Another response to Adolf Hitler: A True American:
>> In his many quoted religious statements [Hitler] never referred to any of the most basic doctrines such as the resurrection of Christ from the dead, the Trinity, eternal life and forgiveness of sins through Christ, and so on. <<
Many of the Founding Fathers didn't talk about these things either, but they were basically Christians.
>> For a brief overview of these topics I have a short website, www.ourchurch.com/member/b/bedford. A much longer analysys is at www.bedfordgaol.com <<
Okay, I'll look at it when I have time.
>> Also, a few references to "God" do not make one a Christian. <<
A few attacks on churches don't make one an anti-Christian. Catholics and Protestants have been warring with each other for centuries, but both claim to be upholding the faith.
>> The Christian message, which is higher, fuller, and more complete than that given to the Jews in 1500 BC allows for no such thing. <<
And yet, Christians have massacred many, many people throughout the ages. Why should Hitler be any different?
The debate continues (9/6/05)....
Re Christianity & Hitler:
>> II. Many of Hitler's comments were politically motivated, insincere, and often blatantly dishonest. <<
This applies to most conservatives in America, yet they all claim to be good Christians.
>> III. Mere references to God, Providence, the Lord, and so on do not constitute Christianity. <<
Making references to God certainly doesn't make one a non-Christian or an atheist. References to God tend to support a belief in Christianity, even if they don't prove it.
>> IV. Hitler's policy toward the churches after coming to power was not one of respect, sympathy, and mutual belief. <<
The same could be said of many Christian authorities throughout history. Again, all these authorities claimed to be good Christians.
>> V. Hitler's life and actions were blatantly contrary to the teachings of Christ and apostles. <<
Again, this applies to most conservatives in America, yet they all claim to be good Christians.
>> VI. Hitler's intellectual antecedents are clearly visible in the writings of 19th-century German thinkers all of whom expressly and vehemently rejected Christianity. <<
Some of Hitler's antecedents are clearly visible in Christianity. As I wrote:
Hitler was intimately familiar with Christian doctrine from his early life in Lambach, Austria. As David A. Meier writes in Hitler's Rise to Power:
"There was an old Catholic Benedictine monastery in the town. The ancient monastery was decorated with carved stones and woodwork that included several swastikas. Adolf attended school there and saw them every day. They had been put there in the 1800's by the ruling Abbot as a pun or play on words. His name essentially sounded like the German word for swastika, Hakenkreuz."
Conclusion: Unless you have a quote from Hitler explicitly repudiating Christianity and explicitly embracing another creed, all you have is speculation.
>> About the Israelites massacring the Canaanites, that was a one time only event confined to the land of Canaan. <<
There are many quotes in the Bible about the Israelites being the chosen people. The one I gave was merely an example. And it referred to the Israelites driving out the people of seven nations, not just the Canaanites.
>> The Christian message, which is higher, fuller, and more complete than that given to the Jews in 1500 BC allows for no such thing. <<
Ever hear of the Crusades? The Inquisition? The Euro-American campaign against the Indians? FDR's turning away of the Jewish refugee ships? George W. Bush's unjustified war on Iraq? Which of these acts is compatible with Jesus's message?
The debate continues (9/9/05)....
>> I don't know about all of the founders, but I did some research on Franklin, Washington, and Jefferson and feel safe in saying they were not Christians. <<
Here's a site that addresses the question more directly:
Our Founding Fathers were not Christians
One could argue whether deism and Christianity overlap. There are many forms of Christianity, including ones in which people deny the divinity of Christ.
But some of the Founding Fathers were clearly Christians, not just deists. If one stretches the Founding Fathers to include the Pilgrims, they were definitely Christians.
>> Jefferson himself plainly said "I am a Christian" in a letter to Dr. Benjamin Rush <<
There you go. That would seem to be the end of story where Jefferson is concerned.
>> but in his Syllabus of an Estimate of the Merit of the Doctrines of Jesus, Compared with Those of Others openly rejected some of the key elements of Christianity. <<
Every Christian sect rejects key elements of others. Protestants reject key elements of Catholicism, for instance. Some Catholics would say Protestants aren't full-fledged Christians.
Your argument that Hitler wasn't Christian because he doesn't meet someone's definition is weak if not nonexistent. You might as well give it up. There's no authority who determines who is or isn't a Christian. There's no test that proves who is or isn't a Christian. A Christian is anyone who believes he's living according to the tenets of Christ, whether you believe he is or not.
>> Washington's refusal to comment in any significant way on his beliefs or doctrines is not the mark of a Christian. <<
You're wasting your time looking for "marks" of Christianity. You can't define a Christian by anything except some belief in the life or teachings of Jesus:
Chris·ti·an·i·ty Audio pronunciation of "christianity" ( P ) Pronunciation Key (krsch-n-t, krst-) n.
1. The Christian religion, founded on the life and teachings of Jesus.
>> Many people claim to be Christians, but are not. <<
Wrong. They are if they say they are. You're not the judge of them and neither am I. Their self-definition as Christians is what matters.
>> Some of them are lying for some advantage, some sincerely believe they are Christians but miss the basic teachings and go against all that a Christian should be. <<
That means they're bad Christians, not non-Christians. Just like Hitler and George W. Bush.
The whole point of Christianity is that people are bad but can redeem themselves and go to heaven by accepting God and Jesus. The point is not that Christians are perfect because they invariably follow Jesus's teachings.
In other words, "bad" Christians are necessary for Christianity to operate. They're a fundamental part of the religion. If there weren't any flawed Christians to redeem, Christianity would go out of business.
Too cruel to be Christian?
>> When it comes to Hitler, however, his cruelty, viciousness, brutality were so directly contrary to the teachings of Christ and the apostles (as were the Crusades and the Inquisition) and his basic doctrines of racial supremacy and life as a pitiless struggle were so antithetical to the biblical message, that even if he said he were a Christian 1,000 times over it would not help him. <<
"Help him" what? If he thought he was a Christian—some perverted form of a Christian, to be sure—he was one. Christians have been cruel, vicious, and brutal throughout history, yet "good" Christians haven't judged them or thrown them out of church. How could they, when their monarchs and popes were among the "bad" ones?
If the church accepted them, if it didn't throw them out, they were acceptable Christians by definition. They met the standard of the church and their fellow Christians.
Jesus didn't turn away people who failed or faltered in their behavior. He forgave them and gave them another chance. Message: "Bad" behavior isn't a bar to being a Christian.
>> The bible plainly teaches in more than one place that murderers will not go to heaven, no matter if they are baptized as infants and go to church every day of the year. <<
Many Christians plainly violate the Bible, yet they remain church members and Christians in good standing.
>> Have the Catholics and Protestant been warring with each other in America? <<
Americans discriminated against Catholics until the 1950s or 1960s. Many voters weren't sure if John F. Kennedy would take orders from the Pope or not.
>> They have been fighting in Ireland <<
Yes. More important, they warred throughout Europe from the Reformation period through the 19th century.
>> It is basically a nationalistic struggle, with an added complication added by the Catholic-Protestant split, but the root of the conflict is political and national. <<
So? These are details compared to the overall point. Christians who are supposed to "love thy neighbor" instead have gone to war with each other and with non-Christians. Their reasons range from self-righteous superiority to naked ambition—all prohibited by the Bible. America's imperialist attack on Iraq is just the latest example of this.
