April 6, 2011

Hitler's Christianity is Not Completely Irrelevant

Hitler ChristianThe fact that Adolph Hitler was a Christian is almost irrelevant. After all, Hitler being a Christian really doesn't have much to do with other Christians. His Christianity does not mean that other Christians are anything like him. Virtually nobody is like him. In fact, comparing those we dislike to him only minimizes the horrific acts he committed.

So why am I even bothering to address Hitler's Christianity as all? I'll give you three reasons.

First, many of today's Christians insist that I address Hitler. They do not want to claim him as one of their own, so they pretend that Hitler was an atheist and insist that that somehow makes me immoral. So I address Hitler's Christianity to dispel this absurd claim.

Second, I am not convinced that humanity has retained the many lessons of Hitler. His reign of terror did at one time serve as an example of why we must remain vigilant to prevent fascist tendencies from re-emerging. And it also showed us what can happen when religious and ethnic hatred are paired with military power. But this lesson seems to have faded a bit. And please don't assume that I'm referring only to Republicans here. I wish I had that luxury.

Third, some of the people who truly admire Hitler today possess vast power and wealth. They wear the cloak of Christian extremism while pushing an agenda that seeks to increase the status of those at the top while showing utter disdain for those at the middle at bottom. They do not have to seize power; they already have it. The rest of us must appreciate the risks of ignoring them.

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