Atheists don’t commit as much crime as the Religious do.

Congratulations atheists… you are more well-behaved than the rest of society. No, this isn’t a “pat you on the back” piece. But, I think it’s important for us to remember that we ARE moral people that know how to be good citizens without a divine babysitter telling us what’s right and wrong. And, there is evidence to show that this is correct.

In 2005, the Kripke Center released a detailed study called, “Cross-National Correlations of Quantifiable Societal Health with Popular Religiosity and Secularism in the Prosperous Democracies.” Long title, I know. But, what it said was very important and gets overlooked by many atheists. Keep in mind, the Kripke Center ISN’T secular and has no reason to promote a secular view. According to their own website, “The Kripke Center is dedicated to facilitating scholarly activity in the areas of religion and society. Special attention is given to promoting understanding between and among faith communities, including especially Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The Kripke Center’s primary audience is the academic community, but its scholarship and services are available to all who seek them. The Center is named in honor of Rabbi Myer and Dorothy Kripke.” The study had some amazing discoveries. They concluded:

Indeed, the data examined in this study demonstrates that only the more secular, pro-evolution democracies have, for the first time in history, come closest to achieving practical “cultures of life” that feature low rates of lethal crime, juvenile-adult mortality, sex related dysfunction, and even abortion. The least theistic secular developed democracies such as Japan, France, and Scandinavia have been most successful in these regards. The non-religious, pro-evolution democracies contradict the dictum that a society cannot enjoy good conditions unless most citizens ardently believe in a moral creator. The widely held fear that a Godless citizenry must experience societal disaster is therefore refuted. Contradicting these conclusions requires demonstrating a positive link between theism and societal conditions in the first world with a similarly large body of data – a doubtful possibility in view of the observable trends.


It also stated (check out the graphs at the bottom of the report to see for yourself) that the United States, while still one of the most religious countries on earth, also has the highest rates of teen pregnancy, STDs, and abortions. So much for god looking out for his flock, right? They note:

There is evidence that within the U.S. strong disparities in religious belief versus acceptance of evolution are correlated with similarly varying rates of societal dysfunction, the strongly theistic, anti-evolution south and mid-west having markedly worse homicide, mortality, STD, youth pregnancy, marital and related problems than the northeast where societal conditions, secularization, and acceptance of evolution approach European norms

But, I digress… This post was supposed to be about crime. But, it all ties together, which is why I felt it was important to start with the above information. Ask anyone with a masters in criminology and they’ll tell you that crime is caused by so many social issues: poverty, parenting, religion, economics, demographics, geography, etc. It’s a deep issue with a lot of sides. But, I want to look at just one… religious affiliation of those in prison. Denise Golumbaski, Research Analyst for the Federal Bureau of Prisons released the following numbers in 1997 under the Freedom of Information Act. take a look:

Response              Number      %
----------------------------  --------
Catholic               29267   39.164%
Protestant             26162   35.008%
Muslim                  5435    7.273%
American Indian         2408    3.222%
Nation                  1734    2.320%
Rasta                   1485    1.987%
Jewish                  1325    1.773%
Church of Christ        1303    1.744%
Pentecostal             1093    1.463%
Moorish                 1066    1.426%
Buddhist                 882    1.180%
Jehovah Witness          665    0.890%
Adventist                621    0.831%
Orthodox                 375    0.502%
Mormon                   298    0.399%
Scientology              190    0.254%
Atheist 156 0.209%
Hindu                    119    0.159%
Santeria                 117    0.157%
Sikh                      14    0.019%
Bahai                      9    0.012%
Krishna                    7    0.009%
----------------------------  --------
Total Known Responses  74731  100.001% (rounding to 3 digits does this)

Unknown/No Answer      18381
----------------------------
Total Convicted        93112  80.259% (74731) prisoners' religion is known.

Held in Custody         3856  (not surveyed due to temporary custody)
----------------------------
Total In Prisons       96968
If you look at just the Judeo-Christian totals, they account for 83.761% of the total survey.
Catholic               29267   39.164%
Protestant             26162   35.008%
Rasta                   1485    1.987%
Jewish                  1325    1.773%
Church of Christ        1303    1.744%
Pentecostal             1093    1.463%
Jehovah Witness          665    0.890%
Adventist                621    0.831%
Orthodox                 375    0.502%
Mormon                   298    0.399%

So, what can we conclude from this? Either Atheists are really good at getting away with crime, or we commit less of it. I think the latter is more plausible. Yes, the total population of  ”admitted atheists” in the country at that time was only about 8-15%. You would then expect the total prison population to be about the same… but it wasn’t. Atheists accounted for 0.209% of the total incarcerated – 1/5th of 1%. That’s at least 40 times lower than would be expected from random distribution based on the population. Hmmm…

Now, let me address the “naysayers” who will attack this (and there are many). There are obviously some difficulties in establishing the “validity” of the numbers. Yes, they DO come from the Federal Bureau of Prisons, but people have made claims like “some atheists in prison say they are religious to get better parole”. While this may be true, it couldn’t be the majority, and most states don’t require religious affiliation to be listed in files available to parole boards. The results shown above was a random sampling of about 5% of the total US prison population (which anyone that has taken a basic statistics class knows is statistically significant and a big enough sample size to extrapolate results across the board). If religious affiliation was on EVERY prisoner file, this chart would have had more than 74,000+ prisoners… it didn’t.

Also, some people claim that the “8-15%” number of atheists in America at the time is highly suspect and must be exaggerated since it’s assumed that it includes “non-theists” that aren’t really “atheists”. My answer…. BIG FUCKING DEAL! Even if the study only counted 10% of the total of atheists in prison and the numbers for the whole U.S. population were as small as 4%, that’s still less in prison than in the overall citizenry. I don’t mean to use the numbers to say that being religious MAKES you commit crime… but i think it’s fair to conclude that being religious DOESN’T PREVENT YOU FROM BECOMING A CRIMINAL! If god (or gods – depending on the religion) is “looking out for” believers or giving them some form of moral compass not available to the heathens amongst us, then how do so many of them wind up in prison.

Myth: Religious people are better people and make for a better society! Result: Well… BUSTED!

EXTRA NOTE: As someone pointed out to me on Reddit, there is most likely a correlation here to intelligence. I had thought about it but didn’t think it was worth mentioning. There is a correlation between education level and belief in god. Smarter people tend to be atheists and smarter (better educated) people also tend to commit less crime (or hire better lawyers – LOL). So, I can see how it is possible that the less educated you are, the more likely you are to commit crime AND be a believer in a fantastical myth! I don’t presume to state that the evidence above is proof that being a believer MAKES you commit crime, but I think it’s fair to say that being an atheist means that you might be better educated than your religious peers and therefore less likely to commit crime. The belief or non-belief IS NOT the deciding factor to crime… just a correlation. I am only speaking to “moral authority” here, just showing that believers are no more “moral” or “good” due to their belief in a supernatural babysitter.

ONE MORE NOTE: Several people have asked what the overall religious population of the United States looked like in  1997 when these numbers on criminals were released. The following is the best I can find if from http://www.religioustolerance.org/us_rel1.htm:

In 1997, the US Society and Values magazine published an overview of religion in the U.S., using data from the Pluralism Project at Harvard University. 3,4 They reported:

bullet 63% of Americans (163 million) state that they are actively affiliated with a faith group:

bullet Roman Catholicism is the largest single religious group (60 million; 23%).
bullet Anglicans, Eastern Orthodox and Protestant churches total 94 million members (36%) within 220 denominations.
bullet There are 3.8 million religiously active Jews (1.5%) ; an additional 2 million regard themselves as cultural or ethnic Jews.
bullet Estimates of Muslims vary greatly. Some surveys show that there are about 3.5 to 3.8 million Muslims (1.4 to 1.5%) in the U.S. Most Muslim sources estimate about six or seven million.
bullet There are over 300,000 congregations.
bullet There are over 530,000 priests, ministers, pastors, etc.
bullet Islam is numerically the fastest growing organized religion in the U.S., in terms of numbers of adherents.
bullet The most rapidly growing religious/spiritual/ethics grouping in the US is not an organized religion; it consists of non-believers (Atheists,Agnostics, etc.).
  • http://volizden.xanga.com/weblog/ Stephen Fullerton

    I wonder if that takes into consideration the number that convert upon going in? or is that a myth about so many inmates finding god? or were they christian before and then born again while in prison?

    I had actually know about the differences before (the numbers you cited above) however I had been reluctant to POST anything about it per my questions above… Wanted to see about researching them before hand…

    Good Post either way thanks Adam

    • Daniel

      Sometimes I wonder if you people miss the point on purpose or if you just lack the intelligence to understand the point at all.

      • Fred M.

        Just who are you referring to with the “you people” remark? And what is “the point” that you think ‘those’ people are missing.

        For someone berating others for their alleged lack of intelligence, your inability to express yourself clearly is ironic.

  • http://volizden.xanga.com/ Stephen Fullerton

    Oh and I know that most Muslim Converts in prison tend to have been previously christian and decided it had failed them. So they accept Muslim as most are black and taught the bigoted mantra of colonial slavery and their true religion is Muslim if their ancestors hadn’t been enslaved by the blue eyed/white devil, yadda yaddda yadda…

  • JAFisher44

    I have a feeling that the people running this Kripke Center aren't real scotsm… err Christians. All joking aside, I see Christians accusing this organization of being secularists in disguise. Frankly, I am more than a little surprised to see such candid truth telling from a non secular source. I am floored.

  • JT

    It's important to remember that, because christians will show favoritism to each other, it's possible that an atheist in prison would report his affiliation as christian if he wanted to avoid bigotry at the hands of a likely christian parole board.

  • Adam

    @ Roger: I guess you missed the section at the end showing the numbers of religious people in society. I can’t get “exact” research on the number of atheists in America for the year 1997, but most studies I found show 8-16%. So, even if 0.209% in prison is low and 8-16% in the population is high… they would still be DISPROPORTIONATE.

    Again, I am not saying religious people commit more crime. I am simply stating that they cannot use the argument that they are better people or “more moral” as a group than atheists.

  • Roger Klorese

    The methodology in this study is totally lacking. You haven't shown that the representation of atheists in prison is DISPROPORTIONATELY low – only that it is low, as it is in society as a whole.

    • R H

      isn't that the point?

  • Adam

    @ JT: The argument (that prisoners would lie about being an atheist for sake of getting parole) makes sense, unless you know that most prisons don't put religious affiliation on the file for a prisoner. So, the only way for a parole board to find out is to ask in the parole session. I would doubt that they would, as it would open up a good discrimination case for any hungry lawyer looking to help out a client denied parole for religious affiliation.

    From what I've gathered, the results given by the Federal Bureau of Prisons that I wrote about in this blog were from a "survey" done randomly of 74,000+ prisoners. They had no motive in this survey to lie about religious affiliation, that I can find.

