Conventional secular thinking holds that religious faiths such as Islam but particularly Christianity are irrational and prone to violence while enlightened ideologies and institutions identified as secular are rational and peaceful. This being the case, it is not surprising that since September 11, 2001, the West and America have been inundated by books and articles explaining why religious faith tends toward violence. The authors of these works come from many different fields---sociology, political science, religious studies, history, and theology. As just one example, Charles Kimball's book "When Religion Becomes Evil" begins with the following claim: "It is somewhat trite, but nevertheless sadly true, to say that more wars have been waged, more people killed, and these days more evil perpetrated in the name of religion than by any other institutional force in human history."
Fundamentally, the idea that religious believers are prone to violence but secular believers are not is itself irrational in that it implies that the possibility of evil exists within unseen forces and institutions rather than within man himself. On the basis of this irrational belief there is in the West an increasingly dangerous "good versus evil" polarity existing between "good, rational seculars" on one hand and ''irrational, evil" religious Others who are prone to violence.
Alexander Solzhenitsyn put a name to the "good vs evil" polarity: Gnostic Manicheanism. His massive Gulag Archipelago was published in three volumes between 1974 and 1978 and takes aim at the Manicheanism inherent in every secular-atheist project for the revolutionary transformation of man and society.
The secular ideologist denies the permanence of the human condition (man's sin nature) and like his pagan predecessors, places evil within natural forces at work in man causing him to do evil. St. Augustine describes this pagan superstition in his Confessions. When I was a pagan, said Augustine:
"I was still of the opinion that it was not we ourselves who sin, but some other nature which is in us; it gratified my pride to think that I was blameless...." (p. 92) "Thus I was ready enough to consult those imposters called astrologers (who absolve us of our sin) when they say: "The cause of your sin is inevitably determined by the stars" and "Venus was responsible here, or Saturn or Mars." (p. 58)
The horrendous suffering experienced by Solzhenitsyn and thousands of other prisoners in the Soviet camps led him to recover the Biblical insight that "the line between good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either--but right through every human heart."
Solzhenitsyns' suffering led to wisdom rather than to bitterness and compelled him to use the full force of his intellectual gifts in defense of the timeless Biblical distinction between good and evil over and against its replacement by revamped and revised secular-pagan Gnostic Manicheanism, an irrational belief so dangerous that it deluded its' proud believers into viewing themselves as the "forces of good" with a mandate to utterly annihilate the "forces of evil." In all, the "forces of good" murdered in excess of 100,000,000 "forces of evil"---men, women, and children.
Ideas have consequences. Good ones lead to good while evil ones generate evil deeds. At the root of modern secular atheism and its' virulent hatred of Christianity is dangerous intellectual error fueled and sustained by massive pride. In observation of this William F. Buckley, Jr. said in 1951:
"I myself believe that the duel between Christianity and atheism is the most important in the world."
In 1950 early Conservative intellectual John Hollowell observed:
"Christianity is the most complete and perfect revelation we know of the nature of God and of God's will for man, the basic insights of the Christian faith provide the best insights we have into the nature of man and of the crisis in which we find ourselves. That crisis is the culmination of modern man's progressive attempt to deny the existence of a transcendent or spiritual reality and of his progressive failure to find meaning and salvation in some wholly immanent conception of reality...Only through a return to faith in God, as God revealed Himself to man in Jesus Christ, can modern man and his society find redemption from the tyranny of evil." (The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America, George H. Nash, p.53)
Fyodor Dostoevsky is regarded as a prophet for foretelling the rise of secular-atheist totalitarian socialism in Russia. Desperately concerned for the future of his countrymen and of Russia, he declared, "a second tower of Babel stands in place of the high ideals created by Christ. The sublime Christian view of human nature sinks down to the view of an animal herd and, under the banner of social love, shows entirely unconcealed its contempt for mankind."
A third Tower now stands here in America. The evolutionism taught as science in our schools has replaced man as God's spiritual image-bearer with man the soulless beast while Biblical teachings on sin and morality have been replaced with moral relativism and neo-pagan Gnostic Manicheanism.
Paul said that our real battle is not with flesh and blood but with powers and principalities. Dostoevsky agreed and observed that the minds of the secular-atheists who seized control of Russia were in accord with the Devil, thus they did his work. The same holds true for America's Christ-hating secular-atheist Manicheans.