Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Hitler Was Catholic, Again

The Catholic Bishop Mixa of Augsburg, Germany said at the Easter service this year:

"Decades past have proven the inhumanity of atheism through the godless regimes of National Socialism and communism, with their penal camps, secret police and mass murder. Wherever God is denied or fought against, there, humans and their dignity will also be denied and violated."

Buddy: you didn't check the rolls before the sermon to see that Hitler was a practicing Catholic? You didn't stop to think that your church neglected to excommunicate a single Nazi for their actions? And you just plum forgot about the Inquisition and the enslavement and sometime genocide of Africans and Native Americans?

It is reasonable to argue that, more than any other institution, the Church was in a position to stop the Holocaust. Yet not only did it not, it apparently didn't see anything wrong with the tragedy even in its aftermath, and now its officers deny their involvement to cover their asses. Hitler was Catholic, Hitler was Catholic, Hitler was Catholic, and we're onto your strategy, Church. It's losing steam. Go back to helping HIV spread.

Bald-faced revisionism at its worst. It takes a lot to get my blood pressure up but this got me. Fortunately our colleagues in German atheist groups are having at him.


Anonymous said...

The reason the church didn't excommunicate the Nazis or the Facists is because our good friend Benito had some 'controlling interest' in the church. If the church wasn't based in rome, i probably would have excommunicated the Nazis because they were outside mussolini's sphere or influence.

Michael Caton said...

That works up until spring 1945. How many Nazis did they excommunicate after the war, when they were safely locked up at Nuremberg by the Allies, who had no problem identifying the bad guys?

Modusoperandi said...

Don't forget the Ratlines.

Jean said...

He wasn't "practising", and hadn't since he left for the first world war. Do the research BEFORE posting. Read, Hitlers Gott., by Michael Rißmann.

If you can't be bothered to open a book, just look at contemporary time articles in the archive online. For example this one from June 18, 1934 which said "Baptized a Catholic but no longer a practicing one, he has a good Catholic Vice Chancellor in Franz von Papen, whom he sent to Rome a year ago to wangle an agreement with the Holy Roman Church. . . .But Hitler let his young hotheads flout the Concordat to such an extent that by last month it had broken down completely." "Religion: Total State v. Total Church" http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,747514,00.html

Michael Caton said...

Jean - while it's difficult from your post to understand which viewpoint you're arguing, I would agree that at some point, Hitler stopped practicing Catholicism - in the sense of not practicing a sport, but putting it into action. He followed the Bible's edicts very well (1 Samuel 15:3 for example) whether or not he was still going in for a tune-up once a week.

But using a less flippant meaning for "praciticing", let's grant for the sake of argument that Christianity had nothing to do with Hitler's actions. Do we still have (for example) fourteen previous centuries' worth of burnings, book purges, and mass executions before that to use as additional examples? As chance would have it, we do!

Hitler's thinking and ideology was strongly shaped by Catholic Christianity, and he cited this as moral authority in speeches and correspondence. You'll need a little more than the details you provide above to argue against that.

Also, I'm curious as to whether you're equally critical of claims that Mohammed Atta's faith influenced his decision to fly a plane into a skyscraper. After all, there were mosques he hadn't been to in years, and surely they had NOTHING to do with his "moral" development?

Unlike Hitler, I have no Catholic (or indeed religious) education anywhere in my upbringing, and credit my secular education with helping to make my moral character stronger than his. When you can understand that your own moral sense, which lets you see that what Hitler did was wrong, could not actually be coming from this barbaric and amoral compendium of fairy tales written in foreign languages between thirty-eight and eighteen centuries ago, then you'll be a step closer to having a clear head.

Anonymous said...

"Hitler was Catholic, Hitler was Catholic, Hitler was Catholic, and we're onto your strategy, Church."

"He followed the Bible's edicts very well (1 Samuel 15:3 for example) whether or not he was still going in for a tune-up once a week."

LOL! It's Jack Chick! Scratch an atheist, find a fundamentalist.

Michael Caton said...

I love it. When I make an observation about the clearly-stated-by-the-man-himself religious convictions of a mass murderer, and I'm a fundamentalist. Too rich!

But that Jack Chick thing is pretty cool - in fact he's already distributing anti-Catholic propaganda that's much worse than anything I've put on this blog.