I am entering into the melting pot again, belatedly because of space reasons.

Once again, I admire John Guillaumier’s knowledgeable pen but, then, I pity his frequent cynical letters appearing in this paper. He has developed a knack for such futile attempts to denigrate the Church.

The truth is that he is neither willing to play it safe nor, at least, to stand still and ruminate on the wonders of a glorious creation around us. His letter of January 14, which was squeezed between two sensible letters, should serve him as a red light.

Or, perhaps, on spotting the subsequent green light he intends to emerge out of the darkness... and follow the Son! In that blinding light he might catch a glimpse of a Higgs particle entering church… apparently looking for Mass.

In his letter, he was conceded eight paragraphs to inform us about the prosecution by Christians and while I have volumes to write about, I will have to limit myself to generalise on the long sad saga of violence, of course, condemnable on both sides. Perhaps more details will be given later in another letter.

While Guillaumier found pleasure in faulting religion for its role in promoting violence and conflict, now, thankfully, in the ancient past, like the Inquisition of 500 years ago – which is still a topic of the day for him – less than three decades after the collapse of the communist era there is sepulchral silence about the mass graves of the Soviet, Gulag, Anarchists, etc.

I do not for a moment deny that sometimes religion was a source of self-righteousness leading to persecution and violence but the horrors perpetrated by the Muslims during the Crusades are always notably concealed and the horrific images of the Inquisition are largely a myth concocted by the political enemies of Spain initially.

These deaths are all tragic. Even so, those caused by Christian rulers over a 500-year period amount to less than one per cent of the deaths that were caused by Stalin, Hitler and Mao in the space of a few decades.

In conclusion, the undisputable fact is that all the religions of the world put together have in 3,000 years not managed to kill anywhere near the number of people killed in the name of atheism in the past few decades. Deduct the killings by the ethnic fanatic Christians and you will have a very insignificant number of crimes to show.

I think it is now time to abandon the mindlessly repeated mantra that religious belief has been the main source of human conflict and violence.

Atheism and not religion is responsible for the worst mass murders of history.

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