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Darkness to Light - Vol. XIV, No. 4a
Darkness to Light
Volume XIV, Number 4a
Light Web site
Director: Gary F. Zeolla
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The LORD Has It Under Control: What the Bible Teaches About the Sovereignty of God - This book is for the person struggling in life and for the person struggling with how God sovereignly works in people’s lives. It goes through the Bible more or less in order. Along the way, I relate examples of how I believe the sovereignty of God has been operating in my life, in hopes that my experiences will help the reader to apply the principles to your life. It also addresses the question of the relationship of God’s sovereignty to the human will or volition.
Ideologies Behind Mass Killings
By Gary F. Zeolla
There has been a wave of mass killings in the USA and elsewhere over the last couple of decades. The most recent was early Sunday morning, June 12, 2016, when 49 were killed and 53 wounded at a homosexual night club in Orlando, Florida. Many have given their thoughts on the reasons for these atrocities. In this two-part article I will add my ideas from a conservative Christian perspective.
Note: Abbreviated references for sources are in parentheses. The full references are in the list of Sources at the end of this article.
For decades our schools have been teaching our children that human beings are just an accident of nature, that there is nothing special about us, and that we could just as easily not exist as exist. That is the message the teaching of atheistic evolution presents about the nature of human beings. We are just the products of chance evolution, with there being no intrinsic difference between human beings and animals. As such, human beings have no special value. Human life is not precious.
This ideology is why there was so much outrage recently over the deaths of a lion and of a gorilla. The people expressing the outrage saw no difference between the deaths of these animals and the deaths of human beings. This can be seen in the myriad of people who think it was wrong to kill the gorilla to ensure the safety of the little boy. In their minds, the gorilla had the same “value” as the little boy. In fact, in their minds, the gorilla was probably more precious as gorillas are endangered, while human beings are plentiful, too plentiful in their minds, as I will address shortly.
But if this is true, and there is no intrinsic value to human beings, then there is no reason not to kill people if it will enable a savage like the Orlando killer to make whatever point he was trying to make. The message in the mind of such a savage is more important than the people, as people are expendable accidents of nature.
This point was emphasized on recent episode of the TV show Creation in the 21st Century. The guest said an experiment he often conducts is to show people four pictures: one of a young adult woman, one of a cute little puppy, one of a painting, and one of a bag of garbage. He asks people if a house was on fire, and they could only save one of these, which would they save?
He said you’d be surprised how many people answer “the cute little puppy.” Some will even ask if the painting is a masterpiece. If it is, and if it is worth a million dollars, then they say they would save it. The point of the bag of garbage is to emphasis that according to atheistic evolution, all four pictures represent accidental collections of atoms, with one accidental collections of atoms having no more intrinsic value than the others.
I first heard this line of reasoning many years ago when a famous singer was asked if her house was on fire, and she could save only one, her son or her dog, which she would save. Her answer was, “Whichever I could get to first.” I fear that many Christians might give the same answer to this question given the comments they make about their pets on Facebook. Very often, they refer to their dog or cat as “their child” and to themselves as the animal’s “mother” or “father.” And when a pet dies, the grief that is expressed is equal to what would be expressed at the death of a child, and the person’s friends respond with the same condolences as if they had lost a child.
Please note, I am not saying it is wrong for a person to own a pet and to enjoy its company. I always had a dog and a cat when I was younger, and I enjoyed their companionship. But I always they knew they were just that, pets, not people. And when one died, I might be bummed for an hour or two, but that would be it, and soon thereafter I would get a new pet to replace it. But I’ve seen cases of Christians who are still mourning the death of a pet a year or two later. When it is suggested they get a new pet, they reply with tear filled eyes, “And go through this again?” That attitude is to have one’s values and thus emotions out of whack.
In any case, that a belief in evolution can lead to mass killings is not idle-speculation, but was proven by the major mass murders of the 20th century of Adolf Hitler, Mao Tse-tung, Karl Marx, Joseph Stalin, and Vladimir Lenin. All of these men were inspired by Charles Darwin’s’ Origin of Species. Stalin and Lenin were actually devout Christians, until they read Darwin’s book and the writings of liberal German theologians. As a result, they became atheists and developed atheistic Communism, which led to the slaughter of 81 million people (Bergman).
Interestingly, “God is dead” philosopher Frederick Nietzsche predicted this slaughter, “Having demonstrated God is dead in the nineteenth century, the twentieth century will be the bloodiest in history.” And in fact, more people were killed in the twentieth century than in previous nineteen centuries combined (Zacharias; 6/20/16). And the vast majority of these deaths were caused by the Darwin inspired movements of Communism, Nazism, and Fascism.
