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Christinsanity: Cause of the Holocaust

And why Christian apologists so desperately need to deny the past

Christian apologists consider themselves morally superior to non-Christians. Whenever debated on the topic of morality, they love to point to atheism as the cause of the Holocaust. I am not an atheist, but I do know enough about history to say that this claim is wrong in so many ways that I feel like a mosquito on a nudist beach: I don’t know where to begin. Thank you, Dinesh D’Souza for the nice analogy. I gladly make use of his own words as he is one of those ignorant god-defenders who either don’t know the first thing about their own religion, or are willingly and deceitfully sweeping 1,600 years of Christian cultural history under the rug. Their display of (willful?) ignorance only skyrockets when on top of that, they point at Darwinism or evolutionary science as a major factor in the development of Nazi-Germany’s policy of the Endlösung, as if Jews were only persecuted and killed after Darwin published his “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life” in 1859.

First big mistake in D’Souza, Matt Slick, Frank Turek, William Lane Craig or so many other likeminded parrots’ rhetoric is claiming that Hitler was an atheist. Assuming he was, does that settle the matter? Of course not: Hitler did not personally shoot the millions of Jews, Poles, Russians, Serbs, Romani and homosexuals. As is defined by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), the Holocaust was "the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of six million Jewish men, women and children by the Nazi regime and its collaborators". In addition, 11 million members of other groups were murdered during the "era of the Holocaust". The Holocaust was a direct product of state policy. This policy was indeed largely based on Adolf Hitler’s ideas. But

1: State policy could not have been executed without the cooperation of millions of German, Polish, Ukrainian, Croatian, French, Dutch, Belgian, Czech, Italian, etc. etc. collaborators, the vast majority of whom were all Christians. Grouping Germany, Austria and Czechia (Sudetenland) as the Greater Germany, its population was 54 % Protestant, 40 % Catholic and 3.50 % non-denominational theists. Meanwhile in fascist Italy, 94 % of the population identified as Catholic. Summed up, 95.75 % of the fascist Axis-powers’ population was Christian. In 1939, only 1.50 % of the German population declared to be atheist. While some of them may have participated in the Holocaust, some of them would equally have found themselves on the literal wrong side of the fence.

2: Hitler did not invent anti-Semitism! What’s more: the idea of racial superiority (and by implication the inferiority of other races or ethnicities) was already an age old concept before Hitler was born. The biggest support for a racial and narrower “White” supremacy came from the Protestant Christians. That is hardly surprising. Almost all slave owners in the USA were Protestant Christians. In the 21st century, a large block of extreme-right (wrong) Republicans in the US is made up of dominionists, Neo-Nazis and White Supremacists. Almost all of them are Protestant, evangelical Christians and to a lesser extent conservative Catholic Christians. Xenophobia and contempt for other people based on their skin color or ethnicity are main traits of their own identity. Hitler’s regime has been defeated, but the ideas he distilled from his surrounding Christian world are still alive and well, especially among fundamentalist Christians. The Holocaust was the culmination of a long history of "race"-based hate, deeply steeped in the Christian worldview. Ethnic superiority or racial supremacy as underlying philosophies didn’t start with Christianity, but Christianity was in a unique position to increase the application of policies that were based on them, especially from the late 4th century CE when it reached a position of political power. What follows are some chronological examples of the development of the anti-Semitic and racial or religious/cultural supremacy ideas that led to the Holocaust.

The first document to record the idea of a master race was of course the bible. The idea of god favoring one people over another was prevalent all over ancient cultures of course, but the Old Testament books are the first written sources in which this ethnic superiority is a consistently used justification for murder, genocide, rape, theft and slavery. In its written form, this ideology can already be traced back to the 7th century BC, if not earlier. In a simplified and ironic way, one could say that the 6 million Jews and 11 million Christians killed during the Holocaust fell victim to their own ideologies.

  • 155-240 AD: Church Father Tertullian hated the Jews and considered them dishonorable and of less worth then Christians.

