Pharyngula

A clarification of Dawkins’ comments

The comment that has stirred up the most condemnation from the press is Richard Dawkins’ mention of “Pope…Nazi,” which everyone assumes was about the current Pope. Wrong. Everyone knows the current Pope is most properly addressed as “Pope Palpatine”. No, Pope Palpatine is not currently up for canonization (at least, I hope not), but there is another pope who is, and this thorough discussion explains who Dawkins was actually talking about.

Blatantly evident in this clip, Richard Dawkins uses “Pope Nazi” as a shorthand descriptive phrase for “that Pope whose name I’ve forgotten (Pope Pius XII) — who’s also up for canonisation and was aiding and abetting the Nazis during the war”.

And here’s the clip.

Oh, and Pope Pius XII really was a sniveling rat bastard who should have been held accountable for contributing to the evil perpetrated against the Jews.

Comments

  1. #1 dreadpiratemick
    March 17, 2010

    I feel an irrational need to apologise for the awfulness of our news media.

    So sorry.

  2. #2 Brian English
    March 17, 2010

    We can expect an apology from Barney – let me give you some friendly advice – Zwartz any momemnt now.

  3. #3 WowbaggerOM
    March 17, 2010

    I have to admit that I was there at the time and I thought the comment was directed at the current Pope – but, of course, I had no problem with it at the time; I still think it’s a accurate description of him.

    This, however, makes it clear that he wasn’t – so stick that up your collective arses, sucking-up-to-the-churches Australian media!

  4. #4 Brian English
    March 17, 2010

    I’ve long thought Barney Zwartz was a liar. It’s not the first time he’s misrepresented Dawkins. I guess if you’re lying for Jeebus it’s all good.

  5. #5 cag
    March 17, 2010

    Oh, and Pope Pius XII ________ really was a sniveling rat bastard who should have been held accountable for contributing to the evil perpetrated against the JewsWorld.

    That is a more catholic(*) but no less true comment about the bastards heading the Vatican.

    (*)The word catholic is derived from the Greek adjective ????????? (katholikos), meaning “universal” (from Wikipedia).

    This statement in no way absolves any other organized superstition from their portion of the blame.

  6. #6 Sili
    March 17, 2010

    Was it Pius XII or XI, who abducted a Jewish boy and was fond of letting him play under his dress?

  7. #7 Brian English
    March 17, 2010

    Of course Pope Palpatine is the guy who issued instructions that all child rape allegations were to be hushed for 10 years from the day the victim turned 18 and that nobody was to go to the civil authorities and speak on pain of excommunication. I don’t think that him not being a Nazi means he’s a nice guy.

  8. #8 Ron Schoenberg
    March 17, 2010

    The current Pope, Benedict, was a member of the Hitler Youth when he was young. That’s pretty close to being a Nazi.

  9. #9 Brian English
    March 17, 2010

    The current Pope, Benedict, was a member of the Hitler Youth when he was young. That’s pretty close to being a Nazi.
    So was every other boy (and girl?) of his cohort. There wasn’t a choice.

  10. #10 Thebear
    March 17, 2010

    And anyways: Pope Ratsi has done so much evil in his adult lift. Focusing at his short spiel in hitlerjugend is just godwinning.

    Focusing on his current genocidal policies is much more appropriate.

  11. #11 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 17, 2010

    Brian English @ #2:

    We can expect an apology from Barney – let me give you some friendly advice – Zwartz any momemnt now.

    I won’t be holding my breath.

  12. #12 dimitricavalli
    March 17, 2010

    1) You should like Pius XII. He told Catholics that they accept theory of evolution in his encyclical, Humani Generis.

    2) Pius XII actually did more for Jews than any wartime leader, including President Roosevelt, who denied sanctuary to the Jewish passengers of the St. Louis in 1939 and refused to bomb the railway lines to the death camps. (A Nazi analysis of his 1942 X-mass message complained that he was accusing the German people of injustice towards the Jews.)

    3) Plenty of Jewish scholars have defended Pius XII, including Sir Martin Gilbert of Great Britain, Rabbi David Dalin of the United States, Prof. Jacques Adler of Australia, Serge Klarsfeld, the Holocaust survivor and French Nazi hunter, and Bernard-Henri Levy, the French Jewish atheist and philosopher.

    4) Dawkins himself has been accused of anti-Semitism in the past, http://englisheclectic.blogspot.com/2007/10/is-richard-dawkins-anti-semite.html, so you should be more careful.

    5)Can you explain what various atheists, freethinkers, etc. did to oppose Hitler (and Stalin)?

    6) Instead of history, you’re better off sticking to insects.

  13. #13 Brian English
    March 17, 2010

    Can you explain what various atheists, freethinkers, etc. did to oppose Hitler (and Stalin)?
    I think you should go read some Bertrand Russell.

  14. #14 Randomfactor
    March 17, 2010

    So was every other boy (and girl?) of his cohort. There wasn’t a choice.

    He’s got a choice now. He can start by excommunicating Hitler posthumously, followed by his buggering buddies still in the church.

  15. #15 Brian English
    March 17, 2010

    He’s got a choice now. He can start by excommunicating Hitler posthumously, followed by his buggering buddies still in the church True. but irrelevant to him being a Nazi when he was younger.

  16. #16 aratina cage
    March 17, 2010

    The Galactic Empire, the Nazis… What’s the difference, eh?

    I like how Dawkins used canonization to dismiss sophisticated theologians. It turns out they are the court jesters, there to be mocked.

  17. #17 tsig0
    March 17, 2010

    “Brian English Author Profile Page | March 17, 2010 6:24 PM

    The current Pope, Benedict, was a member of the Hitler Youth when he was young. That’s pretty close to being a Nazi.
    So was every other boy (and girl?) of his cohort. There wasn’t a choice. ”

    So living up to his faith wasn’t an option?

  18. #18 Brian English
    March 17, 2010

    This is what I don’t get or what I find stunning. Sophisticated theologians believe in miracles. They then turn around and say their ethereal, non-person, god doesn’t interfere in the workings of the world like a divine knob twiddler. Which is it? If the resurrection is to make any sense (it doesn’t) then god had to interfere with the workings of the world. Thus miracles, thus divine knob twiddler. So much for sophisticated.

  19. #19 John Morales
    March 17, 2010

    dimitricavalli, interesting comment.

    Here is the Wikipedia article on Pope Pius XII and the Holocaust.

  20. #20 Brian English
    March 17, 2010

    So living up to his faith wasn’t an option?
    Give me a break. I don’t want to defend Ratzinger. I think he’s a vile bastard. First you presume he had faith then and now? But I’m not expecting children or teenagers to have the balls to go against their society and all that. In the middle of a war with people disappearing whenever they disagree with that society you’d expect a young person to ask to get shot?

  21. #21 windy
    March 17, 2010

    So was every other boy (and girl?) of his cohort. There wasn’t a choice.

    It would have been a very hard choice, but I wish people wouldn’t repeat this, since it’s a slur on the few that actually resisted.

    Some locals in Traunstein, like Elizabeth Lohner, 84, whose brother-in-law was sent to Dachau as a conscientious objector, dismiss such suggestions. ?It was possible to resist, and those people set an example for others,? she said. ?The Ratzingers were young and had made a different choice.?

    (I think this refers more to resistance to conscription than to the Hitler Youth, but the point remains)

  22. #22 Josh, Official SpokesGay
    March 17, 2010

    @#12:

    6) Instead of history, you’re better off sticking to insects.

    And you’re better off tickling your taint. Here, take this feather. It may look worthless, but it comes from underneath my afar, and carries with it all my bad intentions.

  23. #23 aratina cage
    March 17, 2010

    Sophisticated theologians believe in miracles. They then turn around and say their ethereal, non-person, god doesn’t interfere in the workings of the world like a divine knob twiddler. Which is it? -Brian English

    Too true. I suggest pointing and laughing. Anything else is too much work against such idiocy unless there is hope that they are willing to listen to reason or if you want to throw them for a loop (really really easy, but you risk having your own head explode).

  24. #24 steve
    March 17, 2010

    So was every other boy (and girl?) of his cohort. There wasn’t a choice.

    Ratzinger was a Nazi in the same sense that he was a Catholic. He was inculcated with both forms of dogma as a child before his critical faculties had a chance to develop.

  25. #25 Brian English
    March 17, 2010

    Windy, your exception proves the rule. But the rule therefore exists. I’m probably just a snivelling coward and sympathise with other snivelling cowards when I don’t see it as a hanging offence to protect oneself from tyrrany by lying or going against ones principles. If I found myself in North Korea right now and was given the choice to praise Kim Jong Il or scream he’s a commy bastard and be taken away to a camp. I know I’d be praising that furry critter without stopping till the running dogs of imperialist captialism had rescued me.

  26. #26 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 17, 2010

    dimitricavalli:

    1) You should like Pius XII. He told Catholics that they accept theory of evolution in his encyclical, Humani Generis.

    No. Catholicism wraps evolution up in smothering layers of bubble wrap Jesus god. This is by no means a reason to cut the catholic church a break. The institution has been steeped in corruption from the outset; the stench of it has reached around the world to actively work evil. That evil is ongoing, spreading its filth, lies and abuse everywhere it can. There is nothing good about catholicism.

  27. #27 Brian English
    March 17, 2010

    Just a question how old was Ratzinger when he joined the Hitler youth and how old was Elizabeth Lohner’s brother in law Windy? I think it’s very pertinent.

  28. #28 Phasic
    March 17, 2010

    I was sitting in the second row of RD’s talk at the convention, and I thought he meant the current pope. Judging by the slightly shocked tone of the laughter around me I don’t think I was the only one. I was very tired at the time, but that’s the impression I was left with.

    Now that I review the video, and especially now that I’m aware of a movement to canonise Pius XII, I can see that I was wrong. But I had no idea about the Pius XII thing.

    And apart from all the issues with the current pope, I don’t think we can hold the Hitler Youth thing against him. He was a boy of 14 and I don’t see that he’d have much of a choice.

  29. #29 WowbaggerOM
    March 17, 2010

    There is nothing good about catholicism.

    I don’t know; I think it’s good that its greed, corruption and devotion to nonsensical, archaic notions of religious practice has led to its inevitable slide into irrelevance and (eventual) self-destruction…

  30. #30 Brian English
    March 17, 2010

    There is nothing good about catholicism

    I pretty much agree with this, but recently talking to my sister and brother in law I got the feeling that community and the fact that in their town the (largely state funded) catholic school being better than the state school were good things about Catholicism. I tried to point out that that state money should be going only to the state school, but they were pragmatic. They didn’t want to deny their kids the best available education.

  31. #31 Thebear
    March 17, 2010

    Dawkins himself has been accused of anti-Semitism in the past, http://englisheclectic.blogspot.com/2007/10/is-richard-dawkins-anti-semite.html, so you should be more careful.

    So – everytime some loon labels someone an antisemetic that makes their views invalid?

    If Dawkins otherwise was a raving antisemetic I could halfway see a point, but this just labels you as the loon you are.

    As I understand – the Dawkins/antisemetism-thing comes from him using the phrase “Jewish lobby” a couple of times.

    Granted, a lot of not very nice people are using the same phrase, but I’m equally certain that Dawkins and those people don’t mean the same thing by it. And there’s the undeniable fact that some pretty pro-israel forces have a lot of political clout in Washinton. If in doubt, look up how much money the US are currently supplying Israel with.

  32. #32 Louis
    March 17, 2010

    Josh OSG #22,

    I will have you know, sir, that Taint Ticklage is an honourable and noble sport that has persisted in my family for generations. It is a far too good an activity for a catholic apologist.

    Bear that in mind in future when insulting muppets.
    ;-)

    Louis

  33. #33 SC OM
    March 17, 2010

    5)Can you explain what various atheists, freethinkers, etc. did to oppose Hitler (and Stalin)?

    Sure. Anarchists were among the earliest and most aggressive opponents of fascism and other forms of authoritarianism across Europe (including Russia). (If you really seek information, you might be interested in Carlo Tresca or Luigi Fabbri.) Anarchists paid for this with the loss of their careers, their children, their freedom, and their lives. Don’t know anything about this history? I’m not surprised. Now you have no excuse for not seeking out more information, though.

  34. #34 Andyo
    March 17, 2010

    Somehow I think dimitricavalli #12 is lying. Gee what could it be?

    And this is just beyond a lie. It’s purposeful misleading bullshit:

    Dawkins himself has been accused of anti-Semitism in the past, http://englisheclectic.blogspot.com/2007/10/is-richard-dawkins-anti-semite.html, so you should be more careful.

    “You should be more careful”? What the hell does that mean? And, Dawkins has been accused of a LOT worse bullshit for a LOT less (see video above).

  35. #35 Thebear
    March 17, 2010

    @ SC:
    You forgot to look at his number 4. Since you’ve been accused of anti-semetism in the past, you don’t get to say anything-

  36. #36 Brian English
    March 17, 2010

    “You should be more careful”?

    Generic fallacy, poisoning the well, guilt by association. Take your pick.

  37. #37 Knockgoats
    March 17, 2010

    Can you explain what various atheists, freethinkers, etc. did to oppose Hitler (and Stalin)? – dmitricavalli

    You might start by considering the large number of Spanish anarchists and members of POUM (anti-Stalinist Marxists), who fought both fascism and Stalinism in Spain, while the Catholic Church allied itself wholeheartedly with Franco. Had the Catholic Church taken the side of the democratically elected government of Spain, fascism would have suffered a huge defeat, and WWII and the Shoah might never have happened. Their comrades all over Europe, along with many atheist social democrats, alos opposed both Hitler and Stalin – millions paying with their lives – while the Catholic Church signed concordats with both Mussolini and Hitler, and Hitler appointed a Catholic priest, “Father” Tiso, as puppet ruler of Slovakia. German Catholics voted in large numbers for Hitler, and filled the ranks of the Wehrmacht and the SS. In Catholic parts of Europe, the Nazis had no trouble recruiting local assistance in their genocide against the Jews; and the Croatian Catholic Ustashe were apparently sufficently vile in their pogroms against Jews, Serbs and others to make hardened members of the SS queasy.

  38. #38 steve
    March 17, 2010

    1) You should like Pius XII. He told Catholics that they accept theory of evolution in his encyclical, Humani Generis.

    I’m thinking that them catlicks should be examining the evidence for evolution themselves and coming to their own conclusions.

    But then, if they did that they would be catlicks would they ?

    And then there wouldn’t be this thing with institutionalized child abuse within the rcc and the complicity of rcc rank & file either.

  39. #39 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 17, 2010

    Brian English:

    catholic school being better than the state school were good things about Catholicism.

    I went to catholic school. I disagree.

    Wowbagger OM:

    its inevitable slide into irrelevance and (eventual) self-destruction…

    True, but it is so damnably slow.

  40. #40 Kel, OM
    March 17, 2010

    2) Pius XII actually did more for Jews than any wartime leader

    Agreed, it was this pope that gave the Nazi party a list of Catholics so that it could find any Jew claiming to be Catholic who wasn’t, right? Yep, he did a lot for the Jews…

  41. #41 Brian English
    March 17, 2010

    I went to catholic school. I disagree.
    You went to St. Thomas Primary School in Terang, Victoria? What year? I went between 1977 and 1984.

    You’ll note I said in their town the (largely state funded) catholic school being better than the state school

  42. #42 Brian English
    March 17, 2010

    Just in case my point wasn’t clear. I was arguing against this claim, which I largely agree with:

    There is nothing good about catholicism

    That is, it is not the case that for everything which is catholicism it is good. Vx(Cx -> Gx). Or something similar. I just pointed out this isn’t true for everybody and not everybody therefore cares if the church slides into irrelevance.

  43. #43 jjangelton
    March 17, 2010

    The funniest thing is that someone says Pope Nazi and then has to clarify which one!

  44. #44 Kel, OM
    March 17, 2010

    Source?

    I remember reading the claim in The Atheist Mannifesto by Michael Onfrey.

  45. #45 latsot
    March 17, 2010

    jjangelton #44

    Heh, yes that’s exactly what I was thinking.

  46. #46 windy
    March 17, 2010

    Windy, your exception proves the rule. But the rule therefore exists. I’m probably just a snivelling coward and sympathise with other snivelling cowards when I don’t see it as a hanging offence to protect oneself from tyrrany by lying or going against ones principles.

    Did I say it was? The Ratzinger brothers’ choices were all very understandable at the time, but their insistence *afterwards* that resistance was impossible is cowardly, self-serving and unnecessary. And ironic considering their later jobs.

  47. #47 John Morales
    March 17, 2010

    Brian,

    You went to St. Thomas Primary School in Terang, Victoria?

    Heh. I went to St. Thomas Primary School in Goodwood, South Australia.

  48. #48 WowbaggerOM
    March 17, 2010

    2) Pius XII actually did more for Jews than any wartime leader

    If by which you mean he helped them get to heaven earlier than they would have had he not intervened, then yes.

  49. #49 negentropyeater
    March 17, 2010

    Ratzinger was a Nazi in the same sense that he was a Catholic. He was inculcated with both forms of dogma as a child before his critical faculties had a chance to develop.

    That’s just ridiculous. Ratzi is a catholic. He was never a Nazi. Neither were Helmut Kohl nor Helmut Schmidt Nazis.
    Stop with these ridiculous allegations.

    It’s self evident from that video that Dawkins wasn’t talking of Ratzi as a Nazi, there are sufficient valid reasons to disparage Ratzi without having to invent crazy ones.

  50. #50 Orac
    March 17, 2010

    The current Pope, Benedict, was a member of the Hitler Youth when he was young. That’s pretty close to being a Nazi.

    Give me a break. After 1936, Hitler Youth membership was mandatory for all German, and by WWII, virtually every teenage non-Jewish German male was a member.

  51. #51 Brian English
    March 17, 2010

    I went to St. Thomas Primary School in Goodwood, South Australia

    Sisters of (no) mercy? That St. Thomas was a prolific fellow.

    Windy:
    but their insistence *afterwards* that resistance was impossible

    Well, fair enough. I don’t think theirs any shame in what they did as young men given what scant info I have. They’ve don’t plenty to bring shame since however.

