... the Biblical message is not one of violence but one of God's love.
Oh please. That is one itty, bitty message amongst about 20, and one that appears rather late in the game. It only gets play because that is what people want - a loving god. In most cases, a loving god is something you have to project into the stories, because it isn't there, particularly in the OT.
Genesis never talks about how yhwh loved adam and Eve. It never talks about how yhwh loved abraham or jacob. It never talks about how yhwh loved moses or the hebrews. It always talks about their covenant, their contract, their deal. And by they way, it is a contract yhwh has no qualms about breaking. Ask Job's first family about that.
While God did command his people to annihilate entire tribes of people during the conquests of the Promised Land, those were special circumstances that are not prescriptive as repeatable. Even then, this evidence points to God's justice for his people and not to the violent nature of the people.
Are you willing to cut mohammed's boys the same kind of slack?
The New Testament certainly does not give any hint at teaching violence.
Only if you don't count that assault on the money lenders and the whole "you must hate your family" thing. And the whole revenge fantasy called "Revelation", wherein jesus H comes back, murders everyone on the planet who does not worship him, and sends them to eternal torture. Nah. Not violent at all.
All in all, Christianity as a whole cannot be judged because of the imperfect people who hold to the teachings because Christianity cannot be accused of teaching violence.
I somewhat agree. Essentially you are saying your
particular flavor of xianity is The Right flavor and all those violent xians are doing it wrong. It sounds nice, your flavor of xianity. It sounds like a flavor I would agree with. But what is to say your flavor is actually The Right one?
You see, as I said already, xianity has lots of messages. Some of them are constructive, others not, and there are conflicts. So nobody can follow all of the messages because they necessarily have to make choices. So the flavor of xianity a person subscribes to is one that matches his or her personality. Thus, I call them "flavors". And I do not see how your flavor is any more justifiable than any other.
And again, are you willing to give mohammed's boys the same benefit of the doubt?
Even if Christianity could be described as violent, Atheists should not be the first people to point fingers. Anybody remember what Stalin or Mao did?
People take actions based on the beliefs they hold. A man will go to the hospital when he's sick because his actual belief is god will not heal him, but a doctor will. xians have killed people because of beliefs they have which are tied to xianity. I agree, those beliefs may not be strictly scriptural or necessarily condoned by xian teaching. But they are beliefs they hold and justify because of xianity. For example, Scott Roeder murdered Dr Tiller because of his xian beliefs. I know xianity does not come right out and say "kill abortion doctors". But it was Roeder's xian beliefs that caused his actions. So, from that persepctive, it might not be xianity that teaches violence, but it is xianity that is responsible for it.
So, you need to understand that our one thing in common here - atheism - is the rejection of the claim that gods exist. That's it.
Now, go ahead and make your case. In what way is the rejection of claims that gods exist responsible for whatever it is you think Stalin and Mao did?