Thursday, September 07, 2006

Hitler the what?

The airing of Darwin's Deadly Legacy has reignited debate over Hitler's religious views. Of course, public pro-Christian pronouncements by Hitler are well-documented. However, I found out through a recent post at Christian CADRE that CADRE's got a page dedicated to refuting this "This guilt-by-association argument." Funny way to lable it, because the only time I've heard anyone say that Hilter was a Christian is when an atheist or agnostic is responding to the "atheism caused the Holocaust" arguments. A recommended link from that page is Christian, Atheist, or Neither?, which notes that Hitler's public statements aren't necessarily in accord with his private beliefs as found in collections such as Table Talk. Then again, we have Steven Carr using Table Talk to show that Hitler wasn't exactly a fan of the modern scientific worldview.

It's even more complicated than that, though. In an article in German Studies Review, Richard Carrier has noted serious discrepencies among various editions of Table Talk. (See Wikipedia and Carrier's publication lists. Carrier's article is recommended for those who have access to German Studies.) In particular, many main anti-Christian quotes in Table Talk seemed to have been added by a neo-Nazi who put together one edition. Furthermore, all editions contain a quote claiming that Jesus was an Aryan whose techings were abused by the Jew Paul in the service of "proto-bolshevism."

What can we conclude from this? Hitler seems to have had a bizzare mix of beliefs not in accord with orthodox Christianity, but which nonetheless affirmed the existence of God and the authority of Jesus. Neither atheism or Christianity provided direct support for his actions.

Whenever the "atheism caused the Holocaust" line comes up, it's worth pointing out that Hitler was no atheist. However, I wouldn't worry about that too much. It would be sufficient to say, "So what? Aquinas, Luther, and Calvin were Christians." Actually, it would be enough to say, "The Bible was written by Christians and Jews," as the Bible endoreses the full slate of Nazi crimes: killing dissidents, killing homosexuals, and genocide.

7 comments:

BK said...

Hallq,

Really now, I thought you were more level-headed than this. ". . . the Bible endoreses the full slate of Nazi crimes: killing dissidents, killing homosexuals, and genocide." Obviously, you know that such a reading of the Bible is, to say the least, wooden. Why not stop throwing barbs at strawmen and talk about real Christian teachings as understood in the larger Biblical context?

Steven Carr said...

Will BK step up to the plate and publically condemn the killing of the Amalekites and Midianites, as being not consistent with real Christian teachings as understood in the larger Biblical context?

Layman said...

Agreed, BK.

I'm not sure how you get to "Hitler was a Christian" by claiming he believed Jesus was an arayan whose teachings were corrupted by Paul. Christainity affirms the authority of Jesus and Paul as one of Jesus' Apostles.

Obviously Hiter believed in a confused mixmash of social darwinism, unscientific evolutionary racism, and beliefs about the supernatural.

Hal, do you claim it was those Biblical passages to which you cite that caused the holocaust? Or are you advocating taking cheap shots against someone who takes a cheap shot in alleging Hitler was an atheist?

Steven Carr said...

Will Layman step up to the plate and publically condemn the killing of the Amalekites and Midianites, as being not consistent with real Christian teachings as understood in the larger Biblical context?

Or does he think it right to think that a whole group of men , women and children should be killed, because he has read a book saying that they are evil?

Hallq said...

Layman-

1) I already said that Hitler's beliefs don't fit with orthodox Christianity.

2) I am neither saying that the Bible caused the Holocaust nor advocating cheap shots. Anyone who thinks the Bible is inerrant and then uses the Holocaust to attack those who don't should be ready to explain why the Holocaust was a bad thing but the cited passages in the Bible aren't bad things.

beepbeepitsme said...

My understanding is that hitler blamed the jews for the death of jesus and that Matthew 27:24-25 was the pasage used to justify the nazi killing of jews.

24 "When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. "I am innocent of this man's blood," he said. "It is your responsibility!"

25 "All the people answered, "Let his blood be on us and on our children!"

This particular passage and others have had the catholic church revising what is literally true and what isn't.

On October 05, 2005, catholic bishops said these and other words must never be used again as a pretext to treat Jewish people with contempt.

The bishops described this passage as an example of dramatic exaggeration, and said that there have been 'tragic consequences' in encouraging hatred and persecution.

Hitler was certainly no atheist, and the people who went to war under the nazi flag were not atheists either. Like most nations in europe at that time, germany consisted of people who were predominately catholic and protestant.

Catholic Church no longer swears by truth of the Bible
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,13509-1811332,00.html

Nathan said...

Hey buddy. The bible is split into two sections and accordances of what believers of Christ were doing, and supposed to do before the resurection. These consist of the Old and New testament.
Before Jesus was crucified, we had to pay the penalty of what sin we had commited. This falls in line with the standard of the Old Testament. When Jesus was crucified, he took that penalty to the cross so that we would not have to live with the bondage of sin, this lines up to the New Testament. Therefore which section of the Bible endoreses, "the full slate of Nazi crimes killing dissidents, killing homosexuals, and genocide." ? Come on man, Christ died on the cross so we did not have to go out and slay a whole race because they are worshipping another god(example)