  52. #52 Bastion Of Sass
    March 17, 2010

    You should like Pius XII. He told Catholics that they accept theory of evolution in his encyclical, Humani Generis.

    So an acceptance of the ToE trumps every other consideration when evaluating a man’s life and actions? Really?

  53. #53 Brian English
    March 17, 2010

    That was there’s any shame and They’ve done plenty of course.

    Orac, talk to Windy, he disagrees and I’m too ignorant to disagree strongly with him. :)

  54. #54 David Marjanovi?
    March 17, 2010

    He can start by excommunicating Hitler posthumously

    I don’t think that’s possible in Catholicism.

    (and girl?)

    Yes, except for them it was called differently.

    It would have been a very hard choice, but I wish people wouldn’t repeat this, since it’s a slur on the few that actually resisted.

    That article is about the army, not the Hitlerjugend.

    And, frankly, I don’t expect anyone to in effect volunteer to be sent to Dachau. See comment 25.

    Some locals in Traunstein, like Elizabeth Lohner

    Ouch. Never with z in German. That would completely screw up the pronunciation.

    how old was Ratzinger when he joined the Hitler youth

    The article says it:

    “In 1937 Ratzinger’s father retired and the family moved to Traunstein, a staunchly Catholic town in Bavaria close to the Fhrer?s mountain retreat in Berchtesgaden. He joined the Hitler Youth aged 14, shortly after membership was made compulsory in 1941.

    He quickly won a dispensation on account of his training at a seminary. ‘Ratzinger was only briefly a member of the Hitler Youth and not an enthusiastic one,’ concluded John Allen, his biographer.”

    Then comes the part about the army.

  55. #55 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 17, 2010

    Brian English:

    talk to Windy, he disagrees

    That should be “talk to Windy, she…”

  56. #56 Orac
    March 17, 2010

    As I understand – the Dawkins/antisemetism-thing comes from him using the phrase “Jewish lobby” a couple of times.
    Granted, a lot of not very nice people are using the same phrase, but I’m equally certain that Dawkins and those people don’t mean the same thing by it. And there’s the undeniable fact that some pretty pro-israel forces have a lot of political clout in Washinton. If in doubt, look up how much money the US are currently supplying Israel with.

    Actually, I can see how Dawkins walked right into that one. I don’t think Dawkins is anti-Semitic, but I do think he has a major tin ear when it comes to a lot of things:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2007/10/dawkins_walked_right_into_that_one.php

  57. #57 SC OM
    March 17, 2010
  58. #58 Brian English
    March 17, 2010

    That should be “talk to Windy, she…”

    You know, I immediately thought that Windy might be a she after I posted the comment. I thought I’d try to defend myself by saying Windy sounds male while Venteuse would be a feminine nick. But that’s bollocks. Sorry Windy.

  59. #59 John Morales
    March 17, 2010

    David,

    He can start by excommunicating Hitler posthumously

    I don’t think that’s possible in Catholicism.

    The Church has a long history.
    What about Pope Formosus?

  60. #60 negentropyeater
    March 17, 2010

    The funniest thing is that someone says Pope Nazi and then has to clarify which one!

    But that’s not funny, and it’s not a good sign. It seems many people assume that Pope Nazi means Ratzi solely because he is German.

  61. #61 Brian English
    March 17, 2010

    but I do think he has a major tin ear when it comes to a lot of things:

    Agreed. I think the Dawk, being a refined scholar probably doesn’t get all the registers of unrefined talk. Either that, or Vox Day was on the money and he has mild asperger’s. :) (Hey even a broken clock is right twice a day.)

  62. #62 Kel, OM
    March 17, 2010

    Must be true then.

    The truth of the claim exists externally to the book itself. Given the historical explorations given in the book, what reason would you have to be dismissive of the claim as presented, instead of actually looking for external evidence to either substantiate or invalidate such claims? Sarcasm aside, you can claim nothing in terms of the validity of the statement from merely the title of the book. If you think it wrong, why not drop the sarcasm and find a source to refute it? I put my source on the table…

  63. #63 Owlmirror
    March 17, 2010

    If you think it wrong, why not drop the sarcasm and find a source to refute it?

    Um, Kel, that is Pilt you’re talking to.

    He no longer even tries to say anything of substance.

  64. #64 steve
    March 17, 2010

    That’s just ridiculous. Ratzi is a catholic. He was never a Nazi.

    I don’t claim that he is either nazi or catholic, just that he is as much one as the other.

    He was exposed to both dogmas at the same time, at an age when critical thinking skills are still developing.

    He publicly adheres to one irrational belief system and publicly denies the other.

    Assuming he actually believes catholic dogma, he arrived at this position through non-rational means. Given that both belief systems are equally vile, and in fact feed on each other, why would he be expected to reject the other ?

    And his track record for telling the truth is spotty at best.

    Personally I don’t think he believes in either of them except to the extent that they can be used to further his interests.

  65. #65 https://me.yahoo.com/hairychris444#96384
    March 17, 2010

    I don’t want to defend Ratzinger. I think he’s a vile bastard. First you presume he had faith then and now? But I’m not expecting children or teenagers to have the balls to go against their society and all that. In the middle of a war with people disappearing whenever they disagree with that society you’d expect a young person to ask to get shot?

    Agreed. He’s a malignant pig-fister but that’s for crap he’s pulled since he should have known better…

    I still love the Pope Panzerfaust monicker though!!

  66. #66 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 17, 2010

    Um, Kel, that is Pilt you’re talking to.

    I taut I saw a muddy brat…

  67. #67 windy
    March 17, 2010

    talk to Windy, [s]he disagrees

    I really don’t; looks like some of you didn’t read my first comment very closely.

  68. #68 aratina cage
    March 17, 2010

    It seems many people assume that Pope Nazi means Ratzi solely because he is German.
    -negentropyeater

    I’d rather doubt that. It’s his name (almost rhymes with Nazi) and the widespread knowledge of his membership in the Hitler Youth and his command over a vile institution.

  69. #69 WowbaggerOM
    March 17, 2010

    He [Pilty] no longer even tries to say anything of substance.

    Criticism of the holy roman church always attracts his attention. He must have some kind of papist symbol – la the bat-signal; perhaps a with the silhouette of a cracker or a priest raping a child – hooked up to google search.

    It’s all lies of course; according to him, every denunciation of the church always is. Even when it’s its own members coming forward, providing evidence and confessing to committing crimes and being shielded from justice by the higher-ups. It’s all a conspiracy I tell you!

  70. #70 Andyo
    March 17, 2010
    #49

    Posted by:
    WowbaggerOM Author Profile Page |
    March 17, 2010 7:43 PM

    2) Pius XII actually did more for Jews than any wartime leader

    If by which you mean he helped them get to heaven earlier than they would have had he not intervened, then yes.

    Heaven? Jews?

  71. #71 latsot
    March 17, 2010

    I can’t get excited about Ratzinger’s membership of the Hitler Youth. How many of us were indoctrinated into a religion when we were kids and went along with it for a while, even though we didn’t believe it? Even when we started to realise it was harmful?

    I know, I know, it isn’t the same thing, but *in the climate of the time and place*, how many of us as young teenagers would have been really capable of properly understanding the political situation, let alone our place in it as a member of a compulsory organisation?

    But who cares? Let?s judge the motherfucker on the actions he has taken since he became an adult.

  72. #72 Zeno
    March 17, 2010

    Oh, and Pope Pius XII really was a sniveling rat bastard who should have been held accountable for contributing to the evil perpetrated against the Jews.

    Without being a fan of Pius XII, I think it’s fair to point out that his conduct during World War II is difficult to characterize fairly as collaborative with the Nazis. Rather, his opposition was weak. He was not outspoken in his opposition to the Third Reich and apparently feared that overt denunciation would be counterproductive. The Vatican did rescue significant numbers of Jews, but remained vague in its wartime attacks on violence against civilian populations. Was Pius afraid for himself? Was he right that he could spark reprisals by confronting the Reich more directly? Many Jews praised his behind-the-scenes efforts after the war, but others pointedly wondered why he did not do more. The Jewish Virtual Library has a page on Pius and the Holocaust that provides many links that the curious might pursue. While Bernard Cornwell may have backed away from the worst charges in his book Hitler’s Pope, it remains difficult to paint Pius XII as more than a timid opponent of the Nazi’s campaign against the Jews.

    The Catholic Church is now considering canonizing Pius XII, which would elevate him as a role model in the eyes of church members. Hardly appropriate. Except for that, however, I find it difficult to get particularly exercised about the Vatican making a declaration that Pius’s imaginary immortal soul is now forever enshrined in the imaginary God’s blessedly imaginary realm of heaven.

  73. #73 Brian English
    March 17, 2010

    Apologies Windy, I’ve reread your comment and it still appears to me that you think Ratzi had a real (not just logically possible choice) choice and is lying about that. He was younger than the army guy (it makes a huge difference between being 14 and say 19) and I don’t know his mental state when he decided impossible to refuse joining the Hitler your. If he truly believed it was impossible to resist when 14, then it is not a lie for him now to say it was impossible for him to refuse. That is was logically possible and that others refused to join the army at a later age doesn’t seem to change that he might have believed himself that is was impossible.

    In the end, I’m tempted to say he’s lying about why he joined the Hitler youth, but that’s because of his adult actions, not because he is lying that it was impossible.

  74. #74 John Morales
    March 17, 2010

    I comment here to support Windy: “… since it’s a slur on the few that actually resisted.”

  75. #75 WowbaggerOM
    March 17, 2010

    Andyo wrote:

    Heaven? Jews?

    Oh, have I missed something? I only know bits-and-pieces about Judaism (mostly acquired here and from reading Michael Chabon novels); I thought they believe in a heaven.

    Or are you implying that Christians wouldn’t believe Jews went to heaven?

  76. #76 Stogoe
    March 17, 2010

    It seems many people assume that Pope Nazi means Ratzi solely because he is German.

    Not solely because he’s German. He was undeniably a member of the Hitler Youth, whatever that’s worth, and he is heavily involved in the Catholic Child Rape holocaust. So it’s, you know, not wholly undeserved. Plus the whole Ratzi=Nazi consonance.

  77. #77 Owlmirror
    March 17, 2010

    It’s all lies of course; according to him, every denunciation of the church always is. Even when it’s its own members coming forward, providing evidence and confessing to committing crimes and being shielded from justice by the higher-ups. It’s all a conspiracy I tell you!

    Except for when it’s a (*gasp!*) homosexual conspiracy — within the church !!

    In which case, castrate them all — God will know his own !!

  78. #78 'Tis Himself, OM
    March 17, 2010

    dimitricavalli #12

    Pius XII actually did more for Jews than any wartime leader

    The Jewish Virtual Library isn’t impressed with Pius.

    As soon as he was appointed Pope, Pacelli did speak out against the 1938 Italian racial laws that dealt with mixed marriages and children of mixed marriages. However, he issued no such condemnation of Kristallnacht … which occurred in November 1938, and which recent evidence shows he was informed of by Berlin’s papal nuncio. As the security of the Jewish population became more precarious, Pius XII did intervene the month he was elected Pope, March 1939, and obtained 3,000 visas to enter Brazil for European Jews who had been baptized and converted to Catholicism. Two-thirds of these were later revoked, however, because of “improper conduct,” probably meaning that the Jews started practicing Judaism once in Brazil. At that time, the Pope did nothing to save practicing Jews.

    In the spring of 1940, the Chief Rabbi of Palestine, Isaac Herzog, asked the papal Secretary of State, Cardinal Luigi Maglione to intercede to keep Jews in Spain from being deported to Germany. He later made a similar request for Jews in Lithuania. The papacy did nothing.

    In late August 1942, after more than 200,000 Ukrainian Jews had been killed, Ukrainian Metropolitan Andrej Septyckyj wrote a long letter to the Pope, referring to the German government as a regime of terror and corruption, more diabolical than that of the Bolsheviks. The Pope replied by quoting verses from Psalms and advising Septyckyj to “bear adversity with serene patience.”

    In a September 1940 broadcast, the Vatican called its policy “neutrality,” but stated in the same broadcast that where morality was involved, no neutrality was possible. This could only imply that mass murder was not a moral issue.

    [A]fter being asked by French Marshal Henri Philippe Petain if the Vatican would object to anti-Jewish laws, Pius XII answered that the church condemned racism, but did not repudiate every rule against the Jews. When Petain’s French puppet government introduced “Jewish statutes,” the Vichy ambassador to the Holy See informed Petain that the Vatican did not consider the legislation in conflict with Catholic teachings, as long as they were carried out with “charity” and “justice.”

  79. #79 skeptical scientist
    March 17, 2010

    Re #66: What evidence do you have that Ratzinger is a Nazi? Being exposed to dogma and accepting it are hardly the same thing, as many atheists on this blog will tell you. The only alleged evidence for him being a Nazi is the Hitler Youth membership, which has already been dismissed. In contrast, he clearly accepted and still accepts the Catholic dogma. (The question, “Is the pope Catholic?” is meant to be rhetorical!)

    I’m still curious about this Pope Pious XII claim. Wikipedia calls the matter controversial, and is hardly a reliable source on controversial matters. They do have sources, including rabbis and Jewish leaders, who defended and even praised Pope Pious’s actions during the Holocaust, which leads me to believe it’s not as cut-and-dried as PZ’s comments suggest. On the other hand, someone made a claim that he provided the Nazis a list of Catholics to aid them in uncovering Jews in hiding, which is pretty damning, if true. Is there a reliable source for this allegation?

    As usual, I’m suspicious of anyone labeling their ideological opponents as Nazis, because the claim is almost always either a gross exaggeration or outright slander. I’m not saying that it should never be used, but it should be reserved for those times when it truly and clearly applies.

  80. #80 Owlmirror
    March 17, 2010

    Or are you implying that Christians wouldn’t believe Jews went to heaven?

    Exactly.

    Extra ecclesiam nulla salus, as Pilt likes to say.

    Therefore, everyone killed in the Holocaust went to Hell (unless, of course, they became good Catholics before dying).

  81. #81 SC OM
    March 17, 2010

    While Bernard Cornwell may have backed away from the worst charges in his book Hitler’s Pope,

    The discussion of the Vatican and the Ustashe was enough, it should be noted. There was also the birthday card….

    “… since it’s a slur on the few that actually resisted.”

    See my links @ #58!

  82. #82 Owlmirror
    March 17, 2010

    [A]fter being asked by French Marshal Henri Philippe Petain if the Vatican would object to anti-Jewish laws, Pius XII answered that the church condemned racism, but did not repudiate every rule against the Jews. When Petain’s French puppet government introduced “Jewish statutes,” the Vichy ambassador to the Holy See informed Petain that the Vatican did not consider the legislation in conflict with Catholic teachings, as long as they were carried out with “charity” and “justice.”

    Pilt has referenced Petain with approval, because his kind of fascism submits to the Church. And the Church supports the kind of fascism that submits to it.

  83. #83 https://me.yahoo.com/a/x1CsKko.p.keyee5Rk.DLZd7ts9OdS.ilqZgGw--#2a28e
    March 17, 2010

    I went to two different catholic elementary schools in the 50s and 60s. One was progressive, the other was medieval.
    We were taught that we should be willing to die for Jeebus rather than allow evil to happen. There were many catholic saints who died fighting for their virtue. We were told to emulate them. Pope Pius XII should have used his authority to condemn Hitler and his programs and expose it as a great evil. No one knows what would have happened if he had done this.
    Archbishop Graf von Galen opposed the Nazi euthanasia program before the war and he may have helped stop the program. (The program may have also run out of sick and old people to euthanize by then.)
    The catholic church was actively anti-Semitic before the war. There was no reason for them to change because of the war.

  84. #84 latsot
    March 17, 2010

    @various:
    > Agreed. I think the Dawk, being a refined scholar
    > probably doesn’t get all the registers of
    > unrefined talk

    Yeah, someone who has spent nearly forty years sharpening his teeth on critics doesn’t understand criticism or the people levelling it. I think Richard probably understands what he’s saying. I can’t imagine that he cares too much if people think he should have said something else.

  85. #85 Brian English
    March 17, 2010

    I don’t understand ‘since it’s a slur on the few that actually resisted’ as being anything more than a rhetorical appeal to emotion. Either Ratzi did believe it impossible and is telling the truth or he didn’t believe it impossible and is lying now. I don’t think I’ve committed the fallacy birfucation in the previous sentence. Now, if you guys know, and I don’t know how you could have that knowledge, that 14 year old Ratzi didn’t think it impossible, you can’t know that he’s lying and thus can’t declare it a slure on the few that actually resisted.

  86. #86 SC OM
    March 17, 2010

    Bernard Cornwell

    John Cornwell.

  87. #87 Andyo
    March 17, 2010

    What Owlmirror said.

  88. #88 Brian English
    March 17, 2010

    . I think Richard probably understands what he’s saying.

    Evidence would suggest otherwise. I’ve seen him issue apologies/clarifications on the RD.NET site because of misunderstandings about what he said and how people took it. He’s a brilliant man, but it’s a bit much to expect him to be a man of (all) the people.

  89. #89 latsot
    March 17, 2010

    Brian English #90

    It is perfectly possible to understand what you’re saying, be wrong and admit it.

  90. #90 SC OM
    March 17, 2010

    Wikipedia:

    Following the seminary closure he required continued attendance with the Hitler Youth to not receive financial penalties in the Gymnasium tuition fees.

    Oh, well. OK, then.

  91. #91 Brian English
    March 17, 2010

    It is perfectly possible to understand what you’re saying, be wrong and admit it.

    Uhm, I’m not sure how to interpret that. But I’ll admit I’m wrong. I usually am. I must be, as you understood what I was saying. Not sure how that ties into my support of the idea that Dawkins has a bit of tin ear sometimes.

  92. #92 WowbaggerOM
    March 17, 2010

    Andyo wrote:

    What Owlmirror said.

    I was fairly sure Judaism postulated an afterlife of some kind, just somewhat different from Christianity. But I did a bit of research and found out where the two differ, and it’s quite interesting – WikiAnswers article: Do Jews believe in an afterlife?

