Christianity Causes Nazism?
Shades of the old days! I haven't thought about this topic since about 2005. Our atheist friend "I'm Skeptical," (aka "Skepie") responded to J.P.Holding's piece on Hitler and Christianity by linking to a source, Coel Hellier, an astrophysicist who argues that there were religious influences in the Nazi movement. This is supposed to Prove that Hitler was a Christian and the upshot of that is if you think like a Christian long enough you become Nazi-like, They never really state this last move openly but I really don't see why they are obsessed with Hitler being a Christian if that's not it, Of course now they have put a creationist/evolution spin on it that wasn't there way back in the early ought when I used to give a damn about this topic. The new spin allows them to stop short of saying Christianity = Nazism because they can just say creationism = Nazism., It's still guilt by association, Oddly enough the source of which Skepie is so proud to quote actually disproves the link to Christianity.,
Before getting into that specific source I think it's important to point out there is a new scholarly interest that links Nazism to religion is general. But the real scholars are not the making guilt by association fallacy in trying to blame religion for Nazism; but rather they are seeking to do legitimate sociological analysis. Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, in his ground breaking work argues that Marxist analysis that explains the rise of Nazism is no longer on the beam. The vast nature of religious influences makes a link to religious thinking imperative, Yet this source actually disproves the New Atheists anti-Christian link as well as the link to biblical creationism (see my standard caveat about creationism),
Hellier states that pre-Hitler proto-Nazi doctrine was laced with lists of religious thought. specifically this was an idea that the races were created separately. They did not see so called inferior races as diverging from pure stock but as separate special creations, The pure superior races they called "root races." The modern Dawkamentalists think this is an indictment of "Christianity via creationism." But what's wrong with this picture? Hellier starts by talking about an obscure occultist writer who was important to Hitler named De Gobineau.Heiller says: "De Gobineau's central argument is that human races are distinct and unequal and he argues against the Unitaian idea that all men are descended from a common origin." Of course by "Unitarian" he doesn't mean the New England Congregationalists but the German occultists who believed all races come from Adam. There we have the problem, It's not just some occult sect they opposed but Judaeo-Christian teaching in Genesis! It's a from of creationism but it is opposed to Biblical creationism, So then how can they stick Christianity with Nazism? Skepkie was so adamant that he was proving links to Christian teachings with this source and it confirms quite the opposite,
Heiller quotes De Gobineau: "I conclude from this refutation of the only argument brought forward by the Unitarians that permanence of racial types is beyond dispute;it is so strong and indisputable that the most complete change of environment has no power to overthrew it, so long as no crossing takes place,"  The one Unitarian argument to which he refers is Genesis creation story. All he;s really done so far is to prove that one must stick with the word of God. Don't depart from truth, or false religion is as bad as no religion.,
Next Hellier turns to a source who he labels as "Christian," This is supposed to prove the link between Nazism and Christianity, "Chamberlain was a Christian, devoting chapters of his Foundations to his version (emphasis mine) of Christianity he believed that much of Christian doctrine was a distortion of Christi's teachings..." He quotes Chamberlian
The whole Superstructure of the Christian Church has hitherto been outside the personality of Christ...we need a regeneration that shall be specifically religious: we need to tear away the foreign rags and tatters that still hang upon our Christianity as the trappings of slavish hypocrisy: we need the creative power to construct out of words and the spectacle of the crucified Son of Man a perfect religion fitting the truth of our nature.
That sounds real Christian talking about the crucified son of man, not being a historian Hellier is just ignorant of what he's talking about (I am an historian), The reference to foreign influences refers to the Jews, Hitler tried to foment a "German Christianity" that took out all Hebrew influences to the point of denying standard OT teachings, So again when his source is specifically "Christian" its a marginalized figure who doesn't accept orthodox teaching. Chamberlian has a sick little warped racist version of Christianity he condemns the whole of Christian teaching, rather than provimg that Christian teaching leads to Nazism as Skepie specifically argued, he's really proving that the kinds of so called "Christians" who led to the Nazi movement were actually rejecting Christian teaching.
are you reading this Skeptie. if you see this let me know,
Hellier tries to lay this on religion itself: "The topic of religion was central to the Nazi world view, with the Nazi party including in their 25-point program the declaration that: 'The Party as such advocates the standpoint of a positive Christianity without binding itself confessionally to any one denomination.'"
Third Reich is much too large to provide anything but a brief summary here. A good book-length account is Steigmann-Gall’s “The Holy Reich”, which demonstrates that the majority of the leading Nazis considered themselves to be Christian, with a minority also having leanings to Nordic/German pagan folk-religion. See also this accessible compilation of religious quotes, photos and artifacts by leading Nazis (a compilation from which the photos displayed here are taken).
In terms of religion as a whole he;s just repeating the same mistake atheists have always made in trying to interpret Nazi campaign rhetoric on a par with frank private admissions. Have we ever seen a candidate who pretends to be a big Christian and obviously isn't perhaps exhibiting racism and sexism and treating women badly? Gee it sounds familiar but I just can't place it. But you know I think its obvious that a party platform is a political statement designed to appeal to the masses it cannot be taken as an indication of true belief. That is where the atheists usually stick in their Fallacious misunderstanding of no true Scottsman; arguing that there is no true Christianity so anyone who says shes a christian must really represent the faith no matter how far from the faith their actual beliefs,That has been thoroughly disproved, It is not applicable.  It is contrary to the historical-critical method to try and understand campaign speech as the same kind of speech as private admission, It's a failure to account for the nature of the appeal.
Moreover the attempt to link to Christianity is totally unimpressive. First as already pointed out the only examples of so called Christians are occultist marginal "problem Christians,." Secondly his reference to the book by Steigmann-Gall points out that prior to the 60s the vast majority of historians saw no connection between Christianity and Nazism except institutional crossing of lines,certainty nothing causal such that Christianity causes Nazism. But since the 60s a small crew has risen up and worked itself into a minority voice that is getting stronger,  It appears from what he says that it coincides with the rise of new atheism. But at that point he;s talking about the relationship between Protestant churches and Nazism during the third Reich, not the origins of Nazism. That negates a causal link, All that proves is that given the worst of circumstances people know how to rationalize, and they are apt to go with tier read and butter.
The German people during the Third Reich were overwhelmingly Christian, with among the highest church-attendance rates in Europe. In a 1939 Census 94% declared themselves Christian.Nearly all of those involved in the Holocaust regarded themselves as Christian; the Auschwitz SS self-labelled as Catholic (42.6%), Protestant (36.5%) or Gottgläubig (20.1%; the word means God-believer or devout, and was the term favoured by the “German Christians”); not one was recorded as “without faith” (atheist). Indeed Himmler declared that: “I have never tolerated an atheist in the ranks of the SS. There are a couple of problem here, He shows that most Germans where Christians that is supposed to prove they were Nazis, But he forgets to ask how many Germans were Nazis? The answer is only 10% at the high point,. Why weren't more Christians Nazis if the two were so compatible? Then he quotes a highly selective source to show that a big Nazi was a big Christian but that is not causal and it;s not representative, Skepie doesn't understand things like representative samples. He says
the Germans were Christians, and so were the Nazi authorities. It's right there in the quote you gave, which you obviously don't grok. Do you not know what SS is? The majority of Hitler's senior staff was Catholic, as was Hitler himself. Atheists were persecuted by the Nazis, the same as Jews. Every time I hear people trying to claim that Nazi atrocities were attributable to atheism, I have to laugh at the ignorant denial of historical FACT.By the time you get to be SS commander you are pretty well politicized. It was not his religious faith that got him there, He obviously was rationalizing his faith to make it fit his politics if he was even ever sincere about faith, Atheists avoid the distinction between real faith and membership in a club with the No true Scottsman misunderstading. That way they can avoid the reality that not all who profess believe.,Any German who paid taxes was listed as a church member,so they don't give us a index of sincere belief to go back in that statistic. Just because x% of SS guys were enroled on chruch roll as members that does not prove the professed Christianity, it only means they paid taxes, The enrollment in church was automatic, But no more than 10% Germans were Nazis.Thatvmeans no more tahn 10% of the Christians were Nazis. If being a Christian leads to Nazism it seems more Christians would have been Nazis. One thing Skeptic is right about, there is no link between Nazism and atheism, The Nazis were not atheists, I have never argued that.