On the latter, Fascism, “involved Darwinian notions of the survival of the fittest” (Britannica). This attitude leads to the extreme racism seen in Fascism, due to one race believing it is more evolved and thus more “fit” than another race. As a result, the “superior” race feels justified in killing members of the “inferior” race.
On a side note, I will be addressing the liberal attitudes of German and similar theologians towards the books of the Bible in my forthcoming three volume set, Why Are These Books in the Bible and Not Others?
Human-Made Global Warming
At the end of an Internet news article about global warming were readers’ comments. One of the comments went something like this: “I am hopeful that in the near future most of the human race will be wiped out by a pandemic. Then the planet can return to the way it is supposed to be, without human beings ruining it.”
This is a common mindset among the human-made global warming crowd. To them, human beings are not just accident of nature but a detrimental accident. Because of our presence, the planet is being destroyed, and the world would be better off if there were less of us, or as Scrooge put it, if we were to “reduce the surface population.”
Such an ideology builds on what is taught by evolution: human beings have no intrinsic value beyond that of any other animal or any other accidental collection of atoms. And not only did we come to be by accident, but we are a scourge on the earth, as our purposeful actions are destroying the much more valuable planet, making it less hospitable for the just as valuable as us other animals.
And again, this same mindset can be seen among Christians. A Facebook friend who says she is a Christian recently posted a collage of beautiful nature pictures, followed by pictures of polluted areas. The captions underneath the pictures were to the effect of “Nature” speaking and saying how she existed long before people and will exist long after people, and that she can get along just fine without people but people cannot get along without her.
Violence in Media
A point that is often mentioned after mass killing is the graphic violence in movies, on TV, and in video games. Many say this is an important factor in mass killings, while others dismiss it and say what people see in a movie or a TV show or play in a game will not affect behavior. When I hear such a claim I immediately think of the billions of dollars that are spent each year on advertising. If what people see in media does not affect behavior, then why do companies waste billions of dollars advertising on it? Think about it.
That said; to me, the main problem with media violence is not how graphic it is but how senseless it is. In other words, I think it is worse to represent in a non-graphic manner the senseless killing of people than it is to present in a graphic fashion violence committed in defense of self or of other people. The latter is a justifiable act of violence that has at its roots the idea of human life having value, while the former again emphasizes that human life has no intrinsic value.
By senseless violence, I am referring to “bad guys” killing people in a non-emotional way just because there are “in the way” or simply there. Thus in a scene of a particular TV series that I used to watch until this scene, masked bad guys rob a jewelry store. There are several patrons in the store at the time, none of which give any resistance. The bad guys get the jewels and are on their way out of the store, when one of them turns around and guns down all of the people in the store, with the shooter expressing no emotion whatsoever. There was no reason whatsoever for the slaughter. And such a scene is often seen in media. Kill people just because they are there. And many Christians contribute to media containing such senseless acts of violence by watching TV shows and movies and playing video games depicting such.
Anyone with even a high-schooler’s knowledge of biology knows that a what a pregnant woman is carrying in her womb is a human being. To deny that is to deny basic biology and genetics. But to justify the mass killing of pre-born babies, it is taught this genetic and biologic human being is just “a mass of tissue” with no intrinsic worth. It is thus just a woman’s “choice” if she wants to keep this accidental collection of atoms in her body or not; and the vast majority of the time, when the baby is killed, it is because the pregnancy is inconvenient to the mother. Thus one person's convenience is more important than another person’s life. It is no great leap to extend this ideology toward pre-born human beings to post-birth ones, thus justifying killing those who are “inconvenient” to you.
Just as pre-born human beings have no intrinsic worth in today’s ideology, so neither does aged human beings who can no longer contribute to society. In fact, the aged are a drain on society, given the expense of keeping them alive. How much better it would be to “humanly” kill them and thus to save our begrudged health care system all of that money. At least all this is the mindset of the pro-euthanasia crowd, and this mindset can easily extend to any other class of people deemed to be a detriment to society.
The Cumulative Effect
The cumulative effect of all of this is to leave many people with an ideology in which human life has no value. Thus the killing of human beings is no more significant than the killing of a fly. Moreover, it can lead to racism and bigotry, when one group of people is in some way different than the killer’s group and thus is labeled inferior and not worthy of life. Such is a logical view if humans evolved, as it would make sense that some humans are more evolved than others.
This attitude again can very unfortunately be seen among Christians. Some Christians actually celebrated the deaths of the 49 members of the LGBT community in the aforementioned mass killing in Orlando or called it “God's wrath against LGBT people.” One California preacher even declared that the only tragedy in that event was that even more homosexuals were not killed (Google News). But those disgusting attitudes pale in comparison to the ideologies of many Muslims.
