Secularism Far More Intolerant and Vicious Than Organized Religion

[The common notion among intellectuals is that] Christianity has been a source (in the West) of unparalleled oppression and violence and that if Christians had their way, they’d subjugate everyone. This is a popular view and, like most popular views, it’s mostly false. Secularist ideologies have led to much more hardships, political oppression, economic chaos and mass killing than any Western theological system has... Also, very few people were executed for religious reasons without trial. Of course, the evidence gathered at the trials was usually bogus.... but trials were conducted, and a lot of people were set free. At Salem over 100 people were accused; about 20 were executed. Once the hysteria subsided, the authorities acknowledged publicly that those executed were innocent, and money was given to their families. This is all quite pathetic, but the image one has of Puritans out to fry all disbelievers is false. The famous 'heretics' Anne Hutchinson and roger Williams were not executed. ...systematic mass slaughter without trial has been an innovation ... of secularists. We see it first with the mass killing by drowning of the anti-Christian fanatics of the French Revolution. We see it in Stalin’s atheistic regime, in Hitler’s anti-Jewish, anti-Christian regime. And then we see it in other places were secularist ideology was imported--Mao’s China, Pol Pot’s Cambodia. And today existential misery and suicide are highest precisely in the places where secularism is most prevalent.

source: Is Belief in God Good, Bad, or Irrelevant? edited by Preston Jones, IVP, pages 134-136 tags: Apologetics, Atheism