National Atheist Day 2013

atheism, atheist, delusion

“A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading.” 
―    C.S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy

Our annual salute to atheists, those members in good standing of the herd of independent thinkers who are convinced there is no God, and that the Universe materialized from nothing in some scientific fashion that will be explained to us shortly.

Here at The American Catholic we do appreciate atheists and wish them to hone their arguments when they come visiting us.  Here are a few helpful hints:

1.  Catholics are not Fundamentalists-Atheists often have Bible verses that they memorize in order to attempt to discomfit Christians.  Unfortunately for them different sects of Christians read the Bible differently.  What might discomfit a Fundamentalist has no impact on a Catholic who has 2000 years of teaching as to the many ways in which a Biblical passage can be interpreted.

2.  Hitler was not a Catholic-Hitler was born a Catholic but had stopped believing in the Faith long before he became ruler of Germany.  In conversations he evinced a hatred for Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular.  When you attempt to use Hitler as a club against us, it merely displays a profound historical ignorance on your part.

3.  Religion starts all the Wars-After the bloody last century, in which most wars were caused by atheist totalitarian systems, that argument needs to be cast on the ashheap of history.

4.  Pedophile priests-Attempting to discredit Catholicism because some priests and bishops have caused great evil, is like attempting to discredit Christ because one of His chosen Apostles betrayed him.

5.  Read Saint Thomas Aquinas-You will quickly lose any Catholic audience unless you can show some familiarity with the proofs of the existence of God of the Angelic Doctor.

6.  Bigotry-If you are an obvious bigot who hates Catholics, do not waste your time and ours.

7.  Church History-Catholicism has a rich history, and if you debate Catholics you need to have a better knowledge of it than the Jack Chick version most of you seem to love.

8.  God Didn’t Say It, I Don’t Believe It and That Settles It-If you come to us with a closed mind on the existence of God we really have little to say to each other.

9.  Learn Your Atheism-Too many atheists simply crib their arguments from atheist web sites.  Please do your own research if you wish to debate us.

10. Ex-Catholic-If you proclaim yourself a fallen away Catholic, do not demonstrate such ignorance of Catholicism that we assume you are lying or that you slept through the one Catechism class you bothered to attend.

Let us end with a little entertainment:

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Atheism

40 Responses to National Atheist Day 2013

  • Welcome reddit users! Enjoy the article.

  • From the symbol on the bottom: Atheism = half a radioactive Big Mac?

  • That article seems to be written by a Catholic who has as little understanding of a reasoned Atheist as he claims most Atheists do of Catholics.

    “..and that the Universe materialized from nothing in some scientific fashion that will be explained to us shortly.”

    Who said anything about shortly? As the Church as 2,000 years of teaching, study and contemplation, why can’t science? The difference is, with this statement, you seem to have given up looking and are content with the bumper sticker answer of “God did it. I believe it. That settles it.” Atheists would like to continue looking for details, and it may take some time.

    I say “you” here, because there are many Catholics who separate the “who” from the “how” and have contributed mightily to the science of cosmology.

    But, then again, reasoned, rational, non-confrontational blog posts don’t generate as many hits, do they?

  • “Who said anything about shortly? As the Church as 2,000 years of teaching, study and contemplation, why can’t science?”
    Science proceeds at its own pace, set by the skill and wit of the scientists involved. The problem for atheists is their categorical statement that there is no God. Unless we take the non-existence of God simply as an article of faith, something most atheists deny, then the problem of Creation ex nihilo must be resolved. Such a problem does not present itself for Agnostics who are merely certain about their uncertainly.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrdKgzwnA9Y

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/25/books/review/a-universe-from-nothing-by-lawrence-m-krauss.html?_r=0

    http://www.firstthings.com/article/2012/05/not-understanding-nothing

  • I’m wary of “bigotry” arguments regarding religion. I assume many commenters here (and myself) think Islam in and of itself has issues for example, and it’s not bigotry to make that case. Likewise if people think Catholicism has certain negative teachings that make it unworthy of belief/support they can be debated.

    though yeah, once you extend criticism of a religion to religious people as individuals you’re getting in that territory

  • Atheism is a major part of the most murderous ideology ever devised by man.

    Since atheists deny god, then evidently the universe just went “poof” one day and began to exist, just by random chance. The same thing applies to all developments since.

    Such an argument is far more ridiculous than any half-baked atheist rant about a sky fairy.

  • Long time no read, Donald. Gosh, that song was a painful listen. Might I suggest substituting “Atheists Ain’t Got No Songs” by the Steep Canyon Rangers as an alternative that won’t make our ears bleed? ;-)

  • I had used it on an earlier National Atheist’s Day, but just for you cminor here we go:

  • I agree that most atheists fail because they pick fights with strawmen, but let’s be careful not to do the same.

