Catholics demand that atheists apologize for Hitler

I wouldn’t have believed that even somebody as wacko as Catholic League president Bill Donohue would do this if I hadn’t seen it myself.  The Catholic League has just posted a demand that atheists apologize for Hitler. And not just for Hitler:

The pope cited Hitler today, asking everyone to “reflect on the sobering lessons of atheist extremism of the 20th century.” Immediately, the British Humanist Association got its back up, accusing the pope of “a terrible libel against those who do not believe in God.”

The pope did not go far enough. Radical atheists like the British Humanist Association should apologize for Hitler. But they should not stop there. They also need to issue an apology for the 67 million innocent men, women and children murdered under Stalin, and the 77 million innocent Chinese killed by Mao. Hitler, Stalin and Mao were all driven by a radical atheism, a militant and fundamentally dogmatic brand of secular extremism. It was this anti-religious impulse that allowed them to become mass murderers. By contrast, a grand total of 1,394 were killed during the 250 years of the Inquisition, most all of whom were murdered by secular authorities.

Why should atheists today apologize for the crimes of others? At one level, it makes no sense: apologies should only be given by the guilty. But on the other hand, since the fanatically anti-Catholic secularists in Britain, and elsewhere, demand that the pope—who is entirely innocent of any misconduct—apologize for the sins of others, let the atheists take some of their own medicine and start apologizing for all the crimes committed in their name. It might prove alembic.

(Alembic? That’s a still used by alchemists, not, as far as I know, an adjective.)  I’m not going to explain how the murderous agenda of people like Hitler wasn’t driven by atheism; that’s been noted by many others (see the list of Hitler’s religious statements that P.Z. Myers put up today). Nor will I discuss how Nazi oppression was largely directed at a religious minority.  I just want to note that this kind of demonization of atheists and gross stupidity is promulgated by a mainstream religious organization.  Ratzi, Donohue and all their minions are slowly starting to realize that Catholicism is just not on in the modern world, and, like a cornered cat, they lash out with Hitler analogies.

h/t: Miranda Hale

100 Comments

  1. Hempenstein
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Here you have it on their own audio track – elimination of undesirables is justified by natural law, according to THE CREATOR (start @ 3:58:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Js2paBSknb0

    • stvs
      Posted September 17, 2010 at 10:59 am | Permalink
  2. MosesZD
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Wow. That’s some seriously made up shit.

    But then it is the Catholic League, so what do you expect.

  3. bigjohn756
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    I think that these poor people must be seriously worried to be blowing this much smoke.

  4. Jonn Mero
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Guess the RCC are so used to twisting facts, lying, and to mete out abuse of all kinds, that they are not quite aware of their own inanity. Very few ratbags are aware that they are ratbags, and that is very clear when seeing the catlick clergy.

  5. Sigmund
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    Oh well, as a famous German catholic once said: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it”.

  6. Dominic
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    How dare he?!!! I am getting out my secular matches to light a fire under that – forgive my language – twat Bill Donohue. What an arrogant fool. My only hope is that there are plenty of reasonable people on the margins of religion who will be equally angered by him & flee the church.

  7. Steven Carr
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    I am not demanding an apology from paedophile priests.

    I want them to go to jail for their crimes.

  8. Steven Carr
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Atheism is simply a lack of belief in god, like being sober is a lack of alcohol.

    I think drink drivers should apologise for any car accidents they were involved in as soon as sober drivers apologise for the far greater number of car accidents that they cause.

  9. daveau
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    The Crazy is strong in this one.

  10. Kevin
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    shakes head, looks forlorn, places hand on shoulder of kneeling man

    “Forget it Jake. It’s Catholicism.”

    The only power Donohue has is his ability to generate press and/or our ire.

    Ignore the baby-raping-enabling bastard. I usually ignore people who enable baby rapists. I see no reason to pay attention to this one.

    The worse punishment Donohue can possibly face is irrelevance.

  11. Posted September 17, 2010 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    Donohue yet again manages to do the impossible: lower my opinion of him.

  12. Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Paula Kirby offers a reasonable explanation (HT Richard Dawkins Foundation:

    “This is an urgent message to anyone planning to take part in ‘Protest the Pope’ events over the next couple of days.

    I have been thinking about those extraordinary remarks suggesting that atheism was the key factor in Nazism. It was no random insult, nor was it simply a sign of rambling insanity. The pope is an intellectual, a politician, a man who knows exactly what he is doing with the words he uses.

    My conclusion is that the Nazi remarks were a deliberate attempt to deflect the anticipated protests about the scandal of the child sex abuse cover-ups in the RCC. …

    So if you’re planning to be present at one of the protests, PLEASE don’t play into his hands. Of course we are all outraged and disgusted at what Ratzinger said today, but if I am right, that was exactly what he intended us to be. If the protests during the rest of his tour focus on his comments about Nazis and valueless secularists, rather than the issue he fears most, then he will be chortling all the way back to the Vatican on Sunday. The Vatican and the UK government are desperate to stop people protesting about child abuse during this visit. It would be a terrible shame if their ruse worked.”

    Also, on “alembic”: “The word “alembic” has taken on a metaphorical meaning, anything that refines or transmutes, as if by distillation (as in “the alembic of creative thought”). … In Shakespeare’s plays the older variant “limbeck” appears.” [Wikipedia]

    • Darrell E
      Posted September 17, 2010 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      It may be that Paula’s assessment is in general correct. And, even if Palpatine is not purposely attempting to deflect protesters from those issues he fears most, I would still agree that it would be better to not get sidetracked by his most recent comments, and stay on target.

      But, I disagree with this.

      “The pope is an intellectual, a politician, a man who knows exactly what he is doing with the words he uses.” (emphasis mine)

      The pope is, at best, a very poor intellectual. Except, perhaps, in the context of the teachings of the RCC.