>> Who have the Christians massacred? <<
Are you kidding? Muslims during the Crusades. Africans during the slave trade. Jews in Nazi Germany. (Whatever you think of Hitler, the Germany people were staunch Christians.) Native Americans for the first 400 years of our history.
>> I believe the Roman Catholic Church to be a false and evil church, concerned mainly with money and power. <<
You can believe what you want, but your opinion doesn't transform them from Christians into non-Christians. They define who meets their standard of Christianity, not you.
>> Thus the Crusades, the Inquisitions, the conquest of the New World, all of the horrors and brutalities wrought in the name of Catholicism are directly against the teachings of Christ. <<
That's my point, not yours. Christians, including Nazis like Hitler, have done terrible things in the name of God and Jesus.
>> You might point to the massacres of the Indians, but was this done in the name of Christ, or in the name of land and territory? <<
Both. See Those Evil European Invaders for more information.
>> Countless wars have been fought all over the world for the sake of territory for thousands of years. This is human nature, not caused by Christianity. <<
It's religious nature, perhaps, if not Christian nature. Every society that ever went to war considered itself justified for religious or philosophical reasons.
>> As to those who call themselves Christians but do a lot of evil, they will be dealt with on an individual basis on the day of judgement. Again, the bible says murderers will not inherit the kingdom of God. <<
The Bible says Noah saved all the animals on his ark, but science has proved that to be false. The Bible is full of things that aren't true, in case you didn't know.
The debate continues (10/18/05)....
Our correspondent offers a Biblical verse (1 Corinthians 5:11) to bolster his claim:
>> But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. <<
Great. So no one can live up to Jesus's standard. Meaning Jesus was the only true Christian. Because if we threw out everyone who ever fornicated, coveted, or railed, that would include pretty much everyone.
This definition of Christianity is worthless because it means there's literally never been any Christians. According to you, the people who claimed to be Christians weren't Christians because they failed to heed Jesus's words. Therefore, the religion died with Jesus, the first and last person to meet its standards.
Since most people would say people have been Christians despite fornicating, coveting, or railing, your definition of Christianity is wrong. Your definition of who is a Christian is at odds with what the stewards and practitioners of Christianity believe. They're correct because they define who belongs to their religion.
If it doesn't match what the Bible says, well, that's irrelevant. As I thought I explained, a Christian is someone who follows the teachings of Christ, not someone who believes the Bible is the word of God. Many good Christians don't believe parts of the Bible because the Bible doesn't define Christianity. Only Jesus's teachings do.
The debate continues (12/12/05)....
>> Christians are flawed and imperfect, but they are not supposed to have sin dominate their lives. They are supposed to have the victory over sin. They can err and make mistakes, but sin is not the controlling power in their lives. <<
As I said, there's no official definition of what makes a Christian, much less a good Christian. This sounds like your interpretation of what a Christian is.
Again, Christians are people who follow Jesus's teachings. Bad Christians (like Hitler and Bush) are people who follow Jesus's teachings badly.
>> Paul was saying that if someone who claims to be a Christian is living an openly wicked life we should not tolerate it or condone it. <<
For the most part, we didn't tolerate or condone Hitler's behavior. Or the behavior of millions of German Christians who collaborated with the Nazi regime and persecuted Jews.
>> About living up to Jesus' standard, the verse you mentioned refers to fornication, covetousness, idolatry, railing, drunkenness, extortion. <<
I believe you mentioned that verse first. I think many sins are worse than fornicating or drinking. Launching an immoral war under false pretenses that kills 30,000+ civilians and 2,000+ soldiers, for instance.
>> The true definition of Christianity is in Romans chapt. 8. <<
Is it? Says who?
Paul is merely interpreting Jesus's teachings. Jesus is the only one who can define the requirements of his religion.
>> Someone is a Christian that has received the Spirit of God, and has the Spirit of God (the Spirit of Christ, same thing) dwelling in them. <<
Unless Hitler explicitly denied having the "Spirit of God" in him, you don't know what he was thinking. Like every other self-deluded Christian throughout history, he may have thought he was doing God's work.
>> There are many different ideas of what a Christian is, different definitions. <<
There you go. That was my point. Some of these definitions fit Hitler.
>> But the bible teaches we will stand before Christ and give account for our lives. he will know who believed in him and who didn't, who loved him and who didn't. <<
Great. So God, if he exists, judged Hitler after his death and presumably rejected him. It doesn't change the fact that Hitler may have considered himself a Christian during life.
>> That is, if the bible is not reliable, if it is full of mistakes and errors, then it is not from God, not trustworthy. <<
Well, it definitely is full of mistakes and errors, as scholars have shown. Does that mean it isn't trustworthy?
>> Paul refers to the book of Genesis to explain how sin came into the world. If his teachnig about how sin came into the world isn't true, how can we have any confidence in his explanation of the remedy for sin? <<
I don't have any confidence in him or his fairy tales. Nothing in the Bible is certifiably true except the rough outlines of Middle Eastern history and geography.
>> If the bible is not historically accurate and credible, all of Christianity falls to the ground. <<
Yes...so? It's no skin off my nose if Christianity "falls to the ground."
>> I would say someone who does not recognize the voice of God in the bible, all of the bible, doesn't have the Spirit of God to begin with. <<
Again, unless Hitler said something explicitly, you don't know whether he recognized the "voice of God in the Bible."
>> Many Christians ignore any bible verse they don't like. <<
All Christians do that. No one follows the Bible to the letter.
You don't obey all the laws in Leviticus, do you? No, of course not. You pick and choose which ones are convenient for you.
>> If the bible says something they like, it's the word of God. If it says somethnig they don't like, they either ignore it or explain it away with clever interpretations. <<
Since that's the approach every Christian takes, I'm sure Hitler took it too.
The debate continues (2/7/06)....
>> The bible says a woman does not have to marry, but if she does marry she should stay at home, take care of the kids, and be obedient to her husband. <<
Repeat: Nothing in the Bible is certifiably true except the rough outlines of Middle Eastern history and geography. Not that feminism is relevant to this debate, of course.
>> I agree with all of that, think it is the word of God, and feel that the entire women's lib movement has been one big mistake. <<
What you think or feel is generally irrelevant to this debate.
>> One reason the Christian churches are so shallow and weak today is that they are ignoring or explaining away many bible verses because they believe in feminism first and Christianity second. <<
Untrue and irrelevant.
>> Looking at your comments, you said "there's no official definition of what makes a Christian, much less a good Christian. This sounds like your interpretation of what a Christian is."
James says that the wisdom that comes from above is peaceable, gentle, full of mercy and good fruits, while the wisdom that is from below has strife and every evil work. <<
I thought I explained that you can't quote or cite the Bible to prove the Bible's validity.
If you're concerned about strife, you'd be denouncing the warmongers in the current administration. They launched a preemtive war with no justification and have killed some 30,000 civilians so far.
Let me repeat the following:
A Christian is someone who follows the teachings of Christ, not someone who believes the Bible is the word of God. Many good Christians don't believe parts of the Bible because the Bible doesn't define Christianity. Only Jesus's teachings do.