    Strangest part (for me): ‘According to Jewish tradition the body doesn’t decompose fully; a tiny fragment of bone from the neck is indestructible. From this bone the body will once again grow and all people who ever lived will once again come back to life and reunited with their souls. (They will be fully clothed and look like they did at the prime of their life.)

    Learning is always fun – and sometimes mindboggling…

  93. #93 negentropyeater
    March 17, 2010

    Steve,

    I don’t claim that he is either nazi or catholic, just that he is as much one as the other.

    He’s the Pope for chrissake, isn’t that sufficient evidence that he is a catholic ?

    What evidence do you have that he is a Nazi ?

    Assuming he actually believes catholic dogma, he arrived at this position through non-rational means.

    Do you know someone who “arrives at this position” through rational means?

    Given that both belief systems are equally vile, and in fact feed on each other, why would he be expected to reject the other ?

    Helmut Schmitt and Helmut Kohl were also catholics, and both were forced into the Hitlerjugend, that means they must have been Nazis too.

    Helmut Schmitt = Nazi

    And from the above link:

    ‘Ratzinger was only briefly a member of the Hitler Youth and not an enthusiastic one’
    You don’t think there is a difference with him being a member of the catholic church ?

    And his track record for telling the truth is spotty at best.

    And you think this is sufficient evidence to support your allegations that he is or was a Nazi ?

    Personally I don’t think he believes in either of them except to the extent that they can be used to further his interests.

    Your personal beliefs are irrelevant as long as you can’t justify them.

  94. #95 WowbaggerOM
    March 17, 2010

    SC OM, #94

    Sadly yet another way baseless religious beliefs – at least amongst the ultra-orthodox – are costing lives.

  95. #96 John Morales
    March 17, 2010

    Brian,

    [1] I don’t understand ‘since it’s a slur on the few that actually resisted’ as being anything more than a rhetorical appeal to emotion. [2] Either Ratzi did believe it impossible and is telling the truth or he didn’t believe it impossible and is lying now. [3] I don’t think I’ve committed the fallacy birfucation in the previous sentence.

    1. Because it’s not credible (how realistic is it to think there were zero resistors¹), and hence it becomes an excuse which is incompatible with the fact of their defiance. Clearly, it is more moral to resist immorality than not to, right?
    So, if anything, I think it fundamentally an appeal to morality.

    2. You exclude the middle; that he neither believed nor disbelieved it, but did it out of pragmatism alone.

    3. You failed to account for the entire possibility space.

    ¹ (no, I’m not going to spend time searching for specific examples, therefore I admit I may be wrong. If you care to disabuse me of this notion, I’m open to evidence.)

  96. #97 latsot
    March 17, 2010

    “Uhm, I’m not sure how to interpret that. But I’ll admit I’m wrong. I usually am. I must be, as you understood what I was saying. Not sure how that ties into my support of the idea that Dawkins has a bit of tin ear sometimes.”

    My point was that I think Dawkins knows what he’s saying and by now has an appreciation of the impact what he says tends to have. And he seemingly doesn’t much care if he offends idiots. Why should he?

    He’s been wrong in the past – as have we all – but that doesn’t mean he didn’t understand what he was saying at the time.

    How does that relate to your ‘tin ear’ comment? I don’t know what the phrase means. I assumed it meant that he hasn’t understood his criticism: that he has a sort of muted understanding of what people were saying to him. I doubt this is true.

    But I don’t intend to fight anyone’s battles for them.

  97. #98 negentropyeater
    March 17, 2010

    He was undeniably a member of the Hitler Youth, whatever that’s worth, and he is heavily involved in the Catholic Child Rape holocaust. So it’s, you know, not wholly undeserved. Plus the whole Ratzi=Nazi consonance.

    Member of the Hilterjugend = like 99% of German children of his age.

    Catholic Child Rape Holocaust! Catholic child rape is sufficiently evil by itself without having to Godwin it and compare it to the holocaust.

    Ratzi=Nazi consonnance
    Seems a bit ridiculous to call someone a Nazi because his name rhymes with it.
    I don’t think of Nazism as a joke.

  98. #99 SC OM
    March 17, 2010

    Sadly yet another way baseless religious beliefs – at least amongst the ultra-orthodox – are costing lives.

    Yes, but it is one of those cases in which the non-orthodox have come to see it differently and can continue to make a difference.

  99. #100 Brian English
    March 17, 2010

    John Morales, I don’t understand. I never denied there were resisters. I just made the point that Ratzi is only slurly the resisters names if he indeed is lying about his belief that it was impossible to resist. You can present evidence that he was lying as a 14 year old and I’ll happily be convinced.

  100. #101 SC OM
    March 17, 2010

    (no, I’m not going to spend time searching for specific examples, therefore I admit I may be wrong….

    For Pete’s sake, I provided specific examples @ #58.
    :)

  101. #102 WowbaggerOM
    March 17, 2010

    SC OM wrote:

    Yes, but it is one of those cases in which the non-orthodox have come to see it differently and can continue to make a difference.

    True. Maybe it’ll eventually filter through – and/or one of their leaders will ‘receive a sign’ from their god that he’s now okay with it.

  102. #103 Brian English
    March 17, 2010

    How does that relate to your ‘tin ear’ comment? I don’t know what the phrase means. I assumed it meant that he hasn’t understood his criticism: that he has a sort of muted understanding of what people were saying to him. I doubt this is true.

    I understand the phrase ‘tin ear’ to mean that one doesn’t speak in a way that will be understood the same by ones listeners. Think about someone who is tone death. To them all music probably sounds like hitting a hammer on a tin roof.

    For example, the Dawk made some accusations recently about the closure of the RD.NET forum. He didn’t understand how they’d be taken and apologized for it. If he didn’t care, then why did he apologize?

  103. #104 SC OM
    March 17, 2010

    True. Maybe it’ll eventually filter through – and/or one of their leaders will ‘receive a sign’ from their god that he’s now okay with it.

    Or the nuts will just fade away.* Ahhhhh….

    *Or not:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7sNSduf7Gc
    :)

  104. #105 aratina cage
    March 17, 2010

    OT, speaking of Jewish beliefs, I try to avoid kosher foods because I don’t enjoy supporting superstitious nonsense, but I’ll be damned if the kosher pickles I accidentally bought didn’t taste better than the non-kosher pickles. *sigh*

  105. #106 Brian English
    March 17, 2010

    Clearly, it is more moral to resist immorality than not to, right?

    I guess so. It’s logically possible that he could have resisted. I’ve not denied that. But did he believe it was impossible? Imagine he’s gone somewhat mad (still is) because of living in a war environment and all that, then it’s possible the he truly believed, and still does that it was impossible for him to resist. Thus it’s no slur of those who resisted for him to say that he believed it impossible to resist.

  106. #107 latsot
    March 17, 2010

    Brian English:

    “If he didn’t care, then why did he apologize?”

    I don’t have the slightest idea – you’d have to ask him, obviously.

    I never made any claims about what Dawkins does or does not care about. I speculated that he probably doesn’t care too much if what he says offends idiots.

  107. #108 SC OM
    March 17, 2010

    OT, speaking of Jewish beliefs, I try to avoid kosher foods because I don’t enjoy supporting superstitious nonsense, but I’ll be damned if the kosher pickles I accidentally bought didn’t taste better than the non-kosher pickles. *sigh*

    You can pry my kosher pickles from my cold, dead hands.

    [Er, there is no subtext to that. I just love kosher dills. (And hate cucumbers, as it happens.)]

    But did he believe it was impossible? Imagine he’s gone somewhat mad (still is) because of living in a war environment and all that, then it’s possible the he truly believed, and still does that it was impossible for him to resist. Thus it’s no slur of those who resisted for him to say that he believed it impossible to resist.

    What do you mean by “impossible”?

    Anyway, people did resist. Are you suggesting he had no knowledge of that?

  108. #109 latsot
    March 17, 2010

    Brian English:

    “I understand the phrase ‘tin ear’ to mean that one doesn’t speak in a way that will be understood the same by ones listeners.”

    Wouldn’t that be a tin tongue?

    “Think about someone who is tone death. To them all music probably sounds like hitting a hammer on a tin roof. ”

    Perhaps….but that isn’t what you accused Dawkins of…

  109. #110 Brian English
    March 17, 2010

    I speculated that he probably doesn’t care too much if what he says offends idiots.
    I agree. But is everybody who misunderstands Dawkins because Dawkins talks in his Dawkins way an idiot? I doubt it. If the example used earlier was true; that Dawkins used the phrase ‘Jewish Lobby’ was interpreted as anti-jewish by some quarters does that make them idiots? I doubt it. Perhaps it’s a red-button issue for them. It appear to me that Dawkins doesn’t know how some quarters will interpret his words and thus has a tin ear. That he knows how godbots will interpret his ‘militantly strident atheist fundamental’ speech and doesn’t care is neither here nor there as far as I can see.

  110. #111 latsot
    March 17, 2010

    “Perhaps….but that isn’t what you accused Dawkins of…”

    I really don’t want to fall into silly semantic arguments about this. Can we be clear?

    Are you saying that Dawkins doesn’t understand his critics? Or his listeners? Or something else?

  111. #112 Ichthyic
    March 17, 2010

    I doubt it.

    I don’t.

    the US also has a Jewish Lobby, and a Big Oil Lobby, a Tobacco Lobby, an environmental Lobby….

    why would that make someone antisemitic to point out that groups have lobbies to help argue their points with govmt bodies?

  112. #113 Brian English
    March 17, 2010

    Perhaps….but that isn’t what you accused Dawkins of… Accusation? I didn’t mean to accuse him of anything. I just thought that him having a tin ear seems a good explanation.

    2. tin ear – insensitivity to the appropriateness or subtlety of language; “he has a tin ear for dialogue”

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/tin+ear

    Anyway, I’m retiring from the field. I yield to you guys. Not in a sooky manner, just that I feel like I’m trying to squeeze blood from a stone on what really are pedantic, inconsequential points. My fault entirely. I’ll just say again that I think Ratzinger is a vile bastard and the Dawk is brilliant.

  113. #114 Ichthyic
    March 17, 2010

    That he knows how godbots will interpret his ‘militantly strident atheist fundamental’ speech and doesn’t care is neither here nor there as far as I can see.

    then why do you insist on going on and on about it?

    bored?

  114. #115 Ichthyic
    March 17, 2010

    I’m confused.

    what actually defines the term “Nazi”?

    I always thought it was just membership in the party.

    If you were a HitlerJugend, didn’t that automatically make you a member of the party, and thus, a Nazi by definition if not by action?

    was there some age limit to actually be able to call oneself a member of the party?

  115. #116 aratina cage
    March 17, 2010

    You can pry my kosher pickles from my cold, dead hands.
    [Er, there is no subtext to that. I just love kosher dills. (And hate cucumbers, as it happens.)]
    -SC OM

    :D   Kosher dills, that’s what they were.

  116. #117 Brian English
    March 17, 2010

    then why do you insist on going on and on about it?

    bored?

    Just desired to express an argument and have it understood. It’s stupid, but I like people to evaluate what I mean, not a misunderstanding of what I mean. This is difficult because I’m not gifted with words nor abundant clear thinking. It’s funny, when others reply to my comments, and don’t seem to understand it, then my further replies are going on and on about it. Their replies are not. Why?

  117. #118 Andyo
    March 17, 2010

    Wowbagger #92

    I found this. The third question is especially hilarious. The Rabbi also doesn’t answer about hell, and like a good religious “scholar” goes on an on muddling things with religious babbling, more than clarifying. There are some things which are true though:

    But if we have a soul and there is such a thing as eternity, then that changes the picture entirely. Eighty years in the face of eternity is not such a big deal.

    Indeed, so you better get on with finding out if there’s a soul ASAP or else you’ll have wasted your only 80 years alive.

  118. #119 latsot
    March 17, 2010

    “But is everybody who misunderstands Dawkins because Dawkins talks in his Dawkins way an idiot?”

    No.

    “If the example used earlier was true; that Dawkins used the phrase ‘Jewish Lobby’ was interpreted as anti-jewish by some quarters does that make them idiots?”

    No.

    You are really odd. I said that I personally suspect Dawkins doesn’t care much if he offends idiots and you decided to use the word ‘idiot’ in remarkable ways. Neither I nor – as far as I know – Dawkins said a single thing about the idiocy or otherwise of anyone who doesn’t understand him or misinterprets his statements about a jewish lobby.

    Let’s agree that you’re right and that Dawkins has a ‘tin ear’, whatever that means. I don’t care. He’s as awesome when he’s wrong as when he’s right.

  119. #120 Ichthyic
    March 17, 2010

    Pilty, aren’t you banned here?

    trying to come in on the sly when the bossman is down under?

    you’re pathetic.

  120. #121 Phasic
    March 17, 2010

    How many 14 year olds resisted joining the Hitler Youth when they were expected to join? Just so I can get some comparison numbers.

  121. #122 Ichthyic
    March 17, 2010

    How many 14 year olds resisted joining the Hitler Youth when they were expected to join? Just so I can get some comparison numbers.

    There were a few members of the Hitler Youth who privately disagreed with Nazi ideologies. For instance, Hans Scholl, the brother of Sophie Scholl and one of the leading figures of the anti-Nazi resistance movement White Rose (Weie Rose), was also a member of the Hitler Youth. This fact is emphasised in the film The White Rose which depicts how Scholl was able to resist Nazi Germany’s ideology while being a member of the Nazi party’s youth movement. The 1993 Thomas Carter film Swing Kids also focuses on this topic.

  122. #123 SC OM
    March 17, 2010

    So I’ve read (roughly) Orac’s post about Dawkins’ comments. Two remarks:

    1) In reading some of this recent idiocy between Sullivan and Wieseltier (religion rots your brain!), I found that more than one staunch Jewish supporter of Israel in the comments referred to the “Jewish lobby” when referring to AIPAC. BFD. Stupid to attack anyone on that basis alone.

    2) Dawkins at times absolutely has a tin CNS. His comments about power were tremendously problematic.

  123. #124 John Morales
    March 17, 2010

    SC,

    For Pete’s sake, I provided specific examples @ #58.

    I didn’t watch them, nor am I erudite on the matter.

    Sorry. FWIW, I trust your judgement on this.

    Brian, I do tend towards the literal.

    I just made the point that Ratzi is only slurly the resisters names if he indeed is lying about his belief that it was impossible to resist.

    If and only if? You sure of that? ;)

    It’s logically possible that he could have resisted. I’ve not denied that. But did he believe it was impossible? Imagine he’s gone somewhat mad (still is) because of living in a war environment and all that, then it’s possible the he truly believed, and still does that it was impossible for him to resist.

    Please. You descend to sophistry, here.

    If he had half a clue (and he does, one does not get to be Pope by being a half-wit), he’d’ve clearly realised it was possible, but likely entailed bad consequences.
    He made a wise choice, but it sure seems like a hypocritical one given his professed doctrine.

    Did you even read what I wrote about pragmatism?

  124. #125 John Morales
    March 17, 2010

    Zinger:

    He’s the Pope for chrissake, isn’t that sufficient evidence that he is a catholic ?

    <claps>

  125. #126 besserwisser
    March 17, 2010

    dimitricavalli,

    2) Pius XII actually did more for Jews than any wartime leader, including President Roosevelt, who denied sanctuary to the Jewish passengers of the St. Louis in 1939 and refused to bomb the railway lines to the death camps. (A Nazi analysis of his 1942 X-mass message complained that he was accusing the German people of injustice towards the Jews.)

    That’s blatanly false. Even Mussolini did more than Pius, refusing to adhere to Hitler’s orders to transport Italian Jews to be exterminated. Pius never even spoke out against the Nazis or Hitler despite having very clear evidence about what was happening to the Jews.

    What could he have done? Anything. Publically denouncing the Nazis actions or educating the public on what was happening could have spured resistance, especially since so many people in Europe looked up to him and respected him.

    After the war he defended his actions saying he did speak out. He pointed to a speech delivered on Christmas in 1942, when the Final Solution was at its peak. This speech is available online and out of the 26 pages, this is what’s devoted to the situation of the Jews:

    “Mankind owes that vow to the hundreds of thousands of persons who, without any fault on their part, sometimes only because of their nationality or race, have been consigned to death or to a slow decline.”

    You call this doing something?

    Yes some Jewish scholars have defended Pius but many have also chastised him. Those who defend him point out to the fact that he gave permission in secret to members of the church who wanted to hide Jews. The key words there being “in secret” and “gave permission.” Thus the heroic status belongs to those men and women who were willing to risk their lives to save innocent people, not the passive bystander who wouldn’t even speak out.

    Maybe you should adhere to your own advice about history.

  126. #127 Brian English
    March 17, 2010

    John Morales, I read it. I don’t believe I’ve descended into sophistry. I apologize if I have. My point that unless you know what he believed when he was 14 then you can’t know that didn’t think it impossible seems reasonable, perhaps not. People are complex, we can believe many things that are irrational. Just because Ratzi has become a vile lying bastard doesn’t mean he was when he was 14 and doesn’t mean he didn’t make a decision that was both pragmatic and he believed the only possible one.

    Look guys, I’ve obviously stuffed up here today. I didn’t think I was being sophistical or unreasonable. That appears an error in my judgment. Thanks for the replies. I’ll go away. Take Care.

  127. #128 latsot
    March 17, 2010

    “[Ratzi] made a wise choice, but it sure seems like a hypocritical one given his professed doctrine.”

    In retrospect, yes. I doubt I’d have performed much better at the time in the same situation, I’m sorry to say. The difference is that I’m SORRY TO SAY it, whereas the pope apparently is not.

  128. #129 Phasic
    March 17, 2010

    Thanks Ichthyic, that’s really interesting. I expect it to have been rare, for all kinds of reasons, but it’s good to hear the stories of those who had the courage to resist.

    I don’t know if 14 year old me would have had the courage.

    Mostly, I just think there are better things to criticise the current pope on than the hitler youth thing.

  129. #130 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 17, 2010

    Pilty is a ruddy prat. And still a banned fool.

  130. #131 SC OM
    March 17, 2010

    This fact is emphasised in the film The White Rose which depicts how Scholl was able to resist Nazi Germany’s ideology while being a member of the Nazi party’s youth movement. The 1993 Thomas Carter film Swing Kids also focuses on this topic.

