I was asked by a friend of my oldest Son on this topic, to see my response to him — JUMP to the bottom
Keep in mind if you are saying one of the below issues is morally wrong… you are saying so by borrowing from the Judeo-Christian worldview. Atheism or pantheism cannot account for moral [absolute] wrongs. For more on this, see:
Philosopher and scholar Mortimer J. Adler rightly points out that while many Christians are quick in responding to the conclusions in an argument often times the Christian is unaware that the point of departure is not in the conclusion, but in the starting premise, the foundational assumptions.
Norman L. Geisler & Peter Bocchino, Unshakable Foundations: Contemporary Answers to Crucial Questions About the Christian Faith (Minneapolis: Bethany House, 2001), 20-21.
As someone who falls into the category of Protestant, some may find it odd that here I am defending Catholics from a recent attack by a left-leaning columnist, Gwynne Dyer. In his September 25th (2010) article entitled, “Why Pope can’t stand diversity and tolerance,” (at the New Zealand Herald online) Gwynne Dyer shows how he is in some dyer need of clarity of thought. I will deconstruct the parts I feel are always in need of addressing. Of course, out of the gate Dyer hits the Catholic Church with the priesthood molestation cases. While I would agree with Dyer that these are horrible instances of action on the priesthood’s part which should be held to the highest standards (as should pastors in Protestant denominations), we part company in his obvious statement that this emasculates any Christian from commenting on the culture around us:
Speaking in Scotland, he condemned “aggressive forms of secularism” and the threat of “atheist extremism”. Never mind the hundreds or thousands of priests who raped little boys (and occasionally little girls). (Dyer)
In this statement Dyer is saying because priests molested and sodomized boys and girls this should stop the church universal to comment on other aspects of the culture in general. This doesn’t make sense, and I will show you how in some analogies based in cases of molestation and sodomy in other fields of specialty. This actually comes from a challenge laid out to me in a debate about the mosque at Ground Zero, and it too used a position of moral injustice to try and squash dissent on an entirely different issue. I was challenged with the following thought in regards to the location of said mosque:
Sean…. If we are to follow your logic, I guess no Catholic churches should be located within a few blocks of daycare centers, no?
NUMBER TWO, I wish to discuss this issue of molestation by priests that you intimated about.
School counselors, dentists, Buddhist monks, foster parents, and the like — all have abused children. Men who are pedophiles look for positions of AUTHORITY OVER [*not yelling, merely emphasizing*] children that afford MOMENTS OF PRIVACY with these same children. Dentists do not violate children or women in the name of dentistry. Buddhists monks do not sodomize children in the name of Siddhartha. School counselors in the name of psychology, foster parents in the name of Dr. Spock, etc, … you get the point. Likewise, priests do not violate children in the name of Christ. (The many terrorist attacks are in the name of something… can you tell me what Nora?)
So I hope you can see that mentioning churches next to schools is a non-sequitur, I think we can agree that any church moving priests (Catholicism) or pastors (Protestantism) from one parish or church to another is a problem that has to be dealt with. Just like teachers who have the same issues levied towards them are moved from district-to-district (N.E.A.).
Here is an updated stat for clarity on this subject:
While sexual repression might explain the horrific history of sexual abuse committed by Catholic clergymen, it does not explain the much greater incidence of sexual abuse by secular educators in the public school system.41
 “The physical sexual abuse of students in schools is likely more than 100 times the abuse by priests.” Shakeshaft, C. Ph.D., U.S. Department of Education report. 2002. [The 2004 study can be seen here in PDF FORM. I believe the author meant 2004]
Vox Day, The Irrational Atheist: Dissecting the Unholy Trinity of Dawkins, Harris, And Hitchens (Dallas, TX: BenBella Books, 2008), 174.
…But according to Charol Shakeshaft, the researcher of a little-remembered 2004 study prepared for the U.S. Department of Education, “the physical sexual abuse of students in schools is likely more than 100 times the abuse by priests.”
After effectively disappearing from the radar, Shakeshaft’s study is now being revisited by commentators seeking to restore a sense of proportion to the mainstream coverage of the Church scandal.
According to the 2004 study “the most accurate data available at this time” indicates that “nearly 9.6 percent of students are targets of educator sexual misconduct sometime during their school career.”
“Educator sexual misconduct is woefully under-studied,” writes the researcher. “We have scant data on incidence and even less on descriptions of predators and targets. There are many questions that call for answers.”
Weigel observes that priestly sex abuse is “a phenomenon that spiked between the mid-1960s and the mid-1980s but seems to have virtually disappeared,” [see recomended book to the right] and that in recent years the Church has gone to great lengths to punish and remove priestly predators and to protect children. The result of these measures is that “six credible cases of clerical sexual abuse in 2009 were reported in the U.S. bishops’ annual audit, in a Church of some 65,000,000 members.”
Despite these facts, however, “the sexual abuse story in the global media is almost entirely a Catholic story, in which the Catholic Church is portrayed as the epicenter of the sexual abuse of the young.”
In 2004, shortly after the Shakeshaft study was released, Catholic League President William Donohue, who was unavailable for an interview for this story, asked, “Where is the media in all this?”
“Isn’t it news that the number of public school students who have been abused by a school employee is more than 100 times greater than the number of minors who have been abused by priests?” he asked.
“All those reporters, columnists, talking heads, attorneys general, D.A.‘s, psychologists and victims groups who were so quick on the draw to get priests have a moral obligation to pursue this issue to the max. If they don’t, they’re a fraud.”
Because teacher’s unions transfer teachers who molest children around the districts means one should reject education.
Because teacher’s unions transfer teachers who molest children around the districts means education doesn’t exist.
In other words, would Columbia University have to stop teaching about education because the N.E.A. shuffles around rapists and child predators? The argument is a non-sequitur designed merely to stir up feelings of animosity and then direct them towards an entirely different subject. There tends to be a blurring of subject/object distinction on the professional left. Here is a short list of what I alluded to above:
Two Buddhist monks and eight other men were arrested on Wednesday, accused of sexually abusing 11 children orphaned by the island’s 19-year civil war, an official said.
Investigations revealed that the children, aged between nine and 13, had been sexually abused over a period of time at an orphanage where the men worked, said Prof. Harendra de Silva, head of the National Child Protection Authority….
Mr. Tripp was arrested for sexually abusing a former 15-year-old foster care child.
The investigation started when the Oregon Department of Human Services was contacted by a school counselor who learned that there may be sexual abuse involving a student and Mr. Tripp. DHS workers then contacted Sheriff’s Detectives who took over the investigation.
Detectives learned that Mr. Tripp has been a foster parent since 1995 and has had at least 90 children placed in his home during that time. Sheriff’s Detectives are concerned that there may be more victims who have not yet reported sexual contact involving Mr. Tripp….
3) A therapist who worked at Booker T. Washington Middle School in Baltimore was arrested in Catonsville and charged with molesting a 13-year-old boy, Baltimore County police said yesterday.
Robert J. Stoever, 54, of the 1500 block of Park Ave. was arrested Sunday night after a county police officer saw him and the boy in a car in a parking lot at Edmondson Avenue and Academy Road, said Cpl. Michael Hill, a police spokesman.
Stoever was charged with a second-degree sex offense and perverted practice, according to court documents. He was sent to the Baltimore County Detention Center, Hill said….
4) A Bronx dentist was arrested yesterday on charges that he twice raped a 16-year-old patient whom he had placed under anesthesia during an office visit on Thursday, police said.
The girl, a patient of the dentist for several years, was hired for a summer job as his receptionist on Thursday, and had an appointment with him for treatment that afternoon, said Lieut. Hazel Stewart, commander of the Bronx Special Victims Squad.
“She went in and she changed into a little uniform that he gave to her, and he gave her some files to work on,” the lieutenant said. “Then he said that it was time to take a look at her teeth.”
At that point, Lieutenant Stewart said, “he used some type of anesthesia on her and he allegedly raped her.”
The young woman told officers that she was never fully anesthetized, Lieutenant Stewart said, but that “the effects of the anesthesia were strong enough to render her helpless to such a degree that he was able to rape her again.”
These folks that commit these crimes are atheists, Christians, Buddhists (which are epistemologically speaking, atheists), and every other ideology and from every stripe of life and culture in the world.
Thus, the argument is as strong as this:
There have been many cases of dentists molesting and raping children, therefore, dentists cannot take moral positions on secular society.
The conclusion just doesn’t follow the premise.
There have been many cases of priests molesting and raping children, therefore, the Pope (insert Catholic here) cannot take moral positions on secular society.