>> Also, Hitler never mentioned any of the basic doctrines, such as the resurrection of the dead, heaven, hell, the trinity, Christ the Son of God dying as a sacrifice for the sins of the world — what kind of Christianity is that? <<
Christians don't necessarily believe in Hell or the Holy Trinity. More important, unless Hitler specifically denied believing in these things, his silence doesn't tell us anything. Many Christians keep their views to themselves.
>> We should not condone people who claim to be Christians but practive evil. <<
You and your fellow Christians are the ones who condone the behavior of "bad" Christians, not me. Why are you so certain Hitler was not a Christian but George W. Bush IS one? Either keep quiet and let God judge both of them, or stand up and say Bush is violating Jesus's tenets just like Hitler did.
>> Millions of Germans did not like Hitler or vote for him. But, once he got the power, there was little they could do. <<
Unless you can prove that Germany's Christians disagreed with Hitler while Germany's non-Christians agreed with him, this is irrelevant. The people carrying out his wishes—e.g., incarcerating and executing Jews—were generally Christians in good standing.
>> When we stand before God we will give an account for what we did and thought personally, not for what Bush did. <<
You're judging Hitler's behavior in violation of the Biblical commandment to "judge not, lest ye be judged." If you can judge Hitler, you can judge anyone. So go ahead and do it. List all the Christian politicians who are violating the Bible.
>> I asserted "The true definition of Christianity is in Romans chapt. 8." and you responded "Is it? Says who?" In that chapter Paul says that those who have the Spirit of Christ are the sons of God, and those that do not have the Spirit of Christ are not the sons of God. <<
You're seriously using one Biblical passage to "prove" other Biblical passages are true?! This isn't a valid argument, son. It's circular reasoning, which is invalid in any intellectual debate. I'm not listening to any fairy tales until you can prove they're true by means outside the Bible.
>> If Paul's message was not inspired by God, then the whole letter is false, or most of it. <<
Since you can't prove his message was inspired by God, his whole letter may very well be false. I suggest you come up with demonstrably true arguments rather than relying on possibly false ones.
>> If he was inspired by God then this statement is clear simple, easy to understand. <<
When you can prove God inspired this statement, we'll discuss it. Until then, it's an unproven opinion.
Hitler invoked God...case closed?
>> Hitler did think he was doing God's work, though his definition of "God" was not a biblical one <<
In your opinion, you mean. But unless Hitler explicitly denied having the Biblical "spirit of God" in him, you don't know what he was thinking. His statements are the best we can do; they're prima facie evidence of his beliefs.
>> However, atheists and secular people can also think they are doing the right thing and be wrong. <<
True but irrelevant.
>> Secularists who advocate abortion, the slaughtering of millions of babies, pornography, homsexuality, and other evils think they are doing the right thing. <<
Abortion, pornography, and homosexuality aren't evil except in your mind. Spare me your irrelevant opinions about what is and isn't moral.
>> Also, Hitler never denied having the Spirit of Christ <<
There you go. For all your talk, you can't prove Hitler wasn't a Christian. Case closed?
>> Since Hitler never at any time expressed faith in the basic teachings about Christ — his deity, virgin birth, sacrificial death on the cross, resurrection, and return as God to judge the world — how could he receive the spirit of Christ. <<
As far as I know, he never expressed a lack of faith, either.
>> Moreover, he showed a complete indifference for Christ's teachings in the Sermon on the Mount, and didn't make the slightest effort to follow them. <<
Same with George W. Bush and innumerable "good" Christians today. Yet they remain full-fledged members of their churches.
>> However, there will be a day of judgement. People can say whatever they want, but they will have to stand before God and give an account. <<
You can say whatever you want, but this is another fairy tale unless you can prove it with sources outside the Bible.
>> Throughout the entire war Hitler never went to church once. <<
That applies to many Christians. Repeat: A Christian is someone who follows the teachings of Christ, not someone who believes the Bible is the word of God. And not someone who goes to church or professes his beliefs publicly.
>> Did Hitler really consider himself a Christian, or did he only make one or two statements to deceive people and pull the wool over their eyes? <<
I don't know and neither do you, so why don't you give up this losing argument while you can?
>> Hitler lied many times, deceived people many times — can we assume his religious statements were absolutely truthful? <<
George W. Bush and other self-proclaimed Christians have lied and deceived people many times. Let me know when their denominations expel them for not following Jesus's teachings.
>> I believe the scholars are out to lunch, and have shown nothnig. They have never found or demonstrated mistakes in the bible, though they have tried to. All of their objections can be easily answered. <<
Are you joking? The entire story of Noah's Ark is a complete fiction, as pundits have shown repeatedly over the centuries.
One can find many, many errors in the Bible. See sites such as
The Skeptic's Annotated Bible
What the Christian Fundamentalist Doesn't Want You to Know
for details. Feel free to argue with their authors if you can, because I'm not wasting time educating you about the Bible's mistakes and contradictions.
Here's more of what the Bible teaches, in case you weren't aware of it:
Sam Harris Takes On the Muslim Cartoon Controversy and His Critics
The notion that the bible is a perfect guide to morality is really quite amazing, given the contents of the book. Human sacrifice, genocide, slaveholding, and misogyny are consistently celebrated. Of course, God's counsel to parents is refreshingly straightforward: whenever children get out of line, we should beat them with a rod (Proverbs 13: 24, 20:30, and 23:13-14). If they are shameless enough to talk back to us, we should kill them (Exodus 21:15, Leviticus 20:9, Deuteronomy 21:18-21, Mark.7:9-13 and Matthew 15:4-7). We must also stone people to death for heresy, adultery, homosexuality, working on the Sabbath, worshipping graven images, practicing sorcery, and for a wide variety of other imaginary crimes. Most Christians imagine that Jesus did away with all this barbarism and delivered a doctrine of pure love and toleration. He didn't (Matthew 5:18-19, Luke 16:17, 2 Timothy 3:16, 2 Peter 20-21, John 7:19).
Bible's teaching is "foolish"
>> I believe the bible's teaching that the basic principles of Christianity are foolish to the natural mind, and cannot be accepted unless God himself gives illumination. <<
God hasn't given me any illumination about the Bible's principles. Until he does, please restrict yourself to facts and evidence from sources outside the Bible. I'm not interested in unproven fantasies from Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, or God.
FYI, there's no physical evidence that Jesus ever existed, much less that he rose from the grave. The only evidence we have are accounts written some 40 years after his alleged death. There's more concrete evidence for UFOs, Bigfoot, and the Loch Ness Monster.
>> I agree no one follows the bible 100% — that is not possible. <<
It's not possible because the Bible is riddled with logical inconsistencies and impossibilities.
>> But God knows our hearts and he knows if we are sincerely trying, and making a reasonable human effort. <<
Well, God can judge Hitler for us, so feel free to stop judging whether Hitler was a Christian or not.
>> It is true, I don't obey all of those laws, but it is not a matter of picking and choosing. The New Testament plainly states which laws are necessary and which are not. <<
Who says the New Testament is more valid than the Old Testament? Not the Jews, obviously.
>> Dietary and ceremonial laws are clearly set aside as being unnecessary. <<
Where is that, exactly? Quote me the passage for my edification.
>> The fact that Hitler said a few words about God once in a while will not help him on the day of judgement. <<
The fact that you can quote the Bible hasn't helped you in this argument. You have no case against my claims, so you might as well quit while you're behind.