    If the argument were true, claiming to be Muslim or Rastafarian would carry more prejudice than Atheist, don't you think? Those religions certainly wouldn't aid in parole either… but they are there too!

    • Wolfeye

      Well, in… Texas, was it? They were trying to pass a law that allowed any criminal (even murderers) the ability to have a get-out-of-jail free card in exchange for a year of commitment to a christian church. No words can describe the stupidity, but yes, that was attempted.

  • David

    Believers in Christ Jesus are not immune to Sin, in fact the Bible says those whom believe will be tested even harder by Satan. Pleasing God by doing "good deeds" has to come from within. This report does not surprise me, but it is Funny how everybody eyes Christians as the Goody two shoes.

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  • http://crommunist.wordpress.com Crommunist

    I think it would be worthwhile to control this study for socioeconomic status and level of education (although the two are very highly correlated). Religion can be a proxy for a lot of things, and atheism isn't a moral system – it's entirely likely that what we're seeing is simply a reflection of relative economic security.

    @David – "Believers in Christ Jesus are not immune to Sin, in fact the Bible says those whom believe will be tested even harder by Satan." So by that reasoning, in order to be a good person it is better to be a non-believer. At the very least, your statement suggests that belief in God is not related whatsoever to being a good person – this stands in sharp contrast to what is preached at churches and said about atheists in the media.

  • http://skepticon.org JT Eberhard

    Whoa, another JT. Weird. :P

    JT

  • Pingback: Atheists Don’t Commit as much Crime as the Religious do as per article « Centre for Inquiry – Ottawa

  • Adam

    @ Grady: And who were these "militant atheists" you are making up? I'd sure like to know… and see some proof. Hitler believed in god and said several times he was doing what was commanded of him by god. Please show me ANY genocide committed by atheists!

    And please don't say Stalin… let me help you out here refuting a bad argument before you make it:

    When you say X is a person who believes in A (e.g Stalin is an atheist who believes in the absence of God)

    And, X is involved in an activity or commits a crime ( Stalin orders mass murder/genocide)

    Therefore A is the cause for X to be involved in the activity.(Therefore atheism is the cause for those mass murders Stalin committed)

    This type of logical fallacy is called Non sequitur or Fallacy of False Cause. There is ZERO proof in history that ANYONE has committed mass murder DUE TO atheism… but plenty of evidence of people killing in the name of GOD or with justification from the bible.

    • darkchaos

      please show evidence that Hitler believed in God.

      /end topic

      • doug105

        Hitler’s involvement with the Church:

        a) Hitler was baptized as Roman Catholic during infancy in Austria.

        b) As Hitler approached boyhood he attended a monastery school. (On his way to school young Adolf daily observed a stone arch which was carved with the monastery’s coat of arms bearing a swastika.)

        c) Hitler was a communicant and an altar boy in the Catholic Church.

        d) As a young man he was confirmed as a “soldier of Christ.” His most ardent goal at the time was to become a priest. Hitler writes of his love for the church and clergy: “I had excellent opportunity to intoxicate myself with the solemn splendor of the brilliant church festivals. As was only natural, the abbot seemed to me, as the village priest had once seemed to my father, the highest and most desirable ideal.” -Adolf Hitler (Mein Kampf)

        e) Hitler was NEVER excommunicated nor condemned by his church. Matter of fact the Church felt he was JUST and “avenging for God” in attacking the Jews for they deemed the Semites the killers of Jesus.

        f) Hitler, Franco and Mussolini were given VETO power over whom the pope could appoint as a bishop in Germany, Spain and Italy. In turn they surtaxed the Catholics and gave the money to the Vatican. Hitler wrote a speech in which he talks about this alliance, this is an excerpt: “The fact that the Vatican is concluding a treaty with the new Germany means the acknowledgement of the National Socialist state by the Catholic Church. This treaty shows the whole world clearly and unequivocally that the assertion that National Socialism [Nazism] is hostile to religion is a lie.” Adolf Hitler, 22 July 1933, writing to the Nazi Party

        g) Hitler worked CLOSELY with Pope Pius in converting Germanic society and supporting the church. The Church absorbed Nazi ideals and preached them as part of their sermons in turn Hitler placed Catholic teachings in public education. This photo depicts Hitler with Archbishop Cesare Orsenigo, the papal nuncio in Berlin. It was taken On April 20, 1939, when Orsenigo celebrated Hitler’s birthday. The celebrations were initiated by Pacelli (Pope Pius XII) and became a tradition.

        Each April 20, Cardinal Bertram of Berlin was to send “warmest congratulations to the Fuhrer in the name of the bishops and the dioceses in Germany with “fervent prayers which the Catholics of Germany are sending to heaven on their altars.” (If you would like to know more about the secret dealings of Hitler and the Pope I recommend you get a book titled: Hitler’s Pope: The Secret History of Pius XII, by John Cornwell)

        h) Due to Hitler’s involvement with the Church he began enacting doctrines of the Church as law. He outlawed all abortion, raged a death war on all homosexuals, and demanded corporal punishment in schools and home. Many times Hitler addressed the church and promised that Germany would implement its teachings: “The National Socialist State professes its allegiance to positive Christianity. It will be its honest endeavor to protect both the great Christian Confessions in their rights, to secure them from interference with their doctrines (Lehren), and in their duties to constitute a harmony with the views and the exigencies of the State of today.” –Adolf Hitler, on 26 June 1934, to Catholic bishops to assure them that he would take action against the new pagan propaganda “Providence has caused me to be Catholic, and I know therefore how to handle this Church.” -Adolf Hitler, reportedly to have said in Berlin in 1936 on the enmity of the Catholic Church to National Socialism

        How Christianity was the catalyst of the Holocaust:

        Hitler’s anti-Semitism grew out of his Christian education. Austria and Germany were majorly Christian during his time and they held the belief that Jews were an inferior status to Aryan Christians. The Christians blamed the Jews for the killing of Jesus. Jewish hatred did not actually spring from Hitler, it came from the preaching of Catholic priests and Protestant ministers throughout Germany for hundreds of years. The Protestant leader, Martin Luther, himself, held a livid hatred for Jews and their Jewish religion. In his book, “On the Jews and their Lies,” Luther set the standard for Jewish hatred in Protestant Germany up until World War 2. Hitler expressed a great admiration for Martin Luther constantly quoting his works and beliefs.

        Now, you must remember before Hitler rose to Chancellor of Germany the country was in a deep economic depression due to the Versailles treaty. The Versailles treaty demanded that Germans made financial reparations for the previous war and Germany simply was not self sufficient enough in order to pay the debt. Hitler was the leader that raised Germany out of the depression and brought them back to a world recognized power. Due to his annulment of the financial woes of the Germanic people he became their redeemer and they anointed him as the leader of the German Reich Christian Church in 1933. This placed him in power of the German Christian Socialist movement which legislates their political and religious agendas. It united all denominations, mainly the Protestant/Catholic and Lutheran people to instill faith in a national Christianity.

        How the Nazi Regime converted the people:

        a) In the 1920s, Hitler’s German Workers’ Party (pre Nazi term) adopted a “Programme” with twenty-five points (the Nazi version of a constitution). In point twenty-four, their intent clearly demonstrates, from the very beginning, their stand in favor of a “positive” Christianity: “We demand liberty for all religious denominations in the State, so far as they are not a danger to it and do not militate against the morality and moral sense of the German race. The Party, as such, stands for positive Christianity, but does not bind itself in the matter of creed to any particular confession…”

        b) The Nazi regime started a youth movement which preached its agenda to impressionable children. Hitler backed up the notion that all people need faith and religious education: “By helping to raise man above the level of bestial vegetation, faith contributes in reality to the securing and safeguarding of his existence. Take away from present-day mankind its education-based, religious- dogmatic principles– or, practically speaking, ethical-moral principles– by abolishing this religious education, but without replacing it by an equivalent, and the result will be a grave shock to the foundations of their existence.” – Adolf Hitler (Mein Kampf)

        c) The Nazi regime began to control schools insisting that Christianity was taught.

        d) The Nazi regime included anti-Semitic Christian writings in textbooks and they were not removed from Christian doctrines until 1961.

        e) The Nazi regime having full blown power over the people began to forcibly convert all its military.

        f) The Nazi regime forced the German soldiers to wear religious symbols such as the swastika and they placed religious sayings on military gear. An example here is this German army belt buckle (I believe my Opa had one) which reads “Gott Mit Uns”. For those of you who do not speak German it is translated as “God With Us”.

        g) The German troops were often forced to get sprinkled with holy water and listen to a sermon by a Catholic priest before going out on a maneuver.

        h) The Nazis created a secret service called the “SS Reich” that would act as spies on the dealings of other citizens. If anyone was suspected of heresy (Going not only against the Socialist party but CHURCH DOCTRINE) they would be prosecuted.

        Quotes from Hitler:

        Hitler’s speeches and proclamations, even more clearly, reveal his faith and feelings toward a Christianized Germany. Nazism presents an embarrassment to Christianity and demonstrates the danger of their faith So they try to pin him on other theistic views. The following words from Hitler show his disdain for atheism, and pagan cults, and reveal the strength of his Christian feelings:

        “National Socialism is not a cult-movement– a movement for worship; it is exclusively a ‘volkic’ political doctrine based upon racial principles. In its purpose there is no mystic cult, only the care and leadership of a people defined by a common blood-relationship… We will not allow mystically- minded occult folk with a passion for exploring the secrets of the world beyond to steal into our Movement. Such folk are not National Socialists, but something else– in any case something which has nothing to do with us. At the head of our programme there stand no secret surmisings but clear-cut perception and straightforward profession of belief. But since we set as the central point of this perception and of this profession of belief the maintenance and hence the security for the future of a being formed by God, we thus serve the maintenance of a divine work and fulfill a divine will– not in the secret twilight of a new house of worship, but openly before the face of the Lord… Our worship is exclusively the cultivation of the natural, and for that reason, because natural, therefore God-willed. Our humility is the unconditional submission before the divine laws of existence so far as they are known to us men.” -Adolf Hitler, in Nuremberg on 6 Sept.1938. [Christians have always accused Hitler of believing in pagan cult mythology. What is written here clearly expresses his stand against cults.]

        “We were convinced that the people needs and requires this faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations: we have stamped it out.” -Adolf Hitler, in a speech in Berlin on 24 Oct. 1933 [This statement clearly refutes modern Christians who claim Hitler as favoring atheism. Hitler wanted to form a society in which ALL people worshipped Jesus and considered any questioning of such to be heresy. The Holocaust was like a modern inquisition, killing all who did not accept Jesus. Though more Jews were killed then any other it should be noted that MANY ARYAN pagans and atheists were murdered for their non-belief in Christ.]

