Ask Pastor Matt: “Wasn’t Hitler a Christian?”

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Every week I attempt to answer one of the great questions I get during the week.  Last week someone asked me via Facebook, “Wasn’t Hitler a Christian?” This is an increasingly common attack on Christianity.

The obvious answer is, “no, of course not.  No one who did what Hitler did could be considered a follower of the Jewish son of God who came to sacrifice himself for the lost.”

But I know that skeptics will retort that Hitler was baptized in to the Catholic church as an infant and made statements about “the Lord” in his biography Mein Kampf (or “My Struggle”) and peppered allusions to Christianity in early speeches.

The problem with this is (1) Hitler admitted in his biography that his speeches and writings were pure political propaganda.  (2) He privately derided Christianity with zealous hatred.

Hitler’s favorite philosopher was atheist Friedrich Nietzsche.  In fact, he gave copies of his books to Stalin and Mussolini.  Following Nietzsche, Hitler had these words placed over one of the gas ovens in Auschwitz, “I want to raise a generation of young people devoid of conscience, imperious, relentless and cruel.”

Hitler often quoted materialist philosophers with glee.  One of his favorite sayings was that the destruction of the weak is a good thing for the survival of the strong for “nature intended it that way.”

Moreover, in Hitler’s Table Talk, a collection of his private sayings preserved by his closest followers, the “fuhrer” derides Christianity as a “scourge” and wishes Germany will be the first nation in centuries to be immune from its influence. Hitler went so far as to ban Christmas and demand the Hitler Youth praise him on December 25th rather than Jesus.

Hitler also mocked Christianity for its opposition to Darwinism.  Indeed, many of his closest colleagues, Goebbles, Himmler, Heydrich and Bormann, were outspoken atheists and materialists; also some were intrigued by the occult.

That Hitler was a Christian is one of the most pernicious lies perpetrated by modern secularists.  The second, one promoted by revisionist historians, is that Hitler and the Nazis were “right wingers.”  In fact, Hitler and his party were left-wing socialists.  The Nazis were “National Aryan Socialists.”  The only difference between them and communists were that the former was nationalistic while the latter was global in scope.  In fact, the body count racked up by the secular left during the twentieth century alone is staggering and unparalleled in history.  What also goes unreported is that many progressives of the time, like George Bernard Shaw, were enamored with the Nazi party.

The myth that Hitler was a “right-wing Christian” began in the 1950s when leftist academics who had previously supported the Nazi regime began revising history to cover their butts.  They successfully linked the attempts by fundamentalist groups to ban certain books from public libraries (like Henry Miller’s pornographic The Tropic of Cancer) to the burning of books by the Hitler Youth.  But this is really the ONLY thing Nazis had in common with far right-wingers (and historians failed to mention that the Soviets and Chinese had also banned these books).  For example, the Nazis were pro-abortion and pro-euthenasia, a position they took from Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger, who Hitler greatly admired. They also supported gun control and national health insurance.

The Nazis also jailed any Christian who dared to criticize them while “tolerating” churches, which kept their faith within the four walls of the church.  This move is being replicated today throughout Europe, Canada and anywhere else where believers dare to do something such as advocate for traditional marriage.

I hope and pray that history does not repeat itself but I’m not so sure.  May God have mercy.

55 thoughts on “Ask Pastor Matt: “Wasn’t Hitler a Christian?”

  1. This reminds me of Richard Dawkins in The God Delusion where he spends a bunch of time blaming religion for atrocities, but then when discussing things like communism, he was basically like, “Hey, we shouldn’t try compare body counts of rival philosophies.” Sure… you were doing that just forty pages ago.

    As far as I’m concerned, the 20th century was the great test of taking materialistic philosophy to its logical ends, and it gave us a shocking amount of evil. Of course, when the logical end of your philosophy puts man as the definer of good and evil because it can’t supply a basis for objective morality, then that shocking amount of evil isn’t really evil, is it?

  2. Whether Hitler was a Christian or not doesn’t really matter. Nazi Germany was mostly CHRISTIAN and they justified antisemitism using the New Testament. Hitler wouldn’t have been able to do anything if not for the Christians that supported him. In fact, Christianity since its early days and throughout most of its history looked down on Jews. It wasn’t until the 20th century when “Christian Zionism” and “Dispensationalism” took on that Christians started to *pretent* they like Jews and Israel (but only because they want to convert us and bring on the Rapture or some other nonsense)

    • Absolutely not true. A person (or nation) is not Christian because they claim to be. A person or group is Christian if, and only if, they revere and attempt to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. While there have been several notable “Christians” who have been anti-semitic and many modern “Christians” who view Israel with a utilitarian Machiavellianism, that does not mean this defines Christianity any more than than Judaism is defined by racist Jews. You can not judge a philosophy by its abuses.

      • Paul, the one who created Christianity as we know it, stabbed his own people in the back and embraced the gentiles, saying our laws and beliefs are outdated. He’s the founder of Christianity and antisemitism as well.