The debate continues (3/24/06)....
>> I'll bet he sees nothing wrong with women murdering their children, husbands cheating on their wives, sex outside of marriage, homosexuality, pornography <<
I'm against women murdering children, but aborting fetuses before they're viable is okay.
>> Did Bush invade Iraq because he believed in the bible? <<
Yes, subconsciously. I believe he's said that God is on our side and we're doing God's work. This kind of irrational belief ultimately comes from the Bible, where people first put it in writing.
>> Did Hitler try to conquer the world because he read in Paul's letter to the Romans that the Germans were the master race and it was their destiny to rule the world? <<
No, Hitler probably got the idea from passages such as these:
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the heavens, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
And God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
And God blessed them: and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the heavens, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
[W]hat is man that thou shouldst remember him, Mortal man that thou shouldst care for him? Yet thou hast made him little less than a god, Crowning him with glory and honor. Thou makest him master over all thy creatures; Thou hast put everything under his feet....
If only you will now listen to me and keep my covenant, then out of all peoples you shall become my special possession; for the whole earth is mine. You shall be my kingdom of priests, my holy nation.
>> So that's why the Romans and Alexander the Great and the Babylonians and the Mongols invaded so many countries — they believed in the bible! <<
The Romans after they converted to Christianity...yes, possibly. Also, Alexander the Great may have been influenced by the messianic beliefs he learned in the Middle East—the same ones that made up the Old Testament. The Babylonians didn't invade many countries; they were more of a regional power. The Mongols were the exception that proves the rule: that Eastern powers generally weren't as expansionist as the Western powers.
Why? Because the Western powers were following God's directive to "have dominion" over everyone. Almost every king and pope made it clear they were fulfilling God's will by attacking or oppressing people.
The debate continues (5/3/06)....
>> You think abortion is ok before the foetus is viable, but Hitler and Stalin and Mao thought killing was ok too. People thought slavery was ok too. How do you know you are not mistaken? <<
My views are logical. They follow the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. The others can't say the same.
>> If you send me more info about Hitler and Christainity, how about telling me which part of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew chapters 5-7) describes Hitler. <<
First, you tell me which part applies to people like George W. Bush. You know, people who are Christians in good standing according to the churches they belong to.
>> Also there are two groups of people in Galatians 5: 19-23 — which one describes Hitler? <<
"19The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God."
Which of these points describe George W. Bush? Most of them. Bush was guilty of drunkenness and (probably) getting an abortion, for instance.
These qualities don't apply to Hitler more than to any other Christian. But then, I've made this point several times already. Why are you failing to grasp it? According to most Christians, a Christian doesn't have to obey the injunctions in the Bible. If they did, Jesus would be the first and last Christian—the ONLY person who ever lived up to his standard.
Why don't you address this point? Who are all the Christians who have lived up to the standard listed in Galatians? Name these exemplary people, if possible. Then tell me why Hitler has to live up to this standard when a billion-plus Christians don't.
The debate continues (5/14/06)....
>> Old people aren't viable either, should they be killed? Also, a one year old child cannot survive by itself either, so in a sense it is not viable, and then can be killed if the parents decide it is too much of a bother? <<
These people are viable by the dictionary definition of "viable":
vi·a·ble Audio pronunciation of "viable" ( P ) Pronunciation Key (v-bl) adj.
1. Capable of living, developing, or germinating under favorable conditions.
2. Capable of living outside the uterus. Used of a fetus or newborn.
>> So why did Stalin attack Finland and invade Poland? He was an atheist. Why did Genghis Khan, Alexander the Great, and the Roman emperorrs try to grab everything they could get their hands on? <<
They had a mix of philosophical and religious reasons, just as Bush has.
>> Also, why not take a look at the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) and tell me if you think Bush is sincerely trying to follow it? <<
I've already said he isn't.
>> And, I don't think Bush ever said "We are doing God's work and God is on our side." <<
See Bush to "Rid the World of Evil"? for some of the evidence.
>> That is referring to the beasts of the earth. <<
No, it's referring to "every living thing," exactly as it said. Quit interpreting the Bible to suit your beliefs and start reading it literally, even if you find the words uncomfortable.
>> You can read the invasion of Poland into that if you like — how about China's invasion of tibet under the atheist Chaairman Mao? <<
Atheists can do bad things too. So what? That doesn't change the evil done by Christians in the name of God.
>> The fact is that Hitler openly dismissed 99% of the Old Testament in Mein Kampf <<
Oh, did he? Then quote him doing so.
>> I wonder how much of Hitler's own ideas you have actually read? <<
Enough. As I wrote in Adolf Hitler: A True American:
He believed he was doing God's work, and said as much in Mein Kampf (1923):
Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord. (Volume 1, Chapter II)
What we must fight for is to safeguard the existence and reproduction of our race and our people, the sustenance of our children and the purity of our blood, the freedom and independence of the fatherland, so that our people may mature for the fulfillment of the mission allotted it by the creator of the universe. (Volume 1, Chapter VIII)
>> I recommend only one chapter of Mein Kampf, the one called "Nation and Race," then see if you think those ideas came from the bible which he explicity rejects and says is a false book. <<
Again, quote the passages and I'll consider them. I've quoted the passages proving Hitler thought he was doing the Christian God's work.
Old Testament applies only to Jews?
>> Also, God here was talking to the Jews, not to the Germans, French, Japanese, or anyone else. <<
I thought he was talking to all the potential Christians from then until eternity. You mean everyone except the Jews can literally ignore the Old Testament? Great news!
So why do you Christians cite Genesis as if it's relevant to anyone except Jews? Why not throw it away and use only the New Testament, for that matter? That's what you're essentially doing when you say the New Testament supersedes the Old.
So let's make it explicit: Absolutely nothing in the Old Testament is relevant to our lives. It's a worthless fairy tale.
>> What about before they converted to Christianity? The Romans were invading and subjugating neighboring cities and countries centuries before Christianity. <<
No doubt a mixture of philosophical and religious beliefs impelled them, like everyone else.
>> What about Stalin then? Was he influenced by messianic beliefs? Atheists have been among the most vicious and brutal concquerors in the history of the human race. <<
Christians have done more killing and conquering over the last 2,000 years, even if Mao and Stalin were worse than any particular Christian.
>> As to Asian powers not being expansionist, what about the Japanese in WWII? <<
An exception in their long history of isolationism. I addressed it in Guns, Germs, and Steel.
>> The Chinese kingdoms were constantly having wars with each other back in the Middle Ages. <<
No one said they were peaceful. But warring internally isn't the same as warring externally. It isn't expansionist.
>> People who follow the teachings of Christ are peaceful people. <<
As I've said before, except for perhaps a few good priests and nuns, Jesus was the first and last person to follow his own beliefs.
>> About the Pope's, I believe the Church of Rome to be a false and evil church that deceives people with a counterfeit Christianity. <<
You could say the same about almost any Christian church.
>> Also, Cuba was officially designated an atheist country until the 1990's — so why were countless thousands of people risking their lives to escape from an atheist country and get to a country with (in spite of its many great faults) religious freedom and some Christian influence? <<
I think the biggest outflow was in the '90s, or after the atheist designation. But your point about the designation doesn't tell us much. People don't abandon their beliefs when the government declares them illegal. Cuba was and is a largely Catholic country.
