With regard to the violence under Communist regimes, particularly the one of Josef Stalin, Avalos writes:
Most of Stalinist violence resulted from forced collectivization, and recently published documents show the complicity of church authorities in the Stalinist agenda. . . . Moreover, communism, in the sense of a system of collectivized property, is a biblical notion found already in Acts 4:32-37. That Christian communist system also results in the killing of a married couple (Acts 5:1-11) that reneged on their promise to surrender their property. Thus, the principle of killing those who did not conform to collectivization of property is already a biblical one (pp. 368-69).The truth is that Stalin's violence, as well as that of the Maoist regime in China and other communist governments, had much more to do with their need to harness power and control of their countries than it did with their atheism.
Another argument put forth by D’Souza is that atheism is far worse than Christianity due to the much larger numbers killed under atheistic regimes. Avalos responds: But if, as D’Souza seems to think, genocide is always evil, then the numbers don’t matter as much as does the principle. If D’Souza does not think that genocide is always evil, then he is no less a moral relativist than atheists, and now we would have only his arbitrary reasons for justifying it (p. 371). A murderer's crime is not mitigated by the fact that he only killed one person instead of more. In addition, Avalos points out that the numbers are irrelevant anyway because the goal of Christians in some instances was to kill all they could find of a particular group. The fact that they were only able to round-up a certain number does not impact the immorality of their action. Avalos says: Consider that by D’Souza’s admission, Christian witch-hunts killed some 100,000 persons in Europe. . . . we might have had 10 million witches killed if witch-hunters had managed to find and kill that many. (p. 371).
Another favorite claim of Christian apologists, such as D’Souza, is that the Nazi regime under Hitler was anti-religious and its atrocities were influenced by Darwinism and atheism. This is simply false as Avalos shows. Hitler’s own writings demonstrate that he was influenced, not by atheism nor even Darwinism, but by Christianity in his desire to exterminate the Jews. Avalos cites the Catholic historian Jose Sanchez: “There is little question that the Holocaust had its origin in the centuries-long hostility felt by Christians against Jews” (Pius XII and the Holocaust, p. 70, cited by Avalos, p. 372).
In an especially damning revelation, Avalos shows how Hitler’s plan against the Jews models precisely the plan that Martin Luther, the German Reformer, had enunciated in 1543 (On the Jews and Their Lies).
What shall we Christians do with this rejected and condemned people, the Jews? . . . I shall give you my sincere advice:As Avalos points out: Every single point in Luther’s plan was implemented by Nazi policy. In Mein Kampf (trans. Ralph Manheim, 1971, p. 213 cited by Avalos, p. 373), Hitler called Luther one of the greatest men who ever lived, hardly what one would expect an atheist to say.
First, to set fire to their synagogues or schools and to bury and cover with dirt whatever will not burn, so that no man will ever again see a stone or cinder of them. This is to be done in honor of our Lord and of Christendom, so that God might see that we are Christians, and do not condone or knowingly tolerate such public lying, cursing, and blaspheming of his Son and of his Christians. . . .
Second, I advise that their houses also be razed and destroyed. . . .
Third, I advise that all their prayer books and Talmudic writings, in which such idolatry, lies, cursing, and blasphemy are taught, be taken from them.
Fourth, I advise that their rabbis be forbidden to teach henceforth on pain of loss of life and limb. . . .
Fifth, I advise that safe-conduct on the highways be abolished completely for the Jews.
Sixth, I advise that usury be prohibited to them, and that all cash and treasure of silver and gold be taken from them and put aside for safekeeping. . . .
Seventh, I recommend putting a flail, an ax, a hoe, a spade, a distaff, or a spindle into the hands of young, strong Jews and Jewesses and letting them earn their bread in the sweat of their brow, as was imposed on the children of Adam (Gen. 3 [:19]). (cited by Avalos, pp. 372-73).
Avalos quotes Guenter Lewy, the famed Holocaust historian, “Hitler was merely doing what the Church had done for 1,500 years” (The Catholic Church and Nazi Germany, p. 51 cited by Avalos, p. 375). Avalos adds: Hitler simply had much better logistics and technology to do what some Medieval Christians wanted to do to the Jews (p. 375). In Mein Kampf, Hitler wrote: Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator; by defending myself against the Jews, I am fighting for the work of the Lord (p. 65 cited by Avalos, p. 375).
Avalos cites a report that as of 1938, the Nazi SS was made up of 51.4% Catholic, 22.7% Protestant and 25.7% God-believers (Richard Steigmann-Gall, The Holy Reich: Nazi Conceptions of Christianity, 1919-1945, p. 221 cited by Avalos, p. 376). That would leave less than 2/10th's of one percent who did not believe in God.
Avalos also refutes the claim that Hitler’s genocides were motivated by Darwinism. He says that Darwinism taught “natural selection,” whereas, Hitler practiced “artificial selection” (p. 387). Mein Kampf reveals that Hitler’s racist attitudes came from his understanding of the Bible not from Darwin. Hitler wrote: “. . . it is one of those concerning which it is said with such terrible justice that the sins of the fathers are avenged down to the tenth generation . . . Blood sin and desecration of the race are the original sin in this world . . .” (p. 249, cited by Avalos, p. 387).
Where did Hitler derive this idea? From the Bible, specifically Deut. 23:2-3:
No one born of a forbidden marriage nor any of his descendants may enter the assembly of the Lord, even down to the tenth generation. No Ammonite or Moabite or any of his descendants may enter the assembly of the Lord, even down to the tenth generation (see also Ezra 9:1-12).Thus, Avalos shows conclusively that Hitler’s motivation to kill the Jews came from Christian sources. To claim, as many Christian apologists do, that Hitler’s atrocities were due to atheism or Darwinism is completely contradicted by the historical evidence.