Atrocities? Well, It Depends on Your Definition of What Is or Isn't!

Well, It Depends on Your Definition of What Is or Isn't!

Atrocities? Mention the word and not a few people just aren't real sure as to what you have in mind when you speak of it, especially if you indicate we have a monumental problem with it in our culture. Sad thing is that it's pretty much swept under the rug as though it doesn't exist with powerful and influential people in our culture making sure it stays that way!

The Webster's New Universal Unabridged Dictionary (Deluxe Second Edition) lays out these definitions:

Atrocity: 1. Enormous wickedness; extreme cruelty 2. A specific act of extreme cruelty

Atrocious: 1. Extremely brutal or cruel; outrageously wicked; evil 2. Very bad; in bad taste; abominable 3. Very grievous; violent

Historically the trail of blood runs wide and deep on many occasions as one group of people of all ages became the target of a violent extermination process initiated by another group which reasoned that the former no longer had any claim on the right to live and exist!

The 20th Century witnessed numerous events which qualify as atrocious acts of mass murder involving helpless and defenseless human beings.

One of the most notorious would be the atrocities committed during the dominant years of Nazi Germany's Third Reich under the leadership of Adolph Hitler. Total number of victims during the Reich years before its defeat totaled in the range of 14 million or more. Six million of these were Jews whom the Nazis regarded as less than human. In the warped and twisted logic of the Nazi mind Jews and other undesirables were to be exterminated in order to establish a pure race and to insure the establishment of a thousand year Reich!

However, atrocities have not been limited to the Third Reich of WW II era. In recent years other parts of this chaotic world have been settings for violent atrocious acts.

The area of former Yugoslavia underwent violent conflict and our diligent media people gave gruesome details of what came to be known as a policy of "ethnic cleansing" -- a sort of updated Nazi logic and applied to certain people whom ruling authorities felt needed to be eradicated!

Certain areas of Africa have likewise experienced conflicts with atrocities taking place in which thousands of men, women and children have been brutally murdered. Same old story in which one group with diabolical leadership decided that another group should not live.

One thing is certain -- rare would be the individual who would not agree upon hearing details and/or viewing photos of the aforementioned events that indeed these more than meet the criteria of what constitutes atrocious acts against certain groups of human beings!

One can visit the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC and discover that there are viewing areas which are restricted to adults only where an extensive record of Nazi atrocities can be viewed on film and still photos. Having made two visits to the Holocaust Museum I can say that one doesn't feel like eating for a while after the visit! Further, one can find oneself intensely disturbed upon the realization that atrocities continue without restraint in this world even now in the opening years of the 21st Century!

But let's look at an area of activity which very few would label as being atrocious acts of the most heinous type -- take a close look at the photos just below -- do they in some ways seem to resemble photos which have been associated with happenings involving the violent murders of adults and children -- the defining term to be applied is "atrocities" -- do you agree?

Is it not strange that in a society professing to be "civilized" and which proudly proclaims that all should have the right to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," we have instituted a policy in which atrocities are committed at an annual rate ranging from 1.2 to 1.5 million victims! By the way did you notice above that one of dismembered victims is seen clasping a U.S. coin that has the word, "LIBERTY," prominently displayed on the face side? And do you remember that the coin also has the words, "In God We Trust," inscribed on it? Do you in at least a small way sense that something is amiss here?

Further, is it not strange that the president and his wife, members of the administration, the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, a host of church leaders and members of their churches, print and broadcast mass media people, and influential professionals have yet to come up with even a whisper of a protest! This is in stark contrast to the outrage expressed over atrocities taking place in other areas of the world in the recent past, the terrorists' attacks on the U.S. on 01-09-11, and even national outrage expressed upon learning of the brutal death of journalist Daniel Pearl in Pakistan during the 3rd week of February 2002. Officials gave limited details of seeing on video the moment that Mr. Pearl was murdered by knife! But there is THE haunting question which is like a black cloud hanging over our culture -- why no outrage over atrocities taking place within our borders at the rate of over 3,700 or more and up to over 4,000 per day?

Mid December 2003 - Excitement and jubilation spread throughout the world upon the announcement that Saddam Hussein had been captured or "caught like a rat in a hole" as some enthusiastically phrased it! It is well documented that under Hussein's rule an extremely large number of atrocities were committed. President Bush had some comments to make including this one -- "...there needs to be a public trial, and all the atrocities need to come out." But don't hold your breath until he makes a similar issue about the atrocities being committed by the thousands each week on U.S. soil -- it amounts to about 100,000 per month!

And could it be in the view of Almighty God, atrocities involve not only the violent murder of adults and children outside the womb, but the millions who have been violently dismembered and destroyed within the womb as well?

Obviously there is a vast chasm existing between God's definition of the extent of atrocities and where the boundary lines are established as opposed to the badly distorted mindset of U.S. society -- U.S. citizens and their leaders make a grand exception in their definition of atrocities -- that exception is millions of unborn children!

None of us will want to be around when Almighty God corrects our limited definition of what atrocities include by way of human carnage!

In the meantime, may Almighty God, Who has a beautiful plan for every conceived human being (Psalm 139), do in His infinite power and wisdom whatever is necessary to bring ALL elected officials, church leaders, business and community leaders, the powerful and influential in the news media and entertainment industries, the professional fields of medicine, education, law, sociology, psychology, and all of us citizens to our knees in acknowledgement of our collective guilt in sanctioning atrocities on U.S. soil which have resulted in tens of millions of victims since January of 1973, and the urgent need to fully repent of further violent crimes committed against the unborn!

Unborn Babies Brutally
Mutilated and Murdered

since Roe vs. Wade
January 1973

Pause for 60 to 90 seconds and gaze at
the number and notice what happens!

February 2002

Clayton D. Harriger
Elder in Full Connection
Western PA Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church
and presently serving as pastor of
Gipsy Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Gipsy PA

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All of the above photos, except the last photo, are taken from posters which are copyrighted by The Center for Bio-Ethical Reform and are used with these folks' permission. The complete poster on moral wrong vs. constitutional right is also theirs and used with their permission. You can visit them at Center for Bio-Ethical Reform to better inform yourself of the significant work they are doing in the Genocide Awareness Project.

The last photo was obtained from the folks at

The following acknowledgement is made relative to that photo:
Photo Permissions: Special thanks to Human Life International,
American Portrait Films, Tidleweb & John Hart.

Copyright 2002 - 2007 Clayton D. Harriger