    #57!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Both are really good films, in different ways. Please watch! (And remember that these weren;t just individuals but movements.)

  131. #132 John Morales
    March 17, 2010

    Ichthyic,

    what actually defines the term “Nazi”?

    I think that, in this usage, it encompasses the (different) concept of ‘Nazi sympathiser’.

  132. #133 latsot
    March 17, 2010

    Brian #128

    I agree. Nothing unreasonable here as far as I can see.

  133. #134 negentropyeater
    March 17, 2010

    Ichtyic,

    A member of the Hitlerjugend wasn’t a member of the NSDAP, a political party (you had to be an adult).

    A Nazi is :
    1.(past) an ex-member of the NSDAP
    2.(present) an adherent or advocate of policies characteristic of Nazism

    Ratzi neither was 1. nor is 2.

  134. #135 Ichthyic
    March 17, 2010

    (you had to be an adult).

    believe it or not, none of the basic websites (like the wiki) actually define this, including giving any specific ages as to when one actually can become a member of the party.

  135. #136 negentropyeater
    March 17, 2010

    sorry, forgot the second h

  136. #137 SC OM
    March 17, 2010

    A member of the Hitlerjugend wasn’t a member of the NSDAP, a political party (you had to be an adult).

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

  137. #138 John Morales
    March 17, 2010

    [meta]

    Brian,

    Look guys, I’ve obviously stuffed up here today. I didn’t think I was being sophistical or unreasonable.

    Hey! No worries!

    I believe you were commenting in good faith, I know I think I was (and am).

    Leave this topic if you wish to, but do come back!

  138. #139 Ichthyic
    March 17, 2010

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

    first line:

    The Hitler Youth (German: About this sound Hitler-Jugend (helpinfo) , abbreviated HJ) was a paramilitary organization of the Nazi Party.

    see?

    it’s never defined that HJ was actually a separate thing from the NSDAP

    it’s very confusing.

  139. #140 SC OM
    March 17, 2010

    The Ogre,* with John Malkovich:

    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4208927/the_ogre_movie_trailer/

    *I was one of about four people in the theater, as usual.

  140. #141 SC OM
    March 17, 2010

    I didn’t think I was being sophistical or unreasonable.

    I didn’t either. FWIW.

  141. #142 steve
    March 17, 2010

    He’s the Pope for chrissake, isn’t that sufficient evidence that he is a catholic ?

    For 50 years Agnes Bojaxhiu aka Mother Teresa publicly lied about her lack of belief in god, if her biography, Come Be My Light, is to be believed. I pretty sure belief in god is a basic tenant of catholicism.

    I mean, she was Mother Teresa, a highly visible catholic poster child, for chrissake, isn’t that sufficient evidence that she was a catholic ?.

    Your personal beliefs are irrelevant as long as you can’t justify them.

    I agree, that is why I was careful to identify them as personal.

  142. #143 Pierce R. Butler
    March 17, 2010

    Sili @ # 6: Was it Pius XII or XI, who abducted a Jewish boy and was fond of letting him play under his dress?

    You’re probably thinking of the story of Edgardo Mortara, whose 1858 kidnapping was approved and defended after the fact by Pope Piux IX; this act devastated a Jewish family and scandalized much of the world, but so far no sexual dimensions have been uncovered.

    Brian English @ # 9: The current Pope, Benedict, was a member of the Hitler Youth when he was young. …
    So was every other boy (and girl?) of his cohort. There wasn’t a choice.

    Like hell there wasn’t. Look up the Edelweiss Pirates some time – and please note that they were strongest in western Germany, where little Joey Ratzinger lived.

    The girls were put in a separate organization, the Bund Deutscher Mdel, regularly exploited for sexual services by the Hitler Youth and others.

    That said, my personal impression is that JR signed up, not because of Nazi tendencies or external pressure, but because they promised him a seminary scholarship. He probably had no idea at the time that he would end up guarding prisoners and serving on anti-aircraft crews firing on British and American planes.

  143. #144 negentropyeater
    March 17, 2010

    Ichthyic,

    the German wiki is more complete:

    Die HJ war fortan die wichtigste Jugendorganisation der NSDAP, blieb aber bis 1932 der SA unterstellt. Mitglied konnte man frhestens mit 14 Jahren werden, mit 18 musste man der NSDAP bzw. ab 1927 der SA beitreten.

    Hitlerjugend was the most important youth organisation of the NSDAP (part of the SA until 1932). One could become member from 14 to 18.
    Older than 18, one had to become member of the NSDAP (the SA from 1927).

    Also:

    Sie wurde in der Zeit des Nationalsozialismus ab 1933 zum einzigen staatlichen Jugendverband mit bis zu 8,7 Millionen Mitgliedern (98 Prozent aller deutschen Jugendlichen) ausgebaut.

    From 1933 it was the only national youth association with up to 8.7 million members (98% of all German youngsters).

    (I wrote 99% above: sorry for the error)

  144. #145 Feynmaniac
    March 17, 2010

    For 50 years Agnes Bojaxhiu aka Mother Teresa publicly lied about her lack of belief in god, if her biography, Come Be My Light, is to be believed. I pretty sure belief in god is a basic tenant of catholicism.

    I mean, she was Mother Teresa, a highly visible catholic poster child, for chrissake, isn’t that sufficient evidence that she was a catholic ?.

    Yeah, I guess it’s possible the pope is a secret atheist, Muslim, Hindu, etc. However, unless you have any good evidence the idea can be dismissed as extremely unlikely.

  145. #146 SC OM
    March 17, 2010

    Hitlerjugend was the most important youth organisation of the NSDAP (part of the SA until 1932). One could become member from 14 to 18.

    Older than 18, one had to become member of the NSDAP (the SA from 1927).

    ? Yes? Let’s be specific. What is your response to the Wikiped discussion, which appears to be based on very sympathetic biographies?

    From 1933 it was the only national youth association with up to 8.7 million members (98% of all German youngsters).

    And that means what? Did you see my links?

  146. #147 negentropyeater
    March 17, 2010

    Steve,

    the fact that there exists some people who claim to be catholics and aren’t really catholics isn’t sufficient evidence to support the claim that the Pope (the head of the Roman Catholic Church) isn’t really a catholic.

    Geebus, do you often make such ridiculous arguments ?

  147. #148 steve
    March 17, 2010

    Yeah, I guess it’s possible the pope is a secret atheist, Muslim, Hindu, etc. However, unless you have any good evidence the idea can be dismissed as extremely unlikely.

    Christopher Hitchens said it better than I could, talking about child raping priests:

    Their foul crime is not one of hypocrisy. No priest who sincerely believed even for ten seconds in divine judgment could conceivably endanger his immortal soul in this way, and those in the hierarchy who helped protect such men from punishment in this world are equally and obviously guilty of a hardened and obscene cynicism.

    What is extremely unlikely is that any of them, from the pope down, involved in the abuse and the cover up believe the dogma. That is for the sheep that keep them in power.

    It would be like saying that because George Bush was president it would be unlikely that he was not actively trying to circumvent the US constitution.

  148. #149 SC OM
    March 17, 2010

    For 50 years Agnes Bojaxhiu aka Mother Teresa publicly lied about her lack of belief in god, if her biography, Come Be My Light, is to be believed. I pretty sure belief in god is a basic tenant [sic] of catholicism.

    I mean, she was Mother Teresa, a highly visible catholic poster child, for chrissake, isn’t that sufficient evidence that she was a catholic ?.

    Oh, she sure was.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WQ0i3nCx60

  149. #150 Kel, OM
    March 17, 2010

    The truth or falsity of the claim exists externally to the book itself.

    That was implied, pilty.

    Because I’ve never heard anything remotely like that claim before; and the book’s title suggests a biased agenda rather than a disinterested historical enquiry.

    Argument from personal incredulity, and poisoning the well. Bias doesn’t imply inaccuracy, or even worse, making stuff up. Without even bothing to read the book or check the claims, you’re just dismissing it.

    Doesn’t the burden of proof lie with the accuser?

    Like I said, I provided my source. You’re dismissing that source without even bothering to check it out.

    A half-remembered secondary source. Did it have footnotes directing the reader to a primary source?

    Pretty sure it did.

    Do you even consider such things or just parrot these claims uncritically?

    I considered it, like I said there was a lot more history in that book than just that one fact. And of the history I did know, there was nothing wrong with what facts he gave (even if I did disagree with interpretation).

    I don’t consider that it was in that book proof, but I’m saying you dismissing it without even bothering to check that source is being uncritical.

    I’ve seen how you post here, you’re not exactly a shining example of critical thinking (or even thinking for that matter)

  150. #151 negentropyeater
    March 17, 2010

    ? Yes? Let’s be specific. What is your response to the Wikiped discussion, which appears to be based on very sympathetic biographies?

    Yes what ?
    Which wikiped discussion ?

    And that means what? Did you see my links?

    It means what it means, 98% of German boys were members of the HJ.
    Yes, I saw your links but didn’t watch the entire movie as I perfer to read so I googled Swing-Jugend and found several interesting articles. They were almost entirely from Hamburg, a few from Berlin. There were also other smaller youth resistance groups opposing the HJ, like the The Helmuth Hubener Group, The Leipziger Meutten and The Edelweiss Pirates. In total they represented much less than 1% of all youth from ages 14 to 18 and were almost exclusively from the urban higher middle class.

    None of this justifies why one would want to call Ratzi a Nazi.

  151. #152 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 17, 2010

    neg:

    the fact that there exists some people who claim to be catholics and aren’t really catholics isn’t sufficient evidence to support the claim that the Pope (the head of the Roman Catholic Church) isn’t really a catholic.

    A lot of catholics (especially a lot of priests) freely admit they don’t believe in god and the rest of the nonsense, but they still believe (ferociously so) in being catholic. Having been raised catholic myself, I saw plenty of this, but I have a hard time explaining it. Basically, actually believing in god, heaven, hell, all that, isn’t important when it comes to being a “good catholic”. What is important is maintaining the party line. At all costs.

    Then you have the true believers, who do buy into the whole thing; like the others though, they have a vested interest in maintaining the party line.

    Whether or not the current Pope actually believes it all, I don’t know. I wouldn’t be surprised either way.

  152. #153 SC OM
    March 17, 2010

    Yes what ?
    Which wikiped discussion ?

    The ones referred to, including the quotation from the sympathetic biographical article about Ratzinger.

    Yes, I saw your links but didn’t watch the entire movie as I perfer to read

    *eyeroll*

    so I googled Swing-Jugend and found several interesting articles. They were almost entirely from Hamburg, a few from Berlin. There were also other smaller youth resistance groups opposing the HJ, like the The Helmuth Hubener Group, The Leipziger Meutten and The Edelweiss Pirates. In total they represented much less than 1% of all youth from ages 14 to 18 and were almost exclusively from the urban higher middle class.

    These statistics come from where, and mean what? There were reasons the resistance we know about tended to be (upper) middle class. So what? There was resistance (ones you mention, Swing Kids, White Rose,…). It was not impossible to resist.

    Amd what is your point? What does “impossible” mean in this context?

  153. #154 askegg.myopenid.com
    March 17, 2010

    Notwithstanding, I still think the Pope IS a Nazi.

  154. #155 John Morales
    March 17, 2010

    negentropyeater,

    None of this justifies why one would want to call Ratzi a Nazi.

    Quite aside from the point you’re making, I just want to point out that this post’s OP is that Dawkins almost certainly didn’t do that.

  155. #156 Pierce R. Butler
    March 17, 2010

    negentropyeater – There were also other smaller youth resistance groups opposing the HJ, like the The Helmuth Hubener Group, The Leipziger Meutten and The Edelweiss Pirates. In total they represented much less than 1% of all youth from ages 14 to 18 and were almost exclusively from the urban higher middle class.

    The Swing Youth “resisted” mostly by discreetly defying Nazi music censorship at their dance parties. And everything I’ve read about the Edelweiss Pirates indicates they were almost entirely working class (like the Ratzinger family).

    From Ian Kershaw, Hitler – 1936-1945: Nemesis -

    Amid the rubble and the ruins, in the cellars of burnt-out buildings, forms of opposition to the Nazi regime approaching partisan activity emerged. Here, heterogeneous groups of deserted soldiers, foreign workers – now [1944] forming around 20 per cent of the Reich?s work-force and presenting the Nazi authorities with increasing worries about insurrection – members of dissident bands of disaffected youth (known picturesquely as ?Edelweiss Pirates?), and the Communist underground organization (infiltrated and smashed many times but always managing to replenish itself) blended together in the autumn of 1944 into short-lived but, for the regime, troublesome resistance. The Gestapo recorded some two dozen small resistance groups of up to twenty individuals, and one large body of around 120 persons. They stole food, broke into Wehrmacht camps and depots to get weapons, and organized minor forms of sabotage. It came on occasion to shoot-outs with camp guards and police. Their actions were politically directed: they killed, among others, several Gestapo men, including the head of the Cologne Gestapo, an SA man, and a Nazi Party functionary. In all, twenty-nine killings were attributed to them by the Gestapo. Attacks on the Hitler Youth and other Nazi formations by the ?Edelweiss Pirates? were commonplace. With the explosives they acquired, their intention was to blow up the Gestapo headquarters and the city?s law-courts, and to shoot a leading attorney and several members of the Party organization.

    Just think how torn the Pharynguhorde would be if the Catholic Church had named someone with that background as Pope. (But, consider how unlikely such a hero would be to choose a life in the Holy Mother Church.)

  156. #157 negentropyeater
    March 17, 2010

    A lot of catholics (especially a lot of priests) freely admit they don’t believe in god and the rest of the nonsense, but they still believe (ferociously so) in being catholic.

    I know that’s about 50% of all catholics in France for instance. Historical Catholics I think they are called.

    Basically, actually believing in god, heaven, hell, all that, isn’t important when it comes to being a “good catholic”. What is important is maintaining the party line. At all costs.

    I don’t know about “maintaining the party line at all costs”, this doesn’t seem to bethe case with most of these historical catholics in rance, who are mainly liberal pro-choice anti-catholic-sexdogma, but I think what motives themse non believin catholics to describe themselves as catholics are ainly aethetics, community, and traditions.

    Whether or not the current Pope actually believes it all, I don’t know. I wouldn’t be surprised either way.

    I don’t have any reasons to doubt that the Pope is a serious religious nutjob who believes in the whole shebang…

  157. #158 Ichthyic
    March 17, 2010

    Whether or not the current Pope actually believes it all, I don’t know. I wouldn’t be surprised either way.

    I had a conversation, on Pharyngula, years ago with a professor at a UK uni who was also an atheist…

    and a registered Anglican Bishop with a current congregation.

    and yes, the congregation knew he was an atheist.

    NOTHING surprises me any more in the world of religion.

  158. #159 Andyo
    March 17, 2010
    #155

    Posted by:
    askegg.myopenid.com Author Profile Page |
    March 17, 2010 11:16 PM

    Notwithstanding, I still think the Pope IS a Nazi.

    I think you’re stretching it too much. Totalitarian ? Nazi. Even calling the catholic sect totalitarian is a bit of a stretch. In many regions (like some South American countries) many if not most “catholics” are about the most slacker religious people. It’s only for old church ladies and all that.

  159. #160 negentropyeater
    March 17, 2010

    I just want to point out that this post’s OP is that Dawkins almost certainly didn’t do that.

    I know, that’s been established already long ago (see my #49 for how I entered into this thread).

    But apparently some here have insisted on still calling Ratzi a Nazi.

  160. #161 Owlmirror
    March 17, 2010

    @Kel: I don’t have the book, but I used Amazon’s Search inside to find on page 185:

    The Catholic Church provided the Nazis with its genealogical records, which told them who in Germany was Christian, and therefore non-Jewish.

    I don’t see a further reference in there, though.

  161. #162 SC OM
    March 17, 2010

    I know that’s about 50% of all catholics in France for instance. Historical Catholics I think they are called.

    So people who don’t even belive in the supernatural bulldung, but are willing to march along with this horrid organization. Great.

    Amid the rubble and the ruins, in the cellars of burnt-out buildings, forms of opposition to the Nazi regime approaching partisan activity emerged. Here, heterogeneous groups of deserted soldiers, foreign workers – now [1944]

    ?

    ??

  162. #163 Ichthyic
    March 17, 2010

    But apparently some here have insisted on still calling Ratzi a Nazi.

    strangely enough, given the attitudes and positions taken by the current Pope, I find this not only insufficiently insulting to the Pope (to attach the moniker “nazi”), but even derogatory to what is meant by “nazi” to begin with!

    so far from being one of those cases where it’s supposedly “trivializing” Nazism, I find it almost the exact opposite.

  163. #164 Phasic
    March 17, 2010

    Ichthyic: Was that John Shelby Spong?

  164. #165 Ichthyic
    March 17, 2010

    Ichthyic: Was that John Shelby Spong?

    nope, in fact this person was (is?) a professor at a UK uni.

    the name does escape me… it was a long time ago.

    interesting you mention Spong though, as another case on point of the weird, wacky world of religion.
    :)

  165. #166 Andyo
    March 17, 2010

    Hmm my comments though my Vox account are being held for moderation… glitch?

  166. #167 negentropyeater
    March 17, 2010

    The ones referred to, including the quotation from the sympathetic biographical article about Ratzinger.

    Don’t know what you are talking about.

    *eyeroll*

    What ? eyeroll ? What’s wrong with what I wrote ?

    It was not impossible to resist.

    Where did I suggest that it was impossible to resist ? You must be confusing with someone else.

    My reason for these statistcs is simple : I think it’s ridiculous if one has to start calling Nazi any German who was a youngster at that time and was amongst the 98% who joined the HJ.

    Is that clear ???

  167. #168 Kel, OM
    March 17, 2010

    I don’t see a further reference in there, though.

    Fair enough.

  168. #169 SC OM
    March 17, 2010

    I know that’s about 50% of all catholics in France for instance. Historical Catholics I think they are called.

    Once again, this is appalling. They’ll dictate – or allow their church to dictate – to others about their lives, and cause their deaths, on no basis other than raw authoritarianism. Scumbags.