      Likewise, I have exactly the opposite impression that Paula does regarding the part of her quote that I italicized. This pope seems to be particularly clueless and seems to constantly shove both feet in his mouth. And then upchuck ludicrous redefinitions of his original comments after he is surprised at how negatively they are received. Though he may have a certain amount of animal cunning, he really appears to be a rather stupid man.

      • Posted September 17, 2010 at 11:15 am | Permalink

        Oh, he seems to be quite popular as a theologian these days, at least in RCC circles. The Benedictine monastery near me publishes his theological books — which have of course become quite popular now that’s he’s pope.

        He’s no dummy, except morally.

      • Ken Pidcock
        Posted September 17, 2010 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

        Being an intellectual does not entail being honest. I assume that everyone here understands that.

    • Thelonious Cube
      Posted September 17, 2010 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

      Alembic – the metaphorical use is pretty common and quite correct, but it’s still a noun, not an adjective.

      Had Donohue said “[An apology] might prove an alembic for their souls” it would make sense.

      He appears to be overreaching his own vocabulary trying to look smart.

      • Torbjörn Larsson, OM
        Posted September 17, 2010 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

        Thanks! I suspected that after posting, but I don’t do grammar.

        Had the “monkey see, monkey do” thing engraved in the brain before anyone cared to mention that there is a another, and exceedingly more confusing, way. I stand witness to that you can cheat language education. (And so do many dyslexics, of course.)

        Pushing grammar on an evolving structure must be like inventing ethics to “explain” morals. Sure there are rough functionalities, but woe for the details. :-D

  13. Jack van Beverningk
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    “The pope did not go far enough”

    Typical case of someone trying to be “holier than the pope”.
    (read: ‘stupider’)

    And, by the way, MY cats, even when cornered, NEVER lash out with Hitler analogies. I resent that suggestion!

  14. Tuomas
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Very well made point from Paula Kirby.

    Also, Hitler interwove a lot of his political ideas with religion. A lot of the exact same rhetoric was used by Hitler as is favored by current religious rightwingers.

  15. Jack van Beverningk
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    “that the pope—who is entirely innocent of any misconduct—apologize for the sins of others”

    Bill Donohue appears to have a HUGE problem with that idea.
    He then probably also had a problem with a fairly recent apology of the Japanese government for WWII crimes.

    But the REALLY odd thing is that this same man is in total awe of a guy, who supposedly, not only apologized for the sins of others, but even DIED for them, even though the vast majority of those sinners had yet to be born!

    Apologizing for Hitler? How about the pope apologizing for Bill Donohue?

    • Kevin
      Posted September 17, 2010 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      And, of course, the pope was DIRECTLY complicit in protecting baby rapists.

      So. Donohue is not only wrong, but wrong.

  16. Kirth Gersen
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Am I confused, or was Ratzinger himself not a former Hitler Jugend?

    • Jacobus van Beverningk
      Posted September 17, 2010 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      Yes, but he was FORCED (*something in my right eye!*) into it.

  17. Neil
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    Besides the fact that Hitler was not an atheist, have they forgotten the Nazi-Vatican Concordat wherein the church agreed to look the other way to the nazi predations provided it could indoctrinate catholicism in germany’s youth in the schools?

    Stalin, an atheist as an adult (if you don’t count Marxism as a form of religion), trained for the priesthood, and a catholic order admits “give me the child at seven and I will give you the man”, so he’s theirs too.

    • Darrell E
      Posted September 17, 2010 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      The main driving force behind Stalin’s behavior is that he was insane. Simple as that. Even a brief look at any legitimate history of Stalin, and his serious personality disorders leap right out at you.

      • Mike from Ottawa
        Posted September 17, 2010 at 11:11 am | Permalink

        Stalin may have been insane (particularly at the end) but his actions were not without an internal logic (albeit one of monstrous lack of empathy) and were not outside the methods of the ‘vanguard Party’ concept. It’s not like Lenin and Trotsky had been soft on enemies of the Party and the State. Ruthlessness on a huge scale went with the Bolshevik program.

        To try to explain away Stalin’s evils as merely being a matter of his insanity is to ape those apologists who try to explain away the evils of the Third Reich on the basis that Hitler was insane.

        • Darrell E
          Posted September 17, 2010 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

          I did not try to explain away anything. And I never suggested that there is anything “merely” about Stalin’s reign. I have simply said that Stalin’s paranoia (in the clinical sense) was one of the main drivers of his behavior.

          From the content and tone of your comment it sounds like you consider yourself somewhat familiar with the history in question. If that is so, I don’t see how you could fault that observation since it has been made by most all historians that have studied Stalin.

          It also sounds like you are at least partially emotionally motivated, and that you are presuming to know what I do, and what I should, “feel” about Stalin.

      • Posted September 17, 2010 at 11:22 am | Permalink

        He was insane like a fox.

        His purges were actually very smart, and they kept him in power a long time. He would abide no one who could possibly challenge him. His main error was purging the army of competent officers just before he (well, the USSR) really needed them.

        I used to live in the “House on the Embankment”, across from the Kremlin, and I knew a few folks who survived the purges of the 1930’s (though some of their family members did not).

        • frank sellout
          Posted September 17, 2010 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

          I would think that Stalin definately had mental issues but a madman simply does not waltz into power. It was Lenin and Trotsky and the Bolshevik Party who created the conditions that allowed Stalin to come to power. It was their concentation of power into lesser and lesser hands as the Revolution progressed. Stalin could easily have died during the civil war of the early 1920’s and the results would have been similiar- a lot of dead people, only the dictator’s name would been Bukarin or Zinoviev or even a relucatant Trostsky, either way Russia was moving inevitably towards a dictatorship.

