Ok so i had a really good laugh today. I decided that a watching of Ray Comfort’s “180 movie” would be a good way to waste 33 mins of my life. The best synopsis of the contents of the film at present can be found on RationalWiki. But i can boil it down to two arguments Ray presents:
1) Hitler is Anti-christian.
2) Abortion in America is really akin to the Holocaust.
The second argument is really little more than the application of godwins law into a debate, furthermore the connection between abortion doctors in America today and the Nazis in the 1930’s and 1940’s is more silly and superficial than what Ray and his fellow religious propagandists make it out to be. Yes it is true that the Nazis used forced abortions upon women deemed “unAryan” (women who were Jewish or Slavic, etc.) in order to decrease their number as part of their eugenic policies, however for healthy Women of the Volksgemeinschaft it was a different story, because for them abortions were banned. Indeed in 1936, Heinrich Himmler created a Reich Central Office just for the purpose “for the Combating of Homosexuality and Abortion”! You know those two things Ray and his fellow religious fundamentalists don’t like. Being sarcastic here like i sometimes am, Does this mean that by ray’s logic he may be *shock horror* akin to a Nazi? In the real world, of course he isn’t!
But for the purposes of this, im going to attempt to rebut his other argument, that Hitler was no Christian.
Let’s begin with an observation about this video, and that simply is, is that ray does what he typically does i guess, which is to reveal his calibre of intelect by interviewing some “greasy Highschool students” as Thunderf00t put it in the Ray Comfort edition of his “WDPLAC” series and being amused when they fail to give a good answer. “Do you know who hitler was?” .”Do you know who hitler was?”, “No?”, “No?”
To paraphrase Tf00t again: “Bravo Ray we can debunk Mathematics by this method too can’t we?”
in addition to the “greasy Highschool students” we are also introduced to a a Neo-nazi that goes by the name of “steve”, who as you can see in the film has some very nasty things to say about Christianity. If you are going to pretend that all Neo-nazis are just like steve, you will be mistaken, Meet “Father” Angelo Idi.
He works in the parish of St. Francis, in Vigevano, Italy. Apparantly He once saw off a charity box thief with a truncheon And really wishes for you to care about, in his words “how good a priest I am.” If i were to take away the image and present to you only the information already given (without sources). Idi would probably Sound like someone not too far removed from the Priests who works in your local area wouldn’t he? The Thing is of course, i suspect he is very far removed from the priests in your area. As you can see from the image, Idi is a Neo-Nazi and a Christian. He says he is “proud” of his “right wing beliefs” And even in his part of the world as the Austrian Times expose reveals, He is not alone. Let’s continue with Ray comfort himself!
“Adolf Hilter hated Christianity, he called it a disease and one point said ‘the heaviest blow which ever stuck humanity was Christianity’ and adding ‘it was the invention of the Jew.’
Are we sure that’s a genuine remark there? Ray’s source although he doesn’t cite it is the Trevor-roper translation of the Table-talks, the one that, as i have explained elsewhere, it just so happens to be full of Mistranslations, see the “German Studies Review, Vol. 26, No. 3 (Oct., 2003), pp. 561-576” for more details.
“Hitler keineswegs areligiöus war,” or “Hitler was by no means unreligious” was the conclusion Werner Jochmann gave after surveying Hitler’s remarks on religion in their actual German. Why? well could it be because we can find quotations like this:
“Ich bin auf Grund höherer Gewalt da, wenn ich zu etwas nötig bin. Abgesehendavon, dass sie mir zu grausam ist, die seligmachende Kirche! Ich habe noch nie Gefallen gefunden daran, andere zu schinden, wenn ich auch weiß, dass es ohne Gewalt nicht möglich ist, sich in der Welt zu behaupten. Es wird nur dem dasLeben gegeben, der am stärksten darum ficht. Das Gesetz des Lebens heißt: Verteidige dich!
Die Zeit, in der wir leben, ist die Erscheinung des Zusammenbruchs dieser Sache. Es kann 100 oder 200 Jahre noch dauern. Es tut mir leid, dass ich wie Moses das gelobte Land nur aus der Ferne sehen kann.
Wir wachsen in eine sonnige, wirklich tolerante Weltanschauung hinein: Der Mensch soll in der Lage sein, die ihm von Gott gegebenen Fähigkeiten zuentwickeln. Wir müssen nur verhindern, dass eine neue, noch größere Lüge entsteht: die Jüdisch-Bolschewistische Welt. Sie muss ich zerbrechen.”
“Christus war ein Arier. Aber Paulus hat seine Lehre benutzt, die Unterwelt zu mobilisieren und einen Vorbolschewismus zu organisieren. Mit dessen Einbruch geht Die schöne Klarheit der antiken Welt verloren. Was ist das für ein Gott, der nur Wohlgefallen hat, wenn die Menschen sich vor ihm kasteien?”
or even Hitler’s remark with regards to the position of Man in nature:
“Das, was der Mensch vor dem Tier voraushat, der vielleicht wunderbarste Beweis für die Überlegenheit des Menschen, ist, dass er begriffen hat, dass es eine Schöpferkraft geben muss!”
None of these quotes reveal a “disease of Christianity” that Hitler wishes to get rid of but rather the expediency of his own warped, and im sorry ray, “Christian” ideology. As far as the German is concerned, Hitler makes it clear all the way through that he believes in God, Christ, the immortality of the soul, and divine providence. His so-called attacks on Christianity are really falsely translated Hitler attacks on what he sees as false dogmas and the sort of critiques of the Roman Catholic Church you might otherwise expect from a bigoted protestant. Continuing to pwn Comfort some more with his source, despite the faulty translations we see in the Trevor-Roper talks, we can if we look hard enough still see amazingly some glimmers of the Christian Hitler actually was.
“What a queer sort of Christianity they practise down there [in Spain]! We must recognise, of course, that, amongst us, Christianity is coloured by Germanism. All the same, its doctrine signifies: “Pray and work!””
Hitler on the Ten Commandments, have this quote in mind for a later Comfort claim:
“The Ten Commandments are a code of living to which there’s no refutation. These precepts correspond to irrefragable needs of the human soul; they’re inspired by the best religious spirit, and the Churches here support themselves on a solid foundation.”
It would appear that this is Hitler’s reaction to an FDR suggestion that Hitler might be Anti-christian:
“What repulsive hypocrisy that arrant Freemason, Roosevelt, displays when he speaks of Christianity! All the Churches should rise up against him for he acts on principles diametrically opposed to those of the religion of which he boasts.”
And my favourite; Hitler comparing Nazi religious policy to Soviet religious policy:
“It’s senseless to encourage man in the idea that he’s a king of creation, as the scientist of the past century tried to make him believe. … The Russians were entitled to attack their priests, but they had no right to assail the idea of a supreme force. It’s a fact that we’re feeble creatures, and that a creative force exists. To seek to deny it is folly. In that case, it’s better to believe something false than not to believe anything at all. Who’s that little Bolshevik professor who claims to triumph over creation? People like that, we’ll break them. Whether we rely on the catechism or on philosophy, we have possibilities in reserve, whilst they, with their purely materialistic conceptions, can only devour one another.”
Let’s continue down with what else Comfort claims:
He killed and imprisoned genuine pastors and replaced them with his own Nazi pastors.
Yes true. but there is a difference between being Anti-clerical, and being Anti-christian.
he also replaced the Cross with swastika. Printed over a thousand copies of his own twisted Bible.
I could find nowhere directly that said that the Nazis removed crosses or bibles from churches, but conversely I could find nothing that said they didn’t. But this later case is obvious to me, as why would anyone need to say they left the crosses and bibles in the churches? The positive claim of change has to be proven not the negative. But still I was wondering where this claim came about. So i did a little bit of research and from what i can gather the claim appears to have come partly from William Shirer in his book “The rise and fall of the third reich”, although Shirer not being immortal was wrong in this case, or at least inarticulate about it. In his work he talks about the Reich Church and that there was a set of 30 points put up by Rosenberg that made such demands (p213). As a source he uses: Stewart W. Herman Jr’s 1943 book “It’s your Soul We Want”. Now this is where it gets interesting, Herman was a Lutheran pastor who left Germany and fought in the allied armies so right there it seemed a little tainted. And but again Herman uses Rosenberg’s points. What none of this tells you is that Rosenberg’s paganism was rejected by Hitler and many Nazis.
“[which is why] Significantly …. [Rosenberg’s book “Der Mythus”] was published as a private work, never becoming an official guide to Nazi thinking, as Mein Kampf was. It never received the official stamp of the NSDAP, nor did the party’s official publisher publish it … The party in fact largely ignored it, as Rosenberg himself would later discover. Over 700 pages long, it was easily the most abstruse book ever written by a Nazi. In keeping with their own religious views, party leaders like Hitler and Goebbels heaped enormous scorn upon it. According to one biographer [Reinhard Bollmus], “Hitler completely rejected… the mysticism with which Rosenberg, in his main work…attempted to give a religious intensity to a racist interpretation of history”” – Richard Steigman-Gall, “The Holy Reich”, p92-93
And Rosenberg had nothing to do with the actual formation of the Reich Church. Herman, from what I can get of his book, is using a pamphlet Rosenberg wrote called the “Protestantische Rompilger” which is an addendum to his “Der Mythus” book that Hitler rejected. Anyway, this was not a publication of policy, it was only Rosenberg’s personal work and wishes, and not published by the party publisher, and Hitler had already rejected Rosenberg’s ideas anyway. And if this were truly Nazi policy than why such a source as this? There would have been a policy statement or order put out by a formal agency, but we only have Rosenbergs pamphlets and works. I at the moment have no claims from others that Crosses were non present, amusingly i would like to point out on a side that the very symbol of the “Deutsche Christen” movement is a Christian Cross with a swastika on it.
Also from Stiegman-gall and others are the statements that the Church downplayed the Jewish parts of the bible (old testament) not that the Bible was banned, just that certain parts were downplayed. And even as early as the turn of the century there were plenty Christian sects that wished to extricate the Old Testament from the ‘Christian’ bible, it was not a particularly uniquely Nazi idea. Indeed as far as i am aware it was even shared by the Kaiser in exile! (perhaps one could note how similar the Kaiser’s ideas were as presented here to Hitler’s own ideology?)
“In the mid-1920S, Wilhelm called for the formation of a ‘Christian International’ to launch the ‘Kampf’ against the Verjudung’ of Germany; after the ‘purification’ of the Fatherland, the struggle would have to be continued against ‘das Judentum’ in the whole world.” He demanded that the Bible be re-written to eliminate most of the Old Testament, so leaving only genuinely Christian elements, which he claimed were Zoroastrian and therefore ‘Aryan’ in origin and ‘not Semitic-Jewish’ at all. ‘Let us free ourselves from the Judentum with its Jawe!’, he cried in one of his last letters to Chamberlain.” And just as the Jews were not our religious forebears’, so of course Jesus was ‘not a Jew’, but a Gallilean, a man, he liked to believe, ‘of exceptional beauty, tall and slim, with a noble face inspiring respect and love; his hair blond shading into chestnut brown, his arms and hands noble and exquisitely formed’.” – source (pdf).
But even this wouldn’t be banning the bible, and evidently the Reich Church didn’t even go that far and only tended to ignore the parts in the Old Testament it didn’t like, (Also not unusual in Christianity, when has any Christian or indeed Ray followed or preached all in Leviticus?) So I have to call bullshit to his claim. The Rosenberg list was only Rosenberg’s own personal wish list, and not policy, no matter what Shirer wrote (and his sourcing here does not stand up to scrutiny, he never went to any primary source and took the word of someone with an axe to grind). also i could say that what has just been said about the Kaiser (especially if you read that document) renders this line by Comfort:
“He rewrote the Ten Commandments and then created his own Aryan anti-Sematic non-Jewish Jesus”
as meaningless! i guess it’s just part of his no true scotsman fallacy. He continues about how Hitler violated the 10 commandments, but the question i would then ask is How many times has ray violated the idea of “thou shall not lie” which he regards as a sin? He and his buddy Kirk Cameron certainly lied about Darwin in that special intro to the “Origin of species” didn’t he?
Ray then proceds to Quoting or quotemining Hitler; This is what he uses.
“The Jews are undoubtedly a race, but not human. They cannot be human in the sense of being made in the image of God…” – citing a “May 1923 speech in Munich”
We can see here what Ray omits out.
“The Jews are undoubtedly a race, but not human. They cannot be human in the sense of being made in the image of God, the Eternal. The Jews are the image of the devil. Jewry means the racial tuberculosis of the nations” – Hitler, quoted in Joachim C. Fest, “Hitler”, p212.
The jews are the image of the devil? Where do you think we might have heard that line before? Oh yes, it was a product of Christian Anti semitism indeed!
“A line of anti-Semitic descent from Martin Luther to Adolf Hitler is easy to draw. Both Luther and Hitler were obsessed by a demonologized universe inhabited by Jews. ‘Know, Christian,’ wrote Luther, ‘that next to the devil thou hast no enemy more cruel, more venomous and violent than a true Jew .’ Hitler himself, in that early dialogue with Dietrich Eckhart, asserted that the later Luther – that is, the violently anti-Semitic Luther – was the genuine Luther. Luther’s protective authority was invoked by the Nazis when they came to power, and his anti-Semitic writings enjoyed a revival of popularity. To be sure, the similarities of Luther’s anti-Jewish exhortations with modern racial anti-Semitism and even with Hitler’s racial policies are not merely coincidental. They all derive from a common historic tradition of Jew-hatred, whose provenance can be traced back to Haman’s advice to Ahasuerus. But modern German anti-Semitism had more recent roots than Luther and grew out of a different soil – not that German anti-Semitism was new; it drew part of its sustenance from Christian anti-Semitism, whose foundation had been laid by the Catholic Church and upon which Luther built. It was equally a product of German nationalism. Modern German anti-Semitism was the bastard child of the union of Christian anti-Semitism with German nationalism.” – Lucy Dawidowicz, “The war against the jews”, p23.
And i can guess you can tell Ray is being deliberately dishonest with his portraryl of Hitler by quoting a Hitler quote gleaned from a piece of fiction and passing it off as non-fictional fact, Perhaps someone ought to tell him to look up the very term “novel”. This is what he quotes:
“history will recognize our movement as a great battle for humanity’s liberation, a liberation from the curse of Mt. Sinai…[God is] a tyrant who orders one to do the very things one doesn’t like.” Source taken from The Ten Commandments: Ten Short Novels of Hitler’s War Against the Moral Code by Armin L.. Robinson (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1943), xiii.
and it’s fictional nature is exactly why i personally have not seen it anywhere in any of the major histories of Nazi Germany that i have read.
Im going to conclude, Here in this post i did not even bother with answering his trick Moral questions (which in my head i wonder to what extent they could satisfy J.S Mill’s utilitarian ethics. J.S Mill being an atheist which i find amusing in this context.) designed to convince the credulous, instead i’ve gone after his portraryl of Hitler. Ray to me seems to have violated “thou shall not lie” yet again.