Atheism VS Christianity, Which Group Has Killed More Innocent Lives?: We had the privilege of talking with Barak Lurie on this concept of Atheism V.S. Christianity in the context of his book, Atheism Kills. We analyze what caused deaths from 2,000 years ago up until today. We think you’ll be shocked to find the answer. Tune in now to find out!

Air Date: 04/11/2018

Guest: Barak Lurie

On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton


Listen:

Download: Click Here

Transcription note:  As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.

Faith And The Culture

Rick:

Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. This is WallBuilders Live! Where we talk about the day”€™s hottest topics on policy, faith, and the culture. Always rom a biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective.

We’re here with David Barton, he”€™s America’s premier historian and our founder here at WallBuilders. Also, Tim Barton, national speaker and pastor, he”€™s the president of WallBuilders. And my name is Rick Green, I’m a former Texas legislator, national speaker, and author.

All three of us, you can find out more about us right there at WallBuildersLive.com. You can also get archives of the program from the last few weeks. And then you can visit WallBuilders.com, that’s our main website, if you’d like to have a WallBuilders speaker come out and share with you. Or you’d like to get some great tools for your family, for your Sunday school class, whatever group you’re in, what a great opportunity to educate them and equip them to be better citizens. Lots of tools there for you at WallBuilders.com.

Later in the program Barak Lurie will be with us. He’s the author of Atheism Kills. He’ll be with us later in the program. David and Tim, atheism does kill, certainly has its consequences, but that’s not– today you say “€œatheism kills”€ you might get a little pushback. People are like. “€œOh, no, it’s religion that kills.”€

David:

Well, that’s something that’s been taught for a long time. As a matter of fact, I”€™m looking– and by the way, before we go into that let me just point out that for people who are interested we’ve got a great WallBuilders App out now that’s great, it’s a lot of fun, it’s trivia with presidents, presidential trivia. So, folks who like that or think your kids, or grandkids, or you, might like it, you can go to the appstore and download that WallBuilders app. So, that’s out there.

Ideas Do Have Consequences

David:

But back to what you’re saying, Rick, ideas do have consequences and it’s interesting the way some people kind of spend that. For example, there is a work called Obstruction of Justice by Religion, author is Frank Schwann Carra. This what he says, he says, “€œReligion poisons the judicial mind. Justice has often affected the mental condition of the persecuting bigot.”€

So, religion is what brings all this atrocity, injustice, when usually courts doing bad things, and wrong things, and persecuting people in the courts, it’s religion that causes that. And it’s interesting because that got me thinking about, okay, let’s see what we can lay– not at religion, but at the basis, at the door of Christianity. If you take and lay at the door of Christianity anything the critics say and– alright, the Salem Witch Trials, there”€™s 27 that we can take right there, there’s 27 lives. But let’s go back and let’s assume that the Crusades really were about Christians killing others. That it wasn’t about Christians taking back stuff.

Tim:

Yes. Let me point out so, obviously to clarify, the Salem Witch Trials happened, right. So, this isn’t just a criticism, the Crusades happened, so it’s not just a blanket criticism of, “€œYou Christians are bad and this is why”€. Well, no, those things really did happen. They really did happen. People were saying it was in the name of Christianity, or the name of religion. They were promoting that as the justification for what they were doing. Now, as you were mentioning with the Crusades, certainly when you look at the Crusades that happened it doesn’t match up with other jihads that were performed by Muslim nations leading up to the Crusades. And certainly the crusades were trying to take back that land and territory. But it doesn’t justify some of the means they used to carry this out or even which institution carried it out. Where we would say that government should have done that and they should have done it on behalf of the government – not on behalf of the church.

David:

That”€™s right.

Tim:

Right.

David:

That’s right.

Tim:

There’s no doubt there’s things we can point to. Nonetheless, if you look at everything that was done and has been done in the name of Christianity, you identifed we have the Salem Witch Trials, we have the Crusades.

Hitler Was A Christian?

