Jeff Jacoby tells readers of the Boston Globe that "Not all tidings are of great joy." The article is an excellent reminder of persecution of Christians by false religions of violence.
How can we rid the world of violent religious fanaticism? Presidents Bush and Obama believe that lethal violence dished out against innocent peasants by heavily armed soldiers and predator drones will convert violent religionists into Mother Teresas.
In contrast, America's Founding Fathers believed that the answer to barbaric religions was Christian evangelism. Instead of bombing Native American terrorists "back to the Stone Age," the Founders sent missionaries.
This would have been a better policy in Iraq, back when Iraq had a "secular" government where Christian missionaries had freedom to evangelize, before the U.S federal government turned Iraq into an Islamic theocracy, killing or making homeless hundreds of thousands of Christians.
Before the coming of Jesus Christ, the world was dominated by terrorists like Bush and Obama. Only worse. Much worse. In the world before Christmas, nobody could have imagined a day when billions of human beings would inhabit the earth, without fearing that they would each soon die a violent death. The coming of Christ has meant a decline in the initiation of force.
Some would give credit for this to "a state with a monopoly on violence":
Eisner and Elias attribute the decline in European homicide to the transition from knightly warrior societies to the centralized governments of early modernity. And, today, violence continues to fester in zones of anarchy, such as frontier regions, failed states, collapsed empires, and territories contested by mafias, gangs, and other dealers of contraband.
But "contraband" is something created by States. And these "zones of anarchy" are zones of peace and non-violence compared to zones of centralized government, the killing fields, gulags, concentration camps, and the "military-industrial complex" of the State that have murdered hundreds of millions of people in the last century.
James Payne suggests another reason for the decline in violence. "Life was once very cheap."
By His incarnation and death, Christ taught us that human beings have value.
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.