“If I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous Revolution that swallowed up some 60 million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: ‘Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.’”
Alexander Solzhenitsyn won a Nobel Peace Prize for his scholarly work on the Soviet Union. His quote should be a warning to every one of us: horrible things happen when people reject God.
Hollywood and the media love to portray religion, in general, and Christianity, in particular, as dangerous and obsolete. Worse, they claim that most wars were caused by religion, Christianity being the worst offender. These ideas are patently false.
In fact, very few wars were caused by Christianity. Almost a thousand years ago, some leaders of Christian nations — in order to expand their political ambitions — used religion as an excuse to instigate hatred against their enemies. This was clearly wrong and a heinous affront to the teachings of Jesus, who never told anyone to kill anybody. But the causes of these wars were petty politics, not religion.
It’s also true that Christians fought the Crusades — but not without provocation. The West started this organized opposition only after Muslim armies conquered the huge Christian Churches of Jerusalem, Antioch, and Alexandria, all of Northern Africa, Spain, had invaded France, and nearly annihilated Christian Constantinople. The Crusades, in fact, were a military reaction to a military problem. Christianity was being wiped out. Christians finally retaliated. It also must be noted that Christians stopped fighting the Crusades about 700 years ago. Unfortunately, many, many Jihadist terrorists have still not learned that same lesson.
So … what happens when a European country forgets Christianity? The Reign of Terror during the French Revolution, for one. While about 50,000 people died in the American Revolutionary War, just a few years later almost 10 million died in the French Revolutionary Wars. The difference? Americans based their liberty on God. The French, on the other hand, systematically abolished Christianity and killed or banished all of its clergy. The result? Epic carnage that is still difficult to comprehend in a bloodletting we still call “The Terror.”
The 20th century was even worse. The atheists who led Imperial Japan and the National Socialist Party of Germany (the Nazis) killed over 80 million people in their thirst for power. Communist Stalin murdered about 20 million of his own citizens and Communist Mao killed about 70 million Chinese. While the grand total of all the so-called “holy wars” throughout all the centuries adds up to about 200,000 people lost, atheists murdered 200 million in the last century alone.
“Within the philosophical system of Marx and Lenin,” said Solzhenitsyn, “hatred of God is the principal driving force, more fundamental than all their political and economic pretensions. Militant atheism is not merely incidental or marginal to Communist policy; it is the central pivot. To achieve its diabolical ends, Communism needs to control a population devoid of religious and national feeling, and this entails the destruction of faith and nationhood.”
Americans who say they want socialism and its more radical sister of communism seek a very dangerous goal. Solzhenitsyn speaks directly to us again: “Atheist teachers in the West are bringing up a younger generation in a spirit of hatred of their own society. We forget that under communism (and communism is breathing down the neck of all moderate forms of socialism) the identical flaws run riot in any person with the least degree of authority; while everyone else under that system does indeed attain ‘equality’ — the equality of destitute slaves.”
Socialism and communism always end with the same result: A few elite leaders control all of the wealth and tell everyone else what to do. Prosperity diminishes, scarcity climbs, and people lose their freedoms. Just look at Venezuela. Socialism is antithetical to democracy, yet many Americans still embrace it … despite history’s abundant examples of its dangers and failures. Such willful ignorance is a looming threat to both our freedoms and our way of life.
The Left characterizes Christianity as a bunch of hypocrites. The concepts of good and evil are mocked, and social mores are attacked. Some Christians are hypocrites; every group of people has some bad apples. But what the Left refuses to acknowledge is that all our mores are based on religion — all our values are based on God. Even Nietzsche, the famous “God is dead” philosopher that Hitler was so fond of, freely admitted that there is no morality without religion. So, is it any surprise that base and immoral behaviors are now more common?
People rightly complain that we have too much gun violence. Yet we have no more guns now than we did 50 years ago. And while semi-automatic weapons have been available for well over a century, shooting rampages have been a fixture of only the last quarter century.
What has changed? Our attitude toward God. Because when we forget God, we forget that life — all life — is sacred and precious.
Nothing good follows from that.