WAS HITLER A CHRISTIAN?Added to www.alliancesupport.org on February 19, 2008
Recent attacks on the Catholic Church by people like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchins have been accompanied by claims that all evil in the world is caused by religious belief. Thus the replacement of religion by science would lead to an earthly paradise. The obvious response to that theory is to point to the atrocities of Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot and ask what had religion to do with these. But Dawkins friends are not lost for a reply. They say that Hitler was not an atheist. He was in fact a Christian!
The following is adapted from Michael Dibdin's article "Why I've Lost Faith in Richard Dawkins" (The Guardian (UK) on 30 October 2006) and Comments attached to the online version.
Michael Dibdin on Dawkins and Religious Belief
Okay, here's an equally trite response. Try telling the victims of Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot that the world would be a better place if it were run by atheists. Try telling Samuel Beckett he should be happy to be here. Compare Edward Gibbon's cynical view that the various forms of worship in the Roman empire "were all considered by the people as equally true, by the philosopher as equally false, and by the magistrate as equally useful". Unless Dawkins can demonstrate that religious believers necessarily and consistently behave worse than anyone else - and he can't - then on this point his case collapses."
Do stop dragging up the Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot line. Stalin originally trained as a priest; he, Mao and Pol Pot all built quasi-religious cults. Hitler explicitly in Mein Kampf saw himself as doing God's will, the Nazis drew on Christian anti-semetic tradition (as well as being avowedly anti-Enlightenment) and enjoyed friendly relations with the Catholic church. And, besides, first one to mention the Nazis loses the argument.
It's not the world is better run by atheist per se, but the world is better run if religious belief is an essentially private, personal matter. Dawkins latest amply demonstrates that the leading religions - especially the Christian/Judaism/Islam tradition - propound dubious morality on the basis of demonstrably false claims about the world. Believe it or not, but he's got you bang to rights.
(B) Remove Funding From Religious Schools
Hard to believe that Mr. Dibdin did any more than leaf through this book. Does he really think that the systematic perpetuation of all the loony religious ideas in the world does no harm?
(C) Hitler Was Not An Atheist
I second that complaint about the use of Stalin, Hitler, etc. If the author of this article had actually read Dawkin's book, he would have arrived at the chapter in which Dawkin's refutes these claims against secular dictators (Hitler was not an atheist).
Everyone seems to be bashing Dawkin's book for some reason - i suspect they don't like having their irrational beliefs challenged. Ah, the weakness of man.
(D) Hitler Was a Christian
Erm, Hitler was a Christian.
Surely the Guardian should get people with a basic grasp of history and theology to write on here.
(E) Hitler was NOT a Christian
Jon P wrote that Hitler enjoyed good relations with the Catholic Church -- this is frankly untrue, and shows a poor grasp of history. Indeed, Hitler did court SOME Catholics and SOME Catholics agreed with him -- But the noted historian Michael Burleigh's expansive and authoritative studies on the subject show there were many many cases when Catholic clergy and lay people stood up against the nazis, at great risk to their very lives. Read his study on the Nazis, "The Third Reich, a New Study" which will support my challenge of your assertion.
He writes in the Daily Telegraph too (22/02/2006) that too many people make casual, false generalisations , too long taken for granted as truth, about Nazi /Catholic alliances ,whilst in his view , history should "query such vulgar, anti-Catholic presumptions as the alleged culpability of Pius XII for his supposed silence during that ( Hitlerian ) period."
Also, Lacanian mentions that Hitler wasn't an atheist ( and Coporateho goes as far as to make the staggering assertion that Hitler was - a Christian, ( ! ) then slags off those who have a poor grasp of history ! ) -- can you expand some more please, because there is no way on earth he was a Christian of any sort whatsoever -- even though he most certainly, most definitely flirted with Xtian metaphor, aspirations,goals and imagery for his own ends -- from what I have read, he despised nearly everything about Xtianity,with a vengeance : he despised its "weakness" , its compassion, its care for the underdog, care for the "Loser", care for the weak, and its Jewish origins -- but I will grant you, he certainly did flirt with it, much in the same way he flirted with other ideologies and manipulated their deeper motivations and drives when it so suited him to do so. If Hitler did believe in a God -- I think there is very very little evidence, if any evidence at all,that his ?belief? had much to do with a genuinely Xtian understanding or definition of that word.
To state he was a Christian in any acceptable sense or understanding of that term, conventional, orthodox or "progressive" -- is plain and simple -- wrong.
Extracts From "HITLER'S SECRET CONVERSATIONS"
All of these are quotes from Adolf Hitler:
Night of 11th-12th July, 1941:
10th October, 1941, midday:
14th October, 1941, midday:
19th October, 1941, night:
21st October, 1941, midday:
13th December, 1941, midnight:
14th December, 1941, midday:
9th April, 1942, dinner:
27th February, 1942, midday:
(F) WAS POL POT A BUDDHIST?
Indeed, like nearly all men in Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Myanmar do, Pol Pot did train as a ( temporary ) novice monk when he was a young man -- but there is nothing whatsoever in his actions which in any way, shape, form or manner is Buddhist.