Dinesh D’Souza is an author and political pundit whose newest book is entitled What’s So Great About Christianity. Note that the title does not end in a question mark. Noted atheist Christopher Hitchens recently appeared on stage with D’Souza to debate the question of religion.
I was able to view an eight minute clip, and while I do not know how D’Souza fared in the entire debate, I do claim disappointment in how he dealt with on of Mr. Hitchens’ challenges.
Hitchens claims that the Church aided and abetted the rise of Fascism in the 20th Century. People such as Franco and Mussolini were practicing Catholics and had reached various agreements and accommodations with the Vatican regarding their policies and activities. By extension, Hitler himself, who was raised Catholic, never formally rejected that faith, the implication being that the Roman Catholic Church bears the responsibility for the carnage of World War II.
In response, D’Souza pointed out that atheists were responsible for more deaths and destruction in the 20th Century (Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot) than were non-atheists, and that Hitler is a poor example to use to prove the contrary because he hated Christianity and wanted to hijack it into a tool of the Nazi Party.
In other words, your SOBs are worse than our SOBs, which looks like an unsatisfactory rejoinder from where I sit.
If someone were to challenge me with Hitchens’ observations, I would have to grant him that the politics of Christianity has a sordid side, but that’s why Jesus made the pointed statement that his kingdom is not of this world. He did not intend the Church to become a player in the power politics of the kingdoms of men. Hitchens seems to be saying that there can’t be a God because people are so bad, and surely a man of Hitchens acumen can see that it does not necessarily follow. One must not confuse institutions that claim the Christian label with Jesus Christ. They are not the same thing.
Any organization or institution (or individual for that matter) that puts the name of Christ on its shingle needs to be careful about giving occasion for doubt. Jesus once warned his disciples about denying him before men, and that means more than disowning him. It means claiming the name of Christ while doing the works of the devil. Blasphemy is taking the Lord’s name in vain, and there is no greater blasphemy than doing evil in the name of good, or as Jesus might have put it, "the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service." (John 16:2 NKJV)
In other words, don’t blame God for the sins of man. We do that on our own.