Fundamental Christians are
to blame. We are the cause of untold suffering and mass death.
We are the force behind the environmental crisis. We are
the purveyors of hatred and intolerance. At least, that’s what many in
the New Age and interfaith movement would have the public believe.
The following article is
part one in a three part series titled "Casting Stones"—an examination
of allegations against the Faith.
I have heard, and little
doubt you have too, that more death and destruction has occurred in
the name of Christ—and through the venue of Christianity—than through
any other "religious or philosophical" system known to man. As a
researcher who has attended interfaith conferences, I have witnessed
this form of rhetoric first-hand. Moreover, this line of thinking has
been proclaimed via radio and television talk-shows, liberal
commentators, and within the classrooms of universities across North
Understand, this charge
against Christianity is not new. Madame Blavatsky, the founder of the
Theosophical Society and the "Mother" of the New Age movement, wrote
There has never been a
religion in the annals of the world with such a bloody record as
Christianity. All the rest, including the traditional fierce fights
of the "chosen people" [Jews] with their next of kin, the idolatrous
tribes of Israel, pale before the murderous fanaticism of the
alleged followers of Christ! [Isis Unveiled, volume 2, p. 53]
Other leading figures
within the occult revival of the late nineteenth and early twentieth
century held similar views. Aleister Crowley called Christianity a
"fiendish" superstition and wrote that Judaism is "savage" —this is
certainly no surprise coming from a man who, in mocking all that was
considered sacred, adopted for himself the title of Beast 666. Alice
Bailey, founder of Lucis Trust [originally Lucifer Publishing
Company], took a similar stand in antagonistically accusing
Christianity as a religion focused on death and wrath.
More recently, this type of
"Christianity-is-evil" thinking has become so prevalent in certain
circles that in an article titled "Are Pagans Preoccupied by
Christians," the writer—a professing pagan—exhorts fellow pagans to
start practicing tolerance and quit labeling Christians as
evil. While this is refreshing to see, especially from a neo-pagan
source, it does emphasis the fact that Christianity is viewed very
Is there any basis for this
negative view and the allegations of historical mass death? Does
Christianity have a dark side?
In a certain twisted way,
yes. The Roman Catholic Crusades against the Muslims, which lasted
from AD 1096 until the final battles of the 1290’s, were horrific
events spurred on by the political powers of the Church. The killing
and conquering that was done—including acts against Jews and
non-Catholic Christians across Europe and the Middle East—has left a
historical scar that will never go away. And while evangelical
Christians recognize that these atrocities were done in the name
of Christ, but certainly not in the spirit of Christ, the
non-Christian world understandably fails to see this distinction.
Another example often used
is that of the Inquisitions, a time when the established
political/economic Mother Church hunted down "heretics," torturing and
executing them in the most inhuman ways. Is this historical example,
often used by critics of Christianity, a proper indictment against the
Faith? Not really. Yes, the Church of Rome committed atrocious acts
against "mystics," "witches," and others of similar belief. But in
using this argument, it must be pointed out that the Church also
intensely persecuted Protestant Christians, using unspeakable methods
of torture and death.
Amazingly, some critics
have naively suggested that the "true Christians" of that era should
have protested against the actions of the Roman Catholic Church. They
did; that’s why they were called "Protestants," or "Protestors," and
they were slaughtered by the hundreds of thousands. Moreover, some
critics have tried to negate this fact by arguing that these
"Protestants" were protesting on theological grounds and not concerns
over "social justices." It’s agreed that these "protesters" focused on
theological issues—but it must be remembered that these theological
issues directly threatened the power base of the Vatican, which in
turn elicited an unbelievable response of wrath from the Church.
If anything, the
Inquisition, like the Crusades, are an indictment against the Church
of Rome and not Christianity per se.
In examining historical
genocide, especially as it relates to religion or philosophy, one
comes upon a startling irony. While the critics of Christianity—be
they from the New Age movement, the interfaith camp, paganism, or even
atheism—claim that Christianity is guilty of mass bloodshed (often
calling Christianity the most bloody of all religions), they have
frequently failed to recognize that modern history has demonstrated
something completely different.
If you haven’t read the
works of Professor R.J. Rummel, you should. Mr. Rummel has extensively
documented the modern history of genocide with a depth that few of
others have attempted. His findings are significant; of the
mega-murders of the last one hundred years, communist governments have
killed more people—even more than all the twentieth century wars
combined—than any other form of government. Between 1917 and 1987,
approximately 110 million citizens had been killed by communist
regimes, the greatest perpetrators being Soviet Russia and Red China.
And this number doesn’t include "war dead," soldiers killed in battle.
In examining communist acts
of genocide, it must be remembered that the communist philosophy, by
its nature, is rooted in atheism. However, we also need to keep in
mind that these masses were killed not in the name of atheism, but in
the name and power of the Utopian state of Communism. Hence, in giving
atheism its due, it must be noted that I have friends who are atheists
and that they, like the vast majority of Christians, would never
intentionally harm anyone. But the genocides of communism were not
about state or personal constraint, these atrocities were the final
and extreme conclusion of the atheistic ideal. In this format, the
state—or in the case of leaders like Lenin and Stalin, the
individual—is more akin to the archetype of some wrathful demigod;
placating itself by unleashing death and destruction in the name of
peace. After all, in the supreme communist mindset, "peace is the
destruction of all opposition."
As a philosophy of death,
communism wins hands-down. No other form of philosophy or religion,
including Christianity, comes remotely close to its benchmark.
A second example of
non-Christian oriented mass killing can be found in German National
Socialism, better known as Nazism. It must be noted that in this
instance, critics of Christianity have lodged acquisitions that the
Nazi regime had a special working relationship with the Roman Catholic
Church. This is true. John Cornwell’s book, Hitler’s Pope: The
Secret History of Pius XII, makes this case succinctly.
Critics have also pointed
out that evangelical Germans were likewise supportive of Hitler’s
regime. This too cannot be denied. In fact, Joseph Carr, author of
The Twisted Cross, wrote that,
The organized churches
are guilty of both sins of commission and omission. In many
instances, the church remained silent in the face of Nazi outrages.
In other cases, the church actively aided and supported the Nazis.
In still other cases, the church failed to counter erroneous
teachings that eventually led to easy acceptance of Nazi doctrine.
However, some Christians,
such as Dietrich Bonhoeffer, came against the Nazi juggernaut. And as
the most visible Christian protestor, Bonhoeffer was imprisoned and
executed. While it’s true that the Nazis used Christianity as a tool
to further the cause of National Socialism, and in the case of Roman
Catholicism actually formed a political/economic alliance between
themselves and the Vatican, it had no love for those who stood upon
the truths of Jesus Christ.
But there was much more to
the Nazi’s religious affiliations than just using naïve or government
sympathizing Christians. It is no secret that the Nazi regime was
historically influenced by the New Age doctrines of Madame Blavatsky,
along with other mystics such as Guido von List and Rudolf von
Sebottendorf. The Nazis were also indebted to a number of occult
secretive societies, such as Order of the New Templars, the Edda
Society, and the Thule and Vril societies.
However, in a strange
twist, the Nazis persecuted German Masonic lodges and individuals
associated with Rosicrucianism and Theosophy. This persecution of
occultism even led to the suppression of some of the Germanic orders
that originally watered the philosophical roots of Nazism, including
the Order of the New Templars and the Germanan order. Hermann
Rauschning, in his 1939 work titled The Revolution of Nihilism,
viewed this dichotomy as the result of "envious rivalry." Joseph Carr,
in speculating on this phenomena, also suggests that the Nazis may
have suppressed these groups in order to stamp out any rivals or
Whatever the reason for
this strange twist, it cannot be denied that Nordic/Germanic
mysticism, such as Wotanism, was part and parcel of the Nazi system.
In fact, the SS division under Heinrich Himmler was rife with occult
doctrines and deeper mystical brotherhoods. Unquestionably, the SS was
a new Germanic occult military order, complete with its own
ceremonies, rituals, rites, doctrines, symbols, and mythologies.
Indeed, the SS was more than just an effective and terrifying arm of
the Nazi war machine, it was an armed occult priesthood.
Why bring all this up? For
the simple fact that it demonstrates the reality of historical mass
murder. Once examined more closely, it is evident that the New Age
view of Christianity as having the "bloodiest record" is significantly
flawed. Instead, the two systems which have the bloodiest
histories—Communism and Nazism—are intrinsically linked to an extreme
version of atheism and a deeply rooted version of Germanic occultism.
This isn’t saying that
Christianity has clean hands. Sadly, many Christians have individually
and corporately committed acts that truly shame the cause of Christ
and seriously hurt others. It still happens today. But we can’t
overlook the fact that Christianity has probably done more to help
humanity than any other form of religion or philosophy. Hospitals,
disaster aid programs, humanitarian support, food and medical aid
agencies, soup kitchens, orphanages, and institutions of higher
learning are all aspects of Christianity’s contribution to the
betterment of mankind. This is a fact that few critics of Christianity
recognize or are willing to admit.
(Carl Teichrib is a
Canadian-based writer and researcher on globalization.)