Tag Archives: Atheism

Was Hitler a Christian? Is Nazism similar to Christianity?

Muddling Towards Maturity links to a few articles by Jonah Goldberg, a Jewish author who wrote a lengthy history of fascism that was on the New York Times Bestseller list for several months. Since Goldberg is Jewish, I think it’s fair to say that we will get a unbiased answer to this question from someone who spent a lot of time studying it for his book.

Goldberg’s posts are here and here. He reproduces the FULL excerpts from his book Liberal Fascism that deal with the relationship between Hitler &  Christianity. I will be giving you excerpts from the excerpts, but you must click through to read the chapter.

So, let’s take a look at what Hitler actually did in his policies.

Let’s start with the first post.

1) Hitler wanted Christianity removed from the public square

Like the engineers of that proverbial railway bridge, the Nazis worked relentlessly to replace the nuts and bolts of traditional Christianity with a new political religion. The shrewdest way to accomplish this was to co-opt Christianity via the Gleichschaltung while at the same time shrinking traditional religion’s role in civil society.

Do you want Christianity removed from the public square? If so, then you are like Hitler.

Do you want to minimize Christianity’s role in civil society? If so, then you are like Hitler.

2) Hitler banned the giving of donations to churches

Hitler banned religious charity, crippling the churches’ role as a counterweight to the state. Clergy were put on government salary, hence subjected to state authority. “The parsons will be made to dig their own graves,” Hitler cackled. “They will betray their God to us. They will betray anything for the sake of their miserable little jobs and incomes.”

Do you want to ban charitable contributions to churches? If so, then you are like Hitler.

3) Hitler replaced Christian celebrations with celebrations of the state

Following the Jacobin example, the Nazis replaced the traditional Christian calendar. The new year began on January 30 with the Day of the Seizure of Power. Each November the streets of central Munich were dedicated to a Nazi Passion play depicting Hitler’s Beer Hall Putsch. The martyrdom of Horst Wessel and his “old fighters” replaced Jesus and the apostles. Plays and official histories were rewritten to glorify pagan Aryans bravely fighting against Christianizing foreign armies. Anticipating some feminist pseudo history, witches became martyrs to the bloodthirsty oppression of Christianity.

Do you want to replace Christian traditions and holidays with secular traditions and holidays? If so, then you are like Hitler.

4) Hitler favored the complete elimination of Christianity

When some Protestant bishops visited the Fuhrer to register complaints, Hitler’s rage got the better of him. “Christianity will disappear from Germany just as it has done in Russia . . . The Germanrace has existed without Christianity for thousands of years . . . and will continue after Christianity has disappeared . . . We must get used to the teachings of blood and race.”

Do you favor the complete elimination of Christianity? If so, then you are like Hitler.

5) Hitler favored the removal of mandatory prayers in schools

In 1935 mandatory prayer in school was abolished…

Do you favor the removal of prayer from schools? If so, then you are like Hitler.

6) Hitler favored the banning of Christmas carols and nativity plays

…and in 1938 carols and Nativity plays were banned entirely.

Do you favor the banning of Christmas carols and nativity plays? If so, then you are like Hitler.

7) Hitler abolished religious instruction for children

By 1941 religious instruction for children fourteen years and up had been abolished altogether….

Do you favor abolishing religious instruction for children? If so, then you are like Hitler.

(Now we are on to the second post)

8) Hitler opposed the ideas of universal truth and objective moral absolutes

…Just as the Nazi attack on Christianity was part of a larger war on the idea of universal truth, whole postmodern cosmologies have been created to prove that traditional religious morality is a scam, that there are no fixed truths or “natural” categories, and that all knowledge is socially constructed.

Do you oppose the idea of universal truth? If so, then you are like Hitler.

Do you oppose the idea of objective moral absolutes? If so, then you are like Hitler.

One more that Goldberg doesn’t mention

Hitler was against homsechooling and school choice. He favored compulsory government-run (public) schools.

“The Youth of today is ever the people of tomorrow. For this reason we have set before ourselves the task of innoculating our youth with the spirit of this community of the people at a very early age, at an age when human beings are still unperverted and therefore unspoiled. This Reich stands, and it is building itself up for the future, upon its youth. And this new Reich will give its youth to no one, but will itself take youth and give to youth its own education and its own upbringing.”

Do you oppose homeschooling and school choice? If so, then you are like Hitler.

Conclusion

It doesn’t rally matter what a person says in his public speeches, because politicians lie all the time in order to get votes from particular groups, or to maintain their popularity. We need to look at what policies a politician actually enacts to see what he really believes. For example, Barack Obama had a number of pro-life advertisements during his campaign, but he is the most pro-abortion President ever in his actual policies.

Adolf Hitler was a man influenced by two big ideas: evolution and socialism. His party was the national SOCIALIST party. He favored a strong role for the state in interfering with the free market. He was in favor of regulating the the family so that the state could have a bigger influence on children. And he favored the idea of survival of the fittest. His ideas are 100% incompatible with Christianity and capitalism, two ideas which fit together hand in glove.

How about you? Do you lean to the left in your politics? Did you vote for fiscally-liberal Democrats who redistribute wealth from “the greedy rich” to the deserving poor by government coercion? Do you believe in evolution?

Does your belief system ground inalienable rights, including the right to life, which would make mass murder irrational? Christianity says that all men are made in the image of God, for the purpose of knowing God. Do you believe that? Or do you believe that we are just bundles of molecules here by accident?

Further study

I did a series of posts a while back that asked the question: is morality compatible with atheism? Do concepts like moral values, moral duties, free will, moral accountability, and moral significance rationally grounded by atheism?

I did a comparison of a consistent authentic Christian, William Wilberforce, with a consistent authentic evolutionist, Adolf Hitler. These two are totally opposed in every way, because their worldviews are diametrically opposed. Another prominent Christian at the time, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, also opposed Hitler and was executed for his part in a plot to assassinate Hitler.

In another post, I asked whether Christians or atheists are more responsible for the mass murders of history. I did the body count and the analysis of worldviews to determine which worldview doesn’t oppose the murder of millions of innocent people.

In another post, I looked at the ideas that kill millions of innocent people, including economic theories, scientific theories and social theories. Is there a common denominator between these ideas that have killed millions of people?

Here is an audio lecture by Jay Richards on the “Myths Christians Believe about Wealth and Poverty“. His new book is called “Money, Greed and God: Why Capitalism is the Solution and Not the Problem”. To understand what capitalism is, you can watch this lecture about the book. Here is a series of 4 sermons by Wayne Grudem on the relationship between Christianity and economics?.(a PDF outline is here)

Why won’t Christians defend their faith in public?

UPDATE: The Pugnacious Irishman has linked to me! Thank you for the link Rich! EVERYONE: GO READ HIS POST RIGHT NOW!

UPDATE: Neil Simpson has a debate going on about whether faith is opposed to reason. 50+ comments so far.

Shout out: Brian Auten of Apologetics 315 helped me to make this post nicer. He’s much nicer than I am.

I would like to describe a situation that arises frequently that concerns me. The situation I describe below brings out a flaw I see in the way that rank-and-file Christians respond to criticisms of Christianity in the public square.

Here is the situation

Eve is busy programming away at her desk, rushing to check in her unit tests so she can spend her lunch hour reading the latest Stephenie Meyer horror novel, or looking through an Avon catalog. Suddenly Eve hears Alice talking to Bob on the other side of her cube. She stops typing to listen to the following unencrypted conversation.

Alice: I was watching a documentary on the Discovery Channel last night that said that the universe has always existed, so there is no God!

Bob: I was watching a documentary on PBS last night showing simulations of how the first life started on Earth! God didn’t do it!

Alice: I saw “Inherit the Spin” on the weekend! The only reason people oppose evolution is because of the Bible! Not because of science!

Bob: I’m going to see “The Va Dinci Code” this weekend! It says that the Gospels are unreliable and that Jesus didn’t even die on the cross!

Alice: I just bought the latest Dichard Rawkins book “Christians Should Be Fed to Lions and the Bible Should Be Burned”!

Bob: I will read that as soon as I finish Histopher Chritchens’ book “Why God is the Evilest, Stupidest Person in the World”!

Eve double-majored in business and computer science at the Indian Institute of Technology, and has an MBA from the London School of Economics. She has spent a ton of time, effort and money studying very difficult subjects for her job, and she even publishes research. She works full-time and runs her own business part-time, and earns about 200K per year. She lives in a huge house, drives a huge car, and goes on vacation abroad to all the best vacation spots.

Eve thinks she is a Christian. She has attended church since childhood, her husband is a church elder and she sings in the church choir. She reads the Bible and prays. She gives money to the poor. She teaches Sunday school to children.  She has even read all of the Narnia novels three times!

But even though God is being maligned in Alice and Bob’s conversation, Eve is not going to stand up to defend God’s reputation to them, (or even to her own children, who are both committed atheists).

Why won’t Eve stand?

I am wondering if anyone can explain to me why it is that most church Christians are not able or not willing to make a public defense when God’s reputation is called into question. It seems to me that there are two bad effects that follow from Eve’s unwillingness to stand up and invite Alice and Bob to lunch so that she can address their questions and concerns.

1) God’s reputation is being trashed by Alice and Bob on the basis of lies they’ve swallowed from pop culture. These lies about God’s existence and character could be easily corrected with a minimal amount of study, which Eve is capable of.  If someone said similar lies about her husband or children, she would speak up, but she won’t speak up for God.

2) Alice and Bob are bound for Hell unless someone cares enough to correct their mistaken beliefs, which, along with their sinfulness, is what is keeping them from a relationship with God that would go on in Heaven. If Eve’s husband or children were mistakenly about to drink poison thinking it was Aspirin, then Eve would speak up. But to save her co-workers from Hell, she won’t speak up.

Eve is capable of studying to defend the faith, because of her great success in other areas where so much time and effort were required to master difficult material. So why has she not applied herself to answering public challenges to her Christian faith from her professors, teachers, actors, the media, politicians, scientists, historians, etc.?

It seems to me that if she did spend some time studying, and then made her defense to her co-workers, then two things would follow:

D1) Eve would be demonstrating her love for God and her friendship with God by protecting his reputation when it is called into question by unbelievers in public settings. That’s what friends do – if Eve wanted to be God’s friend, she would care that no one believed lies about him and told lies about him in public settings.

D2) Eve would be demonstrating her love for her neighbor if she was able to correct some of these false beliefs, such as that the universe is eternal, or that a historical case cannot be made for the resurrection, or that evil is not compatible with theism. It’s important for Alice and Bob to know that Christianity is not stupid.

So why is it that Eve is able to go to church for 20 years, sing in the choir, read the Bible, read the Narnia stories, pray on her knees, and yet still be unwilling to do the best thing for God and the best thing for her neighbor?

Questions for my readers

Can anyone help me to understand why Christians are willing to accept this? Why is this not being addressed by churches?

Do you have an experience where a Christian group stifled apologetics? Tell me about that, and why do you think they would do that, in view of the situation I outlined above? My experience is that atheists (as much as I tease them) are FAR more interested in apologetics than church Christians. Why is that?

My answers

My answers to these problems are given in the following previous posts.

In general:

Also, this debate I blogged about before talks about postmodernism and relativism, which has infected the church and has an impact on this question of whether we will study and defend our beliefs in public. I highly recommend giving it a listen – you will learn something about how we got to this point.

Disclaimer:

I want to clear that this is a problem for male and female Christians. I have seen it manifested by equal numbers of men and women in leadership roles. I picked these names because there is a running gag in computer network security where these names are used to describe the actors. Eve is the eavesdropping hacker, get it?

Does legalized abortion increase or decrease child abuse?

Neil Simpson has created a round-up of links on his blog. All the stories in his round-up are interesting, but this one by Randy Alcorn caught my eye. It’s entitled “The Rise of Child Abuse as a Result of Abortion”. You have to skip down a bit to get to the main point as he first talks for a while about his evil twin.

Here is his thesis:

My belief is that when people believe it’s okay to kill a child before he’s born, because an adult has rights over his life, then inevitably it will become more acceptable to beat him up once he’s born.

And here is his proof:

In 1973, when abortion was first legalized, United States child abuse cases were estimated at 167,000 annu­ally. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, approximately 903,000 children were victims of abuse during 2001, a number more than five times greater.

Obviously, this is not counting the 49 million murders of actual children.

Now you might say: “Wintery! Doesn’t abortion decrease child abuse by eliminating unwanted children?”.

Randy says no:

University of Southern California professor Edward Lenoski conducted a landmark study of 674 abused chil­dren. He discovered that 91 percent of the parents admitted they wanted the child they had abused.

“Studies indicate that child abuse is more frequent among mothers who have previously had an abortion.” Dr. Philip Ney’s studies indicate that this is partially due to the guilt and depression caused by abortion, which hinders the mother’s ability to bond with future children. He documents that having an abortion decreases a parent’s natural restraint against feelings of rage toward small children.

The attitude that results in abortion is exactly the same attitude that results in child abuse. Furthermore, if she doesn’t abort, the mother can look at her difficult three­-year-old and think, “I had the right to abort you.” The child owes her everything; she owes the child nothing. This causes resentment of demands requiring parental sacrifice. Even if subconscious, the logic is inescapable: If it was all right to kill the same child before birth, surely it’s all right to slap him around now.

I think we need to realize what is going through the mind of young women: they want to be happy and they are willing to murder innocent children in order to secure their own happiness. They do not see why anyone else’s rights should limit their own pursuit of happiness. After all, it’s survival of the fittest. The majority of single women are pro-abortion. They believe that their own happiness matters more than moral values and moral duties.