        • That’s a modern myth that has been thoroughly debunked by the best scholarship in the world.

          Answer me this, what did Paul have to gain from such a move if he hadn’t actually encountered the risen Christ?

          And you sound like someone who has already been banned from this site for failure to answer questions while lobbing foolish conspiracy theory after foolish conspiracy theory.

          • “Answer me this, what did Paul have to gain from such a move if he hadn’t actually encountered the risen Christ?”

            You can ask the same questions about Muhammad, Joseph Smith, Rev. Moon and all the other people who claimed to meet Jesus or an angel.

        • Hm. Paul’s own epistles (namely the one to the Romans) and a certain “Acts of the Apostles” would contradict your sayings.

          Paul did not stab his own people in the back; he longs for them to know the fuller truth in Jesus, and he sees the Gentiles being ingrafted into the trunk. This was originally Paul’s own people’s mission but they had become increasingly hostile to outsiders especially after Antiochus Epiphaes.

          The founder of Christianity is Jesus, who is called the Christ.

          These AriJ comments smack of so much intellectual torpescence.

  3. And I would have sensible answers to all of those but not Jesus. Muhammed, Joseph Smith and Rev. Moon all gained sexually and monetarily but not Paul. He lost his family, his position and, eventually, his life.

    BTW, you could level the same charge against Moses. Are you willing to do that?

    You are the same person who has thrown up nonsense while refusing to answer authentic questions. Thus, you are representing yourself dishonestly, which is arguably a violation of the 10 Commandments.

    Bye-bye.

  4. Hello Pastor Matt,

    Very informative post. Thanks a lot. A couple of comments:

    1) You said “Hitler also mocked Christianity for its opposition to Darwinism. Indeed, many of his closest colleagues, Goebbles, Himmler, Heydrich and Bormann, were outspoken atheists and materialists also some were intrigued by the occult.”

    ~ It is interesting to not that Himmler had sympathy for Hinduism. Apparently Himmler was big time into Hinduism. He carried a Bhagavad Gita everywhere he went.

    The other thing:
    ~ Last I checked even wikipedia promotes the idea that the Nazi’s were right-wing. It’s bunk.

    ~ Raj

    • It’s certainly bunk that a socialist movement can be labeled “right wing.” For more see Thomas Sowell’s “Intellectuals and Society” pages 99-100.

      I was aware of Himmler’s fascination with Hinduism but as far as I’m aware he considered the Ghita a fascinating myth. If course, dabbling with the occult says nothing about belief in a personal god. Anton Levay considered himself an atheist occultist.

      Thanks for the comment.

      Blessings,

      • also the nazis hated socalism- they just called themselves national socalists to get more votes from blue collar workers

    • how are the nazis NOT rightwing? and Goebbles, Himmler, Heydrich and Bormann, werent materalists nor did hitler mock Christianity for its opposition to Darwinism

  5. What disturbs me is how there are so many people who accept codswallop about history in general and Christianity in particular without ever doing any research to see if the information is grounded in reality. That’s why I appreciate posts like this one. Thank you for it!

  6. Whether Hitler was or wasn’t a Christian is begging a larger question: can someone be Christian and still commit evil? It is a disingenuous not-a-true-Scottsman fallacy to conclude that anyone who was socially malevolent is kicked out of the club. Christians often say they are not perfect, but forgiven. According to Christian ideology (correct me if I’m wrong), the sacrifice of Jesus paid for each and every sin, regardless of how egregious (unless you deny the Holy Spirit). Thus, any person can commit any number of atrocities in their life, and as long as they honestly repent sometime prior to their death and accept Jesus, it’s as if they did nothing, and they are welcomed into heaven regardless. Which must be cold comfort indeed to all the victims of the recently forgiven perpetrator.

    In sum, this all get’s back to the old Biblical contradiction over whether one is saved by faith alone, or by faith and works. Which is problematic either way. If by faith alone, then God cares only about itself. If by faith and works, then what Jesus did was insufficient in itself. And the Bible has many directly conflicting passages on this very fundamental matter.

    • Dear “Smartyartblast”,

      Hitler openly displayed contempt for Christianity. He denied any faith in it or any other system and openly expressed admiriation for atheism, nihilism and Darwinism. Thus, it is not a fallacy.

      As to “faith v. works,” a person is saved by faith thanks to the work of the Holy Spirit, which will manifest itself in good works. Also, the victims will receive justice either via the cross or hell.

      If you believe the Bible contradicts itself, you should read Dr. Tom Shreiner’s works on the subject.