In the case of religious comparisons, you would have to isolate the founders and their lives in order to properly judge a belief, not the followers. I would engender the reader to consider well this quote by Robert Hume:
The nine founders among the eleven living religions in the world had characters which attracted many devoted followers during their own lifetime, and still larger numbers during the centuries of subsequent history. They were humble in certain respects, yet they were also confident of a great religious mission. Two of the nine, Mahavira and Buddha, were men so strong-minded and self-reliant that, according to the records, they displayed no need of any divine help, though they both taught the inexorable cosmic law of Karma. They are not reported as having possessed any consciousness of a supreme personal deity. Yet they have been strangely deified by their followers. Indeed, they themselves have been worshipped, even with multitudinous idols.
All of the nine founders of religion, with the exception of Jesus Christ, are reported in their respective sacred scriptures as having passed through a preliminary period of uncertainty, or of searching for religious light. Confucius, late in life, confessed his own sense of shortcomings and his desire for further improvement in knowledge and character. All the founders of the non-Christian religions evinced inconsistencies in their personal character; some of them altered their practical policies under change of circumstances.
Jesus Christ alone is reported as having had a consistent God-consciousness, a consistent character himself, and a consistent program for his religion. The most remarkable and valuable aspect of the personality of Jesus Christ is the comprehensiveness and universal availability of his character, as well as its own loftiness, consistency, and sinlessness.
The World’s Living Religions (New York, NY: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1959), 285-286.
All this is to show that Dyer’s article starts with a shallow logic that is more a straw-man than a real critique of anything the Pope said. As much as I disagree with the office and structure of the Catholic church, this line of attack is asinine to say the least. I recommend to those who seriously wish to know why this rash of molestations has taken place should read the book by Michael S. Rose, Goodbye Good Men: How Liberals Brought Corruption Into the Catholic Church.
A Post on Buddhist Molestations
Deeper Thinking Here at RPT
Then… if reality is ultimately characterless and distinctionless, then the distinction between being enlightened and unenlightened is ultimately an illusion and reality is ultimately unreal. Whom is doing the leading? Leading to what? These still are distinctions being made, that is: “between knowing you are enlightened and not knowing you are enlightened.” In the Diamond Sutra, ultimately, the Bodhisattva loves no one, since no one exists and the Bodhisattva knows this:
“All beings must I lead to Nirvana, into the Realm of Nirvana which leaves nothing behind; and yet, after beings have been led to Nirvana, no being at all has been led to Nirvana. And why? If in a Bodhisattva the notion of a “being” should take place, he could not be called a “Bodhi-being.” And likewise if the notion of a soul, or a person should take place in him.
So even the act of loving others, therefore, is inconsistent with what is taught in the Buddhistic worldview, because there is “no one to love.” This is shown quite well (this self-refuting aspect of Buddhism) in the book, The Lotus and the Cross: Jesus Talks with Buddha. A book I recommend with love, from a worldview that can use the word love well. One writer puts it thusly: “When human existence is blown out, nothing real disappears because life itself is an illusion. Nirvana is neither a re-absorption into an eternal Ultimate Reality, nor the annihilation of a self, because there is no self to annihilate. It is rather an annihilation of the illusion of an existing self. Nirvana is a state of supreme bliss and freedom without any subject left to experience it.”
(This is a h/t to Freepers) The Chicago Tribune has this story about Monks disappearing when needed in court. Buddhist Temples say, “not our responsibility”:
Buddhist monks walk away from sex-abuse cases
Across the U.S., temples frustrate investigators by insisting they have no control over monks’ actions, whereabouts
The meeting took place at Wat Dhammaram, a cavernous Theravada Buddhist temple on the southwest edge of Chicago. A tearful 12-year-old told three monks how another monk had turned off the lights during a tutoring session, lifted her shirt and kissed and fondled her breasts while pressing against her, according to a lawsuit.
Shortly after that meeting, one of the monks sent a letter to the girl’s family, saying the temple’s monastic community had resolved the matter, the lawsuit says.
The “wrong doer had accepted what he had done,” wrote P. Boonshoo Sriburin, and within days would “leave the temple permanently” by flying back to Thailand.
“We have done our best to restore the order,” the letter said.
But 11 years later, the monk, Camnong Boa-Ubol, serves at a temple in California, where he says he interacts with children even as he faces a second claim, supported by DNA, that he impregnated a girl in the Chicago area.
Sriburin acknowledges that restoring order did not involve stopping Boa-Ubol from making the move to California. And it did not involve issuing a warning to the temple there. Wat Dhammaram didn’t even tell its own board of directors what happened with the monk, he said.
“We have no authority to do anything. … He has his own choice to live anywhere,” Sriburin said.
A Tribune review of sexual abuse cases involving several Theravada Buddhist temples found minimal accountability and lax oversight of monks accused of preying on vulnerable targets.
Because they answer to no outside ecclesiastical authority, the temples respond to allegations as they see fit. And because the monks are viewed as free agents, temples claim to have no way of controlling what they do next. Those found guilty of wrongdoing can pack a bag and move to another temple — much to the dismay of victims, law enforcement and other monks.
A woman who alleges she was sexually assaulted by a monk at a Theravada Buddhist temple in Chicago holds her 11-year-old daughter, who was conceived, according to her mother, during the assaults. (Stacey Wescott, Chicago Tribune / July 24, 2011)
Question from Son’s Friend
A friend of my oldest son contacted me about questions his brother is shooting his way. One dealt with this topic and a specific article (of which I will give only the headline):
Here is my response after my son’s friend asked for some help:
I do have a few responses.
To that story specifically, there is a specific response, as well as a broader issue at hand. First the specifics (and I encourage you as well to read and understand the main point as well…)
➤ [I linked to this post]
SIDE ISSUES FIRSTLY, people do not realize that many of these cases took place decades ago… and some of these memories are gotten from hypnotism or bad interviewing by psychologists… or even by people who want money. There is a really good book on this called “Confabulations: Creating False Memories, Destroying Families.” Another book is called, “My Lie: A True Story of False Memory.” So how the memory is obtained from a childhood experience is important. This issue is partly to blame for some of the Satanic craze of a couple decades ago.
SECONDLY, in the late 60s and 70s till even currently, there has been a push to normalize homosexuality. I will use the Boy Scouts as an example. As the push [which has succeeded as of late] to allow gay men as Scout leaders… the obvious inference is that you will get more abuse. Men, in general, have a high sex drive/imagination. Marriage to a good woman will most times subdue this urge to have variety. Subdue it is a polite term… I as a man constantly fight my nature through a worldview to please my natural desires. We, as men, primarily fight two big issues in our life… our violent nature and our lustful nature. Gay-men do not have this leveling affect in their relationships.
THIRDLY,and this segways into the main issue… these men who are attracted to boys or young people, typically look for jobs that they are in a control, or has moment of privacy and authority over their intended victims. Whether this be the Priesthood, a youth pastor, a Boy Scout leader, a dentist, a school counselor, a teacher, and the like.
THAT BEING SAID, of course not all these experiences are false. This has nothing to do with whether God exists or not. OR, whether the Catholic Church is the correct institution in its expression of Christian truth. (I happen to think that just like in my church, there are saved and there are unsaved persons… just like in the Catholic church.)
HOWEVER, if you say, “I doubt God’s existence because of this…” you would have to be consistent and apply this to other areas of your experience. For instance, the National Education Association and other local teacher unions often do the same. They cannot fire people because of the union contracts (or it is damn near impossible to and cost lots of $$$$$ to fire a tenured teacher). They cover-up their crimes and move the teacher from district to district. I make this point in my link, but to be clear… I still believe in the importance of education despite this. LIKE I still believe in the importance of God despite actions of people.
Another issue related to this is that without the Judeo-Christian worldview/ethic, one cannot say absolutely that such abuse is morally wrong. One need only look as far as atheists for this idea to be fleshed out: Hear Atheists Themselves on Evil and Absolutes
Hope this helps.
PS: Always related to this topics are these issues… the first link is a response to an author in a small local paper:
It doesn’t matter if your libertarian atheists, or Democrats (which all of the below are), if you step out of line with the end goal (socialism), violence from the Left is the consequence in and failing society.
Antifa Mob Shouts Down Dr. Yaron Brook, Assaults Students At King’s College In London (DAILY WIRE)
A mob of masked Antifa members stormed a lecture hall at King’s College in London on Monday night, shouting down — and then shutting down — an event being held by the Ayn Rand Institute featuring Ayn Rand Board of Directors chairman Dr. Yaron Brook and internet personality Sargon of Akkad.
According to The Washington Times, the event, hosted by the King’s College Libertarian Society, was supposed to be a “discussion about Rand’s philosophy, Objectivism … followed by a question and answer period.” But the event took a turn for the terrifying when Antifa burst into the hall, made their way to the stage and began threatening the speakers with violence. Fights broke out on stage.
Dr. Brooks was lucky to escape unscathed. Audience members were able to catch the shocking incident on video, but the student recording was attacked……..
