by Linda Kimball "About 200,000 clergy, many crucified, scalped and otherwise tortured, were killed during the approximately 60 years of communist rule in the former Soviet Union, a Russian commission reported this week. In addition, another 500,000 religious figures were persecuted and 40,000 churches destroyed in the period from 1922 to 1980, the report said. Half the country's mosques and more than half the synagogues were also destroyed" Clergymen were crucified on churches' holy gates, shot, scalped [and] strangled," said Alexander Yakovlev, head of the Commission for the Rehabilitation of the Victims of Political Repression. The commission prepared the report for Russian President Boris Yeltsin. "I was especially shocked by accounts of priests turned into columns of ice in winter," Yakovlev said. "It was total cruelty." (http://www.paulbogdanor.com/left.html)
How many died in all? Estimates vary from a low of 160,000,000 to a high of 300,000,000 men, women and children worked to death, burned in ovens, gassed, starved, shot, knifed, electrocuted, tortured to death, hung, crucified, and cruelly murdered in many other ways.
The Ottoman massacre of one and a half million Armenians in WWI and the Rwandan and Sudanese massacres that during the 1990s took the lives of nearly three million people bookend the 20th century as the most monstrously evil century in all history.
The full horror and magnitude of modern evil is overwhelming and made more so by the realization that ordinary human beings either looked the other way or were active participants. It was ordinary human beings who were willing conduits of the lie, who compromised with evil by building and manning the ovens and gas chambers, torturing helpless victims, and enforcing the mass starvation of Ukrainians. It was ordinary human beings who in one way or another executed millions of fellow human beings.
After returning from Rwanda following the massacre in 1994, U.S. ambassador Robert Seiple said:
"There are no categories to express such horror...Someone used the word 'bestiality' â€” no, that dishonors the beasts. Animals kill for food, not for pleasure. They kill one or two prey at a time, not a million for no reason at all." (Unspeakable, Os Guinness, p. 37)
In great part modern 'secularized' Westerners and Americans have thrown off all moral restraints. They have unshackled themselves from their own sin nature and now view themselves as 'born good.' Even more troubling: they adhere to the view of "new" pagan materialist determinists who place blame for evil on external sources â€” genetics, social and environmental factors and chemical imbalances. This self-deceiving view of evil bears little if any difference from the view held by 20th century Communist mass-murderers â€” the materialist determinists who saw themselves as good and animalized 'others' as useless weeds or hominids worthy only of annihilation.
In light of the West's ominous moral decline, Jonathan Glover concludes in his magisterial moral history of the 20th century, "Humanity" that,
"...even those who do not believe in a religious moral law should be troubled by its fading." (Guinness, p. 43)
Read More: http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/kimball/121106