      Blessings,

      • what are you talking about hitler hated athiesm and darwinism! there is no evidence that he either supported atheism or darwinism

  7. well Hitler must have really shown how much he loved athiests and how much he supported materalism after coming to power shut down all their meeting halls and gave them to churches! (German Freethinkers’ League
    New York Times, May 14, 1933, page 2)

    but Matt in all seriousness the idea that Hitler was a rightwinger is accepted by all mainstream historians, as well political scienists (you should really take an intro to politcal science class at any non-diploma mill university). ironically enough its acutally only historical revonists that try to paint Hitler as “left-wing”

    • Please be polite or you will be banned. If you read the post, you will know that the NAZIS were the National SOCIALIST Party. They hated communists because they were global rather than nationalistic in scope. To dismiss their name as propaganda is to ignore their stated agenda and what they did economically. Hitler issued executive orders nationalizing all industry, banned guns, censored the press, etc. Does that sound like the right wing? If you want a partial bibliography read Intellectuals and Society as well as Table Talk where Hitler dismisses capitalism and Christianity as weak and unworthy of the master race. It is leftist historians who practiced revisionist history by trying to paint Hitler as right wing in the 1950′s by trying to connect Macarthyism and the fundamentalist push to ban certain books with Hitler but that’s where the comparisons fall apart. Furthermore, many leftists initially supported Hitler in the 1930′s including most liberal Democrats here and members of the Labor Party in Britain (I have an accredited history degree with honors, my friend). Also, he only ordered “atheists” into churches once he took charge of them (the Soviet Union made a similar move early on). Blessings,

      • A point of misconception: “Hitler issued executive orders nationalizing all industry, banned guns, censored the press, etc. ”
        After WWI, part of the Treaty of Versailles was for germany to surrender all guns. (ok, ok, not ALL, but like 90%) – as in gov’t and privately owned. After about 10 years Hitler allowed everyone ‘trustworthy’ (nonjews, nongays, nongypsies, nonretarded, etc) to register/own guns.
        As for censoring the press: both right wing and left wing do it (all depends on who is the boss at the time).
        My thoughts on Hitler being a Christian: he wasn’t. Nor was he an atheist. He believed that Germany was too weak for his leadership at the time (when he off’d himself) and that he would return when the German people were stronger. That belief in the the supernatural/occult is the exact opposite of atheism.

        • Gabe, the belief in the occult is not necessarily theism. Anton Levay, the founder of the church of Satan, had the same beliefs.

  8. Tunstall is contradictory at best, as well Hitler only supported abortions for non Aryans, if he nationalized the economy why didn’t he make Hugo boss a state owned company?

    • Tunstall? I’m talking about Hitler’s conversations recorded by Martin Borman and the book by the economist I recommended is by Thomas Sowell. I highly recommend you read it and, of course, he only supported abortions for non-Arayans, he was a national socialist–that was part of their core doctrine. As to other companies, certain businessman who made kickbacks to the Nazis were given favorable treatment, the same went in China and the USSR.

  9. Trying to say table talk but the stupid auto correct changed it. Second of all he was socialist in name only just called himself that to get poor people to vote for him. The difference s between far left and right are actually very subtle.for one Nazis controlled big business communists owned big businesses. Hitler was clearly not left winged nor an atheist he loved Nelson Chamberlain who was an extreme religious fanatic and racist. That was his fav philosopher not Nietzsche

    • One of the planks of the National Socialist platform was to nationalize all industries and employ every German via mandate of the state and they did it–that’s not right wing, my friend no matter how you try to explain it with a tautology. Also, the difference between the far right (libertarianism) and the far left (socialism) is absolutely different in nearly every way. Also, Table Talk was based on Bormann’s own published conversations in the 1940s and was uncontested by the Nazis (although it brought howls from leftists (like Chamberlin who was a liberal)). He also lied to Chamberlin constantly and mocked him privately but quoted Nietzche with fervor (I actually took a history of Nazi Germany class and aced it…sorry to disappoint you!). Here are a few quotes from Hitler: Night of 11th-12th July, 1941:

      National Socialism and religion cannot exist together…. The heaviest blow that ever struck humanity was the coming of Christianity. Bolshevism is Christianity’s illegitimate child. Both are inventions of the Jew. The deliberate lie in the matter of religion was introduced into the world by Christianity…. Let it not be said that Christianity brought man the life of the soul, for that evolution was in the natural order of things. (p 6 & 7)

      10th October, 1941, midday:

      Christianity is a rebellion against natural law, a protest against nature. Taken to its logical extreme, Christianity would mean the systematic cultivation of the human failure. (p 43)

      14th October, 1941, midday:

      The best thing is to let Christianity die a natural death…. When understanding of the universe has become widespread… Christian doctrine will be convicted of absurdity…. Christianity has reached the peak of absurdity…. And that’s why someday its structure will collapse…. …the only way to get rid of Christianity is to allow it to die little by little…. Christianity the liar…. We’ll see to it that the Churches cannot spread abroad teachings in conflict with the interests of the State. (p 49-52)

      19th October, 1941, night:

      The reason why the ancient world was so pure, light and serene was that it knew nothing of the two great scourges: the pox and Christianity.