Bush and Hitler: prophets of God?
May 15, 2006
The Messianic Presidency
The Great Decider as God's Prophet
By TOM TURNIPSEED
Many disastrous conflicts in human history were led by men who spoke as if they were directed by God to lead the slaughter. President Bush asserts that "I trust God speaks through me and without that, I couldn't do my job." His sincere belief that the human carnage and destruction resulting from his war of choice against Iraq is somehow the will of God should not be a surprise to Americans of the Christian and Jewish traditions.
As a seven year old child in a Christian church in Alabama, I was appalled by the Old Testament's story of Joshua and the battle of Jericho in our Sunday School class. Joshua, a great prophet of God and successor to Moses as the leader of the Israelites was commanded by God to commit genocide in the 6th chapter of Joshua. When invading Jericho, as instructed by God, the Jews "annihilated with the sword everything that breathed in the city, including men and women, young and old, as well cattle, sheep, and donkeys." Then God commanded the Jews take the "silver and gold, bronze and iron" for "God's treasury". When I asked the teacher why God would want his people to kill little children when Jesus loved the little children and was the Prince of Peace, our Sunday School teacher said the lesson was to obey God..
The Christian tradition of God as the warrior began in A.D. 312 with the Roman Emperor Constantine. Constantine said he had prayed for divine help before the engagement and then had a vision of a cross in the sky above his soldiers as they marched into the fray. This mystical event led to his Christian conversion after a major victory in battle against legions of his brother-in-law..
Christianity was declared the religion of the Roman Empire by Constantine, and the image of Christ as the Prince of Peace became conveniently interchangeable with Christ as the warrior God. Previously, the Roman Empire had persecuted the Christians because they were pacifists, taught not to serve in the military or use violence against others.
It had been unlawful for a Christian to be a soldier in the Roman army, but Constantine's conversion abruptly allied Christianity with Rome's military and by A.D. 416 it was compulsory for all Roman soldiers to be Christians. The medieval crusades led by Christians continued the genocide in the name of religion and recent history continues the tradition.
Before he became the Chancellor of Germany Hitler said, "My feeling as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter ", and as he launched WW II that devastated Europe Hitler said "I would like to thank Providence and the Almighty for choosing me of all people to be allowed to wage this battle for Germany." In 1940, Adolf Hitler said, "But there is something else I believe, and that is that there is a God. . . . And this God again has blessed our efforts.."
In another speech to the German people Hitler said , "The mercy of the Lord slowly returns to us again. And in this hour we sink to our knees and beseech our almighty God that he may bless us, that He may give us the strength to carry on the struggle for the freedom, the future, the honor, and the peace of our people. So help us God."
Before he began his candidacy for President, George W. Bush told Evangelist James Robinson, "I feel like God wants me to run for President. I can't explain it, but I sense my country is going to need me. Something is going to happen . . . I know it won't be easy on me or my family, but God wants me to do it."
Bush has been called "a prophet" by Pat Robertson. According to Ralph Reed, God picked the President because "he knew George Bush had the ability to lead in this compelling way."
Bush has said, "I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn't do my job". Bob Woodward, a Washington Post editor asked President Bush if he consulted with his father, the 41st President about Iraq before invading Iraq and his reply was "He is the wrong father to appeal to in terms of strength; there is a higher father that I appeal to."
The BBC reported that Palestinian Foreign Minister Nabil Shaath described his first meeting with President Bush in June 2003. Shaath says: "President Bush said to all of us: 'I'm driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, "George, go and fight those terrorists in Afghanistan." And I did, and then God would tell me, "George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq " And I did. And now, again, I feel God's words coming to me, "Go get the Palestinians their state and get the Israelis their security, and get peace in the Middle East." And by God I'm gonna do it.'"
Some White House aides have described Bush's behavior as arrogant and abusive, characterized by sanctimonious invocations of his personal relationship with Jesus Christ combined with obscenity-laced invectives against subordinates.
It is very interesting that Bush's self-perception as being a spokesperson for God is history repeating itself when compared to other leaders who have wrought so much war and destruction. Should people of religious faith be comforted to know we have a Presidential Prophet of God in the White House? A self-described decider of what is best for our country? Is it God who is really directing Bush's policies of aggressive war, torture, domestic spying and the unprecedented transfer of social wealth from the country's working class majority to the multi-millionaires and billionaires that make up its financial elite?
Tom Turnipseed is an attorney, writer and political activist in Columbia, South Carolina. He can be reached at his website: www.turnipseed.net.
Christians complicit in the Holocaust
From the LA Times:
The Holocaust wasn't Christian
Pope Benedict obscured the truth in his Auschwitz address by ignoring anti-Semitism and the Catholic Church's failures.
By Daniel Jonah Goldhagen
May 31, 2006
CERTAIN RARE moments provide politicians and religious leaders the setting to etch emblematic statements or gestures in historical consciousness. At a commemoration ceremony in 1970, German Chancellor Willy Brandt dropped spontaneously to his knees with evident emotion and contrition (even though he himself had been an enemy of Nazism) at the monument to the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. John Paul II, upon becoming in 1986 the first pope ever to visit Rome's synagogue, unforgettably referred to the assembled Jews, humbly, as "our elder brothers."
Pope Benedict XVI had such a moment before him on Sunday at Auschwitz. In this time of resurgent Holocaust denial by the president of Iran and others, Benedict's visit was historically and politically important. This German pope reaffirmed with his presence and words the falsity and mendacity of Holocaust denial. He came, he said, as "a duty before the truth."
Yet the good he did by visiting Auschwitz was overshadowed by the address he delivered there, which offered none of Brandt's genuine emotion nor John Paul's humility and which failed to heed his own self-proclaimed duty to truth. Instead, Benedict clouded historical understanding, evaded moral responsibility and shirked political duty.
Benedict falsely exonerated Germans from their responsibility for the Holocaust by blaming only a "ring of criminals" who "used and abused" the duped and dragooned German people as an "instrument" of destruction. In truth, Germans by and large supported the Jews' persecution, and many of the hundreds of thousands of perpetrators were ordinary Germans who acted willingly. It is false to attribute culpability for the Holocaust wholly or even primarily to a "criminal ring." No German scholar or mainstream politician would today dare put forth Benedict's mythologized account of the past.
Benedict did say correctly that the "rulers of the Third Reich wanted to crush the entire Jewish people." But he then turned the Holocaust into an assault most fundamentally not on Jews but on Christianity itself, by falsely asserting that the ultimate reason the Nazis wanted to kill Jews was "to tear up the taproot of the Christian faith" — meaning that their motivation to kill Jews was because Judaism was the parent religion of Christianity.
As every historian, and even the casual student, knows — and as the church's historians ordinarily take pains to emphasize — the German perpetrators saw the Jews as a malevolent and powerful "race," not a religious group. Their desire to annihilate Jews had nothing to do with anti-Christianity.
Benedict's failure to say that Auschwitz was overwhelmingly a death factory designed for Jews, or that the Germans slaughtered Jews because they hated Jews, is part of his overall failure to confront the centrality of the Holocaust in the Germans' mass murdering. It is of course laudable to acknowledge and remember that the Germans murdered other peoples, but 1 million of Auschwitz's 1.1 million victims were Jews. Yet Benedict, not even mentioning this, devoted fewer than 200 of almost 2,300 words explicitly to the slaughter of the Jews.