  • 340 – 397 AD: Aurelius Ambrosius, Roman governor of Aemilia Liguriana, bishop of Milan from 374 AD and adviser to Emperor Theodosius I was the first to describe Jews as “Untermenschen” and fated to hell. The teachings of this saintly hate mongerer would be picked up by the equally “saint” Augustine, as well as Theodosius. “Saint”-Ambrose favored continuous punishment for Jews and advocated for the enslavement of Jews to Catholics.

  • 347 – 407 AD: Smooth talker John Chrysostom, still honored as saint by most Christian denominations, is credited with and admired for the destruction of cultural heritage sites like the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus (much like ISIS-leaders today deserve admiration for the same). He also prescribed that the Jews deserved to be killed for the mere rejection of Jesus as god-in-the-flesh.

  • 380-381 AD: The Edict of Thessalonica elevates Nicene Christianity to Roman state religion and marks the end of freedom of religion in the empire. Undoubtedly influenced by his Christian advisers and because discrimination against non-Christians became more and more politically advantageous, Theodosius I incorporated anti-Jewish laws into the now Christian Roman laws. The vandalism against or persecution of Arian Christians, “pagan” and Jewish communities is no longer punishable as crimes against the state and the consequences are immediately apparent across the Roman Empire. From then on, temples and synagogues were systematically destroyed or confiscated and repurposed as Christian churches. Jews could no longer serve in any public office, the military or any legal profession. The long lasting hatred of Jews (or anyone who did not fall in line with the program), as so described by Robert S. Wistrich’s book “Antisemitism: The Longest hatred”, had now become part of identifying as a Christian and was sanctioned by clerical and political policy.

  • 794 AD: The 17th Council of Toledo, held under the auspices of the Visigoth king of Hispania declared that all Jews were to be enslaved and scattered among Christian owners. These Christian owners had to ensure that Jewish customs were no longer observed by their slaves. All property of Jews was confiscated by the crown. Any Jewish born child under age 7 was to be taken from its parents and to be raised by Christians. These measures followed the earlier prescribed restrictions on the rights of Jews and non-Christians.

  • 1096-1099 AD: The First Crusade. Intended as campaigns to free the far from Holy Land from Muslim rule, the first violence was directed at Christians and Jews. By this time it was already common practice all over Europe to restrict the Jews’ right of settlement to ghettos. The ghettos of Verdun, Worms, Speyer and Mainz were the first to come under attack by the pious Christian crusaders. More than 12,000 Jews were slaughtered in these instances alone…and the participants of the First Crusade had not even left their own lands.

  • 1147 AD: At the start of the Second Crusade, thousands of Jews are murdered in France.

  • 1189 AD: The coronation of Richard the Lionheart is celebrated by murdering Jews in London. A year later, celebrating Richard’s departure on the Third Crusade, more Jews are murdered throughout all England.

  • 1215 AD: Decreed by the Fourth Lateran Counsel under pope “Innocent” III, Jews are ordered to wear a yellow badge on their clothing. Christian theologians, in line with earlier saints and divinely appointed kings, call for the enslavement of all Jews everywhere.

  • 1229 AD: King Henry III demands Jews to pay half the value of their properties in tax. In spite of this profitable extortion, all Jews would be expelled from England in 1290 under Edward I.

  • 1287-1288 AD: 68 Jews are killed in Munich; another 180 Jews are burned alive in Oberwesel, following the unexplained death of a boy in Bacharach. Although his death was never explained, the mere allusion of having been killed by Jews turned said boy into a saint and he was worshipped as Saint-Werner of Oberwesel until 1962.

  • 1298 AD: In this one year alone, more than 100,000 Jews are slaughtered by troops of the Rindfleisch movement.

  • 1306 AD: Always desperate to find funds for his wars, Philip IV, king of France expels 125,000 Jews from France. He confiscates their possessions and auctions them off. Unable to manage money, he would repeat the same in 1307, this time targeting the “Poor” Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon, commonly known as the Knights Templar. Confiscating private property by rulers and governments to clean up budget deficits is a still upheld tradition.