Consider how women voted in 2008:

Unmarried women supported Barack Obama by a 70-to-29 percent margin, and they voted for Democratic House candidates by a similar margin — 64-to-29 percent. These margins mean that unmarried women edged out both younger voters and Hispanic voters as the demographic with the strongest support for President-elect Obama. These unmarried women voters joined with younger voters and people of color to create what GQR calls a “new American electorate” — voters with a decided preference for liberal candidates.

Overall, women strongly supported Senator Obama over Senator McCain (56 percent for Obama, 43 percent for McCain). Men split their votes about evenly between the two presidential candidates, with 49 percent for Obama and 48 percent for McCain.

Obama is the most pro-abortion President there has ever been.

In my series of posts on atheism and morality, I explain why moral relativism is the result of atheism. If you want to stop abortion, there are two things to do. 1) You need to start convincing women that God exists, that objective morality is real, and that moral obligations trump the pursuit of selfish happiness. 2) You need to vote to cut off all taxpayer subsidies for pre-marital sex; sex education, contraception, single motherhood and abortion.

Debate: Must morality be grounded by God?

“Unbelievable”, is a show broadcast every Saturday in the UK. Every week, they feature a debate between a Christian and a non-Christian. The debate this week was on the moral argument, which argues that meaningful morality, including free will, human rights, moral rules, moral obligations, and moral significance, must be grounded in God.

THIS IS A MUST-LISTEN.

The debate starts a bit into the podcast, after they review audience reactions to last week and preview the next week’s topic.

Here is the link to the podcast. (MP3 audio)

If you have trouble with that link, try here instead.

The atheist Paul Orton argues this:

  • no moral absolutes
  • morality is a set evolved conventions
  • the set varies by time and place

The Christian David Robertson argues this:

  • morality is meaningless unless there are moral absolutes
  • cultural relativism doesn’t rationally ground moral judgments
  • the Bible does not teach that slavery is good

One of the best parts of the debate is when David contrasts H.G. Wells, an atheistic socialist who embraced socialism and fascism as a natural extension of his atheism, and a Christian, William Wilberforce who spent over two decades of his life trying to free the slaves in the UK.

This debate can be seen as an illustration of the thesis that I advanced in my series of posts on atheism and morality, in which I argued that atheism does not ground the minimal requirements for rational morality.

Further resources

This page contains a link to an excellent lecture on the ontological foundations of rational morality, as well as a number of debates between Christians and atheists on whether morality is rationally grounded by the worldview of atheism. And you can find some other apologetics posts here, including an article on whether the the moral statements of atheists are even intelligible, on atheism.

The best book ever written on this topic is Greg Koukl and Francis J. Beckwith’s “Relativism: Feet Firmly Planted in Mid-Air“. You can see Greg deliver a lecture about relativism to an audience of students and faculty at UCLA (MP3 audio here). If you want to read something free on the web that explains the problems with moral relativism, which is the view of morality that is grounded by atheism, look here.

Does the Cambrian explosion disprove Darwinian evolution?

I made you all suffer this week by reading two long posts on the origin of life:

So now I’m going to be nice and let you learn about the Cambrian explosion through videos! Yeah! Because it’s Friday.

What is the Cambrian explosion?

Same story as always. Primitive tribes of atheists living during pre-scientific times naively attributed the diversity of life to the Flying Spaghetti Monster’s noodly appendage, working over billions of years. But then science progressed, discoveries were made, and all rational people accepted that virtually all the basic body plans emerged, fully-formed, in a 3-5 million year period, about 540 million years ago. And no new body plans have emerged since.

The best explanation of the sudden origin of nearly all animal body plans in the blink of an eye is that an intelligent designer provided the required software code for all of these brand new body plans. New instructions, like new Java code or new English sentences, require an intelligent cause. Period.

Part 1: (7:50)

Part 2: (3:25)

Yes, the people in the videos have Ph.Ds from Cambridge, Yale, Berkeley, etc. They are much smarter than any atheists, and they win any debates with atheists that dare to debate them. (Which is why atheists prefer censorship instead of debate, and blind faith instead of evidence)

Don’t worry, if you are an atheist, I’m sure that the noodly appendage of the hopeful Flying Spaghetti Monster will eventually overturn decades of scientific progress very soon, and then you can be comfortable avoiding moral obligations, being self-centered, thinking you are better than other people, and pursuing happy feelings at the expense of the liberties and rights of other people.

Further study

Advanced students can read more about the Cambrian explosion a published peer-reviewed book chapter (Michigan State University Press, 2003) or in a peer-reviewed research paper (Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 2007).

If you are totally lost on the question of origins, you can watch two DVDs that are now online at Youtube. Both videos are by Illustra Media. This is the place for complete beginners to get started.

Here are the 2 playlists: