The following article was written just before news of a terrorist attack in Paris, France, on a satirical magazine that has been critical of Islam and was to promote a book with the title Submission. The terrorists initiated the attack to “Avenge the Prophet.”
Newsweek magazine published “The Bible: So Misunderstood It’s a Sin.” It was written by Kurt Eichenwald. You can read my response here.
Liberal attacks on Christians and the Bible are safe territory in America for the simple reason that Christians won’t retaliate by beheading the critic. The most a Christian will do is offer a written response. We might condemn him or her as an idiot, but the critic can rest safely in bed at night knowing that Christians won’t order a Muslim-like fatwāh on the critic calling for his death.
Christians are easy targets for liberals because, well, Christians are Christians. We don’t take revenge. We don’t seek vengeance. Christians are given this instruction: “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. . . . Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men” (Rom. 12:14, 17-18).
In a word, it’s safe to be a critic of Christianity and the Bible.
So why doesn’t Kurt Eichenwald do a similar critique of Islam and the Koran? Why no “The Koran: So Misunderstood It’s a Sin”? To ask the question is to answer it. First, his editors wouldn’t allow him to do it, and, second, he would be afraid to do it. Salman Rushdie would forever be in his rear view mirror. Rushdie wrote The Satanic Verses in 1988. Some Muslims were outraged and called for Rushdie’s death. Rushdie was put under police protection. Others have not fared as well:
“With police protection, Rushdie escaped direct physical harm, but others associated with his book have suffered violent attacks. Hitoshi Igarashi, his Japanese translator, was stabbed to death on 11 July 1991. Ettore Capriolo, the Italian translator, was seriously injured in a stabbing in Milan on 3 July 1991. William Nygaard, the publisher in Norway, was shot three times in an attempted assassination in Oslo in October 1993, but survived. Aziz Nesin, the Turkish translator, was the intended target in the events that led to the Sivas massacre on 2 July 1993 in Sivas, Turkey, which resulted in the deaths of 37 people. In September 2012, Rushdie expressed doubt that The Satanic Verses would be published today because of a climate of ‘fear and nervousness.’”
The other religion that critics of the Bible will not touch is the religion of atheism and its academic twin evolution. But you might say that atheism is not a religion. Sure it is. It’s faith-based. “For example, George Klein admits: ‘I am an atheist. My attitude is not based on science, but rather on faith. . . . The absence of a Creator, the non-existence of God is my childhood faith, my adult belief, unshakable and holy.’” (George Klein, The Atheist and the Holy City: Encounters and Reflections (Cambridge MA: The MIT Press, 1992), 203.))
Unlike in Islam, the critic of the atheistic religion will not be threatened with physical harm. The critic will only be professionally assassinated. Jobs at major universities and research facilities will dry up.
Contrary to Atheist Sam Harris, who has said that religion is “the most prolific source of violence in our history,” atheists have shed more blood than all theistic religions combined:
“Historians Philip and Axelrod have demonstrated in their three-volume Encyclopedia of Wars (which covers 1,763 wars that have been waged over the course of human history) that only 123 wars have been religious in nature. That amounts to an amazingly low 6.98% of all wars. Further, when you subtract out wars carried out in the name of Islam, the percentage is cut by more than half to 3.23.”
Communism viewed the atheistic State in religious terms — God walking on earth — and had no problem eliminating tens of millions of non-compliant citizens to advance its worldview in the name of its materialistic evolutionary religion:
“A large percentage of the generation that knew Joseph Stalin died as a result of his directives. These were purely political killings, ‘exterminations,’ ‘liquidations’ of ‘the enemy class’ and ‘undesirable elements.’ How many were involved? Solzhenitsyn’s estimates reach as high as sixty million. Robert Conquest, author of The Great Terror, fixed the number at well into the millions. It is doubtful if we will ever know the true total — God alone knows.”1
In The Black Book of Communism, the total number killed by Communist regimes around the world approaches 100 million.2
Tony Judt of the New York Times writes of the book:
“An 800-page compendium of the crimes of Communist regimes worldwide, recorded and analyzed in ghastly detail by a team of scholars. The facts and figures, some of them well known, others newly confirmed in hitherto inaccessible archives, are irrefutable. The myth of the well-intentioned founders — the good czar Lenin betrayed his evil heirs — has been laid to rest for good. No one will any longer be able to claim ignorance or uncertainty about the criminal nature of Communism, and those who had begun to forget will be forced to remember anew.”
Charley Reese wrote that “the book establishes beyond doubt that communism is the greatest crime against humanity in the 20th century.”
Let’s not forget the French Revolution that made Reason the new god.
Dinesh D’Souza writes the following in “Atheism, Not Religion is the Real Force Behind the Mass Murders of History”:
“The crimes of atheism have generally been perpetrated through a hubristic ideology that sees man, not God, as the creator of values. Using the latest techniques of science and technology, man seeks to displace God and create a secular utopia here on earth. Of course if some people — the Jews, the landowners, the unfit, or the handicapped — have to be eliminated in order to achieve this utopia, this is a price the atheist tyrants and their apologists have shown themselves quite willing to pay. Thus they confirm the truth of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s dictum, ‘If God is not, everything is permitted.’”
I won’t hold my breath waiting for Kurt Eichenwald to write articles on “The Koran and Atheism: So Misunderstood It’s a Sin.” Academic honesty only goes so far among the liberal minded.
- Lloyd Billingsly, The Generation that Knew Not Josef: A Critique of Marxism and the Religious Left (Portland, OR: Multnomah Press, 1985), 37. [↩]
- Stéphane Courtois, et al., The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999), 4. [↩]
- Richard H. Crossman, ed., The God That Failed (Chicago, IL: Regnery Gateway,  1983). [↩]
- S.J. Taylor, Stalin’s Apologist: Walter Duranty—The New York Times’s Man in Moscow (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990). [↩]