          I wish people would stop equating history with individuals and more with prevalent conditions and movements. It makes it a lot easier to understand why someone like Stalin or Hitler was able to achieve the imfamy that they did. They were both the products of their societies.

          It takes two to tango but a nation to committ an atrocity.

          • Torbjörn Larsson, OM
            Posted September 17, 2010 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

            And a religion to cheer them on!

  18. Posted September 17, 2010 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    But on the other hand, since the fanatically anti-Catholic secularists in Britain, and elsewhere, demand that the pope—who is entirely innocent of any misconduct—apologize for the sins of others, let the atheists take some of their own medicine and start apologizing for all the crimes committed in their name.

    It’s true. When Hitler started imprisoning and killing Jews, instead of reporting it to the civil authorities, the atheist hierarchy intimidated the victims into keeping quiet and instead shuffled Hitler from country to country, where he was able to imprison and kill Jews again and again.

    And don’t think the conspiracy didn’t extend all the way up the ranks. The atheist pope, Richard Dawkins, has said he had nothing to do with it. But in his then-position as the head of Congregation for the Doctrine of the Not Having Faith, he was actually in charge of enforcing atheist canonical law all over the world. It is said that in this position Dawkins was a notorious micro-manager, demanding that every salient document cross his desk. He had to have been aware that Hitler was killing Jews, and that his victims were being silenced and Hitler protected from civil prosecution. There is some evidence that Pope Dawkins may have been personally responsible for enacting this policy.

    That is why the atheist leadership is refusing to hand over any of their documentation regarding the Jew abuse scandal. They know it will implicate Pope Dawkins, and they can’t have that.

    Donohue is right. The situation with Ratzinger and child rape is exactly the same as for atheists and Hitler. We should all apologize.

    Oh wait, that was really fucking stupid.

    • Darrell E
      Posted September 17, 2010 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      “Oh wait, that was really fucking stupid.”

      I bet you felt you should tack that on the end just in case. But, I really think your comment would be better without it. If someone is obtuse enough to not realize that you were engaging in parody, well, that is half the fun of doing so.

      • Torbjörn Larsson, OM
        Posted September 17, 2010 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

        So, don’t go off half-dicked!?

        • Darrell E
          Posted September 17, 2010 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

          Hah!

  19. gatr
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    If Hitler was driven by a radical atheist agenda he might as well have started killing the christians. Clearly he did not do that. WHY? And what about the Italians who joined Hitler – there were in no hurry to give up their religion, I am sure.

    • Mike from Ottawa
      Posted September 17, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

      Why didn’t Hitler start off killing the Christians? He had a very visceral hatred of Jews that made them among his first targets. They were also easy targets in a Germany where anti-semitism already ran strongly in conservative and military circles (see Wolfram Wette’s ‘The Wehrmacth: History, Myth, Reality’). Christians on the other hand made up most of the German people. That said, Hitler’s failure to attack the churches, as distinct from their members themselves, was a matter of timing not disinclination. Goebbels, usually ahead of Hitler in Nazi radicalism, wanted to go after the churches when they had protested against the euthanasia program that was started. Hitler refused on the basis that ‘now was not the time’, the war and the extermination of the Jews had priority with the destruction of the churches to be a post-war project.

      Incidentally, “the Italians” didn’t join Hitler in the sense of adopting the Nazi mindset and virulent anti-semitic program. Mussolini’s fascism was a much different beast. For instance, it was a matter of considerable frustration to the Germans that the Italians showed little interest in persecuting the Jews of Italy, who the Italians simply regarded as Italians who were Jewish. The Italians also generally refused to persecute Jews in areas under Italian occupation, such as parts of Yugoslavia, Greece and North Africa. This came as a shock to German soldiers exposed to the Italians in, say Libya, treating the Jews there as they would any Italian or German. The Italian military generally considered the Germans’ persecution of the Jews as boorish and unworthy of civilized men. Of course that ended when Italy went over to the Allies whereupon the Germans occupied Italy and the territories under Italian occupation, which was a disaster for Jews in Italy, Greece and Italian occupied areas of Yugoslavia.

      • Tom M
        Posted September 17, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

        The Catholic and Protestant French more than made up for the Italians’ lack of elan in turning out their Jewish population, including from the unoccupied territory.
        So, on a Western European basis, it kind of evens out.

      • gatr
        Posted September 17, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

        Mike from Ottawa:

        ” Hitler refused on the basis that ‘now was not the time’, the war and the extermination of the Jews had priority with the destruction of the churches to be a post-war project”

        If the majority of germans were christian, then you cant really get them to turn on themselves. But did he want to go after the churches because they opposed some of his propaganda or because he wanted to deconstruct the institution, and religion?

  20. Dominic
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Now Ratzinger says, according to the Guardian, of the human and natural sciences that “They cannot satisfy the deepest longings of the human heart, they cannot fully explain to us our origin and our destiny, why and for what purpose we exist, nor indeed can they provide us with an exhaustive answer to the question ‘Why is there something rather than nothing?'”

    Well clearly he has not been paying attention. He wants to be the plaything of his god. ‘We are all like flies in God’s eyes’. Drosophila?!

    • Darrell E
      Posted September 17, 2010 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      See? No signs of an intellectual there. Those are the same tired old stale talking points that theists have been spouting for centuries.

    • Kevin
      Posted September 17, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

      I said this just the other day, but I think it bears repeating.

      Organized religion in one form or another has been around for 3500+ years or more. Catholocism about 1700 or so (if you count the Council of Nicea ca. 325 ACE as the “start”).

      And for all that time, religion has claimed that it CAN answer the “large questions”. So, why hasn’t it? Why hasn’t it answered even ONE of those questions?

      In fact, for the past 500 years or so, religion has been aided in its quest to answer the “larger questions” by science. Because each and every year, science has taken away a question the religion thought it had to answer, but turned out it didn’t.