In order to become ‘Führer’ of Germany, Hitler felt that speeches and propaganda were not enough to win him the election. His own private army, the SA, helped him; they beat Communists up, interrupted their meetings and deterred their campaigning. Next, Hitler had about 4000 Communists arrested and imprisoned. The newspapers were shut down. SA were waiting in the streets to beat anti-Nazis up. (IN)
Progressives Shout Down Christina Hoff Sommers At Portland Law School (HOT AIR)
Christina Hoff Sommers was scheduled to speak today at Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon. Yesterday, in anticipation of her arrival, a coalition of progressive groups led by a local chapter of the National Lawyer’s Guild announced they would be protesting her appearance. Specifically, a letter released by the group said that Sommers was a “known fascist” and that her invitation to speak was an “act of aggression and violence” toward others.
In case you had any doubt, the violence and aggression they are talking about here is speech. “Free speech is certainly an important tenet to a free, healthy society, but that freedom stops when it has a negative and violent impact on other individuals. There is no debate here.” Here’s the letter in full….
A chap in a Facebook group posted a few points in a post, of which I took this point up to respond to.
…My moral values have a simple root…if an action causes harm to another person, that act is immoral. If my inaction causes harm to another person, that inaction is immoral…
I first posted this as a response:
You would have to define and then implement this definition in a way that non-theistic governments would accept (like the many Eastern-block countries of our past for example). Some countries would view the disabled and farmers as harming society, and thus view the moral rout for said society as a whole to rid themselves of these persons/groups. They would say to NOT do so causes harm.
BUT, I didn’t have to really do any heavy lifting… this person did it for me. After reading through the discussion, the same person said this:
…Morality actually derives from human self interest in preserving the group they needed to be part of to survive in a hostile world. It had to be a feature in the lives of the earliest human ancestor species…
To which I replied:
Oh, this comment refutes you OP [original post]. “Morality actually derives from human self interest in preserving the group they needed to be part of to survive in a hostile world.”
So another group’s morality to survive in a hostile world (say, Pol-Pot, Stalin, Hitler, Caesars, etc) are just as “moral” then. Unless you are saying that there is a universal code you are tapping into to compare/contrast, and put on a higher plane? Not only that, but you would need to argue that another person would have to have that same ability…. At least if you are expecting your OP to carry any weight.
Otherwise you are merely here expressing your preference (emoting), like my children telling me they prefer chocolate ice cream over vanilla.
Not only that, but the majority group, whether in a country or in the world, would decide this ethos (what it “means” to survive). And thus, to speak out against this consensus (whether is science or in morality) would be immoral.
A couple examples of this ethos at work:
“Everything I have said and done in these last years is relativism by intuition…. If relativism signifies contempt for fixed categories and men who claim to be bearers of an objective, immortal truth… then there is nothing more relativistic than fascistic attitudes and activity…. From the fact that all ideologies are of equal value, that all ideologies are mere fictions, the modern relativist infers that everybody has the right to create for himself his own ideology and to attempt to enforce it with all the energy of which he is capable.”
Mussolini, Diuturna (1924) pp. 374-77, quoted in A Refutation of Moral Relativism: Interviews with an Absolutist (Ignatius Press; 1999), by Peter Kreeft, p. 18.
“The stronger must dominate and not mate with the weaker, which would signify the sacrifice of its own higher nature. Only the born weakling can look upon this principle as cruel, and if he does so it is merely because he is of a feebler nature and narrower mind; for if such a law [natural selection] did not direct the process of evolution then the higher development of organic life would not be conceivable at all…. If Nature does not wish that weaker individuals should mate with the stronger, she wishes even less that a superior race should intermingle with an inferior one; because in such a case all her efforts, throughout hundreds of thousands of years, to establish an evolutionary higher stage of being, may thus be rendered futile.”
Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, translator/annotator, James Murphy (New York: Hurst and Blackett, 1942), pp. 161-162; found in: Norman L. Geisler & Peter Bocchino, Unshakeable Foundations: Contemporary Answers to Crucial Questions About the Christian Faith (Minneapolis: Bethany House, 2001), 206.
“What’s to prevent us from saying Hitler wasn’t right? I mean, that is a genuinely difficult question.” — Richard Dawkins
Stated during an interview with Larry Taunton, “Richard Dawkins: The Atheist Evangelist,” by Faith Magazine, Issue Number 18, December 2007.
Atheist Daniel Dennett, for example, asserts that consciousness is an illusion. (One wonders if Dennett was conscious when he said that!) His claim is not only superstitious, it’s logically indefensible. In order to detect an illusion, you’d have to be able to see what’s real. Just like you need to wake up to know that a dream is only a dream, Daniel Dennett would need to wake up with some kind of superconsciousness to know that the ordinary consciousness the rest of us mortals have is just an illusion. In other words, he’d have to be someone like God in order to know that.
Dennett’s assertion that consciousness is an illusion is not the result of an unbiased evaluation of the evidence. Indeed, there is no such thing as “unbiased evaluation” in a materialist world because the laws of physics determine everything anyone thinks, including everything Dennett thinks. Dennett is just assuming the ideology of materialism is true and applying its implications to consciousness. In doing so, he makes the same mistake we’ve seen so many other atheists make. He is exempting himself from his own theory. Dennett says consciousness is an illusion, but he treats his own consciousness as not an illusion. He certainly doesn’t think the ideas in his book are an illusion. He acts like he’s really telling the truth about reality.
When atheists have to call common sense “an illusion” and make self-defeating assertions to defend atheism, then no one should call the atheistic worldview “reasonable.” Superstitious is much more accurate.
Frank Turek, Stealing from God (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2014), 46-47.
….Darwin thought that, had the circumstances for reproductive fitness been different, then the deliverances of conscience might have been radically different. “If . . . men were reared under precisely the same conditions as hive-bees, there can hardly be a doubt that our unmarried females would, like the worker-bees, think it a sacred duty to kill their brothers, and mothers would strive to kill their fertile daughters, and no one would think of interfering” (Darwin, Descent, 82). As it happens, we weren’t “reared” after the manner of hive bees, and so we have widespread and strong beliefs about the sanctity of human life and its implications for how we should treat our siblings and our offspring.
But this strongly suggests that we would have had whatever beliefs were ultimately fitness producing given the circumstances of survival. Given the background belief of naturalism, there appears to be no plausible Darwinian reason for thinking that the fitness-producing predispositions that set the parameters for moral reflection have anything whatsoever to do with the truth of the resulting moral beliefs. One might be able to make a case for thinking that having true beliefs about, say, the predatory behaviors of tigers would, when combined with the understandable desire not to be eaten, be fitness producing. But the account would be far from straightforward in the case of moral beliefs.” And so the Darwinian explanation undercuts whatever reason the naturalist might have had for thinking that any of our moral beliefs is true. The result is moral skepticism.
If our pretheoretical moral convictions are largely the product of natural selection, as Darwin’s theory implies, then the moral theories we find plausible are an indirect result of that same evolutionary process. How, after all, do we come to settle upon a proposed moral theory and its principles as being true? What methodology is available to us?
Paul Copan and William Lane Craig, eds., Contending With Christianity’s Critics: Answering the New Atheists & Other Objections (Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing, 2009), 70.
Dawkins spells out the contradiction: “As an academic scientist, I am a passionate Darwinian, believing that natural selection is, if not the only driving force in evolution, certainly the only known force capable of producing the illusion of purpose which so strikes all who contemplate nature. But at the same time as I support Darwinism as a scientist, I am a passionate anti-Darwinian when it comes to politics and how we should conduct our human affairs.” A Devils Chaplain: Reflections on Hope, Lies, Science, and Love (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2003), 10-11.
In another place, he admits to the logic of his own determinism (that people cannot be held responsible for their actions), but emotionally he cannot accept this. See the Dawkins interview by Logan Gage, “Who Wrote Richard Dawkins’s New Book?,”Evolution News (website), October 28, 2006:
Manzari: Dr. Dawkins thank you for your comments. The thing I have appreciated most about your comments is your consistency in the things I’ve seen you’ve written. One of the areas that I wanted to ask you about, and the place where I think there is an inconsistency, and I hoped you would clarify, is that in what I’ve read you seem to take a position of a strong determinist who says that what we see around us is the product of physical laws playing themselves out; but on the other hand it would seem that you would do things like taking credit for writing this book and things like that. But it would seem, and this isn’t to be funny, that the consistent position would be that necessarily the authoring of this book, from the initial conditions of the big bang, it was set that this would be the product of what we see today. I would take it that that would be the consistent position but I wanted to know what you thought about that.
Dawkins: The philosophical question of determinism is a very difficult question. It’s not one I discuss in this book, indeed in any other book that I’ve ever talked about. Now an extreme determinist, as the questioner says, might say that everything we do, everything we think, everything that we write has been determined from the beginning of time in which case the very idea of taking credit for anything doesn’t seem to make any sense. Now I don’t actually know what I actually think about that, I haven’t taken up a position about that, it’s not part of my remit to talk about the philosophical issue of determinism. What I do know is that what it feels like to me, and I think to all of us, we don’t feel determined. We feel like blaming people for what they do or giving people the credit for what they do. We feel like admiring people for what they do. None of us ever actually as a matter of fact says, “Oh well he couldn’t help doing it, he was determined by his molecules.” Maybe we should… I sometimes… Um… You probably remember many of you would have seen Fawlty Towers. The episode where Basil where his car won’t start and he gives it fair warning, counts up to three, and then gets out of the car and picks up a tree branch and thrashes it within an edge of his life. Maybe that’s what we all ought to… Maybe the way we laugh at Basil Fawlty, we ought to laugh in the same way at people who blame humans. I mean when we punish people for doing the most horrible murders, maybe the attitude we should take is “Oh they were just determined by their molecules.” It’s stupid to punish them. What we should do is say “This unit has a faulty motherboard which needs to be replaced.” I can’t bring myself to do that. I actually do respond in an emotional way and I blame people, I give people credit, or I might be more charitable and say this individual who has committed murders or child abuse of whatever it is was really abused in his own childhood. And so again I might take a…
Manzari: But do you personally see that as an inconsistency in your views?
Dawkins: I sort of do. Yes. But it is an inconsistency that we sort of have to live with otherwise life would be intolerable. But it has nothing to do with my views on religion it is an entirely separate issue.
Manzari: Thank you.
2 Peter 1:5-8:
“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
In other words, there is no absolute moral ethic, Dawkins wants to have a consensus of people agreeing what is “right” and “wrong” — he says as much in the audio above. Which means that rape and murder are only taboo… not really wrong.
Secondly, there can be no concept of “ought”
What about human actions? They are of no more value or significance than the actions of any other material thing. Consider rocks rolling down a hill and coming to rest at the bottom. We don’t say that some particular arrangement of the rocks is right and another is wrong. Rocks don’t have a duty to roll in a particular way and land in a particular place. Their movement is just the product of the laws of physics. We don’t say that rocks “ought” to land in a certain pattern and that if they don’t then something needs to be done about it. We don’t strive for a better arrangement or motion of the rocks. In just the same way, there is no standard by which human actions can be judged. We are just another form of matter in motion, like the rocks rolling down the hill.
We tend to think that somewhere “out there” there are standards of behaviour that men ought to follow. But according to Dawkins there is only the “natural, physical world”. Nothing but particles and forces. These things cannot give rise to standards that men have a duty to follow. In fact they cannot even account for the concept of “ought”. There exist only particles of matter obeying the laws of physics. There is no sense in which anything ought to be like this or ought to be like that. There just is whatever there is, and there just happens whatever happens in accordance with the laws of physics.
Men’s actions are therefore merely the result of the laws of physics that govern the behaviour of the particles that make up the chemicals in the cells and fluids of their bodies and thus control how they behave. It is meaningless to say that the result of those physical reactions ought to be this or ought to be that. It is whatever it is. It is meaningless to say that people ought to act in a certain way. It is meaningless to say (to take a contemporary example) that the United States and its allies ought not to have invaded Iraq. The decision to invade was just the outworking of the laws of physics in the bodies of the people who governed those nations. And there is no sense in which the results of that invasion can be judged as good or bad because there are no standards to judge anything by. There are only particles reacting together; no standards, no morals, nothing but matter in motion.
Dawkins finds it very hard to be consistent to this system of belief. He thinks and acts as if there were somewhere, somehow standards that people ought to follow. For example in The God Delusion, referring particularly to the Christian doctrine of atonement, he says that there are “teachings in the New Testament that no good person should support”.(6) And he claims that religion favours an in-group/out-group approach to morality that makes it “a significant force for evil in the world”.(7)
According to Dawkins, then, there are such things as good and evil. We all know what good and evil mean. We know that if no good person should support the doctrine of atonement then we ought not to support that doctrine. We know that if religion is a force for evil then we are better off without religion and that, indeed, we ought to oppose religion. The concepts of good and evil are innate in us. The problem for Dawkins is that good and evil make no sense in his worldview. “There is nothing beyond the natural, physical world.” There are no standards out there that we ought to follow. There is only matter in motion reacting according to the laws of physics. Man is not of a different character to any other material thing. Men’s actions are not of a different type or level to that of rocks rolling down a hill. Rocks are not subject to laws that require them to do good and not evil; nor are men. Every time you hear Dawkins talking about good and evil as if the words actually meant something, it should strike you loud and clear as if he had announced to the world, “I am contradicting myself”.
Please note that I am not saying that Richard Dawkins doesn’t believe in good and evil. On the contrary, my point is that he does believe in them but that his worldview renders such standards meaningless.
My somewhat humorous and hopefully challenging response to this issue if asked is this:
I am enjoying it… you have a radical socialist group on one-side clashing with a radical socialist group on the other — all fighting over Democratic history.
I just wanted to make more visually clear that Trump was correct in saying there were groups on both sides equal in their racism, hate, and violence. From Black Lives Matter to the KKK, both sides are cut from the same socialist cloth. In the video (HERE) you can see a Black Lives Matter person holding a sign up to block a street preachers sign. In the lower right of that sign is this: Workers World Party (WWP). Here is a short list of this groups terrible history:
International ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) is a front group for the communist Workers World Party. The Workers World Party is, literally, a Stalinist organization. It rose out of a split within the old Socialist Workers Party over the Soviet Union’s 1956 invasion of Hungary — the breakaway Workers World Party was all for the invasion. International ANSWER today unquestioningly supports any despotic regime that lays any claim to socialism, or simply to anti-Americanism. It supported the butchers of Beijing after the slaughter of Tiananmen Square. It supports Saddam Hussein and his Baathist torture-state. It supports the last official Stalinist state, North Korea, in the mass starvation of its citizens. It supported Slobodan Milosevic after the massacre at Srebrenica. It supports the mullahs of Iran, and the narco-gangsters of Colombia and the bus-bombers of Hamas.
The despicable record of WWP in promoting Stalinist and fascist dictators is old news. WWP, the patron of International A.N.S.W.E.R., is on record supporting:
The pitiless massacre of Chinese protestors by the armed forces in Tiananmen in 1989. WWP states, “troops were issued arms… after some students took some soldiers hostage. On June 4, , the demonstration changed from a peaceful protest to violent attacks on the soldiers… events were a battle – not a massacre.” Everybody in the world knows this is a disgusting lie.
The dictatorship of Saddam Hussein, among whose defenders WWP are doubtless the most fawning. Their newspaper, also titled Workers World, wrote gleefully, in 2001, “more and more countries had begun individually breaking the ban on flights and other sanctions against Iraq.” Right: countries with an equally bad or worse record, like Yugoslavia, which supply Iraq with illegal chemical, biological, and other weapons.
The evil regime of crazed North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il. WWP hack Deidre Griswold, who has been shoveling this manure for some 35 years, recently wrote, from the Communist hell itself, “People here in the socialist north of Korea are well aware of U.S. President George W. Bush’s remarks branding their country as part of an ‘Axis of Evil.’ It has in no way dampened their ardor for their independent socialist system… Koreans today are celebrating… the continuity of leadership represented by unity around Kim Jong Il, who is pledged to follow the course of national independence and socialist construction charted by Kim Il Sung… the North Korean socialist system, which has kept it from falling under the sway of the transnational banks and corporations that dictate to most of the world.” No mention here of the numerous individuals and families that have risked their lives and those of their relatives to escape the reality of North Korean socialism, or of North Korean international weapons sales, kidnapping of foreign nationals, terrorist attacks, or other details.
In one of its most disgusting, and continuous, displays of admiration for genocidal fascists, WWP, the leaders of International A.N.S.W.E.R. are prominent defenders of indicted Serbian war criminal Slobodan Milosevic. When the trial of Milosevic began last year at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague, Netherlands. The International Action Center (IAC), predecessor of International A.N.S.W.E.R, “sent a delegation to take part in activities showing solidarity with the defendant and opposing the ‘trial’ as a NATO frame up.” They declared, “Washington and its NATO allies hopes (sic) to pin the guilt for the 10 years of civil war in the Balkans on the Yugoslav leader.” Who in the world, aside from fevered extremists, believes this swill? WWP has also published expensive volumes defending Milosevic.
Another aspect of this “clash” that garnered such attention is that the violence started BECAUSE of the LEFT. That doesn’t mean the racist people in the other Leftist group (the KKK) didn’t reciprocate… but order is important:
THE DAILY WIRE notes an article from a New York Times reporter who said this:
“I saw club-wielding ‘antifa’ beating white nationalists being led out of the park.”
In other words, these KKK types were leaving peacefully, being escorted out, and they were attacked. They continue:
New York Times reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg made the mistake of admitting that along with the abhorrent, violent, white supremacists who terrorized Charlottesville over the weekend, many Antifa protesters were also enacting “hate-filled” violence, as they’ve done in several other cities in recent months. For noting that the “hard left seemed as hate-filled as the alt-right” — citing “club-wielding ‘antifa’ beating white nationalists being led out of the park” — Stolberg was hammered online, even after repenting and issuing a correction that depicted the violent left in more heroic terms.
