I long held concern of how USA's history involved so many things I consider evil: anti-woman, children and women as property, racism, slavery, hierarchy, notions of domination and giving men the authority to physically and mentally abuse women and children. The ability and willingness of very wealthy people to remain blind to growing poverty, hunger and disease only increased my concerns. Discussing these matters with my religious leaders and community and reading the Bible from cover to cover inevitably led me to atheism and the refutation the existence of god and the supernatural.
Reading outside the realm of "religious" material it was very easy to dismiss religion as fabrication, delusion, and living in denial. Religion earned its rejection. No one rejects religion out of choice, but out of necessity.
"many Nazis understood themselves to be the true political expression of Christianity.(p. 49) On this basis, and in due course, he echoes Rubinstein's observation that Christianity brought with it slavery, wars and exploitation. It has been responsible for as much darkness as light.
"The discovery that so many Nazis considered themselves or their movement to be Christian makes us similarly uncomfortable. But the very unpleasantness of this fact makes it all the more important to look it squarely in the face.(p. 267)"
~ Richard Steigmann-Gall
"Analyzing the previously unexplored religious views of the Nazi elite, Richard Steigmann-Gall argues against the consensus that Nazism as a whole was either unrelated to Christianity or actively opposed to it. In contrast, Steigmann-Gall demonstrates that many in the Nazi movement believed the contours of their ideology were based on a Christian understanding of Germany's ills and their cure. He also explores the struggle the "positive Christians" waged with the party's paganists and demonstrates that this was not just a conflict over religion, but over the very meaning of Nazi ideology itself."
Chris, isn't it wonderful to be out from under abuse and neglect! I feel like a "Peace" rose opening up to full wonder! Sometimes, I have a little panic attack that I am still not safe. With just a few moments of reflection, a nice visit to "Birds and Birders" and with Steph and Tony and booklover's photos, and your sparkling posts, a few minutes listening to music Loren suggests, and I am on top of my form again and just so grateful for being alive and thriving!
Life is really good! Not exciting any more, but very good.
Joan, Christians such as Dinesh DeSouza cite the WWII accounts of Table Talk as compelling evidence that Hitler and the German regime were profoundly secular with a bent toward ideological pseudo-science.
The following is from Wikipedia:
Richard Carrier maintains that much of Trevor-Roper's English edition is actually a verbatim translation of Genoud's French, not the original German, and that there are significant omissions and errors, particularly regarding Hitler's statements towards Christianity. The problem of omitted sentences is an issue also noted by Kershaw, although he attaches less significance to it, merely advising 'due caution' when using it as a source.[31
Thank you for your comment about Hitler’s religiosity or nature of his beliefs. Yes, I read many things on this topic because I am curious how Hitler's way of thinking gained so much power and impacted so many lives. He could not have done all that he did alone. Germans have to play an active role in WW II. How? Why? He didn’t hold guns to their heads … well, for some he did. In any event, the economic and political facts of the outcome of WW I devastated Germany and many people sought scapegoats, wanted revenge, and their country, both in terms of people and property, were devastated. It is reasonable to think Germans followed Hitler because of what he represented to them.
As to DeSouza, I don’t find what he says to be compelling or to have cause to pay attention to him. When I read or listen to his statements and debates, he has a certain “dyslogic” to him. Yes, I am biased.
Regarding Hitler’s secular and pseudoscience, other writers report this and I am well aware of those scary aspects of him and his thinking processes. Reading different accounts reveals that Hitler had a charisma about him that enabled him to exploit and manipulate people. He used religion for his own ends, not necessarily because he believed in Roman Catholicism or Protestantism. He was a con man of the first order, cruel, Machiavellian, and indifferent to the pain he caused others.
Richard Carrier represents a man I trust as historian and as an atheist. He wrote:
“We often hear accusations that "Adolf Hitler was an atheist and look what he did!" The idea that Hitler believed in God, that he even claimed Christ as his own, is so shocking to people that they will go to any lengths to deny it. But the notion that Hitler was an atheist has already been soundly refuted.1 He was unmistakably a god-fearing Christian.“
~ Richard Carrier, On the Trail of Bogus Quotes
“We demand the freedom of religion in the Reich so long as they do not endanger the position of the state or adversely affect the moral standards of the German race. As such the Party represents a positively Christian position without binding itself to one particular faith.
~ 24th principle of the Nazi party, from the Twenty Five Points (1920)
“Catholic religious instruction in elementary, senior, secondary and vocational schools constitutes a regular portion of the curriculum, and is to be taught in accordance with the principles of the Catholic Church. In religious instruction, special care will be taken to inculcate patriotic, civic and social consciousness and sense of duty in the spirit of the Christian Faith and the moral code, precisely as in the case of other subjects.”
~ Nazi Concordat with the Catholic Church, Article 21, (1933)
“So there can be no doubt that the Nazis were thoroughly and devotedly Christian, eager to inculcate Christian theism for future generations.
“This is especially important, since hundreds of thousands of Nazis carried out the Final Solution, not one man. If they disagreed with Hitler's orders, they could have ignored them or sandbagged the process. To the contrary, all survivor accounts agree: Nazis involved in carrying out Hitler's orders were eager, even zealous for the task. So what Hitler himself believed is almost irrelevant. Had he rejected certain elements of Nazism openly, he would likely have been deposed and replaced with a more suitably Christian villain to carry out the Final Solution.”
~ Richard Carrier
If Richard found “Trevor-Roper's English edition is actually a verbatim translation of Genoud's French, not the original German, and that there are significant omissions and errors, particularly regarding Hitler's statements towards Christianity. The problem of omitted sentences is an issue also noted by Kershaw, although he attaches less significance to it, merely advising 'due caution' when using it as a source.[31”
I very much appreciate your caution and comment Sam in WV.
"God with us," the Nazi motto on military belt buckles.
The Nazis are a straw man, set up to draw the discussion away from what should really be the point. That is the antisemitism that was existent in the United States through such luminaries as Henry Ford and Charles Lindberg. So what if we come to the conclusion the Nazis were in keeping with a Christian antisemtisim going back to the second century bce? What have we gained?
It is only in tying these ideas back in to the groups within the United States that supported the eugenics of Hitler and antisemitism that we can make this discussion relevant to today's world. Show me how these groups are the antecedants of the Libertarian/Fundamentalist Bloc that has gained so much power in the United States of today. Then we will have a discussion worth having.