      * Why is the sun hot? Science.
      * Why is the moon cool? Science.
      * What causes earthquakes? Science.
      * What causes floods? Science.
      * What causes disease? Science.
      * How did humans get here? Science.
      * When did the universe start? Science.
      * How did the elements form? Science.

      So, tell me please, after all that assistance from science, where is religion’s contribution? What question has been definitively answered by religion?

      * Origins of the universe? Nope, merely an unsupported assertion. (And that’s a science question, anyway, but we’ll let it go for now.)
      * Our destiny? Nope, merely quite a number of unsupported assertions, depending on which religion you talk to. (And a science question to boot, FWIW).
      * For what purpose we exist? Ha! Talk about a multiplicity of assertions, all unsupported by evidence (nor logic or reason). And…you guessed it, a science question as well.
      * Why is there something rather than nothing? Well…we’re waiting. You say religion can’t provide an “exhaustive” answer to this question. (Probably because the complete, exhaustive answer truly is “because nothing is unstable.”) So, go ahead. Dazzle us. Answer the question, religion.

      After 3500 years of waiting, I think we’re entitled to some answers. Especially since we’ve been tithing all that time. I want some return on our investment in religion.

      Put up or shut the fuck up.

      • Kevin
        Posted September 17, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

        Proofreading is your friend…I meant to say “science” in the sentence

        You say religion can’t provide an “exhaustive” answer to this question.

        Religion claims science can’t “exhaustively” answer the question. Well? We’re waiting. What’s YOUR answer?

        Yeah, I thought not.

      • Torbjörn Larsson, OM
        Posted September 17, 2010 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

        “Catholocism”.

        Make that “catholecism” and we can have fun with the implications.

        “because nothing is unstable.”

        Btw, you made me realize that not only does Stenger propose that hypothesis, but Hawking’s recent theory that Ratzinger conveniently takes no notice of sort of say the same thing. Apparently Hawking includes the empty state in the distribution for the wavefunction of the universe, and then uncertainty makes fluctuations of the universe zero energy system instantiate non-empty states eventually (actually explore all of phase space).

        So there are several physicists on board with that hypothesis.

      • Posted September 20, 2010 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

        For Kevin et. al.,

        First up I still have difficulty with this ROI vis-a-vie religion. It is a neo-trumped-up pop culture warrior mantra. But what does any of it mean? If you folks were out here reading this you’d be something along the lines of; these kinds of responses and comments assist my ugly understanding of atheism. In short – what does it all mean? Any individual in their right mind could easily take any one of those Religion v. Science questions and taking them one step further could be doing the same albeit from the other perspective.

        How you answer those questions makes assumptions that to me, are always embarrassing to you and the rest of humankind. In all of your glory you (as well as others) make the assumption that human beings just enter the world with highly sophisticated brains and we know that isn’t the case.

        Your rhetoric regarding 3500 years of religion and tithing is outright preposterous! You write here with the arrogance of humankind; yet, your reasoning, logical deduction, and facts are just not present.

        Where’s the return on my investment in religion is as infantile as every one of these others going on about Hitler – what are we learning, what do we expect to learn, and where is the material for learning going to come from?

        jps

  21. Posted September 17, 2010 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    At best, Ratzinger has shielded from criminal prosecution numerous violent serial child rapists — child rapists who were his own subordinates. In any legal system I’m aware of, such action would result in lifetime imprisonment. This ignores, of course, the mind-blowingly shockingly abhorrently evil nature of Ratzinger’s actions.

    Add in Ratzinger’s tireless efforts to ensure the greatest possible devastation misery amongst dark-skinned people in Africa resulting from the AIDS crisis and it becomes patently obvious why young Ratzinger signed up as a Hitler Youth: the man is a full-fledged Nazi and an enemy of all humanity.

    So, of course he will use every Goebbels-inspired rhetorical trick in the book to ensure he can continue to perpetuate his evil designs. What else did y’all expect?

    Cheers,

    b&

    • Posted September 17, 2010 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      Indeed, although we have a more natural revulsion to the cover-up of child rape, the Catholic church’s biggest crime in the recent past has been (and continues to be) the de facto genocide they are committing in Africa.

      Yes, I said genocide. I explain my reasoning here. In a nutshell, they are engaging in a policy that they know will result in hundreds of thousands of deaths, disproportionately affecting Africans. That fits the definition in my book.

      • Darrell E
        Posted September 17, 2010 at 10:59 am | Permalink

        But at least they are saving their souls.

    • Mike from Ottawa
      Posted September 17, 2010 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      “In any legal system I’m aware of, such action would result in lifetime imprisonment.”

      I feel safe in saying you’re not actually aware of any legal system beyond merely being aware of its existence. People who are actually aware not only of the existence of legal systems but of their workings do not all share your belief. In the USA, which leads the world in enthusiasm for imprisoning people (on both absolute and per capita basis) there don’t seem to have been many (any?) US bishops jailed for their roles as such in the coverup and shuffling about of pedophile priests. None of those bishops can shelter behind sovereign immunity.

      As much as you enjoy giving vent to your feelings, they are no guide to the legal realities. It does make a nice analogy with the execrable Bill Donohue, as it demonstrates that witless rhetoric riding on the winds of outrage is a human thing, not something known only among the religious.

  22. NewEnglandBob
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    We all know that Bill Donohue is a lying sack of fecal spew. Someone should teach him a lesson about his “innocent” Pope Nazi Ratzi and the shenanigans of Pope Pius who was complicit with Hitler. (see Greg Laden’s blog posts and Pharyngula)

    • Darrell E
      Posted September 17, 2010 at 11:11 am | Permalink

      When I see or hear the name Bill Donohue the first thing that pops into my head is the most awesome comment made by Christopher Hitchens on national TV regarding another, then recently dead, despicable theist parasite.

