After 17 years in political office, I am familiar with many of the tactics political bullies employ.
One of the most commonplace — and effective — is disruption. I’m not sure when this began, but I do know that both the Communists and the Nazis used it to good advantage, and that it then moved onto the scene here in America in the last half of the 20th century.
The methodology is quite simple. Simply go into a meeting, an on-line discussion, a classroom or whatnot and make yelling speeches out of turn, ask strident and abusive questions, call people names and take over the place. Stop other people from talking by shouting them down.
The so-called “new atheists” employ this tactic constantly in on-line spaces where Christians gather. They often swarm on Public Catholic like a bunch of angry wasps. One of the tactics they employ (along with sending me a barrage of name-calling, abusive messages when I won’t allow them to post their name-calling, abusive comments on this blog) is to demand ridiculous levels of “proof” of any statement that anyone makes in favor of Christianity.
If you say that water is wet, they want a cite.
This is both tiresome and diversionary. It pulls the discussion away from the main points of the post in question, and refocuses it on the yelling blather of the disrupter. This is an especially good tactic to employ when you don’t have any valid points to make, as in, say, trying to argue against the simple fact that 20th Century atheist governments murdered many millions of their own citizens.
Just for the fun of it, I tried googling to find a source which gave totals of the people atheist regimes slaughtered in the past century. I found a lot of sites. Interestingly, the totals were pretty much the same, wherever I looked. So, instead of giving you a clickable site for what is common knowledge, I’m going to suggest a book. If you want to learn about deaths under the atheist regimes of communism, go to amazon.com and order this:
If you want to learn about the tactics you’ve seen employed on this and other Christian on-line sites, go to amazon.com and order this:
In the meantime, here are the generally-accepted death counts from atheist regimes of the 20th Century. I think it’s important to note that these figures are the most conservative I could find. For instance, Stalin’s death toll is only for the 1930s.
Hitler is a special case in that he is a right wing rather than a left wing killer. What this means in practice is that Hitler pandered to Christianity in his early rise to power, then took over the churches once he got in power. He enforced this by imprisoning and killing large numbers of bishops and Catholic priests as well as protestants. Anyone who tried to stand for the Gospels in his regime was signing their own death certificate. According to documentaries I’ve seen on the History Channel, Hitler made fun of faith and religious people in private.
In my opinion, claims that Hitler was a Christian at the time he committed these crimes (he may have been as a child, I don’t know) or that Stalin was a Christian, which I’ve also heard, put the claimants in the same intellectual space as holocaust deniers.
Another important point is that most of these deaths were the result of government leaders, killing their own citizens. Again, Hitler is a special case in that he also killed civilians in conquered territories of the Reich. Whether or not this made them citizens is a point of law. I think it does, since he was responsible for their governance.
There are a plethora of places where you can verify these numbers, if you are so-minded.
Mao Ze-Dong (China, 1958-61 and 1966-69, Tibet 1949-50) 49-78,000,00 people murdered
Jozef Stalin (USSR 1932-39 only) 15,000,000 people murdered
Pol Pot (Cambodia, 1975-79) 1,700,000 people murdered
Kim II Sung (North Korea 1948-94) 1.6 million people murdered
Tito (Yugoslavia 1945-1987) 570,000 people murdered
Suharto (Communists 1967-66) 500,000 people murdered
Ante Pavelic (Croatia 1941-45) 359,000 people murdered
Ho Chi Min (Vietnam 1953-56) 200,000 people murdered
Vladimir Ilich Lenin (USSR, 1917-20) 30,000 people murdered
Adolf Hitler (Germany 1939-1945) 12,000,000 people murdered