in front). But if you add in all religious (like the Japanese Divine Emperor) then it's about even. In pre-20th century history, the religious come out so far ahead that there's no way to even calculate it. There were no atheists before 1900 (or not enough to make any serious difference to anything).

But obviously, that's only wars and persecutions.

Why not run this as 'Communists & Anarchists v Capitalists (including State Capitalists)' and we can all feel better about ourselves? We've killed... several thousand. They've killed... everyone else.

Rob Ray

13 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Rob Ray on May 11, 2010

Well if you include the upper limit of the massacre of the Americas the Christians could quite easily end up doubling the atheists overall, though over a longer time scale.

Plus that doesn't take into account relative scales (eg. the Crusades, which I noted earlier would amount to roughly 20 million deaths if they were scaled up for today's population levels) or the active brutality of it - eg. Tamerlane's infamous "28 towers" built entirely from the decapitated heads of the non-muslims he'd conquered.

baboon

13 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by baboon on May 11, 2010

A bit late on this one following Dano's post some time ago:
Eugenics was a phenomenon coming out of capitalism, i.e., English bourgeoise society (greatly inbred by the way) was the pinnacle of man's development and could be perfected further under capitalism. This was, as Dano says, recuperated by the Nazis but was by no means confined to them alone and belonged to the whole of capitalist ideology, it was very strong in the USA for example.
Eugenics, along with the ideas of "dog eat dog" and competition as innate to humanity, were effectively undermined by A. R. Wallace and Darwin exemplified in Darwin's "Descent of Man..." Without at all underestimating the great advances that Darwin made along with Russel in their analysis of the development of humanity, the former did, in later editions of the book, succumb to pressure from the milieu he lived in, and showed some sympathies to the ideas of eugenics. This was completely against his whole work in relation to both the natural and human world.
My point is though, that "Social Darwinism" was recuperated by much more than fascism and remains an underlying tenet of capitalism today.

Invictus_88

13 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Invictus_88 on May 11, 2010

I seem to be the first to ask - but is this supposed to tie in relevantly to anarchism?

Rob Ray

13 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Rob Ray on May 11, 2010

I seem to be the first to ask - but are you unable to read?

It's supposed to tie in relevantly to Christians who reckon atheists are amoral, as I said in the first line of the introduction.

Invictus_88

13 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Invictus_88 on May 11, 2010

I just didn't see a connection to anarchism. That's all. Wondered if I was missing something.

No need to be a tit about it.

Rob Ray

13 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Rob Ray on May 11, 2010

Ah sorry thought you were being facetious, no the blogs aren't always specifically about anarchist-related stuff (although this does do a quick sideswipe at the concept of elites questing for more power being the primary force behind major massacres, rather than religious preferences).

Submitted by gypsy on May 11, 2010

Invictus_88

I just didn't see a connection to anarchism. That's all. Wondered if I was missing something.

No need to be a tit about it.

You voted, not only did you vote but you voted for the conservatives(or did you not?) your the tit if so.

Dano

13 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Dano on May 14, 2010

I agree, Baboon, that's correct!

johnandes

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by johnandes on April 23, 2013

I have to concur with James678. I can't add anything. Thanks James. This is just a shallow biased, hateful rant against christians which is so common these days and an attempt to rewrite history. I am curious,however, about how you would address the homosexual roots of the Nazi party. Would you consider them Christians too. Thanks

Rob Ray

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Rob Ray on April 23, 2013

Er, I'd guess you mean the leader of the SA, who was killed in the night of the Long Knives on Hitler's orders, with the public reason including grounds of "perversion"? Also, this:

How the Nazis treated homosexuals

Regardless of which, you seem not to be capable of comprehending simple English - I've said repeatedly that this isn't about Christian-bashing but merely points out the logical fallacy of Christians saying atheists are more prone to mass slaughter due to a lack of belief in God. The way in which you take the blog says more about you than about anyone else, imo.

Entdinglichung

10 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Entdinglichung on April 23, 2013

johnandes

I have to concur with James678. I can't add anything. Thanks James. This is just a shallow biased, hateful rant against christians which is so common these days and an attempt to rewrite history. I am curious,however, about how you would address the homosexual roots of the Nazi party. Would you consider them Christians too. Thanks

seems, that there is at least one person in the world who believes the crap written in Pink Swastika