Ye Olde Hitler/Stalin/Pol Pot spiel; evaluate my usual response
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25-11-2010, 12:25 AM
RE: Ye Olde Hitler/Stalin/Pol Pot spiel; evaluate my usual response
Hey, Bnw.

Quote:And, you can support that statement - how exactly?

Anti-semitism existed for hundreds of years in Germany stemming from Martin Luther's writings. There was no holocaust. A political party came into power and put forth secular reasons for anti-sematism. There was a holocaust almost immediately.

If you can show me that the holocaust occured PRIOR to the introduction of those secular arguments OR if you can show that there was no causal link whatsoever between those secular arguments and the Holocaust AND show how the hundreds-of-years-old anti-semitism that existed in Germany incubated for hundreds of years and just happened to errupt into holocaust coincidentally with the Nazi party's rise to power, then that'd be a very compelling argument.

Here's another example. I'm from Quebec. There have been tensions between the French and English since the battle of the Plains of Abraham. These tensions were based on language, culture and religion (Protestant English and Catholic French). But terrorism (The FLQ) and the seperatist movement (the PQ and the BQ) ONLY arose once a NATIONALIST argument was advanced.

Quote:Without religious based prejudices, I can't see the the Holocaust having ever occurred. My basis for that is the number of time similar atrocities have been committed where people believed they were justified by God. In fact, without the religious based prejudices, Hitler most likely would never have bothered the Jews and instead would have focused his sociopathic attention on some other group.

I don't so much disagree with what you are saying as much as I disagree with your frame. I can't figure out how to penetrate your frame so I don't know how to properly explain why I disagree with this. So I'll leave it at, I do.

It has something to do with "religious-based".

Quote:But, it's not that only religious groups are capable of anti-semetism. It's that without the religious basis for it, there is no anti-semetism.

I did agree with this earlier, right? Like that's an actual question. Like I said it is impossible to remove Judaism from the equasion because Jews are a religious group. Same thing?

Quote:At no point did I claim he was.

I know. I was saying that he wasn't. What I meant was that it wasn't about religious supremacy. He wasn't trying to kill everyone who wasn't a Christian so that there would be only Christians left because he was killing Christians to.

To everyone,

Can someone please jump in here and explain to both of us what it is we're not getting about what the other person is saying? There's a SERIOUS disconnect here that's driving me nuts and I can't figure out what it is.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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19-12-2010, 02:16 PM
 
RE: Ye Olde Hitler/Stalin/Pol Pot spiel; evaluate my usual response
@Matt

"Anti-semitism existed for hundreds of years in Germany stemming from Martin Luther's writings. There was no holocaust. A political party came into power and put forth secular reasons for anti-sematism. There was a holocaust almost immediately."

Anti-Semitism/Judaism existed long before Martin Luther was on the scene. These hostile attitudes, which were rife throughout Christian Europe, stemmed from 2nd century accusations of deicide as well as other theological differences. As a result, Jews throughout the centuries, in their thousands, were persecuted, oppressed and slaughtered. One example: During the 13th century in Germany, as many as 100,000 Jews were butchered by mobs of Christians who believed they were on a godly mission to rid Germany of “the accursed race of the Jews”. Was this an act of genocide? A holocaust but on a non-industrialised scale?

Could the holocaust committed by the Nazis be the pinnacle – and industrialised - result of this on-going Christian hatred of the Jew? I think so. After all, I don't see why a first-world Christian country – allied with Rome/Italy, Spain and Croatia (all first-world Christian countries) - should suddenly drop centuries of religiously inspired anti-Semitism/Judaism for “secular” anti-Semitism.

Of course, I'm unsure about the claim that the Nazis put forth secular reasons for anti-Semitism. The reasons I say this is because the party itself stood in defence of “positive Christianity” and acknowledged a creator[God]. Hitler also presented his arguments against the Jew in Mein Kampf – and they certainly aren’t secular.

Quoting Mein Kampf:

"Or do these Schwabing decadents view the present lot of the German people as 'aesthetic'? Certainly we don't have to discuss these matters with the Jews, the most modern inventors of this cultural perfume. Their whole existence is an embodied protest against the aesthetics of the Lord's image."

"What we must fight for is to safeguard the existence and reproduction of our race and our people, the sustenance of our children and the purity of our blood, the freedom and independence of the fatherland, so that our people may mature for the fulfilment of the mission allotted it by the creator of the universe."

“Blood sin and desecration of the race are the original sin in this world and the end of a humanity which surrenders to it."