[here are her Tweets]
A few wrap-it-up thoughts from Charlottesville:
1. Striking how many of the white nationalists were young people, almost entirely men.
2. The hard left seemed as hate-filled as alt-right. I saw club-wielding “antifa” beating white nationalists being led out of the park.
3. Among my unanswered questions: police response. Why did things get out of hand so quickly? Could violence have been prevented?
Wow, sounds just like President Trump. And HOTAIR notes that both NBC news and the BBC have “put out videos offering fact-checks on some of president trump’s claims about what took place in Charlottesville. Both agree there were violent anti-fascist protesters who came to the protest looking for a fight.” Here is a portion of the BBC video I wish to note:
Jake Tapper notes as well that reporters who were attacked were attacked by Antifa. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) took to Facebook to go after President Donald Trump and his “many sides” comment on yesterday’s violence in Charlottesville. But the ACLU disagrees:
The reason for this post is to respond to the idea that the NAZIs were in any way Christian or were supported by the Church or that Hitler was friends with the church. OR, for that matter, were anything but socialists. This post should be connected with my updated post, “NAZI OCCULTISM.” As well as a post discussing Luther’s anti-Semitism and the distinction between [conservative] Confessing Lutheran’s in Germany at the time and the more socially liberal socialist [state-run] Lutherans: Defending “Lutheranism” from Martin Luther’s Fall from Grace
Between these three posts one should be equipped to respond to this lack of knowledge in regards to history.
“Every powerful movement has had its philosophy which has gripped the mind, fired the imagination and captured the devotion of its adherents. One has only to think of the Fascist and the Communist manifestos of this century, of Hitler’s Mein Kampf on the one hand and Marx’s Das Kapital and The Thoughts of Chairman Mao on the other.”
~ John Stott
We are the happy Hitler Youth;
We have no need of Christian virtue;
For Adolf Hitler is our intercessor
And our redeemer.
No priest, no evil one
Can keep us
From feeling like Hitler’s children.
Not Christ do we follow, but Horst Wessel!
Away with incense and holy water pots.
Singing we follow Hitler’s banners;
Only then are we worthy of our ancestors.
I am no Christian and no Catholic.
I go with the SA through thick and thin.
The Church can be stolen from me for all I care.
The swastika makes me happy here on earth.
Him will I follow in marching step;
Baldur Von Schirach, take me along.
~ Hitler Youth Song
(The two books in bold I own)
Gene Edward Veith, Modern Fascism: Liquidating the Judeo-Christian Worldview (Saint Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 1993), 67;
See Ernst Christian Helmreich, The German Churches Under Hitler: Background, Struggle, and Epilogue (Detroit, MI: Wayne State Univ. Press, 1979), 267.
Horst Wessel was the composer of the party anthem. Baldur von Schirach was the Reich Youth Leader. See Hermann Glaser, The Cultural Roots of National Socialism (Austin, TX: Univ. Texas Press, 1978), 43, 56n.
In Mein Kampf, he presented a social Darwinist view of life, life as a struggle, and presented national socialism as an antidote to both Judaism and communism. His party attempted to develope a new form of religion with elements of de-Judaised Christianity infused with German and Nordic pagan myths, but this was resisted by the Christians. ~ Professor Thies
“I freed Germany from the stupid and degrading fallacies of conscience and morality…. We will train young people before whom the world will tremble. I want young people capable of violence — imperious, relentless and cruel.” ~ Hitler
On a plaque hung on the wall at Auschwitz; found in, Ravi Zacharias, Can Man Live Without God (Nashville, TN: W Publising Group, 1994), 23.
“The stronger must dominate and not mate with the weaker, which would signify the sacrifice of its own higher nature. Only the born weakling can look upon this principle as cruel, and if he does so it is merely because he is of a feebler nature and narrower mind; for if such a law [natural selection] did not direct the process of evolution then the higher development of organic life would not be conceivable at all…. If Nature does not wish that weaker individuals should mate with the stronger, she wishes even less that a superior race should intermingle with an inferior one; because in such a case all her efforts, throughout hundreds of thousands of years, to establish an evolutionary higher stage of being, may thus be rendered futile.” ~ Hitler
Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, translator/annotator, James Murphy (New York: Hurst and Blackett, 1942), pp. 161-162.
“Everything I have said and done in these last years is relativism by intuition…. If relativism signifies contempt for fixed categories and men who claim to be bearers of an objective, immortal truth… then there is nothing more relativistic than fascistic attitudes and activity…. From the fact that all ideologies are of equal value, that all ideologies are mere fictions, the modern relativist infers that everybody has the right to create for himself his own ideology and to attempt to enforce it with all the energy of which he is capable.” ~ Mussolini
Mussolini, Diuturna (1924) pp. 374-77, quoted in A Refutation of Moral Relativism: Interviews with an Absolutist (Ignatius Press; 1999), by Peter Kreeft, p. 18.
The Above Video Description:
Nuremberg Day 28 Church Suppression
Colonel Leonard Wheeler, Assistant American Trial Counsel, on Jan. 7, 1946, submitted the case regarding the Oppression of the Christian Churches and other Religious Groups in Germany and the Occupied Countries. He stated that the Nazi conspirators found the Christian churches to be an “obstacle to their complete domination of the German people and contrary to their master race dogma”.
The Indictment charged that “the Nazi conspirators, by promoting beliefs and practices incompatible with Christian teaching, sought to subvert the influence of the churches over the people and in particular the youth of Germany”.
Here as well is a quote from a much lauded biography of Hitler and his time in power. Note that he wanted to ultimately destroy the Christian churches with a materialist faith (Any of the large quotes below come from books I own and have read in full or in-part):
Alan Bullock, Hitler: A Study in Tyranny (New York, NY: Penguin Books, 1952/1962), 388-390.
Hitler had been brought up as a Catholic and was impressed by the organization and power of the Church. Its hierarchical structure, its skill in dealing with human nature and the unalterable character of its Creed, were all features from which he claimed to have learned. For the Protestant clergy he felt only contempt: ‘They are insignificant little people, submissive as dogs, and they sweat with embarrassment when you talk to them.
They have neither a religion they can take seriously nor a great position to defend like Rome.’ It was `the great position’ of the Church that he respected, the fact that it had lasted for so many centuries; towards its teaching he showed the sharpest hostility. In Hitler’s eyes Christianity was a religion fit only for slaves; he detested its ethics in particular. Its teaching, he declared, was a rebellion against the natural law of selection by struggle and the survival of the fittest. “Taken to its logical extreme, Christianity would mean the systematic cultivation of the human failure.” From political considerations he restrained his anti-clericalism, seeing clearly the dangers of strengthening the Church by persecution. For this reason he was more circumspect than some of his followers, like Rosenberg and Bormann, in attacking the Church publicly. But, once the war was over, he promised himself, he would root out and destroy the influence of the Christian Churches. “The evil that is gnawing our vitals,” he remarked in February 1942, “is our priests, of both creeds. I can’t at present give them the answer they’ve been asking for but… it’s all written down in my big book. The time will come when I’ll settle my account with them…. They’ll hear from me all right. I shan’t let myself be hampered with judicial samples.”
Earnest efforts to establish self-conscious pagan rites roused Hitler’s scorn: “Nothing would be more foolish”, he declared, “than to reestablish the worship of Wotan. Our old mythology had ceased to be viable when Christianity implanted itself…. I especially wouldn’t want our movement to acquire a religious character and institute a form of worship. It would be appalling for me, if I were to end up in the skin of a Buddha.”
Nor is there any evidence to substantiate the once popular belief that he resorted to astrology. His secretary says categorically that he had nothing but contempt for such practices, although faith in the stars was certainly common among some of his followers like Himmler.
The truth is that, in matters of religion at least, Hitler was a rationalist and a materialist. “The dogma of Christianity,” he declared in one of his wartime conversations, gets worn away before the advances of science…. Gradually the myths crumble. All that is left is to prove that in nature there is no frontier between the organic and the inorganic. When understanding of the universe has become widespread, when the majority of men know that the stars are not sources of light, but worlds, perhaps inhabited worlds like ours, then the Christian doctrine will be convicted of absurdity…. The man who lives in communion with nature necessarily finds himself in opposition to the Churches, and that’s why they’re heading for ruin for science is bound to win.
It was in keeping with this nineteenth-century faith in science replacing the superstitions of religion that Hitler’s plans for the rebuilding of Linz included a great observatory and planetarium as its centrepiece.
Thousands of excursionists will make a pilgrimage there every Sunday. They’ll have access to the greatness of our universe. The pediment will bear this motto: “The heavens proclaim the glory of the everlasting.” It will be our way of giving men a religious spirit, of teaching them humility – but without the priests. For Ptolemy the earth was the centre of the world. That changed with Copernicus. Today we know that our solar system is merely a solar system amongst many others. What could we do better than allow the greatest possible number of people like us to become aware of these marvels?… Put a small telescope in a village and you destroy a world of superstitions.
