Religious right fraud D. James Kennedy has a special coming up called Darwin’s Deadly Legacy (which, naturally, the Worldnutdaily is pimping). In it, he will make the standard “evolution leads to naziism” argument that creationists have tried to peddle for decades (they also claim it leads to communism and to the capitalist robber barons, so clearly they’ve got a wee problem with consistency). I’ve commented on this ridiculous claim in the past. The fact is that Hitler used all sorts of conflicting ideas to sell his agenda, depending on who he was talking to. And the evidence for Christianity as the cause of the third reich is even stronger than it is for evolution. In a 1922 speech, Hitler said:
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 only by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God’s truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. 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 in 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…. 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…. When I go out in the morning and see these men standing in their queues and look into their pinched faces, then I believe I would be no Christian, but a very devil if I felt no pity for them, if I did not, as did our Lord two thousand years ago, turn against those by whom to-day this poor people is plundered and exploited.
Likewise, in 1933:
Except the Lord built the house they labour in vain…. The truth of that text was proved if one looks at the house of which the foundations were laid in 1918 and which since then has been in building…. The world will not help, the people must help itself. Its own strength is the source of life. That strength the Almighty has given us to use; that in it and through it we may wage the battle of our life…. The others in the past years have not had the blessing of the Almighty– of Him Who in the last resort, whatever man may do, holds in His hands the final decision. Lord God, let us never hesitate or play the coward, let us never forget the duty which we have taken upon us…. We are all proud that through God’s powerful aid we have become once more true Germans.
In the 1920s, Hitler’s German Workers Party platform included this statement:
We demand liberty for all religious denominations in the State, so far as they are not a danger to it and do not militate against the morality and moral sense of the German race. The Party, as such, stands for positive Christianity, but does not bind itself in the matter of creed to any particular confession. It combats the Jewish-materialist spirit within and without us, and is convinced that our nation can achieve permanent health from within only on the principle: the common interest before self-interest.
In a speech to the Reichstag in 1933, he said:
It will be the Government’s care to maintain honest co-operation between Church and State; the struggle against materialistic views and for a real national community is just as much in the interest of the German nation as in that of the welfare of our Christian faith. The Government of the Reich, who regard Christianity as the unshakable foundation of the morals and moral code of the nation, attach the greatest value to friendly relations with the Holy See and are endeavouring to develop them.
One could literally go on all day with such quotes. One can also trace the roots of Hitler’s fanatical anti-Semitism back through Christian history. Christian anti-Semitism has a very long history to it, going all the way back to the original church fathers, but it was particularly prevalent in the writings of Marin Luther, Germany’s most influential theologian. Luther authored a document called On the Jews and Their Lies. Here’s an excerpt:
What then shall we Christians do with this damned, rejected race of Jews? Since they live among us and we know about their lying and blasphemy and cursing, we can not tolerate them if we do not wish to share in their lies, curses, and blasphemy. In this way we cannot quench the inextinguishable fire of divine rage nor convert the Jews. We must prayerfully and reverentially practice a merciful severity. Perhaps we may save a few from the fire and flames [of hell]. We must not seek vengeance. They are surely being punished a thousand times more than we might wish them. Let me give you my honest advice.
First, their synagogues should be set on fire, and whatever does not burn up should be covered or spread over with dirt so that no one may ever be able to see a cinder or stone of it. And this ought to be done for the honor of God and of Christianity in order that God may see that we are Christians, and that we have not wittingly tolerated or approved of such public lying, cursing, and blaspheming of His Son and His Christians.
Secondly, their homes should likewise be broken down and destroyed. For they perpetrate the same things there that they do in their synagogues. For this reason they ought to be put under one roof or in a stable, like gypsies, in order that they may realize that they are not masters in our land, as they boast, but miserable captives, as they complain of incessantly before God with bitter wailing.
Thirdly, they should be deprived of their prayer-books and Talmuds in which such idolatry, lies, cursing, and blasphemy are taught.
Fourthly, their rabbis must be forbidden under threat of death to teach any more…
Fifthly, passport and traveling privileges should be absolutely forbidden to the Jews. For they have no business in the rural districts since they are not nobles, nor officials, nor merchants, nor the like. Let them stay at home…If you princes and nobles do not close the road legally to such exploiters, then some troop ought to ride against them, for they will learn from this pamphlet what the Jews are and how to handle them and that they ought not to be protected. You ought not, you cannot protect them, unless in the eyes of God you want to share all their abomination…
To sum up, dear princes and nobles who have Jews in your domains, if this advice of mine does not suit you, then find a better one so that you and we may all be free of this insufferable devilish burden – the Jews…
His fellow reformer, John Calvin, was nowhere near Luther in this regard, but he was plenty bad enough. He wrote of Jews, “Their rotten and unbending stiffneckedness deserves that they be oppressed unendingly and without measure or end and that they die in their misery without the pity of anyone.” And the Catholic counter-reformation clamped down even further on Jews, requiring them to either convert or be forced into ghettos, and even forced to build the walls which would become, for all practical purposes, their prison.
You can trace this all the way back to the early church fathers. Origen, for example, accused the Jews of hatching “conspiracy against the Savior of the human race.” St. John Chrysostom wrote:
The synagogue is worse than a brothel…it is the den of scoundrels and the repair of wild beasts…the temple of demons devoted to idolatrous cults…the refuge of brigands and dabauchees, and the cavern of devils. It is a criminal assembly of Jews…a place of meeting for the assassins of Christ… a house worse than a drinking shop…a den of thieves, a house of ill fame, a dwelling of iniquity, the refuge of devils, a gulf and a abyss of perdition.”…”I would say the same things about their souls… As for me, I hate the synagogue…I hate the Jews for the same reason.
When Christianity became the official religion of the Roman empire, legal attacks on the Jewish people were common. The Justinian Code, established in the mid 6th century, forbid Jews from building synagogues, reading their sacred texts in Hebrew and celebrating passover. They were even forbidden from giving evidence in any judicial case involving a Christian. In a series of councils in the 12th and 13th centuries, the Lateran Councils, the Catholic Church imposed more and more restrictions upon Jews, including forbidding Christians from giving some types of medical treatment to Jews and requiring Jews (and Muslims) to wear special clothing to distinguish them from Christians.
Now, does this mean that Christianity is to blame for Hitler and the Holocaust? Of course not. Hitler’s religious invocations were a perversion of Christianity. But the same is true of the few instances where one can cite an evolutionary justification for his twisted views on eugenics. Eugenics and “social Darwinism” are perversions of evolution based upon logical fallacy and misapplication. The fact that some of Hitler’s followers appealed to evolution to justify killing the weak has no more bearing on the validity of evolution than his constant invocation of Christianity as a justification invalidates Christianity.