      “If you gave Falwell (Donohue) an enema, you could bury him in a matchbox.”

      Or something like that.

      • Kevin
        Posted September 17, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

        Marvelous. My laugh of the day.

        Thanks! I needed that.

      • Ken Pidcock
        Posted September 17, 2010 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

        I’ve always stood ready to concede to accommodationists’ otherwise unsupportable claim that NAs routinely engage in vicious invective Christopher Hitchens’s commentary on Falwell’s death. That was a nasty piece of business, however welcome.

  23. Robert
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    What do i know about a person, when all the information I possess about him is: “He is a theist.”

    Do I know anything about his political position? About his values and morals? About his stance toward homosexuality, toward other faiths, toward atheists? What is his agenda, his intention, what laws does he follow?

    The simple answer is: I have no idea.

    “Theism” includes judaism, christianity, islam and hinduism. Someone who believes in Zeus is a theist, as is one who believes in Bhaal, in Wotan or Ra. Anyone who believes in at least one god is a theist, no matter if his faith is share by one hundred or one hundred millions, or if he is the last ( or first ) to believe in this particular god.

    As a consequence, “theist” does not contain enough information to tell you more about a person than “he believes in at least one god”.

    Why do I bother to point that out?
    Because “atheism” is just as vague and diverse as “theism”. Accusing atheists of that which other atheists ( or alleged atheists ) did, is not comparable to accusing the head of catholicism of the actions of catholic priests.
    Rather, it would compare to accusing pope Benedict XIV of everything done in the name of any god, be it Jahwe, Quetzalcoatl or Khorne.

    In other words, it would simply be ludicrous.

    “Atheism” is no ideology. Neither is “theism”, although there are both atheist and theist ideologies.

    So when someone lumps together different ideologies because they`re “all atheist”, I’m sure he’ll happily agree when I say the pope cuts people’s heart out with a sacrifical knife in the name of Huitzilopochltli, because that’s what other theists did.

    • Posted September 17, 2010 at 11:50 am | Permalink

      Good explanation and analogy.

  24. Posted September 17, 2010 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Alembic is also a guitar and bass company, often featuring cocobolo tops and were the preferred instrument of Jerry Garcia.

    • daveau
      Posted September 17, 2010 at 11:54 am | Permalink

      I always liked their active electronics. I miss my stratoblaster.

  25. frank sellout
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Poeple act like Hitler did it all himself. It was German’s who committed the atrocities of W.W.II. How many people did Hitler kill with his own hands? I never heard of any but if he did it wasn’t many. It was the majority of Germans that committed these crimes against humanity.

    Now how many of these Nazi’s were athiests? How many families that the Pope knew when he in the Nazi Youth were athiests? Very few or none I bet. The German’s who killed 6 millions Jews were his family, his family’s friends and his community. He knows that, he was there! The Pope blames Hitler and he never says Germans. It takes a lot more than one man to make a Holocaust and the phrase: “I was only following orders.” didn’t work in Nurmenburg in 1947 and it doesn’t work now.

    Let’s put the blame where it really belongs here. To think that the New Athiests have anything in common with Nazi’s is insane!

    • Kevin
      Posted September 17, 2010 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      Do you know that the official motto of the Lutheran church is “God With Us”?

      And do you know that the German translation of that is “Gott Mit Uns”?

      And did you know that on the belt buckle of every single German soldier in WWII, there appeared a slogan?

      And that slogan was, “Gott Mit Uns”?

      I have to say it still brings me up quite short every time I see a Lutheran in their mini van with that slogan on a bumper sticker. You’d think they would have ditched it in favor of something else by now.

      But, of course, they’ll just say that all of those belt buckles were “no true Lutheran belt buckles”. That they were really atheist belt buckles. … or something.

    • Torbjörn Larsson, OM
      Posted September 17, 2010 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

      Not that it counts but Hitler killed himself.

  26. Tom Hall
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Many athiests served fighting the nazis, My father and several uncles included. My ex partners father, a secular jew also served. These guys saw many family, friends and comrades killed in action or murdered, they then spent the rest of their lives with these memories. To rewrite history in this way sullies their reputation and there are no words capable of describing the disgust I feel for these people and catholic church. If you google HMS Swift destroyer you will see a photo of the Swift shortly after hitting a mine. One of my uncles, Ken Jones is in one of the life boats and that was the second time he survived being sunk by the nazis.

  27. Posted September 17, 2010 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    Judging by todays news, it appears that the pope actual danger comes from other believers. From the Torygraph:

    “Five suspected Islamist terrorists arrested over assassination plot”

    But of course the real evil of unbelief continues to hack at the Godly roots of society, what all its ungodly science, reason, human rights, free love, medicine, dirt-free food, etc.

  28. Andy
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    Richard’s locution “incandescent with rage” is perfect for what I feel when I read Donohue’s remarks.

    Hitler was an atheist. Atheism was what inspired the atrocities of Pol Pot, Stalin, and Mao. These are fictions, absolute fictions. In order to conclude that atheism was chiefly what compelled Stalin to slaughter his millions, one must engage in a reading of history that is so myopic it can only be described as “hallucinatory.” And you know what? As ruthless and bloodthirsty and murderous as Papa Joe was, there’s no evidence he ever gave shelter to an army of child rapists. Only Mr. Donohue’s organization does that.

    • Jolo
      Posted September 17, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      These are fictions, absolute fictions. In order to conclude that atheism was chiefly what compelled Stalin to slaughter his millions, one must engage in a reading of history that is so myopic it can only be described as “hallucinatory.”

      So you just described Donohue…

      • Tom Hall
        Posted September 17, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

        Stalin also stated his admiration for the Russian orthodox church and its manipulation of the people. I think i`d describe Donohue simply as scum!

