Carol Platt Liebau: In Defense of Religion

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

In Defense of Religion

Dinesh D'Souza provides a wonderful rebuttal to a frequently-made atheist claim -- that religion is to blame for most of wars that have afflicted mankind.

He notes:

It is strange to witness the passion with which some secular figures rail against the misdeeds of the Crusaders and Inquisitors more than 500 years ago. The number sentenced to death by the Spanish Inquisition appears to be about 10,000. Some historians contend that an additional 100,000 died in jail due to malnutrition or illness.

These figures are tragic, and of course population levels were much lower at the time. But even so, they are minuscule compared with the death tolls produced by the atheist despotisms of the 20th century. In the name of creating their version of a religion-free utopia, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Mao Zedong produced the kind of mass slaughter that no Inquisitor could possibly match. Collectively these atheist tyrants murdered more than 100 million people.

What's more, prominent atheists happily ignore all the good that is done every day all over the world by religious organizations ranging from the Salvation Army to Catholic Charities< to the Jewish Coalition for Disaster Relief.

Oh yes, and don't forget the new finding that religious conservatives give more to charity than do secular liberals.

When one weighs the harm causes versus the good done by religion as opposed to atheism, there's simply no contest. Religious belief wins every time -- in this world and the next.


Blogger COPioneer said...

Not to mention that most good Christians follow Biblical teaching and give anonymously.

How many times have you heard Hollywood patting itself on the back for a donation? About 100% of the time that it happens.

12:45 PM  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

As an atheist I am willing to acknowledge that terrible things have been done by people who have called themselves atheists.

I am still waiting for religious people to acknowledge the terrible things that they have also done.

The most common reply I get is: "Well, they weren't "real christians" who did that, or they weren't "real muslims" who did that.

Yes, they were. They were religious people who were politically motivated to condone the killing of other people based on their religious beliefs.

No one comes out smelling of roses when it becomes a competition to claim who has been the most or the least barbaric.

7:10 PM  
Blogger Marshall Art said...


It should be enough that it has been constantly acknowledged, even by the Pope, that harm has been done by Christians, and other people of faith. Yet, to say that it was a result of actions taken by religious people is harder to do. There is no directive of any kind for Christians to harm others. None. (Can't say as much for Islam.) Thus, one isn't being Christian while perpetrating crimes against humanity. One can call oneself anything one wishes, but in the Christian world, faith without actions is dead. Thus, a Christian must act like a Christian to really be considered a Christian. This does not include the occasional human failings, but there's no Christian that can justify murder (for example).

So unless you know of any examples, you're not likely to find anyone who does terrible things based on Christian beliefs.


The comparison of the inquisition and other historical examples, compared to the 20th century, in terms of numbers of victims, is often countered by the fact that 20th century despots had better weapons and could easily kill greater numbers of people. Yet I would wager that one could find examples from the same general time perios to make the same case.

11:12 PM  
Blogger The Flomblog said...

I'm so tired of irreligious people slamming the religious with that tired old arguement. I am Jewish, however I freely admit that the strength of our country is our Protestant roots and Judeo-Christian ethic.

I believe that John Paul II, The Great, made the statements that beepbeep asked for. however

To those of us who believe in G-d, His word, as expressed in the Torah and Bible is the root of our morality and value system. I will not denegrate your lack of faith, do not denegrate my faith.

Happy Thanksgiving my friends

6:23 AM  
Blogger eLarson said...

Am I to suggest from this quote

"As an atheist I am willing to acknowledge that terrible things have been done by people who have called themselves atheists"

that you do not think they were necessarily "authentic atheists"?

6:23 AM  

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