David:

If you want to take every life lost in the crusades and say, “€œOkay, Christians are responsible for that even when it was times of self-defence where they were fighting jihadists who were coming at them. If we say, okay, Christianity caused that death let’s add all that together.

And then if you want to take– I’ve talked to a Holocaust survivor who said Hitler was a Christian and it was Christians who killed all the Jews in the Holocaust.

Tim:

Which is not historically founded.

David:

I’m going to give him that, okay, that”€™s six million Jews, seven million gentiles. So, let’s say that we say 13 million lives lost at the hands of “€œChristian”€ Hitler and he certainly was not Christian.

Tim:

And I would certainly throw the caveat, right, that there’s no doubt the Salem Witch Trials, that was not just people that were professing Christianity as a label as maybe as Hitler was, right. The Crusades were done in the name of Christ. Again, not justifying those and not saying maybe anything about their behavioral characteristics that identified them more as a Christian.

But Hitler, certainly his atrocities were different historically, traditionally, than when you look at the others. But I understand what you’re saying – for the sake of argument when people– and I say people, really it was a very small group of people. So, that one individual and then some others echoed, that said, “€œWell, Hitler was really a Christian, so this was done in the name of Christianity.”€ Which, of course, is nonsense. Historically, it’s nonsense. FDR said this is communism, it’s Hitler against God is how he defined the war. And so it was not nobody at that time viewed Hitler as doing this for God, but it’s been labeled that way today.

There Is No Idea That Does Not Have a Consequence

David:

If we take every single atrocity that has even wrongly been imputed to Christianity, as the Holocaust, if you take every one of them, since the time of Christ, in 2,000 years you come up with somewhere in the vicinity of 15, to 17, to 18 million folks who may have lost their lives at the hands of some so-called Christian.

Then I checked and said, “€œOkay, let’s look at the 20th century.”€ If I just take the 100 years out of the 20th century and if I go through those that I know are atheist leaders, in one century I come up with more than 100 million. Pretty simple stuff. We covered this in the book Original Intent actually. But if I take 2000 years of Christianity it’s five times less then taking only five percent of that time for atheist.

So, ideas do have consequences – not just atheism versus Christianity. Whether it be other religions – muslim ideas have consequences, secular ideas have consequences, progressive ideas have consequences. There is no idea that does not have a consequence. But a lot of times– and, Tim, you’ve got a great video out on this called A Nation Adrift where you talk about the fact that right now we’re enamoured with how unique an idea is without ever having tried it to see if it works. It”€™s like we think ideas don’t have consequences.

We Just Don”€™t Always Connect the Dots

Tim:

It’s the idea, to me, this seems like a good idea, right. We’re in the Bible in the book of Judges it says, “€œEvery man did it was right in their own eyes.”€ And so we think we want to encourage people to come up with their own truth, their own ideas, their own reality. But that doesn’t work in real life and we just don’t always connect those dots.

Well, atheism is another example where it seems like a really good idea, it”€™s a trendy thing, your own belief, you’re not subject and accountable to anybody else where you came from. But what does it actually produce? And that’s part of what the interview is today.

David:

We have a guy who was an atheist who researched this to show how bad religion was and came to the same conclusion we’re talking about.

Rick:

The research actually turned him.

David:

Yeah. The research turned him because he was going at this thing, “€œReligion is really bad.”€ And when he looked at the consequences of religion, all the faults you can lay at religion versus all the faults you can lay at atheism, he got on the other side of this thing. So, it’s going to be a great interview.

Rick:

The book is Atheism Kills the author is Barak Lurie. He’ll be with us when we come back from the break. So stay with us here on WallBuilders Live.

Moment From America”€™s History

David:

This is David Barton with another moment from America’s history. In the minds of many today, Government is a purely secular institution and is not in any way to be joined to religious principles. The result is that too often our public policies are now enacted without any consideration of their spiritual consequences. However, the Founding Fathers believed that even a political act should always be examined from a spiritual viewpoint. For example, in his inaugural address President George Washington declared, “€œWe ought to be persuaded that the favorable smiles of heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained.”€ President George Washington believed that the blessings of heaven would reside on this nation only so long as its national policies embraced godly standards. For more information on God’s hand in American history contact WallBuilders at 1-800-8-REBUILD.

