Atheist Governments of the 20th Century: The Death Toll of Godless Goodness

Atheist Governments of the 20th Century: The Death Toll of Godless Goodness March 9, 2013

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 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 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

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30 responses to “Atheist Governments of the 20th Century: The Death Toll of Godless Goodness”

  1. What the Hell are you talking about? Read Alan Bullock, you twit. Or Martin Broszat. Or ANYONE who knows anything about Hitler and Nazism.

  2. The Bible does not tell us to kill people to insure world domination… you have it confused with the Koran. The Bibli instructs us to love, doj good, etc. and when Christ returns, He will subdue the world without our aid. Have you not read these things?

  3. You are aware that the Constitution was written by a Christian, aren’t you?

  4. The colonial rule was based off darwin’s idea of selection. same thing for the kkk.

  5. The numbers of death by officially atheist regimes is closer to 200 million.

    In one single century.

    When your metaphysics tells you that humans are nothing but animals with no more value than dogs or pigs, and that there is no higher power that will judge humanity; nothing, no moral reason exists to stop you from murder and mass murder – or any other atrocity. Indeed, under such world views, neither good nor exist and thus atrocities don’t exist except as subjective opinion in the imagination of man.

    Under atheist neo Darwinism morality is an “illusion fobbed off on us by our genes to get us to cooperate” – E.O. Wilson.

    It is no different than teeth or eyes:

    “Morality is no more … than an adaptation, and as such has the same status as such things as teeth and eyes and noses. … [M]orality is a creation of the genes”. – Michael Ruse

  6. No they were not.


    Lambert (2003) has examined the religious affiliations and beliefs of the Founders. Of the 55 delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention, 49 were Protestants, and two were Roman Catholics (D. Carroll, and Fitzsimons).[citation needed] Among the Protestant delegates to the Constitutional Convention, 28 were Church of England(or Episcopalian, after the American Revolutionary War was won), eight were Presbyterians, seven wereCongregationalists, two were Lutherans, two were Dutch Reformed, and two were Methodists.[citation needed]

    A few prominent Founding Fathers were anti-clerical Christians, such as Thomas Jefferson[21][22][23] (who created the so-called “Jefferson Bible”) and Benjamin Franklin.[24] Others (most notably Thomas Paine, who authored the religious bookThe Age of Reason[25]) were deists, or at least held beliefs very similar to those of deists.[26]

    Historian Gregg L. Frazer argues that the leading Founders (Adams, Jefferson, Franklin, Wilson, Morris, Madison, Hamilton, and Washington) were neither Christians nor Deists, but rather supporters of a hybrid “theistic rationalism”.[27]

    The Treaty of Tripoli, states that “the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion”[28] and was passed unanimously by the Senate and signed by President John Adams.

    This nation is not a christian nation.

  7. Only one mistake. Hitler was NOT right wing. On the political spectrum right wing is less government more freedom. The extreme of the right is anarchy. The left wing is more government, less freedom, such as communism. Hitler was a fascist, and a “national socialist”. There is nothing “pro freedom and less government control” in anything Hitler said, thought, did or believed. The reason people call him a right winger is simple. Academics write the history books. Academics are mostly leftists. They simply didn’t want to saddle Hitler, the most infamous and vile character in public memory (even though he was a piker compared to the communists) with their own ideology of bigger government and more control. It’s that simple.

  8. By that definition, only about 1 Republican elected office holder out of 100 would be conservative.

  9. Well, that’s probably true, as the entire world has shifted leftward over the last 50 years or so. The fact is, conservatives are the only true centrists. The fact that even they call themselves “right wing” shows how far left everyone else has gotten. The only people further to the right of conservatives today would be libertarians.

  10. The atheist communists who butchered priests, pastors, rabbis and imams because they were religious were not on the internet. Nor was it only the communists – check what anarchists did in Spain. I don’t understand why you neither seem to notice that you have been answered nor to make any attempt to answer back. It is as if you only heard yourself speaking.

  11. Numbers were huge in Scotland and GErmany, countries shaken by vicious civil wars. They were much smaller in England, where the single figure of Matthew Hopkins – someone who would have been a standard figure in Germany – became something of a horror figure himself, so that even as far back as 1700 it was hard to tell folklore from reality in his case. They were even smaller in France, Spain and Italy, though unhappily not absent. The one place that almost never saw a witch burned is Rome; in thirteen centuries of papal monarchy, there is only, I believe, one single record of anyone condemned to death for witchcraft.

