The Atheist Atrocities Fallacy – Hitler, Stalin & Pol Pot

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By Michael Sherlock

Religious apologists, particularly those of the Christian variety, are big fans of what I have dubbed, the atheist atrocities fallacy. Christians commonly employ this fallacy to shield their egos from the harsh reality of the brutality of their own religion, by utilizing a most absurd form of the tu quoque (“you too”) fallacy, mingled with numerous other logical fallacies and historical inaccuracies.  Despite the fact that the atheist atrocities fallacy has already been thoroughly exposed by Hitchens and other great thinkers, it continues to circulate amongst the desperate believers of a religion in its death throes.  Should an atheist present a believer with the crimes committed by the Holy See of the Inquisition(s), the Crusaders and other faith-wielding misanthropes, they will often hear the reply; “Well, what about Stalin, Pol Pot and Hitler? They were atheists, and they killed millions!”

Given the obstinate nature of religious faith and the wilful ignorance it cultivates in the mind of the believer, I am quite certain that this article will not be the final nail in this rancid and rotting coffin.  Having said this, I do hope it will contribute to the arsenal required by those who value reason, facts and evidence, in their struggle against the fallacies perpetually flaunted by those who do not value the truth above their own egocentric delusions, delusions inspired by an unquenchable thirst for security, no matter how frighteningly false its foundation.

Before addressing the primary weaknesses of the atheist atrocities fallacy itself, I would like to attend to each of these three homicidal stooges; Stalin, Pol Pot and Hitler, who are constantly trotted out to defend a religious worldview.  I will lend Hitler the most time, as the claim that he was an atheist represents a most egregious violation of the truth.

HITLER

“Besides that, I believe one thing: there is a Lord God! And this Lord God creates the peoples.”  [1]    ~Adolf Hitler

 “We were convinced that the people need and require 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” [2]   ~Adolf Hitler

Hitler was a Christian.  This undeniable fact couldn’t be made any clearer than by his own confessions.  Yet, I will not merely present you with these testimonies, as damning as they happen to be on their own, but I also intend on furnishing you with a brief history of the inherent anti-Semitism of the Christian religion.  I will do so to demonstrate beyond any reasonable doubt that Hitler and his Christian Nazi Party were acting in complete concordance with traditional Christian anti-Semitism.


 

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88 COMMENTS

  1. @OP – Hitler was a Christian. This undeniable fact couldn’t be made any clearer than by his own confessions.

    Hitler was brought up a Catholic and he was never excommunicated, but also drew support from Protestant churches.

    Although Hitler’s inspiration for the Nazi swastika is uncertain, it may have been influenced by the swastika displayed at the Benedictine monastery where Hitler served as an altar boy. Whenever Hitler attened mass, he had to pass beneath the Benedictine swastika graven in the stone escutcheon of the abbey portal. Considering that Hitler once wanted to become a Benedictine monk, it is possible that this swastika stuck in his mind and later influenced his design for the Nazi swastika.

    http://nobeliefs.com/mementoes.htm

    The Deutsche Christen (German Christians) were a German Protestantism movement aligned towards antisemetic principles of Nazism. The DC were sympathetic to Hitler’s goal of uniting the individual Protestant churches into a single Reich church.

    The DC was first formed in 1931 and the flag was flown during marches and demonstrations.

    Hitler and NAZI Christian connections are preserved in the flags and badges of the organisations! – Shown on the link!

  2. There is a similar article on this topic here!

    http://www.examiner.com/article/refuting-the-myth-that-hitler-stalin-and-pol-pot-were-atheists-1

    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.

  3. Hi Roedy,
    you make a good point, however I often feel we focus far too much on the Nutter at the top instead of the conditions within the society in which they are allowed to reach ascendancy. A significant amount of people had to think sufficiently like him or use him cynically to allow him to come to power. In this sense I think the influence the church had on anti-Semitism in the general population allowed this to occur so it doesn’t let them off the hook. There may have been a Hitler, there may have been a holocaust, but the flavour of the holocaust we got certainly has religious origins.

    Anyone who has belonged to any club or organisation will know that there are Hilters everywhere, they just normally don’t get to exercise much in the way of power other than potentially destroying said club or organisation. In Australia over the last decade or so our ugly underbelly of racism has been used by both sides of politics again and again, it has gotten to the point where any signs of nationalism make me feel slightly queasy.

    But you are right I think a fair case can be made that he was just plain nuts. The difference between someone like him being considered a fringe figure or conspiracy nut case and gaining the keys to power I think does have a lot to do with ideology, and religion plays right into that.

  4. Thanks Michael Sherlock. That’s a comprehensive argument to whip out when we hear that old refrain. It’s tiresome that the need is still there, but an attempt to rewrite history is constantly being put to us.
    I had not realised Pol Pot was a Buddhist. A handy piece of information to have.

  5. I am not sure if Hitler was a christian, but I am sure he was mad, what role would the recovery of ancient germanic mythology play in nazism ? I confess I have bought a magazine issue about that and I will look for some sort of answer.
    That´s part of language evolution that certain words change the meaning, commonly, that means morality, and that´s not by any means associated with such dictators, that´s normal in common minds/language (not all people are not rigorous historians/history students).

  6. ‘Look at those Atheist coffee creamer tops!’ was not the headline given this news item.

    Naturally, it would be ludicrous to make such statement, as it as false as the other claim: Hitler et.al. = atheism. Folks, take a few minutes to think it through with reason, as opposed to the easy way – guilty by association.

  7. The Cristero War in Mexico is often overlooked, and I think make the best argument for an atrocity perpetrated in the name of secularism.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cristero_War

    Personally, I take an exception to a rule as proof of a rule. Over the course of time, the likelihood of any event approaches 1. Of course, I’m not entirely resigned to this being such an example. I’m curious to hear thoughts on it.

  8. Thanks for this great takedown of the tired old Trinity of Evil trope. Inevitably, when all other arguments fail them, the Christians I encounter fall back on this trope. “You say religion causes all sorts of atrocities – what about Hitler/Stalin/Pol Pot?!!!?” It’s nice to have such a clear-cut rebuttal at hand, even though most Christians don’t seem to care about actual facts, real history, or the finer points of logic.

    Especially telling is the fact, nicely brought out in this article, that each of these dictators – regardless of their personal beliefs – stepped into a situation ready-made for a tyrant: A society primed with centuries or even millennia of religious indoctrination that could be used to enable and enhance the tyrant’s own goals. This is a point often overlooked in such “atheism = evil” arguments.

  9. The liars for Jesus unconvinced by the utter lack of evidence for their own claims are too readily convinced by their fallacies of even recent history. Viewing all things with the equanimity of total ignorance.

  10. At the end of this excellent and enlightening piece I found myself put in mind of that ugly, agglomerative, verbally deflective concoction “Islamophobia.”

    And I just love the argument from fallacy!

    This, I have to commit to memory and carry with me at all times.

    Incidentally, the other day I had an interesting heartening conversation with my ninety two year old neighbour, who was a navigator in Avro Lancasters in the WW2; he’s physically broken but mentally extremely astute.

    A joy.

  11. Very good article, and a very solid job of breaking down the individual components of how fallacious the claims are.

    It is sadly entirely too common for people to automatically assume that atheism is merely an opposite mirror of religion when in reality it is merely the negation of any kind of theological belief and nothing else. No belief system of its own, no doctrines or propitiations, merely a position that there is no reason to belief in any theistic position.

    It is also a big part of why it is impossible to expect every atheist will argue a given position the same way because it is due to what information they have and what effort they go through to debunk an argument rather than just quote mining a religious text which the religious are prone to do instead of arguing from fact.