"The result of all racial crossing is therefore in brief always the following:
(a) Lowering of the level of the higher race;
(b) Physical and intellectual regression and hence the ......beginning of a slowly but surely progressing sickness.

To bring about such a development is, then, nothing else but to sin against the will of the eternal creator."

"for the fall of man in paradise has always been followed by his expulsion."

"Indeed, the Talmud is not a book to prepare a man for the hereafter, but only for a practical and profitable life in this world."

"which make this kind of religion seem positively monstrous according to Aryan conceptions. The best characterization is provided by the product of this religious education, the Jew himself. His life is only of this world[secular?], and his spirit is inwardly as alien to true Christianity as his nature two thousand years previous was to the great founder of the new doctrine. Of course, the latter made no secret of his attitude toward the Jewish people, and when necessary he even took to the whip to drive from the temple of the Lord this adversary of all humanity, who then as always saw in religion nothing but an instrument for his business existence. In return, Christ was nailed to the cross, while our present-day party Christians debase themselves to begging for Jewish votes at elections and later try to arrange political swindles with atheistic Jewish parties - and this against their own nation."

"To be sure, he sometimes palms off his women on influential Christians, but as a matter of principle he always keeps his male line pure. He poisons the blood of others, but preserves his own.”

"Peoples which bastardize themselves, or let themselves be bastardized, sin against the will of eternal Providence"

"Anyone who dares to lay hands on the highest image of the Lord[in this case the Aryan race] commits sacrilege against the benevolent creator of this miracle and contributes to the expulsion from paradise."

"finally to put an end to the constant and continuous original sin of racial poisoning, and to give the Almighty Creator beings such as He Himself created?"

Secular arguments for anti-Semitism

You're joking, aren't you? The Nazi arguments were brimming with religion and God belief. Hardly secular!
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19-12-2010, 06:21 PM
RE: Ye Olde Hitler/Stalin/Pol Pot spiel; evaluate my usual response
Truly I am blessed that you would dredge up my old post from the depths of the forgotten with your very first post.

Just kidding. Welcome. [Image: grrr.gif]

"Ain't got no last words to say, yellow streak right up my spine. The gun in my mouth was real and the taste blew my mind."

"We see you cry. We turn your head. Then we slap your face. We see you try. We see you fail. Some things never change."
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19-12-2010, 06:44 PM
RE: Ye Olde Hitler/Stalin/Pol Pot spiel; evaluate my usual response
Hey, Ryedo.

No I'm not joking.

I have never said that religion played no role in the Holocaust.

My interest here is primacy. Was the Nazi movement primarily a religious movement or a secular nationalist movement? The answer, clearly, is the latter. They were anti-religious first and foremost. While it is clear that the historical Christian heritage of hating Jews had a direct and overt influence on the party's policy, it was not the core of the policy. The core of the policy stemmed from secular ideas.

To say that the Nazi party was a Christian movement is to say that they wiped people out to make way for Christianity planting crosses where they went. There is exactly zero evidence of such a thing. What there is clear historical records of is a movement that crushed religious freedom, sent Polish bishops to concentration camps and killed hundreds of thousands of Christians and planted swastikas everywhere paving the way for the Aryan nation. You can't place Jesus first when the entire movement is based on the supremacy of the Fuhrer.

As for that case of 100 000 dead, I had no idea. Thanks for sharing. I'd say that yes, that certainly qualifies as a genocide.

Thank you very much for the Mein Kamph quote. That was very informative.

I would like to draw your attention to the passages in which Hitler points to the importance of race, the purity of blood, blood sin, desecration of race, racial crossing, lowering the level of the higher race, physical and intelectual regression, the political importance of pandering to the Jewish electoral bloc, the betrayal of the nation to the Jews and to poisioning and preserving blood. These are all secular arguments. So like I said, religion does play a role, but a background one; a relationship of convenience.

As posted before:
The ideological roots of Nazism derive from Romanticism, nineteenth-century idealism, and a eugenic interpretation of Friedrich Nietzsche’s concepts... the German people living under continual cultural attack by Judeo-Bolshevism... the Weltanschauung of Nazism with the ideologic trinity of: history as a struggle for world supremacy among the human races, conquered only by a master race, the Herrenvolk; the decisive, autocratic Führerprinzip (leader principle); and anti-Semitism targeting the Jews as the universal source of socio-cultural and economic discord... “the Nation” as the highest creation of a race... the weakest nations were those of “impure” or “mongrel races"... the parasitic Untermenschen (subhumans), principally the Jews... owing to racial inferiority, and their wandering, nationless invasions of greater nations, such as Germany... Although the “National Socialist leaders and dogmas were basically, uncompromisingly antireligious”, Nazi Germany usually did not directly attack the Churches, the exceptions being clerics who refused accommodation with the Nazi régime... "Priests will be paid by us and, as a result, they will preach what we want. If we find a priest acting otherwise, short work is to be made of him"... To demoralize Poland, the Nazis killed almost 16 per cent of the Polish Catholic clergy; 13 of 38 Bishops were sent to concentration camps... the closing of churches, seminaries and other religious institutions, almost succeeded in exterminating the Polish clergy.[136]...