  • #3 is very important indeed. I still hear that argument and of course it’s very true that more people died under totalitarianism in the 20th century, totalitarianism which was atheistic in belief.

  • Donald — Correct, but for many “atheism” is a verbal shortcut not to “there is no God at all” to “the Christian concept of God is bunk”. But, yes, absolutists are frequently fools and we all know the admonition against arguing with fools…

    Penguins Fan — “Since atheists deny god, then evidently the universe just went “poof” one day and began to exist, just by random chance. The same thing applies to all developments since.”

    Wow, no. That last sentence is just flat out wrong. I suggest you read Thomas Aquinas’ Five Proofs of God’s Existence as suggested in the article. He deals with PRIME causes, not necessary everything that follows. Getting it started is the trick, not keeping it going.

    You say “I don’t know, so God did it”, I say “I don’t know, but we’re working on it”. The hard problems are the most fun.

  • “Donald — Correct, but for many “atheism” is a verbal shortcut not to “there is no God at all” to “the Christian concept of God is bunk”.”

    It is fascinating to me how people who would have deemed themselves agnostic a generation ago now claim the title atheist. I suspect it is because agnostic has developed a fairly weak connotation. Additionally, because most people, on all sides of issues, do not reason as tightly and with as great precision, as most people did say a half century ago. We live in sloppy times, both in our speech and in our thoughts.

  • Good point. Reasoning is not valued as much in common debate. Sometimes its not even welcome. Try reasoning wiht the homosexual debate and all you will get is sentiment. They will talk over reason or write it off as bigotry. Reason doesn’t hold water a lot of times, unfortunately. As people reject the world created by God they give up a certain amout of reason too.

  • Atheist on deathbed; “the darkness..the darkness…the everlasting darkness.”

    I’m coming into my thirteenth year working in geriatric’s and their final days on Earth.
    One professed atheist on his deathbed SCREAMED and HOWLED uncontrollably just before giving up the ghost.
    It was then and there that I fully understood these words; “Only a fool doesn’t believe in God.”

  • Charles, don’t insult my intelligence and waste my time telling me I am wrong. You are wrong. Catholics have been among the world’s great scientists, especially among astronomy.

    Now, I don’t expect you to believe it, but I have had two experiences in my life that proved to me God is real and exists. My wife’s father saw the miracle of the sun at Fatima in 1917. So did 50,000 other people. They did not all make it up.

  • Penguins Fan-
    John Haffert’s book ( Meet the Witnesses ) is an excellent collection of on the scene witnesses giving their testimony of the Fatima miracle.
    Atheists, scoffers, journalist, doctors..the crowd of witnesses we’re present for different reasons, and the beauty of the Event unites them in ways unimaginable.
    Charles may find it humors, or not.

  • To raise issue with each of your points in turn with reasons as to why:

    1. Is this not a somewhat beneficial “hint” for the Theist side of the argument? My reasoning is that there are some atheists (like myself) have read the Bible and know it well and are able to quote certain teachings from it that may contradict a specific argument. To assume all atheists make such quotes purely to get a “fundamentalist” response is a somewhat narrowminded assumption of this section of society, and to suggest that such a thing be avoided is akin to an atheist saying “there is no God and you may say nothing to suggest otherwise”. A learned atheist often (not always) knows more than a theist as this is the reason they have become an atheist.

    2. True and false in one statement Hitler was born a Catholic and renounced that faith. He did not however renounce Christianity as a whole nor declare himself an atheist. His Nazi party supported a supposed forward thinking Protestant pressure group and he often spoke of promoting “positive Christianity” and to shy away from the “negative Christianity” he saw in Catholicism and the Protestant Churches of the time. Part of the aim of the Holocaust was to eradicate the Jewish influences of Christianity and instill a philosophy more akin to that of the Nazi Party. He may not have been Catholic during the worst atrocities of the 20th century, but he retained a sense of Christianity – if the full truth is to be told.

    3. Firstly it is true to say totalitarianism does not mean atheist, and given the definition of “totalitarianism” there are more similarities to religious states in history than there is non-religious. It is true though that religion does not start all wars, although in the modern era it is equally as culpable globally as capitalism for some of the major conflicts throughout the world. That is not to say that there have not been conflicts caused by atheist leaders, but it far from leaves the argument in need of casting aside, but more realistically it needs revising to reflect a more diverse world.

    4. This is a true assertion, but when the head of the Catholic church shows a greater inclination towards hiding the crime than supporting justice, there is an issue that needs resolving. Condemning Catholicism for the acts of the few is like condemning Germany for the leadership of one man. However, Germany accepted her involvement in allowing the crimes. Catholicism is yet to make the same apology for the acts of some representatives of the cloth.

    5. I have not read this, I will admit, but I hope readers feel this by no means discredits anything raised. I would promise to read it for greater understanding, but will not be disingenuous for a commitment I may not be able to keep. I feel this is justified as I I could argue a theist will lose an atheist audience if they have not read Richard Dawkins’ “The God Delusion”, which I feel would be unfair.

    6. I hope it is clear that I do not hate Catholics or religion per se. There is alot to be learned from the history of society, and religion is a part of that. I dislike the bias against atheists though, as well as the assumptions that those without “faith” must be inherently evil. Ironically, I have probably been written off as a bigot already by some. For those who have not, I thank you.

    7. The history of Catholicism is indeed rich. In parts that history has been glorious – acts of charity, preservation of civilisation following the fall of Rome, etc – but in other parts it has been horrendous and controversial – inquisitions and stealing of babies for example. Apologies for some of the “atrocities” have been made, but not all, and some seemed genuine while others appeared to be disingenuous thanks to media pressure. The fact it is one of the earliest sects of Christianity is testament to the power is has had, used, or abused, in various measures throughout time, but Islam is equally as rich in parts, Judaism arguably richer and the multitude of Pagan faiths predating Constantine’s vision and the edict that later came from his victory in battle.

    8. The definition of a closed mind is indeed one that is intolerant of new ideas, beliefs or the opinions of others, and many atheists should be wary of this fact. The other half of the definition of close mindedness though is having an inflexibility and stubbornness to new evidence and ideas. The argument presented would not be tolerated if I was to now call Catholics closed minded for saying “God said it, so I believe it and that settles it”. A theist with a closed mind to anything other than their faith is as destructive to reasonable debate as an atheist unwilling to consider the arguments for a God, and to not even acknowledge that possibility is dismissive and perhaps shows a “closed minded” opinion of atheists as a whole.

    9. The same could be said of most Theists – learn your religions. And not just Catholicism or Islam or belief in the Flying Spaghetti Monster. A choice without truly knowing the options is not really a choice at all. If your entire choice in this area comes from only reading the Bible (or Quran, or a specific non-religious text of your choice as atheists have no equivalent), then have you genuinely exercised free will or made an educated choice? Or have you followed blindly? An argument of “well that is why it is called Faith” is not really an answer at all to a shortcoming that would be considered “uneducated” if applied to any other field or discipline.

    10. I am not a former Catholic. My heritage is in Church of England. However, to paraphrase Shakespeare, “A Catholic by any other name is still a Christian” and the issues raised here are as applicable to Catholicism and the Catholic Church as they are to any other branch of Christianity, Islam, Scientology or belief in an “Invisible Pink Unicorn” – and in each case are applicable considerations to any Atheists whose only argument is “there is no God because that is stupid”.

    I close by saying that (as I am sure is clear) that I am an atheist and am perfectly happy being so, and I hope at no point it is felt that I have tried to debunk the foundations of Catholicism or claim there is no God, as it was never my intention to do so.

  • 1. “To assume all atheists make such quotes purely to get a “fundamentalist” response” is based upon my experience at this blog since 2008. If you know the Bible thoroughly, well and good, but it would make you the exception to atheists who have dropped by here and brought up the Bible.

    2. “He may not have been Catholic during the worst atrocities of the 20th century, but he retained a sense of Christianity – if the full truth is to be told”. Not really. Hitler was a materialist with New Age overtones. He had nothing but contempt for Christianity. Here follows a rather lengthy quote from research I have done in this area. I will respond to your other comments either this evening or tomorrow depending upon the length of other matters that I must attend to:

    In regard to Hitler here are a few of his many diatribes against the Church contained in his “Table Talk” compiled following the war from notes taken at the time he spoke:

    ‘The war will be over one day. I shall then consider that my life’s final task will be to solve the religious problem. Only then Will the life of the German native be guaranteed once and for all.”

    “The evil that’s gnawing our vitals is our priests, of both creeds. I can’t at present give them the answer they’ve been asking for, but it will cost them nothing to wait. It’s all written down in my big book. The time will come when I’ll settle my account with them, and I’ll go straight to the point.”

    “I don’t know which should be considered the more dangerous: the minister of religion who play-acts at patriotism, or the man who openly opposes the State. The fact remains that it’s their maneuvers that have led me to my decision. They’ve only got to keep at it, they’ll hear from me, all right. I shan’t let myself be hampered by juridical scruples. Only necessity has legal force. In less than ten years from now, things will have quite another look, I can promise them.”

    “We shan’t be able to go on evading the religious problem much longer. If anyone thinks it’s really essential to build the life of human society on a foundation of lies, well, in my estimation, such a society is not worth preserving. If’ on the other hand, one believes that truth is the indispensable foundation, then conscience bids one intervene in the name of truth, and exterminate the lie.”

    “Once the war is over we will put a swift end to the Concordat. It will give me the greatest personal pleasure to point out to the Church all those occasions on which it has broken the terms of it. One need only recall the close cooperation between the Church and the murderers of Heydrich. Catholic priests not only allowed them to hide in a church on the outskirts of Prague, but even allowed them to entrench themselves in the sanctuary of the altar.”

    “The fact that I remain silent in public over Church affairs is not in the least misunderstood by the sly foxes of the Catholic Church, and I am quite sure that a man like the Bishop von Galen knows full well that after the war I shall extract retribution to the last farthing. And, if he does not succeed in getting himself transferred in the meanwhile to the Collegium Germanium in Rome, he may rest assured that in the balancing of our accounts, no “T” will remain uncrossed, no “I” undotted!”

    Martin Bormann Nazi Party Secretary was most forthright regarding the fundamental Nazi hostility to religion:

    We who have cast off superstitions have evolved to a better place.”

    “National Socialist and Christian concepts are incompatible. The Christian Churches build upon the ignorance of men and strive to keep large portions of the people in ignorance because only in this way can the Christian Churches maintain their power. On the other hand, National Socialism is based on scientific foundations. Christianity’s immutable principles, which were laid down almost two thousand years ago, have increasingly stiffened into life-alien dogmas. National Socialism, however, if it wants to fulfill its task further, must always guide itself according to the newest data of scientific researches.”

    Martin Bormann, Chief of the Nazi Party Chancellery, 1942

    At Nuremburg after the war the Prosecution noted the Nazi hostitility to Christianity:

    “We come now to deal with the responsibility of the defendant Bormann with respect to the persecution of the Church. The defendant Bormann authorised, directed and participated in measures involving the persecution of the Christian Church. The Tribunal, of course, has heard much in this proceeding concerning the acts of the conspiracy involving the persecution of the Church. We have no desire now to rehash that evidence. We are interested in one thing alone, and that is nailing on the defendant Bormann his responsibility, his personal, individual responsibility, for that persecution.

    I shall now present the proofs showing the responsibility of Bormann with respect to such persecution of the Christian Churches.

    Bormann was among the most relentless enemies of the Christian Church and Christian Clergy in Germany and in German-occupied Europe. I refer the Tribunal, without quoting therefrom, to Document D-75, previously introduced in evidence as Exhibit USA 348, which contains a copy of the secret Bormann decree of 6th June, 1941, entitled “The Relationship of National Socialism to Christianity.” In this decree, as the Tribunal will well recall, Bormann bluntly declared that National Socialism and Christianity were incompatible, and he indicated that the ultimate aim of the conspirators was to assure the elimination of Christianity itself.

    I next refer the Tribunal, without quotation, to Document 098-PS, previously put in as Exhibit USA 350. This is a letter from the defendant Bormann to the defendant Rosenberg, dated 22nd February, 1940, in which Bormann reaffirms the incompatibility of Christianity and National Socialism.

    Now, in furtherance of the conspirators’ aim to undermine the Christian Churches, Bormann took measures to eliminate the influence of the Christian Church from within the Nazi Party and its formations. I now offer in evidence Document 113-PS, as Exhibit USA 683. This is an order of the defendant Bormann, dated 27th July, 1938, issued as Chief of Staff to the Deputy of the

    [Page 300]

    Fuehrer, Hess, which prohibits clergymen, from holding Party offices. I shall not take the time of the Tribunal to put this quotation upon the, record. The point of it is, as indicated, that Bormann issued an order-forbidding the appointment of clergymen to Party positions.
    THE PRESIDENT: Perhaps this would be a good time to break off for ten minutes.

    (A recess was taken.)

    LIEUTENANT LAMBERT: May it please the Tribunal, we are dealing with the efforts of the defendant Bormann to expel and eliminate from the Party all Church and religious influence.

    I offer in evidence Document 838-PS, as Exhibit USA 684. I shall not burden the record with extensive quotation from this exhibit, but merely point out that this is a copy of a Bormann decree dated 3rd June, 1939, which laid it down that followers of Christian Science should be excluded from the Party.

    The attention of the Tribunal is next invited to Document 840-PS, previously introduced in evidence as Exhibit USA 355. The Tribunal will recall that this, was a Bormann decree of 14th July, 1939, referring with approval to an earlier Bormann decree of 9th February, 1937, in which he had ruled, that in the future all Party members who entered the clergy or who undertook the study of theology were to be expelled from the Party.

    I next offer in evidence Document 107-PS, Exhibit USA 3M. This is a circular directive of the defendant Bormann dated 17th June, 1938, addressed to all Reichsleiters and Gauleiters, top leaders of the Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party, transmitting a copy of directions relating. to the non-participation of the Reich Labour Service in religious celebrations. The Reich Labour Service, the Tribunal will recall, compulsorily incorporated all Germans within its organisation.

    DR. BERGOLD (Counsel for defendant Bormann): The member of the prosecution has just submitted a number of documents, in which he proves that, on the suggestion of Bormann, members of the Christian religion were to be excluded from the Party, or from certain organisations. I beg the High Tribunal to allow the member of the prosecution to explain to me how and why Bormann’s activity, that is, the exclusion of Christians from the Party, can be a War Crime. I cannot gather this evidence from the trial brief. The Party is described as a criminal conspiracy. Is it a crime to exclude certain people from membership in a criminal conspiracy? Is that considered a crime? How and why is the exclusion of certain members from the Party a crime?

    THE PRESIDENT: Counsel will answer you.

    LIEUTENANT LAMBERT: If the Tribunal will willingly accommodate argument at this stage, we find that the question –

    THE PRESIDENT: Only short argument.

    LIEUTENANT LAMBERT: Yes, Sir – admits of a short, and, as it seems to us, easy answer.

    The point we are now trying to prove – and evidence is abounding on it – is that Bormann had a hatred and an enmity and took oppositional measures towards the Christian Church. The Party was the repository of political power in Germany. To have power one had to be in the Party or subject to its favour. By his efforts, concerted, continuing and consistent, to exclude clergymen, theological students or any persons sympathetic to the Christian, religion, Bormann could not have chosen a clearer method of showing and demonstrating his, hatred and his distrust of the Christian religion and those who supported it.

    THE PRESIDENT: Counsel for Bormann can present his argument upon this subject at a later stage. The documents appear to the Tribunal to be relevant.

    LIEUTENANT LAMBERT: With the Tribunal’s permission, I had just put in Document 107-PS and pointed out that it transmitted directions relating to the

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    non-participation of the Reich Labour Service in religious celebrations. I quote merely the fourth and fifth paragraphs of Page 1 of the English translation of Document 107-PS, which reads as follows:
    “Every religious discussion is forbidden in the Reich Labour Service because it disturbs the comrade-like harmony of all working men and women.
    For this reason also, every participation of the Reich Labour Service in Church, i.e., religious, arrangements and celebrations is not possible.”

    The attention of the Tribunal is next invited to Document 070-PS, previously put in as Exhibit USA 349. The Tribunal will recall that this was a letter from Bormann’s office to the defendant Rosenberg, dated 25th April, 1941, in which Bormann declared that he had achieved progressive success in reducing and abolishing religious services in schools, and in replacing Christian prayers with National Socialist mottoes and rituals. In this letter, Bormann also proposed a Nazified morning service in the schools, in place of the existing confession and morning service.
    In his concerted efforts to undermine and subvert the Christian churches, Bormann authorised, directed and participated in measures leading to the closing, reduction and suppression of theological schools, faculties and institutions. The attention of the Tribunal is invited to Document 116-PS, Exhibit USA 685, which I offer in evidence. This is a letter from the defendant Bormann to the defendant Rosenberg, dated 24th January, 1939, enclosing, for Rosenberg’s cognisance, a copy of Bormann’s letter to the Reich Minister for Science, Training and Public Education. In the enclosed letter, Bormann informs the Minister as to the Party’s position in favour of restricting and suppressing theological faculties. Bormann states that, owing to war conditions, it had become necessary to reorganise the German high schools, and in view of this situation, he requested the Minister to restrict and suppress certain theological faculties.

    I now quote from the first paragraph on Page 3 of the English translation of Document 116-PS, which reads as follows:

    “I, therefore, would like to see you put the theological faculties under appreciable limitations in so far as, according to the above statements, they cannot be entirely eliminated. This will concern not only the theological faculties at universities, but also the various State institutions which, as seminaries having no affiliation with any university, still exist in many places. I request you not to give any express explanations to churches or other institutions and to avoid public announcement of these measures. Complaints and the like, if they are to be answered at all, must be countered with this explanation, that these measures are carried out in the course of planned economy, and that the same is being done to other, faculties. I would be glad, if the professorial chairs thus made vacant could then be turned over to the fields of research newly created in recent years, such as racial research and archaeology.
    “Martin Bormann.”

    In our submission, what this document comes to is a request from Bormann to this effect: “Please close down the religious faculties and substitute in their place Nazi faculties and university chairs, with the mission of investigating racialism, cultism, Nazi archaeology.” This sort of thing was done in the Hohe Schule, as was so clearly demonstrated in the prosecution’s case against the plundering activities of the Einsatzstab Rosenberg.
    The attention of the Tribunal is next invited to Document 122-PS, previously put in as Exhibit USA 362. The Tribunal will recall that 122-PS is a letter from the defendant Bormann to the defendant Rosenberg, dated 17th April, 1939, transmitting to Rosenberg a photostatic copy of the plan of the Reich

    [Page 302]

    Minister of Science, Training and Public Education for the combining and dissolving of certain specified theological faculties. In his letter of transmittal, Bormann requested Rosenberg “to take cognizance and prompt action” with respect to the proposed suppression of religious institutions.
    I next offer in evidence Document 123-PS, Exhibit USA 686. This is a confidential letter from the defendant Bormann to the Minister of Education, dated 23rd June, 1939, in which Bormann sets forth the Party’s decision to order the suppression of numerous theological faculties and religious institutions. The Tribunal will note that the letter lists 19 separate religious institutions with respect to which Bormann ordered dissolution or restriction.

    After directing the action to be taken by the Minister in connection with the various theological faculties, Bormann stated as follows, and I quote from the next to last paragraph of Page 3 of the English translation of Document 123-PS:

    “In the above I have informed you of the Party’s wishes, after thorough, investigation of the matter with all Party offices. I would be grateful if you would initiate the necessary measures as quickly as possible. With regard to the great political significance which every single case of such a combination will have for the Gau concerned, I ask you to take these measures, and particularly to fix dates for them always in agreement with me.”
    I next offer in evidence, without quotation, Document 131- PS, as Exhibit USA 687. In summary, without quotation therefrom, this is a letter from the defendant Bormann to the defendant Rosenberg, dated 12th December, 1939, relating to the suppression of seven professorships in the near-by University of Munich.
    Now, I deal briefly with the responsibility of Bormann for the confiscation of religious property and cultural property. Bormann used his paramount power and position to cause the confiscation of religious property and to subject the Christian churches and clergy to a discriminatory legal regime.

    I offer in evidence Document 099-PS, Exhibit USA 688. This is a copy of a letter from Bormann to the Reich Minister for Finance, dated 19th January, 1940, in which Bormann demanded a great increase in the special war tax imposed on the churches. I quote from the first two paragraphs of Page 2 of the English translation of this document, which reads as follows:

    “As it has been reported to me, the war contribution of the churches has been specified from 1st November, 1939 on, at first, for a period of three months, at R.M. 1,800,000 per month, of which R.M. 1,000,000 are to be paid by the Protestant church, and R.M. 800,000 by the Catholic church per month. The establishment of such a low amount has surprised me. I see from numerous reports that the political communities have to raise such a large war contribution, that the execution of their tasks, partially very important – for example, in the field of public welfare – is, endangered. In consideration of that, a larger quota from the churches appears to be absolutely appropriate.”
    The question may arise: Of what criminal effect is it to demand larger taxes from church institutions? As to this demand of Bormann’s taken by itself, the prosecution would not suggest that it had a criminal effect, but when viewed within the larger frame of Bormann’s demonstrated hostility to the Christian Church, and his efforts, not merely to circumscribe but to eliminate it, we suggest that this document has probative value in showing Bormann’s hostility and his concrete measures to effectuate that hostility against the Christian churches and clergy.”

    Bottom line, the only “god” Hitler worshipped was a mortal by the name of Adolph Hitler who he mistook for a god.

  • This post seems to imply that Atheism is a belief or a religion of its own, just because they have a symbol, fundraises and people willing to support the cause. In that case, you may as well consider the democratic party as a religion also.

    For those of you who are caught up in this misconception, please click this link and learn how atheism CANNOT fit the criteria of being classified as a system of faith, or a belief or a religion!

  • I will admit most of what you have quoted I had not read before, and makes enlightening reading. My reference though to “Nazi Christianity” is because much of what you have quoted – and I will not deny its validity – was put down by Hitler for fear of bad press as there was still a Christian majority (approximately 80%, mainly Protestant) in Germany at the time. Hitler’s vision for “christianity (and I shall not capitalise out of respect and the bastardisation being attempted here) was one where there was an acknowledgement of Jesus Christ’s existence and the concept of “positive christianity” they put forward was one where Jesus was more of a soldier who actively fought Judaisms influence upon his world. As you have quoted Borman, who had declared “national Socialism and Christianity are irreconcilable”, I wish to also do so:

    “When we National Socialists speak of belief in God, we do not mean, like the naive Christians and their spiritual exploiters, a man-like being sitting around somewhere in the universe. The force governed by natural law by which all these countless planets move in the universe, we call omnipotence or God. The assertion that this universal force can trouble itself about the destiny of each individual being, every smallest earthly bacillus, can be influenced by so-called prayers or other surprising things, depends upon a requisite dose of naivety or else upon shameless professional self-interest.”

    Within this context, there is not a denial of God as a concept, only in the portrayal of said God by the establishment. It is perhaps more justifiable to say that this Nazi concept of “christianity” is closer to “naturalism” with more of a “mother nature” style guidance than an omnipotent being.

    As I said, there was a bastardisation of the Christian faith and perhaps much of this was posturing to appease the masses who at the time still maintained a more traditional stance on the matter – as well as providing a self-serving justification for the worst atrocities of the 20th century.

    I would argue, that perhaps in that respect Hitler and his closest followers are little different to the most extreme of fundamentalists, acting as a group to use “good words” as a weapon which people will follow blindly.

    I thank you for your response thus far though, and I will provide the courtesy of an equally respectful post to your response.

  • Very good research, Donald, on Hitler’s intellectual beliefs. He was in the tradition of nineteenth century occultism and steeped in silly linguistic and cultural ideas. Like other occultists before him, he was racist and aristocratic. And I would say very superstituous. I don’t know whether the materialist adjective applies to him, though perhaps it does.

  • And yes, he was rather Nietchean and had nothing but contempt for the Christianity of Germany. He saw the Roman and Lutheran churches as impediments to his agenda and soon began silencing them.

  • Of course it is a belief. There is no proof that there is no God. Atheism rests on belief just as purely as Theism. (Incidentally, I do believe that the Democrat Party operates as a substitute religion for some of its members.)

  • 3. “It is true though that religion does not start all wars, although in the modern era it is equally as culpable globally as capitalism for some of the major conflicts throughout the world.”

    I think precious few wars have been started by capitalism outside of some of the mercantilist struggles, for example the wars between the Dutch and the English in the Seventeenth Century. Religion, since the Seventeenth Century, has been the cause of very few wars, certainly large wars, unless one views Communism and Fascism as substitute religions, which, for many of their adherents, they clearly are. Communism has traditionally been hostile to religions as inimicable to their variant of State worship. Fascism, in both its Italian and German variants, had rocky relationships with Christian religions, and clearly viewed loyalty to the State to be more important than religion, although this was much more clearly demonstrated in Germany than in Italy.

    4. “Catholicism is yet to make the same apology for the acts of some representatives of the cloth.” Actually there have been endless apologies, up to and including the Pope. The problem of the sexual abuse of minors is a serious one, and afflicts all institutions and beliefs. We at The American Catholic have been quite severe in our condemnation of predator priests and the bishops who protected them. However, we also understand that many people who hate the Church merely use this as a club against the Church. I pray for the time when all institutions and groups receive the same scrutiny that the Church has received on this issue.

    5. “I have not read this, I will admit, but I hope readers feel this by no means discredits anything raised.” No, but when the subject of the existence of God comes up most educated Catholics will immediately think of Saint Thomas Aquinas and his proofs. It is our starting point, with the exception of Scripture.

    More tomorrow morning when I have more time available.

  • “6. I hope it is clear that I do not hate Catholics or religion per se.”

    I will take you at your word. As for atheists I have worked in the past with pro-life atheists and conservative atheists. One of my friends is a judge who is either an atheist or an agnostic depending upon his mood. As an intellectual proposition I think atheism fails to hold water, but I never allow intellectual disagreement to color how I view individuals. That is what character, conduct, humor and a myriad of other factors are for.

    “7. The history of Catholicism is indeed rich.”

    That is why it is important to understand it, both the good and the bad. Too many people today are bone ignorant of history and not a bit ashamed of their ignorance. It is impossible to understand a thing without having a deep knowledge of its history. Ignorance of history, and the advantage that unscrupulous politicians take of that lack of basic knowledge of history, is the cause of much evil around the globe.

    8. “A theist with a closed mind to anything other than their faith is as destructive to reasonable debate as an atheist unwilling to consider the arguments for a God, and to not even acknowledge that possibility is dismissive and perhaps shows a “closed minded” opinion of atheists as a whole.”

    My challenge was to atheists who wish to come to this site and debate us. “Debates” between people who will not change their minds no matter what are truly dialogues of the deaf and fruitless. A true debate has to be conducted in the same manner in which Saint Thomas Aquinas wrote his Summa Theologica which was to give the strongest possible arguments for views which he opposed. A true debate is a search for truth, first and foremost. There are very few true debates.

    “9. The same could be said of most Theists – learn your religions.”

    If one is going to be an evangelist for a religion, and I view atheism in most of its variants as a religion, it is certainly a good idea to become familiar with the faiths of those you are seeking to proselytize. However most people do not choose their religions through an intellectual inquiry. Most people get their religion through inheritance as children. Some convert to other religions as they grown, but I think emotion enters into such conversions fully as much as intellectual inquiry. Religion will always involve an admixture of heart and head, since it goes to our core, and such mixtures are we.

    “10. My heritage is in Church of England.”

    Ah, King Henry’s bastard contraption! That explains a lot! :) Seriously, I find that atheists often vary in their atheism based upon their religious background, especially if the prior religion was held seriously and not of the type of, “Well, my family called themselves X, but Dad had 5 wives and we never went to Church unless it was Christmas or someone died.” If someone comes here and says that they are an atheist but were a Catholic it is usually easy to spot whether they were ever a serious Catholic or not, and that makes a difference in debating them.

  • The concept of a god is very childish. It doesn’t stand on the same level with a non agency origin of the universe. The religious people think that it should be a default conclusion that there is a god or at least a possibility as valid as its opposite. It is complete non sense in particular in the light of what we know about the physical cosmos. The logical arguments about the existence of god are childish and little mental games that somebody in kindergarten can play. And not, your inner feelings do not count as a proof.

  • https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=477184595681230&set=a.466072020125821.1073741828.464863890246634&type=1&theater&notif_t=photo_comment

    You give the impression that tests are needed to be passed before someone can be an atheist. Just the opposite. We are all born an atheist. Everyone. At some point you started believing in a religion. Most don’t know why they believe because they were brought up to believe in it. It’s just something they do. They believe. And most believe whatever religion their parents believe. Most are ridiculed or chastised if they do not believe.
    If I tell you there is a Purple Unicorn in my closet …you would want proof. Same goes for religion. I refuse to leave my natural atheistic state of mind for any religion that requires nothing more than faith. My brain requires more. I believe in science, evolution, rational thought, fact finding, and common sense.
    Prove the bible was inspired by god? And I will shut-up.
    Otherwise …it’s just wishful thinking … like the other 2800 deities and 40,000 religions in human history.

  • Want to try again GS, this time making an argument based upon facts rather than ex cathedra conclusions by you? You might start by explaining how energy and matter can arise ex nihilo without a Creator.

  • “You give the impression that tests are needed to be passed before someone can be an atheist. Just the opposite. We are all born an atheist.”

    No, we are all born children of a loving God and some spend their sad lives running away from that simple fact.

  • “I believe in science, evolution, rational thought, fact finding, and common sense.”

    You give the impression that tests are needed to be passed before someone can disbelieve science. Just the opposite. We are all born without science. Everyone. At some point you started believing in a science. Most don’t know why they believe because they were brought up to believe in it.

    There’s more:

    You give the impression that tests are needed to be passed before someone can disbelieve evolution. Just the opposite. We are all born without belief in evolution. Everyone. At some point you started believing in a evolution. Most don’t know why they believe because they were brought up to believe in it.

    etc…

  • “I refuse to leave my natural atheistic state of mind for any religion that requires nothing more than faith.”

    Then why do you leave, pray tell, your natural state of mind for other things, like language, culture, science, politics, sports…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feral_child

  • “If I tell you there is a Purple Unicorn in my closet …you would want proof.”

    No.

    I would…

    simply…

    not …

    care.

  • To finish: Just because people were brought up into believing in religion, doesn’t prove it false. That is called a genetic fallacy.

    And just because there are 2800 deities and 40,000 religions in human history, that doesn’t prove that there isn’t one that is true.

    So, your argument is purely based on this idolizing of the “natural state of mind”. Well, then you should tell me what’s so spectacular about that “natural state of mind”, for it to be a reliable arbitre of what is true or false.

  • PS: Just to avoid the usual ad hominem, I declare that I’m a scientist and an evolutionist. But I do know that a lot of people don’t know anything about science or evolution, other than it must be true, because those people in white robes told me so.

    And a lot of people use science and evolution as a pretext to not believe in the discomforting concept of God.

  • Giovanni…”the concept of god is childish”….given that many great men and women did great things with a belief in God proves that you don’t know what you are talking about. Giovanni, you are the one who comes off as childish. the New Atheism comes off as angry, condescending and obnoxious in its own false belief that the universe was created by random chance.

    Giovanni is proof that atheism tolerates no other belief but itself. it isn’t enough for Giovanni to be an atheist. No, Giovanni, in his own childish way, mocks religions faith…while having complete faith in his own belief system with no proof to back it up.

    david Whatley….Hey david Whatley, did you get your punctuation from e.e. cummings? The notion that everyone is born an atheist is one of the most ridiculous things I have read on the Internet. david Whatley, you confuse opinion with intelligence. your opinion is not better simply because you have it, david Whatley. your opinion is not better because your opinion is that of Hutchins, or Dawkins, or O’Hair, or that of modern popular (slopular) culture.

    One thing the Internet has done is give untold millions to prove to others how ridiculously silly they are.

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