    The key in all instances is knowledge. Hitler was Christian. Stalin was raised Christian and thrived in a country based on those very values. Pol Pot was very likely Buddhist and at the very least usurped ideals from Buddhism to further his own agenda.

    Where precisely is the atheism here? How can you argue these points repeatedly unless you wish to ignore the religious background of each dictator in favor of setting up countless strawmen to support an unsupportable position?

    It baffles me.

  12. They didn’t all commit genocidal mass murder while evoking some mantra of atheism….there was no atheist movement or in fact any shared political doctrine but they were all on the other hand megalomaniacal individuals who defied religions, political systems, monarchy and human rights in general – some being especially prejudiced against the scapegoat groups they labelled as to blame for the Inequality they experienced in their countries.

  13. I’ve re-read chapter seventeen of “God Is Not Great”, and although I lack the scholarship to question much of it, after having read this article I’m very much inclined to stop suspecting myself of confirmation bias when I accept its contents.

    Further, in “Religion and Morals” (1952) Russell says “I admit at once that new systems of dogma, such as those of the Nazis and Communists, are even worse than the old systems, but they could never have acquired a hold over men’s minds if orthodox dogmatic habits had not been instilled in youth.”

    So, despite my eternally vigilant scepticism, I am now ready to state, in my own right, and unequivocally, that organized religion is the worst self inflicted wound humanity suffers.

    That is not in any way shape or form to indict the individual religious believer; they are its victims.

  14. As has often been pointed out, atheism is not a creed or ideology. There is no atheist morality, Therefore, nobody can be said to be implementing this non-existent moral code.

  15. I wasn’t aware how widespread the Atheist Atrocities Fallacy is out there in the discourse between Christian apologists and atheists. Frankly, I would attribute all atrocities to basic evil, regardless of the excuse.

    Furthermore, to simply connect the various barbaric deeds, inflammatory statements, or even antisemitic rhetoric and actions in such a knee-jerk manner with Christianity also promotes a fallacy. When such malevolent actions or rants that were targeted against Jews, or any other group for that matter, are measured against what Jesus and his apostles preached, as recorded in the New Testament, the disconnect between actual deed and the meaning of Christianity is stark. It doesn’t matter who the actors were (or are) from the Pope on down, their actions (or lack thereof) have to analyzed in light of what the book says.

    Thus, so what if Hitler was claimed to be a “Catholic”, or “fighting for Christ” against the Jews to avenge his death. His “piety” was only an excuse, a facade to cover his barbarity against not only the Jews, but all manner of those considered ill fit to share in the “glory” of the coming thousand-year Reich. Hitler certainly was religious; he worshiped himself, and be damned to anyone who got in his way. The same goes for Stalin, Pol Pot, or any other megalomaniac on the world stage. Whatever idea or belief they had in a supernatural power, or even in the God of the Bible, it was “hit the road Jack, get out of the way, you’re history” for such a deity. If Hitler had claimed to be a duck, would someone stand around with baited breath to hear him quack? (Unfortunately, there may have been a few.)

    As far as New Testament Christianity fostering antisemitism, I don’t see it. In fact, various references (Romans 5:8, for example) declare that the one ultimately responsible for Christ’s death on Earth was God the Father. Thus, any so-called Christian wishing ill on the Jews has his/her anger misplaced. They should be shaking their fists at God instead. (I realize that many reading this argument consider the God of the Bible or such events as the crucifixion/resurection to be fantasy, but I’m simply trying to show the inconsistency between what is written and the actions or statements of various persons, even those who profess the Christian label.)

    So who is a a true Christian? God only knows.

  16. The prefix ‘A’ means ‘without’ or ‘not’, and that’s all it means. What’s wrong with that? Why do people get their knickers in a twist about it?

    Perhaps it’s because they have a dependency, a habit, which needs a fix every so often, – usually about once a week, but in some cases five times a day, – and they envy those who don’t need a crutch to get through life.

    And I know from bitter experience that if it’s mentioned to someone who has a drink problem, even light-heartedly, that perhaps they over did it the previous evening, they tend to fly off the handle.

    Isn’t that what religious individuals have a tendency to do when their beliefs are questioned?

    Witness the tremendous row about “Life of Brian”.

    And what is to be made of someone who is perfectly able in body and mind but uses a crutch anyway?

    Isn’t that some kind of affectation?

    ‘Affectation’ : n. behaviour, speech, or writing that is artificial and designed to impress; Concise Oxford English Dictionary.

    And aren’t such facades sometimes used to hide pernicious conduct?

    Just a few thoughts.

  17. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/wwjtd/2014/10/man-who-drove-a-car-into-the-oklahoma-ten-commandments-monument-is-a-christian/

    Was going to post an update to the OK City ten-commandments controversy, but discovered Patheos ran with it. Rubs eyes, did the author really say he and Hemant presumed the accused was an Atheist?? does.not.compute. Considering all the variables re perpetrator, wait for facts.

    Also, the tone of the article seems to be ha ha, score one for Atheism, yes!! Although I concede that ‘bragging rights’ is a perfectly natural, human state of mind (e.g. wow, a ten-pointer!).

  18. *

    So who is a a true Christian? God only knows.

    *

    During all middle ages period, kings were obliged to treat all men like brothers, that was a morality code certainly.
    Even when atrocities occured and the clergy were responsive, people commonly didn t consider atrocity qas “christian”, so there is some more solid than what you d think, centuries

  19. maria melo Oct 27, 2014 at 7:39 am

    During all middle ages period, kings were obliged to treat all men like brothers, that was a morality code certainly.

    Kings had “a divine right”, to do what they liked as absolute rulers!
    The code of chivalry, only applied to knights/aristocrats (who could be held for ransom). Peasants were just slaughtered in battles between robber barons, while kings demanded whatever they liked and absolute loyalty, from anyone who had property.

    Robber barons commonly bought “forgiveness” for their abuses, by funding church-building projects.

  20. “Kings had “a divine right”, to do what they liked as absolute rulers!”

    No they did not, not even could the king intevene in a family chief decisions (that´s why family right evolved become private right).
    Perhaps the russian czar was a divine figure himself, not most of kings of medieal europe, kings were not divine themselves but vicars -representants of christ.

  21. maria melo Oct 27, 2014 at 8:59 am

    “Kings had “a divine right”, to do what they liked as absolute rulers!”

    No they did not, not even could the king intevene in a family chief decisions (that´s why family right evolve for private right).

    In some countries, churches, nobles, or parliaments tried to restrict the domain of kings, but the “divine right” is clear!

    http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divine_right_of_kings
    The divine right of kings, was a political and religious doctrine. It meant that a monarch was given the right to rule by God alone. His authority could not be questioned because he ruled in God’s name. It gave a king absolute rule over his subjects.

  22. Roedy Oct 23, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    To be fair to the Christians, Hitler did his evils because he was Hitler, not because he was Christian.

    Not really! The culture of antisemitism in the Lutheran Church in Germany pre-dates Hitler by centuries.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Luther_and_antisemitism

    Martin Luther (1483–1546), a German Reformation leader, had a significant influence on German antisemitism by his virulent anti-Jewish statements and writings.

    Luther’s attitude toward the Jews changed over the course of his life. In the early phase of his career—until around 1536—he expressed concern for their plight in Europe and was enthusiastic at the prospect of converting them to Christianity through his religious reforms.
    In his later career, Luther denounced the Jewish people and urged for their harsh persecution. In a paragraph from his On the Jews and Their Lies he deplores Christendom’s failure to expel them.