        Here Hitler uses the Bible and his Christianity in order to attack the Jews and uphold his anti-Semitism:

        “My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God’s truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. 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 for the world against the Jewish poison. To-day, 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. As a Christian I have no duty to allow my self to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice… And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows . For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people.” –Adolf Hitler, in a speech on 12 April 1922 (Norman H. Baynes, ed. The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, April 1922-August 1939, Vol. 1 of 2, pp. 19-20, Oxford University Press, 1942)

        “Christianity could not content itself with building up its own altar; it was absolutely forced to undertake the destruction of the heathen altars. Only from this fanatical intolerance could its apodictic faith take form; this intolerance is, in fact, its absolute presupposition.” -Adolf Hitler Mein Kampf (It is quite obvious here that Hitler is referring to destructing the Judaism alters on which Christianity was founded.)

        “The personification of the devil as the symbol of all evil assumes the living shape of the Jew.” -Adolf Hitler Mein Kampf (The idea of the devil and the Jew came out of medieval anti-Jewish beliefs based on interpretations from the Bible. Martin Luther, and teachers after him, continued this “tradition” up until the 20th century.)

        “With satanic joy in his face, the black-haired Jewish youth lurks in wait for the unsuspecting girl whom he defiles with his blood, thus stealing her from her people.” -Adolf Hitler Mein Kampf (It is common in war for one race to rape another so that they can “defile” the race and assimilate their own. Hitler speaks about this very tactic here.)

        “The best characterization is provided by the product of this religious education, the Jew himself. His life is only of this world, and his spirit is inwardly as alien to true Christianity as his nature two thousand years previous was to the great founder of the new doctrine. Of course, the latter made no secret of his attitude toward the Jewish people, and when necessary he even took the whip to drive from the temple of the Lord this adversary of all humanity, who then as always saw in religion nothing but an instrument for his business existence. In return, Christ was nailed to the cross, while our present- day party Christians debase themselves to begging for Jewish votes at elections and later try to arrange political swindles with atheistic Jewish parties– and this against their own nation.”–Adolf Hitler (Mein Kampf)

        “…the fall of man in paradise has always been followed by his expulsion.” -Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf (See Genesis Chapter 3 where humankind is cast from Eden for their sins. Hitler compares this to the need to exterminate the Jews for their sin against Christ.)

        “Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.” –Adolf Hitler (Mein Kampf)

        “The anti-Semitism of the new movement [Christian Social movement] was based on religious ideas instead of racial knowledge.” –Adolf Hitler Mein Kampf (This quote is very interesting for it disperses the idea that Hitler raged war due to being an Aryan supremacist. He states quite clearly that he has a problem with Jews for their belief not race. That is why many German Jews died in WW2 regardless of their Aryan nationality.)

        “Only in the steady and constant application of force lies the very first prerequisite for success. This persistence, however, can always and only arise from a definite spiritual conviction. Any violence which does not spring from a firm, spiritual base, will be wavering and uncertain.” –Adolf Hitler Mein Kampf (Here Hitler is admitting that his war against the Jews were so successful because of his strong Christian Spirituality.)

        Quotes from Other Nazis about Hitler and Religion:

        “Around 1937, when Hitler heard that at the instigation of the party and the SS vast numbers of his followers had left the church because it was obstinately opposing his plans, he nevertheless ordered his chief associates, above all Goering and Gobbels, to remain members of the church. He too would remain a member of the Catholic Church, he said, although he had no real attachment to it. And in fact he remained in the church until his suicide.” (Inside the Third Reich by Albert Speer page 95-96)

  • Adam

    Learn your history, Grady… Josef Stalin – The bloodiest communist regime dictator was not an ATHEIST!, but a RELIGIOUS COMMUNIST. He was a believer. Stalin born in 1878, received power and started his mass murder in 1922 and died in 1953… but never claimed to be an atheist at all.

    Stalin grew up in a religious family and it was planned that he would become a priest. Therefore Stalin received religious education in Gori Church‘s School (from 1888-09-… to 1894-06-…) and Tbilisi Priest‘s Seminary (from 1894-09-01 to 1899-07-29) which he didn’t accomplished because he entered the Revolution movement. Likely, those ideas about defending poor people, and that rich people will go to hell (or at least be hard to go to heaven) stuck with him. No doubt, Stalin collected such ideas from his religious education. In the Bible itself there are explanations that it will be hard to go to Heaven for rich people and they are oppressors of the poor. “All capital/property is evil and rich people must gift their property to poor” – was not too far from The Bible and teachings of Christ as Christians wants to present them now. For example:

    Bible:NT:Mat:19:23-24 And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, it will be hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

    Bible:NT:Ja:2:5-6 “Listen, my beloved brethren. Has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which he has promised to those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor man. Is it not the rich who oppress you, is it not they who drag you into court?”

    Bible:NT:Ja:5:1 “Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you.”

    Bible shows that if you want to be real believer, you must resign your possessions to poor and have common property, like communists and planned:

    Bible:NT:Lu:12:33 “Sell your possessions, and give alms; provide yourselves with purses that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys.”

    Bible:NT:Mar:10:21-22 And Jesus looking upon him loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing; go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” At that saying his countenance fell, and he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions.

    Bible:NT:Ac:2:44-45 And all who believed were together and had all things in common; and they sold their possessions and goods and distributed them to all, as any had need.

    Sometimes people think that communism (latin: commun=to share / collective property – no private property) was atheistic idea. But they forgot, how property was and is managed in Church and monasteries, where is no private property – this is pure communism in all its glory. It seems that Church and monasteries adopted and realized “atheistic” ideas of shared property thousands of years before revolution in Russia even started. And when you read the Bible, you can see that Christ’s followers and his band lived as pure communists too. Stalin even wrote poems that were published (in Georgian) that talk about god and speak badly of those that deny him.

    As for Lenin, he was an atheist and banned religion mostly because Church was rich and supported Monarchy-Tsar (Bible:NT:Ro:13:1 “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.”) – was against parliamentarian government system and by that government was hanged his brother. One other thing, psychologist Giunter Cruse, who examined Vladimir Ulajnov’s (Lenin) genealogy tree, found that Lenin’s grandmother was burned at the stake as witch. Lenin has his reasons not to like Church. But, again, there is no evidence that he killed people ONLY because they believed in god or ONLY because he didn’t. Yet, there are millions of cases of Christians causing harm to others solely from their beliefs in god: http://www.atheismresource.com/2010/the-harms-of-religion

    Either come back with evidence (not from a “church” site – but somewhere academic and credible) or stop peddling this nonsense here. So, where’s your excuse? Try justifying all the HARMS I mentioned in the article I linked to above… good luck.

  • Adam

    Grady, I've decided to leave your "arguments" up. I'll let future readers decide who provides more evidence and analysis for the opinion… I think it's pretty clear. You can't back up what you say. you just think it's true and that's good enough for you. You didn't even try to refute my claims about the harms of religion. Willfully ignorant? Hello pot, this is kettle… I don't know how to say this, but, um… YOUR BLACK!

  • Adam

    @ Grady: Stalin "denied categorically to prescribe atheistic literature to his personal library, fastidiously calling it ""antireligious waste-paper (junk)"". ("Secret life of Stalin : By materials of his books and archive : According to Stalinism" by Ilizarov.B.S. 2004).

    Lenin and Marx were atheists. I don't contest that. They were in a war against believers and god. I am familiar with Alexander Solzhenitsyn and read his work in college. He even states, "The World has never before known a godlessness as organized, militarized and tenaciously malevolent as that preached by Marxism. Within the philosophical system of Marx and Lenin and at the heart of their psychology, HATRED OF GOD is the principle driving force, more fundamental than all their political and economic pretensions. Militant atheism is not merely incidental or marginal to Communist policy; it is not a side effect, but the central pivot. To achieve its diabolical ends, Communism needs to control a population devoid of religious and national feeling, and this entails a destruction of faith and nationhood. Communists proclaim both of these objectives openly, and just as openly put them into practice.” He never says Stalin was an atheist or that his crimes were DUE TO atheistic beliefs.

    People throughout history have committed acts of evil – believers and non-believers. But, the evidence for Christians committing acts of violence BECAUSE of their devotion to god is overwhelming in the face of a two examples (Lenin and Marx) hurting people because of their lack of belief in god.

    The crusades, the inquisition, the Salem With Trials, the Holocaust, the Ku Klux Klan, 9/11 attacks, and so many other examples are due solely to a belief in a god and a belief that their actions were divinely inspired… you can't deny that. That's the point of this whole argument. Your first post said, "the most massive crimes in history…mass murder, torture, false imprisonment…were committed by ATHEISTS"…

    THAT'S SIMPLY NOT TRUE. The examples I gave you a link to (here it is again: http://www.atheismresource.com/2010/the-harms-of-… gives so many examples to show that the most massive crimes in history…mass murder, torture, false imprisonment…were committed by GOD FEARING THEISTS!

  • Adam

    Do you realize that even if I say, “Fine, Stalin was an atheist” that still doesn’t mean that is WHY he committed his acts of violence and it still doesn’t deny the fact that far more acts of violence have occurred in history (and today) from religious zealots than from non-believers. Stalin recognized the church was bad. He saw it as oppressive. Unfortunately, he didn’t see his regime in the same light. I don’t support what Stalin did. It was evil. But, you can’t blame “lack of belief in god” for someone’s desire for power and their corrupt practices. That’s the point. But, thousands of characters from history have done horrible things and specifically stated that what they were doing was divinely inspired as if the bible or god himself gave them permission. Do you not agree with me on this point? If not, then this conversation can go nowhere.

  • Adam

    Please don’t excuse the KKK’s evil by saying Planned Parenthood “kills babies”. They facilitate abortions… a very difficult decision for most women. the vast majority of abortions are given in the first trimester, before the fetus has brainwaves and therefore anything that can be called life. That’s like saying we commit genocide whenever we masturbate. Don’t play that game.

    As for your last point about Christians acting “inconsistently with the teachings of Jesus” you couldn’t be more wrong. If Jesus was god, then these passages clearly show he did order acts of violence many times. These are just some of my favorite examples… there are plenty more. I’m not just saying this if unique to the bible, the Quran makes claims like this too. As for Jesus “never leading his followers to a fight”, how do you explain these verses

    JESUS specifically ordering murder for non-belief

    Luke 19:’ 26 “He replied, ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away. 27 But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and kill them in front of me.’”