Here as well is a respected biography on Hitler by Ian Kershaw. He notes that Hitler was trying to get his followers to “lay off” the Church till after the war was won — the main point being that there was nor room for Christianity in this future Utopia:
Ian Kershaw, Hitler: A Biography (New York, NY: W.W. Norton, 2008), 382, 661, 785, 969.
In February 1937 Hitler made it plain to his inner circle that he did not want a “Church struggle” at this juncture. The time was not ripe for it. He expected “the great world struggle in a few years’ time”. If Germany lost one more war, it would mean the end. The implication was clear: calm should be restored for the time being in relations with the Churches. Instead, the conflict with the Christian Churches intensified. The anticlericalism and anti-Church sentiments of the grass-roots party activists simply could not be eradicated. The activists could draw on the verbal violence of party leaders towards the Churches for their encouragement. Goebbels’s orchestrated attacks on the clergy through the staged “immorality trials” of Franciscans in 1937 — following usually trumped-up or grossly exaggerated allegations of sexual impropriety in the religious orders — provided further ammunition. And, in turn, however much Hitler on some occasions claimed to want a respite in the conflict, his own inflammatory comments gave his immediate underlings all the license they needed to turn up the heat in the “Church struggle”, confident that they were “working towards the Führer.”
Hitler’s impatience with the Churches prompted frequent outbursts of hostility. In early 1937, he was declaring that “Christianity was ripe for destruction”, and that the Churches must yield to the “primacy of the state”, railing against any compromise with “the most horrible institution imaginable”. In April, Goebbels reported with satisfaction that the Führer was becoming more radical in the “Church Question”, and had approved the start of the “immorality trials” against clergy. Goebbels noted Hitler’s verbal attacks on the clergy and his satisfaction with the propaganda campaign on several subsequent occasions over the following few weeks. But Hitler was happy to leave the Propaganda Minister and others to make the running. If Goebbels’s diary entries are a guide, Hitler’s interest and direct involvement in the ‘Church struggle’ declined during the second half of the year. Other matters were by now occupying his attention.
Hitler put forward once more his vision of the East as Germany’s “future India”, which would become within three or four generations “absolutely German”. There would, he made clear, be no place in this utopia for the Christian Churches. For the time being, he ordered slow progression in the “Church Question”. “But it is clear,” noted Goebbels, himself among the most aggressive anti-Church radicals, “that after the war it has to be generally solved… There is, namely, an insoluble opposition between the Christian and a Germanic-heroic world-view.”
…and in line with his undiluted social-Darwinistic beliefs, to take his people down in flames with him if it proved incapable of producing the victory he had demanded.
…in its maelstrom of destruction Hitler’s rule had also conclusively demonstrated the utter bankruptcy of the hyper-nationalistic and racist world-power ambitions (and the social and political structures that upheld them) that had prevailed in Germany over the previous half a century and twice taken Europe and the wider world into calamitous war.
I also wanted to add this comparison of ideals/ethos that drove some of the worst socialists of the day. Here Andy Bannister notes Stalin’s admission that “socialism proper” is at war with Christianity:
Stalin once stated: “You know, they are fooling us, there is no God … all this talk about God is sheer nonsense.” But Stalin was not content with mere words; he also acted on them. In 1925, he actively encouraged the founding of the League of Militant Atheists, which for over twenty years acted out its slogan, “The Struggle Against Religion is a Struggle for Socialism.” It began with popular campaigns in the media against religion, aiming to persuade citizens that religion was irrational and toxic. But soon things became considerably more violent:
Churches were closed or destroyed, often by dynamiting; priests were imprisoned, exiled or executed. On the eve of the Second World War there were only 6,376 clergy remaining in the Russian Orthodox Church, compared with the pre-revolutionary figure of 66,140. One dreadful day, 17 February 1938, saw the execution of 55 priests. In 1917 there were 39,530 churches in Russia; by 1940, only 950 remained functional.
Andy Banister, The Atheist Who Didn’t Exist: Or, The Dreadful Consequences of Bad Arguments (Oxford, England: Monarch Books, 2015), 23.
Here we see a stark admission of the ideals/ethos driving Hitler:
“We are socialists, we are enemies of today’s capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we are determined to destroy this system under all conditions.” ~ Hitler
John Toland, Adolph Hitler: The Definitive Biography (New York, NY: Anchor Books, 1976), 223-225.
Did Hitler, like Stalin, kill the religious? At least 3-million Polish Catholics were holocaust victims. Note especially the systematic massacre of the clergy and religious orders:
Repression of the Church was at its most severe in Polish areas annexed by Nazi Germany, where churches were systematically closed and most priests were either killed, imprisoned, or deported. From across Poland, thousands of priests died in prisons and concentration camps; thousands of churches and monasteries were confiscated, closed or destroyed; and priceless works of religious art and sacred objects were lost forever. Church leaders were targeted as part of an overall effort to destroy Polish culture. At least 1811 Polish clergy died in Nazi Concentration Camps. An estimated 3000 clergy were killed in all. Hitler’s plans for the Germanization of the East saw no place for the Christian Churches.
[In the Diocese of Chełmno] It is stated that a large number of priests have been shot, but neither the number nor the details are as yet known, as the occupation authorities maintain an obstinate silence on the subject… The Churches have almost all been closed and confiscated by the Gestapo… all the crosses and sacred emblems by the roadside have been destroyed… 95% of the priests have been imprisoned, expelled, or humiliated before the eyes of the faithful… and the most eminent Catholics executed.
— Excerpts from Cardinal August Hlond‘s report to the Vatican.
Hlond reported similar outrages and terror in the Dioceses of Katowice, Łódź and Włocławek which had also been incorporated into the Reich. In his final observations for Pope Pius XII, Hllond wrote:
Hitlerism aims at the systematic and total destruction of the Catholic Church in the rich and fertile territories of Poland which have been incorporated into the Reich… It is known for certain that 35 priests have been shot, but the real number of victims… undoubtedly amounts to more than a hundred… In many districts the life of the Church has been completely crushed, the clergy have been almost all expelled; the Catholic churches and cemeteries are in the hands of the invaders… Catholic worship hardly exists any more… Monasteries and convents have been methodically suppressed… [Church properties] all have been pillaged by the invaders.
— Excerpts from Cardinal Hlond’s report to the Vatican
It would seem that Hitler’s socialism had the same outcome in every way as Stalin’s.
Here is my final update for a while, and it regards how the NAZI Party was taking away church property and replacing church programs with socialist ones:
J.S. Conway, The Nazi Persecution of the Churches 1933-45 (New York, NY: Basic Books, 1968), 255-259.
From the beginning of 1941 such new and stringent measures were taken against the churches by the Nazi authorities that more damage, it was said, was done ‘physically and morally by the land raids of the Gestapo than by the air raids of the RAF’.
The number of expropriated church properties rose rapidly. In a secret circular addressed to the Gauleiters on 20 March, Bormann wrote:
Many valuable church properties have had to be sequestred lately, especially in Austria; according to reports from the Gauleiters to the Führer, these sequestrations were frequently caused by offences against ordinances relating to the war economy (e.g. hoarding of food-stuffs of various kinds, textiles, leather goods, etc.). In other cases they were caused by offences against the law relating to malicious attacks against the State [Heimtϋckegesetz], and in others because of prohibited possession of firearms. Obviously, no compensation is to be paid to the Churches for sequestrations made because of the above-mentioned reasons. . . .
The reasons given for the seizures were the need for auxiliary hospitals or resettlement centres for refugees and evacuated children, or, alternatively, acts of hostility to the State perpetrated by members of the religious orders, particularly the Jesuits. If an individual member of a monastic community was adjudged guilty of an offence, it was seized upon as a pretext for the closure of the whole institution. In actual fact, the Churches’ properties were expropriated solely for the Nazis’ own ends, each of the Nazi leaders making a bid for what he considered their most appropriate use. Dr Ley in June 1940 argued in favour of using monasteries as homes for the Aged or for the Kraft durch Freude. In April 1941 Bormann suggested that Church orphanages should be taken over for the housing of evacuees, a move to which Hitler agreed. In a circular issued from Hitler’s headquarters in May 1941, Bormann decreed that
the Nazi State and movement cannot permit children to be brought up in denominational kindergartens according to Church principles, or along the lines of denominational divisions. Today this question can be finally cleaned up by withdrawing permission from the organizers of Church-sponsored institutions for children. In justification, the special role of the Party in this area should be stressed.
The requisite orders were accordingly issued, and by 31 July all Church kindergartens had been seized by the Gestapo and transferred to the sponsorship of the Nazi Welfare organization.