I heard an interesting exchange recently between Sean Hannity and an Iman on Sean’s radio show on 6/15/16. Sean was quoting verses from the Quran which promote violence against non-Muslims, while the Muslim cleric was quoting verses from the Quran promoting non-violence and tolerance towards non-Muslims. They obviously were getting nowhere in settling the issue of whether or not Islam promotes violence against non-Muslims.
What both failed to realize was the reason for this very obvious contradiction in the Quran. It is due to the two stages in the life of Mohammed, the founder of Islam, who was born in 570 AD. In 610 AD, when he was about 40 years old, Mohammed claimed to begin to receive divine revelations and founded his new religion. “Muhammad spent the next twelve years preaching in Mecca, first only in private, then in public. During these early years, Muhammad preached a peaceful message. He called for religious tolerance, but he told people that they needed to turn to Allah.”
But in 622 AD, Mohammed began the violent portion of his life, when he advocated violence against those who did not accept his new religion. “For the next ten years until Muhammad’s death in 632 AD, the Muslims never stopped fighting. … Shortly after the conquest of Mecca, Muhammad received Surah 9:29, which ordered Muslims to fight non-Muslims (including Christians and Jews) until they submit to Islam” (Historical).
Thus in the Quran you have Surahs (chapters) which advocate non-violence and tolerance towards non-Muslims, and you have Surahs that advocate violence against non-Muslims. The former were written in the earlier period of Mohammed’s life, while the latter were written in the later period of his life. It should also be noted that the Surahs are not in chronological order in the Quran. Thus the violent passages are intermixed with the peaceful ones.
Thus whether Islam is a violent or peaceful religion depends on whether a Muslim follows the example and teachings of the younger Mohammed or of the older Mohammed. This theological debate within Islam is at heart of this issue, and it is why it is so important to identify those who kill in the name of Mohammed as being Muslims. They are following the example and teachings of Mohammed just as much as peaceful Muslim are, just from a different period of his life. Unless this ideological issue is resolved within Islam, the killing will not stop.
Now it is true there are far more peaceful Muslims than violent ones. The violent ones constitute only about 7-10% of all Muslims. But with 1.1 billion Muslims, that means there are 77-110 million violent Muslims worldwide (Fox News, 6/19/16). But the peaceful Muslims are afraid to speak out against the violent ones. The reason was demonstrated by ex-Hindu turned Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias. In a Q&A on his radio show, when asked about Islam, he told a story about two Imams he knew. They wanted to “start a discussion about problems in the Quran.” But then, “They disappeared from the face of the earth” (Zacharias, 6/10/16).
How this relates back to early sections of this article is violent Muslims describe non-Muslims as being inferior. Thus another Imam was quoted on Sean’s show as describing Israelites as being “descended from apes and pigs.” The Imam then uses this ideology to promote violence against Jews. This of course ties back to the teaching of evolution. And it is a logical conclusion that those who are so descend do not have intrinsic value or a right to life.
Part Two of this article will appear in next week’s special edition of Darkness to Light newsletter.
After I wrote the initial draft of this article, I kept hearing relevant information on the radio or TV or reading such on the Internet that I just couldn’t help but to add to it. As a result, this article become long enough to necessitate dividing it into two parts. But given its timely nature, I don’t want to wait two months to publish Part Two, as the normal publication schedule of this newsletter would dictate. Also, with my newsletter service, I can only publish one newsletter per calendar month. That is why I am publishing this newsletter with Part One a week earlier than normal, while it is still June. A “special edition” of this newsletter will then be published next weekend with Part Two, when it will be July. And with that, I will be back to the normal schedule of publishing this newsletter at the beginning of odd-numbered months.
Bergman, Dr. Jerry, author of The Darwin Effect, guest on the TV show Origins, 6/6/16. Seen on WPCB, a Christian TV network in the Pittsburgh, PA area.
Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica. Fascism.
Creation in the 21st Century. Hosted by David Rives, with various creationists scientists as guests. Seen on TBN.
Fox News. From news reports on the given date.
Google News. Various articles listed on my Google News page which I read, but for which I failed to note the exact articles.
John Ankerberg TV show. Various series on Islam. Seen on various Christian TV networks, with audio replays available via his smart phone app and website: www.JAShow.org.
Historical Muhammad: The Good, Bad, Downright Ugly.
Hannity. The Sean Hannity Radio Show. Heard nationwide on various stations, but in the Pittsburgh, PA area on News Talk 1320 AM, weekdays, from 3-6:00 pm. Available anywhere on the iHeart app. Replays available on Sean’s two iHeart stations.
Zacharias, Ravi, episodes from the indicated dates on his radio show Just Thinking. Available on the Bott radio app and on his website: www.rzim.org.
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