The Soviets invaded Afghanistan, and if I wasn't lazy I bet I could find other examples. The Church may have survived but my point was about the lack of religion needed to justify what the people that controlled the guns did.
They took purging their own population to a bloody world record. God wasn't needed to justify that slaughter, it was for the greater good of the nation.
Now I won't do what a lot of atheists do and hold this up as proof that a lack of God leads to wholesale slaughter, because that would be as foolish as those that claim religion is responsible for wholesale slaughter. It is pretty clear to me that man will slaughter his fellow man with or without religion. God or national strength are no different in that they are excellent marketing tools to rationalize the killing to the common man for the benefit of his rulers. A ruler can't just come out and say I want you to risk your life so I can increase my already obscene level of wealth and power. A greedy act has to appear as a selfless one.
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