Benedict's historical fabrication to Christianize the Holocaust is also a moral scandal because it obscures the troubling truth about the Catholic Church: Its churches across Europe tacitly and actively participated in the Jews' persecution. Pope Pius XII, the German bishops, French bishops, Polish church leaders and many others, animated by anti-Semitism, supported or called for the persecution of the Jews (though not their slaughter). Some, such as Slovakian church leaders and Croatian priests, actively endorsed or participated in the mass murder.
In this and other ways, Benedict severed and obscured all connection between the Catholic Church, Christianity and the Holocaust, which is a huge step backward from the positions that John Paul II adopted.
Stunningly, Benedict walked through the gates of Auschwitz and did not once mention the prime mover of the Holocaust: anti-Semitism (let alone the anti-Semitism of Christianity that was for centuries ubiquitous in Europe and that culminated in Nazism and the Holocaust). Whatever differences existed between Nazi anti-Semitism and its Christian anti-Semitic seedbed, anti-Semitism is the unavoidable causal, historical and moral link connecting the church, the Nazis and Auschwitz.
Since Vatican II, the church has forcefully condemned anti-Semitism, even declaring it a sin. Yet Benedict stood in Auschwitz negligently silent.
At length Benedict wondered about where God was. A churchman's question. But he conspicuously failed to ask where the church was. Benedict's appeal to the mysteries of God's ways thus obscured even the most discussed aspects of the church's and Pius XII's conduct during the Holocaust: Why they didn't speak out. Why they didn't do more to help Jews.
Benedict has shown much goodwill in continuing to improve the church's relations with Jews today. But with his whitewashing of the past — exonerating both the German perpetrators and the church, universalizing the Holocaust and deemphasizing its purely anti-Jewish thrust — he turns the clock back on what the Catholic Church had, in the decade before his papacy, been acknowledging: that the church must confront the anti-Semitism of its past, that many Catholics participated in the Jews' persecution; that the church should have aided the assaulted people more.
And, most of all, that the church must, in the words of the French bishops' 1997 declaration, confess its "sin" and utter "words of repentance." Only then can Benedict rightly approach the victims to ask for reconciliation.
The debate continues (6/20/06)....
>> You want someone to tear you into pieces and throw you into the garbage? What if your mother had done that to you? <<
I wouldn't be here so I wouldn't care.
As I told you, my views are logical. My existence as a fetus was no more important than anyone else's existence as a fetus. It didn't deserve any special protection.
>> I think no part of the Sermon on the Mount applies to George Bush. Will you answer my question now? <<
Yes. No part of the Sermon applies to Hitler either. But Bush is still a Christian in good standing despite violating every tenet of the Sermon. Hitler could've been a Christian in good standing despite violating every tenet of the Sermon also.
>> I notice you didn't answer my question. You changed the subject and started talking about Bush. <<
I answered your question indirectly. I've answered it directly before. For instance:
>> People who follow the teachings of Christ are peaceful people. <<
As I've said before, except for perhaps a few good priests and nuns, Jesus was the first and last person to follow his own beliefs. He's the only real Christian; you, Bush, and Hitler don't qualify.
>> The passage in Galatians describes two kinds of people, those who have the Spirit of Christ and those who do not. Which group do you think Hitler falls into? <<
I don't know and neither do you. Therefore, quit wasting my time trying to divine Hitler's thinking.
>> Whether or not Bush or anyone else does or does not fall into this or that category is not relevant. <<
It's totally relevant. You can't judge Hitler's mind or spirit, so you're judging him by his acts.
Going by Bush's acts rather than his professed word, Bush isn't a true Christian. Neither is anybody else except a few holy men and women.
>> We are discussing the point (which you brought up) of whether Hitler was a Christian, not Bush or Jimmy Carter or anyone else. I think I know why you do not want to answer this question. <<
I've already answered it several times. Read it again:
As I've said before, except for perhaps a few good priests and nuns, Jesus was the first and last person to follow his own beliefs.
>> These qualities don't apply to Hitler more than to any other Christian.
!!!!!!!!!!!! Any other Christian is no different from Hitler? You're no different from Stalin then. <<
You're the one who listed the qualities defining a true Christian. Based on those qualities, you're right. You're no different than Hitler and I'm no different than Stalin.
Which is again my point. Neither you, me, Bush, nor Hitler is a true Christian. As I've said before, except for perhaps a few good priests and nuns, Jesus was the first and last person to follow his own beliefs.
If committing mass murder was the greatest sin, Hitler and Stalin would be worse Christians than you or Bush. But you haven't quoted any Biblical passage to that effect. When you equate murder and hate with drunkenness and abortion, you equate Hitler and Stalin with you and Bush.
To reiterate, Hitler was guilty of the first two sins (murder and hate) and Bush was guilty of the second two (drunkenness and abortion), so they're both bad Christians. Equally bad Christians, that is. That's according to your standard—the only one you've given me so far.
>> No Christian can follow those things perfectly, but the good fruits will be in evidence. <<
As far as I know, Hitler abstained from impurity and debauchery, idolatry and witchcraft, drunkenness, orgies, and the like. That's evidence of his trying to live up to Jesus's standard.
>> Christians wh think they can be liars and drunkards and murderers, enjoy themselves, do whatever they like and then go to heaven are deceiving thermselves. <<
It's not clear to me that Hitler lied more frequently than average, and I don't think he drank to excess. Meanwhile Bush has lied and gotten drunk and launched a war that has killed 30,000-plus civilians.
>> Christians can and do err, but if they love Christ these good fruits will be evident in their lives to some extent. <<
They're evident in Hitler to some extent, just like they're evident in you and Bush to some extent. Fact is, you don't know whether Hitler loved Christ in his heart. You can't provide a shred of evidence showing he explicitly denied Christ.
>> There have been many common and ordinary Christians who have not practiced murder, hatred, drunkenness, adultery, wrath <<
Again, Hitler didn't practice all these things either.
>> If you think there is no difference between Hitler and the pastor of your local baptist church, or my grandfather who lived a decent and quiet life and was a nice friendly guy, that there is no difference between Pat Robertson (a screwball) and Adolph Eichmann, between Billy Graham and Heinrich Himmler, then I give up. <<
I don't think you can prove a difference according to the weak or contradictory definitions you keep providing. Therefore, please do give up. Whether you realize it or not, you've lost the debate.
>> But, there are very few real Christians in the world or in America today. <<
Yes, and you fundamentalist Christians are the worst violators in the lot. You don't obey Jesus's central tenet: to love thy neighbor as thyself.
The debate continues (8/11/06)....
My correspondent sent me the following article, which he apparently thought proved his case:
Jewish references erased in newly found Nazi Bible
14:47pm 7th August 2006
An institute in Germany has unearthed a Nazi bible ordered by Adolf Hitler to replace the old and new testaments expunged of all references to Jews.
Hitler's race theorists even rewrote the 10 commandments and added two more for good measure in the book called 'German with God' which was – alongside Hitler' s autobiography – meant to be required reading in every home in his Third Reich.
