Pat Johnson e-mailed me criticizing what he saw as a serious oversight in an early draft of my webpage. He wrote:
As a History Professor at a Junior college I challenge my classes to comment on
the following statement:
Almost all the students raise their hands in agreement. I then demand that they provide dead bodies as evidence. They usually mention the Crusades and one or two other religious wars they might have heard of but in none of their examples can they come up with a million deaths. (Some scholars used to teach that the Thirty Years’ War in Germany resulted in 8 million deaths, but modern scholars have demonstrated it was more like 200 thousand and in fact the population of Germany actually increased during that war.) I then point out that most of the people who have died as a result of war, have done so in the Twentieth Century and that most of the killing was done in the name of secular ideologies. I then ask them who is the “baddest” of them all. Most guess Hitler. I then tell them that he is rated #3. Some then guess Stalin and I inform them that most scholars place him at #2 with 20 million killed. Almost no one gets #1 who, of course, is Mao who starts with an estimated 40 million. I then point out that the top two were Communists and Hitler was a radical proponent of Social Darwinism. All of these ideologies are based on atheistic systems.