      21st October, 1941, midday:

      Originally, Christianity was merely an incarnation of Bolshevism, the destroyer…. The decisive falsification of Jesus’ doctrine was the work of St.Paul. He gave himself to this work… for the purposes of personal exploitation…. Didn’t the world see, carried on right into the Middle Ages, the same old system of martyrs, tortures, faggots? Of old, it was in the name of Christianity. Today, it’s in the name of Bolshevism. Yesterday the instigator was Saul: the instigator today, Mardochai. Saul was changed into St.Paul, and Mardochai into Karl Marx. By exterminating this pest, we shall do humanity a service of which our soldiers can have no idea. (p 63-65)
      13th December, 1941, midnight:

      Christianity is an invention of sick brains: one could imagine nothing more senseless, nor any more indecent way of turning the idea of the Godhead into a mockery…. …. When all is said, we have no reason to wish that the Italians and Spaniards should free themselves from the drug of Christianity. Let’s be the only people who are immunised against the disease. (p 118 & 119)

      14th December, 1941, midday:

      Kerrl, with noblest of intentions, wanted to attempt a synthesis between National Socialism and Christianity. I don’t believe the thing’s possible, and I see the obstacle in Christianity itself…. Pure Christianity– the Christianity of the catacombs– is concerned with translating Christian doctrine into facts. It leads quite simply to the annihilation of mankind. It is merely whole-hearted Bolshevism, under a tinsel of metaphysics. (p 119 & 120)

      9th April, 1942, dinner:
      There is something very unhealthy about Christianity (p 339)

      27th February, 1942, midday:

      It would always be disagreeable for me to go down to posterity as a man who made concessions in this field. I realize that man, in his imperfection, can commit innumerable errors– but to devote myself deliberately to errors, that is something I cannot do. I shall never come personally to terms with the Christian lie. Our epoch Uin the next 200 yearse will certainly see the end of the disease of Christianity…. My regret will have been that I couldn’t… behold .” (p 278)

      • “One of the planks of the National Socialist platform was to nationalize all industries and employ every German via mandate of the state and they did it–that’s not right wing”

        no it wasnt it , his plan was to gain the SUPPORT of those industries by way of,and Hitler was supported by big business owners and ex-nobles who owned massive amounts of land and fortress-palaces. Why would these kinds of people support someone who wanted to take all that away from them. Hitler also played on the fear of communism, why would he do that if one of the main planks of his party was to take away people’s money and land?

        More from Tabletalk:
        “”Where do we acquire the right to believe that man has not always been what he is now? The study of nature teaches us that, in the animal kingdom just as much as in the vegetable kingdom, variations have occurred. They’ve occurred within the species, but none of these variations has an importance comparable with that which separates man from the monkey — assuming that this transformation really took place” Page 248
        “The most marvelous proof of the superiority of Man, which puts man ahead of the animals, is the fact that he understands that there must be a Creator” 27 February 1942
        Also did you notice how Hitler said on 13th December, 1941, midnight that Paul falsified the work of Jesus?
        If Chamberlain was so mocked by Hitler then why does Hitlers beliefs have so much in common with him (white supremicst, anti-semtism etc) Note: I am talking about Chamberlain NOT Chamberlin

        • “Waffle”? You keep arguing that what Hitler did and said is irrelevant to what he believed. With all due respect, that just doesn’t work. Many industrialists in the 1930s were socialists because they also believed they would be among the ruling elite and that it would stop the business cycle of boom-bust-depression. Industrialists like Henry Ford, for example, became a supporter of Hitler’s and intrigued by national socialism. Also, if you read Table Talk, it is clear that what Hitler meant by God or Creator was not the personal God of the Bible but more of a pantheistic deity, which, of course, is not really a deity at all.

  10. Was Hitler a christian? I doubt it, but so what?

    The fact of the matter is: Hitler used whatever he could to get into, and hold power. He did appeal to christianity a lot in public. Not atheists, nor “darwinists”. In fact, he had Darwin’s book banned.

    Hitler was able to use the centuries long xian tradition of anti-semitism in europe to help him out.

    Ex)
    Julius Streicher (one of Hitler’s top henchmen and publisher of the anti-Semitic Der Sturmer) was asked during the Nuremberg trials if there were any other publications in Germany which treated the Jewish question in an anti-Semitic way., Streicher said:
    Quote
    Dr. Martin Luther would very probably sit in my place in the defendants’ dock today, if this book had been taken into consideration by the Prosecution. In the book ‘The Jews and Their Lies,’ Dr. Martin Luther writes that the Jews are a serpent’s brood and one should burn down their synagogues and destroy them…

    Trial of The Major War Criminals Before the International Military Tribunal, Nuremberg, 14 November 1945– 1 October 1946, Vol. 12, p.318

    Dagobert Runes’ books: “The Jew and the Cross” and “The War Against the Jew” by Philosophical Library, New York.
    Quote
    Everything Hitler did to the Jews, all the horrible, unspeakable misdeeds, had already been done to the smitten people before by the Christian churches….The isolation of Jews into ghetto camps, the wearing of the yellow spot, the burning of Jewish books, and finally the burning of the people-Hitler learned it all from the church. However, the church burned Jewish women and children alive, while Hitler granted them a quicker death, choking them first with gas.

