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Refuting the myth that Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot were atheists

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It is a common talking point amongst Christians to attribute the horrors committed by infamous world leaders to atheism, and many times we are ill-equipped to refute those erroneous claims. In fact, last year, an Anglican Archbishop named Peter Jensen told his Australian congregation that atheism is not the rational philosophy that it claims to be. He stated, "Last century we tried godlessness on a grand scale and the effects were devastating: Nazism, Stalinism, Pol Pot-ery, mass murder, abortion and broken relationships - all promoted by state-imposed atheism…the illusion that we can build a better life without God." He further stated, "It's about our determination as human beings to have our own way, to make our own rules, to live our own lives, unfettered by the rule of God and the right of God to rule over us…What we're really seeing, once more [is] an example of the contest between human beings and God over who rules the world."

Atheist Foundation president David Nicholls says the comments are an act of desperation by the church. Personally, I think "desperation" is an understatement of epic proportions. There are so many things wrong with Jensen's statements that I had to sit here and stare at my screen for quite a while before I even found a starting point. I gave considerable thought to expounding on the sheer arrogance that a god rules the world regardless of whether or not anyone actually believes in one, the utterly ridiculous notion of a struggle between god and man, or their dogma about not being able to achieve peace, happiness and harmony in our society without their god. However, time being at a premium today, I decided to a different route.

First of all, there is no such thing as state-imposed atheism. A state can ban religion, but it cannot ban atheism because it is not a belief, a faith, a set of doctrines or dogmas and cannot be imposed on anybody. Atheism is an absence of belief, and you cannot ban something that does not exist. I have heard the argument so many times from believers who think that atheism is a belief. They compare it to a religion. They say it takes faith. They accuse us of hating god. Believers really need to find another line of fire, as all of these arguments only serve to make them look like complete idiots, which is unnecessary, as many believers are otherwise intelligent individuals. I will not bother to extrapolate the reasons why these are illegitimate arguments, as many of you already know the details. Those of you who don't can look them up yourselves, and perhaps better arm yourselves for the times when you are confronted by theists who offer them up.

Today, though, we are going to examine Jensen's claims about Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mass Murder and Broken Relationships. We'll start with the people he mentioned, and, as far as I'm aware, none of them said "I don't believe in god, therefore I will slaughter lots of innocent people". Let's start with Adolf Hitler…

On Adolf Hitler…

Christians have been trying to discredit Hitler's faith for decades, turning their eyes away from history books. From the earliest formation of the Nazi party he expressed his Christian support to the German citizenry and soldiers. He was baptized as Roman Catholic in Austria, attended a monastery school and was a communicant and an altar boy in the Catholic Church. He was confirmed as a "soldier of Christ" and his goal was to become a priest. He was never excommunicated or condemned and the church had stated that he was "Avenging for God" in attacking the Jews for they deemed the Semites the killers of Jesus. Look it up…

Hitler was given veto power over whom the pope could appoint as a bishop in Germany and forged a treaty whereas the National Socialist state was officially recognized by the Catholic Church. In a letter to the Nazi party, he wrote "…this treaty shows the whole world clearly and unequivocally that the assertion that National Socialism is hostile to religion is a lie."

He allied with Pope Pius in converting German society and made a deal with the church whereas the church absorbed Nazi ideals and preached them as part of their sermons, and in turn, Hitler placed Catholic teachings in public education. This lead to Hitler enacting doctrines of the Church as law. He outlawed all abortion, raged a death war on all homosexuals, and demanded corporal punishment in schools and home.

He was quoted as stating, "The National Socialist State professes its allegiance to positive Christianity. It will be its honest endeavor to protect both the great Christian Confessions in their rights, to secure them from interference with their doctrines (Lehren), and in their duties to constitute a harmony with the views and the exigencies of the State of today…Providence has caused me to be Catholic, and I know therefore how to handle this Church."

In fact, the Holocaust grew out of Hitler's Christian education due mainly to Jews having an inferior status in Christian Austria and Germany. The Christians there blamed the Jews for the killing of Jesus and the hatred that Hitler fostered against Jewish people began from the preaching of Catholic priests and Protestant ministers throughout Germany. It is well known that Martin Luther held a livid hatred for Jews and their religion. Luther wrote a book titled "On the Jews and their Lies" which set the standard for Jewish hatred all the way up to World War 2. Hitler, of course, expressed a great admiration for Luther.

The Nazis began to control schools insisting that Christianity was taught. They included anti-Semitic Christian writings in textbooks and were not removed from Christian doctrines until 1961. Nazi soldiers wore religious symbols and placed religious sayings on military gear. The official army belt buckle read "God With Us". They got sprinkled with holy water and listened to Catholic sermons before going out on maneuvers. The Nazis had a secret service called the "SS Reich" that would act as spies on the dealings of other citizens and if anyone was suspected of heresy they would be prosecuted.

Here are a few quotes from Hitler:

"We were convinced that the people needs and requires this faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations: we have stamped it out." -Adolf Hitler, in a speech in Berlin on 24 Oct. 1933

"My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God's truth! In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison. To-day, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow my self to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice… And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows . For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people." -Adolf Hitler, in a speech on 12 April 1922

"Christianity could not content itself with building up its own altar; it was absolutely forced to undertake the destruction of the heathen altars. Only from this fanatical intolerance could its apodictic faith take form; this intolerance is, in fact, its absolute presupposition." -Adolf Hitler Mein Kampf

"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." -Adolf Hitler (Mein Kampf)

Had enough of Hitler? OK, let's move on to Stalin:

Joseph Stalin was raised to be a Catholic Priest and I remain curious as to why his Christianity is shoved aside in all these arguments. Yes, there is no way to get around the fact that in his early career, Stalin made a vast effort to rid Russia of religion, but that had nothing to do with atheism. It was the only way he knew to seize power of the country.

For generations the entire populace of Russia had been taught that the head of state was supposed to be close to god. At the time in question, the head of the church in Russia was a tyrant. The Russians were already disposed to servility and all Stalin did was exploit these two facts, and place himself in the position of god. Once Stalin was firmly seated in office, he revived the Russian Orthodox Church in order to intensify patriotic support for the war effort. Stalin was part of a council convened to elected a new church Patriarch. Then the Russian theological schools were opened, and thousands of churches began to function. Even the Moscow Theological Academy Seminary was re-opened, after being closed since 1918.

So, while Stalin was no peach, he was not exactly what you would call a died-in-the-wool atheist. He was more a secular minded religious opportunist, which is a personal character trait. He did not use atheism to gain control, but religious principles that were modified to fit his own, sick and twisted method of revolution.

What about Pol Pot?

Truly a monster, having killed some twenty-five percent of the entire population of Cambodia. Pol Pot targeted not just different religions, but education, science and medicine in his quest for total domination. Now, let's take a head count of atheists who are against education, science and medicine. Thought so… Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge were composed of Buddhists and Pol Pot was a Theravada Buddhist. He studied at a Buddhist monastery and then at a Catholic school for 8 years. Cambodia's communism was influenced by Theravada Buddhism.

Prince Norodom Sihanouk said, "Pol Pot does not believe in God but he thinks that heaven, destiny, wants him to guide Cambodia in the way he thinks it the best for Cambodia, that is to say, the worst. Pol Pot is mad, you know, like Hitler."

So, while Pol Pot was definitely not a Christian, he was also definitely not an Atheist.

Let's get on with some Mass Murder, shall we?

Add up the deaths that were attributed to Hitler, Stalin and Pot. Then round up for good measure. You can safely say that the number is staggering. Probably upwards of fifteen million. However, consider the following conflicts where the only differences between the opposing factions were and are religion:

  • Albigensian Crusade, 1208-49
  • Algeria, 1992-
  • Baha'is, 1848-54
  • Bosnia, 1992-95
  • Boxer Rebellion, 1899-1901
  • Christian Romans, 30-313 CE
  • Croatia, 1991-92
  • English Civil War, 1642-46
  • Holocaust, 1938-45
  • Huguenot Wars, 1562-1598
  • India, 1992-2002
  • India: Suttee & Thugs
  • Indo-Pakistani Partition, 1947
  • Iran, Islamic Republic, 1979-
  • Iraq, Shiites, 1991-92
  • Jews, 1348
  • Jonestown, 1978
  • Lebanon 1860 / 1975-92
  • Molucca Is., 1999-
  • Mongolia, 1937-39
  • Northern Ireland, 1974-98
  • Russian pogroms 1905-06 / 1917-22
  • St. Bartholemew Massacre, 1572
  • Shang China, ca. 1300-1050 BCE
  • Shimabara Revolt, Japan 1637-38
  • Sikh uprising, India, 1984-91
  • Spanish Inquisition, 1478-1834
  • Taiping Rebellion, 1850-64
  • Thirty Years War, 1618-48
  • Tudor England
  • Vietnam, 1800s
  • Witch Hunts, 1400-1800
  • Xhosa, 1857
  • Arab Outbreak, 7th Century CE
  • Arab-Israeli Wars, 1948-
  • Al Qaeda, 1993-
  • Crusades, 1095-1291
  • Dutch Revolt, 1566-1609
  • Nigeria, 1990s, 2000s

If you add up all of the lives that were lost in the name of one religion or another, you come up with a staggering figure that is in excess of eight-hundred-million. That's eight-hundred-million. An eight, followed by eight zeros. So, even if the believers who are uneducated enough to think that Hitler, Stalin and Pot were psychotic mass murderers because they thought these men were atheists, it is horrifically clear that religious murder wins out.

Abortion and Broken Relationships…

I won't cover abortion here, as I have already wrote a piece on it that can be found by doing a search within my profile here at the Birmingham Atheism Examiner. Clearly, though, to attribute abortion to atheism is utterly ridiculous, as there are many Christians who support it.

As far as broken relationships go, it is common knowledge that the divorce rate amongst Christians is about on par with non-Christians of all types. Most Christians already know this. However, what they might not know is that the divorce rate amongst specifically non-believers of any faith - atheists - is demonstrably lower than that of believers, which only proves that the reason, rationality and personal responsibility that is dominant in most atheists serves as a better base for a relationship than an imaginary being that requires credulous servitude and a conceited desire to place himself above that of ones spouse and family.

Although the audacity of the Catholic Church continues to astound me in their attempts to bury their dirty laundry, the majority of the Christian community blaming atheism for the atrocities that have been committed largely in the name of religion or religious ideologies remains on of the pinnacles of arrogance. If I listed in this article all of the atrocities committed directly by the church from it's inception, you would be finished reading it right before the coroner arrived to collect you for death by old age.

By and large, the church is only interested in protecting itself, it's power and it's wealth and will do so however it can, using whatever means necessary. It will not end until it is either forced to by international law or it is eradicated from existence by the abandonment of it's membership. Either one would be fine with me.

Comments

  • Brent Rasmussen 3 years ago

    I don't think your headline means what you intended it to mean. Shouldn't it instead say:

    "Refuting the myth that Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot WERE atheists", or, "Refuting the myth that Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot were not THEISTS".

    Maybe I missed something?

  • Dianna Narciso, Orlando Atheism Examiner, Rational 3 years ago

    Your title: "Refuting the myth that Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot were not atheists" says that the myth is that they were NOT atheists. I don't think that's what you meant to say.

  • Catinthewall 3 years ago

    "Atheism is an absence of belief, and you cannot ban something that does not exist."

    These two statements are true, but seem to be non-sequitur in conjunction with each other. I think you're trying to say you can't ban the absence of something. The way you wrote it, it looks like you're saying Atheism doesn't exist.

  • Nick Carpenter 3 years ago

    Great article. Religion is a plague.

  • Redpen 3 years ago

    I vaguely inspected your list of religious wars and wars fought in the name of religion and couldn’t help but notice that the truth about some wars don't fit to your description of them. I won’t make a case for the rest of them, but, since I’m a Croatian, I feel an obligation to inform you that Croatia 1991-92 war, with due respect to the fact that Croatians and Serbs in a majority belong to different Christian denominations, wasn't in fact religious war or war waged because of religion. That was a conflict of two opposite interests. Croatians wanted to live in an independent state without unitarian tendencies opposed by dominant nation (Serbs), while Serbs were trying to expand their territory to the parts of Croatia where in 1990 lived even the smallest number of Serbian minority members.
    Since You mentioned that Stalin and Pol Pot didn’t wage wars in the name of atheism, it wouldn’t be fair to use Croatian war for independence as an argument for religious war.

  • MdN 2 years ago

    Oh, it was. Without Croats and Serbs being different sects (Catholic vs. Orthodox) of Christianity, what would be the difference between them? Would there have been a war? It's similar to Northern Ireland in a way. I'm a Croat too and I've seen the war. There was religion everywhere, maybe not as a leading cause (that would be the 18th century invention called "nationalism" on both sides), but as one of good excuses to go and kill the "others" - certainly.

  • Al Stefanelli 3 years ago

    The title was misprinted, and even though it has since been corrected, it still shows up incorrectly on Facebook posts, which can be corrected before shared.

  • Mark Plus 3 years ago

    In the real world, atheism has a content and promotes a set of positive beliefs, rather like veganism. Vegans don't just go through life not doing or believing in something (in their case, eating meat or otherwise exploiting animals). Many vegans go further to argue that carnivory poisons everything and that their alternative would make the world a better place.

    Similarly, many atheists argue that religion poisons everything and that the abandoning of god beliefs would make the world a better place.

  • frank 3 years ago

    You way undercounted the casualties by the three main guys in this article
    Hitler: 21 million Stalin: 50+ million PP: 2 million

    almost 75 million

  • Orhan 3 years ago

    Surely you want to include Chairman Mao in your list of "favorite atheist demonic leaders."

  • Reno Catholic Examiner 3 years ago

    St James said it well about War and Conflict,

    "Where do the wars and where do the conflicts among you come from? Is it not from your passions that make war within your members? You desire but do not possess. You kill and envy but you cannot obtain; you fight and wage war. You do not possess because you do not ask. You ask but do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions."

    There is nothing in here about atheism, or theism. There is only putting oneself first & above others. That means the corresponding putting other people less than ourselves.

    Yes, Hitler was raised Catholic. I could argue that he was not Catholic when he did his atrocities, but that would not refute your point. Did not know about Stalin or Pol Pot, though found it interesting.

    What all these men have in common is that they put their hate and their love of self above their neighbor. We do the same today. As Catholics and atheists we need to fight the true enemy, which is within ou

  • Rosemary Lyndall Wemm 2 years ago

    The point you have forgotten to make is that Christianity is supposed to lead to exemplary behavior, not behavior that is no different, or worse, than the behavior of Non-Believers.

    It is ridiculous to even think about arguing that someone stops being a Catholic or a Christian during whatever time it takes to act in a way that others, or specific religious factions, regard as "immoral". You might as well argue that Atheists cease to be Atheists during what ever time it takes for them to behave in a manner that others, or religious factions, see as "moral". Either way it makes nonsense of the doctrinal view that Christians have the moral high ground because they are (sometimes?) led by the spirit of whatever god you happen to prefer to believe exists.

  • Boethius 3 years ago

    Hitler was not publicly excommunicated in large part because official, public Church condemnations (and there were many) tended to provoke outbreaks of violence against Catholics and Jews. Also, you need to learn to distinguish between rhetoric and actual belief. Of course in 1922 Hitler is going to claim to be a Christian. How else would he gain power?

    Stalin did not study to be a 'Catholic priest' but did attend a Georgian Orthodox seminary. There's a difference! He was kicked out; hardly the shining example of Christian piety.

    Perhaps communism didn't precisely force atheistic 'belief' on everyone, but liquidating believers amounts to about the same thing.

    Theravada Buddhism, like most of the more ascetical forms of Buddhism, does not preach belief in any god; it is non-theistic, i.e.'atheistic'. Perhaps you are arguing for something like a non-metaphysical or materialist perspective, but don't blame believers in God for Pol Pot. Heaven's sake!

  • Anonymous 3 years ago

    Sounds to me like you're trying to use the No True Scotsman fallacy to suggest Hitler was not Christian despite evidence that he was. In addition, Communism as a political philosophy cannot force atheism on anyone, since they are orthogonal: there are religious communists just as there are atheist capitalists. The author did not blame believers for Pol Pot - he said Pol Pot was neither a Christian nor an atheist. The evidence presented suggests Pol Pot believed in some form of cosmic destiny.

  • anonymous1632 3 years ago

    Thanks for the argument, Al. I enjoyed reading it.

    I have a couple of quibbles, 'though.
    First, your title "refuting the myth.." means that you will substantiate the argument that ".. hitler, etc. were athiests". Your article did the opposite and refuted the claim that they were atheists, which is a myth. One must be clear when writing arguments.

    Second, when dealing with numbers killed by H, S, and PP vs. by religion it would be more convincing if you referenced a source (or preferably sources) for each leader and religious war, rather than just sum totals, which are of obscure origin. I would really like to know the individual totals so that I can argue effectively on your side. Such information would also be harder to refute.

    Thanks again for trying to put another nail in the coffin of this anti-atheist myth. It's like a zombie, and just won't die.

  • Anonymous 3 years ago

    Good article.
    Religion is a detriment to the progression of humanity.

  • Anonymous 3 years ago

    Stalin was not studying to become a Catholic, he was studying in a Russian Orthodox seminary, but by the age of 15 he was an atheist. If you ever read Stalin, it would be pretty clear to you were he stands on this. Try "Dialectical and Historical Materialism" for one thing.

    Yes, during WW II they did make concessions to the church in order to instill resolve in those on the front who still believed in Christianity. Facing extermination it was not the time to be picky over teaching troops dialectical materialism; if they wanted to go to fighting with the very realistic possibility of facing death and a priest made them feel better about it, so be it. It helped save the world from the nazi boot.

    Pol-pot did NOT kill 25% of the population. Your numbers on this are incorrect. Extimates that 20-30% of the population died during the time of Pol-pot need to take into account the fact that war was going on and at least 50% of those deaths should be attributed to U$ imperialism; they were bombing the shit out of Cambodia trying to get at Vietcong after all.

    In the end Pol-pot probably saved lives by evacuating Phnom Pen. The city was being bombed and the economy was in shambles, there was no food to feed people.

  • Anonymous 3 years ago

    Geez, who cares?

  • Anonymous 3 years ago

    People who care about the accuracy of historical accounts and are sick of being persecuted by people who claim things that have no evidence (i.e. Christians saying atheists are bad because well...look at Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot.) It's very common in secular vs. religious discourse.

  • Anonymous 3 years ago

    If you didn't care, why waste your oh-so-precious time leaving a comment?

  • Profile picture of Michael Salamon
    Michael Salamon 3 years ago

    Great article. I just have one quibble with it. On your list that has the (many) religious wars of history, Northern Ireland (1974-98) is listed. Now, it is clear that secterian conflict has rager there for centuries, not just the last few decades, however the battle was inextricably wrapped up in politics, specifically Irish nationalism/republicanim and loyalism/unionism. The former was of course supported largely by Catholics, the latter Protestants. However many people of both sects were exceptions to this rule, with a number of prominent nationalist Protestants, Wolfe Tone and Padraic Pearse being two famous leaders, while many Catholics were loyal to the British government, for instance the majority-Catholic Royal Irish Constabulary prior to 1921. Of course, I hold the view that religion can be any irrational, faith-driven belief, which includes fanatical politics and ideologies of all kinds. In terms of theism, however, it was more complicated, as many of these conflicts were or are. Just posted to lend a slightly broader perspective. Overall it's an excellent refutation of this slur.

  • Anonymous 3 years ago

    Stalin was never a Catholic like you claim. If he were then why would he go on to revive the Russian Orthodox Church rather than the Roman Catholic?

    Facts man. Next time do your homework correctly before you turn it in to be graded.

  • Profile picture of peter
    peter 3 years ago

    I refer you to the highly-praised biography of Stalin, by Simon Sebag Montefiore.

  • Anonymous 3 years ago

    Interesting summary, but I would like to see citations to relevant sources. Thanks!

  • Devyn 3 years ago

    “Pol Pot does not believe in God”…“he was also definitely not an Atheist.”

    Atheism actually just means “a lack of belief in a god/gods” so, yes, Pol Pot actually was an atheist. He certainly was far from rational; although he had no faith in gods, he did believe in a lot of other supernatural things (like destiny)—which is basically the whole point. He thought he was being guided by some higher purpose, something which most rational atheists [that's us, when sober ;-)] frown upon.

  • PaulyPaul 3 years ago

    I don't know if it adds much to your article, Stalin's niece confirmed Stalin was a "materialist". Also, Stalin was a Lamarckian, he rejected evolution, as did Hitler.

  • Anonymous 3 years ago

    Yes Virginia, Hitler (and the Nazis) were Atheists.
    A.N. Wilson in "God's Funeral" comes very close to laying the horrors of the 20th century at the feet of the atheistic philosophers of the 19th century. He sites two main philosophical branches: the Carlyle/Nietzsche branch in which God is replaced with the hero or superman, and the Hegel/Marx branch in which heaven is replaced with a workers utopia. The first gave us the atrocities of the far right, the other the atrocities of the far left.
    The Nazis, Hitler especially, despised Christianity as a belief fit only for weaklings, not for the coming Superman. With the possible exception of Himmler and his bizarre paganism, the Nazi ruling circle was composed of atheists. Though he called himself a Christian in Mein Kampf and in several speeches, it is well to remember that these were pronouncements for public consumption and were made by a consummate liar/politician.
    For his real views on the subject see his Table Talk, surreptitiously recorded by Martin Borman and never intended for the public. These statements represent his real views (more on this below).
    Hitler had every intention of destroying the Christian faith and replacing it with Nazism when the time was ripe. His accommodations with the Roman Catholic Church and German Protestant churches were purely tactical. For a more in depth look at this issue see the OSS post war report on Nazism and the churches run by Rutgers University.
    (see www.lawandreligion.com)
    For a shorter version, see pages 477-478 of Weinberg's "A World at Arms" (IMHO the best single volume history of the war). Religious faith was the common enemy of atheistic regimes of both the far right and the far left.
    An historical article from Christianity Today sums up the conclusions of the OSS report quite nicely: Donovan's Nuremberg report undermines the assertion, made by Feldman and so many others, that because several key Nazis had ties (however tenuous) to a church, and because the Nazis advanced insidious policies, then those insidious policies must be inherently Christian. To what extent elements of popular Christian ideology fed Hitler's anti-Semitism is a separate and valid question, but the "if A then B" connection fails because insidious anti-Christian policies do not fit the syllogism above.
    A plan to eradicate Christianity can hardly be construed as Christian, and persons supporting such a plan can hardly be considered believers of any standing.
    Perhaps we can now put that "Nazis were Christians" canard into the same waste heap as holocaust denial. Now, as for Hitler's Table Talk: Outside of the officially atheist Soviet Union, what politician in the 1930s (or even today, at least here in America) would publicly (or even privately)admit to being an atheist? Hitler was a skilled politician and a consummate liar (the two often go together). Mein Kampf was for public consumption and expressed only those views most likely to get him elected. To really understand what such a man believes, it is necessary to view those words that were not intended for public consumption, as historian Hugh Trevor-Roper makes clear:
    We must go direct to Hitler's personal utterances: not indeed to his letters and speeches-- these, though valuable, are too public, too formalised for such purposes-- but to his private conversations, his Table-Talk. Table-Talk, like notebooks, reveal the mind of a man far more completely, more intimately, than any formal utterance.
    In Table Talk the following statements on Christianity by Hitler will be found:
    The heaviest blow that ever struck humanity was the coming of Christianity. Bolshevism is Christianity's illegitimate child. Both are inventions of the Jew. The deliberate lie in the matter of religion was introduced into the world by Christianity. Bolshevism practises a lie of the same nature, when it claims to bring liberty to men, whereas in reality it seeks only to enslave them.
    Christianity is a rebellion against natural law, a protest against nature. Taken to its logical extreme, Christianity would mean the systematic cultivation of the human failure.
    Being weighed down by a superstitious past, men are afraid of things that can't, or can't yet, be explained-that is to say, of the unknown. If anyone has needs of a metaphysical nature, I can't satisfy them with the Party's programme. Time will go by until the moment when science can answer all the questions.
    Christianity, of course, has reached the peak of absurdity in this respect. And that's why one day its structure will collapse. Science has already impregnated humanity. Consequently, the more Christianity clings to its dogmas, the quicker it will decline.
    A movement like ours mustn't let itself be drawn into metaphysical digressions. It must stick to the spirit of exact science. It's not the Party's function to be a counterfeit for religion.
    If in the course of a thousand or two thousand years, science arrives at the necessity of renewing its points of view, that will not mean that science is a liar. Science cannot lie, for it's always striving, according to the momentary state of knowledge to deduce what is true. When it makes a mistake, it does 10 in good faith. It's Christianity that's the liar. It's in perpetual conflict with itself.
    The reason why the ancient world was so pure, light and serene was that it knew nothing of the two great scourges: the pox and Christianity.
    Pure Christianity-the Christianity of the catacombs-is concerned with translating the Christian doctrine into facts. It leads quite simply to the annihilation of mankind. It is merely whole- hearted Bolshevism, under a tinsel of metaphysics.
    I adopted a definite attitude on the 21st March '933 when I refused to take part in the religious services, organised at Potsdam by the two Churches, for the inauguration of the new Reichstag.
    Our epoch will certainly see the end of the disease of Christianity. It will last another hundred years, two hundred years perhaps. My regret will have been that I couldn't, like whoever the prophet was, behold the promised land from afar.
    The fact that I remain silent in public over Church affairs is not in the least misunderstood by the sly foxes of the Catholic Church, and I am quite sure that a man like the Bishop von Galen knows full well that after the war I shall extract retribution to the last farthing. And, if he does not succeed in getting himself transferred in the meanwhile to the Collegium Germanium in Rome, he may rest assured that in the balancing of our accounts, no "T" will remain uncrossed, no "I" undotted!
    Christianity is an invention of sick brains.

  • Anonymous 2 years ago

    Do you seriously believe that the whole of the church going Nazi army were atheists? Would a bunch of atheists be happy to wear uniforms with belt buckles that read "God with us"? Were all the church leaders who supported the Third Reich and vicious anti-semiticsm atheists?

    You have not thought this through very well, have you?

  • Dean Reeves 3 years ago

    You start to talk about a state enforced atheism, but go on to explain why a state cannot ban atheism. These are opposite ideas and it gets muddled. The archbishop was claiming that H, S & PP were enforcing atheism on the people, so I can't fathom why you would argue that atheism couldn't logically be banned. Your argument here is unrelated and makes little sense.

    Overall, great article. Would like to see more references, and it could use some refining, but great job.

  • Anonymous 3 years ago

    You start to talk about state "enforced" atheism, but then go on to explain why a state cannot possibly ban atheism. These are quite opposite, and you're argument is wierd and confusing here. The archbishop was saying that these men (H, S & PP) were forcing atheism on to the people, not that they were trying to enforce a ban. this needs major refinement.

    Overall a very interesting article, and it makes me want to do the research myself! Good job!

  • Anonymous 3 years ago

    So WWI and WWII were really about religion as were the motivation of Stalin and Pol Pot. G Khan
    was a similarly motivated....
    "Most of the great men of this world live as if they were atheists. Every man who has lived with his eyes open, knows that the knowledge of a God, his presence, and his justice, has not the slightest influence over the wars, the treaties, the objects of ambition, interest, or pleasure, in the pursuit of which they are wholly occupied."

  • Anonymous 3 years ago

    Remember the celebrated duality. We came for God and we came to get rich. The trinity would be
    Religion, money, power. The role of science and technology is different. Particularly foolish
    is blind faith in science and technology.

  • Profile picture of James-Michael Smith
    James-Michael Smith 3 years ago

    The Boxer Rebellion was religious? And Stalin wasn't an atheist? Wow...the things you can learn when you get your facts from the interwebz...

  • Anonymous 3 years ago

    "The Boxer Rebellion was religious?"
    In part, yes. It was a revolt against Christian missionary evangelism. The Boxers themselves had strange supernatural beliefs that influenced their decision to fight, such as the belief that "millions of spirit soldiers would descend from the heavens and assist them in purifying China of foreign influences" (http://bit.ly/bgwsvG). There was specific aggression against Chinese Christians. So yes, the Boxer Rebellion does fall under deaths influenced by religion.

    "And Stalin wasn't an atheist?"
    He didn't say Stalin wasn't an atheist, he's showing how he wasn't as opposed to religion as theists like to claim. The author is also pointing out the underlying motivations for pushing the church aside wasn't about atheism but about gaining power. It's a strong argument and your strawman response to it suggests that you recognize that.

  • OrugTor 3 years ago

    I'm convinced the line of argument here does more harm than good. We know that bad people come to power and kill many of the people they rule. Some do it in the name of their god(s), some profess atheism. The common theme is not religion, it is only tyranny. The role of religion in large-scale violence is in providing brainwashed, compliant fools who will carry out the commands of an authority figure without question. Throughout Western recorded history organized religions have been the consistent source of political power and thus provided people with power lust a convenient institution with ready-made followers.
    The proposition that religions produce wars and massacres leads you into a morass of conflicting historical analysis. Was Stalin an atheist? Was the Borgia pope a theist? I believe atheists are better off taking the high conceptual ground - religious beliefs are absurd and unsupportable and we take issue with those who persist in them.
    Personally, I never argue with religionists. The nature of the delusion all but guarantees the victim will steadfastly deny any facts or reasoning that conflict with the delusion.

  • Anonymous 3 years ago

    Alright you ignorant atheists... if there is no god, then HOW DOES THE SUN KEEP ORBITING THE EARTH? BAM!

    You see people, that's how you deal with atheist skum. With LOGIC! Hit that bullseye and the rest of the dominoes will come down like a house of cards... CHECKMATE!

    And on that note...

    Dunt dun duuh DAAAAHHHH!

    !!!!!!!!!MY ATHEIST STORE!!!!!!!!!

    Aristotle's Muse

    This is my store. Maybe wearing an atheist T-shirt won't change the world, but enough of them just might.

  • Anonymous 3 years ago

    Alright you ignorant atheists... if there is no god, then HOW DOES THE SUN KEEP ORBITING THE EARTH? BAM!

    You see people, that's how you deal with atheist skum. With LOGIC! Hit that bullseye and the rest of the dominoes will come down like a house of cards... CHECKMATE!

    And on that note...

    Dunt dun duuh DAAAAHHHH!

    !!!!!!!!!MY ATHEIST STORE!!!!!!!!!

    http://www.zazzle.com/briman232*

    This is my store. Maybe wearing an atheist T-shirt won't change the world, but enough of them just might.

  • Anonymous 3 years ago

    I agree with the thrust of your article, but this particular argument is quite weak, and you should revise it:

    "Atheism is an absence of belief, and you cannot ban something that does not exist," therefore, you conclude, "there is no such thing as state-imposed atheism."

    We atheists accept that gods do not exist, but It would be equally silly to say that "a state cannot ban something that does not exist, therefore, there is no such thing as state-imposed theism." Your choice of words has muddied the argument: of course there are no border patrol agents at the borders to turn away gods. What a state may "ban" or make into a crime is the profession of a particular set of ideas, be they theistic or atheistic.

    So your assertion that "there is no such thing as state-imposed atheism" does not hold. But you need not make this assertion to begin with. When Christians attack atheists by claiming "Stalin was an atheist therefore atheism is bad" it's just a logical fallacy. You should point out this logical error, and avoid stumbling into your own like "he was not a 'dyed-in-the-wool' atheist" as that's just the "no true Scotsman" fallacy.

    The major evil here is not a particular flavor of religion or the presence or absence of gods in a state. It's a credulous and frightened population who will abandon critical thought, gleefully adopt the us-versus-them mentality, and swallow whatever a charismatic authority tells them. That's the situation that brings about all of: mainstream religious belief, atrocities undertaken in the name of God, and atrocities undertaken in support of the Mother Country or Dear Leader. Unfortunately, religious apologists are reluctant to notice credulity, being credulous themselves.

    So they attribute the "evil" to the absence of their god from a state, despite the numerous examples of equally "evil" states and events undertaken in the name of their god, and secular states that currently rank as the happiest and most prosperous in the world.

  • Anonymous 3 years ago

    Great article, but seriously I burst out laughing at this part: "...his goal was to become a priest. He was never excommunicated or condemned and the church had stated that he was "Avenging for God" in attacking the Jews for they deemed the Semites the killers of Jesus. Look it up…

    Look it up? Seriously? I'm pretty sure this is where you cite your source... hmmm, wait not a single thing is cited here.

  • Anonymous 3 years ago

    Hi, i'm an atheist, and i see your're just doing exactly the opposite that the churchs does against atheists.... What's the point? There're bad atheist as well as bad christians or jews or musilms, the lack of religion isn't the lack of evil.

  • Anonymous 3 years ago

    "We do not want any other god than Germany itself. It is essential to have fanatical faith and hope and love in and for Germany." - Adolf Hitler.

  • Anonymous 3 years ago

    "English Civil War, 1642-46"

    This wasn't a religious war, this was a secular war between Parliament and the King. While both were extremely religious they fought over power rather than scripture. A better example might be the conflicts after King Henry VIII established the Church of England, a protestant church.

  • Eric the scholar 3 years ago

    This is an excellent article, but doesn't even begin to touch on the truth. What I mean to say is that the situation is far worse than many realize. More people have been killed in the name of Christianity than any other religious belief. You've never heard of Jewish wars where people were slaughtered because they refused to become Jewish. You've never heard of Pagan wars where people were slaughtered because they refused to believe in the power of nature. It's been the Church of Rome, and the secularist Protestant princes who waged wars. But we live in "different times" and the Roman Catholic hierarchy are MASTERS of propaganda. They are the ones who perfected it, and with over a millennium of practice they know how to influence the opinions of mankind. They layout plans for the decades and centuries rather than weeks and months like a corporation might do. They believe that they will always be around and will in time come back to power. The old saying is truth: Rome when in minority is gentle as a lamb, when in equality is clever like a fox, but when in majority is fierce as a tiger. This is not an epithet, it is a real fact of history. You can bet that if the Popes were to again be in power the Inquisitions would be reinstated and all heretics and atheists destroyed. Catholicism is not a religion of peace, no matter what their deluded lay members may think or say. They are caught in a web of deceit formulated with just enough truth and 'good feelings' to keep them in the web.

  • Anonymous 3 years ago

    The author of this article is in denial that Stalin was an atheist...even Richard Dawkins acknowledges that....he was raised Christian but became an atheist later on just like lots of atheists did

  • Anonymous 3 years ago

    I don't have much to say about the factual contents of the article. My point of contention here is the notion that atheism is not a belief. I was raised Hindu, but am agnostic, possibly nihilistic in that i try very hard not to hold beliefs. Atheism may not be a belief system or structure, but it's inherent that you believe that there is no god. One may word it that they don't believe in god, but they're effectively and semantically different statements. As an agnostic i don't believe in god. Nor to i believe there is no god. Yet most every atheist i've come across is adamant that there is no god, which can only be a belief.

    God is inherently a non-scientific value. It cannot be verified or falsified through the scientific method, or by any mortal means outside of observing all of space-time simultaneously. As a result of the non-scientific nature of god, the matter of its existence or non-existence must be an article of faith. Faith that there is one (or many) or faith that there is none. The middle ground is saying "i'm mortal and don't know", which is not atheism.

  • andreas 3 years ago

    yepp, they were gods, and used others or not how they wanted. Only a detail: Your "atheist"-argumentation is an agnostical one, and only valid for agnostic atheists! not for gnostic atheists!

  • Profile picture of Kevin Meares
    Kevin Meares 3 years ago

    So Stalin being raised Catholic makes him Cathoilc? I assume I don't need to waste time refuting the foolishness of that claim. Stalin was an atheist whatever he was raised (strangely many atheists weren't raised Christian go figure). As for your comments on Hitler and the myth of his deal with the Pope I'd recomend more research from less biased sources. Try some of the Rabbis who commented on Pope Pius XII after the war for a start. Try the Jewish scholars given jobs in the Vatican when the fascists took power. Or how when the Nazi's came to Rome it was the Vatican who made sure the 100 pounds of gold the Nazi's demanded as ransom against Jewish lives got paid. Or how Pius requested Cathollic priests do everything they could to protect the jews. For that matter Hitlers rejection of Christianity as it was formally practiced. He was interested in true or (in his words) positive christianity a fantasy he invented without basis in scripture. Was he really an atheist? Maybe, maybe not but he was not a catholic nor supported by them.

  • Enric Martinez 3 years ago

    Or the Spanish Franco Regime for that matter? What about the Hungarians? And the Vichi France? All good Catholics and there is no myth and not even a need to investigate.

  • Profile picture of Bradford Locke
    Bradford Locke 3 years ago

    A belief that there is a God and that he created is crazy? Really? I pose this question then. Let's say I have a nice expensive watch that i disassemble and put it into a plastic bag. Then I begin to shake this bag. I spend a few billion years shaking that bag. If you are an atheist, you have faith that at the end of that few billion years I will not only pull out a perfectly working watch, but that it will also be on exactly the right time. I believe that it is much less of a stretch to believe that a watch maker comes along and puts it together and sets the time. I don't need nearly as much faith as you to support my theory and I do believe it is far more credible of a scenario than the atheistic community blindly follow. As for atheists against science and education, the list is so long as to make it impossible to include with the few words i have remaining. The simple fact is that atheists have pushed Creationism out of schools so that children are unaware of an alternate explanation for why we are here. Scientists have been black listed simply for speaking about or publishing their thoughts on intelligent design. Sure atheists are for science and education, just so long as it supports their own agenda and their ideas that have huge holes that only the being of a divine creator can explain. Anyone can look up random facts online and put quotes around statements from others. Perhaps doing research oneself would lead to more enlightenment? God Bless You!

  • Anonymous 3 years ago

    Hitler may have used a Christian guise to get power but he was definitely not Christian. For one, Christians are told to bless the Jews. History tells us he clearly missed that one.

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