  29. The Gorilla Atheist
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Unbelievable. The balls on these guys. Oh, no, it wasn’t us… just look at a Texas textbook… see… it was the unbelievers who committed all the great atrocities of old… oh, and let’s throw in the Atheist Inquisition…

    That’s it… I am going full bore from here on in… – The Gorilla Atheist

    • Kevin
      Posted September 17, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

      Nobody expects the Atheist Inquisition!!!

      Of course, it doesn’t actually torture people…unless you call “talking to them” torture.

      • Torbjörn Larsson, OM
        Posted September 17, 2010 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

        Apparently having to listen to criticism is theist torture.

  30. Steven Carr
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Why should Catholics vote for Hitler?

    This poster explains all.

    http://www.secularism.org.uk/hitlers-election-poster-uses-the.html

    1. the Faith is protected,

    2. peace with the Church is assured,

    3. public morality is preserved,

    4. Sunday is hallowed,

    5. Catholic schools are maintained,

    6. the Catholic conscience is no longer burdened,

    7. a Catholic has equal rights before the law and in the life of the nation,

    8. Catholic organisations and associations, insofar as they exclusively serve religious, charitable and cultural purposes, can operate freely.

  31. mike m
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    People that have something to make amends for and can’t admit it do a lot of finger pointing.

  32. MadScientist
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    “… like a cornered cat, they lash out with Hitler analogies.”

    I’ve never known a cat to do this; admittedly I’ve only ever had one pet cat and only looked after a few dozen cats for others, but none ever mentioned Hitler.

    The religious leaders are obviously so deluded that they believe there is a central godless agency much like the catlick church and Scientologists have main offices. It’s also a convenient ploy to attack the godless and make false accusations rather than address old issues such as pope Pius’ collusion with the Axis. Oh no – in fact catlick historical revision books far outnumber books which deal with the fact of the pope’s collusion. The revisionist texts are so predictable – “many catlicks defied the fascists and were murdered for helping the Jews, therefore the pope actually helped the Jews”. They then go on to pick out a handful of events to support their claims and ignore the towering mountain of evidence against their claims.

    Oh, and then there’s the fact that the church is still covering up for priests who rape children. But that’s all forgotten and forgiven when the sheep are reminded that the godless have an agenda to conquer the world and murder people by the millions.

  33. Juha Savolainen
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    It is true that Nazis, by and large, had a hostile attitude towards the Catholics and the Catholic Church because the Catholic Church was seen as insufficiently nationalist and racist. But not for any lack of effort from the Catholic side as high-ranking members of the Catholic hierarchy were known as anti-Semites and highly nationalist. Indeed, the Catholic Church recognized in Nazis a powerful ally against all offshoots of Enlightenment, whether liberalism, socialism, communism etc.
    Still, the hard core of “Christian Nazis” consisted mostly of offshoots of German Protestantism and they played a vital role in the establishment the Third Reich.

    The statistics give us the key to the real story:” The overwhelming majority of Germans remained baptized, tax-paying members of the official Christian Churches throughout the 12 years of nazi rule. In hindsight, it may seem impossible to reconcile the vicious hatreds of nazism with Christianity’s injunction to ‘turn the other cheek’ or to square the circle of Nazi antisemitism with Christianity’s obvious origins in Judaism. But the vast majority of Germans — over 95 per cent by the last count in 1939 — evidently had no problem doing so.” [Doris L. Bergen: "Nazism and Christianity: Partners and Rivals? A Response to Richard
    Steigmann-Gall, The Holy Reich. Nazi Conceptions of Christianity
    1919–1945" (Journal of Contemporary History 2007; 42; 25)]

    It could have been different. The Christians of Germany could have responded the way Jehova’s Witnesses did:

    http://www.ushmm.org/education/resource/jehovahs/jehovahsw.php

    But they didn’t. There is simply no way to explain away the disastrous participation of Christian in the rise and lethal efficiency of the Third Reich.

    And Stalin and Mao et al.? Sure, they were “atheists” of sorts, but here we must qualify that description. Unlike fascism and nazism, Marxism was rooted in Enlightenment but its Hegelian aspects helped to “undevelop” originally rationally and scientifically conceived ideas to a new form of pseudo-theology where “Scientific Communism” took the place of Christian Orthodoxy, the Party that of the Church and finally the Great Leader the place of earthly Messiah or Prophet. There is simply no way to reconcile a naturalistic understanding of human beings with the quite extraordinary virtues the Great Leaders were supposed to embody. Indeed, the iconography and linguistic “constitution” of these Leaders is not that of important leaders of secular polities and cultures but that of superhuman creatures of religious communities. Hence the regimes of Stalin, Mao, Kim Il Sung etc. are very bad examples of true atheism, which involves a naturalistic understanding of human beings and their communities at the minimum.

    A much better description of the “Communist States” of Stalin, Mao or Kim Il Sung is to view them as “pseudosecular teleocracies”, comparable to theistic theocracies.

    This is not to deny that also “genuine atheists” can make themselves guilty of bloody murder. Such a denial would be totally dogmatic and lead to silly “immunization strategies”, i.e. using unwanted phenomena as a criterion to deny the example under discussion membership in “atheism” that would be necessarily virtuous by arbitrary decision.

    But real similarities and differences must be respected. The systems of Stalin, Mao and Kim Il Sung cannot be rationally called as witnesses to defend the Catholic Church against its critics. But they will because any misleading story and half-truth will serve fine for the Catholic Church when the stakes are high.

    • Torbjörn Larsson, OM
      Posted September 17, 2010 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

      “Scientific Communism”

      I once got hold of a text of “communistic science” (Lenin’s, IIRC) which was very illuminating.

      When I first met ID it reminded me much of that: seeking patterns that “confirm” the idea, such as dualism (positive and negative numbers and charges, of course!) and thesis-antithesis-synthesis (neutral atom from positive and negative elementary particles). Communists had their “hegelian design” and creationists have their “divine design”.