The requisitioning of monastic properties had first been adumbrated by Himmler, in December 1939, when, in his capacity as Reich Commissar for the Strengthening of the German People’s Community (Reichskommissar far die Festigung deutschen Volkstums), he had ordered the Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle in Berlin to take over `suitable accommodation which could be used for the housing of returning Volksdeutsche’. When, eleven months later, Cardinal Bertram protested that the decree had been used to requisition entire monasteries and convents and to evacuate their inhabitants, his protest was ignored. In January 1941 Himmler ordered the complete evacuation of all such Church properties without compensation. War-time necessity, the Cardinal was informed, was a sufficient justification for the measure, and the question of compensation, could be settled after the end of the war. In December 1940 the Gauleiter of Alsace ordered all Church organizations to be dissolved and their property confiscated. In Innsbruck, Gauleiter Hofer coerced the Premonstratensian Order into ‘selling’ their monastery at Wilten to the provincial government of Tyrol. In Silesia no less than 60 monasteries and church institutions were seized. In Luxembourg, 400 priests were expelled on Hitler’s personal orders; all the institutions run by members of Catholic Orders were confiscated and their inhabitants were transported across the border into the diocese of Trier; all hospitals in the territory were declared secular institutions. In Lorraine, the Warthegau, Lower Austria and South Germany where the measures were particularly severe, the Church authorities estimated that by the beginning of May no less than 13o monasteries and Church institutions had been confiscated.
This was only the beginning. A letter from the Party headquarters for Mainfranken on 24 April 1941 informed the local Party organizers that :
By order of the Gauleiter, I request from you an immediate report on the situation of all monasteries and convents in your area. A short description of each building should include its size, its place in the countryside, and its activities or participation in agricultural work. Very important is an account of the transportation facilties, since the rural setting of many monasteries makes them very suitable for the needs of the Kraft .lurch Freude (Hotels, Rest houses, holiday and sports resorts). Furthermore your report should include the view of the County Party leader on the future use of these buildings. Since the matter is being treated as very urgent on the national level, I am asking for an immediate reply by return of post, in an express and registered letter.
The German bishops and the Roman Curia itself immediately launched a protest. For some time past the Papal Nuncio had almost monthly complained either verbally, by letter, or with a Verbal Note to State Secretary Weizsäcker about similar sequestrations, some of them involving considerable properties. In May 1941 he again protested against the abruptness with which the confiscations had been carried out without prior warning either to himself or to the Church authorities. Weizsäcker’s reply was a curt statement to the effect that the war-time need for housing was so great that further requisitions could be expected. Rome could draw only one conclusion. In a letter to the German Embassy dated January 1942, the Curia protested that because of
the increasing difficulties put in the way of the religious Orders and Congregations in the spiritual, cultural and social field, and above all the suppression of abbeys, monasteries, convents, and religious houses in such great numbers, one is led to infer a deliberate intention of rendering impossible the very existence of the Orders and Congregations in Germany.
In June 1941 Cardinal Bertram again bitterly complained that, ‘at a time when the whole German people were united in a decisive struggle for the future of our country’, the rights of Catholics were disregarded and overridden throughout the land. In the regions of Trier, Kassel, Saxony, Thuringia, Cologne, Aachen, and Silesia, he stated, church kindergartens had been expropriated, such Catholic insignia as crucifixes and religious paintings had been removed, and teachers and nuns had been expelled. Catholic parents, he averred, were alarmed by these events, which contravened the provisions of the Concordat and served to strengthen the impression ‘that a systematic campaign for the destruction of all that was Christian was now in process’.
Despite the Nazis’ oft-repeated desire not to exacerbate tension between Church and State, restrictions on Church work continued to multiply. On I June 1941, the Church press was totally suppressed for the duration of the war in contrast to the press of the German Faith Movement and the anti-clerical pamphlets of the Ludendorff Publishing House, which continued to be published though on a reduced scale. In April, new regulations for the pastoral care of patients in hospitals were promulgated, whereby priests were prohibited from entering the hospitals unless specifically requested by patients and with the approval of the medical authorities, and Church welfare agencies were replaced by the National Socialist Welfare organization and the Winter Aid Programme. In the same month religious education in Saxony was abolished altogether; the Ministry of Education in Berlin prohibited the use of prayers at school assemblies; and the gradual removal of crucifixes and religious paintings from every school was ordered by the Bavarian Ministry of Education.
On Bormann’s instructions, every pastor who resigned his office and, preferably withdrew from the Church, was to be offered a government job; and Hitler himself ordered that any Jesuits serving in the Army were to be declared unfit for service and released. Anti-clerical propaganda was stepped up in an attempt to alienate the sympathy of the laity from their clerical leaders, and anti-church literature denigrating the sacraments was handed out free of charge. On 12 June the Gauleiter of Baden, Robert Wagner, announced to an enthusiastic audience of Party followers in the Festival Hall in Karlsruhe that
when our foreign foes lie at our feet, then we will tackle the foes at home; there are still some running around the country in purple and ermine.
President of National Teachers’ Union Cites Holocaust in Comments on Trump
The president of one of the nation’s largest teachers’ union cited the Holocaust in comments she made about President-elect Donald Trump while speaking at an LGBT event in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.“After what happened in the 1930s and ’40s, we used to have a saying called ‘never again,’” Randi Weingarten, president of American Federation of Teachers, said in front of an audience, adding:
Never again have some kind of Holocaust, never again. Frankly… that has to mean not never again not just for Jews, but never again for Muslims, never again for our Latino friends and neighbors, never again for our other vulnerable populations, including what are still an LGBTQ population. So when we think about what we’re walking into… Donald Trump is masterful at disruption and division. Disruption and division create discrimination and when we don’t stay together as a collective, as a coalition, then we are open to that kind of discrimination…
Another example of a teacher being put on leave for something similar:
A Bay Area high school teacher was put on paid administrative leave this week after comparing President-elect Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler. (KTLA)
…Much in evidence among such “old-fashioned techniques” now being employed is what’s known as “the Big Lie.” It entails the endless repetition of outrageous falsehoods to defame, and ultimately silence, one’s political opponents.
Three good men Donald Trump has selected for key strategic and national security positions are currently getting the Big Lie treatment: his White House Counsel Steve Bannon, Attorney General-designate Senator Jeff Sessions, and incoming National Security Advisor Lieutenant General Michael Flynn. They are being relentlessly vilified as “racists,” “bigots” and “haters.”
I feel these able public servants’ pain. Indeed, I know what it’s like to be subjected to the Big Lie. For years, the Islamists and their allies on the hard Left – notably, the discredited (for example, here and here) Southern Poverty Law Center – have used character assassination and vitriol against me (for example, here, here and here) to protect what they otherwise cannot defend: the totalitarian program its adherents call Sharia. The false assertion last week that I had been asked to serve on the Trump transition team sent these rogues into fresh paroxysms of hateful denunciation, repeated like a mantra by their media echo chamber (for example, here, here, here and here)….
Walter C. Langer, The Mind of Adolf Hitler: The Secret Wartime Report (New York, NY: Basic Books, 1972), 35-37.
Hitler’s guide is something different entirely. It seems certain that Hitler believes that he has been sent to Germany by Providence and that he has a particular mission to perform. He is probably not clear on the scope of this mission beyond the fact that he has been chosen to redeem the German people and reshape Europe. Just how this is to be accomplished is also rather vague in his mind, but this does not concern him greatly because an “inner voice” communicates to him the steps he is to take. This is the guide that leads him on his course with the precision and security of a sleepwalker.
I carry out the commands that Providence has laid upon me.
No power on earth can shake the German Reich now, Divine Providence has willed it that I carry through the fulfillment of the Germanic task.
But if the voice speaks, then I know the time has come to act.
It is this firm conviction that he has a mission and is under the guidance and protection of Providence that is responsible in large part for the contagious effect he has had on the German people.
Many people believe that this feeling of destiny and mission have come to Hitler through his successes. This is probably false. Later in our study (Part V) we will try to show that Hitler has had this feeling for a great many years although it may not have become a conscious conviction until much later. In any case it was forcing its way into consciousness during the last war and has played a dominant role in his actions ever since. Mend (one of his comrades), for example, reports: “In this connection a strange prophecy comes to mind: Just before Christmas (1915) he commented that we would at sometime hear a lot from him. We had only to wait until his time had come.” Then, too, Hitler has reported several incidents during the war that proved to him that he was under Divine protection. The most startling of these is the following:
I was eating my dinner in a trench with several comrades. Suddenly a voice seemed to be saying to me, “Get up and go over there.” It was so clear and insistent that I obeyed automatically, as if it had been a military order. I rose at once to my feet and walked twenty yards along the trench carrying my dinner in its tin can with me.
Then I sat down to go on eating, my mind being once more at rest. Hardly had I done so when a flash and deafening report came from the part of the trench I had just left. A stray shell had burst over the group in which I had been sitting, and every member of it was killed.
Then, also, there was the vision he had while in hospital at Pasewalk suffering from blindness allegedly caused by gas. “When I was confined to bed, the idea came to me that I would liberate Germany, that I would make it great. I knew immediately that it would be realized.”
