Sunday, June 13, 2010

Atheism, Religion and Genocide - Part 3 - Rwanda

As we all know by now, religious people like to point out that the greatest genocides of the 20th century were committed by atheist regimes, even if those regimes were lead by self-professed Christians, or by radical communists which demanded religious-like devotion from their people.  That is a problem in itself, yet perhaps a bigger problem is that, as in most aspects of life, they completely ignore Africa.

Africa had genocides in the 20th century, too.  The worst was in Rwanda, a country which I visited last summer.  Rwanda is a very religious country, predominantly Christian, with a few Muslims and very few atheists.  Yet in this highly-Christian country of less than 8 million people, one of the worst genocides in the history of humanity took place.

The death toll of the violence is estimated at about 800,000 people, or about 10% of the population at the time.  It lasted a mere 100 days, making an average of 8,000 murders per day.  It has therefore been called the most efficient mass-killing since the loving, Christian Americans nuked Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and firebombed the shit out of Tokyo.  I guess nobody knows how to kill quite as efficiently as devout Christians.  The Nazis, by comparison, were incompetent pussies (despite their Christian leader).  Six million killed over roughly 6 years amounts to a mere 2,700 or so murders per day, on average.

What was especially disturbing about genocide in Rwanda is that it was not merely an organised military committing the violence.  Ordinary people, including children, picked up machetes and hacked their neighbours, children included, to death.  Basic statistics will tell us that the majority of those murderers were Christian.

If you go to the genocide museum in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, you'll find some stories of the great love of Christian priests during all of this violence.  When thousands of people fled to churches for what they thought was safety, some priests, perhaps scared for their own lives, or perhaps just hateful monsters, locked the people inside and called in the militia.  Up to thousands of people were slaughtered per church, with the priests either actively participating, or just providing guidance to the militias.  There are photos in the museum of churches with hundreds of dead bodies visible on the floors and pews.

The next time a religious person tries to argue that the 20th century's greatest genocides were committed by atheists, remind them of Rwanda and the uncanny knack that the religious have for highly-efficient mass-murder.


Magnamune said...

What about the whole "condoms increase the transferrance of AIDS" thing the pope was saying before? Surely preventing most people in Africa(where 1 in 20 people have AIDS) from using condoms is attempted genocide.

I'm aware of my paraphrasing and bad averaging, but the point is there.

Also, good post. Scary as hell, but still good.

Feki said...

I didn't know Rwandan priests were involved in mass killings. I looked up more in wikipedia, just to read ever more shocking facts. What sort of agenda was the church trying to accomplish there? What was their gain? And... where will the church attempt something like that next?

Wow... as if child-molesting priests weren't bad enough.

Anonymous said...

If you didn't like paedophile priests, don't worry:
We'll guarantee your child is either raped or murdered, or maybe even both (for no extra fee!).
Freepost your child to:

PS the church's defence is that the genocide was not goven papal permission.
-_- seriously?

Feki said...

I bet they commit rape without condom, lest they sin.

Yeah, that unique vatican apology also caught my attention.

Vatican also got pissed because some murderous nuns were found guilty of helping militia burn people alive. These "sweet and loving" brides of jesus even brought gas cans to where Tutsi people were hiding out.

Jim said...

Not related, but Feki, here's a little retribution for burning people alive.

I think we shall all find it funny, and somewhat ironic.

Feki said...

Jim that was awesome!

There were over 7000 comments already, quite a bit from atheists or anti-theists.

So, is this divine justice or what?

Jim said...

I enjoyed how people were claiming that it was a false idol, and that it was struck down because their god hates false idols.

I fail to see how a statue of Jesus that no one was worshiping was a false idol, but you have to say something stupid to cover up the fact that you believe your god set fire to a statue of his own son.

Feki said...

In other words, christians are suggesting that:

a) god can easily occupy himself with destroying of "touchdown jesus", but he wouldn't bother sending a few lightning bolts to stop Rwandan forces from killing thousands of people

b) all false idols can (and will, eventually) be destroyed. The Great Sphinx, Mount Rushmore, MacDonald's Golden Arches and the small wooden figurine I have in my living room are all false idols.

Honestly, how can this make sense to anyone?

Jim said...

I like how god started with Jesus. Of all the false idols, start with the ones that make the least possible sense.

Admin said...

They just caught one of the loving, genocidal, Christian pastors.

Anonymous said...

Reading most of the above posts - even though I assume most would not call themselves 'Christians' - there's a very clear and tacit understanding of what true Christianity is. Consequently, although ostensibly 'Christianity' appears to be being blamed, what is really being blamed is a group of people who failed to be 'Christian'. Christianity was not responsible for the Rwandan genocides - that much is clear. Rather it was the failure of a group of human beings to be truly Christian. As far as I'm aware there are no exhortations to genocide in the teachings of Jesus Christ? Consequently, we have to lay the blame for the Rwandan genocides where we have to lay the blame for all the other mass killings of the 20th century; the failure to believe in God - atheism.

Admin said...

" was the failure of a group of human beings to be truly Christian"

Ahhh, but they weren't TRUE Scotsmen!

"As far as I'm aware there are no exhortations to genocide in the teachings of Jesus Christ?"

Is Jesus Yahweh? Check out what Yahweh does.

"Consequently, we have to lay the blame for the Rwandan genocides where we have to lay the blame for all the other mass killings of the 20th century; the failure to believe in God - atheism."

Is this a fucking joke? Or are you just an idiot AND an asshole?

Jim said...

Yeah. God never killed anyone! He never leveled entire cities, or flooded entire planets, or created cancer or other murderous diseases. I'm pretty sure no one in the history of the world has never killed in the name of god. Like Hitler, who said he was avenging Jesus by killing all the Jews.

Stuff like that never happens.