These facts describe secular anti-religious policies.

Even within the Weltanschauung trinity, anit-sematism is only one part of the trinity and is further sub-divided into old Christian and new secular arguments. The religious influence seems, to me at least, quite marginal.

That being said, also posted before:

Martin Luther's treatise On the Jews and their Lies (1543), exercised a major and persistent intellectual influence upon the German practice of anti-Semitism against Jewish citizens.

So like I said, Christian anti-sematism absolutely played a role. The question is, how can we accureately characterise the Nazi party? As a primarily secular anti-religious movement or as a religious movement for the advancement of Christianity?

One question that cannot be asked is, "Were secular arguments a large part of Nazi party policy and of the policies that led to the Holocaust?" Because the answer, clearly, is yes.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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19-12-2010, 08:01 PM
RE: Ye Olde Hitler/Stalin/Pol Pot spiel; evaluate my usual response
But without the starting point of religious based Antisemitism, there was no Holocaust. No one here has claimed that the Nazi's were a religious organization but they used religion very effectively when it suited their needs. Even Hitler's views on eugenics had religious overtones to it. There was nothing to really distinguish the Jews from the rest of German society other than religion. But for that one thing, they would have completely blended in unnoticed in not only Germany society but the societies of most of the eastern European countries where Jews lived and were generally persecuted.

The Blood Libel and Antisemitism were prevalent throughout Europe for a good millennium prior to the Nazi's. Otherwise, people would not have been so willing to to follow Hitler over this particular cliff and he would have had to identify another scape goat to focus the countries anger on.

In all honesty, I'm still a bit at a less to understand what your point here is.

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
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20-12-2010, 04:47 AM
RE: Ye Olde Hitler/Stalin/Pol Pot spiel; evaluate my usual response
The religious motive for antisemitism is simple to find in the Catholic doctrine of "jews killed my savior" - relevant at the time.
The Nazi master race ideology was based in mythology and religion rather than empirical evidence.We are better because we believe we are not because we have proof-that's faith.
Jews were a target for Christians from the moment they set foot in Europe , prior to any knowledge of race and genetics , and if you look at some Christians today they still claim that the "evil zionists" control the world , as do some muslims.
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20-12-2010, 09:54 AM
RE: Ye Olde Hitler/Stalin/Pol Pot spiel; evaluate my usual response
Hey, BnW.

But? What but? There is no but. You can't say, "but you're overlooking that thing you JUST SAID."

I didn't just say it. I've said it in pretty much every single post in this thread.

I don't know how much more clearly I can say, "religion had a role." Like honestly. I don't.

Quote:Even Hitler's views on eugenics had religious overtones to it.

Uhhhhh... what?

Quote:There was nothing to really distinguish the Jews from the rest of German society other than religion. But for that one thing, they would have completely blended in unnoticed in not only Germany society but the societies of most of the eastern European countries where Jews lived and were generally persecuted.

That's questionable; however, the Gypsies, homosexuals, communists, Christian Poles, the disabled, communists and freemasons were all killed and none of them were killed for being Jews and many of them were Christians.

Quote:In all honesty, I'm still a bit at a less to understand what your point here is.

I don't know what to tell you. Like honestly. I don't know what you're confused about. I think, "while religion played a role in the Nazi party and their policies and while centuries of Christian anti-semitism formed the foundation of the hatred of the Jewish people, the Nazis were primarily anti-religious and based most of their policies on secular arguments," is pretty straight forward.

You yourself asked:
Quote:I never understand the basis of these arguments. Especially the Hitler one. What, then, was the secularized explanation for his antisemitism? He didn't like the clothes?

So I explained what some of the securarised explanations were. My posts were challenged on different levels and I defended them. You even called my treatment of the subject revisionist. So I defended against that accusation. Is this not point enough?