Rick:

Welcome back. Thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders Live. We”€™re going to start with Dennis Prager”€™s riddle about this book. He said, “€œWhat do you get when you combine a lawyer, a first class mind, exhaustive historical research, compelling human stories, moral passion, and grappling with the greatest issues of life? The answer – Atheism Kills by Barak Lurie. He’s with us today. Barak, thanks for joining us today, man.

Barak Lurie:

Yeah. Thank you so much for that introduction. I don’t think I deserve it so much, but I’ll take it.

Rick:

Well, Atheism Kills, you put it right there in the title, just put it right out in front, and say, “€œLook, we’ve got a problem.”€ There’s a very, very, very, negative effect to removing God from a culture. What motivated you to write the book?

Barak Lurie:

My own personal experience in a way. I had decided that that phrase that you hear so often that religion has killed far more than anything else – I decided that was correct and I was going to prove that in a thesis I had at Stanford. And then I went about doing it and very quickly realized, “€œWow, I’m dead wrong here.”€

Rick:

Wow.

Barak Lurie:

And I realize of course now I was wrong, but that I was wildly wrong. That atheism, in fact, whenever it was implemented as a government ideology – that’s different than, of course, atheists individually – it was a horrific enterprise. So, upward of 200 million people died in the 20th century alone as a result of godless regimes. And it’s still continuing to kill today. And religion, by contrast, has nothing like that.

Turned Through Research

Rick:

You’re saying you started on the other side. You started with an atheist philosophy and wanted to prove the dangers of religion.

Barak Lurie:

That’s correct.

Rick:

And it was actually your research that turned you. Were there specific pivotal moments in that that really were the “€œaha”€ moments? Or was it just overwhelming over time?

Barak Lurie:

Well, what I had realized when I was doing the research, I went to correlate atheists ideologies and that they were better, right. So, I just kind of listed and I figured, and I think correctly, that the best way to approach this is to take the atheist leaders and see what good they’ve done and how religion has done worse. And I started realizing, “€œOkay, all these atheist guys are pretty bad guys.”€ Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot of course, *, all those bad boys were atheists and they not only were atheists, but they were advancing an atheist ideology which was front and center of their program.

So, it was very hard for me to say otherwise. And then I thought, “€œWell, surely religion has its evils too.”€ And on looking at it– and, of course, religion is not perfect. After all it’s run by men, right?

Rick:

Right.

Barak Lurie:

It’s actually obscene how good religion has been in the thousands of years that the Judeo Christian mindset has been around, really absurdly good. When you compare the numbers in terms of the evils and it’s almost very hard to ascribe a lot of the evils to religion. You think about the Salem Witch Trials, you think about the Inquisition and the Crusades, but these things were not actually ordered by any religious institution – at all.

A Drop of a Drop

Barak Lurie:

So, but even if you could ascribe it to a religious institution you would find that they pale in comparison in the numbers alone. They are but a drop in the bucket. No, I would even say they are a drop of a drop in the bucket of what atheism has done. So that was very important to me.

Rick:

Here’s what I love about what you’re doing, and even as you describe it right now, you’ve taken a very analytical, logical, approach to this. It’s not an emotion driven thing. You’re saying, “€œJust look at the data.”€ The results are overwhelming. They speak for themselves. And you’re laying out the case just like– you’re an attorney, so maybe it just comes naturally.

Barak Lurie:

Right.

Rick:

But you”€™re laying out the case and saying, “€œLook, I’m just sharing the evidence here.”€

Barak Lurie:

Right. Oh it’s exactly right. I even tell my– when I was an atheist I understood how dangerous the mindset was. It was not a healthy approach. I used to say, Rick, when I was atheist that, “€œHey, I’m an atheist, but thank god nobody else is.”€ Right.