  23. What I find bizarre about this fallacy is that it should be obvious that the atrocities were committed for explicitly political, ethnocentric, and “ethical” reasons, not because such men didn’t believe in God. The Nazis targeted Jews, homosexuals, and Roma people not because they had the temerity to believe in God, but because they were despised minorities presumed to have corrupted society and betrayed Germany during the first World War, combined with the fact that they were considered impediments to the Nazi’s idealized social, economic, and industrial plans. Stalin in power killed because he was permanently paranoid about subversives and spies trying to undermine the Soviet Union, and because of his power, he knew he could send millions of soldiers and prisoners to the frontlines or to the gulags because there were more where they came from. Even Mao’s atrocities were mostly led by an optimism in the party line for solidarity in his own version of socialism. You could have baptised, christened, and turned all these men into devout believers, and their socioeconomic and political motivations would remain largely the same.

    More interestingly, their haemoclysmic ideologies probably owed more to the romanticized, conservative, dogmatic, military-esque, paternalistically patriotic nationalism of the Romantic movement of the 19th century than to the Enlightenment which made atheism more respectable. Makes them sound more like the religious right than the atheist crowd.

  24. It’s an awfully long time since I read this, but I find it more enjoyable now than ever, and more important.

    I especially enjoy the gentle and witty manner in which he mocks religion.

    Wonderful.

  25. So the Christian and other religious apologists are “economical with the truth” when it comes to history ? Well, surprise surprise ! As Stalin put it: “The victors write the history”. How the Christians must miss the glorious days of the Holy Roman Empire when to be a priest meant having some political power. OK the Pope and the Emperor would have their little disagreements from time to time, but both were members of a very exclusive club, and both had lean and mean “justice” systems. Opposition was not to be allowed.

    Oh how that poxy capitalism and its relentless pursuit of profits among rival national capitalists, bought by the unpaid labour of so many workers, upset that cosy little arrangement ! With WW1 the first whiff of poison gas was the end of that particular empire and the beginning of other more ruthless and more industrialised empires.

    Jesus of course did what he always does, – absolutely nothing.

  26. Excellent essay/blog by Mr. Sherlock! Aside from the fallaciousness of the argument, the apologists’ defense amounts to no more than a 5-year-old’s tu quoque (“you too”) fallacy, to which Christopher Hitchens rightly lampooned:

    “…it is interesting to find that people of faith now seek defensively to say that they are no worse than fascists or Nazis or Stalinists.”

  27. I feel a bit sorry for that atheist fascist dictator Mussolini, and that Catholic fascist dictator Franco. Are they somehow not in the Premier League of 20th century despots ?

  28. I think what most people fail to see is first, what drove these despots into the situation in the first place and secondly, that each of these men ran his state like an inquisition.
    For instance in Russia, millions of people were starving to death, thanks to the greed and thoughtlessness of the Csar and the aristocracy, an aristocracy that was in control of the Russian church and, that claimed divine right and also his inability to modernise the nation, so it could feed it’s people.

    This starvation was caused, in part, by a war started because a Grand Duke was shot. Many commoners died thanks to the Catholics and Protestants of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Germany and the Muslim Ottoman Turks.
    The revolution began, the religion was considered, in part, to blame but, to solidify his hold on the people, Stalin used Catholic tactics and created an inquisition, removing all of his opposition, creating a personality cult, with him at it’s head.
    Hitler, however, used religious fervour to control his populace. He claimed he was doing God’s work. The Catholic church supported him in his endevour; as he used an inquisition to remove all of his opposition.

    Pol Pot went to a Catholic school, his family was connected to the Royal family and he was educated in Paris. One can argue that, if it was not for the Christian, anti-Communist USA doing everything it could to prevent lawful governments forming via war, murders, bribery and corruption via the CIA, this man (along with despots all over the world) may not have got into power.
    The USA supported the Nationalist Pol Pot both financially and politically, because they helped keep the ethnic Vietnamese Communists at bay. The secret bombing of Cambodia, killing hundreds of thousands of people, helped him gain power. Pol Pot too, used an inquisition to remove all signs of dissent.

    One could argue that, through all the wars, corruption, manipulation, bombings in countries all over the world from Argentina to Iraq, to Vietnam, the Christian nation of USA has killed more people than any other nation on Earth. Their desire for wealth and control of populations, their irrational fear of Communism, their desire to do God’s work, their need to spread”democracy” (but only to places that are worth money), they have been in constant conflict since the country was founded. They use their wealth to manipulate governments, placing despots into power, despots who murder their populations to stay in power, the USA funds these men, they support these men and they allow it to happen, without regard for law, morality or life.

  29. Those who help people (such as Hitler) get to the top are what I call “power leeches”. They don’t care about the ideology of the powerful person so much, they just want to be associated with that power, hoping some of it will “rub off” on them. “Power leeches” will join a committee, be very loud and opinionated at meetings, but never volunteer for the chair or anything. They want power, but not responsibility.

  30. Vorlund, thank you for the reply. Listened to Bertrand Russell’s argument. A brilliant man and very logical. He’s quite correct to question the faith of some professing Christians who he sees doing things that run counter to the message. But, nonetheless, he, I, nor anyone else can be the ultimate judge. Of course, in many cases, a person’s chronic behavior certainly lends itself to drawing a conclusion about the person, but not one that consigns him/her to their final destiny.

    Regarding logic, Christianity does defy logic. The idea that the Creator of everything sacrifices part of himself, in the form of a man, to death only to raise him up three days later is absurd. That is, of course, unless it’s true. Paul thought so, based on his experience on the road to Damascus. He believed it enough to undergo persecution for something he would know was a fraud or not. He even called himself and fellow believers fools if Christ was not raised from the dead.

    Believing in the crucifixion/resurrection of Christ is the gateway to being a Christian, and one would expect that such a person’s behavior would generally line up with the Bible’s exhortation to aim to be like Christ. We’re not talking perfection here, or something to brag about, but what a believer chases after day after day. Stumbles will occur, but repenting and turning towards God again is the key.

    Best wishes.

  31. I agree that Hitler’s behavior speaks more about him and his personal insanity than about his Christianity. After all, there are millions of Christians who are products of the same historical legacy and very few become genocidal maniacs.

  32. Mao, Pol Pot and Stalin certainly tried to impose atheism, so whatever their upbringing it is not reasonable to cast them as religious people of faith and advance that as a rebuff to Christian apologists.

    I am sorry that Michael sherlock has been so selective in his article. Hitler’s “as a Christian..” quote comes from a speech delivered in Munich in 1922 so was designed to gain appeal from the audience rather than give us a definitive view on his belief. The rhetoric of speeches are opportunistic and it is not good scholarship to use it without that qualification. It is not adequate or academically rigorous to ignore other material that can be argued leads to a different conclusion. For example, in 1941 Goebbels wrote in his diary that Hitler was a fierce opponent of Christianity. In 1939 he also mentioned that Hitler was “deeply religious but completely anti-Christian”. This is confirmed by Speer in his memoirs. Hitler’s views on a range of topics were recorded in a series called “table talk” and there have been a number of different translations of this. None of his comments in this dialogue could be interpreted as pro-Christian. Indeed it is clear he regarded Christianity as degenerate because it is a form of Judaism and “unsuited to the German temperament”.

    I think a better defence to the “atheists committed atrocities fallacy” is the reality that just because a regime imposes atheism or has atheist leaders does not mean that atheism itself is at fault. Atheism can be abused and misused or used as a dogma to kill those who dissent just as religion can, depending on who uses it. Of course theists can use a similar argument. So I conclude this is not a helpful debate and draws us away from the real issues.

  33. Is it true that Goebbels wrote in 1941 that Hitler “hates Christianity, because it has crippled all that is noble in humanity.”? And was Mao Zedong (45million people killed) a Christian too, like Stalin and Pol Pot?

  34. maria melo Oct 27, 2014 at 7:39 am

    During all middle ages period, kings were obliged to treat all men like brothers, that was a morality code certainly.

    Nope! The code of chivalry only applied to the knights and aristocracy who could be held to ransom.
    The commoners were what we now call “cannon-fodder”!

  35. Elmer, thank you for proving Michael Sherlock’s central point so emphatically.

    You attempt to justify homicide and genocide by religious folk by accusing atheists of homicide.

    This is a poor excuse and was addressed in the original article. You’re committing the tu quoque fallacy.

  36. Mr. Dawkins. You claim to be a man of science and reason. I find it strange that you do not subscribe to the truism that a man is rightly judged by his actions.

    So, looking at Hitler’s actions, and comparing them to the teachings of Christ, an intelligent person could only conclude that he was not a Christian.

    This leads one to question either your intelligence or your motives for posting this crap. Since it is clear that you are indeed intelligent, I can only conclude that it is a result of unreasoning bias towards Christians.

  37. I can only conclude that it is a result of unreasoning bias towards Christians.

    Mike, I love Xians and yet I abhor their behaviour, at least their more unsavoury habits. Authentic Xians like Hitler, Ku Klux Klansmen or Josef Fritzl epitomize less than likable real Xians in my opinion. Timothy McVeigh, Jeffrey Dahmer and Charles Manson illustrate Matthew’s truism that “you will know them by their fruit” (7:16).

    Most serial killers are followers of Jesus, as are contemporary cannibals. Pedro Alonzo Lopez killed over 350 children while Armin Meiwes ate his boyfriend after confusing him for a communion wafer. I’m just very glad that most Xians allow their human nature to prevail instead.

  38. Mike Mar 24, 2015 at 11:07 pm

    So, looking at Hitler’s actions, and comparing them to the teachings of Christ, an intelligent person could only conclude that he was not a Christian.

    So having been a Catholic alter boy, and working to try to produce an anti-semitic unified “Reich Church”, based on earlier protestant anti-semitism, your fallacious “TRUE” Christian viewpoint, cherry picks Hitler’s destructive actions and ignores ones where he was closely associated with Christian churches – such as the Deutsche Christen church – linked and quoted in the comment to which you have just replied.

    This leads one to question either your intelligence or your motives for posting this crap. Since it is clear that you are indeed intelligent, I can only conclude that it is a result of unreasoning bias towards Christians.

    You really should look the term “psychological projection”, and then look at the actual history – without those rosy goody-goody Xtian spectacles!

  39. Arguments that boil down to “People do bad things in God’s name, therefore God doesn’t exist” are based on logical non-sequitur — the conclusion simply does not follow from the premise. If, on the other hand, the asserted point is that religious belief should be stamped out regardless of whether God exists or not, because of all the atrocities committed in God’s name, then a response demonstrating that people don’t need to believe in God in order to commit atrocities is an appropriate rebuttal. since obviously, stamping out religion would just leave a vacuum that atheistic belief systems could fill (and have filled) in order to justify atrocities.

  40. I hope I have posted this comment in the right place — in any case, what I wish to inquire about is the “religious atrocities argument”. I will try to keep the polemics to a minimum (although I find them damn near irresistible LOL).

    Up until recently, it seemed strange to me when atheists would bring up religious atrocities, in every way from indirectly blaming Christians for 9/11 (“religiondidit”} to pointing out the undeniable atrocities of the Catholic church in the Middle Ages such as the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition. When I’d try to boil down the religious atrocities argument to its essence, it always seemed to come down to “Religion is bad, therefore God doesn’t exist”, which struck me as a very obvious non-sequitur, since the conclusion doesn’t follow from the premises. I wondered why atheists, who seem to pride themselves on their critical thinking abilities, would publicly indulge in such a practice.

    Recently, however, another idea occurred to me. Maybe the focus on religious atrocities is directed not so much
    at believers as it is at another faction of atheists — you know, the ones who say “Yes, God doesn’t exist, but let the weak-minded believers enjoy their comforting fairy tales; after all, it’s a harmless delusion”. When directed at this type of atheist, the religious atrocities argument can safely assume the non-existence of God without indulging in circular reasoning. The argument would then boil down to “Religion is certainly NOT harmless; after all, look at 9/11, the Crusades, etc. Therefore, it’s time for you wimpy armchair atheists to come out of the closet and join us in the fight against the beast of religion before it devours us all. Hooah!”

    Is my line of thinking accurate?

  41. People do bad things in God’s name, therefore God doesn’t exist

    Jake, I haven’t heard that argument before. Where did you hear it?

    stamping out religion would just leave a vacuum that atheistic belief systems could fill…

    Religious folk can’t imagine non-belief. There are no atheistic belief systems; not even one of them.

  42. Jake wrote:

    it always seemed to come down to “Religion is bad, therefore God
    doesn’t exist”

    I think theists imagine evil doers operate because they lack an appropriate belief system. That’s why some imagine Hitler, Pol Pot and Stalin were atheists.

    As I said above Jake, I’ve never encountered the argument you claim atheists have made. Perhaps you could supply a quote to help your case?

    Maybe the focus on religious atrocities is directed…

    I haven’t come across atheists with that focus, although I’m sure some exist, especially those who have been victims. The focus here is the defence of atheism against claims by theists. I doubt there has ever been an atheist atrocity of any magnitude. Can you think of any?

    …join us in the fight against the beast of religion before it
    devours us all. Hooah!”

    Is my line of thinking accurate?

    No Jake. It’s fanciful and I’ve never heard an atheist attempt to make any of the arguments you imagine they employ. Theism will die out with enhanced education.

  43. Jake Apr 7, 2015 at 7:20 pm

    Arguments that boil down to “People do bad things in God’s name, therefore God doesn’t exist” are based on logical non-sequitur

    It is also a strawman fantasy! I have never heard an atheist make such a ridiculous claim.

    The religious damage is the unthinking “God on our side” motivating wars and atrocities.
    It goes back to the “god-wars” of the ancients when the winning side proclaimed the superiority of THEIR god(s) over the opponents’ “false” gods!

  44. Jake Apr 8, 2015 at 12:20 am

    The argument would then boil down to “Religion is certainly NOT harmless; after all, look at 9/11, the Crusades, etc. Therefore, it’s time for you wimpy armchair atheists to come out of the closet and join us in the fight against the beast of religion before it devours us all.

    It is only accurate in so far as it applies to the politically apathetic religious and atheists alike. There are dangerous forms of religion around some of which are busy fighting and killing rival sects in the Middle-east and in Africa.

    Hooah!” – Is my line of thinking accurate?

    Your problem is in trying to understand rational thinking which is not confused dogma or supernatural notions.

    Atrocities come from the ideological sectarian tribalism, which religions engender: – “them” and “us”! Shia – Sunni, Protestant – Catholic, Hindu – Buddhist, etc.

  45. i would make the argument that when hitler turned away from catholicism he didn’t become an atheist but adopted his own twisted religion.. The arian stuff sure sounds like a religion to me when you go into the subtle details.

    I just could never call anyone who believes in such crazy stuff to be an atheist.
    The belief in the supernatural or anything pseudo-scientific cannot by definition be atheism.

    Either way, I would assign more blame to the intense nationalism of the time and place more so that I would to any religious belief but it definitely played a role none the less.
    Any attempt to blame atheists in general for hitler would be totally malicious though.
    Atheists are bashed enough in our society as it is.
    They’re the minority and picking on minorities while talking about what hitler did is more than a little bit hypocritical.

  46. E. Yaroslavsky, also known as Yemelyan Yaroslavsky, who was the head of the “Anti-Religious Committee of the Central Committee” in the Soviet Union, and who knew Stalin, related a conversion that Joseph Stalin had with a friend named G. Glurdjidze.

    In the conversation, which was about Darwin’s theories, Stalin said, “You know, they are fooling us, there is no God.” Later, in the same conversation, Stalin said, “All this talk about God is sheer nonsense.”

    Although, just allowing an “Anti-Religious Committee of the Central Committee” is pretty telling, and Stalin, who murdered a lot of people for a lot of reasons, did have a concerted campaign against religion where he murdered anyone who was a theist, and he detroyed all churches, temples, and mosques in Russia.

    In his early life, Stalin was very religious, and some thought he was going to enter the seminary. Later, he definitely became an Atheist, and he remained an Atheist for the rest of his life. After he purged Russia of open religion, later he softened on religion and he allowed some chuches to be rebuilt, but he remain an Atheist.

    With the exception of (possible) sarcastic quotes, all quotes where Stalin stated he was religious, were in the early part of his life.

    It’s notable that Yemelyan Yaroslavsky was raised Jewish, and he too only later became an Atheist.

    By the way, the February 1931 edict of the Conference of German Bishops excommunicated all leaders and active members of the Nazi party. So, Hitler was excommunicated by the Catholic Church.

  47. That’s exactly what I think. Atheists don’t do themselves any favours when they denounce this “fallacy”.

  48. I think there’s a confusion of two questions:
    1) does god exist?
    2) if god does exist, is he/she/it a force for good? (the ‘moral’ argument)

    In the heat of debate between believers and non-believers the two often become conflated.

  49. Sean
    Jul 14, 2015 at 7:39 am

    I think there’s a confusion of two questions:
    1) does god exist?
    2) if god does exist, is he/she/it a force for good? (the ‘moral’ argument)

    In the heat of debate between believers and non-believers the two often become conflated.

    I think the issue can be clarified by understanding it in terms of material physics.

    Do gods exist? –
    On the basic of evidence, probably not!

    Do god-delusions exist in the brains of believers?
    Undoubtedly they do!

    Do these various god-delusions and diverse “morality dogmas” contradict each other, and cause conflicts between humans and on occasions, cause atrocities?
    Yes! There is abundant historical evidence of this.

    Can some of the delusions happen to be beneficial on occasions?
    Yes, – but being faith-based they operate with the fail-safes, reality-checks, and and error-correction systems turned off, so are just as likely to cause disasters!

  50. I would recommend you do the same, as you yourself are doing a fair amount of cherry-picking yourself, as you seem very content picking out that Hitler was never “closely affiliated” with ANY church for any reason other than power. The typical atheist assertion is that Hitler was Catholic because he made Christian-tinged speeches (deliberately ignoring the fact he did so when addressing primarily Christian audiences) and attended Catholic school (like a great deal of youths back then whose families were of at least some status).

    Even then, for every cliche seemingly-pro-Christian anecdote you can drum up on Hitler, anyone without a degree of the same bias you yourself illustrate cold just as easily throw up ten more facts that directly controvert your assertion.

    Would a devout Catholic set up all-Muslim units inside their army, even allowing those divisions to modify their uniforms specifically to denote themselves as Muslims? Doubtful.
    Would a devout Catholic hell-bent on killing every Jew in the world employ nearly 1/4 million Jews in his ranks? Doubtful.
    Would a devout Catholic take thousands of Catholic clergymen and imprison them at Dachau? Again, doubtful.
    Would a devout Catholic grant asylum to a Palestinian Muslim nationalist (even giving him honorary rank) while backing said Muslim’s attempts to start a massive Islamic state? You take a guess.

    So yes, you probably can quote one of any number of Christianity-themed quotes floating around there from Hitler. Following the same logic, I suppose he must’ve also never attacked the Russians, as he emphatically said he wouldn’t attack them and did so anyway.

    So, in conclusion, I recommend throwing in your “smug atheist” hearing aid and learn what the rest of the world, religious and otherwise, have known for over half a century now: Hitler was a damn liar.

  51. That’s another especially funny one. People constantly accuse Hitler of being a Catholic due to his attendance of a Catholic school or his treaties of non-aggression with the Vatican (which seem to ignore the fact that the Vatican was powerful and Italian… and thus exploitable, as the Italians were already on his side), but they seem to ignore the staggering amount of Germanic neo-paganism that he used to further push nationalist propaganda.

    If someone is a devout Catholic, why would they advocate the use of symbols that represent a religion that’s evil in the eyes of the Catholic church?

  52. You say that as if you probably wouldn’t blindly jump behind someone running for office on the platform of banning all public exercise of religion or something.

  53. Ironic you associate this article with Islamophobia… considering Hitler was actually an outspoken proponent of Muslims, even giving them special privileges within the Wehrmacht when he formed entire divisions of them.

  54. Obviously there wouldn’t be, as anyone with even a modicum of common sense wouldn’t walk into a room of Christians, spout a bunch of anti-religious epithets at them, and expect them to loyally follow him.

    If Hitler was as Godly as you’d like to believe, why didn’t he just kill all the atheists? He had absolute power and the majority of Germans wouldn’t have considered it any worse than killing the Jews. Why would a brutal totalitarian with absolute power and a strict religious outlook tolerate atheists? Hell, atheism wasn’t just tolerated under the Nazi regime, it was emphatically protected BY LAW provided that it wasn’t communist-motivated.

  55. “Hitler and NAZI Christian connections are preserved in the flags and badges of the organisations!”

    You mean like the Hindu swastika? The Odinist pagan runes, wulfsangels, and sonnenrads? Turkish scimitars adorning uniforms worn by all-Muslim divisions?

  56. The oldest of old chestnuts…

    Tyrants are so because they are PSYCHOPATHS… they may or may not be religious, or wear Boss shirts,
    or weird hair-do’s. It’s all a furphy- they’re NOT insane, indeed they are usually well above average IQ.

    IMO their brains have faulty wiring and missing bits- those parts that have to do with empathy and compassion.
    They can then be free to enjoy inflicting suffering on others…

  57. Daniel
    Aug 24, 2015 at 12:40 am

    So having been a Catholic alter boy, and working to try to produce an anti-semitic unified “Reich Church”, based on earlier protestant anti-semitism, your fallacious “TRUE” Christian viewpoint, cherry picks Hitler’s destructive actions and ignores ones where he was closely associated with Christian churches – such as the Deutsche Christen church – linked and quoted in the comment to which you have just replied.

    I would recommend you do the same, as you yourself are doing a fair amount of cherry-picking yourself, as you seem very content picking out that Hitler was never “closely affiliated” with ANY church for any reason other than power.

    Your Xtian apologist’s denial blinkers seem to be working at full power to produce that reply to that comment and link.
    Catholic Alter Boys are usually reckoned to be “affiliated with their church”.

    The typical atheist assertion is that Hitler was Catholic because he made Christian-tinged speeches

    Nope! Hitler was a Catholic because he was baptised as a Catholic, confirmed as a Catholic participating in the Mass, served as an alter boy in a Catholic church, and was never excommunicated.

    (deliberately ignoring the fact he did so when addressing primarily Christian audiences)

    There is usually a “Christian audience” at a Catholic mass, as there was in the massed audiences at NAZI rallies.

    and attended Catholic school (like a great deal of youths back then whose families were of at least some status).

    You really are working at this denial!

    Following the same logic, I suppose he must’ve also never attacked the Russians, as he emphatically said he wouldn’t attack them and did so anyway.

    Logic is a rational process of deduction – in history and in science – starting with evidence not whimsical conjecture.
    Hitler was a liar. That is the rational conclusion from looking at his self contradictions.

    So, in conclusion, I recommend throwing in your “smug atheist” hearing aid and learn what the rest of the world, religious and otherwise, have known for over half a century now: Hitler was a damn liar.

    .. and a Catholic damned liar, despite your denials and attempts to re-write history!

    You really should look the term “psychological projection”, and then look at the actual history – without those rosy goody-goody Xtian spectacles!

    You don’t seem to have understood this comment, to which you are attempting to reply!
    Next you will be telling me Hitler’s pal Mussolini did not set up the Vatican as a state, or that Franco gave the Catholic church a monopoly in Spanish education and marriage laws, in exchange for support for his fascist regime!!

    Check up on the “No True Scotsman fallacy”, which you have just illustrated so clearly.

  58. Daniel
    Aug 24, 2015 at 1:09 am

    “Hitler and NAZI Christian connections are preserved in the flags and badges of the organisations!”

    You mean like the Hindu swastika? The Odinist pagan runes, wulfsangels, and sonnenrads? Turkish scimitars adorning uniforms worn by all-Muslim divisions?

    You make a good point as to how religions, their symbols, and their followers, are used as the tools of military adventurers in attacking their fellow humans for dubious purposes.

    “Gott Mit Uns” is on soldiers’ belt buckles for motivation of the easily led religious, fighting each other with gods on both sides!

  59. You’re right, Daniel. Hitler was a damn liar and a tyrant who would say anything and do anything to promote his own cause, and would happily quote from any source that was helpful to him in doing that. For what it’s worth, I don’t believe he was a Catholic in any meaningful sense of the word. However, please read on!

    First, that Catholic teachings were one of the sources that were helpful to him in drumming up hatred towards the Jews must raise questions about those very teachings. Not that they were specifically Catholic, of course: he could quote Luther in his support too. Christianity of all flavours has been used to justify (sic) antisemitism for centuries, probably millennia. This isn’t a point in its favour.

    Second, although not a practising Catholic, Hitler was indeed a Catholic by the measure adopted by the Catholic church itself: i.e. he was baptised into the RC church and was never excommunicated from it. Whenever the RC church claims that there are 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide, it means there are 1.2 billion people who, just like Hitler, have been baptised into the RC church and have not been excommunicated from it. ‘Catholics’ do not need to be practising or even believing in order to be included by the RC church in these figures. So if this measure is good enough for the RC church, I’m not quite sure why anyone should object to its being adopted by others too. By the RC church’s own counting procedure, Hitler was a Roman Catholic.

    Third, don’t you think it utterly extraordinary that Hitler was never excommunicated? Not just Hitler: his closest associates, all his brothers-in-genocide, were all RC by the RCC’s own standards. And just one of them was excommunicated. Just one, and that was Joseph Goebbels – though not for his contribution to Nazi atrocities. No, Goebbels’ unacceptable crime so far as the RCC was concerned was that he married a Protestant. Why? Because the Catholic church considers ‘crimes’ against its own teaching – heresy, apostasy, perversion of orthodoxy – to be far graver than, say, murder, genocide, or rape. These latter have, I gather, never been punishable by excommunication.

    Given that the RCC sees itself as the channeller of divine morality on Earth, don’t you think we might perhaps have expected it to respond rather more vigorously? Can we not say, at the very least, that it did not respond with the moral vigour we might have expected from an organisation that makes such claims for itself? When the crimes of the Nazis apparenty didn’t even merit the RCC’s strongest available response?

    And finally, in case you were thinking that it was just the religious that Hitler persecuted, or that he was secretly advancing some kind of atheist agenda, the German Freethinkers Association was among the very first organisations to be banned as soon as Hitler came to power in 1933. And not only was it banned, but its members were persecuted thereafter too.

    So yes, Hitler was a Catholic by the standards of the RC church, though I concede that the definition of Catholic used by the church is pretty meaningless and only used to make it sound as if it has more supporters than it really does, and that Catholicism was just one of the mythologies he exploited for his own ends rather than something he passionately believed in.

    Still, he couldn’t have done it all by himself. He had to be elected. He had to sell his Nazi ideology to the German people, secure their buy-in to the concept of Jews as subhumans. He had to recruit to the SS and the Gestapo. He had to recruit people to guard the concentration camps, beat and torture the prisoners, select the ones for the gas chambers, operate the gas chambers, operate the crematoria. He had to persuade shopkeepers not to let Jews enter their premises; bus drivers to prevent Jews getting on board. Yet Germany was an overwhelmingly Catholic nation. And the minority who were not Catholic were almost all Protestant. The very least we can say, with total confidence, is that, despite Christianity’s claims to special moral insight, having an overwhelmingly Christian population is no safeguard whatsoever against participating in moral barbarity, whether passively or highly actively.

    And that, so far as I am concerned, is far more significant than these endless attempts to make Hitler out to have been a Catholic, or an atheist, or whatever. An entire population schooled in Christian (predominantly Catholic) teachings abandoned itself to moral depravity and utter brutality the moment some big mouth with the gift of the gab came along. So much for Christianity being necessary in order to prevent societies doing just that.

  60. Ok, Mike. So it makes no difference what someone professes to be. Hitler was not a Christian because Christians don’t kill people. Of course, you must understand that your view is not compatible with the idea of Grace, which essentially holds that one need do nothing but believe that Christ is Lord in order to be saved and go to heaven. Literally no requirements beyond that. So according to the New Testament, ANYONE who believes that Christ is Lord is a Christian, and that person enjoys the grace of the lord. On your view, Hitler was not a Christian even though he professed to be one. On the view of Jesus, Hitler was a Christian so long as he believed, and furthermore, if Hitler asked for forgiveness and pronounced his faith before his death … Well, as they say, you do the math.

  61. ‘Since Cannot Lie,and when it does,its in good faith,its christianity that’s the liar’.~Hitler’s table talk

    @Op
    Hitler claimed that he was a christian because the majority of germany were christians in 1939.Honestly,your unresearched ‘facts’ bring shame to educated atheists all around the world.

  62. It’s interesting to see how some people here take Hitler at his word. Do they do that with all politicians or just the murderous, Nazi ones?

  63. Alien #74
    Mar 3, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    It’s interesting to see how some people here take Hitler at his word. Do they do that with all politicians or just the murderous, Nazi ones?

    @Op -Hitler claimed that he was a christian because the majority of germany were christians in 1939.

    As the comment on “unresearched (alleged) facts” points out, it is not a question of anyone “taking Hitler at his word”! The evidence is in the historical records.

    Hitler was baptised a Catholic, served as an altar-boy in the Catholic Church, and was never excommunicated from the Catholic Church. He also had the Protestant Deutsche Christen movement marching to support him!
    The Deutsche Christen (German Christians) were a German Protestantism movement aligned towards antisemetic principles of Nazism. The DC were sympathetic to Hitler’s goal of uniting the individual Protestant churches into a single Reich church.
    The DC was first formed in 1931 and the flag was flown during marches and demonstrations.

    Some Christian churches were in dispute with him over some issues, but squabbling religious sects and factions taking opposing view-points, is nothing new!

  64. “Hitler was baptised a Catholic, served as an altar-boy in the Catholic Church, and was never excommunicated from the Catholic Church. ”

    So what? Many atheists alive today can claim that, too. Does that mean they’re actually not atheists? Your argument is as meaningless as it is stupid.