For me, I think the overarching point of all of this, bringing back Stalin and Pol Pot, is that many people often stop at religion when talking about attrocities. It's religion's fault and the like. But here are three examples of massive movements, all three of which are responsible for three of the worst genocides in human history, that were motivated, primarily, by secular arguments. With Hitler it does get murky because religion did play a role in Nazi policy, but that role was second fiddle to the role of secular arguments, primarily nationalist and eugenic arguments; the importance of the German race and of it's purity. If we're talking about the power of something to move a people to allow and or to participate in these kinds of attrocities, we have to admit that secular arguments can be just as convincing as religious arguments.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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20-12-2010, 11:42 AM
RE: Ye Olde Hitler/Stalin/Pol Pot spiel; evaluate my usual response
Quote:With Hitler it does get murky because religion did play a role in Nazi policy, but that role was second fiddle to the role of secular arguments, primarily nationalist and eugenic arguments; the importance of the German race and of it's purity. If we're talking about the power of something to move a people to allow and or to participate in these kinds of attrocities, we have to admit that secular arguments can be just as convincing as religious arguments.

And here is where I flat out disagree with you. If Hitler's Antisemitism was not primarily based on religion but on racial purity, then every country he conquered that did not have what he viewed as Aryan bloodlines - which was most of them - would have had most of their citizenry rounded up and sent to the gas chambers. But, for the most part that did not happen. He did not only single out Jews but most of the groups he did single out also had religious based prejudices against them. Gays and Catholics were also the victims of protestant discrimination.

His persecution of gypsies and Slavs seems to be more based on his Eugenics theories but Germany and Austria also have ancient rivalries with those groups. At no point did the Nazi's pick on anyone who there was not already some traditional prejudice against within the general German population. I think the reason for that is obvious and I also think to say that Hitler came up with new, secularized reasons for his hatreds and that is what pushed people over the edge is just flat out wrong. For a lot of these groups, the religious based prejudice against them always existed. The key differences were a government willing to foment those prejudices and the industrial capability to carry out large scale murder.

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20-12-2010, 01:00 PM
 
RE: Ye Olde Hitler/Stalin/Pol Pot spiel; evaluate my usual response
@ Matt

“My interest here is primacy. Was the Nazi movement primarily a religious movement or a secular nationalist movement? The answer, clearly, is the latter.”

The Nazis were certainly a nationalist movement: one steeped in Christian identity and traditional Christian values. It wasn't a secular movement. In fact, it didn't even separate church from state. It was, more or less, a theocracy.

“They were anti-religious first and foremost.”

Who told you that? Did the same people fail to tell you the “secular anti-religious” Nazis spent more money subsidising religion than any previous German administration: increasing state spending from 130 million marks in 1933 to over a billion marks during the war. If the Nazis were so anti-religious, they wouldn't have signed the Reichskonkordat. Likewise, they wouldn't have built Churches adorned with crucifixes, swastikas and Jesus. Neither would point 24 of the German version of the constitution place Christianity as the state religion. Books ridiculing Christianity wouldn't have been banned. Damn... I could go on...

In no way were the Nazis anti-religious. However, just like Christians elsewhere(especially in contemporary America), if you have the wrong flavour of Christianity, you're not a true Christian; likewise, you're probably anti-American too. It was a similar sort of mentality in Germany and has nothing to do with secular thought.

In Germany, national pride – which included a strong Christian identity - took centre stage. It was the same old “this is a Christian nation” BS. The more secularised and liberal Christians, as well as non-believers who didn't dance to the tune, were viewed as detrimental to the nature of “true" Christianity. Undermining the essence of what made Christianity great, meant you undermined the moral fibre of the nation itself.

[Note: “The greatness of Christianity did not lie in attempted negotiations for compromise with any similar philosophical opinions in the ancient world, but in its inexorable fanaticism in preaching and fighting for its own doctrine." - Mein Kampf.]

For Hitler, a nation without God and Christianity meant its destruction. Should Christians continue to be influenced by liberalism, secularism, godlessness[including atheism, sin] - and the “immoral” Jew - faith would become meaningless and without form.

Quoting Mein Kampf:

“Without clearly delimited faith, religiosity with its unclarity and multiplicity of form would not only be worthless for human life, but would probably contribute to general disintegration."

“If, with the help of his Marxist creed, the Jew is victorious over the other peoples of the world, his crown will be the funeral wreath of humanity and this planet will, as it did thousands of years ago, move through the ether devoid of men."

"But if out of smugness, or even cowardice, this battle is not fought to its end, then take a look at the peoples five hundred years from now. I think you will find but few images of God, unless you want to profane the Almighty."

"Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord."

To counter his envisioned collapse of “true” Christianity – and the collapse of German civilisation itself – he not only took up the fight against the jews, liberals and atheism, but also created the Reich Church. In his mind, this would unite the countless flavours of Christian under one roof. It would prevent sectarianism and give faith a clear direction; therefore preventing the destruction of “true” Christianity, Germany and the Aryan race.

“The core of the policy stemmed from secular ideas.”

As I've shown in this and my previous post, the core beliefs that influenced policy revolved around nationalism/religious identity - and the idea of racial and moral impurity being a sin against God. Where the Nazis were concerned, ideas of racial purity, even while using eugenics, all point back to theism and religion; the anti-Semitism religion inspired and the idea that racial mixing is a sin against God.

To help clarify, I'll re-post a couple of quotes:

“...Their[the jews] whole existence is an embodied protest against the aesthetics[beauty] of the Lord's image."

"for the fall of man in paradise[Eden? Heaven?] has always been followed by his expulsion."

"Peoples which bastardize themselves[mix race?], or let themselves be bastardized, sin against the will of eternal Providence[God]"

“Anyone who dares to lay hands on the highest image of the Lord[in this case the Aryan race] commits sacrilege against the benevolent creator of this miracle and contributes to the expulsion from paradise."

The Nazis believed true Aryans were made in the perfect image of God. The mixing of race would bring detriment to that perfect image. It was therefore a sin against God. To get right with God – so as not to be expelled from paradise - that sin, including the cause, must be removed.

Hitler was also quite hostile towards secularism; even declaring that secular education wouldn't be tolerated: because it provided no moral foundation.

Speech made by Hitler:

“Secular schools can never be tolerated because such schools have no religious instruction, and a general moral instruction without a religious foundation is built on air; consequently, all character training and religion must be derived from faith . . . we need believing people.”

Back to you:

“To say that the Nazi party was a Christian movement is to say that they wiped people out to make way for Christianity planting crosses where they went.”

Well, they don't exactly have to plant crosses to push an ideology. Still, they did nearly succeed in wiping out the Jews – and didn't mind having a pop at the “godless” communists. That said, the Nazis used both the swastika and the crucifix. Sometimes separately, sometimes with the crucifix in front of the swastika. Hey, they even had clergymen in the army and Christian funerals complete with crosses as headstones. None of which is secular.

“What there is clear historical records of is a movement that crushed religious freedom”

Yes, Christians have a long history of stamping out religious freedom – especially if its the wrong flavour of religion.

“sent Polish bishops to concentration camps and killed hundreds of thousands of Christians”

Yes, Christians have a long history of imprisoning and killing each other – especially if they don't conform to their flavour of Christianity.

Here's a nice example:

"During 1942-1943 in Croatia, extermination camps – some of which were exclusively for children - were run by the Catholic Ustasha. Jasenovac, being one of the most notorious camps, was run by Franciscan friars. Here, Orthodox-Christian Serbs and Jews were murdered. Some were burnt alive, others shot or knifed. It's been estimated that the number of victims rests somewhere between 300,000 and 600,000. The atrocities that the friars committed were so bad, even Nazi officers were brought to tears. Both the Pope and Hitler were informed about these events. Both did nothing to prevent them.”

Lastly:

“The ideological roots of Nazism derive from...”

Once again, where ideas such as the master race[Aryans as God's chosen people instead of the Jew], eugenics, etc, came into play, they did so to further justify pre-existing – religiously inspired – anti-Semitic/Judaic beliefs. So were used as tools to give further weight to pre-existing religiously inspired theology/ideas.

Nazism was not a secular movement. It was primary a nationalistic religious movement: one bent on pushing purity, morality, Germany, religion and God. Heretics won't be tolerated... and all that.

So far, I've seen nothing the proves Nazism was primary a secular movement.
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20-12-2010, 01:54 PM
RE: Ye Olde Hitler/Stalin/Pol Pot spiel; evaluate my usual response
I think calling the Third Reich a "theocracy" is a tremendous stretch of the truth. The Nazi's bullied the Catholic Church the best they could, punished Catholics when the Church spoke out against them, and used churches in Germany to push their agenda (and got rid of priests and ministers who would not pay ball). Using religion and taking advantage of religious prejudices is not the same as being religious.

I disagree with Ghost on his attempt to minimize the religious influences on how the Nazi's picked their victims but he is correct that the Nazi's were effectively a secular movement who used religion only insofar as it served their purposes.

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