  • 1348 AD: In Basel, now Switzerland, hundreds of Jews are forced to convert to Christianity. Those who refuse are burned alive.

  • 1391 AD: Ferrand Martinez, archdeacon of Ecija, Spain initiates a campaign against Jews. More than 10,000 are killed.

As said, these are but a few examples. I could probably list a few hundred more years in which atrocities against non-Christians and Christians of different denominations were, at some points in history, almost a daily occurrence. I have not yet counted the victims of the Albigensian crusade, the Eighty-Years' war or the Thirty-Years' war: the latter alone killed a third of "Germany's" population. I won't numb you with another list of conflicts, but I do want to draw your attention to a key figure in Christian Europe's religious-cultural history.

In 1543, the first true Christian (according to many protestant Christians’ own views), Martin Luther, founder of Lutheran Protestantism, wrote his treatise “Von den Jüden und Ihren Lügen” (On the Jews and Their Lies). In the treatise, he argues that Jewish synagogues and schools be set on fire, their prayer books destroyed, rabbis forbidden to preach, homes burned, and property and money confiscated. They should be shown no mercy or kindness, afforded no legal protection, and "these poisonous envenomed worms" should be drafted into forced labor or expelled for all time. In his ultimate expression of the Christian world view of love and peace, continuing on the "Jewish question", he finally proclaims that “we are at fault in not slaying them”. If Martin Luther would have been able to visit Sobibor, Treblinka, Majdanek or Auschwitz-Birkenau in the 1940’s, he would have rejoiced seeing god’s work being so zealously performed. He would have been even more proud to see the SS-troops carrying copies of his treatise around while going into battle or doing their holy duty as guards of the concentration camps.

Another early “true” Christian who adhered to murder as a Christian value was of course Jehan Cauvin. [Though both are murderers, Jehan Cauvin is not related to Derek Chauvin.]. Known to most as John Calvin, founder of Calvinist Protestantism, this theologian’s methods of persuasion were quite simple: you agree or you die. Michael Servetus, another religious reformer who had been corresponding with Calvin lost his favor with the latter because of differences of opinion. Calvin took so much offense at Servetus’ remarks at his mistakes that he promised to have him killed. In 1553 he succeeded and Michael Servetus was burned alive on the grounds of heresy. It earned Calvin the title “defender of Christianity”. Servetus [who incidentally may have been a descendant of forcefully converted Jews], was definitely a Christian. But the mere fact of being a Christian deviating from the true religion of John Calvin was enough reason to be murdered.

By the second half of the 19th century, when Western-Europe reached its peak as global power, the ideas of White Supremacy were already deeply grounded in Christian culture and Christianity was the ultimate justification for oppression, exploitation, enslavement and killing of millions upon millions of people and the theft of their lands and natural resources. At the same time, science developed more rapidly than ever before and research like that of Darwin could be mined to further support the divinely inspired superiority complex. In the same century, persecution of Jews and other subhuman minorities would continue just as it had centuries before. Europeans had settled other people’s territories en masse and they brought their Christian prejudices and discriminatory philosophies with them. To many European nations, Christianity represented western civilization and the basis for morality. Christianity served as a major force in the partition and eventual colonization of almost half the planet. The Berlin Conference of 1884-1885 divided up Africa between the European colonizing powers. Almost four hundred years earlier, a similar treaty was signed in Tordesillas, Spain, dividing the world between Portugal and Spain under divine authority of the Catholic Church. Four decades earlier, the papal bull Dum Diversas gave Portugal the right to subdue and enslave Muslims, pagans and other unbelievers. The popes kept pace with the European expansion: in 1455 pope Nicholas repeated his divine approval to reduce pagans and other enemies of Christ to perpetual slavery. And if there was one people above all others that could be considered a clear enemy of Christ, it was the Jews.

