Certainly both Protestants and
Catholics disgraced themselves by participating in atrocities against the other side.
Surely there was room for improvement, room for the atheists to show
us how to conduct ourselves. Except. . .
The Revolution gave to the world new methods of execution, Dr.
Guillotin's innovation, the guillotine, and the novel ideal of
constructing boats bottomed with removable panels so as to drown large numbers
of people, to avenge the lack of revolutionary fervor on the part of
the inhabitants of Nantes:
"Carrier, having more victims to strike, surpassed even Lebon; he as
bilious, fanatical, and naturally blood-thirsty. He had only awaited
the opportunity to execute enormities that the imagination even of
Marat would not have dared to conceive. Sent to the borders of an
insurgent country, he condemned to death the whole hostile
population— priests, women, children, old men, and girls. As
the scaffold did not suffice for his cruelty, he substituted a
company of assassins, called Marat's company, for the
revolutionary tribune, and, for the guillotine, boats, with
false bottoms, by means of which he drowned his victims in the
Loire." (F.A.M. Mignet, History of the French Revolution
from 1789 to 1814, Chapter x).
"'Sentence of Deportation,' writes Carrier, 'was executed
vertically." (Thomas Carlyle, The French Revolution, Chapter 3.5.III).
These multitudes of drowned people did not disappear: ". . .but there
is in man a hatred crueller than that. Dumb, out of suffering now, as
pale swollen corpses, the victims tumble confusedly seaward along the
Loire stream; the tide rolling them back: clouds of ravens darken the
River; wolves prowl on the shoal-places. . ." (Thomas Carlyle, The
French Revolution, Chapter 3.5.III). In eerie harmony, the atheist Bolsheviks would share the
French Revolutionists' attraction for this method of execution: "Still more
terrible to us was the practice — initially followed by both warring
sides and, later, by the victors only — of sinking barges loaded with
uncounted, unregistered hundreds, unidentified even by a roll call."
(Aleksandr I. Sozhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago, p. 435).
Beware of complaining about cruel and
unusual punishments, because if you do, you're next: "A hundred and
thirty-two men of Nantes for instance, march towards Paris, in these
same days: Republicans, or say even Jacobins to the marrow of the bone;
but Jacobins who had not approved Noyading." (Thomas Carlyle, The
French Revolution, Book III, Chapter 3.6.V.), though the timing worked out for
this group; the revolution was a monster who devoured her
This is where we came in. These people cast aside Christianity, on
grounds that the Old Testament offended their refined sensibilities:
"As to the character of the book [Joshua], it is horrid; it is a
military history of rapine and murder, as savage and brutal as those
recorded of his predecessor in villainy and hypocrisy, Moses; and the
blasphemy consists, as in the former books, in ascribing those deeds to
the orders of the Almighty." (Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason, Part II,
Chapter I). But then they showed, by demonstration, that those Old
Testament warriors were pikers, not in the same league with the atheistic Revolutionists, who
knew how to eliminate people on an industrial scale.
After the former king was guillotined, Lyons rose in rebellion;
when the rebellion failed, there were reprisals including mass
"Lyons in fact is a town to be abolished. . .Two hundred and nine men are marched forth over the
River, to be shot in mass, by musket and cannon, in the Promenade of
the Brotteaux. It s the second of such scenes; the first was of some
Seventy. The corpses of the first were flung into the Rhone, but the
Rhone stranded some; so these now, of the second lot, are to be
buried on land. Their one long grave is dug; they stand ranked, by
the loose mould-ridge; the younger of them singing the Marsellaise.
Jacobin National Guards give fire; but have again to give fire, and
again; and to take the bayonet and the spade, for though the doomed
all fall, they do not all die;— and it becomes a butchery too
horrible for speech. . .
"They were Two hundred and nine
marched out; one escaped at the end of the Bridge: yet behold,
when you count the corpses, they are Two hundred and ten. .
.After long guessing, it is called to mind that two individuals,
here in the Brotteaux ground, did attempt to leave the rank,
protesting with agony that they were not condemned men, that
they were Police Commissaries: which two we repulsed, and
disbelieved, and shot with the rest! Such is the vengeance of an
enraged Republic. . .But the Republic, as Fouche says, must
'march to Liberty over corpses.'"" (Thomas Carlyle, The French
Revolution, Chapter 3.5.III)
Readers who follow the 'new atheists' are aware that their main
argument against Christianity is, 'the Inquisition, the
Inquisition.' Perhaps someone can advise me why it is not sufficient
to reply, 'the French Revolution, the French Revolution,' much less
to pull out the heavy artillery and say, 'Stalin, Mao,' 'Stalin,
Mao.' They reply, 'but I don't support Stalin and Mao;' as if
Baptists support the Inquisition.
It might seem that, down at the bottom of the pile, before any interpretation, there is a list of historical
facts, with which any interpreter must come to terms. It quickly
becomes apparent, however, that some facts are more equal than
others. The Roman Catholic Church held Galileo under house arrest
for several years: there is therefore an ineluctable war between
religion and science. The atheistic French Revolution sent the
world-famous chemist Antoine Lavoisier to the guillotine. . .testimony to
the inevitable warfare between atheist ignorance and science? Well,
no, some facts have no consequences, even though the people running
France at that time were atheists and they were ignorant and they perceived no use for
the world-leading chemist:
"In the same court, Lavoisier, the founder and organizer
of chemistry, the great discoverer, and condemned to death, asks for
a reprieve of his sentence for a fortnight to complete an
experiment, and the president, Coffinhal, another Auvergnat,
"'The Republic has no need of savants.'"