Rick:

Wow.

Barak Lurie:

So, and I didn’t even realize the internal contradictions, but that’s another story. It was indeed very dangerous. And maybe Voltaire was right when he said, “€œLook even if God doesn’t exist it’s necessary to invent Him.”€

None of These Things Matter Without God

Barak Lurie:

There’s a beauty to that, but I do believe that God exists at this point, now, for many reasons – not just because of all the horrors that atheism has done, but there are so many other things I realize that atheism does. Which is it robs us of our humanity, it robs us of our sense of purpose, of creativity, of free will, of our sense of freedom and democracy. None of these things matter without God–

Rick:

Yeah.

Barak Lurie:

–or some sort of creator that that allows, that instills this in you.

And then, Rick, I”€™ve got to tell you one of the things I really came away with writing this book is a real love of Christians and Christianity. I’m a deeply devoted Jew. I’m not a Jew for Jesus, nothing like that. I love Christians and Christianity. They have brought so much to civilization. In fact, without Christians and Christianity we would not have civilization as we think of today. Not the university, not the hospital system, not– we would still have slavery, we would still have eugenics, we would still– and we wouldn’t have the scientific method. The very things that atheists claim as theirs – it belongs to religion. We created science as we think of it today.

Rick:

You sound almost– you sound like Ben Franklin.  He was not he was not a Christian–

Barak Lurie:

Right.

Two Different Worlds

Rick:

–but he looked at the evidence and said, “€œLook at what Christianity produces. Look at what the results are in a culture and a society.”€ And even even one of our good friends on the program here is Orthodox Jew Rabbi Daniel Lapin and same thing – he says, I’m so thankful for a Christian nation that has fostered all the things that you just mentioned, Barak, is again, the evidence is absolutely overwhelming. And you state that case in the book, you lay it out and say, “€œLook, you’re going to two different worlds.”€ Is the way I took it is you can do the atheism thing and you’re going to have mass genocide and all these evils. Or you can have a religious foundation and get all the benefits that we’ve seen in America.

Barak Lurie:

That’s exactly– I couldn’t have said it better. That’s exactly right. And look, you asked me about the emotion versus the logical part and I’m so glad you brought that up. Part of me wishes that I had some sort of St. Paul moment, right, on the road to Damascus. Where God would come to me and say, “€œWhy are you persecuting Me, Barak?”€ Right. But I didn’t have that. I didn’t have any moment like that. I still haven’t had that.

But I’ve seen God in many different ways anyway – through a beautiful sunset, through the love of my children, seeing my children born, through the exercise of my free will, through my sense of purpose, and my love of America, and seeing the past and the present going forward, and belonging to this great chain of civilization. These are the things that are logical to me.

And I realized as an atheist that I was not living like an atheist – I was living like somebody who wanted a world hereafter. So, and then of course the math adds up, I won’t bother you with that for now, but it just all made sense to me from a scientific and probabilistic point of view that there must be a Creator. And then I realized that that Creator was the same God of the Bible.

The Exception to the Rule

Rick:

I actually– I really appreciate the way you’re sharing that because that is– too often we only highlight in our stories, and books, and movies, and everything, the road to Damascus type experience. And I think it’s far more often – I think that’s the exception to the rule – I think is far more often that people find God the way you just described it. It’s a little here, a little there, and all of a sudden it starts to add up and you begin to realize how it’s all woven together.

Barak Lurie:

Yeah.

Rick:

But then people that have that experience sometimes doubt that because they haven’t had this major, “€œOh”€ moment.

Barak Lurie:

Right.

Rick:

So, to hear that from you, I think, is encouraging to the thousands and thousands of the people that are listening that are saying, “€œYes, that sounds like my experience too. Okay, good, I’m not lacking because I haven’t had that massive experience.”€

Barak Lurie:

So, true. One of the first– you know the* in Jewish tradition and these are commandments that God gives that revolve around the Ten Commandments. And the first of these 613 *, the very first one, says, “€œYou shall go out and know that there is a God.”€ Meaning exactly what you and I are talking about right now that we need to go out there and figure this out. He doesn’t want you to just believe in Him. That’s nice, but He wants you to know that He’s there, to figure this out. And I love that. And that’s what I did.

Rick:

Yeah, it”€™s searching for that. Even as Jefferson said, “€œQuestion with boldness even the existence of God.”€ When he told his nephew that he wasn’t saying there isn’t a God, he was saying go question this, study this, search this out, so that you will believe it strongly.

Barak Lurie:

That”€™s right.

Rick:

That once you see the evidence you’re mind set”€™s totally different, the way you communicate it, all of that. Man, I wish we had– I”€™ve got to ask you before we before we”€™ve got to go.

Barak Lurie:

Sure.

The Goal

Rick:

So, goal of the book – what would you like to see in terms of the outcome of people reading this book? Action steps, I guess, is a good way to say that. What would you like to see them do once they read the book?

Barak Lurie:

I want them to understand and love their own Christianity and Judaism in the same way that they defend their own family. I want them to understand that if they don’t defend their Christianity and their Judaism, our civilization will go away. It is based upon that. We have so much good that we’ve done the world and if you do not protected, if you do not boast about it, you have no reason to complain when it goes away. That’s what I want them to know.

Rick:

That’s good. That’s good. And actually, I thought that was be my last question. I forgot – my son who is in the middle of your book right now and loving it, he wanted me to ask you – who are your philosophical inspirations?

Barak Lurie:

Oh, that’s an easy one. Dostoevsky is my very first one. He was the one who really helped me see the beauty of free will, and that free will is real, and that you can’t have free will without God. So that”€™s–

Rick:

Have you noticed how much he’s being quoted more recently.   

Barak Lurie:

Yeah.

Rick:

Especially the, “€œIf there is no God everything is permissible.”€ I’m hearing him– hardly heard anybody quote him in the last 15 20 years.

Barak Lurie:

That”€™s right.

Rick:

And now all of a sudden it’s like a resurgence. I don’t know why that is, but maybe it’s because guys like you are quoting him and talking about him more and it’s bringing it back into our consciousness. But I’ve just been really surprised – even the last month or two.

Barak Lurie:

Yeah, it’s true. Jordan Peterson quotes him a lot. The reason why is that Dostoevsky who is better than anyone else, in my opinion, showed that you can”€™t do logically anything you want without God. It’s very easy to do. And so when an atheist tells you, “€œWell, I don’t need God. I can achieve morality through logic and through my heart.

Well, Dostoevsky and I can easily show you how I can make you commit murder using logic – easily. It’s in my book, I have a couple of examples.

It’s fun to go through these things, but it’s also terrifying at the same time. This notion that everyone has different forms of logic. That’s like saying, it’s like you and I, we”€™re both speaking English now because we both agreed to learn this language and to interplay with this.

But what if I decided I like certain words the way I like it and you like your words the way you like it – we”€™ll never communicate with each other and one of us is going to be talking gibberish.

It”€™s Like the Sun Being Plucked Out of the Solar System

Barak Lurie:

So, that’s not the way we should be dealing with the most important element in our lives and civilization which is God, right. We have to study God together. We have to realize that he’s real and that without God everything falls away. It’s like the sun being plucked out of the solar system. Those planets are not going to stay in their orbit. They are going to fly away.

Rick:

And you point out how even since the French Revolution, that was really the beginning of government saying, “€œThere is no God and we’re going to–“€ Or at least in our our recent history, you point out that the chaos that comes from that and how it literally kills   all the things that we love, and freedom, and compassion. You point out all of those differences.

Barak Lurie:

Right. Exactly right. And the amazing thing about the French Revolution is that they were they were the first baby atheist government, if you want. They didn’t intend to slaughter so many people, they just did because of their atheism. And they just kept on saying, “€œWhy not? Well, we can kill people. It doesn’t matter.”€

As opposed to the communist regime later on which specifically sought to implement atheism as a governing ideology and knew that it would involve killing millions of people. But the French, they just kind of fell into their murdering mayhem. And by the time it was all over in about two years it was about 35,000 dead – just like that, drop of a hat.