  12. Suharto, or Soeharto, does not count as an atheist, and his victims were Communists. What is more, in the immense population of Indonesia half a million counts for rather less than some of the other butchers. But nobody denies that the massacres of 1966 were a monstrous evil.

  13. Anarchist is little better? You don’t know much of the history of anarchism as a political movement. They were the original terrorists, murdering kings and presidents, and where they became a mass movement, they tended to encourage civil war. The Spanish civil war was largely started by anarchists, although the anarchists were then destroyed by their communist allies. I know a number of their songs in Italian: they are all about heroic murderers of kings and presidents, about burning the Pope alive, about “the final war” – and all the while bragging that their idea is nothing but Looooooove. I am not kidding you.

  14. The full segment from the Treaty of Tripoli states “As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion,-as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen,-and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against
    any Mehomitan nation” Its stating the United States is not a Christian State that wishes to engage in a holy war against Muslims. The founding fathers are against a state religion, but were definitely pro religiosity within the community. Judeo-Christian values were instrumental to the framers of this great nation. Read speeches and letters of early presidents and you find men who definitely supported faith and the values it brought to the community.

  15. Even among leftist academics, privately, many completely acknowledge that Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and, without question, Pol Pot embraced and were advocates of atheism. There really isn’t any debate among any serious academics. But they’ll tell you there is because they still want to leave the door open to set up their own kind of tyranny, where only their views rule the day. Some have the idea that they know better than everyone in how to improve society, while other leftists want to actually do away with all who disagree with them. So many are ignorant, bigoted and narrow minded.

  16. Also, by that definition, very few self-identified conservatives are actually conservative. The number of Americans who would be real conservatives, in that case, would be a tiny fraction of a percentage. This means that America and the American public is vastly liberal and left-wing. It’s nice to see an American conservative admit that we live in a liberal country.

  17. nuclear facepalm! Why anyone believes that is just unbelievable, and why anyone would be proud of that, ASSUMING it were true, should relinquish their passport and move to North Korea or time travel back in time to live in Nazi Germany. Or at the very least, go live there for a year so they can understand the full implications of living in a place that governs its citizens based on one belief system. Have them come back in a year or two and ask them again. I’m quite sure they would no longer boastfully claim that America is a “Christian Nation” nor should it be if one wishes to stay true to their Christian faith without serious compromise to their particular belief system as there are many (something like 1000 and beyond that there is not 100% agreement). That would be hell on earth…pun intended.

    And the problem is people assume that to deny that America is a Christian Nation that it somehow degrades our country, or makes the claimant automatically atheist, anti-christian, a member of another religion, a Christian that isn’t be true to their faith, a liberal or a heathen who wants to live a reckless life, and it could not be further from the truth in almost 99% of all cases. One can be a Christian and be proud of the fact that we are ABSOLUTELY NOT a Christian nation and never have been. One can believe that and have nothing against Christians (if they are a different religion or don’t subscribe to any faith). One can believe that and be the most moral creature on the planet (even non-Christian ones). You do not have to believe this in order to be a decent person. Just like you don’t have to be a decent person to be a Christian as we have well documented throughout history. Either way, it is well-documented that we are, and always have been, a secular nation who welcomes all types people and faiths. We should be thrilled that we are a free country able to practice or not practice any particular religion. Religious people should be much happier about that than anyone because to come to a state sponsored consensus as to what Christianity actually is or how its doctrine should be interpreted would first of all, be almost impossible, and second, it would mean the majority of Christians would no longer be free to follow the particular brand or sect of Christianity they followed. Hitler’s regime being a great example despite what the author is claiming.