These experiences must later have fit in beautifully with the views of the Munich astrologers, and it is possible that, underneath, Hitler felt that if there was any truth in their predictions they probably referred to him.
(See also “The Secret Wartime Report on the Mind of Hitler.”) While reading another book, I came across some smaller excerpts, of which I include slightly larger swaths of (getting a used edition of the 1940 book, The Voice of Destruction, it has to do with an expansion of how Hitler viewed the Church as well as what could be understood as demonic episodes:
Our nocturnal conversation arose out of our anxieties regarding such a development. The two Bavarian Gauleiter, Streicher of Franconia and Wagner of Munich, had brought us the tale. It was Streicher who gave Hitler his cue in the conversation. I had not listened to the beginning of it and became attentive only when I heard Hitler’s voice behind me getting louder.
“The religions are all alike, no matter what they call themselves. They have no future—certainly none for the Germans. Fascism, if it likes, may come to terms with the Church. So shall I. Why not? That will not prevent me from tearing up Christianity root and branch, and annihilating it in Germany. The Italians are naïve; they’re quite capable of being heathens and Christians at the same time. The Italians and the French are essentially heathens. Their Christianity is only skin-deep. But the German is different. He is serious in everything he undertakes. He wants to be either a Christian or a heathen. He cannot be both. Besides, Mussolini will never make heroes of his Fascists. It doesn’t matter there whether they’re Christians or heathens. But for our people it is decisive whether they acknowledge the Jewish Christ-creed with its effeminate pity-ethics, or a strong, heroic belief in God in Nature, God in our own people, in our destiny, in our blood.”
After a pause, he resumed:
“Leave the hair-splitting to others. Whether it’s the Old Testament or the New, or simply the sayings of Jesus, according to Houston Stewart Chamberlain—it’s all the same old Jewish swindle. It will not make us free. A German Church, a German Christianity, is distortion. One is either a German or a Christian. You cannot be both. You can throw the epileptic Paul out of Christianity—others have done so before us. You can make Christ into a noble human being, and deny his divinity and his role as a savior. People have been doing it for centuries. I believe there are such Christians today in England and America—Unitarians they call themselves, or something like that. It’s no use, you cannot get rid of the mentality behind it. We don’t want people who keep one eye on the life in the hereafter. We need free men who feel and know that God is in themselves.”
Streicher or Goebbels made some remark which I did not catch—a question perhaps.
“You can’t make an Aryan of Jesus, that’s nonsense,” Hitler went on. “What Chamberlain wrote in his Principles is, to say the least, stupid. What’s to be done, you say? I will tell you: we must prevent the churches from doing anything but what they are doing now, that is, losing ground day by day. Do you really believe the masses will ever be Christian again? Nonsense! Never again. That tale is finished. No one will listen to it again. But we can hasten matters. The parsons will be made to dig their own graves. They will betray their God to us. They will betray anything for the sake of their miserable little jobs and incomes.
“What we can do? Just what the Catholic Church did when it forced its beliefs on the heathen: preserve what can be preserved, and change its meaning. We shall take the road back: Easter is no longer resurrection, but the eternal renewal of our people. Christmas is the birth of our savior: the spirit of heroism and the freedom of our people. Do you think these liberal priests, who have no longer a belief, only an office, will refuse to preach our God in their churches? I can guarantee that, just as they have made Haeckel and Darwin, Goethe and Stefan George the prophets of their Christianity, so they will replace the cross with our swastika. Instead of worshiping the blood of their quondam savior, they will worship the pure blood of our people. They will receive the fruits of the German soil as a divine gift, and will eat it as a symbol of the eternal communion of the people, as they have hitherto eaten of the body of their God. And when we have reached that point, Streicher, the churches will be crowded again. If we wish it, then it will be so—when it is our religion that is preached there. We need not hurry the process.”
I cannot judge whether Hitler is near madness in the clinical sense. My own experience of him and what I have learned from others indicate a lack of control amounting to total demoralization. His shrieking and frenzied shouting, his stamping, his tempests of rage—all this was grotesque and unpleasant, but it was not madness. When a grown-up man lashes out against the walls like a horse in its stall, or throws himself on the ground his conduct may be morbid, but it is more certainly rude and undisciplined.
Hitler, however, has states that approach persecution mania and dual personality. His sleeplessness is more than the mere result of excessive nervous strain. He often wakes up in the middle of the night and wanders restlessly to and fro. Then he must have light everywhere. Lately he has sent at these times for young men who have to keep him company during his hours of manifest anguish. At times these conditions must have become dreadful. A man in the closest daily association with him gave me this account: Hitler wakes at night with convulsive shrieks. He shouts for help. He sits on the edge of his bed, as if unable to stir. He shakes with fear, making the whole bed vibrate. He shouts confused, totally unintelligible phrases. He gasps, as if imagining himself to be suffocating.
My informant described to me in full detail a remarkable scene—I should not have credited the story if it had not come from such a source. Hitler stood swaying in his room, looking wildly about him. “He! He! He’s been here!” he gasped. His lips were blue. Sweat streamed down his face. Suddenly he began to reel off figures, and odd words and broken phrases, entirely devoid of sense. It sounded horrible. He used strangely composed and entirely un-German word-formations. Then he stood quite still, only his lips moving. He was massaged and offered something to drink. Then he suddenly broke out—
“There, there! In the corner! Who’s that?”
He stamped and shrieked in the familiar way. He was shown that there was nothing out of the ordinary in the room, and then he gradually grew calm. After that he lay asleep for many hours, and then for some time things were durable.
There is an instructive parallel—mediums. Most of these are ordinary, undistinguished persons; yet suddenly they acquire gifts that carry them far above the common crowd. These qualities have nothing to do with the medium’s own personality. They are conveyed to him from without. The medium is possessed by them. He, himself, however, is uninfluenced by them. In the same way undeniable powers enter into Hitler, genuinely daemonic powers, which make men his instruments. The common united with the uncom-mon—that is what makes Hitler’s personality so desperate a puzzle to those who come into contact with him. Dostoevsky might well have invented him, with the morbid derangement and the pseudo-creativeness of his hysteria.
I have frequently heard men confess that they are afraid of him, that they, grown men though they are, cannot visit him without a beating heart. They have the feeling that the man will suddenly spring at them and strangle them, or throw the inkpot at them, or do something senseless.
You’ve heard it a hundred times: “TRUMP IS LITERALLY HITLER!” But when you look past the click-bait rhetoric and compare actual policies, it’s obvious the Hillary has far more similarities to the Führer…
Just a quick response to a skeptic elsewhere online…
A person in a group I am a part of posted the following link as a challenge. I focus on number three in my response:
(Site linked in above graphic)
I responded thus…
Already #3 is an issue. Most of what we as a society determine to be truth, especially from ancient documents that discuss history, is not is testable, repeatable, and falsifiable in scientific terms. For instance:
✦ “What are the distinctive sources for our beliefs about the past? Most of the beliefs we have about the past come to us by the testimony of other people. I wasn’t present at the signing of the Declaration of Independence. I didn’t see my father fight in the [S]econd [W]orld [W]ar. I have been told about these events by sources that I take to be reliable. The testimony of others is generally the main source of our beliefs about the past…. So all our beliefs about the past depend on testimony, or memory, or both.” (Philosophy for Dummies, by Tom Morris, pp. 57-58)
✦ “In advanced societies specialization in the gathering and production of knowledge and its wider dissemination through spoken and written testimony is a fundamental socio-epistemic fact, and a very large part of each persons body of knowledge and belief stems from testimony.” (The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, edited by Robert Audi [2nd ed.], p. 909)
✦ “But it is clear that most of what any given individual knows comes from others; palpably with knowledge of history, geography, or science, more subtly with knowledge about every day facts such as when we were born..” (The Oxford Companion to Philosophy, edited by Ted Honderich, p. 869)
An example of this is discussed many years ago by CS Lewis, when he writes:
➤ “what Napoleon did at the battle of Austerlitz by asking Mr. Bonaparte to come and fight it again in a “laboratory with the same combatants, the same terrain, the same weather, and in the same age…. You have to go to the records. We have not, in fact, proved that science excludes miracles: we have only proved that the question of miracles, like the innumerable other questions, excludes laboratory treatment” ~ C. S. Lewis, God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1970), 134.
★ “A page for freethinking, rational skepticism toward the myth of Abraham Lincoln’s existence and the stories attributed to him…. Belief in Abraham Lincoln is the most malevolent of all mind viruses.”
May I also note the lack of anything historically sound in this anti-theist site about Hitler. Their page on Hitler is really bad: “Hitler, atheist or Christian?“. I LOL’ed at the pic of Hitler and Christmas. I bet with a simple google search I can find a Satanist celebrating Christmas. At any rate, I did a final update to a post on my site discussing Hitler and these very subjects: