Papal visit: Linking the godless to a lack of values is wrong, say critics: GuardianUK

Former Hitler Youth and religious extremist leader Pope Benedict XVI drew parallels between Nazism and modern atheism in the UK.

In his address, the Pope spoke of "a Nazi tyranny that wished to eradicate God from society". He went on to urge the UK to guard against "aggressive forms of secularism". He said: "Even in our own lifetimes we can recall how Britain and her leaders stood against a Nazi tyranny that wished to eradicate God from society and denied our common humanity to many, especially the Jews, who were thought unfit to live."

Apparently he's forgotten his own organization — no, not the Hitler Youth, but the Catholic Church — was complicit in the slaughter of the Jews and that Hitler's anti-Semitism was in large part shaped by his reading of Martin Luther's "On The Jews and Their Lies" which outlines the entire Holocaust "final solution" back in the 16th century.

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Oh for crying out loud, The Pope was not a Nazi.
My mistake. He was a Hitler Youth and a fought in the German military during the war. He was not a Nazi, as far as we know.

He is a religious extremist.
Thank you. Sorry for being a bit frustrated. It has been happening with more frequency that the pope is equated with being a Nazi.
Believe it or not, it was unintentional hyperbole. I was thinking one thing and typing another, and my brain got mixed up. I know! I know! It's so easy to equate atheism with perfection, but sometimes even we make mistakes.

Thank you. Sorry for being a bit frustrated. It has been happening with more frequency that the pope is equated with being a Nazi.

If we are to call ourselves true freethinkers, we have to hold our own beliefs to the same standard as anyone else's. Much as I would love to dig up some evidence that the pope was a Nazi, it isn't there (that we know of).
Metaphorically Nazi-like ... that I'd agree with.
It's so weird, though - you'd think growing up in Nazi Germany, he'd be able to remember all the times Hitler promoted God, not atheism.

I wonder if it's that other kind of "atheism" I've heard some Christians talking about - the one where the "atheists" still believe in God, but the wrong one...
Like misotheism or dystheism. I get people all the time who make the same mistake. I've even heard Christians talking about "practical atheism" which is the new Christian term for fellow Christians who behave as if there is no God. In other words, the ones who behave as they expect us to behave: raping, pillaging, lying, killing, etc.

Hitler created something called "Positive Christianity" that he tried to push in the early years of his dictatorship. It's basically a warrior-class, mangled version of Christianity with Jesus as the Aryan warrior-conqueror.
In a strange way, we could consider Hitler to be a kind of Martin Luther of his time, bent on "reforming" Christianity. In his case, he was trying to change it to better fit his anti-Semitism. In addition to his derogatory comments about Christianity, he also ascribed many of his basic beliefs about the German people and their role in history to his idea of the Aryan Jesus corrupted by Jews. He seemed to think of Christianity as a Roman religion, which had taken on Jewish elements. He was enamored of Rome, as is evident in his organization of the military, the carrying of standards in to battle, etc.

I think you're right. He's a complicated figure. Unless more evidence comes to light, it's hard to say what was going on in his head.
This is just the latest in a current trend of blaming society's ills on secularism and atheism. Tony Blair was in the news last year saying basically the same thing. We are the most hated minority, if you can call us a minority. I think that's why some of the most popular atheists in the news on a daily basis are the ones who embrace the anger and return it in kind. The question that I hear all the time is, "Where has being nice gotten us?"


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