The grand celebration of Luther's day in Berlin's Pleasure Garden! Bishop Hossenfelder gives his speech from the terrace of Berlin's Palace, November 19, 1933 [Original description and provenance in sources below]

What was the difference between the extermination of Jews by the Nazi-regime, and the extermination of Jews under the Christian Romanov-rule in 19th century Russia, the 14th century Catholic rule of Spain, France or England? The only difference was the available technology. The computers provided by IBM enabled the Germans to keep track of all people and the enormous administration of the Endlösung; the development of chemistry gave the Nazis Zyklon B. Imagine Martin Luther possessing the same technology, or John Chrysostom. In their days however, you still had to kill people man-to-man and one by one. Killing 6 million Jews within one generation was logistically, militarily and technologically not possible. By the time Hitler was born, the Holocaust was already going on for more than thousand years… it was just spread out over that same amount of years. Not a single event leading up to the Holocaust, not a single crime committed in that Holocaust, had not seen its precedent in times when there were no Nazis, no Hitler, no communists, no Stalin. This is the reality that Christian apologists so desperately want you to forget.

No politician ever gains electoral support by saying things no one agrees with. Donald Dump switched party allegiance more than once. He just went where he thought the most votes would come from. In his 2016 run for presidency, he bet on the Republican horse. He had to adapt his rhetoric accordingly of course. With his “America First”, he appealed to the same sentiments that Hitler appealed to with his “Deutschland über Alles”. Although Donald Dumb is completely illiterate of the Bible, he pretended to be a devout Christian and ridiculously flaunted the book as part of his PR, simply because a large part of Republicans are fundamentalist Christians. While Hitler may not fit the parameters of a Christian depending on which kind of Christian you ask, he definitely called himself Christian on various occasions. because he knew that his political ideas would never gain support without the Christian majority in “his” country. Hitler was a lot of things, but he was not a stupid politician. Trump was an intellectual cripple, but he was not a stupid politician.

A political tactic that always works as long as people let their emotions lead their thinking, is creating an enemy people can unite against. George W. Bush was only narrowly elected as president, and for most of his first year in office, his approval ratings were only slightly above the 50% marker. Sadly for a lot of people but very conveniently for Bush, terrorists attacked America. With a clearly defined target, the US population united almost unanimously behind the military response of Bush and his approval ratings soared to 90 % in the month of the terrorist attack and the USA’s counter attack on Afghanistan. The longer that war dragged on however, the steadier Bush’s approval ratings declined: people started taking note of the costs of war and weighing the profit-loss scale once their emotions had settled down. By the end of his presidency Bush’s approval rates had dropped as low as 25%.

People often forget that Hitler had a large electoral basis. Although quite short of a majority in the 1932 federal elections, the NSDAP received 37.27 % of the votes, more than the two major competing parties combined (21.58 % for the SPD and 14.32 % for the KPD). Four months earlier, Hitler had received 11 million direct votes in the presidential elections. Another campaign point of Trump was to bring jobs back to America [he actually outsourced a lot of government jobs to low-wages countries]. In 1929, Germany’s unemployment rate was 14 %. At its height in 1933, unemployment had risen to a whopping 28 %. It benefitted the NSDAP and Hitler, who campaigned for “freedom and bread”. Germans voted for the NSDAP for a number of reasons. Although anti-Semitism was a major factor, it wasn’t the decisive one. Hitler had an uncanny feeling on when to appeal to the latter or when to downplay it.

Another idea that Hitler exploited from earlier Christian cultural beliefs, was the idea of manifest destiny, or in Germany’s case: Lebensraum (“Living-space”). The term was coined in 1901 by Friedrich Ratzel and applied the British, French and American empires’ expansion to the German Reich. The Holocaust Encyclopedia concludes in its article on Lebensraum: “The concept of Lebensraum was not solely responsible for the Holocaust, but powerfully connected a variety of imperialist, nationalist, and racist currents that would contribute to the murder of the Jews of Europe”.