    Kill People Who Don’t Listen to Priests
    Anyone arrogant enough to reject the verdict of the judge or of the priest who represents the LORD your God must be put to death. Such evil must be purged from Israel. (Deuteronomy 17:12 NLT)

    Kill Witches
    You should not let a sorceress live. (Exodus 22:17 NAB)

    Kill Homosexuals
    “If a man lies with a male as with a women, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives.” (Leviticus 20:13 NAB)

    Kill Fortunetellers
    A man or a woman who acts as a medium or fortuneteller shall be put to death by stoning; they have no one but themselves to blame for their death. (Leviticus 20:27 NAB)

    Death for Hitting Dad
    Whoever strikes his father or mother shall be put to death. (Exodus 21:15 NAB)

    Death for Cursing Parents
    1) If one curses his father or mother, his lamp will go out at the coming of darkness. (Proverbs 20:20 NAB)
    2) All who curse their father or mother must be put to death. They are guilty of a capital offense. (Leviticus 20:9 NLT)

    Death for Adultery
    If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife, both the man and the woman must be put to death. (Leviticus 20:10 NLT)

    Death for Fornication
    A priest’s daughter who loses her honor by committing fornication and thereby dishonors her father also, shall be burned to death. (Leviticus 21:9 NAB)

    Death to Followers of Other Religions
    Whoever sacrifices to any god, except the Lord alone, shall be doomed. (Exodus 22:19 NAB)

    Kill Nonbelievers
    They entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul; and everyone who would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. (2 Chronicles 15:12-13 NAB)

    Kill False Prophets
    If a man still prophesies, his parents, father and mother, shall say to him, “You shall not live, because you have spoken a lie in the name of the Lord.” When he prophesies, his parents, father and mother, shall thrust him through. (Zechariah 13:3 NAB)

    Kill the Entire Town if One Person Worships Another God
    Suppose you hear in one of the towns the LORD your God is giving you that some worthless rabble among you have led their fellow citizens astray by encouraging them to worship foreign gods. In such cases, you must examine the facts carefully. If you find it is true and can prove that such a detestable act has occurred among you, you must attack that town and completely destroy all its inhabitants, as well as all the livestock. Then you must pile all the plunder in the middle of the street and burn it. Put the entire town to the torch as a burnt offering to the LORD your God. That town must remain a ruin forever; it may never be rebuilt. Keep none of the plunder that has been set apart for destruction. Then the LORD will turn from his fierce anger and be merciful to you. He will have compassion on you and make you a great nation, just as he solemnly promised your ancestors. “The LORD your God will be merciful only if you obey him and keep all the commands I am giving you today, doing what is pleasing to him.” (Deuteronomy 13:13-19 NLT)

    Kill Women Who Are Not Virgins On Their Wedding Night
    But if this charge is true (that she wasn’t a virgin on her wedding night), and evidence of the girls virginity is not found, they shall bring the girl to the entrance of her fathers house and there her townsman shall stone her to death, because she committed a crime against Israel by her unchasteness in her father’s house. Thus shall you purge the evil from your midst. (Deuteronomy 22:20-21 NAB)

    Kill Followers of Other Religions.
    1) If your own full brother, or your son or daughter, or your beloved wife, or you intimate friend, entices you secretly to serve other gods, whom you and your fathers have not known, gods of any other nations, near at hand or far away, from one end of the earth to the other: do not yield to him or listen to him, nor look with pity upon him, to spare or shield him, but kill him. Your hand shall be the first raised to slay him; the rest of the people shall join in with you. You shall stone him to death, because he sought to lead you astray from the Lord, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery. And all Israel, hearing of this, shall fear and never do such evil as this in your midst. (Deuteronomy 13:7-12 NAB)

    2) Suppose a man or woman among you, in one of your towns that the LORD your God is giving you, has done evil in the sight of the LORD your God and has violated the covenant by serving other gods or by worshiping the sun, the moon, or any of the forces of heaven, which I have strictly forbidden. When you hear about it, investigate the matter thoroughly. If it is true that this detestable thing has been done in Israel, then that man or woman must be taken to the gates of the town and stoned to death. (Deuteronomy 17:2-5 NLT)

    Death for Blasphemy
    One day a man who had an Israelite mother and an Egyptian father got into a fight with one of the Israelite men. During the fight, this son of an Israelite woman blasphemed the LORD’s name. So the man was brought to Moses for judgment. His mother’s name was Shelomith. She was the daughter of Dibri of the tribe of Dan. They put the man in custody until the LORD’s will in the matter should become clear. Then the LORD said to Moses, “Take the blasphemer outside the camp, and tell all those who heard him to lay their hands on his head. Then let the entire community stone him to death. Say to the people of Israel: Those who blaspheme God will suffer the consequences of their guilt and be punished. Anyone who blasphemes the LORD’s name must be stoned to death by the whole community of Israel. Any Israelite or foreigner among you who blasphemes the LORD’s name will surely die. (Leviticus 24:10-16 NLT)

    Kill False Prophets
    1) Suppose there are prophets among you, or those who have dreams about the future, and they promise you signs or miracles, and the predicted signs or miracles take place. If the prophets then say, ‘Come, let us worship the gods of foreign nations,’ do not listen to them. The LORD your God is testing you to see if you love him with all your heart and soul. Serve only the LORD your God and fear him alone. Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him. The false prophets or dreamers who try to lead you astray must be put to death, for they encourage rebellion against the LORD your God, who brought you out of slavery in the land of Egypt. Since they try to keep you from following the LORD your God, you must execute them to remove the evil from among you. (Deuteronomy 13:1-5 NLT)

    2) But any prophet who claims to give a message from another god or who falsely claims to speak for me must die.’ You may wonder, ‘How will we know whether the prophecy is from the LORD or not?’ If the prophet predicts something in the LORD’s name and it does not happen, the LORD did not give the message. That prophet has spoken on his own and need not be feared. (Deuteronomy 18:20-22 NLT)

    Infidels and Gays Should Die
    So God let them go ahead and do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. Instead of believing what they knew was the truth about God, they deliberately chose to believe lies. So they worshiped the things God made but not the Creator himself, who is to be praised forever. Amen. That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. And the men, instead of having normal sexual relationships with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men and, as a result, suffered within themselves the penalty they so richly deserved. When they refused to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their evil minds and let them do things that should never be done. Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, fighting, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They are forever inventing new ways of sinning and are disobedient to their parents. They refuse to understand, break their promises, and are heartless and unforgiving. They are fully aware of God’s death penalty for those who do these things, yet they go right ahead and do them anyway. And, worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too. (Romans 1:24-32 NLT)

    Kill Anyone who Approaches the Tabernacle
    For the LORD had said to Moses, ‘Exempt the tribe of Levi from the census; do not include them when you count the rest of the Israelites. You must put the Levites in charge of the Tabernacle of the Covenant, along with its furnishings and equipment. They must carry the Tabernacle and its equipment as you travel, and they must care for it and camp around it. Whenever the Tabernacle is moved, the Levites will take it down and set it up again. Anyone else who goes too near the Tabernacle will be executed.’ (Numbers 1:48-51 NLT)

    Kill People for Working on the Sabbath
    The LORD then gave these further instructions to Moses: ‘Tell the people of Israel to keep my Sabbath day, for the Sabbath is a sign of the covenant between me and you forever. It helps you to remember that I am the LORD, who makes you holy. Yes, keep the Sabbath day, for it is holy. Anyone who desecrates it must die; anyone who works on that day will be cut off from the community. Work six days only, but the seventh day must be a day of total rest. I repeat: Because the LORD considers it a holy day, anyone who works on the Sabbath must be put to death.’ (Exodus 31:12-15 NLT)

    I don’t believe the bible is the word of god. You do. How do you rationalize these scriptures?

    • Beel

      Wow, you compiled a lot of examples to show how Jesus instructed people to murder. It’s a real tragedy, y’know…how you wasted all that time because you never once quoted his teachings. The only time you quoted Jesus was in Luke where he’s telling a parable. I’ll admit it’s a tricky one, but it’s all metaphor and it was intended to understood as such. He wasn’t instructing anyone to kill anyone else at all.

      Your only other quote from the New Testament comes from Paul’s letter to the Romans, which you labeled “Infidels and Gays Should Die” despite him not quite writing that. “They are fully aware of God’s death penalty for those who do these things, yet they go right ahead and do them anyway.” That’s not an instruction, it’s a description. If I say you’ll die if you throw yourself off a cliff, that’s me telling you what I know about gravity, not my desire to see you perish. Still, it may be close enough for you, so I’ll just remind you Jesus wasn’t around when Paul wrote that.

      As for every other example, they were written thousands of years before Jesus was born, making your claim quite hard to support. Well, you quote Zechariah, so you’re only off by centuries on that one. At best you’re ignorant and at worst you’re deliberately misleading people.

      • Jzeero

        Firstly, can you explain how the Jesus quote was being used as a metaphor? If you cannot, then it means that Jesus specifically instructed his followers to murder.

        Secondly, so what if Jesus wasn’t around? God, Mr. Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnibenevolent allowed such things to be written in his “Word of God”. Shows something about his personality, if he even exists. But he doesn’t, anyway.

        And once again, so what if the other examples were written thousands of years before Jesus was born? God was there. In fact, God was everywhere, at every point of time. You don’t need Jesus to come into the equation. If you believe that God exists, then you should take that any part of the Bible is true. But then again, God doesn’t actually exist.

        “At best you’re ignorant and at worst you’re deliberately misleading people. ”

        I sense a great amount of hypocricy in that quote. Stop deluding yourself from reality. It is never too late to follow the path of freedom and truth, instead of living a life of fear and deception.

        • Cat

          In John 19:11, at the beginning of that story, it clearly states “While they
          were listening to this, he went on to tell them a parable, because he
          was near Jerusalem and the people thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once.” which is why “Beel” said that it’s a metaphor, although the dictionary defines a parable as being more like allegory the intention is the same in that it’s a “symbolical narrative.”

          Also I agree that in being a Christian and believing God exists you shouldn’t dismiss any part of the Bible but take it all into account. Including verses like this: Romans 7:12-13 “So the law is holy, and the command is holy and right and good. Does
          this mean that something that is good brought death to me? No! Sin used
          something that is good to bring death to me. This happened so that I
          could see what sin is really like; the command was used to show that sin
          is very evil.”
          Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
          John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

          You will notice that the penalty for breaking most laws was death. You might think that is too serious a punishment, but the point is that sin IS that serious, that it does deserve death and that we ALL deserve death (so don’t be hypocritical and start condemning one another); but also that God made a way to save us.
          Romans 3:23-25 “Everyone has sinned and fallen short of God’s glorious standard, and
          all need to be made right with God by his grace, which is a free gift.
          They need to be made free from sin through Jesus Christ. God sent him to die in our place to take away our sins.”

        • darkchaos

          your interpretation is the one that is wrong and you’re being the hypocrite here.

          you’re missing a lot of understanding of the verses to even try to accuse them. you are taking the sabbath too literal just as the people both athiest and followers alike who also misunderstood the sabbath. jesus never said to kill.

          you list a shitload of crap that “Jesus said” when half of them are from the old testament before Jesus was even born.

          stop talking about God like he’s a human being or an individual. You don’t call Jesus God simply because people tell you so. You don’t even understand in what context why people call the trinity the trinity and why Christ is considered God.