Rick:

That is a great distinction. I’ve never thought about that distinction. They didn’t intend it, it was just the natural consequence–

Barak Lurie:

Right.

Rick:

–of the belief system they put in place. Where the communists were unapologetic about it, “€œWe know this is going to be the result and we’re okay with that.”€ But I never thought about that with the French – they didn’t intend it, but that is what’s going to happen when you put that government philosophy of atheism in place.

Barak Lurie:

Exactly right.

Rick:

Great stuff, man. Barak, really appreciate your time. So, glad you put the book out and wish you the most success with it. And look forward to getting you back again soon. It’s been fun.

Barak Lurie:

It’s an honor. And God bless. Thank you for your show.

Rick:

Stay with us here on WallBuilders Live.

Moment From American History.

This is Tim Barton from WallBuilders with another moment from American history. American Patriot Paul Revere road to alert Americans of the impending arrival of the British. But he also sought patriot leader Samuel Adams and John Hancock to warn them that the British were seeking their execution.

Adams and Hancock were staying with the Reverend Jonas Clark in Lexington. When they asked Pastor Clark if his church was ready for the approaching British he replied, “€œI’ve trained them for this very hour. They will fight and, if need be, die under the shadow of the house of God.”€

Later that morning 70 men from his church, and several hundred British in the first battle of the War for Independence. As Pastor Clark affirmed, “€œThe militia that morning were the same who filled the pews of the church meeting house on the Sunday morning before.”€

The American church was regularly at the forefront of the fight for liberty. For more information on this pastor and other Colonial Patriots go to WallBuilders.com.

Rick:

Welcome back. Thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders Live. Thanks to Barak Lurie for joining us. And check out his book, Atheism Kills. We”€™ll have a link today at our website.

Atheism Is What Has Killed

Rick:

We’re back with David and Tim Barton. And, guys, he’s echoing exactly David what you were laying out early in the program. Atheism is what has killed so many – even, not just throughout history, in just the last century.

Tim:

Well, I thought it was interesting, too, how he said it’s not just on an individual level – it’s what it’s applied to government. Which I thought was so interesting because it’s true. If you have an atheist who’s your next door neighbor that doesn’t impact you as much as if you got a government that’s promoting an idea of atheism and promoting an idea of secularism.

Because one of the things Jefferson talked about was that if we ever lose the conviction that our rights come from God. He says, “€œI tremble for my country because God is just and His justice won’t sleep forever.”€ But the idea is if you forget where your rights come from you ulitmately will begin to lose those rights. Which is even what he pointed out with France when they were going through their revolution and they thought, “€œWe”€™re ultimately getting freedom and freedom.”€ And there was such bloody mess, right. So many executions with the guillotine and everything else.

Freedom without God actually isn’t freedom in the way that people want freedom. And when you see this notion of atheism applied to government it ultimately leads to much destruction. As he pointed out, so much death that everything bad you can think and say about Christianity pales in comparison to what atheism has done in just the last century alone. And that’s comparing it to the history of all of Christianity.

Atheism VS Christianity, Which Group Has Killed More Innocent Lives?

David:

And that’s the part too where with Christianity, yes, you do have black eyes in Christianity, you”€™ve got warts on your nose, but not nearly like other stuff. Because anytime people are involved you’re going to have problems. And Christianity is not perfect – the Founder of Christianity is perfect, but those who implement it aren’t. But nonetheless, we’ll take that at any point in time. We’ll take the track record, we’ll take the fruit that it”€™s produced at any point in time, over the track record, the fruit, produced by an anti God culture. Huge difference between the two.

Rick:

Yeah, the evidence is absolutely overwhelming. Check it out – Atheism Kills is the name of the book. We”€™ll have a link today at WallBuildersLive.com. You can also visit that website for archives of the program from the last few weeks. Thanks for listening today to WallBuilders Live.