Militant atheists are fond of reminding us that there have been people who committed acts of violence "in the name of religion." And of course this is true. But the Church always condemned such abuses in her teaching.
But what Barack Obama doesn't mention (and this should come as no surprise, counterfeit Christian that he is), is that far more violence has been committed under the banner of atheism. See here. As historian Paul Johnson put it, "Certainly, mankind without Christianity conjures up a dismal prospect. The record of mankind with Christianity is daunting enough....The dynamism it has unleashed has brought masacre and torture, intolerance and destructive pride on a huge scale, for there is a cruel and pitiless nature in man which is sometimes impervious to Christian restraints and encouragements. But without these restraints, bereft of these encouragements, how much more horrific the history of these last 2,000 years must have been!....In the last generation, with public Christianity in headlong retreat, we have caught our first, distant view of a de-Christianized world, and it is not encouraging." (A History of Christianity, p. 517).
Yes, there have been men who were "impervious to Christian restraints." But the Church may not be held responsible for this. Christianity is not the failure here. Rather those who failed to live up to the demands of the Gospel are to blame. But to the extent that such men committed acts of violence "in the name of religion," may we not justly conclude that such men were really atheists?
Atheism can be either speculative or practical. The practical atheist is one whose words and actions suggest that he does not really believe in God or following His holy will.
But nothing can match the barbaric record of violence under atheistic humanism. Which is what Mr. Johnson means when he writes, "In the last generation, with public Christianity in headlong retreat, we have caught our first, distant view of a de-Christianized world, and it is not encouraging.."
It is critical to remember (even if mental midgets such as Barack Obama would have us believe otherwise) that the Church remains spotless even when Her members sin. There is absolutely no doubt that the human history of the Church, like all of human history, has its dark pages. But if anyone cares to take an objective look at this history, one must quickly acknowledge that the doctrine of the Church has always implicitly condemned abuses introduced by Her members.
In the words of Dr. Dietrich Von Hildebrand, "There were sinners in the Church yesterday and there are sinners in the Church today. But the Church Herself, in her divine teaching, emerges gloriously unspotted in a history stained by human weaknesses, errors, imperfections, and sins." In the words of the great Cardinal Journet:
"All contradictions are eliminated as soon as we understand that the members of the Church do indeed sin, but they do so by their betraying the Church. The Church is thus not without sinners, but She is without sin. The Church as person is responsible for penance. She is not responsible for sins....The members of the Church themselves - laity, clerics, priests, Bishops, and Popes - who disobey the Church are responsible for their sins, but the Church as person is not responsible...It is forgotten that the Church as person is the Bride of Christ, 'Whom He has purchased with His own blood.'" (Acts 20:28).
Related reading here.