          You only listed ‘they said kill here’ = christanity is dark.

          The only thing you have done is copy and paste verses with little effort and with your miniscule understanding and poor hateful attitude in understanding the actual text is only showing more of your ignorance and hate to something you don’t understand.

          JESUS specifically ordering murder for non-belief

          Luke 19:’ 26

          This is a parable. Not a commandment to kill.

          Death for Cursing Parents

          This was before Jesus and in old testament. Children are to be obedient. Having thoughts of cursing and being hateful is not good but considered bad or evil. The law system of humans doesn’t work because its not absolute. The system of God is much more resolute than the human system filled with ‘what ifs’ and people getting away with punishment. Law and justice has no room for sympathy and only God knows what is right or wrong. Wrongful punishments are from poor judgment from humans, not God.

          Death for Adultery

          This is from the old testament, not from Jesus. Do I really need to explain this one in comparison to today’s society? Marriage was considered holy and unbreakable. Did I mention Holy and unbreakable?

          Death for Fornication

          Also in the old testament before birth of Jesus. The idea is that the “priest’s” daughter, not yours or mine, is to die. The idea is to preserve not only pureness but to kill the one who thought of committing the sin of having sex too early. A mature and responsible person knows when to have sex and when not to have sex. The act of sex itself and the marriage thing is both a privilege and considered sacred universally and anyone who thinks otherwise just thinks sex is something you just do whenever you want like its a rite of passage.

          Death to Followers of Other Religions

          Whoever sacrifices to any god, except the Lord alone, shall be doomed. (Exodus 22:19 NAB)

          it says they shall be doomed, not killed. Are you that stupid? Doomed is in the context of being punished or cursed in such a way that they are not blessed and favored in the eyes of God. This is also before Jesus.

          Kill Nonbelievers
          They entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul; and everyone who would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. (2 Chronicles 15:12-13 NAB)

          This story is about God’s chosen people to show that those who do not follow God would be punished by death. In another sense, even if God didn’t kill them, nonbelievers would be cursed anyways for their sinful nature and turning away from God.

          Kill False Prophets
          If a man still prophesies, his parents, father and mother, shall say to him, “You shall not live, because you have spoken a lie in the name of the Lord.” When he prophesies, his parents, father and mother, shall thrust him through. (Zechariah 13:3 NAB)

          Another text before Jesus. Why the hell do you think the verse is from the book of Zechariah anyways? Killing false prophets is to rid the world of people with evil hearts to set an example. People are just afraid of death and deny death so much that they use punishment of death as an excuse to point and accuse the ones giving death sentences as being unfair. reality is harsh but we were given freedom of choice. the consequences are by death sentence.

          Do, or do not. There is no try. – Yoda. and he doesn’t even exist either. You have a lot to learn.

          Kill the Entire Town if One Person Worships Another God

          This is another story before Jesus. Same stuff.

          Kill Women Who Are Not Virgins On Their Wedding Night

          another story before Jesus. Stop repeating yourself.

          Kill Followers of Other Religions.

          Same as above.

          Infidels and Gays Should Die

          Book of Romans. This was after Christ resurrected. This wasn’t from Christ’s mouth. You are a blasphemer and a slanderer just like the Bible warned of.

          Kill Anyone who Approaches the Tabernacle

          A story before Jesus. And one that you fail to understand.

          Kill People for Working on the Sabbath

          A story and commandment before Jesus. Jesus himself gave stories/examples of helping a goat out of a ditch on a sabbath to show that both athiests and followers of God were taking the “do not work on sabbath day” too literally. People literally would do nothing on sabbath but thats not what the text is saying we should do.

          Let me copy from the Bible since you have a few errors in some of your copy pasting

          Exodus 31:12-15

          12: Then the Lord said to Moses.- 13 “Say to the Israelites, ‘You must observe my Sabbaths. This will be a sign beween me and you for hte generations to come, so you may know that I am the Lord, who makes you holy.
          14. “‘Observe the Sabbath, because it is holy to you. Anyone who desecrates it must be put to death; whoever does any work on that day must be cut off from his people.
          15. For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord. WHoever does any work on the Sabbath day must be put to death.
          17. It will be a sign between me and the Israelites forever, for in six days the Lord made the heavens and hte earth, and on the sevent day he abstained from work and rested,’”

          You fail to understand the context because you don’t know who he is addressing to.

          His commandments were for Israelites, the people he chose to set an example of way of living in the image of God.

          12-13: You are to observe my Sabbaths. This is a sign betwene me and you. In other words, the Israelites will continue this tradition as a sign that it is their Creator who makes them holy, meaning that as long as they do these things, simlar to what God has done, it is a bond and a relationship between God and his people. He wants them to be like God but instead humans would rather do whatever they want. Another example of humans pushing their standards onto God instead of listening to their Creator.
          14: Anyone who DESECRATES the sabbath is to be put to death. The idea is that you can work on a sabbath but if you do evil on sabbath you will be put to death. If you do something unholy and considered evil and wrong by God’s standard, you are punished by death.
          15: Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day must be put to death. This is the verse that people have the most issue with. But what people misunderstand is that they think it applies to them. It doesn’t. and here is why: look at next exlanation
          17: It will be a sign between me and the Israelites forever. This means that these commandments were for his chosen people at that ancient time period and only to that group of people. Later he would give an alternative to people to be saved by faith because he knew people later on wouldn’t give a shit about what their Creator wants and think their own set of morals and standards is higher than God’s like any human would not just you, even me. I don’t see why the creator of all things shouldn’t have the right to create and destroy. When you make something you do whatever you want with it. Not argue with your creation because it doesn’t want you to erase it from existence only to be be remade and returned to your source of power.

          you said: As for your last point about Christians acting “inconsistently with the teachings of Jesus” you couldn’t be more wrong. If Jesus was god, then these passages clearly show he did order acts of violence many times. These are just some of my favorite examples… there are plenty more. I’m not just saying this if unique to the bible, the Quran makes claims like this too. As for Jesus “never leading his followers to a fight”, how do you explain these verses

          If Jesus was god, then these passages ‘clearly show he (jesus) did order acts of violences ‘many times’.”

          Of the list you made, you listed 20 passages. 18 of them are from the old testmanet many years before Jesus was even born. 2 of them were from the new testament. Only one of the 2 from the new testament came from the mouth of Jesus. The other was from his follower and disciple.

          You are overthinking and taking things too literally. You even mistook a parable as a commandment to kill people.

    • Robertt1

      I can explain to you every passage you mentioned. But maybe is more simple to ask you 2 questions:

      1. So basically you are saying that you have a higher and more objective moral standard and based on that you can judge all the things you mentioned as wrong? Which is that objective moral standard of yours and how can you prove your claims?

      2. You’re saying that in your worldview punishment shouldn’t exist and criminals should be left unpunished?

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  • http://brewright.blogspot.com brad wright

    You should probably distinguish between individual-level and country-level analysis. Even if more-religious countries have higher rates of crime, this doesn't imply that more-religious people commit more crime. (It's termed an ecological fallacy). In fact, more religious people commit less crime, not more crime.

    http://jrc.sagepub.com/content/38/1/3.short

  • Adam

    @ Grady: I'll work backwards from your comments, and be brief. First of all, the Patriot Act was enacted by Bush and Cheney, two GOP Christians that thought they were doing god's work and enacting a policy that supported "god's war" on terror. So, bullshit on that one.

    Secondly, although I believe Jesus to be a myth, I CAN use what Christians claim he said to prove them wrong since THEY believe him to be real and central to their faith and actions.

    Thirdly, don't try and convince me or anyone else here that "fetuses are people". I grew up in the Pro-Life movement and learned later how wrong they are. I don't support partial birth abortions of third trimester abortions because at that point they are indeed children. Sometimes difficult decisions have to be made by doctors for medical reasons to save the mother's life. Always hard choices and no one is happy about those moments. Almost no doctor in America performs them anymore without extreme cause. Saying "the DNA is the same" is a lame argument. That's like saying the statue of David is the same as a chunk of marble. They are both rock so they should both be treated the same. Come one. Science has clearly shown that brainwaves do not develop in a fetus until the 2nd trimester. If we are clinically dead when brainwaves stop, then it is fair to say we are clinically alive when they start. Otherwise, you could say that a person that has just been declared brain-dead by a doctor is still alive and deserves rights (I mean, the cells keep splitting for a while… are they alive?).

    Lastly, I can use any quote from the bible I want. Christians claim it to be the infallible word of god. If he didn't want bad shit to be in there, maybe he should have kept man from writing it. As for the context of Luke 19:26, you're right, I should have kept going, because right after that he tells them to go steal someone's colt from the next village and tell them "The LORD needs it" (which they did). So, I guess he is ok with stealing too… when it suits him.

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  • Adam

    @ Grady: I never claimed Obama was perfect. Once we give power to a group, it's hard to take it back – look at the church.

    It isn't a double standard to use quotes from a bible you believe in to show you how you are wrong. If anything, it's stronger to use your own source against you.

    My analogy to the marble DOES fit here. You can't say that DNA is always precious life and must be protected or you would be murdering every time you masturbate or whenever a doctor flushes 30 fertilized microscopic eggs, after one is accepted by the uterus, when doing in vitro fertilization (which plenty of Christians do too). Are those all forms of abortions that you also have a problem with. If so… well, you are an idiot and don't understand the maturation process of embryos or DNA.

    As for my quote from Luke, I find it funny how you say what I quoted there isn't sufficient to show the context. It reads, 28 After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, 30 “Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it.’”

    32 Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. 33 As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34 They replied, “The Lord needs it.” 35 They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it.

    THEY STOLE IT…

    Yet, just a few verses later in Luke 19:46 Jesus throws the money-changer out of the temple, "It is written," he said to them, "'My house will be a house of prayer'; but you have made it 'a den of robbers.'"

    As for my original quote, I will apologize. It DID come from the parable of the Ten Minas and it was Jesus quoting a King from a story. My mistake. However, he obviously agrees with the King's take on this morally or he wouldn't have shared the story. Do you not have a problem with that? Is it ok to kill people that deny a king's (or god's) right to reign over his servants? Seems amoral to me.

    • God

      Having followed the discussion between Adam and Grady closely I declare Adam the winner and Grady the LOSER. Adam has logic, reason and fact on his side.

      Grady…shut thy foul mouth!

      God

  • http://blog.bremaweb.com Brandon

    <q>I don’t support what Stalin did. It was evil.</q>

    I'm sure Stalin didn't see it as evil. What is the absolute moral authority of an atheist to judge something as evil?

    About the statistics… does the statistics reflect those who are devoted or actively practicing their religion? Many people if asked their religion would say Catholic or Christian because that was their upbringing but that is not what they currently practice.