(Hippolyte Taine, The French Revolution, Volume 3,
Kindle location 7924).
Abbe Sicard, a pioneering educator of the deaf, was arrested and held,
though never executed, a fate comparable to Galileo's. As his group was
being transported from one prison to another they were set upon by a
mob, and Abbe Sicard alone escaped with his life:
"Saddest of all: Abbe Sicard goes; a Priest who could
not take the Oath, but who could teach the Deaf and Dumb: in his
Section one man, he says, had a grudge at him; one man, at the fit
hour, launches an arrest against him; which hits. In the Arsenal
quarter, there are dumb hearts making wail, with signs, with wild
gestures; he their miraculous healer and speech-bringer is rapt
away. . .The thirty Priests are torn out, are massacred about the
Prison-Gate, one after one,— only the poor Abbe Sicard, whom
one Moton a watch-maker, knowing him, heroically tried to save,
and secrete in the Prison, escapes to tell. . ." (Thomas Carlyle, The French Revolution, Book 3.1.II. September).
The old pol (and astronomer) Jean Sylvain Bailly fell prey to the
Revolution's cannibalism. Atheists object: the sole and only reason the Catholic Church targeted Galileo, an otherwise
devout Catholic, is because of his astronomy, whereas Antoine Lavoisier and Abbe Sicard were targeted primarily because they belonged to suspect
classes, the nobility in the one case and the non-juring clergy in the
other; Lavoisier, moreover, is alleged to have adulterated the tobacco. This is true; however it is also true that the atheist mobs who
set upon these men found no grounds for mercy in their achievements,
either to that date or to be expected in the future; they did away with
Lavoisier, and Abbe Sicard only got away in the end because his two
cell-mates built a human ladder, one man standing on his companion's shoulders, allowing him to clamber up
to the loft and safety.
The French Revolution produced, for the brief period of its ascendency, a despotism
more complete than that found under the old regime. Speaking of conditions under the
kings, one author says,
"An arbitrary government not only will not endure
resistance, but it demands that its subjects shall approve and
imitate it. After having subjected the actions of men, it persecutes
conscience; needing to be ever in motion, it seeks victims when they
do not fall in its way." (F.A.M. Mignet, History of the French
Revolution from 1789 to 1814, Introduction).
This fits the revolution to a T. And not only the French Revolution,
but the other atheist revolutions which drenched the globe in tears and blood
during the twentieth century. To judge from history, this is an atheist
thing: they need to keep rooting out thought crimes. One modern atheist
author, Sam Harris, even wants to conceal lie detectors in the panelling
so we dissidents can't get away with it any more. Looking at facts
objectively, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the French
Revolution descended to the depths of bestial cruelty because of its prior
abandonment of Christianity. There was then no brake. The French, a
civilized people, descended into the law of the jungle; the atheists
have their own Golden Rule:
"Again, twenty years later, in a private
conversation, on being interrogated as to the veritable object, the
secret motive of the Committee of Public Safety, he [Barere]
"'As we were animated by but one sentiment, my dear sir,
that of self-preservation, we had but one desire, that of
maintaining an existence which each of us believed to be menaced.
You had your neighbor guillotined to prevent your neighbor from
guillotining you.'" (Hippolyte Taine, The French Revolution, Volume
Rousseau looked within himself to find the well-spring of virtue: "O
Conscience! Conscience! thou divine instinct, thou certain guide of an
ignorant and confined, though intelligent and free being;— thou
infallible judge of good and evil, who makest man to resemble the Deity.
In thee consist the excellence of our nature and the morality of our
actions." (Jean Jacques Rousseau, Profession of Faith
of a Savoyard Vicar, Part IV). Maybe that's not the right
direction to look, perhaps upward would work out better. The natural man
can do no wrong: "Ah! let us not spoil the man of nature, and he will
always be virtuous without constraint, and happy without remorse."
(Jean Jacques Rousseau, Profession of Faith of a
Savoyard Vicar, Part IV). But human nature as we see it, spoiled
by the fall, displays capabilities, fully on show in the French
Revolution, from which we must turn our eyes.
Though the system of ethics known as utilitarianism had been suggested but not yet
been propounded in a formal and systematic way at the time of the French
Revolution, it was fast becoming apparent such a system was
required to rescue the atheists from their hard-earned reputation
for monstrosity: "Danton was a gigantic revolutionist; he deemed no
means censurable so that they were useful, and, according to him,
men could do whatever they dared attempt." (F.A.M. Mignet, History of
the French Revolution from 1789 to 1814, Chapter V). All these
bloody crimes accomplished what? Liberty? To the contrary, this
whole killing spree ended in Napoleon's military dictatorship.
Military dictatorship is one of the oldest forms of state
oppression; no innovation in the world was required to bring it in. The same
would prove true of Lenin's crimes, of Stalin's murders: what did they
accomplish, what new dawn in human affairs? Nothing at all; yet the
atheists keep piling up the dead bodies in the vain hope the pile will
someday reach to heaven. And they're not done yet: