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The Christian Delusion 14: Atheism Was Not the Cause of the Holocaust

01/13/2011

I found this chapter to be very enlightening, although not all that important in order to make a case against Christianity. Avalos seeks to show that it was Christian anti-Jewish sentiment that was the likely source for Nazism as opposed to atheism. According to the writings of Hitler in Mein Kampf, as well as in his recorded conversations, it seems very unlikely that Hitler was an atheist. He almost certainly believed in God, and showed disdain for atheists. What is less clear is how Christian or how Catholic he was. He certainly seemed inspired by Luther to be against the Jews, but he may have had many differences with the Catholic church, or the mainstream religions of the time. There seems to be no evidence that he was inspired by Darwin to do what he did.

This chapter really closes the book on the Hitler as atheist myth, but Stalin and Mao were hella worse, and they are confirmed atheists. Another case may be necessary to do “atheist apologetics” for those horrible acts. I guess Avalos does make the point that when we compare populations available to be killed, Stalin and Mao had more people around. If Christians were able to kill as many as those people did, it is very likely that they would have. The Church’s position on the above is still pretty muddled in my mind. I doubt it was simple.

Kindle Notes:

Most of Stalinist violence resulted from forced collectivization, and recently published documents show the complicity of church authorities in the Stalinist agenda.’ D’Souza does not provide a single document or statement by Stalin that shows that he was collectivizing or killing for atheist reasons (4774).

Moreover, communism, in the sense of a system of collectivized property, is a biblical notion found already in Acts 4:32-27. That Christian communist system also results in the killing of a married couple (Acts 5:1-11) that reneged on their promise to surrender their property (4776).

In fact, I shall argue that: • Hitler’s holocaust, rather than the result of some form of Darwinist atheism, is actually the most tragic consequence of a long history of Christian anti Judaism and racism. • Nazism follows principles of killing people for their ethnicity or religion enunciated in the Bible (4785).

Thus, when Pope Paul IV issued his bull, Cum nimis (1555), which established a ghetto for Jews, his introductory rationale was that the Jews’ “own guilt has consigned them to perpetual servitude” (4799).

Consider that even by D’Souza’s admission, Christian witch-hunts killed some 100,000 persons in Europe. But if the principle of killing witches did not change, then we might have had 10 million witches killed if witch-hunters had managed to find and kill that many (4810).

It is simply a historical accident that there were different sets of numbers for atheist versus Christian regimes, even if we allow D’Souza’s erroneous assumption that Hitler represented an atheist regime (4816).

Jose M. Sanchez: “There is little question that the Holocaust had its origin in the centuries-long hostility felt by Christians against Jews” (4819).

Every single point in Luther’s plan was implemented by Nazi policy (4830).

Catholic Christians have an even longer history of anti Judaism. Canon Sixteen of the Council of Elvira (ca. 306), for instance, prohibited marriage between Christians and Jews (4837)

[Hitler] then brought up the Jewish question. In justification of his hostility to the Jews he referred to the Catholic Church, which had likewise always regarded the Jews as undesirables and which on account of the moral dangers involved had forbidden Christians to work for Jews. For these very reasons the Church had banished the Jews to the ghetto (4857).

the following statement by Hitler in Mein Kampfis most relevant: 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 (4864).

a Nazi report indicates that by 1938, 51.4 percent of SS members were identified as Protestant, 22.7 percent were Catholic, and 25.7 percent were “God-believers” (Gottglaubigen) (4879).

It is in the Gospel of John (8:44) where Jesus himself says that the Jews are liars fathered by the devil. That verse later shows up on Nazi road signs, whereas no quotes from Darwin were ever on Nazi road signs (4895).

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