  • Sean

    Stalin was an evil mass murderer and an atheist. Absolutely true.

    However, this is arguing the general from the specific. What Grady seems, to me, to be saying is "Because Stalin was an evil mass murderer and an atheist, then all atheists have it in them to become evil mass murderers."

    This is so blatantly false that it really needs no argument raised against it.

    Stalin was an aberration, a particularly nasty aberration it is true, but totally irrelevant to atheism as an example of normal atheist behaviour.

    The fact remains, that, argue how you may, the statistics point to a clear correlation between criminality and theism.

    All the rest is "sturm und drang".

    • Bobbi

      and it’s speculated that Stalin may have been a paranoid schizophrenic, or suffered from a related disorder and thus had diminished capacity…

  • Ryedo

    My atheist thought of the day:

    Churches, like prisons, are full of "sinners". Best stay away from both!

  • robert

    Yes there are a large number of people who don't profess religious affiliation truthfully in prison.

    However, multiple lawyers tell me that, from experience, a ton of people that they've been involved with in jail ALWAYS tell them, "I found Jesus." Yet we still have a proportionally high amount of repeat offenders.*

    * http://www.newsplex.com/news/headlines/12518451.h… This source says in Virginia, more than 40%.

  • Greg

    I feel that the conclusions that you draw from these statistics are not necessarily valid. Though I question the motives of the source, the information seems valid. My reaction to the data is not that being religious does or does not affect one propensity to commit a crime, but rather those in the life situations which lend themselves to crime are in positions less conducive to giving up religion. Whether or not you believe in religion, it has been shown that the psychological impact or religion makes it easier to cope with difficult life situations. In many cases there is a correlation between these kinds of circumstances and crime. For this reason I would suggest that there is no direct causality between crime and religion. Instead religion and crime for some may share a common cause.

  • Mercedes

    Yeah. Christians are so deluded. Thank God for Atheists leading the charge to help emancipate blacks from slavery and helping with Civil Rights movement. Martin Luther King and many others didn't need old book to help fight against social injustice. Thank God for atheists leading us to freedom.

    • Beel

      I’m familiar with the Martin Luther King, Jr. who was a Baptist minister.
      Who’s this atheist MLK?

  • Brazmin

    The CRIMINALS are the LEADERS of Religions collecting all the TAX FREE donations, it's called Organized Crime. Religions are a CULT. The Followers support the LEADERS and THEIR CRIMINAL ACTIVITY. The Book of Revelations in the Bible is the PREMEDITATED CRIMES, depicted symbolically, that the CULT LEADERS are enacting. They are CRIMES of torture, pain, and eternal suffering; tragic disasters causing suffering; and of robbing or sucking the MONEY out of the SYSTEM through the STOCK MARKET, causing a lot of suffering. The LEADERS are the CRIMINALS deceiving the Following populations, the Followers don't realize they've been supporting the CRIMINAL ACTIVITY SYMBOLICALLY DEPICTED in Revelations.

  • Neosai

    Moral? What the hell is that?

    If you are someone who claims to have superior moral, it in fact indicate that you are morally bankrupt on another topic.

    If you talk about moral superiority on fetuses on a Pro-Life stance, it in fact make you morally bankrupt on dealing with the burden of raising the child and the effect on the mother/father.

    Anyone who declare any sort of moral superiority cannot be trusted unless they acknowledge they are morally bankrupt in a different perspective. There are no absolute morality because human by living is a walking contradiction of moral subjectivity.

    "If I don't believe I should kill, but when in self defense I will kill." This in itself demonstrate morals can be conditional. However even if I let my attacker kill me willingly, I fail to fulfill the moral obligation to my parents as I have thrown away my life.

    Morality is an asinine idea since moral in itself have no value that can be measured as lesser or greater indication of superiority.

    You can dance better than me, run faster than me, but you cannot have higher moral value than me since we have not defined morality. What is immoral to me might be held in high regards for you as absolute morality. Just because I have a moral stance on an issue that does not mean I am superior than someone without.

    The claims of absolute moral code and a clear definition of right and wrong is a sign of puerility and the lack of intellectual flexibility to question oneself. If one cannot doubt, then how does one improve? If one lives solely on a set of moral laws how do we know when our actions are not creating contradictory immorality?

    Should absolute morality our concern then we should never have existed in the first place. If the existence of God cause moral contradictions, then why does God's existence represent absolute virtue?

  • Dark Star

    I've researched this question a good deal because, even though Atheism itself contains no command for genocide (as the bible does against the seven nations and at Jericho), does not suggest that genital mutilation is desirable by God (as the bible does), does not suggest that you should blindly obey a voice of God if commanded to murder your child (as the bible does), does not claim that it's ok to drown the vast majority of humans if you are pissed off at them (as the bible does), does not command that children be stoned to death for talking back to their parents (as the bible does) — I think that we need to understand the origins of this type of human behavior.

    First, what we find is that most (if not all of) the worst fascist dictators of this period all shared a common background…

    "Practically every right-wing dictator of the period had been born and brought up a Catholic – notably Hitler, Franco, Petain, Mussolini, Pavelic, and Tiso (who was a Catholic priest)."—John Cornwell – Hitler’s Pope (1999; p. 280)

    Their ties to the Vatican (and the Jesuits) are fairly well-documented despite being ignored by the majority of Christian historians.

    With Stalin (and Lenin) you have to dig even deeper to find these connections but we do know that Stalin was educated by Jesuits at the Seminary of Tiflis for several years – there are conflicting and unsubstantiated claims he was "kicked out" or performed excellently – there is not sufficient evidence to claim to know one way or the other. We also know that Jesuits later aid Stalin's escape from exile on several occasions, after which he returned to Seminary of Tiflis. We also know that after one such visit Stalin wrote Credo pushing a distinctly Jesuit promulgated Fascist model of Roman Catholicism. This is also why the Russian Orthodox Church was attacked so viciously initially. Read also about the Jesuit Superior General Wlodimir Ledochowski.

    And beyond the question of Stalin himself (maybe he did break from the Jesuits or not, I don't think history has a definitive answer)… the vast majority of people in his country were NOT atheists. They believed the Czar was something less human and more divine in power and we cannot just ignore the religious history of violence of this region. Stalin merely took the reigns of those existing hatreds.

    There are bad people everywhere, in every religion, in every country, in every age. The problem that I see with religion is that the absolutist and fascist nature of religion gives those bad people a way to circumvent otherwise GOOD people's natural resistance towards violence.

    Let's even assume Stalin was honestly an atheist and not just a Jesuit agent. The fact remains that MY disbelief is NOTHING like Stalin's at all. But your Christianity is EXACTLY the same Christianity that has committed so many atrocities over the ages that the death toll is uncountable. You like to claim that Stalin's is the greatest but you have absolutely NO way of knowing that.

    And putting ALL OF THAT to shame. If the Bible was true, God murdered 99.99999999999999% of all life on Earth in the flood, not to mention millions of others in the various genocides and infanticides. This is also the god that allows 15 MILLION children a YEAR to starve to death today and has allowed the lives of some 50 BILLION infants to come to miserable and suffering ends over the ages. So God is the biggest and bloodiest murderer of them all and you claim to worship him.

    I believe that all religion is false, people just really suck and use religion (and sometimes other ideologies) as methods to be sorry excuses for human beings. I also believe the universe is a place that is very hostile to life on the whole, and we have but a tiny sliver of time here in a minuscule corner of the universe in which to learn to be good people and raise humanity up and we waste on it superstitious nonsense.

    Again, antipodal to Stalin, outlawing religion would have the opposite effect that I desire – I prefer an open exchange. Science will win out in the end with a peaceful fading away of religion, not through its violent overthrow.

    So you can rail away on Stalin all you wish, I condemn him even more strongly. Now that we both agree Stalin was a bad person I challenge you to look at the history of YOUR religion and condemn it.

    And one final issue, your "100 million" number is akin to saying "The Christian, Abraham Lincoln murdered 660,000 Americans in the civil war because of his Christianity".

  • victor

    Many people believe in God and Christianity it doesn't mean they are saved and are real followers of Christ. Jesus said if you love me you will obey my commands: this is my command to love one another. Satan believes in Jesus. Jesus said "you will know them by their fruit" i.e their good works and quality of character. IMO genuine fruit is development and improvement in one's character upon receiving the spirit of God. OBVIOUSLY morality is innate and tied to our reasoning. The bible even says that those who don't know the law, that their own consciences convict them of guilt. Also that everything that is made is sufficient evidence for God, and so you will be held accountable for not seeking the truth wholeheartedly — "all who seek me wholeheartedly shall find me. draw near to me and I will draw near to you". You don't recognize the authority of the bible but nonetheless should still contemplate it sincerely to see if truth resonates. I think if you genuinely want the truth putting aside your own inclination to, and love of, evil then you will find it.. But it's mans own inner desires which motivate his inquiry and sway his beliefs. No one is truly rational we are all influenced by inner motives to come to the conclusions we want, to some degree atleast. All tehse statements are really deductions from the bible. If it is a big lie then there can be no truth to my words, unless i've misinterpreted

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  • Libba Murphey

    I would post this on fb, but most of my friends and family would just babble on about how many prisoners were “saved” while in prison…

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  • CJS

    I’m actually not finding the prison part of this to be all that compelling or important on its own. However the prison stats were part of a larger analysis of trends which all together showed that secular societies preformed better on numerous measures of what we can generally call “a good life” for their citizens. The mention of lower teenage pregnancy, STDs and abortion seem even more noteworthy in particular, because they demonstrate that religion performs incredibly poorly even in areas where religions are supposed to be superior. That’s not the least bit surprising to me, since it’s an example of a general theme that comes up with things like sex, drugs, gambling and so on (basically what could be called vices). Attempts to fully irradiate vices only make them worse. That’s because you are fighting against human nature. Religious people have an idealistic and naive view on human nature that stresses striving for perfection. On the other hand, a secular society acknowledges the nuances of human nature, and strives to mitigate damage and risk to society as a whole, instead of trying to irradiate something that will never die. Of course this approach is disgusting to the religious, because it basically makes so-called vices acceptable by mitigating their risks, rather than adopting a strict (and stupid) “Just say no.” Policy.

    Anyway, I think in general these types of studies are valuable, and it’s further evidence that secular societies are better societies.

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  • http://twitter.com/MarkoMeatball/status/143231829556731904/ Marko Meatball (@MarkoMeatball)

    Congratulations #atheists… you are more well-behaved than the rest of society. http://t.co/hHVIQNm8

  • http://twitter.com/Perdnoot/status/143252581781749761/ Percy Noot (@Perdnoot)

    “@MarkoMeatball: Congratulations #atheists… you are more well-behaved than the rest of society. http://t.co/s3FBvIkg” @JoeCienkowski

  • http://twitter.com/Perdnoot/status/143252646634070016/ Percy Noot (@Perdnoot)

    “@MarkoMeatball: Congratulations #atheists… you are more well-behaved than the rest of society. http://t.co/s3FBvIkg” @aigkenham

  • facebook_Jocelyn Generoso.100000493418150

    Given the kind of selective contemporary statistics being presented in the article, it seems the above proposition: “Atheists don’t commit as much crime as religious do”, is incontestable. But if you factor in historical precedents, then the said proposition becomes highly contestable. Take for instance the cases of notorious avowed atheist persons in history: the likes of Joseph Stalin whose great purge had killed millions (around 10 to 20 million) of his own people. Take Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution which also killed his own people again by the millions. Well, last but not the least, let us not forget the killing fields of Pol Pot (Salut Sar in real life) who killed around 3 million of his own people with special discrimination to intellectuals. All things considered, they were able to carryout such savage crimes against humanity because, in the first place, they have no so called God to fear to, hence, no God to account for their crimes.

    • Daniel

      Your reasoning is flawed. Granted these men were bad men but the article does not state that every atheist is good. Another thing to point out should probably be the fact that none of these men did what they did because they were atheist. Being atheist was not what drove them to commit terrible acts. On the other hand, how many horrific atrocities have been committed in the name of religion? The Inquisition, the Salem witch hunts, oh and let’s not forget everyone’s favourite – the Islamic jihad. There have been countless wars carried out over religion throughout history. Name one war that was started in the name of atheist.

    • Jay

      Mao Zedong killed millions of people because he was solidifying and furthering his control of power in the government (so he got rid of thinkers and potential opposition), had no grasp of how economics worked, and ordered actions that resulted in famine. He was also surrounded by power graspers who were increasing their own control of the country. None of these are relevant to religious belief or atheism, considering that what he did was pretty much what plenty of popes and divinely-appointed kings have done.

      Pol Pot was pretty much the same thing.

    • http://asystemofrandomtangents.wordpress.com/ Anna Helen Johnstone

      Stalin and Hitler were Catholic, Pol Pot was actually a Buddhist.  Read some real history, you moron!

      • Gary Hill

        Sorry  Anna, but you’re wrong on 2/3.

        Stalin was Russian Orthodox and spent 5 years in a seminary training to be a priest. He left a month or so before his final exams  because he either could not pay the fees or had been influenced by left-wing politics (depending on which historical source you use).

        Pol Pot was emphatically not a Buddhist. He spent 8 years of his childhood being educated in Catholic schools. Buddhists as well as intellectuals were targeted and bore the brunt of his ideology, Cambodian Catholics notably did not, yet they tended to be wealthier (and many escaped to France).

        Either way you look at it, Christian influence did not stop either guy from behaving as they did. It might well have been better if they had been brought up as atheists.

    • http://www.facebook.com/Funky.Uncle.Matt Matt Begley

      Not much compared to the 800 million deaths in the name of God.

  • http://twitter.com/Eristophanes/status/143338663282089985/ Eris (@Eristophanes)

    w/o bribe of heaven/threat of hell RT @MarkoMeatball Congrats #atheists…you’re more well-behaved than rest of society http://t.co/MEk7PWHa

  • http://twitter.com/MadtownMayhem/status/143404167522811906/ TrollBlaster (@MadtownMayhem)
  • Bill Sung

    I coulde’nt be botherd to read this article due to the absoloute banality of the title but could it be the case that atheists and theists commit the same amount of crime only atheists dont get caught because they are incapable of feeling the same kind of guilt a religious person could. just saying.

    • Daniel

      No

    • http://Facebook Numbz

      Pfft whatever. Are you saying the religious loonies confess theirs in church, thats why they get caught? lol

    • Ziya Pertev

       hahahaha, yeah sure! every religious person has a -raskolnikov- inside. hahahaha.

    • http://www.facebook.com/Funky.Uncle.Matt Matt Begley

      Nope, we’re just better people than simple minded believers. My morals and ethics are derived from logic, and contemplation of society as a whole as well as the recognition that equality, justice and compassion are paramount. Your morals are based upon fear and reward… Hell and Heaven, niether of which exist.
      By the way Bill, your attitude is very typical of believers… don’t read anything that might contradict your delusions or actually educate you.

      • Capt Starwynde

        of course there are the man made laws which reflect those handed down to Christians from God via Moses. thou shall not kill…man made a law against that/ thou shall not steal…man has a law against that…i could go on but i think you see where i am going. it would be interesting to see if there are more atheist who commit adultery then christians or followers of another religious view.
        perhaps it is possible that atheists are more afraid of the punitive charges imposed by mankind then christians are afraid of the wrath of God.(who is forgiving)
        so when you say that your moral and ethical behaviour is derived from logic, i wonder if you’re just scared of going to prison…which from what i hear is a form of hell.
        p.s. just because i believe in a higher power doesn’t make me simple minded

  • http://Facebook Numbz

    Of course Athiest don’t. We don’t have a so called god talking to us, telling us to do things. Lock them all up in the mental home. Religious loonies.

    • darkchaos

      most of the retards and mental people of society and loonies are athiests as well as criminals. face reality. here let me help you

      facepalms reality in your face*

      • Josh

        Umm… we have a study just above this comment section which directly proves you wrong.

  • http://Facebook Numbz

    Pfft you religious loonie, Grady

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  • John

    Hmm, did anyone notice, he failed to factor in the possibility that there are less atheists committing crimes because there are less atheists? He didn’t stratify the study and adjust it for percentage of atheists within an atheist identifier, and the same with the religious sects, so there could be a balanced comparison. You can’t say Whites commit more crimes in America. Well that’s obvious, there are more whites in America.

    This proves nothing other than atheists’ continual campaign to paint religion as evil. Association with religion, does not constitute criminal behavior.

    • Adam

      Wrong… it’s all by percentage. There is a lower percentage of atheist in prison than in the general public.

    • RagnarLodbrok

      Hmm, did anyone notice that John didn’t read this blog post?

  • NeilKirchoff
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  • Doy

    Correlation doesn’t imply causation. They can be religious to deal with their problems. The crime comes first and then the religion just happens to be the best way to cope.

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  • ArmyOfJesusIslam

    This study is so wrong. I bet if you asked the Christian or muslim c riminal are you a practiseing Christian or muslim i think the stats will dramaticly change. This study just goes by the religious back ground of a indevidual not wether he is actually practiseing Christian or muslim or watever. Had the study asked the criminals do you have connection to religion then i would bet with certinty most of the criminals would answer no proving that being without religion would only make the atheist look bad.

    • Anon

      Actually it’s quite the opposite of what you’re trying to get across. There have been studies of people in prison. A very large percentage of those in prison have admitted to being religious all their lives. In fact, look at the two largest ethnic groups within the prisons of America. Mexicans and African Americans. Both of these races have shown to be the most religious races of America, with few if any reporting as atheist.

  • Maurice Harting

    When this article states Christians it has to be stated that these are people claiming to be Christian, while they may show no traits of being a Christian. Obviously someone who is involved in serious crime is either not a Christian or seriously lost his or her way in his or her faith in Christ. This study does not look at how serious those in crime are in the faith they claim to have ….

    • bookratt

      No, it does not have to be stated. Self identification, whether for the census or for this study, is how to know someone is what they actually say they are. You and I do not get to decide they are not what they claim themselves to be. I’d prefer not to be in charge of casting that first stone. Maybe you want that job?
      And it’s not obvious that someone who commits a crime isn’t a Christian. Committing a crime is forgivable, to most Christian. One can do penance for committing a crime if they simply profess to being ready to go and sin no more, and then try hard to do exactly that. They don’t have to succeed at what they promised to do, and they don’t have to be perfect in how they live or attempt to achieve it, they simply must try.
      So it is not inconceivable that Christians commit crime. That criminals are Christians. Christians are people and people break rules. Being a Christian is not incompatible with being a criminal. People can be both.
      Plenty of people who profess to be Christian do bad things. Not all of these people are murderers or felons, surely, but small sins are still sins. Jealousy, ungratefulness, envy, spite– all sins. Being vain, holier than thou and judging someone else are sins. Being proud–even being proud of being a Christian–is a sin.
      Every Christian is a sinner, and any Christian who believes they are sinless, or that their sins are less sinful than someone else’s sins, is probably less Christ-like than someone who calls themselves a Christian and commits a crime.
      I don’t get bent out of shape over the fact that a criminal self identifies as Christian. Only over the fact that so many Christians try and claim that any criminal who claims to be Christian, can’t be.
      Unless there’s some sort of means test for being allowed to call yourself a Christian that I am not aware of; and if there is such a test, may I see your certificate and the evidence for calling yourself one?

  • Scotty

    Many atheists claim that religion is evil and, as such, cannot be from God. It is true that there are many examples of evil committed in the name of Christianity. In the past, those who disagreed with “official” church doctrine, such as Galileo were persecuted or killed. Many other Christians were brought before the Inquisition because they were teaching from the Bible instead of from “officially sanctioned” Roman Catholic Church materials. In addition, the Crusades resulted in “holy” wars between “Christians,” Jews, and Moslems. In more modern times, wars have been fought between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland and between Jews and Arabs in the Middle East. However, common to all this violence was an underlying struggle for power. Today, some people kill abortionists in the name of God. Are these people unwilling pawns of religion or using religion to justify their own evil agendas?

    History of human atrocities

    Therefore, I absolutely agree with atheists and others who say that many atrocious things have been done in the name of God, and even in the name of Christianity. However, these atrocities were not perpetrated by God, but by evil human beings. If we look at the history of democide (which includes genocide, politicide, and mass murder, but not war-dead) prior to the 20th century, we find that millions of people were killed by people groups who wanted the other people groups eliminated. Note that these numbers do not include those killed through wars.

    TABLE 3.1
    Selected Pre-20th Century Democide and Totals1CasesYears2Democide3Religious?China221 B.C.-19 C.33,519,0004NoMongols14 C-15 C29,927,000NoSlavery of Africans1451-187017,267,000NoAmer-Indians16 C-19 C13,778,000NoThirty Years War1618-16485,750,000NoIn India13 C-1 9 C4,511,0005NoIn Iran5 C-19 C2,000,0004,5NoOttoman Empire12 C-19 C2,000,0005NoIn Japan1570-19 C1,500,0005NoIn Russia10 C-19 C1,007,0005NoChristian Crusades1095-12721,000,000YesAztecsCenturies1,000,0006YesSpanish Inquisition16 C-18 C350,000YesFrench Revolution1793-1794263,000NoAlbigensian Crusade1208-1249200,000YesWitch Hunts15 C-17 C100,000YesTotal For All Casespre-20 C133,147,0002,650,000Hypothetical Total30 C B.C.-19 C A.D.625,716,0007 International war-related dead30 C B.C.-19 C A.D.40,457,0008 Plague dead (Black Death)541 A.D.-1912102,070,0009 Adopted from STATISTICS OF DEMOCIDE.

    Unless otherwise noted, years and centuries are A.D.

    Unless otherwise noted, these are a best guess estimate in a low to high range.

    Excludes democide in China by Mongols.

    An absolute low.

    A very speculative absolute low.

    From STATISTICS OF DEMOCIDE.. Calculated from the 20th century democide rate and the population for each century since 30 B.C.

    From table STATISTICS OF DEMOCIDE. Total undoubtedly inflated by democide.

    A minimum: includes plague dead in circa 541-542 A.D.; 1346-1771 in Europe; 1771 in Moscow; 1894 in Hong Kong; and 1898-1912 in India. From Duplaix (1988, p. 677-678).

    What percentage of these killings were due to religious democide? It is less than 3% of the totals. The surprising thing is that these killings occurred during a period of time when virtually all the peoples of the world were involved in some sort of religion. Here is the data for the 20th century:

    TABLE 1.2
    20th Century Democide1REGIMESYEARSDEMOCIDE2Atheist?U.S.S.R.1917-8761,911,000YesChina (PRC)1949-8735,236,000YesGermany1933-4520,946,000NoChina (KMT)1928-4910,075,000NoJapan1936-455,964,000NoChina (Mao Soviets)31923-493,466,000YesCambodia1975-792,035,000YesTurkey (Armenian Genocide)1909-181,883,000NoVietnam1945-871,670,000YesPoland1945-481,585,000YesPakistan1958-871,503,000NoYugoslavia (Tito)1944-871,072,000YesNorth Korea1948-871,663,000YesMexico1900-201,417,000NoRussia1900-171,066,000YesChina (Warlords)1917-49910,000NoTurkey (Ataturk)1919-23878,000NoUnited Kingdom1900-87816,000NoPortugal (Dictatorship)1926-82741,000NoIndonesia1965-87729,000NoLESSER MURDERERS1900-872,792,000?WORLD TOTAL1900-87169,202,000107,047,000From STATISTICS OF DEMOCIDE.

    Includes genocide, politicide, and mass murder; excludes war-dead. These are probable mid-estimates in low to high ranges. Figures may not sum due to round off.

    Guerrilla period.

    Vox Day, in The Irrational Atheist, lists 22 atheistic regimes that committed 153,368,610 murders in the 20th century alone:Murders by Atheists (20th Century)CountryDatesMurdersAfghanistan1978-19921,750,000Albania1944-1985100,000Angola1975-2002125,000Bulgaria1944-1989222,000China/PRC1923-200776,702,000Cuba1959-199273,000Czechoslovakia1948-196865,000Ethiopia1974-19911,343,610France1793-179440,000Greece1946-194920,000Hungary1948-198927,000Kampuchea/Cambodia1973-19912,627,000Laos1975-200793,000Mongolia1926-2007100,000Mozambique1975-1990118,000North Korea1948-20073,163,000Poland1945-19481,607,000Romania1948-1987438,000Spain (Republic)1936-1939102,000U.S.S.R.1917-198761,911,000Vietnam1945-20071,670,000Yugoslavia1944-19801,072,000

    Figure 1. Percentage of democide based upon type of government control.

    What percentage of this democide was due to religious conflict? It turns out that religious democide doesn’t even make the top 20 (although I am sure there is some in the “lesser murderers” category. Still, the total religious killings is less than 2%. In fact, the top two killers were specifically atheistic states (which had never existed before in human history). Should atheism be blamed for more than 50% of the atrocities committed during the 20th century? The answer of course is No! If one examines the nature of the regimes that committed these atrocities (even the religious ones), the key factor is absolute power (see Figure 1, right). According to Professor R.J. Rummel, in the 1816-2005 period there were 205 wars between non-democracies, 166 wars between non-democracies and democracies, and 0 wars between democracies. Lord Acton’s warning that “power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely” seems to be more than just a trite saying.

    What about Christians who commit evil?

    Jesus Himself addressed the issue of “Christians,” performing evil deeds in a rather chilling prophecy:

    “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’” (Matthew 7:22-23)

    One should note that Jesus said that “many” people who think they are His followers will be rejected by Jesus when at the judgment when they attempt to claim that they are His disciples. Not all who claim the name of Jesus are actually His disciples. My guess is that in even the best of Christian churches only about half of the people have been truly born again (see John chapter 3).1Christianity should be judged on the basis of what Jesus said and did, not on the basis of the actions of people who merely claim to be Christians. Foxe’s Book of Martyrs details the deaths of Christians who were killed because of their faith in Christ, in many cases by people claiming to be Christians.

    How do you know if a person is a Christian or not?

    We cannot know for certain whether a person is or is not a true Christian (only God can makes such a determination).2 However, the Bible describes the nature of a person who is indwelt by the Holy Spirit3(which happens at the point a person accept Jesus as Lord and Savior):

    But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)

    In addition, the true believer does what is right and demonstrates love toward others.4 Even non-believers can readily see who the true Christians are. Ultimately, the behavior of those who claim to be Christians but practice evil should not be a consideration in determining if the claims of Christ are true or not.

    Conclusion

    Yes, “Christians” have committed atrocities against other religious and non-religious people. However, atheists have committed far more atrocities than all religious groups combined. Even so, the key factor in these atrocities has been totalitarian power, rather than religion, which has resulted in these hundreds of millions of murders. The Bible says that people are evil (and the statistics on this page support this claim), but that they can become transformed through the power of the Holy Spirit to live lives of love, joy and peace.

    • darkchaos

      When CHRISTIANS speak of evil, it has to be considered Evil to God not humans or Christians.

      Good and Evil nowadays is defined whatever humans think, not God. That is why people confuse what they know what evil is compared to what God’s standards are.

      Truthfully I’m not proud of what christians have done in terms of torture and splattering blood, but honestly, other than some christians destroying cultures and all that

      look at america. they bombed and destroyed TWO CITIES. Thats two. cities. not a building like 9/11. They destroyed not one city but TWO. Can you even imagine what that’s like? People complain about one building. Imagine japan bombing the entire new york to the ground. now imagine two cities burned to the ground. thats how japan felt. no one tries to think how they felt.

      athiests or religious, doesn’t matter. but what i can say is that in general athiests are much more concened with what they have to deal with and they think they have more practical things to think about than something they can’t see or experience. and i can undersatnd that.

      but why do athiests point and jeer at christians when they’re the ones squabbling about morals and ethics and politics all the time. religion and goverment are separate now.

      religion and government are separate now.

      i said that twice cuz its important. the point is, people are acting on their own because they’re not forced to be in religion like in the past. which means that if you look at reality, most of the time everyday, there’s more squabbling between athiests than religious people. there are more athiests than christians. there’s more athiest criminals in prison than christian.

      athiests and some christans alike squabble over morals and ethics and politics and fail at them. because its all about us, not God.

      God’s system never failed. the only time it failed was because humans decided to go with their own system over God’s. Which means that people went from a system of absoluteness to a system of “i dont know which is the best answer but I’ll go with Yes/No”

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  • fender24

    This is bs, just how does this prove anything?? u cant get credible information about how many religious or how many atheists there is in prison from one paper. and Why is it so important for us? Even you are religious or not nobody is perfect we are humans! not even the prophets were perfect! We are the ones that are committing the crime against each other and we are responsible, not God. God could have eliminated us long time ago if he wanted to because of our sins, but he chose to come down to earth in a human form to SAVE us from the sin instead. the evil that exist in this world exists because we have free will, to either love or hate god as a choice. to do bad or good Without evil it would be impossible to know the difference between good and bad.

    More atheists are actually in prison then previous thought says this article http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2012/03/29/what-percentage-of-prisoners-are-atheists-pew-forum-offers-an-answer/

    oooh what a shock…
    just to prove my point how inaccurate the numbers are.

    • colbster

      Amen, brother. Preach the word, no matter how batshit crazy it is.

    • darkchaos

      finally someone with sense. there are more athiests in prison than religious people. If it was equal or if more religious people were in prison it would be common knowledge to us now. But is isn’t because its the opposite.

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  • Suzanne

    The link to the actual report brings back a 404. Is there another place to go read the report? I’m a scholar, so I’m geeky like that. :)

  • DrBob

    The correlation here is with poverty and race. Atheism is by and large a worldview embraced only by white upper-middle-class people. Guess what? Not many white, upper-middle-class people commit felonies.

    To paraphrase Richard Feynman, the first duty of a scientist or rationalist is not to fool yourself.

    • Anonymous

      I wondered why it took so long for a non-dogmatic thinker to point this out.

  • colbster

    Great article! I’m an atheist and the only crime I commit is breaking women’s hearts. And hobo murder.

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  • Julius Henry

    Is it possible their is an advantage to “choosing” a religion, at least on paper, when in prison? If so wouldn’t a rational atheist put down a religion to at least get Sunday “off” or certain holiday meals?
    ie, might their be other reasons an Atheist wouldn’t put down “Atheist” in a prison form?

  • C Dube

    I just want to say that Hinduism is , perhaps,among the fewest or , perhaps, the only religion that officially treats an atheist as also a Hindu, ( that includes Sanatan Dharmis, worshippers of God with idol worshippers and Arya Samajis, worshippers of God , not in idol form). This is not just by practice or a way of life , but , in modern times , it constitutes a part of the legal system under Hindu Law enacted by the Legislature of the Union of India . It is enforceable in Courts of law. The legal definition of “Hindu” includes a believer in God as well as a person who is an atheist. That is to say , merely because a person is an atheist , he does not cease to be a Hindu. Even if his or her parents are atheists , they all are “Hindus” under law. An atheist Hindu and a theistic Hindu can inter-marry voluntarily . There is no prohibition or coercion of any kind. Absolute freedom. You can be a Christian or other religion or follow anything in Hinduism and vice versa ,There is no prohibition in Hinduism to follow theism , atheism or other religion. There is no apostasy , no heresy , no persecution. Absolute freedom , freedom and freedom. Hindus love freedom and love everyone , regardless of their personal beliefs, be they theists , atheists, Christians or anyone. Different paths to a goal , be it theistic or atheistic or there may be no goal at all , just purity and simplicity of life.Diversity and human freedom is the key to life and a conscious belief in atheism is one of its several manifestations. Theism or atheism by themselves are neither bad nor good. You cook or your own recipe of beliefs . You are the master of your choices in matters of faith and conscience. These are personal matters. The very heart and soul , the very essence of human existence . How can there be controls place upon these core features of human existence? That is the beauty of the concept.

  • C Dube

    By the way , the classification of faith groups in the article may be understood by different people differently. Under Indian law , the term “Hindu” by definition includes a Buddhist, Sikh and a Jain. This is just a bit of information, not an argument on the central point of atheism.

  • yeppers

    were these people believers at time of the crime??
    without that information they could have all converted while in prison.