As we approach Christmas, the one day a year that we set aside to celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, we are hearing noises among intellectuals and rock stars about the “dangers” of Christianity to world peace and cultural tolerance.
The most recent attack on organized religion came from gay rock star Sir Elton John, who thinks that organized religion—specifically Christianity—turns people into “hateful lemmings.” His solution: “ban religion completely, even though there are some wonderful things about it.”
Atheist Richard Dawkins, writing in his new book, “The God Delusion,” claims that many of the world’s conflicts around the world are due to the murderous religious impulses. Columnist Robert Kuttner claims that “The Crusades slaughtered millions in the name of Jesus. The Inquisition brought the torture and murder of millions more. After Martin Luther, Christians did bloody battle with other Christians for another three centuries.”
Dinesh D’Souza, a Fellow at the Hoover Institution recently pointed out the glaring errors in such statements in the Christian Science Monitor. He noted, for example, that the Spanish Inquisition sentenced to death approximately 10,000 individuals. Some historians claim another 100,000 died in jail.
And what of the Crusades? British historian Paul Johnson has observed the Crusades were launched to regain land conquered by Muslims and to prevent Muslim armies from invading and conquering any more nations.
Elton John’s ability to speak freely and attack Christianity in Britain is due to the fact that Britain has based its laws upon the Ten Commandments and Christian principles about free speech and freedom of conscience. JAs we celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace, all of us should keep these truths in mind.
Rev. Sheldon is a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary, an ordained minister, and the founder of the Traditional Values Coalition in Washington, DC.