Sunday, August 22, 2004

Religion and Christianity

One of the biggest myths in our culture is that religion has been the biggest cause of war, genocide and oppression in the world. Generally, this myth is perpetuated by anti-religion zealots, secular humanists and their sympathizers. In reality, nationalism and political/ethnic/ideological zealotry account for a much higher number of deaths.

Hutus massacred hundreds of thousands of Tutsis. And it had nothing to do with religion. And look at Stalin. He massacred and starved over ten million. Was he driven by his religious beliefs? No. Like most socialists, he was driven by a fanatical adherence to an insane and unworkable collectivist ideology.

And what about the most famous psychopath of them all – Hitler? He didn’t kill Jews to eradicate their religion. He did it to eradicate them as a people who were smarter and more industrious than he was. He was a loser and they were successful. And it pissed him off.

Pol Pot, Pinochet, Marcos, Mao, Amin, Mussolini, Napoleon, Lenin, Kim, Chaucescu, the list is endless. Clearly, nationalism, ethnic hatred and political/social ideology have killed thousands of times more people than religion ever will. And more importantly, they are still doing so today while most religions, the Christian religion particularly, has become rather benign.

In fact we should applaud Christianity. In the last hundred years Christians have built the most successful, tolerant, inclusive societies in the world. Christians and their descendants wrote our laws, constitution and Charter. Today, people from other cultures can’t wait to come here to share the freedom and prosperity of our Christian-built culture. Yet so many of us let no opportunity pass to slam, disrespect, ridicule and otherwise dismiss Christianity.

Well, no one is forcing anyone to convert to Christianity. But would it hurt to show a little respect and acknowledgement for the Christians whose belief in Christ and his teachings of love, compassion and forgiveness provided them with the moral compass and vision to build the nation we live in today?

As for me, I don't go to church and sometimes I question the motivations, if not the very existence, of God. But my ancestors believed. And it is they to whom we, the inheritors of their nation, owe everthing that we have.


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