Another response to Adolf Hitler: A True American:
>> Hitler the good Pagan
"Adding to all this, was another new interest, the operas of German composer Richard Wagner. Hitler saw his first opera at age twelve and was immediately captivated by its Germanic music, pagan myths, tales of ancient Kings and Knights and their glorious struggles against hated enemies" <<
Where is this from?
>> The same article you showed me. The same one that later on documented how a lot of Christian churches were persecuted under Hitler. <<
Oh, okay. Among other things, Hitler's Rise to Power says:
The Nazis attempted to subordinate the Christian churches to their control.
Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892-1984)...and other dissident churchmen were imprisoned in concentration camps.
Controlling people so they don't protest is part of every good fascist's strategy. Hitler didn't want any Christians stating the obvious: that he was violating God's and Jesus's commandments. In other words, he opposed dissent, not religion.
As we know, Christian fundamentalists are quick to pass laws controlling the thoughts and actions of other Christians. So opposing Christianity in some ways doesn't prove anything. Hitler's persecution of Christians tell us nothing about whether he believed Christian dogma or considered himself a Christian.
If you use the same source I did to claim Hitler had pagan roots, you also must acknowledge Hitler's Christian roots. Author Meier had no problem saying Hitler loved pagan operas and church rituals and playing cowboys and Indians. I correctly summarized Meier's findings when I said Hitler was influenced by both the Bible and the American genocide against Indians.
More on Hitler's "pagan" roots
Christians largely composed the Germanic music, and from the early Middle Ages (Charlemagne) on, the Teutonic kings and knights were Christian kings and knights. Besides, many Christians myths are derived from pagan myths. And as I noted, if Hitler had a second or third source for his delusions of grandeur, that doesn't deny the first source.
I said in Multicultural Origins of Civilization that Western Civ has roots in Christianity, ancient Greece, and the Near East. If Hitler got his ideas from both pagan and Christian sources, my conclusion remains the same. "Hitler wasn't an aberration. He was the ultimate product of Western civilization, the über-American. We have met the enemy, and he was us."
The evidence for whether Hitler was a Christian or not is contradictory. Cecil Adams reviews it in The Straight Dope. One quote seems particularly telling to me:
In a speech delivered April 12, 1922, published in "My New Order," and quoted in Freethought Today (April 1990), Hitler said:
My feeling as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded only by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God's truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter.
Doug Krueger offers further evidence of Hitler's religious beliefs:
Copin' with Copan
The Defense of Zacharias that Fails
If the existence of one atheist Nazi shows some relationship between atheism and Nazism, imagine how much more of a relationship is demonstrated by the tens of thousands, if not millions, of xian Nazis. Xians typically deny that such people, Nazis, are really xians, but there is plenty of biblical support for such conduct. Hitler claimed to believe in the xian god and acted accordingly. He committed genocide in the grand tradition of Moses, Joshua, Saul, David and so on. Since the god of the bible ordered genocide, I challenge xian apologists, including Copan and Zacharias, to show conclusively that Hitler was not fulfilling god's will. It is unlikely that they will attempt to do so.
Interestingly, all my friends who've bothered to check out the hate-mongering pages on the Internet that promote Nazism and other forms of white racial superiority report that every one of them appeals to divine mandate in some form or another, usually by quoting the bible. This should be no surprise. After all, the god depicted in the bible openly advocates genocide (1 Samuel 15:2-3, Joshua 10:40, Deut. 2:31-34, and scores of other passages), racism (Matthew 15:21-28, Mark 7:24-30, and elsewhere), and the oppression of women (pretty much any verse in which women are mentioned), as did Hitler. If you want to look for logical relationships between worldviews and Nazism, xianity is the logical place to start. (Remember, young Hitler wanted to be a priest.) But enough on that topic. Zacharias and Copan have no case at all with regard to the philosophical influence of atheism on Nazism. Period.
Krueger challenges anyone to provide a shred of evidence that Hitler was an atheist rather than a deist, theist, or Christian. If you have such evidence, you may want to take him up on his challenge.
Until then, his point on Nazi Germany is unassailable. Regardless of what Hitler believed, the Nazis and other Germans who carried out the Holocaust were predominantly Christians. That makes the Holocaust the greatest example of Christian genocide in history.
The debate continues....
>> I already read [The Straight Dope]. Cecil Adams concluded Schicklegruber was being a politician, that is, he was sucking up to the masses. <<
I'd say Adams hypothesized Hitler was being a politician when he spoke of being a Christian. I wouldn't say Adams concluded it.
And Adams didn't hypothesize the other possibility: that Hitler attacked Christianity and Christians for political reasons. Don't think that's possible in a Christian country? Look at the battles between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland. Or between mainstream and fundamentalist Christians here over who should control the political agenda.
If Jesse Jackson bashes Jerry Falwell and his followers or vice versa, it doesn't mean the basher is anti-Christian. Far from it. It means the basher is trying to establish himself as more Christian than the people he's criticizing.
>> And we're supposed to take Hitler at his word? <<
Only when he indicated he was a Christian. Not when he indicated he wasn't. <g>
>> The World Church of the Creator is not atheist. <<
What's the relevance of this statement?
>> There are pleanty of Nazi groups that are into the occult. Himmler was heavily into the occult and consulted with Aleister Crowley regularly. Crowley (a British subject and the self-proclaimed "evilist man in the world") was in turn ran as a double agent for the Allies by one British intelligence officer named Ian Fleming. <<
Being into the occult and being Christian aren't incompatible, just as listening to pagan operas and being Christian aren't incompatible.
>> Verses that are taken out of context don't prove anything. <<
Their meaning is clear whether they're in context or out of it.
Bible readers don't have a direct line to God's "real" thinking. If God didn't express himself clearly and his followers misinterpreted his words, it's God's fault for dictating his message poorly. Perhaps he should hire a professional writer like me to revise his slipshod thinking.
>> But it isn't the logical place to finish. Young Stalin also wanted to be a priest, and well, we know he was an atheist. <<
Even atheists can be influenced by their Christian past. You're failing to distinguish between past influences and present beliefs. Unfortunately for you, they aren't the same thing.
>> Also, Brian Warner (aka Marilyn Manson) was raised in a Christian household, a fact that didn't stop him from becoming a priest in the church of satan. <<
There you go. A perfect example of what I mean. I'll bet he'd acknowledge the strong Christian influence on his present beliefs—if the whole "Church of Satan" thing isn't a marketing stunt.
>> I've never said Hitler was an atheist (even though he was into Nietsche), and I don't think any significant group of people have ever said that. I've said he was a pagan, and that he in the long run hated Christianity and Christians but that he couldn't do that much to them because there were too many of them. <<
The evidence that Hitler was a deist-style Christian (much like the Founding Fathers), and embraced Christianity as a belief or a tool, is at least as strong. And again, regardless of what Hitler thought about Christians, millions of his Nazi followers were card-carrying Christians. If Nazi leaders were into the occult, that was irrelevant to the masses and their orthodox beliefs.
P.S. Enjoy the top photograph. It's from the German Deacon Press and honors Germany's great Christian leader.
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