  169. #170 jcmartz.myopenid.com
    March 17, 2010

    Was a clarification really necessary? Shouldn’t it be the media’s responsibility to do the actual research before lashing out at Dawkings’ statement?

    And, wasn’t Pope Benedict XVI (as Cardinal Ratzinger) part of the Hitler Youth.
    http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/Ratzinger.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Benedict_XVI

    Just look at the current sexual scandal cover-up by the Pope Benedict XVI and his minions.

  170. #171 echidna
    March 17, 2010

    People I know who were in the HJ have all told me that it was mandatory. For some, there was a nearby concentration camp that held boy scouts (considered the enemy’s paramilitary).

    But more to the point, what we revile the Nazi’s for more than anything else is their anti-semitic views and the extent that they acted on it.

    This was a direct follow-on from the Catholic and Lutheran teaching that the only good jew was either converted to Christianity or not there at all.

    And Ratzi joined Church – without appearing to want to make the Church a better institution in any way.

  171. #172 SC OM
    March 17, 2010

    Don’t know what you are talking about.

    #90.

    What ? eyeroll ? What’s wrong with what I wrote ?

    You can’t be bothered with a historical film, however accurate, and will only read for a few moments online.

    Where did I suggest that it was impossible to resist ? You must be confusing with someone else.

    You entered a conversation. What are you arguing?

    My reason for these statistcs is simple : I think it’s ridiculous if one has to start calling Nazi any German who was a youngster at that time and was amongst the 98% who joined the HJ.

    Is that clear ???

    Yes, perfectly. No one was talking about “any German,” nor were many of us ignoring context. Is that clear?

  172. #173 negentropyeater
    March 18, 2010

    but are willing to march along with this horrid organization

    I don’t know if you can call that marching along with this organization. They call themselves catholics when they fill up a form but they are mostly secular “cultural catholics” who don’t approve of the dogmas of the RCC. They’ll only visit a church for weddings and funerals and maybe a mass or two in the year to meet some people from the neighbourhood and have a drink.

  173. #174 SC OM
    March 18, 2010

    I don’t know if you can call that marching along with this organization. They call themselves catholics when they fill up a form but they are mostly secular “cultural catholics” who don’t approve of the dogmas of the RCC. They’ll only visit a church for weddings and funerals and maybe a mass or two in the year to meet some people from the neighbourhood and have a drink.

    Substitute “Nazi” for “Catholic.”

  174. #175 https://me.yahoo.com/a/x1CsKko.p.keyee5Rk.DLZd7ts9OdS.ilqZgGw--#2a28e
    March 18, 2010

    The Hitler-Jugend motto was: Fuehrer command, we follow. If that isn’t Nazi enough, Ratzinger was drafted into the German army and manned an anti-aircraft battery. If he actually brought down any Allied aircraft, I’m sure the survivors would take comfort in the fact that their people were not shot down by a Nazi.

  175. #176 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 18, 2010

    neg:

    I don’t know if you can call that marching along with this organization. They call themselves catholics when they fill up a form but they are mostly secular “cultural catholics” who don’t approve of the dogmas of the RCC.

    The catholics I was talking about in #152 are not like that at all – they don’t believe in the god business, they do believe in being catholic, and that means supporting the church.

  176. #177 negentropyeater
    March 18, 2010

    You can’t be bothered with a historical film, however accurate, and will only read for a few moments online.

    For crissake, stop being such a bully with your stupid strawman. I never said I can’t be bothered. It’s impossible to watch that movie and follow this thread at the same time, but I can do a bit of quick google to check a few things that are pertinent to this didcussion. I’ve bookmarked it and might watch it another day.

    You entered a conversation. What are you arguing?

    So did you. I didn’t enter a conversation, I enterred a thread where there were multiple conversations. You can check what I wrote, starting #49. I never wrote that it was impossible to resist the HJ.
    What I am arguing, and have been arguing since I entered into this thread, is that there is no reason to call Ratzi a Nazi:

    1. joining the HJ isn’t a reason to call someone a Nazi, otherwise we’d have to start calling 98% of Germans alive today who lived through this period Nazis.
    2. Neither is Ratzi an adept of Nazism.
    3. Nor is the RCC a Nazi organisation.
    4. Nor did Dawkins call Ratzi a Nazi.
    5. Nor did PZ refer to Ratzi as a Nazi, he actually blogged about the fact that he should be referred to as Pope Palpatine.

    Is that clear ?

  177. #178 SC OM
    March 18, 2010

    For crissake, stop being such a bully

    Tiresome.

    with your stupid strawman.

    *eyeroll exclamation point*

    I never said I can’t be bothered. It’s impossible to watch that movie and follow this thread at the same time,

    It’s not necessary. Watch the films and then return to the thread. Simple.

    but I can do a bit of quick google to check a few things that are pertinent to this didcussion. I’ve bookmarked it and might watch it another day.

    Again.

    So did you. I didn’t enter a conversation, I enterred a thread where there were multiple conversations. You can check what I wrote, starting #49. I never wrote that it was impossible to resist the HJ.
    What I am arguing, and have been arguing since I entered into this thread, is that there is no reason to call Ratzi a Nazi:

    So he falls where?

    1. joining the HJ isn’t a reason to call someone a Nazi, otherwise we’d have to start calling 98% of Germans alive today who lived through this period Nazis.
    2. Neither is Ratzi an adept of Nazism.
    3. Nor is the RCC a Nazi organisation.
    4. Nor did Dawkins call Ratzi a Nazi.
    5. Nor did PZ refer to Ratzi as a Nazi, he actually blogged about the fact that he should be referred to as Pope Palpatine.

    Is that clear ?

    Clear. And relentlessly stupid.

  178. #179 negentropyeater
    March 18, 2010

    Substitute “Nazi” for “Catholic.”

    So what, I’m not defending them. I Know very well that a big chunk of these people who’d have joined the bandwaggon then, or woudn’t have done anything to resist Nazism in Germany or Petainism in France.

    But so far so good, the church exerts an insignificant influence on our policies in France, and the “cutltural catholics” are perfectly satisfied with this.

    Most probably in a generation their children will even have abandoned their “cultural catholic” label.

  179. #180 SC OM
    March 18, 2010

    But so far so good,

    What the hell are you talking about?

    the church exerts an insignificant influence on our policies in France,

    !!! And a huge influence on policies around the world. Look, the majority of my family is Catholic. Break out of your bubble. What do you think the RCC is doing (other than conspiring to rape children)?

    and the “cutltural catholics” are perfectly satisfied with this.

    I’m quite sure they are!

    Most probably in a generation their children will even have abandoned their “cultural catholic” label.

    Not if people like you have your way.

    ***

    http://www.concordatwatch.eu/

  180. #181 SC OM
    March 18, 2010

    I Know very well that a big chunk of these people who’d have joined the bandwaggon then, or woudn’t have done anything to resist Nazism in Germany or Petainism in France.

    You know that’s not a sentence, right?

  181. #182 negentropyeater
    March 18, 2010

    sorry, “who’d” replace with “would”

    Look, it’s 6am and I need to go to bed. I’ll reply later.

  182. #183 Rorschach
    March 18, 2010

    *drags disk-prolapsed body in front of PC*

    Has it been pointed out yet that Jacqueline Maley, who wrote the piece in the “Age” mentioned above, was the one who asked the question about Mary McKillop in the first place in that Q&A ?

    If yes, sorry, havent been on for a day, if not, it should be pointed out more, and apparently Mediawatch here is investigating.

  183. #184 Rorschach
    March 18, 2010

    Also (hat tip Jason) Barney has apparently asked the “Age” to publish a correction by him wrt Dawkins in tomorrow’s edition.

  184. #185 Janet Holmes
    March 18, 2010

    Regarding Dawkins tendency to confuse certain people as to his meaning, I would like to suggest that at times it may be because he is English and not fully au fait with American politics and euphemisms. I know I am often confused by US sensitivities which seem to me to be extremely shrill and judgemental and focused around certain hot-button words which may not be used in polite society, because in America they have very precise meanings not common in the rest of the English speaking world.

    Perhaps ‘Jewish lobby’ is one of these? Maybe in England it means ‘people who voice support for Israel and Judaism’, whereas in American it means ‘evil bloodsucking parasites who bully the government into spending tax-payers money on propping up Israel and pissing off the people with all the oil’.

    Just a suggestion.

  185. #186 John Morales
    March 18, 2010

    Janet @184, maybe. But this post refers to Dawkins speaking in Melbourne, Australia. We’re no clones of the USA, though I admit the cultural influence is not insignificant.

  186. #187 Militant Agnostic
    March 18, 2010

    5)Can you explain what various atheists, freethinkers, etc. did to oppose Hitler (and Stalin)?

    My father lied about his age in order to go overseas (Canadian Army) and has a crater in his shoulder blade where an exploding bullet from a heavy machine gun hit him. This was in 1944, a month before he turned 18.

    My mother’s older brother bailed out of a burning Halifax bomber over Germany and managed to avoid capture for 2 weeks in spite of a broken leg. Neither he nor my father were believers.

    You are welcome to bugger yourself with an air chisel you worthless, sanctimonious piece of excrement.

  187. #188 Owlmirror
    March 18, 2010

    @Kel:

    Doing some more Amazon Search Inside/Google Limited Preview in another book:

    The Catholic Church And Nazi Germany by Guenter Lewy

    Pages 281-2:

    The Church surrendered in a similar fashion when the so-called Aryan clause was applied to clerical teachers of religion. This ordinance, enacted in 1938, meant that priests teaching religion in the public schools had to submit proof of their Aryan descent before they could continue in their posts. However, the policy in question affected very few clerics and had no further ramifications. Such was not the case when the Church agreed to supply data from her own records on the religious origin of those under her care. A decree of April 7, 1933, which resulted in the discharge of numerous Catholic civil servants, had also provided for the dismissal of all Jews (except front-line veterans of the first World War, those in government service since 1914, and close relatives of fallen soldiers) from the civil service. Henceforth, anyone applying for government employment–and soon for various other positions as well–had to submit proof that he was not a Jew. Since prior to 1874-1876 births had been registered only by the churches, the latter were asked to help in determining who was or was not fully Aryan, for under Nazi law this depended on the racial (i.e., religious) status of parents and grandparents. The Church co-operated as a matter of course, complaining only that priests already overburdened with work were not receiving compensation for this special service to the state 59 The very question of whether the Church should lend its help to the Nazi state in sorting out people of Jewish descent was never debated. On the contrary. “We have always unselfishly worked for the people without regard to gratitude or ingratitude,” a priest wrote in the Klerusblatt in September of 1934. “We shall also do our best to help in this service to the people.” 60 And the co-operation of the Church in this matter continued right through the war years, when the price of being Jewish was no longer dismissal from a government job and loss of livelihoods, but deportation and outright physical destruction. 61

    Endnotes for the chapter:


    59: Cf. Niederschrift der Konferenz der bayerischen Bischöfe in München am 21. März 1934, p. 3

    60: J. Demleitner, “Volksgenealogie,” Klerusblatt, XV (1934), 503

    61: All of the diocesan archives preserved contain voluminous files of correspondence in connection with the certification of Aryan descent.

  188. #189 windy
    March 18, 2010

    Look guys, I’ve obviously stuffed up here today. I didn’t think I was being sophistical or unreasonable. That appears an error in my judgment. Thanks for the replies. I’ll go away. Take Care.

    Don’t go away! You made good points, I just think the “resistance was impossible” defense of Ratzinger is kind of unfortunate. He must at least have been aware that there was resistance even in his small town, even if he was too young to do anything himself.

    I think latsot summarized it well here:

    I doubt I’d have performed much better at the time in the same situation, I’m sorry to say. The difference is that I’m SORRY TO SAY it, whereas the pope apparently is not.

  189. #190 shonny
    March 18, 2010

    #12 Posted by: dimitricavalli Author Profile Page | March 17, 2010 6:34 PM

    That sounds just like the typical sanitised falsifications coming out of the Vatican in an attempt to change their abysmal records on anything that point to their greed, excesses, and self-righteousness.

    Anybody thinking that the Vatican’s excesses are a modern thing should check out the history of the catlickers, especially in the period 800 to 400 years ago. Then you’ll see the true face of that evil institution.

    Pope Nazi (SiegHeil 1, – pious, my ass!) was more keen to protect the church than he was willing to help even his own priests who fought the Nazi regime.
    If you check out PROPER historical records you will find that he made deals with the Nazi regime to protect the church. Not people, Jews or other, but the Vatican itself.

    Also, to be accused of being anti-Semitic these days it is enough just to point out that Israel is not exactly as squeaky clean as they like to see themselves. Just look at the treatment Norman Finkelstein gets from the holier-than-though orthodox Jews (who are not all that unlike their earlier tormentors in both ideology and cruelty.

  190. #191 Walton
    March 18, 2010

    Also, to be accused of being anti-Semitic these days it is enough just to point out that Israel is not exactly as squeaky clean as they like to see themselves.

    Not quite, shonny… but to call a Jewish man a “living argument for the Holocaust”, as you did, is certainly sufficient for reasonable people to conclude that you are an anti-Semite. I note that you never retracted that comment or apologised for it.

    Criticising Israel is not necessarily anti-Semitic in itself. But when we combine your obsessive ranting about Israel in virtually every post with your record of making patently anti-Semitic remarks, it becomes fairly obvious that you are, in fact, an anti-Semite. If you’re not, then you need to retract and apologise for the comment I linked above.

  191. #192 shonny
    March 18, 2010

    #29 Posted by: WowbaggerOM Author Profile Page | March 17, 2010 7:02 PM

    There is nothing good about catholicism.

    I don’t know; I think it’s good that its greed, corruption and devotion to nonsensical, archaic notions of religious practice has led to its inevitable slide into irrelevance and (eventual) self-destruction…

    Sadly, they are such an economic force that their demise could still be some time off. Just a glimpse of the RCC’s grip on people in the Third World is very disheartening.
    But if the victims of abuse band together for proper compensation the RCC might have to sell off the Vatican, – and wouldn’t that be THE DAY!
    Sell the Vatican

  192. #193 shonny
    March 18, 2010

    Walton, firstly check out what an Anti-Semite really is. The Israelis and Orthodox Jews have have used the term for emotional black-mail ever since WW2 to avoid any questioning of all their evil deeds, playing the perpetual victims.

    And whether you agree or not, Israel’s military have frighteningly many of the characteristics of the Waffen-SS, and the decent Israelis are under the yoke of the self-righteous, vengeful land-grabbers represented by the Likud party and the ultra-orthodox ones. And then you have the Mossad whose motto seems to be ‘Kill ‘em all!’
    As to Ben Stein, who needs that kind of whining dishonesty?

    And yeah, I am anti-Israel just in the same manner as I am anti-Nazi, anti-Islam, and anti-RCC (and anti-Thatcher).
    And there’s a lot of other ‘institutions’ and nations that do not impress as well.

    And when I think Palestinians deserve peace, it is not the kind found in graveyards I have in mind, contrary to the militant Israelis’ desire.

  193. #194 csrster
    March 18, 2010

    Janet#184 : I think you’re onto something. Also many people outside the States (and quite a few in the US as well) use the terms “Jewish Lobby” and “Israel Lobby” as if they were interchangeable, whereas in fact the non-Jewish (ie crazy xian mothercuddler) parts of the pro-Israel lobby are much more fanatically and uncritically pro-Israel than the average Jew, most of whom still vote Democrat.

    I agree about Dawkins tin-ear. His comments about the BA woman who was threatened with the sack for wearing a model torture-instrument (http://richarddawkins.net/articles/458) were a real low point.

  194. #195 negentropyeater
    March 18, 2010

    SC,

    1. you interpret my “I looked at your link but didn’t watch the entire movie” into “I can’t be bothered to watch a good historical movie”
    (that’s a stupid strawman)

    2. you tell me that following this thread isn’t necessary but that I should watch the movie instead
    (that’s you bullying me, telling me how I should spend my time)

    3. you accuse me of thinking that resistance to the HJ was impossible
    (that’s a pure invention : it was someone else making that argument)

    4. you assume that me refusing to call Ratzi a Nazi means I’m defending him, the church, and dismeaning their crimes
    (when the reason I’m doing this is that accusing him of something completely non factual and unrelated shifts the attention away from the real horrid nature of the pope and the institution, their discriminatory pligh against women and gays, their enabling of child rape and of spreading AIDS in Africa and South America. And you know this well as I’ve always vehemently criticised the Pope and catholics on this blog before.)

    5. you assume that me describing the behaviour of French secularist “cultural catholic” catholics means I’m defending them
    (complete fabrication again)

    6. you assume that me stating that the church exerts an insignificant influence on French policies means I ignore that they exert a huge influence on policies around the world and that I live in a bubble
    (another ridiculous assumption, especially as you well know that I’ve been following Pharyngula for years and have lived for most of my adult life outside of France and in several other continents)

    7. and finally to crown the sum of your ridiculous assumptions and insulting misinterpretations, you conclude that “people like me” will prevent the French secular cultural catholics from abandoning their reference to catholicism
    (I really wonder where you get this and who are “people like me”)

  195. #196 NMcC
    March 18, 2010

    It is obvious that Dawkins was referring to the Pope of the Nazi area and not the present one. Once again this episode shows how scrupulous the press is in not letting the facts get in the way of a good headlining yarn.

    Though, of course, Dawkins is the last one with the right to complain. It’s exactly the same situation we had a short while back in which a journalist from Timesonline phoned Dawkins up and asked him about the recent carryings-on in relation to the forum on his website. Mysteriously, the journalist came away from her conversation with Dawkins with an entirely false picture. According to her subsequent account (and that of others who fed off her and published in the UK national press), the forum issue was all about forum admins being abusive of Dawkins and having set their face against the proposed changes.

    Of course, it was nothing of the kind, but where did she get the jumbled, not quite right notion that it was?

    What goes around comes around.

  196. #197 Sili
    March 18, 2010

    You’re probably thinking of the story of Edgardo Mortara, whose 1858 kidnapping was approved and defended after the fact by Pope Piux IX; this act devastated a Jewish family and scandalized much of the world, but so far no sexual dimensions have been uncovered.

    Thanks. They all sound the same to me …

    I know, nothing sexual has been uncovered. I just liked to poison the well. (I do recall reading about the kid hiding under the Pope’s cassock on occasion, but yes, not with any sexual purpose.)

  197. #198 Walton
    March 18, 2010

    As to Ben Stein, who needs that kind of whining dishonesty?

    Don’t be disingenuous. As you well know, I wasn’t defending Stein. I was calling you out for describing him as a “living argument for the Holocaust”, a remark which any reasonable person would recognise as grossly offensive and tasteless. The fact that you don’t like Stein (neither do I) does not make it OK to trivialise the Holocaust.

    And whether you agree or not, Israel’s military have frighteningly many of the characteristics of the Waffen-SS, and the decent Israelis are under the yoke of the self-righteous, vengeful land-grabbers represented by the Likud party and the ultra-orthodox ones.

    I have no problem with you criticising Israel – but comparing the IDF to the Waffen-SS is an anti-Semitic comment.

    Seriously, shonny. Just stop posting and go away. Your bigotry is showing.

  198. #199 shonny
    March 18, 2010

    Posted by: John Morales Author Profile Page | March 18, 2010 3:03 AM

    Janet @184, maybe. But this post refers to Dawkins speaking in Melbourne, Australia. We’re no clones of the USA, though I admit the cultural influence is not insignificant.

    So far up America’s backside that we can see the next doughnut coming . . .?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-szubinmBU

  199. #200 shonny
    March 18, 2010

    From the mouse that squeaks (#197):

    I have no problem with you criticising Israel – but comparing the IDF to the Waffen-SS is an anti-Semitic comment.

    No, it is not, it is comparing one set of war criminals with another.
    Just like you could be excused for thinking that Mossad was formed by ex-Gestapo officers.

    And again no, Leon Uris’s novels don’t count as reliable sources to form a balanced view on the matter.

  200. #201 Walton
    March 18, 2010

    shonny, you keep dodging my main point. Do you think it was acceptable for you to describe a Jewish man as a “living argument for the Holocaust”? Do you think language like that is ever OK? If not, are you willing to retract the comment and apologise for it?

  201. #202 Aquaria
    March 18, 2010

    5)Can you explain what various atheists, freethinkers, etc. did to oppose Hitler (and Stalin)?

    You really are a moron, aren’t you?

    You have heard of Leon Trotsky, atheist and communist, yes? While he was a megalomaniacal asshole, he was one of the most outspoken and fiercest opponents of Stalin–and all it got him was exiled, then murdered. He was also one of the most brilliant analysts of the situation in early Nazi Germany, correctly predicting within months after Hitler assumed power that he would have no choice but to arm the nation and go to war, and this would happen not within decades, but within a few years.

    While Trotsky probably wrote things like “What is National Socialism?” (1933), or assembled the Fourth International (a Communist front against Stalin) to prop up his own power base (and ego), that doesn’t negate how right he was about both leaders, and the dangers they posed. It doesn’t negate that he did try to stand up to them.

    As it is, read some of the history of the early 20th century–the real history, not the Republican revisionist version. Trotsky was not the only atheist who stood up against Stalin and/or Hitler. There were many, many others like him.

  202. #203 skeptifem
    March 18, 2010

    “1. joining the HJ isn’t a reason to call someone a Nazi, otherwise we’d have to start calling 98% of Germans alive today who lived through this period Nazis.”

    How is the number of people who participated at all relevant to how accurate the description is? Sounds like an appeal to popularity to me.

  203. #204 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawk25bzfeJzooxtW_G2Jo9aQu4IkVxU0jns
    March 18, 2010

    My grandparents did more to help the Jews than Pius XII. They housed a fleeing Jewish family during their country’s occupation by the Nazis. That could have gotten them all killed, but they did it anyway. Nobody was going to touch the Pope if he did something similar, but I see no evidence outside mere words (note: forced conversions don’t count). You can keep your pious Pius XII. He didn’t live in a battle zone.

  204. #205 Kevin
    March 18, 2010

    @skeptifem (202):

    Joining the HJ was compulsory. 98% of German youth were more or less forced to join the HJ.

    Referring to Pope Palpatine as a Nazi because he was in the HJ would also mean you would have to put that same designation on everyone else who was in the HJ.

  205. #206 Pierce R. Butler
    March 18, 2010

    SC OM @ # 161 – why the “??”s at my quote of Kershaw?

    Admittedly, the date being described was three rather busy years after young Ratzinger joined the Hitlerjugende, but my point was to document that numerous Rhineland youth resistance groups were very active in resisting the Nazis, Gestapo and all, while he was dutifully fulfilling the Fhrer’s orders.

  206. #207 SC OM
    March 18, 2010

    First, I’ll say again that I think shonny should have been banned long ago.

    Sorry, Pierce. In my sleepy reading, it appeared that you were suggesting that resistance before 1944 wasn’t “real.”

    1. you interpret my “I looked at your link but didn’t watch the entire movie” into “I can’t be bothered to watch a good historical movie”
    (that’s a stupid strawman)

    2. you tell me that following this thread isn’t necessary but that I should watch the movie instead
    (that’s you bullying me, telling me how I should spend my time)

    Please. Saying that rather than commenting ignorantly you should attempt first to learn something is not “bullying” you. Get a grip.

    3. you accuse me of thinking that resistance to the HJ was impossible
    (that’s a pure invention : it was someone else making that argument)

    4. you assume that me refusing to call Ratzi a Nazi means I’m defending him, the church, and dismeaning their crimes
    (when the reason I’m doing this is that accusing him of something completely non factual and unrelated shifts the attention away from the real horrid nature of the pope and the institution, their discriminatory pligh against women and gays, their enabling of child rape and of spreading AIDS in Africa and South America. And you know this well as I’ve always vehemently criticised the Pope and catholics on this blog before.)

    It isn’t “completely non factual” by any stretch of the imagination. It’s not like calling any Republican a Nazi. He was a member of the Nazi Party youth organization. He fought in the German/Nazi army. Moreover, Cornwell’s book is primarily about the earlier pope’s actions within the RCC to push it in an authoritarian direction very much in line with Nazi thinking. Ratzinger appears to be continuing that effort.

    5. you assume that me describing the behaviour of French secularist “cultural catholic” catholics means I’m defending them
    (complete fabrication again)

    An assumption isn’t a fabrication. But if you aren’t defending them, I apologize. What was your point, then, with the “so far so good”?

  207. #208 aratina cage
    March 18, 2010

    What goes around comes around. -NMcC

    Don’t tell me… You now believe in karma and are an ex-atheist, amiright?

  208. #209 SC OM
    March 18, 2010

    Archbishop Graf von Galen opposed the Nazi euthanasia program before the war and he may have helped stop the program. (The program may have also run out of sick and old people to euthanize by then.)

    They also, as Goldhagen discusses, had a big campaign opposing the removal of crucifixes from classrooms. But Jewish people in their towns being rounded up and sent to camps? As you said, nothing in the way of official or organized resistance.

    The Catholic Church was and remains antisemitic.

  209. #210 Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM
    March 18, 2010

    I fall on the side of “Ratzi probably is not a Nazi”. But I also think this is a lot of hot air over a pointless detail. He ended up being an enforcer for a pope who’s home country was subjugated by the Nazis. Sounds like the Catholic hierarchy did not care what side of the conflict one was on, as long as you are not a socialist nor communist.

    Just going by his life after 1945, how would you judge his actions. Even without his time spent in the Hitler Youth, there is enough to conclude that Ratzi is a moral monster

    A quick aside to shonny. If I were to make the statement, OJ Simpson is a living argument for slavery., people who be all over me for being a racist. Good on Walton for holding your feet to the fire.

  210. #211 negentropyeater
    March 18, 2010

    SC,

    Saying that rather than commenting ignorantly you should attempt first to learn something is not “bullying” you.

    Agreed, and I appreciate that you tell me this when you think that’s what I am doing.
    But that’s not what you said then.

    He was a member of the Nazi Party youth organization. He fought in the German/Nazi army. Moreover, Cornwell’s book is primarily about the earlier pope’s actions within the RCC to push it in an authoritarian direction very much in line with Nazi thinking. Ratzinger appears to be continuing that effort.

    The first two points are irrelevant. You have any references that show evidence of the last claim about Ratzinger? (I’m not disputing it, I’m interested to learn more about this)

    What was your point, then, with the “so far so good”?

    That as of today, the church exerts an insignificant influence on our policies in France, and that’s a positive achievement of a century long of Laicit and miltant anti-clericalism.
    But this is under constant threat, there are politicians in the Far Right and Sarkozy’s UMP who would like to ressucitate the church’s influence of the past for political gains. This is something many are fighting against, including the socialists and the ecologists, something I’ve been very much involved with during the last 12 months.
    You probably have heard about this “dbat sur l’identit nationale” ?

  211. #212 SC OM
    March 18, 2010

    But that’s not what you said then.

    Huh?

    The first two points are irrelevant.

    Really? That someone was a member of actual Nazi organizations is irrelevant to the question of whether that person is a Nazi?

    You have any references that show evidence of the last claim about Ratzinger? (I’m not disputing it, I’m interested to learn more about this)

    Sure:

    http://richarddawkins.net/articles/5025

    http://atheism.about.com/od/bookreviews/fr/BenedictXVIBio.htm

    By the way,

    http://www.adl.org/PresRele/VaticanJewish_96/5093_96.htm

    Troubling.

  212. #213 Childermass
    March 18, 2010

    To say the the current pope is a Nazi is simply demagoguery. As others have endlessly pointed out, joining the Hitler Youth was mandatory under German “law” of the time, he was 14, there was a war on, and the consequences to himself and to his family would have been extreme. I could not realistically expect anyone to resist under the same circumstances nor would I condemn anyone based only on that. Indeed if his actions as a child condemn than frankly 99.9% of Germans his age and older will also have to be condemned. Condemn him based on his actions done as a mature adult in high leadership positions in the Roman Catholic Church and not for things done under duress so long ago as a child.

    As for Pius, I see his sins a follows: Appeasement prior to the war which is hardly something that Britain, France, the United States, the Soviet Union, etc. where not in some way complicate in as well. Indeed can someone point out a major political leader in Europe who did not have the name “Churchill” who did not either an appeaser or failed to act? After the war started he was a weak and arguably cowardly opponent of the Nazis who did help some Jews but failed to speak out out of fear of the consequences. If Hitler and Mussolini had chosen to, the Vatican could have been completely destroyed, the Pope and all of his staff, employees, resident bishops, etc. killed, all church holdings in Italy & Germany taken, mass killings of clergy, etc. I am sure Hitler could have cooked up a reason and many would have believed it and most of the rest would be afraid to contradict it.

    There was a whole world of people who failed to do all they could have done, a whole world of people who lacked wisdom, and indeed endless people afraid of what Hitler could do. Being one of them does not make one a Nazi. Maybe it shows that an all-wise God was not the hand behind the Catholic leadership of the time. But then again, I would not have been tempted to think so even without knowing anything about WWII.

    It is easy to condemn people, groups, and nations for actions and inactions for a was that happened so long ago and under duress. Can we really say that we would have done any better without the benefit of hindsight? Could we really say that would would resist to the death? Many, especially on the right, condemn France for surrendering when France was clearly defeated and in spite of the reality that the surrender almost certainly saved countless French lives.

  213. #214 SC OM
    March 18, 2010

    Indeed if his actions as a child condemn than frankly 99.9% of Germans his age and older will also have to be condemned.

    OK. (Not that this statistic wasn’t pulled out of thin air, but whatever the true percentage is….)

  214. #215 SC OM
    March 18, 2010

    Indeed can someone point out a major political leader in Europe who did not have the name “Churchill” who did not either an appeaser or failed to act?

    What does this prove, in your mind?

    There was a whole world of people who failed to do all they could have done, a whole world of people who lacked wisdom, and indeed endless people afraid of what Hitler could do.

    And a whole world of people who did resist, who did oppose, despite their fear, and who often paid the price.

  215. #216 Pierce R. Butler
    March 18, 2010

    Childermass @ # 212: As others have endlessly pointed out…

    And have been just as endlessly rebutted. If you have something to contribute in refutation, instead of repetition, bring it on. Otherwise, expect to be called a mooneykirsh, or worse equivalent.

    … than frankly 99.9% of Germans his age and older will also have to be condemned.

    Umm, many of them have apologized for their actions then. That may not count for much, but it’s more than we can say for you-know-whom.

    Can we really say that we would have done any better …?

    Considering the massive, totally unnecessary bloodshed recently/currently performed and paid for by the citizens of the United States, obviously not. It’s time to raise moral standards for national behavior, not to pretend to exercise elevated principles by excusing the parallel action/inaction of other wholesale criminals against humanity.

  216. #217 SC OM
    March 18, 2010

    By the way, there was a large amount of resistance among Italians (including the army) to anti-Jewish actions. This was despite a total lack of moral leadership from the antisemitic and despicable Vatican.

  217. #218 SC OM
    March 18, 2010

    Awesome.

  218. #219 SC OM
    March 18, 2010

    How strange. My “Awesome” referred to:

    mooneykirsh

  219. #220 negentropyeater
    March 18, 2010

    That someone was a member of actual Nazi organizations is irrelevant to the question of whether that person is a Nazi?

    In view of the way the term Nazi is used today as an accusation, when you have 98% of the German population that was member of a Nazi organisation, what’s relevant is someone’s behaviour then, as members of of the HJ or the army, and how that impacted what they did afterwards.
    Which brings me to your links @211. I think this is by far the most relevant passage w.r.t Ratzinger’s purported Nazism:

    Resistance was difficult and dangerous, but not impossible ? and Ratzinger?s public comments suggest that he hasn?t fully come to terms with his own (in)actions. Allen also compares the lessons drawn by some from the Nazi era (resistance to authoritarian institutions should be encouraged) to those drawn by Ratzinger (the best antidote to authoritarian governments is an even more authoritarian church).

    Is Ratzinger really a Nazi ? I’d need to read that book.
    I also read that Allen wrote a second biography after this where he seems to have watered down his critique. Why do you think he did this ? Do you think it was mainly because he was pressurized by the Church ?

  220. #221 SC OM
    March 18, 2010

    In view of the way the term Nazi is used today as an accusation, when you have 98% of the German population that was member of a Nazi organisation,

    Citation needed. Even if that’s a true figure, that means that percentage of the population were Nazis. What is the problem with acknowledging this?

    what’s relevant is someone’s behaviour then, as members of of the HJ or the army, and how that impacted what they did afterwards.

    Yes. So what the hell is your point? Where did he actively oppose the HJ or the military, in word or in deed?

    Which brings me to your links @211. I think this is by far the most relevant passage w.r.t Ratzinger’s purported Nazism:

    Resistance was difficult and dangerous, but not impossible ? and Ratzinger?s public comments suggest that he hasn?t fully come to terms with his own (in)actions. Allen also compares the lessons drawn by some from the Nazi era (resistance to authoritarian institutions should be encouraged) to those drawn by Ratzinger (the best antidote to authoritarian governments is an even more authoritarian church).

    Is Ratzinger really a Nazi ?

    Arguably yes.

    I’d need to read that book.
    I also read that Allen wrote a second biography after this where he seems to have watered down his critique. Why do you think he did this ? Do you think it was mainly because he was pressurized by the Church ?

    Yup.

  221. #222 SC OM
    March 18, 2010

    Citation needed. Even if that’s a true figure, that means that percentage of the population were Nazis. What is the problem with acknowledging this?

    Read Browning or Goldhagen.

  222. #223 SC OM
    March 18, 2010

    Even if that’s a true figure, that means that percentage of the population were Nazis.

    I should clarify. In a situation in which there are real consequences attached to not being a member of an organization, of course we can’t assume that members shared the vision of the organization (nor can we assume the opposite – and the actions of the population speak quite clearly). I used to be in the “not a Nazi” camp; as I’ve gained more knowledge, though, especially as concerns his political ideas, I’m really starting to lean in the other direction.

  223. #224 SC OM
    March 18, 2010

    A further clarification :):

    My point was that the argument that “If you call X a Nazi, you’re saying that Y high percentage of the population were Nazis, and are therefore wrong” is not logical. Any percentage, including a very high one, of the population could have been Nazis. This just isn’t an argument.

  224. #225 Jadehawk, OM
    March 18, 2010

    My point was that the argument that “If you call X a Nazi, you’re saying that Y high percentage of the population were Nazis, and are therefore wrong” is not logical. Any percentage, including a very high one, of the population could have been Nazis. This just isn’t an argument.

    basically, the point is that saying that every member of the HJ is a real Nazi is the equivalent of calling every single Vietnam Veteran a murderous imperialist pig for not dodging the draft, or holding every single currently enlisted soldier responsible for the atrocities and war crimes committed by the US during the War on Terrorism.

    Now, if you do hold the latter position(s), then your argument would be consistent, but many people do not; they accept explanations for why current soldiers can’t and don’t go AWOL/go to prison even if they vehemently disagree with the Military leadership (usually family obligations), but do not accept the same arguments for historical atrocities.

  225. #226 'Tis Himself, OM
    March 18, 2010

    If that isn’t Nazi enough, Ratzinger was drafted into the German army and manned an anti-aircraft battery. If he actually brought down any Allied aircraft, I’m sure the survivors would take comfort in the fact that their people were not shot down by a Nazi.

    In late 1944 every able-bodied German male between 15 and 65 was eligible to be drafted into the army. If Ratzinger had evaded the draft and got caught, the time period between being caught and being executed would be measured in minutes. Besides, speaking as a military veteran, I will not condemn someone for serving in his country’s military during wartime.

  226. #227 SC OM
    March 18, 2010

    basically, the point is that saying that every member of the HJ is a real Nazi is the equivalent of calling every single Vietnam Veteran a murderous imperialist pig for not dodging the draft, or holding every single currently enlisted soldier responsible for the atrocities and war crimes committed by the US during the War on Terrorism.