  34. Posted September 17, 2010 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    “who is entirely innocent of any misconduct”
    Bill Donohue is demonstrating that he thinks protecting and enabling child rapists is not misconduct.

  35. Posted September 17, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    To some degree, I can understand the leagues position: It is not reasonable to demand that any individual should apologize (or feel guilty) for something he was not in anyway involved in—and when such demands are raised against Ratzinger (as a private person), they are unfair.

    However, the majority of these demands are of a very different character: That the Pope (as spokesman for and leader of the Catholic Church) apologizes for acts commited by the Church. This is no different from the US President issuing an apology for slavery, or an old German company an apology for participation in the Nazi era. (In addition, obviously, taking Ratzinger to charge for things that he has been involved in, would not be a valid cause for complaint.)

    In contrast, there is no corresponding Atheist organisation—not now, not then.

    • Bryan
      Posted September 18, 2010 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

      It is much worse than that for the Pope. When a modern President apologizes for slavery, the apology is symbolic – an apology on behalf of the institution for a historical injustice. By contrast, the Pope had direct, current, executive responsibility for the child rapists, in addition to his symbolic role as head of the institution.

  36. Hitch
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    It was a bad idea for the pope to go down this road. He’s basically inviting people to look back at history closely. What they find there with respect to European fascist movements of the 20-40s is very unflattering for the catholic church.

    And it will actually reveal that Hitler called atheists an enemy to be stamped out.

    Basically Ratzi and other christian apologists (e.g. Dinesh d’Souza) try a very gutsy reversal of historic truth that surely would be great for them if it worked.

  37. Krzysztof
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    Donohue is nuts. But when he says “1394” people were killed by the Inquisition, he’s also intentionally distorting and misleading. First, if one wanted to add in all the deaths during the Crusades and witch ‘trials’ and burnings, you’d have a hard time because of the lack of record-keeping. And even if you did have numbers, you have to take into account the size of the population base, improvements in killing efficiency in the 20th century (who knows how many more people would have died if the Church had the Nazi machine at their disposal?) So it’s not a good argument.

  38. Krzysztof
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    Oh, and also, the Church conveniently handed the miscreants over to the civil authorities, after they had been tried in ecclesiastical court. They would not dirty their hands with the actual murder, but that doesn’t exonerate them.

  39. Posted September 17, 2010 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    Three words: Gott Mitt Uns

    (Whose belt-buckles were they on again?)

  40. ckitching
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    The pope did not go far enough.

    Quite right. The pope should’ve called for the violent suppression of secularists. After all, we all know they have absolutely no morals, and all the atrocities ever committed throughout all of history have been done by atheists. Once they finish exterminating secularists, maybe they can try with the Jews again. The Bible says they’re bad, too, you know.

  41. Ben Breuer
    Posted September 18, 2010 at 12:51 am | Permalink

    Catholicism (or religion) wasn’t exactly the moving force behind the success [I hate to use the word in this context] of Nazism, but it did not oppose this ill thinking as strenuously as it could have, based on the professed beliefs.

    Fears (some justified, like the economic woes of the early 30s) and especially obedience to authority were the main ills that led to the many individual actions of all Germans in that time.* Arguably the most important authority in the two generations before 1933 was the state, especially in the top-down organization of later Prussian-style monarchy and military. Religion played a role in that one too (Protestant there) but again marginally so, not as central tenet. Michael Haneke’s film “The White Ribbon” gives a fairly good impression of this type of society, I think (haven’t watched it but read several critiques).

    But religion in the Third Reich had a much easier time pooling its powers with the Nazis than opposing them, simply because both were hierarchically organized. (Religion of the varieties practiced at that time and place of course being organized around an authority figure, god.) Those few religiously motivated opponents, pitting the authority of their faith openly against that of the Nazi government got disposed of quickly.

    Atheist or freethinker movements did not really have similar authority structures and thus were (if supportive of the Nazis) a worse match, and perhaps thus less effective contributors to the Nazis’ causes.

    Strangely, Donohue seems to have the perception that atheism is as hierarchically organized as theism, except without the top authority figure. While he’s right on the latter, the hierarchy part does seem to obtain. There are respected figures, sure, but authorities comparable to the premier servants of god in the Christian churches?

    Ratzinger’s remarks are politically understandable but they are not good, and one should hope that a religious authority figure strains to remain good. They aren’t evil either, but they are ill remarks, and non-supernaturally-organized authorities (such as historians) should take him to task for them. And they will.

    *Anecdote incoming:
    My grandmother, in her early twenties during the Third Reich, remembered seeing people from neighboring houses (I assume Jews, homosexuals, socialists, and other undesirables) loaded on trucks and driven away. I’m not sure how aware she then was of the existence of CCs, but it was clear that nothing good was going to happen to the people on the trucks. She remarked to her husband (an officer in the air force) that one ought to help and hide these people from persecution and he agreed, but they did not do it, out of fear. They were Lutheran, and had my mom baptized by a military chaplain, but they were not especially fervent in their belief, certainly not after the war. (Of course, in my grandma’s telling me this story, there may also be more than a dollop of post-hoc rationalization of their inaction.) I just hope that, should I be in the same situation, I will think a bit more strenuously about ways of helping the people on the truck, and then actually have the courage to help them (with my grandma’s anecdote in mind).

    • Ben Breuer
      Posted September 18, 2010 at 12:52 am | Permalink

      Oy. Sorry. I thought I had *deleted* the long post and written the shorter one. Well …

      • Ben Breuer
        Posted September 18, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

        Ack. Late-realized typos:

        “While he is right on the latter, the hierarchy part does not seem to obtain.”

        Changing the meaning, too. Ack. I’m sorry.

