Christianity the Worst Source of Evil?
by John Stackhouse
A friend writes: I have run across the following issue a lot recently: the blaming of Christianity (and belief in God generally) for all the major evil of the world. I had a conversation in Seoul with a Canadian expat who argued that Christianity is to blame for the majority of hatred and violence in the world. She was then unwilling to also have a conversation about what Christianity has contributed to education, human rights, medicine and the sciences in general.
I usually respond to such people thus: “Like what? What hatred and evil are you talking about? Please describe the hatred and violence you’re decrying and show why you attribute it to Christianity rather than to, say, greed or lust or vengeance or envy or fear or something much more generic than a particular religion.”
If that doesn’t slow things right down, I might then ask, “And ‘the majority of hatred and violence’ relative to what? How much do you know about the history of China, Japan, and Korea? There’s rather a lot of hatred and evil there that has nothing to do with Christianity. Say, a few millennia worth. Or about either northern or sub-Saharan Africa? And how about the pre-Columbian Americas? Any accounting for the bad blood and bloodshed–and blood sacrifice–there?”
Usually that’s the end of it. Half-educated people are the most dangerous in these conversations, of course, because they think they know things when all they “know” is what people like them “know,” which in these historically illiterate times doesn’t amount to much…
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