All this goes to show, that Hitler’s ideology and political programs would not have led him to a position where he was able to usurp power if they were not supported and shared by a large portion of the people. Very little of what Hitler conceived was new. He drew his ideas from the culture he grew up in. That applies just as much to the religious undertones which influenced his hatred for Jews. To campaign for office, you need money. The NSDAP received funding from all possible sides, but major contributors were conservative, hard-right Protestants, rich patriotic aristocrats, industrialists like Krupp and Thyssen and of course worth mentioning: Henry Ford (well-known Jew-hater), Prescott Bush, John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, Irénée DuPont among many others. Henry Ford’s “Dearborn publications” were compiled in a four volume book in Germany under the title “the International Jew”: Hitler commended Ford’s anti-Semitism and claimed to find continued inspiration in his articles for his approach to the “Judenfrage”.

What were Hitler’s own religious beliefs? In as much as it is even relevant, quotes from Hitler himself may give you an idea:

  • Eternal Nature inexorably avenges the infringement of her commands. Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord” – Mein Kampf, pg. 60

  • My feelings as a Christian point me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God's truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. ...Today, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed his blood upon the Cross. ...” - Adolf Hitler, speech on April 12, 1922

  • “...the personification of the devil as the symbol of all evil assumes the living shape of the Jew. - Adolf Hitler agreeing with Martin Luther Mein Kampf, Vol. 1 Chapter 11

  • Thus people discovered the wonderful concept of the Almighty, whose rule they venerate. We do not want to train people in atheism." - Adolf Hitler, July 1941

  • I am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so”. - Adolf Hitler, to General Gerhard Engel, 1941

  • And from the articles of the Deutsche Arbeiters Partei: We demand freedom for all religious confessions in the state, insofar as they do not endanger its existence or conflict with the customs and moral sentiments of the Germanic race. The party as such represents the standpoint of a positive Christianity, without owing itself to a particular confession...." – Article 20

Whether his Christianity is viewed by present day Protestants or Catholics as true Christianity is completely irrelevant. There are no true Christians. Ask a Baptist if a Catholic is a true Christian; a Catholic if a Mormon is a true Christian, a Mormon if a Jehovah’s Witness is; a Lutheran if a Calvinist is: the answer will be no. Hitler repeatedly defined himself as a Christian. But even if it would be impossible to stretch the term “Christian” far enough to include Hitler’s own view of it, it would still allow calling him a deist, pantheist, paganist, spiritualist or whatever term you prefer to give an unspecified Higher Power. What he most definitely was not, was an atheist. He in fact opposed and rejected atheism. But even if contrary to the evidence you would still maintain that he was an atheist, then why was it necessary to appeal to the people’s Christian mindset for him to be able to realize his political agenda?

  1. If Hitler was a deist/theist/pantheist/spiritualist… or any “-ist”

  2. And 95 % of all the people making the Holocaust possible were Christians

  3. Then how on Earth can atheism be the cause of the Holocaust?

The answer is simple: it isn’t.

Christian apologists maintain that their God-of-the-gaps is the best answer to all unresolved questions, whether scientific, philosophical-existential, sociological or moral. On the one occasion that they may in fact have the right answer to the cause of the Holocaust – God – or rather the belief in and interpretation of God – they let the cock crow three thousand times and still deny this god’s involvement in any of the unspeakable evil Christians committed; not only from 1934 till 1945, but from the very start of Christianity. Christianity may not be the only factor to stand trial, but it is certainly the main culprit in this case of mass murder.

Finally: why would any of this be relevant? Why should we care whether the Holocaust was caused by Christianity or atheism? We should care if we want to avoid it happening again. Trump’s presidency will be infamous for his incitement of violence, intolerance of cultural diversity, demonization of pretty much all races or ethnicities different than his own and of course, his utter stupidity which explains all the former. But every divisive, provocative or blatantly racist statement he made has always been justified or excused by the people he was appealing to and who carried him almost to a second term. It almost made him believe he could really refuse to give up power and become a de facto dictator of the USA. Luckily he still possessed enough sense of self-preservation to finally back down. Maybe because the second amendment applies to Democrats as well?

What is disturbing about that is that many of his supporters share the exact same ideas that led to the persecutions exemplified in our list above, the pogroms and the Holocaust. We already mentioned the first two in the post “The Fascist Face of Christianity” and refer briefly to some others:

  • Greg Locke, uniting his congregation through the shared hatred for LGBTQ and women who want to decide what can or cannot be done to their bodies. Advocates that if power cannot be achieved by legal democratic means, it should be taken by force.

