Disturbing Silence

If God asked me to kill you, I would, without hesitation. That is because God only destroys or orders the destruction of, evil. Thus, Noah’s Flood when humanity had become so evil he regretted having created man. Thus King David, who spent decades slaughtering the wicked Philistines. Luckily and happily, Christians don’t role that way.

Furthering discussions at Silence of Mind’s post about atheists, SoM posted the above. I had posed a question to one ‘Citizen Tom‘ (you can see the context at SoM’s post), and SoM took it upon himself to address it. Fair enough, it’s his site, but what would make me ‘evil’ in this situation? My certainty around my beliefs? Because God arbitrarily decided I was evil?

SoM also delivered this tired old line:

Ben, the greatest mass murders (genocides) in history were committed by atheists.

This tired, worn-out chestnut. The historical violence of religion is well documented. You need only look at the Crusades, the ceaseless persecution and counter-persecution between Catholics and Protestants in the Middle Ages, and the religion-fuelled turmoil in the region of Kashmir, to name but a few, to see that religion is not a bloodless platform. Yes, people like Stalin killed millions, but so did Hitler, and Hitler, contrary to (understandable, but dishonest) Christian denials, was a Christian. Furthermore, Stalin did not kill in the name of atheism, or because of atheism, but because of political desires. He wanted to cement his communist regime, whereas Hitler was highly motivated by his religious beliefs, as were the soldiers who fought in God’s name in the Crusades.

I put a question to SoM: Here’s something for you to consider – if the Crusades took place in today’s world, with today’s weapons, with a much larger global population, and much larger *urban* populations, do you think the death toll would be lower, or greater?

The most logical answer is that modern weaponry would yield considerably greater casualties, were they used in the Crusades. Imagine what the commanders of either side would have done with nukes! Imagine the consequences of a holy war with today’s planes, artillery, and warships, with those guns and missiles aimed at cities with greater populations, and greater population density. It doesn’t bear thinking about, but it is a factor to consider, when comparing casualties between eras. It is a factor that disingenuous fundies usually avoid.

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