    Oh yes, let’s talk about Hitler since the author brought it up. I love how people like to rewrite history when it comes to Hitler. He absolutely used “his faith” as a Catholic to bring his people together in support of him, and Germany happened to be 98% Protestant and Catholic at the time. He spoke often about the “evil” atheists, and even took away the places where they would meet and converted them into religious places. So even if he hadn’t included Christian doctrine throughout his ENTIRE regime, which he of course 100% did, it was actually Christians who murdered all of those people as Hitler was only ever found to have physically taken the life of his family and himself. So either way, the religious argument has no leg to stand on with regards to Nazi Germany being an atheist regime. No, I do not believe that makes him any less responsible or any less of a murderer of all of those people, but it was Christian doctrine and blind faith of their leader that led Christians to enslave, kidnap, rape, brutally murder, and torture millions of people. To deny that fact almost makes one as bad as them. As I would never deny that certain non-Christian people were responsible for murdering millions some of which the author mentioned in this article. What is the point of that other than to spread propaganda and incite hate just as Hitler himself did? Here is one of the HUNDREDS, if not THOUSANDS, of quotes from Hitler that over and over again solidified his “Christian faith” in the eyes of his followers:

    “In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was his fight against the Jewish poison. Today, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed his blood upon the Cross.”
    -Adolph Hitler

    Whether or not he believed anything he said in public is irrelevant because almost all of his closest advisers, and pretty much all of his followers, were Christians who absolutely believed. Many of his advisers were even given last rites by the Church to ensure forgiveness of their sins and entry into heaven. And, how many of them were excommunicated by the church during this murderous rampage? Exactly.

    There are thousands of references, books and articles written as well as historical documents that confirm this so to deny it is absurd. If Nazis weren’t true Christians then you could say that about 98% of all Christians since the dawn of Christianity because there are so many sects and interpretations of the faith that no Christian would ever pass a “Are you really a Christian?” test as there is no way to even put one together that would have a majority consensus. Even some of the most fundamental doctrines of the faith are argued throughout the world.

    Just because one believes a monster can be Christian does not mean one believes being a Christian makes one a monster. I know many like to throw out facts and figures of atrocities committed by religious people, but it is usually only because one is trying to defend themselves from the continuous persecution by Christians of their religion or lack thereof. If we could all grow up, unify and accept we are not all alike or going to agree on everything, but that we can all agree that humanity is in trouble because of the hate and violence in the world and ban together in a fight against hurting people or leaving the weak or vulnerable to fend for themselves, wouldn’t that be a better world? Why must we fight over things that are so personal, or that are really no one’s business? It just adds fuel to flames and bodies to the morgue.

  18. Secular progressives are not the boogeymen this conversation would have you believe, and the data support it.

    Author and Professor of Sociology from Claremont College, Phil Zuckerman, writes:

    “Murder rates are actually lower in more secular nations and higher in more religious nations where belief in God is widespread.” He also states: “Of the top 50 safest cities in the world, nearly all are in relatively non-religious countries.”

    Within the United States, we see the same pattern. Citing census data, he writes: “And within America, the states with the highest murder rates tend to be the highly religious, such as Louisiana and Alabama, but the states with the lowest murder rates tend to be the among the least religious in the country, such as Vermont and Oregon.”

    And these findings are not limited to murder rates, as rates of all violent crime tend to be higher in “religious” states. Zuckerman also points out that atheists are very much under-represented in the American prison population (only 0.2%).

    Read the full paper here:

  19. Thank you! It’s like when people believe Barack Obama is a Christian just because he says so. Ridiculous.

  20. Nice try. Unfortunately, you can’t get around the awkward fact that in the samples you cite, it was generally politics and not atheism that was the main driver behind these atrocities. And of course, you have to stick to the 20th century, because if you go back further in history, your argument breaks down completely as there are a myriad of examples of religions behaving badly and killing people.

  21. >>”Unfortunately, you can’t get around the awkward fact that in the samples you cite, it was generally politics and not atheism”

    So why wasn’t it “politics not Christianity”: or does your excuse only serve your hypocrisy and not apply equally?

  22. Keith, a better example would have been Donald Trump, or the KKK. Obama hasn’t done much to discredit his claim of being Christian, other than supporting abortion. And he might not be okay with abortion personally, but he isn’t going to force his personal beliefs onto others, so that doesn’t necessarily discredit his claim, either.

  23. Actually prisoners are the least religious of all Americans. When you look beyond what is put in the box on the form, you find that very few actually practice their religion and most who do are the ones who found God in prison.

    Prisons are VERY bad at tracking religion and the majority of studies on this subject look no deeper than that ticked box.

  24. You have the strange notion that Hitler told the truth in his public speeches. That would be enough to qualify you in any sensible circle.

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