  • Pastor Steven Andrew, pastor at the California based USA Christian Church, closet-homosexual, blames the Covid-19 pandemic on homosexual, bisexual and transgender people in America. This is of course in defiance of his Messiah Trump, who repeatedly ordained that the Coronavirus should be called “Chinavirus”, unless what Trump really means that it is a virus spread by Chinese LGBT-members. [A year later however, he shifted the blame to the election of Biden as president (although chronologically that simply cannot be the case, no matter how much slack you give this homophobic homosexual).]

  • Tony Perkins: wants to execute all homosexual people, enforce Christian doctrines in all levels of government, exclude all Muslims, Jews and Catholics from holding public office, reinstall slavery and continually prays for government breakdowns until Christians can become the rightful dictators.

  • Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene hardly needs any introduction. Christians are such nice people: if something bad befalls someone, blame the victim. CNN reported on the increasingly disturbing behavior and ideas of this devout Christian politician. Part of their news feature contains the same video of Greene:

The most disturbing literature I have so far come across, is from a Nazi "Church" that only posts a mailing address [Kinsman Redeemer Ministries, P.O. Box 436, Alexandria, Kentucky] and email address

This Nazi-organization [I refuse to call it a church from this point on] is teaching Nazi-ideology “from the pulpit”. The site shows what dominionism really hopes to accomplish. There don’t seem to be any posts after January 2020. The latter month’s post consists only of an ad for the release of three books compiled by Pastor James Jester. These compilations are collected writings of sermons and notes on the sermons of Pastor Mark W. Downey. To everyone’s joy this fascist bigot died on March 26, 2018, but his Nazi-ideology seems to be carried on by a certain Debra and perhaps the earlier mentioned pastor Jester (which may well be a pseudonym). A link to the Fellowship of God’s Covenant People mentions a fellow Nazi Pastor Don Elmore. This organization appears to operate from Union, Kentucky. I don’t know if any American will ever read this post, but if so, I strongly recommend checking with the FBI if these Nazis are known to them because these people are literally dangerous and prone to extreme domestic violence.

I only read the first part of their online publication on Positive Christianity, posted on May 3, 2016 and based on the sermon notes of May 1st by Mark Downey. That was enough for me to know what I stumbled on. In spite of their claimed belief in a Christian god, these Nazis worship Hitler as their god. Passages of Downey’s sermon notes are almost literal copies of Mein Kampf or paraphrases thereof. A few quotes will suffice to show what kind of meat you got on your plate here (emphasis added):

  • Positive Christianity is the theological term which constituted actions of the Nationalist Socialist Party implemented into law. Point 24 of the National Socialist Party program has the same exact spirit as our 1st Amendment to the United States Constitution in the context of the White race and Christianity

  • In neither case is the nonsense of separation of church and state implied. In fact, quite the opposite: incorporating God and government together was the ideal.

  • National Socialism came to power not in spite of Christianity, but because of Christianity; because of the hand of God. The quest for pure Christianity was the same demand held by Adolf Hitler and the National Socialist Party.

[These Nazis actually make my entire case for me]

  • By the same token, conditions were such in Germany, circa 1920-1930's, that the only way to climb out of the morass of degeneracy was for the Truth to make them free, and Adolph Hitler was the man that God choose to lead;…[…]

  • We did not get our Bible from jews, Jesus Christ was not a jew. He was a White-Adamic-Caucasian-Aryan. Jews are congenital liars; it's in their blood. There can be no greater absurdity than to associate the Christian faith as jewish

  • That's why Adolf Hitler continues to strike terror in the hearts and minds of those who wish to destroy the remaining White Christian nations in the world today. Because Adolf Hitler is the one example in the 20th century of a viable alternative to the insidious fruit of democracy and the two-party system of corruption: the uninformed mob building golden calves.

I rest my case,

Richard Dalet PHD, May 03, 2021

Notes, sources, references:

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