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Discussion 1 on Talk Back 105
The abysmal ignorance of linking atheism to the Holocaust

by: JT

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Quite frankly I am dumfounded by the abysmal ignorance shown in your comments. Seriously, where do you get your ideas?

Now as this is an agnostic website, I have no particular interest in defending atheists against charges of moral relativism. In a limited way, the charge has some validity for some atheists, and perhaps for some agnostics too. But I emphasize, in a limited way. And some atheists.

What's more important is addressing your unsupported claim that moral relativist atheists would claim that the Holocaust was morally acceptable. What absolute nonsense! I know of no atheists, even those who see moral relativism as a reasonable basis for morality, who would claim the Holocaust was moral for the standards of the time.

Let us look at reality.

The Holocaust was conducted primarily by Germany, an overwhelmingly Christian nation. The majority of Germans did not object. Many participated enthusiastically. Other countries participated to greater or lesser degrees as they were brought into the German sphere of influence. All of those countries had overwhelmingly Christian populations. And the majority did not object. Many participated enthusiastically in this opportunity to rid themselves of their Jewish minorities.

Yes - some Christians did object, but a pitifully small number.

Let me emphasize. The Holocaust was a Christian endeavour, conducted by Christians, led by Christians, and based on nearly 2,000 years of Christian churches teaching anti-Semitism. And those Christians thought they were doing right, supported in their views by the Gospel of John. As you recommend, Anthony, they read their gospels.

And you, Anthony, ignorantly try to tie the Holocaust to atheists.

You might respond, as others of your ilk do, with the risible claim that Hitler was an atheist.

But Hitler was brought up a Catholic, he learned his anti-Semitism at his priest's knee. Mein Kampf is full of religiosity. He never rejected his ties to the Catholic Church. And the Catholic Church did not start to reject its ties to Hitler until after he was dead.

Consider, on this very day (23 March) back in 1933, the German parliament passed the law which gave Hitler dictatorial powers. A month earlier in his first address as Chancellor, Hitler said:

We are determined, as leaders of the nation, to fulfill as a national government the task which has been given to us, swearing fidelity only to God, our conscience, and our Volk. . . This the national government will regard its first and foremost duty to restore the unity of spirit and purpose of our Volk. It will preserve and defend the foundations upon which the power of our nation rests. It will take Christianity, as the basis of our collective morality, and the family as the nucleus of our Volk and state, under its firm protection. . . May God Almighty take our work into his grace, give true form to our will, bless our insight, and endow us with the trust of our Volk.

(Almost sounds like a Tea Party supported candiate for US President doesn't he.)

"Christianity, as the basis of our collective morality." Those are Hitler's words. And the Holocaust followed.

So much for your linking of the Holocaust to atheism. It was strictly a Christian endeavour by a Christian leader and the Christian citizens of a Christian nation.

I would also point out that the thinking which made the Holocaust possible is kept alive today by Christian Identity and the Arian Nations. Both organizations are Christian, and get their supposed morality from the Bible. And then, of course, there is the anti-Semite and Holocaust denier, Bishop Richard Williamson of the Catholic Society of St. Pius X also working to keep this nonsense alive. To this day, in the western world, anti-Semitism is primarily led by Christians.

By the way, it is very popular in creationist circles to link Hitler to Darwinism. That is another blatant falsehood. In fact, Hitler explicitly rejected Darwinism for the same reasons many creationists do - the false idea that while microevolution is possible, macroevolution is not. The official nazi policy was that mankind did not have a common origin, but consisted of several distinct and separately created races. The Aryan race was the superior race, with other races such as Jews and Slavs being literally sub-human. No evolution for the nazis - but creation.

You opened, Anthony, by saying that "Atheists have absolutely no grounds for deciding what is right and wrong in a society." I would respond to that by saying that those who claim to get their morality from a holy book have absolutely no grounds for deciding what is right and wrong in a society. They have not learned to think about what is right and wrong. They blindly follow a contradictory error-filled book. And they are led into profoundly immoral acts.