Now If we go back to the origins of Nazi thinking in mid 19th century we do not find mainstream Christian thinkers. We find warped "Christians" and marginalized weirdos with obscure views who reject the Bible and who try to distort the teachings, that is what is at the origin. The war years are a matter of the fringe group coming to power and the mainstream has to bend to the new President's will. Uh, I mean Chancellor's will.
Hellier sloughs off the role of the occult saying there was some of it about but mostly it was Christians (see above fn8). Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, disproves both this notion and the link to creationism. Hellier as we have ween tries to argue that creationists were Nazi forerunners and evolutionists were atheists, But not so, Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, says, "The Darwinist idea of Evolution thorough struggle was also taken up in order to prove that the superior pure races would prevail over the mixed inferior ones."  He also Bashes the idea Christianity was the main brunt of the thinking of the proto-Nazis and the occult was just a minor influence. It was mainly occult it was a big force, "The Occult Roots of Nazism (note the tile) documents lives, doctrines, ad cult activities, of the Arisophists of Vienna and their successors in Germany who combined Volkish German nationalism and Aryan racial theorizes with occultism."
Goodrick-Clarke clearly indicates that occultist fringe groups were all over that 19th century movement, He says it was a political religion,so religion did play a major role but not just religion.
It's not just religion that causes the harm, not just creationism, but it's religion based upon mythical ideologies, right wing politics, anger, hatred,resentment, racial superiority and secret knowledge.
where have I read this before? sounds familiar.
The lesson here is do not turn to a physicist for history lessons especially not one who is associated with an ideology like new atheism (Dawkamentalism). Read the historians first hand and don't take all your views from websites dedicated to an ideology such as new atheist websites. Social science and history are too complex to lend themselves to being object lesson's for truth regime's.
 Cole Hellier, "Nazi racial ideology was religious, creationist and opposed to Darwinism," Colesblog,
online resourcek no date given
https://coelsblog.wordpress.com/2011/11/08/nazi-racial-ideology-was-religious-creationist-and-opposed-to-darwinism/ (accessed 1/28/17)
Hellier is Professor of Astrophysics at Keele University in the UK. In addition to teaching physics, astrophysics, and maths
 Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, in his ground breaking work
 Ibid., 7-8.
 Hellier, op cit.
 Holocaust Encyclopedia, "The German Churches a d The Nazi State," United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, DC
https://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005206 (accessed 1/28/17)
Hellier also documents this point and he draws upon eh Holocaust meusium the very source I just cited, from the same source
How did Christians and their churches in Germany respond to the Nazi regime and its laws, particularly to the persecution of the Jews? The racialized anti-Jewish Nazi ideology interpretations of religious scriptures seemed to support these prejudices.The attitudes and actions of German Catholics and Protestants during the Nazi era were shaped not only by their religious beliefs, but by other factors as well, including:converged with antisemitism that was historically widespread throughout Europe at the time and had deep roots in Christian history. For all too many Christians, traditional
These were some of the reasons why most Christians in Germany welcomed the rise of Nazism in 1933. They were also persuaded by the statement on “positive Christianity” in Article 24 of the 1920 Nazi Party Platform, which read:
This supports my position of this article, that the factors leading to right wing tyranny or more complex than religion alone can explain.
 Hellier op cit
 Joseph Hinman, "Answering the Fallacy of the "No True Scotsman Fallacy," The Religious a priori Website
http://religiousapriori.blogspot.com/2009/01/answering-fallacy-of-no-true-scotsman.html (accessed 1/28/17)
 Hellier, op cit. This quotation is actually from the Holocaust Museum article op cit
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