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I’ve argued many times that the pro-life position is not essentially Christian, but an argument based on indisputable scientific truths and universal logic. The reason Christians are so enraged by the slaughter of the innocents, and so active in the campaign to end it, is that Christianity is God-given, that God created us, and thus as Christians we are especially and particularly attuned to the suffering of the most vulnerable. It’s the same reason that Christians led the fight against slavery, were so prominent in the resistance to Nazism, and did so much to establish a compassionate, civilized society.
I mention all of this because several of the subjects just listed are covered in my new book, Heresy: Ten Lies They Spread About Christianity (McClelland & Stewart), published last month. My last book, Why Catholics Are Right, did far better than I or my publishers thought possible, selling 50,000 copies and proving that there is indeed a hunger for Christian apologetics in the public square. The success of the book led McClelland Stewart, a large and secular house, to ask for another in the same genre. This time I decided to appeal beyond Roman Catholicism. Mind you, the last book was never supposed to appeal only to Catholics; convincing arguments are convincing arguments, whatever the religion of the reader.
The new book includes an entire chapter about abortion and euthanasia, as one of the lies that are told about Christians – namely, that they are obsessed with abortion and don’t care about any other issue. Not so. We are not obsessed with abortion, but do rather believe that the sanctity of human life, particularly at its most defenceless, is about as important as any subject on earth. If we’re denied the most fundamental human right, the right to life, then all other so-called human rights fade into irrelevance.
The book begins with an introduction, outlining the new wave of anti-Christian hysteria, from mainstream media, popular entertainment, establishment politicians, and – in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East – Islamic radicalism. The first full chapter deals with the lie that there is no evidence that Jesus ever existed. Frankly, only a fool would claim this, but then the fools are at the gate, if not inside the house. Nobody has to believe that Jesus was the Son of God, but to claim that He did not live and that there is no proof for His existence is plain dumb.
I then move on to some of the more common arguments against Christian belief. Bad things happen to good people, could God create rock too heavy for Him to lift, why do people sometimes act badly and call themselves Christian? None of these attacks stand up to serious scrutiny, but that doesn’t stop them being thrown at us so frequently.
Other chapters respond to the lie that Christians are stupid and afraid of intellectual debate – I write of some of the great Christian authors who were startlingly intelligent; Christians are opposed to science – no, Christianity has been the hand-maiden of scientific discovery; Christians supported slavery – not true at all. While not all Christians were involved in the anti-slavery movement, the only people who were involved were Christians. Any authentic study of Scripture shows that slavery as we know it was never condoned in the Bible.
I then deal with the lie that Christians oppose progress, showing that some of the most important developments in care for the poor, the weak, the marginalized, and victims of racism and hatred have been Christian initiatives. One of the most important chapters deals with the libel that Hitler was a Christian, and Nazism a product of Christianity. Listen to an atheist for more than a few moments and this canard will be thrown at you. No person who understands the ideology of National Socialism would give this nonsense any headroom, but it’s astounding how often it’s accepted as – forgive me – gospel truth. Speaking of gospel truth, the book also shows how The De Vinci Code is certainly not true, but has influenced myriad people and caused terrible harm.
A final chapter deals with the ragtag of other slanders we hear about Christians and Christianity, and the whole thing is wrapped up with a bibliography. Will it achieve anything, will it change anything, will it do anything? Hard to know, but I’m optimistic. As anybody in the pro-life movement knows, sometimes we leave sparks that later burst into flame, cause small cracks in the dark windows of opposition that later smash great holes. If one person reads the chapter on abortion and rethinks their position, it’s a victory. But let’s hope for 50,000 doing so.
Michael Coren can be booked for speeches at www.michaelcoren.com. Heresy: Ten Lies They Spread about Christianity is available at bookstores, and on the Amazon and Chapters websites.