History teaches that whenever humans band together believing they are in sole possession of truth, disaster looms. If such a group grows enough, and if it gains both power and arms, it will most likely cause serious disruptions leading to mayhem, even mass murder. This is especially true of religious groups and other fanatics, for their claim to exclusive possession of truth also leads them to believe God wants them to destroy other groups deemed heretical.
Beside civil wars, religious wars tend to be most atrocious.
Christians-In-Name-Only (CINOs) have been guilty. The KKK in our own country is an example, though the Klan could never compete with the Nazis, fascists in CINO clothing.
And the persecution of Jews by CINOs has gone on for 2,000 years. In fairness, one cannot lay blame on truly born again believers. In the main they have acted as peacemakers or fought only when self-defense was required. Secularists happily condemn born again believers for the behavior of CINOs, but, it’s a false accusation because secularists fail to differentiate, frequently on purpose.
In the West, religious wars between various denominations are rife throughout history, Catholics versus Protestants, state churches versus reformers, the prime examples.
However, the world-champion killers driven by ‘religious’ fervor: three groups marked by outstanding brutality. These groups claim exclusive possession of truth and they remain unrivaled record setters in the killing fields: communists, overlapping with the larger group of atheists, and jihadists.
According to studies by David B. Bennett at Gordon Theological, during the last 2,000 years, jihadists and atheists killed about 70 million Christians. Soviet, Chinese, Korean, Cambodian, and Vietnamese communists (atheists) are responsible for killing even more in just the last century. Atheists in government armed with modern weaponry remain the most accomplished mass murderers.
The long history of slaughter perpetrated by religious or political dictators was thoroughly noted by American Revolutionaries and the Founding Fathers. They understood that unrestrained power in the possession of fanatics and tyrants would forever deny men their God-given right to liberty. They knew that the work of government is incompatible with the work of the church, that the work of the church was of a different nature than the work of government, that one should never assume the role of the other, but that moral standards preached by the church ought always guide the deliberations of government. Hence the genius of the First Amendment to the Constitution:
“ . . . Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
When we respect and promote the principles of limited government, God-given rights, morality and free exercise without establishing a state religion, and when we rightly understand the dangers posed by communists, atheists and jihadists, we will act like traditional Americans and defend the principles of liberty, delivered to us by the sacrifice of two million patriots who gave all in our defense.
If we stray from those principles and then betray them, and if we deny threats posed by communists, atheists and jihadists, we commit national suicide. Tragically, the trends in belief and voting patterns do not bolster optimism. Have we learned nothing from history?