Thou shalt not kill, coveting one's neighbour's wife, thou shalt not steal and all other others were scrapped by a regime that stole, murdered and plundered its way across the world.
Hitler admired the ceremony and majesty of the church – he admitted as much in Mein Kampf – but hated its teachings which had no place in his vision of Germanic supermen ruling lesser races devoid of 'outdated' concepts such as mercy and love.
But he knew the power of the church in Germany and even he could not banish it overnight. He was even forced to abandon the systematic murder of the handicapped and insane before the war when outspoken bishops began to speak against it.
Instead his plan was to gradually 'Nazify' the church beginning with a theological centre he set up in 1939 to rewrite the Holy Bible. He appointed lackey professors to work on a thoroughly Nazi version that would remove all references to Jews and all compassion.
Their brief: 'The cleanse church texts of all non-Ayran influences.' The first to go were the 10 Commandments. The Nazi 12 run: "Honour God and believe in him wholeheartedly. Seek out the peace of God. Avoid all hypocrisy. Holy is your health and life! Holy is your wellbeing and honour! Holy is your truth and fidelity! Honour your father and mother – your children are your aid and your example. Keep the blood pure and your honour holy! Maintain and multiply the heritage of your forefathers. Always be ready to help and to forgive. Honour your Fuehrer and master! Joyously serve the people with work and sacrifice. That is what God wants from us!" More important for Hitler, however, was the eradication of Jewish words, including Hallelulja, Jehova and even Jerusalem – it was instead termed the ' the eternal city of God.' "The book will have to serve the fight against the immortal Jewish enemy!" said Hitler in a memorandum to the institute in Eisenach.
Hansjoerg Buss of the Nordelbischen Church Office discovered the Bible in an archive search.
It was printed in 1941 by a company in Weimar and was shipped out to thousands of churches across Nazi-occupied Europe. It is understood most have been destroyed.
The name of the office Hitler created to shape the Bible in his image was the 'Institute for the research and removal of the Jewish influence on German church life.' One of the major tasks was to ignore Jesus' Jewish roots and turn him into an Ayran. Other words specifically banned by Hitler's race-haters were Zion, Hosanna, Galilee and Moses.
One order found in the archives for a special exhibition in Eisenach of the institute's bizarre work came from Walter Grundmann, the anti-Semitic director appointed by Hitler.
He wrote in 1941: "The Bible must become Jew-free and the German people must see that the Jews are the mortal enemy who threaten their very existence."
Hymn books were also trawled and 'Ayranised' with no references to make the party elite balk during the few times they were ever likely to find themselves in a Christian church.
At its height, a team of 50 worked on re-writing hymn books and the Bible. But it was all a charade as far as Hitler and his S.S. chief Heinrich Himmler were concerned.
Both dreamed of being overlords of an essentially pagan society where the only virtues to be praised were iron hardness and a capability to obey any order, no matter what. "Human kindess and the moral compass as set by the Bible were laughable to them," said Ulrich Messner, a Nazi expert.
The King James Bible is a little under 800 pages in paperback form. The Nazi 'Bible' was 750 pages, after the references to Jews had been banished and Nazi "improvements" added.
>> This says it all I think. <<
Yes, it does.
Hitler was a Christian who believed in the Bible. He tried to change it rather than rejecting it out of hand. He apparently accepted every part of it other than those mentioning Jews—in particular, every part mentioning Jesus.
Everything in this article suggests Hitler (selectively) followed Jesus's teachings, just like every other self-professed Christian in history. If he hadn't been a believer and follower of Jesus, he would've expunged Jesus too. In fact, no disbeliever or hater of Christianity would keep 750 of the Bible's 800 pages in place.
That alone proves my case and disproves yours. Sorry, but you've finally lost our argument, once and for all. Better luck next time.
In addition, Hitler admired the church and tried to "Nazify" it. He commanded everyone to read his edited Bible. These things suggest an overall acceptance of Christianity, the church, and the Bible. Hitler's sect was like every other Christian sect: accepting some parts of Biblical dogma and rejecting others.
In particular, he ordered the removal of all mentions of compassion, which is exactly how you right-wing fanatics have edited the Bible. These words might as well not exist because you ignore every commandment about love and compassion. Why? Because they don't fit your Darwinist worldview in which white heterosexual males rule over women, minorities, and gays.
As the article I sent you pointed out, no fundamentalist has ever said we should place the Sermon on the Mount in front of courthouses or read it in schools or Congress. Why not? Why do you fanatics want the Ten Commandments disseminated but not the Sermon on the Mount?
Could it be because the Ten Commandments are about controlling people while the Sermon is about tolerating people? Yes, it could. You don't care about Jesus's command to love people or you'd be doing it. Instead, you're trying to dictate how other people should think and act.
As for comments like this, they're a conservative newspaper's editorial opinions, not facts:
Both dreamed of being overlords of an essentially pagan society where the only virtues to be praised were iron hardness and a capability to obey any order, no matter what.
Nothing in the article justifies calling the Third Reich a pagan society. Hitler ordered everyone to read his Bible. He wanted to maintain and enhance the church. That's not a pagan society, it's a Christian one. It's a lot more Christian than our society is today.
The debate continues (9/29/06)....
>> In a Christian society, as I have explained, gays would be rare, and hiding in the closet out of shame. <<
Not if the Christian society were based on Jesus's command to love thy neighbor as thyself.
>> Also, no one can live the values of Christianity 100%, it is humanly impossible, but God sees our hearts and knows if we are making an effort or not. <<
I suspect God sees that you're not trying.
>> You say Hitler, Bush, and I are equally good or bad Christians? You think someone like me is comparable to Hitler? <<
Based on the list of traits you provided about what makes a bad Christian, yes. The point was to demonstrate the stupidity of your list, but I guess you haven't realized that yet.
>> You, Ralph Nader, and Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot are all equally good or bad secular humanists. <<
I've already addressed the issue of whether these people acted in the name of atheism or not. They didn't. And Nader has done good work by almost anyone's standard, unless you think defective cars are beneficial.
>> I think a big part of this discussion is your defining Christianity not according to the teachings of Christ and the apostles but according to general cultural norms. <<
I could say the same about you. You ignore the explicit command of Jesus to love everyone whenever it's convenient for you. It's clear you don't understand Jesus's message.
>> The essence of Christianity is love, love of God and of our fellow human beings. <<
Good. Then why do you keep wasting time by listing disqualifying traits such as lying, drinking, and fornicating? Because you're trying to have it both ways, that's why.
As one example, drinking has nothing to do with love or a lack thereof. The most loving person may also be an alcoholic. So which trait is more important in determining a good Christian: loving others or abstaining from drink?
>> That is the essence of Christianity – it is not what Christians don't do, though if Christians love God they don't want to get drunk, lie, steal, etc. <<
Which may be how Hitler felt also, for all you know. As far as I know, he didn't drink or steal, and he may not have lied more than the average Christian.
>> If they slip up somewhere they feel bad about it and repent – and God knows if in our hearts we are truly sorry or not. <<
That also could be how Hitler felt. We'll never know. What we do know is that he explicitly professed a belief in the Christian God.
