Skip to main content

The Error of Associating Fascism with Atheism

By Ben Love ~

I want to address an issue that seems to be cropping up now and then in my ongoing dialogues with Christians. It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes I will encounter those Christians who use the atrocities committed in 1930s and 1940s by Nazi Germany as evidence that an atheist government, devoid of belief in God, will run wildly evil and will, well… fuck everything up for everyone. The record on this matter, however, might not be as clear as these Christians want it to be. Indeed, any brief student of Nazi Germany’s history can, without much effort, discover several pieces of evidence that not only connect both the Lutheran Protestant Church and the Roman Catholic Church to the doings of Hitler’s Third Reich, but that also indicate indisputably that Adolf Hitler believed that the Christian God specifically was on his side and that he, Hitler, was actually doing the work of this God.

Consider the following quote taken from Mein Kampf, the manifesto written by Hitler himself: 

“…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.” So, to which “Lord” is Hitler referring? He tells us in a speech he gave in Munich in 1922: “My feeling as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior… 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. Today, 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 myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice.”
“We’re convinced that the people need and require this faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement…”

Clearly, Hitler was referring specifically to the Christian God when he made these statements. Hitler even identifies himself as a Christian in this excerpt, an awkward matter of which many Christians are either unaware or, more likely, simply indifferent to.

What’s even more interesting is that Hitler was not at all silent on the topic of atheism. In this next quote, taken from a speech he gave in Berlin in 1933, Hitler makes mention of his loathing of the philosophy of atheism, a loathing which is documented elsewhere:

This clearly does not indicate, as some Christians would like us to believe, that National Socialism in Germany was an atheistic movement. On the contrary, National Socialism was an openly theist movement fronted by a self-professed Christian. And it was clear that Hitler, as the head of state, was speaking on behalf of the government he epitomized.

The facts are quite simple: the more one looks into the matter of the Third Reich, the more one comes away finding that it was not atheism fueling Nazism; it was theism! These National Socialists, of which Hitler was merely the spokesman, made it perfectly well known that their openly hostile discriminations against the Jews were rooted in Christian ideologies, passed down over the centuries, implicating the Jewish people in the execution of Jesus Christ and religious crimes against humanity.

Therefore, let us hear no more about how atheism was at the heart and soul of Nazism. It simply isn’t true.

However, I would be remiss not to mention that Joseph Stalin’s communist regime in the Soviet Union was indeed atheistic. It’s obvious from the mountain of evidence that Soviet Socialism was rooted in an absence of belief in God and complete intolerance of all religions. However, I would advise the reader to be wary of automatically connecting the atrocities of Stalin’s regime to those atheistic ideas undergirding it. Atrocities have been committed by humans of all societies and ideologies since the beginning of time. Nations have engaged in malevolent behavior throughout recorded history. We have no shortage of evidence for similar crimes being committed by numerous Roman emperors, European kings, the popes of the Crusades (who were most certainly not atheists), and Napoleon’s troops as they ravaged across Europe, to say nothing of the institution of slavery, which has existed for millennia and continues to exist today, even in nations where theism reigns supreme in the culture and in the government. In fact, let us not blind our eyes to the fact that the United States, a nation ostensibly erected upon openly theist principles, has itself been involved in slavery and other egregious crimes against humanity.

In any case, whether atheism was to blame for the many atrocities committed by Stalin’s socialist regime is a matter for the evidence to determine, but it could never be asserted that theism hasn’t slept in the same bed. For evidence of this, consider what ISIS is doing in the world today. What is ISIS if not hostile, militant theism? Consider the Crusades, which were essentially just crimes of unrestrained slaughter committed by Christians carrying the flag of Jesus Christ. Consider the oppression of the Native Americans by white Christians. The obvious truth is that humans, regardless of what they believe or don’t believe, are capable of both good and evil. I’ve met Christians with terrible values. I have met atheists with model values. Likewise, I’ve known atheists who are quite heinous, while some of the Christians I know are incredibly loving people. The point here is that atheism without humanism is just as dangerous as religion without love.

In short, the Christians should not get the “easy out” of blaming the horrors of the twentieth century on atheism. Theism played its role equally, as it always does.


Popular posts from this blog

Are You an Atheist Success Story?