    Not quite. It’s the equivalent of saying that all Vietnam veterans (for whom there isn’t evidence to the contrary) agreed with, or at least didn’t oppose, the war in Vietnam. Of course this can be countered with other evidence, but it’s not an unreasonable assumption. (In Ratzinger’s case, I’ve simply not seen a great deal of contrary evidence, from then or since, other than his apparently viewing the Nazis as a threat to or competitor with the Church.) With regard to the so-called war on terror, it’s more the equivalent of thinking those (especially, but not limited to, those in the military) who were aware of those crimes and have not spoken out against them did not oppose them. The contention isn’t that he is a war criminal, but that he is a Nazi.

    In late 1944 every able-bodied German male between 15 and 65 was eligible to be drafted into the army. If Ratzinger had evaded the draft and got caught, the time period between being caught and being executed would be measured in minutes. Besides, speaking as a military veteran, I will not condemn someone for serving in his country’s military during wartime.

    The first part of this makes sense (though it doesn’t mean opposition was impossible, but that it had generally fatal consequences); the second is ridiculous.

  227. #228 Jadehawk, OM
    March 18, 2010

    The contention isn’t that he is a war criminal, but that he is a Nazi.

    huh? for the question to be whether he is a Nazi, you’d have to assume that past membership in a mandatory organization makes one a member of that group forever.

    and if it’s not the mandatory membership that’s at issue here… then the only way he could be a Nazi is to be a member of a modern Nazi organization, or at least be a sympathizer of them. Are you saying the Catholic church, or some group within it that he’s associated with, is a nazi organization?

    *confused*

  228. #229 WowbaggerOM
    March 18, 2010

    SC wrote:

    The first part of this makes sense (though it doesn’t mean opposition was impossible, but that it had generally fatal consequences); the second is ridiculous.

    Why ‘ridiculous’?

    I think there are a lot of reasons why someone might be blinded into thinking serving in the military was the right thing to do, particularly amongst people in a country like Germany with a ‘proud’ (their word, not mine) military history and strong racial/national identity; then there’s the fact it was the period after WWI where they considered themselves hard done by. Again, not something that’s necessarily true, or which I agree with; but it’s their perceptions that are relevant, not ours.

    Other societal factors contributed. Not joining the military made you less of a man in the eyes of many – and not just in Germany; what about the women who would wander around passing out white feathers to unenlisted men in the UK to shame them into joining up?

    And let’s not forget propaganda. Hitler was a charismatic leader with an almost unequalled capacity for manipulation. I don’t believe for a second many Germans would have done what they did if they hadn’t had him urging them on.

    I think we can say that they shouldn’t have done it, but we’ve got the benefit of hindsight.

  229. #230 'Tis Himself, OM
    March 18, 2010

    SC,

    I realize that as an anarchist you reject patriotism. I don’t, which is one reason I’m not an anarchist.

  230. #231 SC OM
    March 18, 2010

    huh? for the question to be whether he is a Nazi, you’d have to assume that past membership in a mandatory organization makes one a member of that group forever.

    No, simply that membership in an organization is evidence in determining someone’s outlook. Again, there is other evidence that can be drawn on, from then and since, but this is still relevant.

    and if it’s not the mandatory membership that’s at issue here… then the only way he could be a Nazi is to be a member of a modern Nazi organization, or at least be a sympathizer of them. Are you saying the Catholic church, or some group within it that he’s associated with, is a nazi organization?

    Roughly, yes. The RCC has been an active sympathizer with them and other fascist and authoritarian governments. And while it doesn’t share every feature of Nazi ideology, its own is not dissimilar. This is not to say that every Catholic or every member of the clergy is, but we’re talking about Ratzinger and Pius XII in particular. I provided a few links above.

  231. #232 Jadehawk, OM
    March 18, 2010

    No, simply that membership in an organization is evidence in determining someone’s outlook. Again, there is other evidence that can be drawn on, from then and since, but this is still relevant.

    so… umm… I’m a catholic? what?

    that makes no sense. membership only indicates actual agreement if it isn’t mandatory and coerced.

    Though, if you only using that as one piece of evidence rather than a standalone argument, and consider the RCC a nazi organization, I can see how the argument makes sense: he didn’t resist then, and now he’s pursuing similar politics.

  232. #233 SC OM
    March 18, 2010

    To clarify yet again:

    I was responding specifically to “I will not condemn someone for serving in his country’s military during wartime.” This is different than “I will not condemn everyone for having served in the military during wartime,” which is not what I read ‘Tis to be saying. I would agree with the latter. As a general proposition, the former is ridiculous. Really? Never? Any country? Any war? Any reasons for having served?

  233. #234 SC OM
    March 18, 2010

    Though, if you only using that as one piece of evidence rather than a standalone argument, and consider the RCC a nazi organization, I can see how the argument makes sense: he didn’t resist then, and now he’s pursuing similar politics.

    That’s what I’m saying.

  234. #235 David Marjanovi?
    March 18, 2010

    I realize that as an anarchist you reject patriotism. I don’t, which is one reason I’m not an anarchist.

    So… I should somehow like the country that issued my passport better than all others?

    Why?

    It just doesn’t make sense.

    Ubi bene, ibi patria.

  235. #236 SC OM
    March 18, 2010

    I realize that as an anarchist you reject patriotism. I don’t, which is one reason I’m not an anarchist.

    So you support kiiling on behalf of the government of the country where you happened to be born, regardless of the (im)morality of that government’s decisions?

  236. #237 'Tis Himself, OM
    March 18, 2010

    I’ve written a response to SC’s #232 but then I decided not to have another argument with her. So never mind.

  237. #238 WowbaggerOM
    March 18, 2010

    So… I should somehow like the country that issued my passport better than all others?

    I guess it depends on whether that country is the one in which you currently reside and whether or not you’re able to leave it to avoid conflict if it arrives – in the form of an invasion by another country – on your doorstep.

    From my perspective, Australia is where I live and work and where the vast majority of my friends and family are; if someone attempted to invade it I would certainly consider joining the military if that meant stopping that from happening.

    I don’t know if that’s patriotism; it sounds more like pragmatism to me. Someone’s coming into my home; I imagine I’d feel the same wherever I was.

  238. #239 Jadehawk, OM
    March 18, 2010

    So… I should somehow like the country that issued my passport better than all others?

    So you support kiiling on behalf of the government of the country where you happened to be born, regardless of the (im)morality of that government’s decisions?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpeQgW8ujbs
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFkANvtxLoY

  239. #240 SC OM
    March 18, 2010

    Wowbagger,

    What if your country is the invader?

  240. #241 'Tis Himself, OM
    March 18, 2010

    During World War II my father was a submariner in the US Navy. At one point he was in a sub which was being severely depth charged by a group of Japanese destroyers. It seemed like the sub was going to be sunk when all of a sudden the depth charging stopped. My father’s sub made its escape and my father lived to sire me.

    In the 1960s my father, who was a mechanical engineer, was at an engineering convention in Cambridge, England. One evening he spent several hours talking to a Japanese engineer. During their discussion my father discovered this Japanese had been an officer on one of the destroyers trying to sink my father’s submarine. My father discovered why the depth charging had stopped (no, I’m not giving the explanation, it’s rather long and involved).

    These were two men who in the past had been doing their utmost to kill each other. Did they go for each other’s throats to finish what had been started 20 years ago? Of course not. They recognized that each of them had been serving their particular country during wartime.

    Most Westerners hold the World War II Japanese government in low regard (certainly my father fell into this group). But he did not condemn the other man for serving in the navy of a military dictatorship. Nor did my father hold any animosity for the man trying to kill him.

    Similarly my father knew several Germans who had served in their country’s military during World War II. He had no problem dealing with them because he saw them as fulfilling an obligation to their country.

    Should we condemn soldiers like Kietel, Jodl or Tojo for their actions in World War II? Yes, I believe we should. Should we condemn a teenage Flakkanonier for his actions? No, I don’t believe we should.

  241. #242 WowbaggerOM
    March 18, 2010

    What if your country is the invader?

    Definitely not – I wouldn’t ever consider it appropriate for Australia to invade anyone, and I certainly wouldn’t be part of it.

  242. #243 SC OM
    March 18, 2010

    Should we condemn soldiers like Kietel, Jodl or Tojo for their actions in World War II? Yes, I believe we should.

    Then we don’t disagree. This is not in accordance with your earlier blanket statement, however.

  243. #244 Feynmaniac
    March 18, 2010

    In general I think there’s two ways people use the word ‘patriotism’. The first is a kind of flag-waving, no apologies, my-country-right-or-wrong xenophobic nationalism. The second is recognizing that you’re part of a larger (if somewhat arbitrarily designated) community. Part of that responsibility is working to improve the community and speaking out, especially if your country is doing something wrong. The former is repugnant while the latter sounds (at least to me) reasonable.

  244. #245 Ichthyic
    March 18, 2010

    Definitely not – I wouldn’t ever consider it appropriate for Australia to invade anyone, and I certainly wouldn’t be part of it.

    We ALL know that OZ is planning an invasion of Kiwiland for our water any time now.

    don’t deny it!
    ;)

  245. #246 Ichthyic
    March 18, 2010

    Then we don’t disagree. This is not in accordance with your earlier blanket statement, however.

    I think there was an idea to separate out those who acted as common soldiers from those who acted as war criminals?

  246. #247 SC OM
    March 18, 2010

    I think there was an idea to separate out those who acted as common soldiers from those who acted as war criminals?

    Yes, but these distinctions are what ‘Tis blanket statement did not appreciate. Further, there are situations in which being a common soldier (or someone’s actions as a common soldier) is/are condemnable. I wouldn’t exclude someone from moral considerations simply because that person was not in a position of authority.

  247. #248 Ichthyic
    March 18, 2010

    I wouldn’t exclude someone from moral considerations simply because that person was not in a position of authority.

    right, so it’s no excuse to say “I was following orders” when you were lobbing canisters of biological weapons on chinese villagers.

    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unit_731)

    I understand.

    but that’s still covered under “warcrimes” yes?

    while being a sailor on board a destroyer trying to sink an enemy submarine would typically NOT be considered a warcrime.

    I think the point is that not all Japanese were involved with warcrimes against the chinese, and not all those who were part of the Nazi party tossed people into ovens.

    it’s why I said that Ratzi, in labeling him a “Nazi”, is actually distracts from what his crimes really are.

    better to be specific about what his responsibilities were. lay the blood directly on his hands, as it were.

    How many Africans have actually DIED as a result of his policies there, I wonder?

    just how much blood, fear, and anguish is really on this man’s hands?

  248. #249 SC OM
    March 18, 2010

    but that’s still covered under “warcrimes” yes?

    How did this become about war crimes? I was talking about whether we can ever condemn people for being (common) soldiers or for their actions as soldiers. I disagree with the contention that we cannot, if that was what was being said.

    it’s why I said that Ratzi, in labeling him a “Nazi”, is actually distracts from what his crimes really are.

    I don’t think so. Pointing out that both he and Pius XII are/were part of authoritarian, Nazi-like currents within the RCC is important.

    better to be specific about what his responsibilities were. lay the blood directly on his hands, as it were.

    I think I have been.

  249. #250 Rorschach
    March 19, 2010

    J Maley is also going to retract her misquote of Dawkins in tomorrow’s SMH, sources tell CNN.

  250. #252 negentropyeater
    March 19, 2010

    SC #220,

    Citation needed. Even if that’s a true figure, that means that percentage of the population were Nazis. What is the problem with acknowledging this?

    http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hitlerjugend

    Sie wurde in der Zeit des Nationalsozialismus ab 1933 zum einzigen staatlichen Jugendverband mit bis zu 8,7 Millionen Mitgliedern (98 Prozent aller deutschen Jugendlichen) ausgebaut.

    Being a member of the HJ doesn’t make you automatically a Nazi. You have to show that someone adhered to the Nazi dogmas and ideals. And even then, that still doesn’t mean that that someone is still a Nazi today.

    My father sent me to Anglican church school when I was the age 12 to 16. I went there, didn’t believe any of that nonsense. Does that make me an Anglican then ? Does that mean that I am an anglican today ?

    Yes. So what the hell is your point? Where did he actively oppose the HJ or the military, in word or in deed?

    My point is that if you want to make the case that Ratzinger IS a Nazi, you have to show that he still thinks like a Nazi, that he believes in authoritarian government, repression, and the extermination of an ethnic group and certain minorities. For example if you could show that Ratzinger believes that one should exterminate Gays and non believers, or even that he would be okay with it, then I’d certainly say that he IS a Nazi.

  251. #253 Rorschach
    March 19, 2010

    membership only indicates actual agreement if it isn’t mandatory and coerced.

    Sums it up nicely.

    Anecdote wrt the argument regarding mandatory draft :
    That was actually not the case for every able-bodied male at all, e.g. my father’s father had a vineyard, and for some reason was exempt from the draft(something to do with being useful where he was), even in 1945, but he fell for the propaganda and enlisted, went to the russian front in Feb ’45 and got shot the first day.He had a wife and kids and a good business, and didnt have to go, but still did.Was he a Nazi? My dad tells me he wasn’t, but he like thousands others fell for Goebbels’ propaganda I guess.

    Where did he actively oppose the HJ or the military, in word or in deed?

    While I’m all for going after Ratzinger for the despiccable things he has done as leader of the Inquisition, hiding the activities of his brother and clergy in his district, and so forth, it seems particularly naive and ignorant of the actual circumstances at the time to accuse him of opposing the HJ as a 14yo.

  252. #254 negentropyeater
    March 19, 2010

    Pointing out that both he and Pius XII are/were part of authoritarian, Nazi-like currents within the RCC is important.

    Authoritarian is not the same as Nazi-like.

  253. #255 windy
    March 19, 2010

    I think there was an idea to separate out those who acted as common soldiers from those who acted as war criminals?

    OTOH, how much could the war criminals do without common soldiers clearing the way?

    This was-he-or-wasn’t-he-a-Nazi argument seems pointless. I don’t think it makes sense to say he was “a Nazi” as a boy, but I don’t like the complete denial of responsibility either.

    The history is a lot more complicated than just dividing people into “Nazis” and victims of circumstance, for example:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/mar/16/latvians-march-commemorate-ss-veterans

  254. #256 negentropyeater
    March 19, 2010

    And I’ll revise what I wrote above:

    My point is that if you want to make the case that Ratzinger IS a Nazi, you have to show that he still thinks like a Nazi, that he believes in authoritariantotalitarian government, repression, and the extermination of an ethnic group and certain minorities.

    I think it’s plausible that Ratzinger might well be a Nazi. But we are still a long way of having sufficiently justified this accusation.

  255. #257 SC OM
    March 19, 2010

    Being a member of the HJ doesn’t make you automatically a Nazi. You have to show that someone adhered to the Nazi dogmas and ideals. And even then, that still doesn’t mean that that someone is still a Nazi today.

    Did you not read my #222 and #223? I was not making the claim there that membership indicated agreement, but that suggesting that if from any argument it follows that some very high percentage of Germans were Nazis (or Russians Stalinists, etc.) that doesn’t invalidate the argument. Hitler and his programs had a great deal of popular support. Further, Ratzinger was a member of the HJ from the age of 14. It appears that he did continue to attend meetings later on (despite claims that he was an “unenthusiastic” participant and refused) in order to continue to receive reduced tuition (at least that’s the given “justification”). People did resist, and his refusal to recognize this and maintaining that it was impossible is a form of apologetics. I linked to this about a year and a half ago:

    http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/guestvoices/2008/04/what_benedict_hasnt_said_about.html

    It is very disturbing. These are not good developments, and people should be concerned.

    My point is that if you want to make the case that Ratzinger IS a Nazi, you have to show that he still thinks like a Nazi, that he believes in authoritarian government, repression,

    He absolutely does, and has acted to defend them for decades. Witness his campaigns against liberation theologians and religious pluralists within the Church and how these have played into support for authoritarian governments in Latin America and elsewhere.

    and the extermination of an ethnic group and certain minorities.

    No, because I’ve said that his ideology doesn’t share all of the characteristics of Nazism, but that it is similar in important respects.

    For example if you could show that Ratzinger believes that one should exterminate Gays and non believers, or even that he would be okay with it, then I’d certainly say that he IS a Nazi.

    He certainly actively supports the repression of women and gay people, and is willing to watch as millions die because of policies he defends within the Church and promotes outside of it. He also considers religious pluralism the greatest threat to Catholicism. That is scary.

    He had a wife and kids and a good business, and didnt have to go, but still did.Was he a Nazi? My dad tells me he wasn’t, but he like thousands others fell for Goebbels’ propaganda I guess.

    Well, then that’s relevant evidence of his outlook.

  256. #258 negentropyeater
    March 19, 2010

    This was-he-or-wasn’t-he-a-Nazi argument seems pointless. I don’t think it makes sense to say he was “a Nazi” as a boy, but I don’t like the complete denial of responsibility either.

    Exactly.

  257. #259 SC OM
    March 19, 2010

    Authoritarian is not the same as Nazi-like.

    Yes, it is. Hyper-authoritarianism was a central aspect of Nazism. That the Church supported this, in addition to ingrained antisemitism, is probably the main reason they complied as much as they did. Also, as I tried to make clear above, I’m not saying the RCC is a Nazi organization, though it is authoritarian. I’m saying that there are currents of extreme authoritarianism within it, and that Pius XII and Ratzinger have been leaders of these currents.

  258. #260 negentropyeater
    March 19, 2010

    No, because I’ve said that his ideology doesn’t share all of the characteristics of Nazism, but that it is similar in important respects.

    Agreed.

    He certainly actively supports the repression of women and gay people, and is willing to watch as millions die because of policies he defends within the Church and promotes outside of it. He also considers religious pluralism the greatest threat to Catholicism. That is scary.

    Very scary!

    Why not simply say that Ratzinger is really scary and still doesn’t seem to reject Nazism entirely ?

  259. #261 Rorschach
    March 19, 2010

    Well, then that’s relevant evidence of his outlook.

    See, I thought you might say that. It shows you have no clue whatsoever as to what went on at the time for a particular person in their specific social personal situation, as opposed to theorizing about the german populace in general, and you are just projecting from your ideology to what you think happened.
    You are confusing patriotism with a wish to, and preparedness to take part in, exterminate minorities.
    That guy felt he had to join the military to defend his country, I have no idea why, but it certainly wasn’t to help give the Nazis more time to finish off the jews.