  65. jinx_mchue #76
    Mar 17, 2016 at 7:49 pm

    Hitler was baptised a Catholic, served as an altar-boy in the Catholic Church, and was never excommunicated from the Catholic Church. ”

    So what? Many atheists alive today can claim that, too. Does that mean they’re actually not atheists? Your argument is as meaningless as it is stupid.

    Next you will be further indulging in denial wish-thinking, telling us that Hitler was not trying to combine the Protestant churches into a Reich Church, and that Mussolini was not in cahoots with the RCC in setting up the Vatican as a state in exchange for support for his fascist regime!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/history/tch_wjec/germany19291947/2racialreligiouspolicy2.shtml

    The Nazi viewpoint on religion

    The Nazis believed in Constructive Christianity and freedom for every religious denomination (group). But in reality, the Nazis saw the Church and Christianity as a threat to their policies. One-third of Germans were Catholics and two-thirds were Protestants. At the beginning they cooperated with the Nazis. They believed that the new government protected them from communism and maintained traditional morals and family values.

    Links with the Catholic and Protestant Churches

    Hitler signed a concordat with the Pope in 1933. He promised full religious freedom for the Church and the Pope promised that he wouldn’t interfere in political matters.

    Then, the Nazis started to close Catholic churches. Many monasteries were shut down and the Catholic Youth Organisation was abolished (remember that the Nazis had created the Hitler Youth Movement).

    There were 28 Protestant groups in Germany, and they were merged to form the National Reich Church in 1936. A member of the Nazi party was elected Bishop of the Church. Non-Aryan ministers were suspended.

  66. Adolf Hitler was certainly a nominal Roman Catholic and was quite happy to use religion to further his political objectives, but it is also very clear that he was not a devout, practising Catholic. Although he has left no evidence of ever renouncing Catholicism or just ceasing to believe in any of it, it seems that he had no personal belief in the Catholic Church’s moral and doctrinal authority. As others here have already pointed out, Hitler was also happy to use Protestantism and Islam where these served his political purposes.

    Whether Hitler was an atheist is another question. Not believing in any of the established religions that Hitler used for his political purposes does not indicate that he was an atheist, but only that he was quite cynical about religions. His love of the Teutonic myths was strong, part of his enthusiasm for Aryan supremacy. His form of national socialism had a strong current of Teutonic neopaganism, which he also used for his political purposes, but it is an interesting question to what extent and in what manner he believed this mythology to express something real about the Spirit animating the German people. In any case, atheism repudiates any such fanciful entities and mythologies, especially as a basis for practical decisions like those needed for the running of a nation.

    The commonly accepted observation that Hitler was psychopathic makes it harder to determine just what and to what extent and in what manner Hitler believed anything, or even whether he was capable of holding a belief with the requisite coherence, personal commitment, and integrity. If Hitler was an atheist, he probably did not recognize it of himself, and he certainly did not find that intellectual position to be of any political use to him.

  67. Bill #57
    May 6, 2015 at 10:37 pm

    By the way, the February 1931 edict of the Conference of German Bishops excommunicated all leaders and active members of the Nazi party. So, Hitler was excommunicated by the Catholic Church.

    Err .. no! – cherry-picking does not cut it!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church_and_Nazi_Germany
    In early 1931, the German Bishops issued an edict excommunicating all Nazi leadership and banned Catholics from membership. The ban was conditionally modified in the Spring of 1933 under pressure to address State law requiring all Civil Servants and Trade Union workers be members of the Nazi Party, while retaining condemnation of core Nazi ideology.

    So by spring 1933 the ban was lifted!

    The Reichskonkordat treaty of July 1933, signed between Germany and the Holy See, pledged to respect the autonomy of the Catholic Church, but required clerics to refrain from politics. Hitler welcomed the treaty, though he routinely violated it in the Nazi struggle with the churches.

    .. and by summer 1933 the Vatican was signing treaties of co-operation with Hitler!

  68. Hitler:

    Agreed, definitely a Christian.

    Stalin:

    On the one hand…unfortunately, for the argument, saying USSR communists built on people’s religious indoctrination, doesn’t make their philosophy any more theistic. Stalin, as the head of a cult of personality, doesn’t make him any more a god, or believed to be a god. USSR communism outright adopted athe-ism, anti-theim, and anti-religion, into its overall philosophy.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USSR_anti-religious_campaign_(1928%E2%80%9341)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/League_of_Militant_Atheists

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vladimir_Lenin_All-Union_Pioneer_Organization

    On the other hand, the anti-theist persecutions ended under Stalin. He decided not to fight religious beliefs any more, and even helped rebuild the Orthodox Church somewhat.

    Pol Pot:

    These arguments seem to be confusing religious teachings with god belief. There’s no sign Pol Pot came away from his Christian or Buddhist schools believing in any gods, or any religion. Even if he were a Theravada Buddhist, that doesn’t make him a theist. However, there’s no evidence he practised Buddhism. In France, he learned Marxism and seems to have become an outright athe-ist. He also adopted athe-ism, anti-theism, and anti-religion into his philosophy. The Khmer Rouge, basically, obliterated Buddhism from the country. Only a handful of monks escaped alive. They killed people that didn’t eat pork. They killed people wearing religious garb, religious symbols, and/or who sported religious looking facial hair.

  69. HITLER’S TABLE TALK
    1941-1944
    His Private Conversations
    Copyright © Enigma Books 2000
    First published in Great Britain
    by Weidenfeld & Nicolson Ltd, London
    a division of the Orion Publishing Company

    “The heaviest blow that ever struck humanity was the coming
    of Christianity. Bolshevism is Christianity’s illegitimate child.
    Both are inventions of the Jew. ” Adolf Hitler

    “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.” Adolf Hitler

    “Disadvantages of a Concordat with the Churches—
    Difficulty of compromising with a lie—No truck with religion
    for the Party—Antagonism of dogma and science—
    Let Christianity die slowly—The metaphysical needs of the
    soul—No State religion—Freedom of belief.” Adolf Hitler

    Hitler was a christian apostate. Not a christian. Probably not an atheist either. What ever gods he worshipped ought to be hunted down and killed.

  70. Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot literally wanted to wipe out religion and enforce state Atheism. Hitler wanted to wipe out all religion (including Christianity) and replace it with the religion of National Socialism (NS is a religion).

  71. Joey T #82
    Mar 23, 2017 at 8:49 am

    Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot literally wanted to wipe out religion and enforce state Atheism.

    Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot literally wanted to wipe out religion and any other ideology which could challenge their political dictatorship! –

    Nothing specific to atheism – Just one dogmatic ideology attacking another, as rival religions, cults, and denominations, have done for centuries.

    Hitler wanted to wipe out all religion (including Christianity) and replace it with the religion of National Socialism (NS is a religion).

    Hitler like many political tyrants would tell different audiences conflicting things they liked to hear!

    However his vision of a National Socialist Religion, included a 1920s and 1930s common form of anti-semitic Christianity, which he hoped to incorporate in an inclusive Reich-Church!

    http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/nazi-germany/the-church-in-nazi-germany/

    In 1933, the Catholic Church had viewed the Nazis as a barrier to the spread of communism from Russia. In this year, Hitler and the Catholic Church signed an agreement that he would not interfere with the Catholic Church while the Church would not comment on politics. However, this only lasted until 1937, when Hitler started a concerted attack on the Catholic Church arresting priests etc. In 1937, the pope, Pius XI, issued his “Mit brennender Sorge” statement (“With burning anxiety”) over what was going on in Germany. However, there was never a total clampdown on the Catholic Church in Germany. It was a world-wide movement with much international support.

    The Protestant Church was really a collection of a number of churches – hence they were easier to deal with. The Protestants themselves were split.
    The “German Christians” were lead by Ludwig Muller who believed that any member of the church who had Jewish ancestry should be sacked from the church. Muller supported Hitler and in 1933 he was given the title of “Reich Bishop”.

    Those who opposed the views of Muller were called the “Confessing Church”. This was led by Martin Niemoller. He was famous in Germany as he had been a World War One U-boat captain. Therefore, he was potentially an embarrassing foe to the Nazis. Regardless of this, he was not safe from the Gestapo who arrested him for opposing Hitler.

    So while it is possible to cherry pick times and sections German Christians who opposed Hitler, Hitler remained a (lapsed?) Catholic, and had considerable support from many Christians for much of the time! – Especially during his earlier establishment of dictatorial rule and the build up of his power!

  72. Joey T #82
    Mar 23, 2017 at 8:49 am
    Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot literally wanted to wipe out religion and enforce state Atheism. . . .

    Not quite, Joey T.

    Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot wanted to replace traditional religions with a naturalistic state religion, to make use of the traditional credulity among the greater part of the populace so useful for keeping everyone subservient to the State. Instead of the traditional gods and the supernatural realms they presented the State, the Party, the glorious Leaders and the doctrine of communism (drawn from analysis of the irresistible workings of the World Spirit) as the objects of the people’s veneration and obedience. This is nothing like atheism, even though it rejected the traditional gods and espoused no new supernatural gods, except the inexorable Spirit of History. The state itself and the political party led by the glorious leader were the new religious institutions.

    By contrast atheism is definable only as freedom of mind from a traditional, theistic belief-system or from any similarly religious or basically superstitious belief-system, like Marxist communism. Those ruthless communist leaders you have cited would not tolerate any competition for the people’s subservience and obedience. Unlike any atheist and like any religious dogmatist, they forbade all divergence from doctrinal orthodoxy. An atheist, by contrast, has no doctrine. That is the very point of atheism: it eschews belief in gods or any such superstition because it asserts nothing that cannot be empirically and rationally justified. Such a reasonable freethinker and atheist remains openminded to all possibilities not yet precluded by evidence and reason and welcomes competing views reasonably supported with evidence and sound argument. He owes no allegiance to any party of thought or politics.

  73. It is incredibly deceitful to cherry pick certain atheists without representing one of the most notorious atheists: Mao.

    In “Mao: The Unknown Story” by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday, the incredible biography is presented as a historical narrative in which the authors reveal the unknown truth about Mao’s life and monstrous immorality. Mao’s atheistic naturalism/materialism served as a moral bedrock for his atrocities. His defiant disbelief in theism drove him to eradicate religion (specifically documented from Tibet) and say, “Religion is poison” (453-454). He regarded the failure Eastern European countries as a lack of willingness to kill, “We must kill,” he declared, “And we say it’s good to kill” (416). Mao didn’t believe in God, but “dialectics, and so we can’t not be in favor of death” (430). It was his materialism and dialectic philosophy that CAUSED his favor towards death and suffering. “He saw practical advantage in massive deaths, ‘Death have benefits,’” and “They can fertilize the ground” (431). When invading and destroying the Tibetan’s way of life the biographers note, “Mao was bent on destroying religion, the essence of most Tibetan’s lives” (448). The Panchen Lama wrote, “Holy Scriptures were used for manure, and pictures of the Buddha and sutras were deliberately used to make shoes” (448). He denounced “Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity” as “anti-Marxist” (440) and tried desperately to rule the world.

    His “senior officials who invoked that traditional concept of conscience (liang-xin) to beg him to go easy found themselves being slapped down with remarks: ‘You’d better have less conscience. Some of our comrades too much mercy, not enough brutality, which means they are not so Marxist.’ ‘On this matter,’ Mao said, ‘we indeed have no conscience! Marxism is that brutal’” (387).

    I’ll be very surprised if my comments are allowed on this page, thus, A) exposing the lack of search or B) exposing the intentional deceit of the atheist atrocities.

  74. This thread is surprising in places.

    You can’t automatically say that someone is good because they are atheists or bad because they are atheists or good because he is religious or bad because he is not religious.

    I think an argument can be made, however – and Dawkins has made it – that in many particular cases religion makes good men do bad things. There are rules in the Holy Books. Many people interpret these “rules” in a very rigid way and feel compelled to follow them. Atheism has no book telling us to do things. If someone thinks that it’s okay to kill people because there is no God telling him not to, it is not atheism (no belief in God(s)) that is to blame for any atrocities he might carry out.

    There are those who feel that without prohibitions and counter-motives in the form of “punishment for sins” by a celestial dictator Man will have nothing to restrain his violent, brutish nature from expressing itself, or who feel that the only thing that can make a person be or appear good is fear of punishment from a deity. That suggests a view of humanity that I do not share.

  75. John Bradfield #85
    Apr 9, 2017 at 9:45 pm

    It is incredibly deceitful to cherry pick certain atheists without representing one of the most notorious atheists: Mao.

    The OP – Title is challenging false claims made by religious self-deception, psychological projection and the use of the “No True Scotsman fallacy to try to dissociate themselves from atrocities of named individuals resulting from religious up-bringings or religious beliefs! It makes no claim to comprehensively cover the whole history of world governments.

    ‘You’d better have less conscience.
    Some of our comrades too much mercy, not enough brutality, which means they are not so Marxist.’
    ‘On this matter,’ Mao said, ‘we indeed have no conscience!
    Marxism is that brutal’”

    You debunk your own argument in your quote! –
    The brutality is attributable to Mao’s personal ideological form of Marxism!
    Atheism per-se has no ideology!
    It is simply a lack of belief in gods and the supernatural!

    In the context of a brutal Chinese civil war with all parties exterminating opposition forces, the issue of atheism is largely irrelevant!

    The ability to use evidence based reasoning in place of dogmatic ideological preconceptions, has nothing to do with substituting flawed political dogma for flawed religious dogma!

    I’ll be very surprised if my comments are allowed on this page, thus, A) exposing the lack of search or B) exposing the intentional deceit of the atheist atrocities.

    . . .an example of classic lack of research in pro-religious thinking, psychological projection, and thinking from preconceptions about the “goodness” of religious influences in the face of the evidence to the contrary!

  76. “Pol Pot” is short for “Politique Potentielle”(French). It is the name of the group containing “The Five Brothers”, where Saloth Sar(the one everybody call Pol Pot), is Brother Number One.

    At least two in the group betrayed Saloth Sar, where Brother 5, Ta Mok, (born Chhit Choeun) is one of them. It is still unsure who the other was.

    Saloth Sar actually never killed anyone beyond the rules of war. Ta Mok on the other hand, went on his own and started killing people, overdoing the policy of religious cleansing that Saloth Sar ordered. Saloth Sar mean to deport all religions – not kill them. Ta Mok got the nickname “The Butcher”.

    Saaloth Sar was actually a good guy, that attempted to keep the Vietnamese from invading and taking over Cambodia. Ta Mok was the bad guy, that later on poisoned Saloth Sar. Saloth Sar was part of helping Son Sen to power and that power was later handed to the young Khmer Rouge commander – Hun Sen.(Long story told short).

    So in this meme, the portrait should not be of Saloth Sar, but of Ta Mok…

    Saloth Sar was a hero of the people. Ta Mok was, as his nickname indicates, a butcher…

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