Skip to main content

Madness in their hearts

We often hear that religion is the cause of much war and brutality. I cannot argue with that, but it involves a very selective editing of the casualties. A fairer reading of the statistics would impress us also with the brutality of secularism:
Adolf Hitler, Germany. Kill tally: Directly responsible for the deaths of over 46 million Europeans as a result of the Second World War.

Benito Mussolini, Italy.
Kill tally: Over 400,000 Italians killed during the Second World War. At least 30,000
Ethiopians killed during Italian occupation of Ethiopia.

Heinrich Himmler, Germany.
Kill tally: Directly responsible for the deaths of six million in German
concentration camps. Collectively responsible for the deaths of over 46 million Europeans as a result of the Second World War.

Joseph Stalin, Russia.
Kill tally: Approximately 20 million, including up to 14.5 million needlessly starved to death.
At least one million executed for political "offences". At least 9.5 million more deported, exiled or imprisoned in work camps, with many of the estimated five million sent to the 'Gulag Archipelago' never returning alive. Other estimates place the number of deported at 28 million, including 18 million sent to the 'Gulag'.

Mao Tse-Tung, China.
Kill tally: 14 to 20 million deaths from starvation during the 'Great Leap Forward'.
Tens of thousands killed and millions of lives ruined during the 'Cultural Revolution'.

Pol Pot, Cambodia.
Kill tally: One to three million (or between a quarter and a third of the country's
population).

Slobodan Milosevic, Serbia.
Kill tally: Up to 230,000 killed and three million displaced.


Ne Win, Burma (now Myanmar)
. Kill tally: No reliable figures, but 3,000-10,000 killed in the 'Rangoon
Spring' uprising of 1988. Tens to possibly hundreds of thousands killed since the 1962 military coup d'├ętat.

Kim Il Sung, North Korea.
Kill tally: About three million killed in the Korean War. Between 600,000 and one
million North Koreans needlessly starved to death due to the economic legacy of Kim's regime. (Some reports claim that as many as three million starved.)

More stats here.
Is there an inherent brutality in religion, and not in the politics of secularism? Could it be as the Preacher said in Ecclesiastes, "The hearts of the children of man are full of evil, and madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead." (9:3) War is part of the fallen human condition, whether religiously or secularly instigated.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

bible reading dec 3-5

  Bible reading for weekend December 3 -- 5  Dec 3 -- Nahum 1 and Luke 17 Dec 4 -- Nahum 2 and Luke 18 Dec 5 -- Nahum 3 and Luke 19 ================ "The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him. But with an overflowing flood he will make a complete end of the adversaries, and will pursue his enemies into darkness." (Nahum 1:7-8)  TIME'S UP FOR NINEVEH (Nah 1-3). The prophecy of Nahum is God's word to the people of Nineveh, part two. Jonah was part one, chronicling a city-wide repentance of Assyrians in the capital about a hundred years earlier. The closing bookend is Nahum, and the Assyrian empire is big, powerful, and aggressive. Notice the references to chariots (2:3-4, 13; 3:2). The Assyrians were a militarily advanced culture, and cruel in their warfare. Whatever spiritual receptivity they had at the time of Jonah was gone by the time of Nahum. Nahum may not have actually visited Nineveh, for it seems the book was w

bible reading nov 1-2

  Bible reading for weekend Nov 1 -- 2 Nov 1 -- Hosea 7 and Psalms 120-122 Nov 2 -- Hosea 8 and Psalms 123-125 ================   "Were I to write for him my laws by the ten thousands, they would be regarded as a strange thing." (Hosea 8:12) THE RESULTS OF SIN (ch 7-8). Notice the words and metaphors to describe Israel's sinful condition: they are surrounded with, and proud of, their evil (7:1-3); like adulterers in the heat of passion (7:4-5); their anger is like a hot oven (7:6-7); they are like a half-cooked (one side only) cake (7:8); their strength is gone (7:9); they are like silly doves easily trapped (7:11-12); they are undependable like a warped bow (7:16). In spite of all of this they are so proud of themselves! (We might say they have a strong self-esteem.) They have spurned what is good (8:3); they sow to the wind and have no real fruit (8:7); they are a useless vessel (8:8) and a wild donkey wandering alone (8:9); they regard God's law as a strange thing

Howard Hendricks on OT books chronology

When I was in seminary, Howard Hendricks (aka "Prof") gave us a little card with the books of the OT chronologically arranged. The scanned copy I have was a bit blurry and I wanted to make something like this available for our church class in OT theology ("Story of Redemption"). A few minor edits and here it is...