    As for Hitler’s “Table Talk”? There is a lot of problems with the authenticity of it. Details here. Check out the guy’s references though before you categorically dismiss the site:
    http://nobeliefs.com/HitlerSources.htm
    Quote:
    Those who deny Hitler as a Christian will invariably find the recorded table talk conversations of Hitler from 1941 to 1944 as incontrovertible evidence that he could not have been a Christian. The source usually comes from the English translation (from a French translation) edition by Norman Cameron and R. H. Stevens, with an introduction by H.R. Trevor-Roper.

    The table-talk has Hitler saying such things such as: “I shall never come to terms with the Christian lie. . .”, “Our epoch will certainly see the end of the disease of Christianity”.

    The problem with these anti-Christian quotes is that the German text of the table-talk does not include them, they were made up by François Genoud, the translator of the French version, the very version that English translations rely on! (More on this below).

    Quote:
    “Not one of Hitler’s table talk conversations were recorded or captured by audio, film, or broadcast on radio. According to H.R. Trevor-Roper, Hitler refused to admit any mechanical recorder into his room. Hitler reluctantly allowed Martin Bormann to pick stenographers (Heim, Piker) to record the conversations. It was Bormann’s idea to record Hitler’s thoughts in the first place. In a facsimile written after the last of Hitler’s recorded table talk, Bormann wrote a directive that stated:

    “Please keep these notes most carefully, as they will be of very great value in the future. I have now got Heim to make comprehensive notes as a basis for these minutes. Any transcript which is not quite apposite will be re-checked by me.” [Trevor-Roper, inset] (bold characters, mine)

    “Apposite” means, fitting; suitable; appropriate. Exactly what Bormann means by “re-checked” can only be speculated upon. However, it bears importance here that neither Heim nor Bormann could hardly be in a position to determine what deems apposite, considering Bormann’s biased views against Catholicism. Should we take it as simply coincidence that the church denouncements by Hitler in the Table-Talk parallel the anti-church sentiments of Martin Bormann, but nowhere else?

    Martin Bormann served as the instigator, fuel, and reason for the perception of many Christians that Nazism was against Christianity. Many times, quotes attributed to Hitler are actually Bormann’s. It is well known that Bormann secretly worked against the Catholic religion behind Hitler’s back and without his permission. It has been pointed out that “the fight against the church organizations” were Bormann’s pet project. In spite of Bormann’s repeated attempts to persuade Hitler to act against the Churches, Hitler insisted that “There has been no official Party announcement, nor will there be one.” [VonLang, p.191]

    How can any honest seeker of truth rely on Hitler’s table talk when the entire transcript was edited and kept by the anti-Catholic Bormann?

    • I’ve read what you are referring to and there are a couple of problems with it: (1) Hitler banned certain Darwinist books because he refused to believe Arayans were descended from a lower form but he generally held to naturalism and most of the Nazi leadership were, in fact, Darwinists; (2) Hitler’s hero was in fact Friedrich Nietzsche, which is apparent from both Table Talk and Mein Kampf AND those around Hitler. I am finishing a book now about a German leader living in America who loved Nietzsche because of a recommendation from Hitler himself. Could Nietzsche’s philosophy ever be considered anywhere near Christianity? Of course not.; (3) Bormann was anti-Catholic but not wholly anti-religious. His recorded statements are not so much anti-Catholic as anti-Christianity, which Hitler saw as weak. There were Nazis who believed in a twisted form of “Christianity” in which Jesus was an arayan, etc., which, of course, is just religion born out of their own prejudice; (4) Hitler did make public pronouncements about religion but he also wrote in Mein Kampf that all public statements were to be considered propaganda and propaganda was a tool to sell the populace–that’s why his private recorded statements are more reliable.

      • ” but he generally held to naturalism and most of the Nazi leadership were, in fact, Darwinists”
        if he did he wouldnt have claimed to believe in a creator, and no the Nazi leadership were clearly NOT darwinists, the Nazi leadership called the work of Houston Chamberlain the “gospel of the nazi party” and why dont you look at what Chamerlain beleived about darwinism

        • Also, it is undeniable that Hitler was greatly influenced by Darwin (even Richard Dawkins admits this) in both his social views and his views of eugenics. Again, not a controversial statement.

      • Hitler’s hero was clearly Houston Stewart Chamberlain,more then Nietzsche he even attended his funeral in 1927 along with several other high ranking members of his party.

        • Again, you are simply repeating yourself and, again, you are posing a false dichotomy–Nietzsche versus Chamberlain–as if it can’t be both. Also, Hitler didn’t give copies of Chamberlains works away but he did give Nietzsche’s books away to all of his closest allies including Mussolini and Stalin before their falling out.

  11. Libertarianism is not far right, absolute monarch lying is, libertarianism is supposed to be third path

    • Political stances are determined my economics–farther left you go = more government control, father right = less. That is the political spectrum.

      • sorry Matt, thats not the political spectrum, according to your reasoning Sultan Adhul-Hamid II “Red Sultan” would be considered a “liberal”! political spectrum is not soley determined by economics there is a reason why those that support absolute monarchy are known as “far-rightwing” and “ultra-convervative”.

        • Oh brother.

          “there is a reason why those that support absolute monarchy are known as “far-rightwing” and ‘ultra-convervative’.”

          Yeah, because people on the left say so? How exactly are you defining your terms? It sounds you just want to say all totalitarian governments = conservative, which not only flies in the face of history but smacks of just trying to make tautalogical statements to cover yourself. What’s next, are we going to call Stalin a right-winger?

          I think waffle-eater is mad that he can’t accuse Hitler of being a conservative Christian anymore. Matt has a law degree from Cornell, if you want to call that a “diploma mill university.” So if you so wish to test credentials (which are ultimately irrelevant since it’s the argument that matters, whether it comes form a professor or a guy working at McDonald’s, but hey, you brought it up), let’s hear yours. Because it sounds like you just took an intro class to political science or history and now think you know a lot.

          • ” think waffle-eater is mad that he can’t accuse Hitler of being a conservative Christian anymore.”
            i never even suggested that at all, Matt was the one calling him a “darwinist” and “athiest”.
            “Yeah, because people on the left say so? ”
            no its because they (French and Prussian Princes and Dukes) said so, Stalin cannot be called a right-winger due to the fact that he was calling for not only revolutionary change in a new and radical direction, like class warfare, but as well his support came from “the people” . This is what ultimatley makes Stalin left-wing while Hitler right-wing
            “Because it sounds like you just took an intro class to political science or history and now think you know a lot.”
            no its because i took advanced classes in poltical science and history. You really need to look up “horseshoe theory”

          • Waffle Eater, I too have taken advance classes in political science and history (as well as law and several years on Capitol Hill) but that’s largely irrelevant to the truth. The political spectrum has changed since the 18th century. Modern economics did not even take shape until the 20th century and was cemented by the works of Keynes and Hayek (as well as Marx). The modern political spectrum is based on 20th century political theories ranging from socialism/communism on the far left to libertarianism on the far right. Read The Grand Pursuit, or Keynes vs. Hayek or The Forgotten Man or The Big Three of Economics by Skousen, etc.

          • The “Communism = Nazism” thing has got you mixed up. It was Stalin of whom Shaw was enamored, not Hitler. As for those who admired the Nazis in the West, they included in the United States: Charles Lindbergh, a right-wing aviator; and Henry Ford, a right-wing industrialist. In France, they included Robert Brassilach, a right-wing journalist; Marcel Bucard, a right-wing politician; and Marcel Déat, a formerly left-wing politician. In Britain, they included Unity Mitford, a right-wing socialite; Lord Northcliffe, a right-wing newspaper proprietor; and Archibald Maule-Ramsey, a Conservative politician.

            also are you saying that racism and anti-Semitism;desire for colonies; approval of slave labor; hatred of liberal democracy; desire for censorship; the tendency to jail their opponents; homophobia; revulsion against free labor unions; the wish to indoctrinate the young into their ideology; viewing war as glorious and cleansing; a belief in the supreme nature of the nation’s blood and soil; a contempt for liberal education and academic freedom; etc. etc. etc. are things common in left wing governments? They also only supported gun control for their enemies for their supporters, learning to use a gun was compulsory. Also German government before them since Bismarck, and has every German government since, most of whom have been largely composed of Christian Democrats have supported national health insurance, it was hardly a “left wing” thing

          • No, I said the Nazis were socialists and they were by both creed and actions. I already stated that many of your so-called “right wing industrialists” were enamored with socialism because, again, they believed they would be among the ruling elite–this has been well documented. You are doing exactly what socialists tried to do in the 1950s–redefine the political spectrum so that economics is taken out of the picture and avoid the tag of fascism themselves. It is true that a handful of anti-semites supported Hitler for bigoted reasons but you want to ignore how many liberals supported him for economic reasons, which, again, is the definition of whether you are a left or right wing. Again, please read the books I suggested, especially economist Thomas Sowell’s “Intellectuals and Society.”

          • ” I already stated that many of your so-called “right wing industrialists” were enamored with socialism because, again, they believed they would be among the ruling elite–this has been well documented”

            yes that must be why Henry Ford hated unions so much because he was a big socalist……

            the Nazis just called themselves socalist to win blue-collar voters, if they were socalists they wouldnt promise to PROTECT property rights from communists! Also what about all those Prussian nobles that supported them. And the joining AGAINST the anti-leftist alliance in the spanish civil war

            “. You are doing exactly what socialists tried to do in the 1950s–redefine the political spectrum so that economics is taken out of the picture and avoid the tag of fascism themselves”
            i am not, Nazi understanding of economics was clearly different from Communist ones and economics is not the only part of the picture anyways a good political scienists would know all the factors that determine the political sturcture. A socalist can never be called a facist, they are mutally exscuive terms.

            This is also underscored by Albert Einstein’s embrace of socialism throughout his life — and in particular in his 1949 essay, Why Socialism? — along with the fact that Einstein’s name was included on a nazi death list with a bounty of $50,000 offered for his assassination. If nazism really is socialism, why would Einstein have identified himself as a socialist a scant four years after WWII?

            Also Thomas Sowell is a libertarian (not conservative) with an axe to grind against “liberals”

            By your logic Pastor Matt the Japanese of World War 2 were also left-wingers! Yet they passed many anti-left laws right up to the eve of world war 2. And there was a major crackdown on leftist writers in the 1920s ! So why would “left wingers” crackdown on people who has ideology who would agree with theirs?

          • Hitler and Stalin didn’t like unions either. They both wanted central control.

            Also, whether someone is a libertarian, conservative, liberal or whatnot is irrelevant to whether his or her argument is factual. To argue otherwise is to commit the genetic fallacy. A

            gain, please stop repeating yourself that what the Nazis said and did does not match their belief system. With all due respect, that’s just absurd.

            Yes, many Jewish leaders were socialists but they democratic socialists not national socialists or communists–but they all lie on the left wing of the political spectrum.

            All totalitarian groups tend to persecute dissenters (democratic socialists versus national socialists versus communists) but that still doesn’t mean they aren’t all left wing. Heck, conservatives and libertarians are the ones who hold a strict view of the 1st Amendment in this country!

          • Again, you are repeating yourself without evidence and redefining the political spectrum. If you don’t have anything new to add, please stop commenting. Also, as Sowell points out, socialism does not necessitate ownership of the means of production only control and the Nazis dictated what was to be made, when it was to be made and what, if any, profits an owner could take. This is socialism.

            Once again, I urge you to read an economic history such as The Grand Pursuit or The Big Three of Economics. All the best,

  12. I think Hitler considered himself to be a true Christian, but what he considered to be true Christianity was very different from what we would recognize. He belong to a cult called Positive Christianity, which whitewashed the Jewishness of Jesus and Bible by throwing out all of the Old Testament and most of the New. They combined what was left with strong German nationalism and had a heavy emphasis on helping your neighbor, but they didn’t consider Jews to be their neighbors.

  13. This article and the comments rely extensively on quotes from “Hitler’s Table Talk”, the Hugh Trevor-Roper translation of “Hitlers Tischgespräche im Führerhauptquartier” (compiled and edited by Henry Picker). The problem is that the Trevor-Roper translation is not based on the original notes from the bunker. It is based on the french translation by François Genoud, a Swiss banker and lifelong Nazi with an aversion to Christianity.

    Richard Carrier (yes, that Richard Carrier) shows quite convincingly in his “‘Hitler’s Table Talk’: Troubling Finds” (German Studies Review 26 (3): 561-576) that the Trevor-Roper translation is based on Genoud’s translation, which in turn differs markedly from the original German. At least some of the quotes pertinent to Hitler’s attitude toward Christianity are noticeably doctored. “Hitler’s Table Talk” therefore should not be considered a particularly reliable source, and English quotes from the book concerning Christianity should be taken with a heavy dose of salt.

    • Taylor, that’s simply not true. The only widely accepted criticism is that Bormann edited the manuscripts to make Hitler look BETTER and that the English and French translations were not well done. However, Hitler’s statements re: Christianity have been corroborated by many including the diaries of Otto Wettinger in his conversations with Hitler as well as the latter’s outspoken admiration for Nietszche, Margaret Sanger and Edward Gibbons’ criticism of Christianity for supposedly destroying the Roman Empire, etc. It all coheres with the statements in Table Talk.

  14. I am aware of horseshoe theory; the thing is is that if one accepts it, it can often become an exercise of semantics. If anything, though the paths by which the left or the right get to totalitarianism are different, they end up very similar, which isn’t exactly what most people want to say when they try to paint Hitler as ultraconservative or a Christian. As Matt points out, this shift in rhetoric is to mostly avoid the conclusion that veering far left can get you to a place like Nazi Germany.

    However, as Matt says, Hitler’s economic philosophy more clearly coheres with the left than the right according to modern economics. I’m not sure you’ll find too many people on the right in our times (basically, zero) who would endorse Hitler’s brand of socialism. Nor did any of Hitler’s private beliefs have anything to do with theism; if anything, he leaned more towards atheism and he did revere Nietzsche quite a bit (though I will be fair and say that, having studied Nietzsche, I know that Hitler and the Nazis misread him badly). At best, he had a fascination with the occult and whatever “God” he believed in was no more personal than Spinoza’s.

  15. My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded only 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. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison. To-day, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before in the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice…. And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people…. When I go out in the morning and see these men standing in their queues and look into their pinched faces, then I believe I would be no Christian, but a very devil if I felt no pity for them, if I did not, as did our Lord two thousand years ago, turn against those by whom to-day this poor people is plundered and exploited.
    -Adolf Hitler, in his speech in Munich on 12 April 1922

    Just as the Jew could once incite the mob of Jerusalem against Christ, so today he must succeed in inciting folk who have been duped into madness to attack those who, God’s truth! seek to deal with this people in utter honesty and sincerity.
    -Adolf Hitler, in Munich, 28 July 1922

    There are three words which many use without a thought which for us are no catch-phrases: Love, Faith, and Hope…. We are fanatical in our love for our people….

    We have faith in the rights of our people, the rights which have existed time out of mind. We protest against the view that every other nation should have rights – and we have none. We must learn to make our own this blind faith in the rights of our people, in the necessity of devoting ourselves to the service of these rights; we must make our own the faith that gradually victory must be granted us if only we are fanatical enough. And from this love and from this faith there emerges for us the idea of hope. When others doubt and hesitate for the future of Germany – we have no doubts. We have both the hope and the faith that Germany will and must once more become great and mighty.

    We have faith that one day Heaven will bring the Germans back into a Reich over which there shall be no Soviet star, no Jewish star of David, but above that Reich there shall be the symbol of German labor – the Swastika. And that will mean that the first of May has truly come.

    -Adolf Hitler, speech in Munich, 01 May 1923

    It matters not whether these weapons of ours are humane: if they gain us our freedom, they are justified before our conscience and before our God.

    -Adolf Hitler, in Munich, 01 Aug. 1923

    It will at any rate be my supreme task to see to it that in the newly awakened NSDAP, the adherents of both Confessions can live peacefully together side by side in order that they may take their stand in the common fight against the power which is the mortal foe of any true Christianity.
    -Adolf Hitler, in an article headed “A New Beginning,” 26 Feb. 1925

    My personal favorite.
    We are a people of different faiths, but we are one. Which faith conquers the other is not the question; rather, the question is whether Christianity stands or falls…. We tolerate no one in our ranks who attacks the ideas of Christianity… in fact our movement is Christian. We are filled with a desire for Catholics and Protestants to discover one another in the deep distress of our own people.

    -Adolf Hitler, in a speech in Passau, 27 October 1928

    • JD, did you read the post? Hitler states in both Mein Kempf and in Table Talk that his public statements are not to be trusted for they are nothing but propaganda, which is why books like Table Talk (as well as diaries of his advisors, which agree with his statements recorded in Table Talk) are historically valuable. Hitler was open to the Nazi party reworking Christianity into an Aryan mythology for he was fascinated by both myths and the occult (so was Anton Levay) but, by his own admission, his public statements were worthless. Thanks for stopping by.

      • Didn’t realize we were only looking at the information that agrees with your preconceived notions.
        Ok, sticking to published works only…

        It will at any rate be my supreme task to see to it that in the newly awakened NSDAP, the adherents of both Confessions can live peacefully together side by side in order that they may take their stand in the common fight against the power which is the mortal foe of any true Christianity.
        -Adolf Hitler, “A New Beginning,” 26 Feb. 1925

        The fact that the Vatican is concluding a treaty with the new Germany means the acknowledgement of the National Socialist state by the Catholic Church. This treaty shows the whole world clearly and unequivocally that the assertion that National Socialism [Nazism] is hostile to religion is a lie.
        -Adolf Hitler, 22 July 1933, writing to the Nazi Party (quoted from John Cornwell’s “Hitler’s Pope”

        The German Church and the People are practically the same body. Therefore there could be no issue between Church and State. The Church, as such, has nothing to do with political affairs. On the other hand, the State has nothing to do with the faith or inner organization of the Church. The election of November 12th would be an expression of church constituency, but not as a Church.
        -Adolf Hitler, “The New Church and the New Germany”

        You might also want to read:
        Hitler’s Pope
        ( http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0670886939/freethinkers# )
        and The Holy Reich
        ( http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0521823714/freethinkers )
        Sorry, but you can’t just dismiss every speech he made, both before and after becoming chancellor, because they do not fit with what you have already determined to be true.

        • I’ve read both books. However, as to what statements to give weight to, I am simply following the prescribed historical method taught in every graduate program of which I am aware. Hitler himself stated you could not trust his public statements, so do you dismiss this statement out-of-hand? If so, then it you, not I, that is committed to personal prejudice. The historical method dictates that we look to sources such as the private diaries of Otto Wettinger and Hitler confidents for his true feelings if Hitler himself stated that one cannot trust public statements and that is what I have done. His private statements also cohere with his actions and his public and private admiration for Nietzsche, Margaret Sanger, social Darwinism, etc.

  16. FYI, because I have been inundated with comments from angry atheists personally attacking me and even going so far as to fabricate historical sources (yes, I check) to try to refute what is clear, the comments section for this post will be closed. I apologize for any inconvenience.

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