An atheist Holocaust denier?

Here's an unfortunate story that shows that loonies come in all varieties:

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Democratic Party leaders are wondering what to do about a candidate for attorney general who denies the Holocaust occurred and wants to "reawaken white racial awareness."

Larry Darby, the founder of the Atheist Law Center, made an abortive bid for the AG job as a Libertarian in 2002, but only recently have his views on race and the Holocaust come to light.

He has no money for campaign advertising and has made only a few campaign speeches, but garnered 12 percent support in the June 6 primary in a poll of 400 registered voters last month.

The poll, which was conducted by a university professor for Alabama media outlets and has a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points, shows Mobile County District Attorney John Tyson ahead with 21 percent of the vote but about two-thirds of respondents undecided.

The state Democratic chairman, Joe Turnham, said the party began an investigation last week after hearing about some of Darby's comments in a television interview.

While the party supports the free-speech rights of any candidate, Turnham said some of Darby's views appear to be in "a realm of thought that is unacceptable."

"Any type of hatred toward groups of people, especially for political gain, is completely unacceptable in the Alabama Democratic Party," said Turnham.

It is unclear whether the party could do anything at this point, although the party could decline to certify the results should he win.

In an interview Friday with The Associated Press, Darby said he believes no more than 140,000 Jewish people died in Europe during World War II, and most of them succumbed to typhus.

Historians say about 6 million Jews were slaughtered by the Nazis, but Darby said the figure is a false claim of the "Holocaust industry."

I've heard of this guy before, specifically when Darby invited David Irving to give talks at the Atheist Law Center and in reference to a number of his flagrantly anti-Semitic statements denying the Holocaust, including:

You don't even understand the concept of racialism so to the informed you are quite naive. That is the significance of the HoloHoax Cartoon that made you piss your pants." (2/6/06)

"An entire holocaust industry is based upon figures which you apparently concede are concocted. What else are holocaust enforcers and holocaust profiteers lying about?" (08/02/05)

"Preserving the myths regarding "the holocaust", which is a modern religion for Zionists or Israel-Firsters, is what motivated Volokh to write his piece about me, without interviewing me or addressing genuine issues." (02/02/06)

"In my investigations of modern mythology, such as the Six Millions Lie, which by the way was first trotted out by Zionists during or immediately after World War One, there is a nasty aspect that is too often ignored - that of Jewish Supremacism." (02/02/06)

"In short, talk of "freedom" and "democracy" is not much different from the "Jewish communism" of Karl Marx, Trotsky, Lenin, etc., all of who were Jewish." (12/13/05)

"Those persons who want to stay abreast of current events dealing with our Zionist-Occupied Government and other current events regarding the global endeavors of traditional enemies of Free Speech..." (12/13/05)

"And like it or not, the dogma we are fed includes a big dose of Holocaust religion that is without evidence or proof, such as the "Six Millions Lie" first trotted out by Zionists during or after World War One." (01/02/06)

"One does not have to have survived anything to be deemed a "holocaust survivor" just as one does not have to deny mass deaths of innocents in order for the mythmakers and profiteers of the Holocaust Industry to deem one a "holocaust denier". There's no business like shoah business!" (01/03/06)

"I know the truth is very difficult for some of you to accept, but what is presented as "the holocaust" is a myth and there is an industry that goes with it." (01/03/06)

"[National Vanguard] leaders do not fear speaking out against Zionism, and do not fear acknowledging the racial aspect of politics." (12/26/05) (National Vanguard is a known White Supremacist organization with ties to Neo-Nazi and Aryan groups. David Irving has attended their meetings and gave speeches at their conferences)

"That is in the context of a trial and a man wanting to be free. I doubt he really thinks he has been wrong. As an attorney, I can tell you that what Mr. Irving is quoted as saying sounds like what an attorney would tell him to say. There still is no evidence that Six Millions jews died in World War Two. The hoaxers tried it after World War One but nobody believed them then. The HoloHoax is still the greatest fraud of the 20th century!" (2/20/06 - response to finding out that Irving recanted his Holocaust denial at his trial in Austria)

If those statements aren't Holocaust denial, I don't know what is. If those statements aren't blatantly anti-Semitic, I don't know what would constitute anti-Semitism. Worse, this clown is coming way too close to my neck of the woods for comfort today to spew not just his Holocaust denial, but his other odious views:

...Larry Darby believes that the Civil Rights acts of 1964 and 1965, as well as the Voting Right Act, should be repealed because they create a special class out of racial minorities. He also seems to believe that they were passed because of the efforts of communists, but I'm not clear on that part. He does say that the ACLU is a communist-based organization and that most of what the ACLU does works against America's constitutional republic. He doesn't justify this, he just asserts it.

Larry Darby appears to be one of those who refers to both legal and illegal immigration as the "Mexican Invasion." Given how regularly Darby injects race into his statements, and his apparent preference to whites over everyone else, I suspect that his concern with immigration is more about the race of those immigrating rather than the fact that people are immigrating at all. This may be why Darby is getting such favorable press from National Vanguard, a significant White Nationalist and racist organization. As far as I can tell, Darby doesn't shy away from this connection.

Darby has a "plan" for dealing with the Mexican Invasion, even though the Alabama attorney general has no authority in such matters. It's a good thing, too, because he would have the governor declare martial law (but only after the Alabama national guard back from Iraq, since they are only fighting for Israel over there). Soldiers would have orders to shoot to kill all along the border of the state. Presumably he means people trying to get in without authorization, not people trying to get out of his newly created police state, but I wouldn't place any bets on it.

Darby insists that his ancestors, who were from England, were "pioneers" rather than immigrants. Mexicans coming in today are an "infection," a type of language favored by Nazis when describing Jews in Germany. Darby extends the description by arguing for "preventative medicine" to halt the "infection" before it starts. This appears to include moving against organizations that promote immigration, like the Southern Poverty Law Center. He seems to accuse them of treason and promises to investigate them for treason and would like to shut them down.

This case amazes me for one reason. No, it's not because an atheist can hold irrational and hateful ideas, such as Holocaust denial and white supremacism. There's no good reason to expect atheists to be less prone to irrationality than anyone else; rejecting religion or belief in God does not necessarily make one rational. Of course, irrationality in atheists will by definition have to be based on something other than religious dogma, but people are creative. They seem infinitely capable of managing to find other justifications for hateful and irrational belief, like Holocaust denial and Nazi apologia. In this case, Darby has let racism, anti-Semitism, and white nationalism, rather than religious dogma, warp his thinking, along with a bit of Nazi sympathies. No wonder National Vanguard likes him. He's like an atheist doppelganger of David Duke, whom he seems to admire.

No, what amazes me is that an avowed atheist, indeed an activist for atheism and church-state separation issues, could actually manage to garner 12% supporting him in a poll one month before the primary--in Alabama.

Now that's amazing.

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No, what amazes me is that an avowed atheist, indeed an activist for separation of church and state, could garner 12% supporting him one month before the primary--in Alabama, yet.

How much of that 12% is just random noise? Did the pollsters describe the candidates' positions to the people they polled or did they just list candidates' names? "Darby", after all, is a pretty inoffensive and nondescript name. My mother once voted for Max Rafferty for California state superintendent of public instruction because "he had a nice name". He won, too, giving us a right-wing bigot as state schools chief.

I think it is probable that Holocaust deniers may be more likely to be atheists than average people. Nazis were not very religious, and being a Holocaust denier is almost the same as being a neo-Nazi (in a hidden form).

Note that I'm not claiming that atheists are more likely to be Holocaust deniers, it's the other way round.

By Roman Werpachowski (not verified) on 13 May 2006 #permalink

I expect the IDists and Horowitz will back the guy against the Evil Dogmatic Historians. Teach the Controversy!

Fascination with the occult was a hallmark of the Nazis. That's pretty religious...though not in the tradition sense. It's certainly not atheism.

By Greg Baumbach (not verified) on 13 May 2006 #permalink

Actually, not only were many Nazis heavily involved with the occult (which was pretty normal for the time), they were also quite often Christian. The idea that Nazis were Atheists is simply not true, which Hitler's many references to God shows. Nazism was not affiliated to any particular branch of Christianity (though Lorent stated that he thought that Hitler was anti-Catholic in his 1935 book I was Hitler's Prisoner), but that doesn't mean that they weren't Christian.

By Kristjan Wager (not verified) on 13 May 2006 #permalink

Being an atheist antisemite in the West is rather ironic given that European antisemitism was heavily supported by religious justifications of one sort or another.

The religious arguments for antisemitism have become less common with increasing literacy. It's almost as though Christians started noticing who the heroes of the Old Testament were.

Interesting that this guy is an atheist...and he's tagging himself on the coattails of Christian Identity and identifying himself with neo-Nazis, who are very big on religion, even if their ideas on God and man are downright bizarre. An atheistic Nazi! It's like being a great water-skiier in Wyoming.