  42. Sajani Rajapakse
    Posted September 18, 2010 at 1:15 am | Permalink

    He is an absolute moron and that’s putting it mildly.

  43. Posted September 18, 2010 at 2:30 am | Permalink

    Notes from a young Hitler that show religious origins of his views on race…

    http://www.nobeliefs.com/HitlerBible.htm

    …’nuff said!

  44. Jeff
    Posted September 18, 2010 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    Where the Pope is concerned, it could very well be a distraction. While everyone’s running around in circles clucking about the Nazi atheist thing, no one’s asking questions about the much bigger problem of child abuse.

    Where Bill Donohue is concerned, it seems to be a matter of a narcissist parroting his favorite authority. If that’s true then the only effective strategy is to not pay attention to him.

  45. Posted September 18, 2010 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    If Joseph Atwill is correct about the origin of Christianity, Hitler was a hoped-for result of its authors.

    I’m convinced by Atwill’s discoveries of the concise parallels between Josephus and the canonical gospels, and his discovery and solutions of the many puzzels of the gospels (e.g., the deciphering of the story of the empty tomb as a precisely-choreographed comedy of errors) that he is correct. I think it would be beneficial if more concerned citizens were to take this on board.

    http://www.esnips.com/doc/b67761f4-ecd2-423a-93a0-0ff2b9eb6149/Joseph-Atwill—Caesars-Messiah—The-Roman-Conspiracy-to-Invent-Jesus

    Please look into it.

  46. Steve Knoll
    Posted September 18, 2010 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    Interesting concept. I didn’t know that atheism was an institution nor do I think it requires membership

    If that’s true, I fail to see how even the most horrific act of one individual can be connected in any way to others who would be repelled by such behavior

    Even make the case that there is a statistical correlation between acts of genocide & religious belief or non-belief systems, requires a plausible statistical methodology, not anecdotal examples

    From a non-statistical viewpoint, it seems to me, that looking at history, pretty much all religions have proven very adept at it

    Catholics have been among the best

  47. Alasdair Duncan
    Posted September 19, 2010 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    Abuse now vs abuse then. I dare say in a few years his holimoliness the pop will be claiming he was forced into coming to the UK, not led by god. Maybe atheists should apologise for hitler. After all, god certainly didnt make him. Have you heard about the new legal high that makes you dull in bed? Its called popers and you sniff it off his finger. instant dropsy.

  48. Posted September 20, 2010 at 5:33 am | Permalink

    I’m pretty certain (about 95%) that Richard Dawkins published the fact that “Hitler, Stalin and Mao all had moustaches”.

    This fact introduces enough doubt that even if Hitler was an atheist, it could have been the possession of facial hair that caused all the killing!

    Cheers,
    Norm.

  49. RealityCheckDude
    Posted September 26, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    I wish that idiot Donohue, would explain this photo:

    Hitler praised Christianity in several speeches, look it up, “Was Hitler Catholic?”

    Mussolini was an Atheist, so-called history states, however,

    Explain this:

    Cardinal Gasparri and Benito Mussolini (seated) after exchanging treaty ratifications in the Hall of Congregations, the Vatican, June 7th, 1929.

    Why enable the creation of the Vatican City State, if he was really an Atheist, as portrayed by the so-called history books?

    Church of Rome apologize and make restitution to the 100’s of millions of Indigenous people, of so-called America, that were massacred to the point of near extinction, using Christian Myth Dogma, as justification for the mass killings.

    The 1st and most devastating Holocaust the world has ever known.

  50. History Dude
    Posted September 14, 2011 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    The president of the Catholic League demanded that, not all Catholics. Bill Donahue does not represent all Catholics in much the same way that Hitler did not represent all Germans.

  51. jr73340@gmail.com
    Posted February 7, 2012 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    Following the end of World War II, the World Jewish Congress donated a great deal of money to the Vatican in gratitude for saving so many Jews during the war. In 1945 prominent Rabbi Herzog of Jerusalem thanked Pope Pius “for his life saving efforts on behalf of the Jews during the occupation of Italy by Hitler.” He continued, “The people of Israel will never forget what his Holiness and his delegates did …for our brothers and sisters in the most tragic hour of our history.”

    After hearing the Pope’s Christmas address in 1941, the Times wrote, “The voice of Pius XII is a lonely voice in the silence and darkness enveloping Europe this Christmas…in calling for a “real new order” based on liberty and love, the Pope put himself squarely against Hitler.”

    Einstein said, “Only the Catholic Church protested against the Hitlerian onslaught.”

    Pope Pius XI, in 1937, wrote an entire encyclical outlining the dangers and horrors of Nazi ideology. The accepted political view at the time was the the Church was to anti-Nazi.

    In 1943 when Hitler entered Rome he ordered his general to kidnap the Pope, primarily because Hitler considered the Catholic Church one of his most dangerous ideological opponents.

  52. Jeremy Breeland
    Posted March 2, 2012 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    Is this all for real? I’m pretty sure it’s tongue in cheek, but in case it isnt I’d like to say something. Religion is a force for good in the world, Christianity especially so. Of course, human nature being what it is there will always be people willing to exploit the genuine faith of others for evil ends. But it must be kept in mind that atheism has also been used in this way.
    If you can’t see this, I very much doubt anything I could say would change your mind.
    Enjoy your life! Please be sure to let others enjoy theres without attacking what they hold dear. Cheers.

  53. Larry Mahen
    Posted June 30, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    Hitler was not an atheist, sorry.

  54. With Held
    Posted February 11, 2013 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    “We were convinced that the people need and require this faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations: we have stamped it out.” — Adolf Hitler, October 24, 1933, speech in Berlin


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  2. [...] Catholics demand that atheists apologize for Hitler I wouldn’t have believed that even somebody as wacko as Catholic League president Bill Donohue would do this if I [...] [...]

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