By Avangelism Project ~ F acts don’t spread. Stories do. It’s how (good) marketing works, it’s how elections (unfortunately) are won and lost, and it’s how (all) religion spreads. Proselytization isn’t accomplished with better arguments. It’s accomplished with better stories and it’s time we atheists catch up. It’s not like atheists don’t love a good story. Head over to the atheist reddit and take a look if you don’t believe me. We’re all over stories painting religion in a bad light. Nothing wrong with that, but we ignore the value of a story or a testimonial when we’re dealing with Christians. We can’t be so proud to argue the semantics of whether atheism is a belief or deconversion is actually proselytization. When we become more interested in defining our terms than in affecting people, we’ve relegated ourselves to irrelevance preferring to be smug in our minority, but semantically correct, nonbelief. Results Determine Reality The thing is when we opt to bury our

So Just How Dumb Were Jesus’ Disciples? The Resurrection, Part VII.

By Robert Conner ~ T he first mention of Jesus’ resurrection comes from a letter written by Paul of Tarsus. Paul appears to have had no interest whatsoever in the “historical” Jesus: “even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, we know him so no longer.” ( 2 Corinthians 5:16 ) Paul’s surviving letters never once mention any of Jesus’ many exorcisms and healings, the raising of Lazarus, or Jesus’ virgin birth, and barely allude to Jesus’ teaching. For Paul, Jesus only gets interesting after he’s dead, but even here Paul’s attention to detail is sketchy at best. For instance, Paul says Jesus “was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” ( 1 Corinthians 15:4 ), but there are no scriptures that foretell the Jewish Messiah would at long last appear only to die at the hands of Gentiles, much less that the Messiah would then be raised from the dead after three days. After his miraculous conversion on the road to Damascus—an event Paul never mentions in his lette

Christian TV presenter reads out Star Wars plot as story of salvation

An email prankster tricked the host of a Christian TV show into reading out the plots of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Star Wars in the belief they were stories of personal salvation. The unsuspecting host read out most of the opening rap to The Fresh Prince, a 1990s US sitcom starring Will Smith , apparently unaware that it was not a genuine testimony of faith. The prankster had slightly adapted the lyrics but the references to a misspent youth playing basketball in West Philadelphia would have been instantly familiar to most viewers. The lines read out by the DJ included: "One day a couple of guys who were up to no good starting making trouble in my living area. I ended up getting into a fight, which terrified my mother." The presenter on Genesis TV , a British Christian channel, eventually realised that he was being pranked and cut the story short – only to move on to another spoof email based on the plot of the Star Wars films. It began: &quo


By David Andrew Dugle ~   S ettle down now children, here's the story from the Book of David called The Parable of the Bent Cross. In the land Southeast of Eden –  Eden, Minnesota that is – between two rivers called the Big Miami and the Little Miami, in the name of Saint Gertrude there was once built a church. Here next to it was also built a fine parochial school. The congregation thrived and after a multitude of years, a new, bigger church was erected, well made with clean straight lines and a high steeple topped with a tall, thin cross of gold. The faithful felt proud, but now very low was their money. Their Sunday offerings and school fees did not suffice. Anon, they decided to raise money in an unclean way. One fine summer day the faithful erected tents in the chariot lot between the two buildings. In the tents they set up all manner of games – ring toss, bingo, little mechanical racing horses and roulette wheels – then all who lived in the land between the two rivers we

Why I left the Canadian Reformed Church

By Chuck Eelhart ~ I was born into a believing family. The denomination is called Canadian Reformed Church . It is a Dutch Calvinistic Christian Church. My parents were Dutch immigrants to Canada in 1951. They had come from two slightly differing factions of the same Reformed faith in the Netherlands . Arriving unmarried in Canada they joined the slightly more conservative of the factions. It was a small group at first. Being far from Holland and strangers in a new country these young families found a strong bonding point in their church. Deutsch: Heidelberger Katechismus, Druck 1563 (Photo credit: Wikipedia ) I was born in 1955 the third of eventually 9 children. We lived in a small southern Ontario farming community of Fergus. Being young conservative and industrious the community of immigrants prospered. While they did mix and work in the community almost all of the social bonding was within the church group. Being of the first generation born here we had a foot in two

Morality is not a Good Argument for Christianity

By austinrohm ~ I wrote this article as I was deconverting in my own head: I never talked with anyone about it, but it was a letter I wrote as if I was writing to all the Christians in my life who constantly brought up how morality was the best argument for Christianity. No Christian has read this so far, but it is written from the point of view of a frustrated closeted atheist whose only outlet was organizing his thoughts on the keyboard. A common phrase used with non-Christians is: “Well without God, there isn’t a foundation of morality. If God is not real, then you could go around killing and raping.” There are a few things which must be addressed. 1. Show me objective morality. Define it and show me an example. Different Christians have different moral standards depending on how they interpret the Bible. Often times, they will just find what they believe, then go back into scripture and find a way to validate it. Conversely, many feel a particular action is not