>> The standard of what is and is not Christian is found in the New Testament, not in vague cultural norms that are often directly contrary to the teachings of Jesus. <<
Find me a teaching from Jesus's mouth that condemns homosexuals, abortions, or working women. No, don't bother...you can't do it. Which proves you're a hypocrite. You literally don't mean what you just wrote.
>> Again, I am as bad as Hitler? <<
Again, I've explained this many times. Go back and reread my old messages.
>> Saying that the Supreme Court Justices are Christians, all of them, is incorrect. Even in the past they were not <<
Christians have always comprised the vast majority of Supreme Court justices. There's never been more than two non-Christian justices at one time.
>> the Jews are in control, the Jew are in control. The fact that they repeated it often did not make it so. <<
The fact that you're ignorant of who's running our country doesn't make my statements untrue.
>> By the way, at the judgment, all hypocrisies, lies, follies, whether of conservatives or of liberals will be dealt with. <<
Oops. Then you may be in trouble. I won't be because none of my positions is hypocritical.
Believers don't rewrite Bible?
>> People who believe in the bible see it as being from God and do not rewrite it, adding new commandments and scrapping old ones. <<
You're essentially rewriting the Bible by saying the laws in Leviticus no longer apply. And people have produced new versions of the Bible in different languages and formats many times. They simplify the language, annotate it, add or subtract books of the Apocrypha, and make other changes.
>> The fact that he took such liberties proves he did not consider the book to be inspired from God. <<
You could say that about every person who ever translated the Bible, beginning with the first ones to translate it from Hebrew into Greek.
>> Can you tell me which of Jesus' teachings Hitler followed? <<
How many times do I have to answer this? As far as I know, he didn't drink. He didn't steal. He didn't look at pornography. He didn't fornicate with women other than his wife. He didn't impregnate anyone and force her to get an abortion. He didn't commit any homosexual acts. Etc.
These are how you defined what constitutes being a good Christian. By your standard, Hitler did as good a job as anyone else.
True, he didn't love his neighbor like himself, because that would mean cherishing the life of every Jew and homosexual. But you haven't done that either. Hitler is roughly as good a Christian as you are by your standard, the one I just outlined above.
>> The bible was not the complete expression of Hitler's views. He expressed his views in Mein Kampf <<
Yes, that's where he explicitly said he was doing God's work.
>> How does Hitler reinventing the bible show that he believed Jesus was the Son of God who died on the cross for the sins of the world and rose from the dead? <<
As far as I know, he kept those pages intact. He mainly removed only the references to Jews, which would mean he kept most of Jesus's story. Assuming he kept Jesus's story in his version of the Bible, and ordered everyone to use this Bible, it's prima facie evidence that he believed in Jesus.
>> Hitler never mentioned those things at all, and only presented Christ as a fighter against Judaism. <<
So what? Jesus said people shouldn't make public pronouncements of how religious they are. Whether he realized it or not, Hitler was following Jesus's wishes in that regard also.
>> Like every other sect??? <<
Hitler's sect was like every other Christian sect: accepting some parts of Biblical dogma and rejecting others.
>> Also, many Christian groups accept that all of the bible, the whole bible, is from God and they would never dream of coming out with their own drastically rewritten versions. <<
Translating the Bible from one language to another is rewriting it, since some words don't exist in the new language and have to be invented.
>> Hitler and the theological liberals all rejected the Old Testament as being historically false, for example, and proceeded to invent their own beliefs, that is a similarity – but there are differences. <<
Which is just what you've done. You've rejected the Old Testament as irrelevant because you don't like the consequences of obeying all of God's laws. You've picked and chosen whom you'll obey from the New Testament: sometimes Jesus, somtimes Peter, etc.
>> You need to look at the whole picture, not only the one small part of it that happens to fit your personal needs. <<
That applies to you and your selective interpretations of the Bible.
Hitler wanted his own Christian church
>> Hitler did not want to maintain and enhance the church at all. He wanted to enslave it and destroy it, to replace it with a new religion of his own devising. <<
Hitler wanted to replace the Catholic Church with a Protestant Church of his own devising, perhaps. So what? That's what every Protestant Church throughout history has tried or wanted to do.
>> The very few Christians in Nazi Germany who tried to oppose his false teachings were cruelly persecuted. <<
Right, because these Christians were going against the wishes of all the other Christians who supported Hitler and thought Nazism was fine.
>> Hitler was forced to tolerate the church, but he did everything to eliminate its influence. <<
Attacking the Catholic Church isn't the same as attacking Christianity.
>> Have you ever read about what actually happened in the Third Reich? <<
Some. Have you read the passages in Mein Kampf where Hitler explicitly said he was doing God's work?
>> "Workers! Your institutions are sacred! Christians, we respect the church! I am the son of a peasant! I am a Christian! I know the importance of religious belief! We will respect the worker! We will respect the churches! That's a promise! You can count on us!" <<
I assume this is a quote you made up to prove your point, not an actual quote.
>> People who do not understand Hitler's deceitful nature have nothing significant to say about Hitler's beliefs. <<
Apparently you haven't considered the possibility that Hitler was pretending to hate churches because it was politically convenient to do so. And not professing his belief in Christ because that would've been politically inconvenient. In short, it's possible Hitler may have deceived you.
>> Nevertheless, in spite of all that can be said, the fact that the German churches supported Hitler is a strong argument in favor of the contention that National Socialism and Christianity were — at the very least — compatible. <<
Yep. Christianity has always been compatible with conquest, oppression, and slavery.
>> Opponents of Christianity will not be slow to point out that this response impales Christians on the horns of a seemingly inescapable dilemma. <<
I'll be quick to point out that German Christians were hypocrites if they could change their views so easily.
>> Either Hitler and his ideas were compatible with Christianity — in which case Christianity is exposed as a religion that fosters intolerance, violence, and cruelty — or National Socialism was incompatible with Christianity, but the German Christians were gullible fools, cowards, or apostates who didn't even believe in their own religion. <<
I think it was some of both.
>> If even pastors and theologians can't recognize false teachings or withstand them, doesn't this expose Christianity as merely hot air? <<
Yep, sure does.
>> In the previous chapter, it was asserted that Hitler's ideology was not only lacking in all distinctly Christian elements — it also contained beliefs that were directly contrary to biblical Christianity. <<
That's true of every Christian doctrine and church throughout history. As I've told you many times, if the standard is obeying Jesus's teachings, Jesus was the first and last Christian.
>> Particular attention will be paid to Protestant theological liberalism. This new teaching, which preached the falsehood of the bible <<
I must've missed that brand of "theological liberalism." Most Protestants don't believe the Bible is false. They believe in interpreting its truths, which is different. The only difference between them and you is that they admit they're interpreting the Bible and you don't.
Too bad. Your book's discussion of Christianity sounded interesting until this point. Now it sounds like the raving of a fanatic.
>> They built their house not on the rock of Christ's words, but on the sand of human wisdom and philosophy <<
Yep, that sounds like you, all right. Inventing a human philosophy that diminishes women and gays despite Jesus's lack of comment on the subject.
>> At that time, Germany was an exceedingly powerful nation — strong, stable, prosperous, independent. It took only a few years to bring disastrous and unexpected changes — the same could happen to America <<
Isn't that what I've been trying to tell you? The conservative Christians in power today are trying to remake the country into a fascist dictatorship similar to Nazi Germany. We liberals are the only ones preventing that from happening.
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