  260. #262 SC OM
    March 19, 2010

    I’ve linked to this is the past, too:

    http://www.wsws.org/articles/1999/mar1999/pope-m04.shtml

    Ratzinger, in his position at the time, was at the center of this. They have actively supported some of the most murderous regimes in history.

  261. #263 John Morales
    March 19, 2010

    SC,

    Also, as I tried to make clear above, I’m not saying the RCC is a Nazi organization, though it is authoritarian.

    Without searching for sources, I think I recall reading about how leading Nazis admired the structure/process of the RCC (and, within it, the Jesuits in particular), and this influenced their own Party.

  262. #264 SC OM
    March 19, 2010

    See, I thought you might say that. It shows you have no clue whatsoever as to what went on at the time for a particular person in their specific social personal situation,

    Actually, I’ve spent several years studying (and teaching about) it. I’ve quoted here from many books on the subject.

    as opposed to theorizing about the german populace in general, and you are just projecting from your ideology to what you think happened.
    You are confusing patriotism with a wish to, and preparedness to take part in, exterminate minorities.

    No.

    That guy felt he had to join the military to defend his country, I have no idea why, but it certainly wasn’t to help give the Nazis more time to finish off the jews.

    I said nothing about him being an eliminationist. That someone’s voluntarily joining that war effort is evidence relevant to determining that person’s outlook on the regime is not even arguable. Of course it’s relevant evidence. But if you have no idea about his views, then you can’t say what it “certainly wasn’t,” either.

  263. #265 Rorschach
    March 19, 2010

    That someone’s voluntarily joining that war effort is evidence relevant to determining that person’s outlook on the regime is not even arguable

    Ah. Well, if you say so, it must be true.

    The point that, as expected, flew right over your head was that no, signing up for a war you don’t have to go to, but feel obliged to due to relentless propaganda and social pressures, does not constitute you agreeing with the “regime” on everything else.
    It might just have been concern for his family in the view of approaching troups, who would know.
    If evangelist preachers can turn people into deluded fools, Goebbels sure could, too.

    Go after Ratzi, but let’s go after him for things he actually did while responsible, and there are plenty of those, enough to get him sacked or sued a hundred times over.

  264. #266 SC OM
    March 19, 2010

    Ah. Well, if you say so, it must be true.

    Of course it’s true.

    The point that, as expected, flew right over your head was that no, signing up for a war you don’t have to go to, but feel obliged to due to relentless propaganda and social pressures, does not constitute you agreeing with the “regime” on everything else.

    No one said it does. Again, you’ve acknowledged that you don’t know his motives, so you can’t say what he did or didn’t agree with. But it seems clear that he did not actively oppose the regime.

    It might just have been concern for his family in the view of approaching troups, who would know.
    If evangelist preachers can turn people into deluded fools, Goebbels sure could, too.

    So you’re arguing with what?

    Go after Ratzi, but let’s go after him for things he actually did while responsible, and there are plenty of those, enough to get him sacked or sued a hundred times over.

    I have been. I’ve been talking about his ideas and actions as an adult. Perhaps you missed it.

    Anyway, I have to work. Will be back later.

  265. #267 SC OM
    March 19, 2010

    Oh – just saw this:

    Why not simply say that Ratzinger is really scary and still doesn’t seem to reject Nazism entirely ?

    Well, that is basically what I have been trying to say (along with that his ideas are very similar to those of the Nazis). I don’t think I’ve ever called him a Nazi myself, but I do object to the argument that this moniker is ridiculous and a distraction from his “real” crimes. His extreme authoritarianism and suppression of dissent, his revival of at least one troubling Catholic tradition, his actions that have supported murderous governments, and his revisionist history – these are all as significant to me as any involvement he may have had with organized child rape, and they’re not separate from it.

  266. #268 shonny
    March 19, 2010

    Posted by: Walton Author Profile Page | March 18, 2010 8:18 AM
    shonny, you keep dodging my main point. Do you think it was acceptable for you to describe a Jewish man as a “living argument for the Holocaust”? Do you think language like that is ever OK? If not, are you willing to retract the comment and apologise for it?

    Apologise to whom, – Ben Stein? Get a life!

    If you bother to check out a bit about the Holocaust, you will find that a lot of Israelis were involved in a major Holocaust swindle after the war, and that made a real mockery of the suffering and the memory of those who were murdered in the death camps.

  267. #269 SC OM
    March 19, 2010

    shonny, you should be banned for what you’ve posted about the Holocaust more than once.

  268. #270 Walton
    March 19, 2010

    shonny

    Apologise to whom, – Ben Stein? Get a life!

    Again, you’re being disingenuous. I don’t care how much you insult Ben Stein. If you’d just said “Ben Stein is a moron”, I would have entirely agreed with you. But with your comment – calling Stein a “living argument for the Holocaust” – you insulted the entire Jewish people, and the memory of six million Holocaust victims. For that, you need to apologise to everyone here.

    If you bother to check out a bit about the Holocaust, you will find that a lot of Israelis were involved in a major Holocaust swindle after the war

    And shonny shows his true anti-Semitic colours once again.

  269. #271 Rorschach
    March 19, 2010

    calling Stein a “living argument for the Holocaust” – you insulted the entire Jewish people, and the memory of six million Holocaust victims.

    All the emotion aside, it was just a moronic and utterly insensitive comment, brought on by what I presume must be a deep unfamiliarity with the subject matter.

  270. #272 Ichthyic
    March 19, 2010

    If you bother to check out a bit about the Holocaust, you will find that a lot of Israelis were involved in a major Holocaust swindle after the war

    other than to distract attention away from your earlier asinine comment, how is this relevant in any way?

  271. #273 frog, Inc.
    March 19, 2010

    The current Pope, Benedict, was a member of the Hitler Youth when he was young. That’s pretty close to being a Nazi.

    So was every other boy (and girl?) of his cohort. There wasn’t a choice.

    Well, this goes back to the Donatist controversy of the 5th century. Yes — it really is unfair to judge most people on the fact that they didn’t reject the Hitler Youth as a child.

    On the other hand, shouldn’t The Voice of God, the Universal Arbiter of Morality, His Holiness (!!) be an individual beyond reproach? Someone who has almost no moral failings? Who throughout his life has shown a moral genius (since there are children who do)?

    The Catholic and Orthodox churches chose back in the 5th century that moral authority came not from personal moral genius, but merely from proper procedure in their investment. At that point, the churches showed their moral bankruptcy — that they were essentially no different from any secular judiciary, where by having the proper degree and official investment with a dress, you are a “properly constituted” judge.

    So, the fact that Pope Ratzi can show no moral genius — has in fact apparently never done anything that required moral fortitude — isn’t a judgment against Ratzi. After all, very few of us have shown moral genius.

    It’s a judgment of the organization, and the members of that organization, who continue to treat this little man as anything more than a social club CEO.

    This continues to be a disease of that entire cult — the cover-up of child-rapists that they are all implicated in comes from that very mind-set. That proper investment over-rides any personal responsibility, that they are all mere agents of the organization … and yet they have magical powers that make them moral arbiters for the community.

    Disgusting.

  272. #274 frog, Inc.
    March 19, 2010

    negentropyeater: he fact that there exists some people who claim to be catholics and aren’t really catholics isn’t sufficient evidence to support the claim that the Pope (the head of the Roman Catholic Church) isn’t really a catholic.

    Geebus, do you often make such ridiculous arguments ?

    Actually, the default position historically is of Popes who couldn’t be believers in any sense we can recognize. Wojtyla was actually well known, marked out, for the fact that he was a fervent believer, known for all night prayer sessions, torturing himself with strange postures, etc.

    A hierarchy of the RCC kind is quite unlikely to select for true believers, any more than the process of selection of American presidents selects for individual with a great respect for civil liberties, or that the Soviet system selected for Marxist scholars trying to build a genuinely free society.

    Ratzi probably believes in something. Hell knows what that might be, though. It’s definitely not a god who judges one on personal decency.

  273. #275 'Tis Himself, OM
    March 19, 2010

    SC OM #246

    I think there was an idea to separate out those who acted as common soldiers from those who acted as war criminals?

    Yes, but these distinctions are what ‘Tis blanket statement did not appreciate.

    The difference between Flakkannonier Ratzinger and Generaloberst Jodl is not the difference in rank but rather what they did as soldiers. Ratzinger probably humped ammo and did minor maintenance and cleaning on the gun. Jodl signed the Commando Order and the Commissar Order. I am fully cognizant of this difference.

    To really “appreciate” the difference one should realize there were millions of Ratzingers but only a few Jodls. Claiming I do not “appreciate” the difference based on one sentence in a short post is a stretch.

  274. #276 Jadehawk, OM
    March 19, 2010

    Claiming I do not “appreciate” the difference based on one sentence in a short post is a stretch.

    she didn’t say you didn’t appreciate the difference; she said the statement you made didn’t make that differentiation.

  275. #277 frog, Inc.
    March 19, 2010

    Rorschack: Was he a Nazi? My dad tells me he wasn’t, but he like thousands others fell for Goebbels’ propaganda I guess.

    Well, even “volunteer” under conditions like that is highly contextual. There were folks who “volunteered”, primarily because they felt that in actual fact their families were under threat if they didn’t — that their neighbors, town leaders, local gestapo, were likely to follow through on muttered threats, particularly late in the war.

    Of course, volunteering to help a murderous regime in order to protect one’s own family is neither moral nor immoral — it’s in that gray zone of amorality, where you’re balancing the needs of your dependents against the moral crime your participating in.

    Life’s tough like that. Judgment is difficult without a great deal of knowledge of particulars. But it is arguable that a “volunteer” in a totalitarian state, where real threat of reprisal to one’s family exists, is less morally responsible than a volunteer (or even a draftee) of a free society who helps support an ongoing colonial invasion that is known to kill a million (more recently), or three million (less recently), civilians…

  276. #278 SC OM
    March 20, 2010

    ‘Tis: We’re not communicating very well, are we? As Jadehawk said, I wasn’t saying you didn’t appreciate the differences, but that your statement didn’t. Or didn’t appear to, which is why I asked: “Really? Never? Any country? Any war? Any reasons for having served?” You appeared to be making a more general claim that involved being in the military in wartime having some inherent nobility that made it exempt from criticism. Then you said you had prepared an answer but weren’t posting it, after which you published something which wasn’t a direct response but did appear to answer some of my questions in the negative.

    If you were saying that you won’t condemn anyone simply for being in any military in any war, I disagree with that. There are situations in which I would condemn people for this alone. Of course, all sorts of considerations come into play in any case, but I don’t exclude anyone. (None of this has anything to do with Ratzinger specifically. I never condemned him for this, but argued that his actions are relevant evidence with regard to his politics. Not decisive evidence. Relevant evidence, to be examined in context and in relation to other evidence that may point in other directions.)

    ***

    As for Ratzinger… It’s hard. I don’t think he’s a Nazi. He’s very close in many significant ways, though, and people like him being at the top of the Church frightens me. His campaigns against liberation theologians and religious pluralists have had real consequences, and as left-wing movements grow in poor countries, the Church will continue to act in ways that lead to repression, support for violent right-wing regimes, the marginalization of Catholics who can potentially do some good, and greater inequality.

    On Thursday’s Colbert Report, Colbert talked about Glenn Beck’s statements about “social justice,” claiming that all of the popes have stood for social justice. He then had as a guest a priest who mentioned a priest from Brazil who had said (I’m paraphrasing) “When I talk about helping the poor, they call me a saint; when I ask why they are poor, they call me a Communist.” That was Dom Hlder Camara. These are the sorts of views Ratzinger has spent decades trying to root out and put down.

    About Dom Hlder Camara and Brazil:

    http://links.org.au/node/1151

    [The whole article is interesting, and short.]

    In the 1970s, the CNBB and many individual bishops bravely spoke out for human rights in the face of the dictatorship. Holding true to the Medellin Declaration, the Basic Ecclesial Communities flourished and Brazilian theologians were in the forefront of the development of liberation theology.

    Church bodies such as the Pastoral Land Commission and the Indian Missionary Council organised Brazil’s landless and Indigenous peoples. The church sheltered the development of the renewed trade union movement that was to erupt on a massive scale in the 1980s, leading to the formation of the PT -? and eventually the election of Lula as Brazil’s president.

    The church was one of the bulwarks of the broad opposition which returned the country to civilian rule; it was truly a church of the poor.

    In the arena of church reform, Dom Hlder developed the radical Seminrio Regional do Nordeste II (SERENE II) in the footsteps of Vatican II. Rather than closeting seminarians away from the world, SERENE II students lived in homes in poor neighbourhoods and shantytowns, tasting the reality of the option for the poor. Some SERENE II students did pastoral work in the huge sugarcane industry, where powerful landowners’ thinking had not moved far from Brazil’s colonial era. Other seminarians participated in a program called “theology of the hoe”, working among the rural poor.

    Conservative Catholics railed against SERENE II’s methods. They were horrified by the number of seminarians who left the priesthood for marriage and the controversial feminist theologians who came out of it. Also raising the conservatives’ ire was the Theological Institute of Recife (ITER), which taught theology to poor Catholics and lay activists wanting to apply it in their communities.

    Dom Hlder retired as archbishop in 1985, the same year that the military relinquished power. Pope John Paul II, through the head of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, the feared Cardinal Ratzinger, was quietly replacing retiring Latin American bishops with Opus Dei conservatives.

    The reactionaries moved quickly after Dom Hlder?s retirement, replacing him with one of their own, Dom Jos Cardoso Sobrinho. Most of Dom Hlder?s progressive practices were abolished.

    Dom Jose became notorious for calling in the police to attack rebellious priests and lay Catholics. SERENE II and ITER were shut down in 1989 on Vatican orders.

    He was snubbed by the Vatican at the same time he was being harassed and threatened, and other priests killed, by the secret police. I don’t talk about Ratzinger’s dangerous authoritarian tendencies lightly, or for that matter to bash all Catholics (I was one of a handful of people in the theater when Romero came out, and possibly the only one who wasn’t a priest or nun.) In speech and in action, they have given their support to brutal dictators and tried – often successfully – to weaken or purge the Catholics who are standing up against injustice and brutality (whether I agree with their goals or methods fully or not).

  277. #279 David Marjanovi?
    March 20, 2010

    Seems a bit ridiculous to call someone a Nazi because his name rhymes with it.

    It doesn’t even.

    Think about someone who is tone death.

    Tone-deaf :-)

    see?

    it’s never defined that HJ was actually a separate thing from the NSDAP

    Nothing was actually a separate thing from the NSDAP! ;-| Totalitarian states are like that.

    Like hell there wasn’t. Look up the Edelweiss Pirates some time – and please note that they were strongest in western Germany, where little Joey Ratzinger lived.

    The girls were put in a separate organization, the Bund Deutscher Mdel, regularly exploited for sexual services by the Hitler Youth and others.

    That said, my personal impression is that JR signed up, not because of Nazi tendencies or external pressure, but because they promised him a seminary scholarship. He probably had no idea at the time that he would end up guarding prisoners and serving on anti-aircraft crews firing on British and American planes.

    Where to even begin!

    1) JR joined shortly after it had been made compulsory by law. All other youth organizations were illegal. “Choice”? At the risk of having your whole family accused of treason or something?

    2) “Western Germany” doesn’t include Bavaria, except during the Cold War.

    3) That exploitation for sex is news to me. Born and gone to school in Austria, two family members have talked about their experiences in the BDM.

    Christopher Hitchens said it better than I could, talking about child raping priests:

    Their foul crime is not one of hypocrisy. No priest who sincerely believed even for ten seconds in divine judgment could conceivably endanger his immortal soul in this way, and those in the hierarchy who helped protect such men from punishment in this world are equally and obviously guilty of a hardened and obscene cynicism.

    What is extremely unlikely is that any of them, from the pope down, involved in the abuse and the cover up believe the dogma.

    Two words: confession, forgiveness.

    I know that’s about 50% of all catholics in France for instance.

    WTF. Evidence, please!

    The catholics I was talking about in #152 are not like that at all – they don’t believe in the god business, they do believe in being catholic, and that means supporting the church.

    That’s almost even harder to imagine.

    As to Ben Stein, who needs that kind of whining dishonesty?

    Du-ude…

    You implied that, because Ben Stein is whining and dishonest, all Jews should be killed.

    Did someone shit into your brain!?!

    I’ve written a response to SC’s #232 but then I decided not to have another argument with her. So never mind.

    SC has a fearsome reputation ;-)

    Anecdote wrt the argument regarding mandatory draft :
    That was actually not the case for every able-bodied male at all, e.g. my father’s father had a vineyard, and for some reason was exempt from the draft(something to do with being useful where he was), even in 1945, but he fell for the propaganda and enlisted, went to the russian front in Feb ’45 and got shot the first day.He had a wife and kids and a good business, and didnt have to go, but still did.Was he a Nazi? My dad tells me he wasn’t, but he like thousands others fell for Goebbels’ propaganda I guess.

    Said propaganda was “the communists are even worse”. Lots of people believed it ? including those who didn’t like the regime at all. Including almost all of them, in fact.

    Some chose to fight for what they thought was the lesser evil.

    If you bother to check out a bit about the Holocaust, you will find that a lot of Israelis were involved in a major Holocaust swindle after the war

    You blatantly changed the topic while pretending to answer a question.

  278. #280 Sven DiMilo
    March 20, 2010

    SC has a fearsome reputation ;-)

    Indeed; her argue-fu is very strong.

  279. #281 Knockgoats
    March 20, 2010

    Nothing was actually a separate thing from the NSDAP! ;-| Totalitarian states are like that. – David Marjanovi?

    Not remotely true. The armed forces, big business, the Churches, not to mention individuals, retained a good deal of freedom of action, although this did diminish over time. For the most part, they chose to use it in support of the regime. The Nazis simply didn’t have time to exert the degree of control that CPSU did under Stalin. Airy generalities about what totalitarian states are like just don’t cut it.

  280. #282 John Morales
    March 20, 2010

    David:

    Two words: confession, forgiveness.

    Actually, I was taught it was contrition, confession, forgiveness.

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