A see of lies 34

The Pope is in Britain making speeches, telling whoppers.

Here are comments on some of the things he’s been saying by an atheist, Tom Chivers, writing in the Telegraph:

He’s barely been here two hours and already he has said this:

“Even in our own lifetime, we can recall how Britain and her leaders stood against a Nazi tyranny that wished to eradicate God from society and denied our common humanity to many, especially the Jews, who were thought unfit to live. I also recall the regime’s attitude to Christian pastors and religious who spoke the truth in love, opposed the Nazis and paid for that opposition with their lives. As we reflect on the sobering lessons of the atheist extremism of the twentieth century, let us never forget how the exclusion of God, religion and virtue from public life leads ultimately to a truncated vision of man and of society and thus to a ‘reductive vision of the person and his destiny’ (Caritas in Veritate, 29).”

The facts: The Catholic Church colluded with Hitler. It could have issued, but would not, an edict to German Catholics forbidding them to assist in the mass murder of the Jews. Almost all the Protestant churches (the exceptions being one or two small sects) actively supported the Nazis, not reluctantly but enthusiastically. A very few individual Christian clerics made personal protests and paid a personal price for doing so, but the churches stood with the regime.

Yet here is the scholarly Pope Benedict XVI blaming atheists and their “extremism”. He either believes or pretends to believe the persistent rumor that Hitler was an atheist, and that the National Socialist movement in Germany was generally atheist. In fact, Hitler was a Catholic.

So you heard it here first, people; the Nazis wished to eradicate God from society, and were “atheist extremists”. Those presumably would be the Nazis run by one A. Hitler, who in his book Mein Kampf said: “I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.”

Hitler also said in a speech in Munich: “My feelings as a Christian point me to my Lord and Saviour as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded only by a few followers, recognizsed 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.” There are dozens more quotes along these lines here.

There are indeed. But then Chivers goes on:

Let me stress: I am not saying the horrors of Nazism were the fault of Christianity. That would be idiotic. They were the fault of Hitler and his coterie … and, yes, of too many ordinary Germans. But to blame atheism for them is not only idiotic …  but demonstrably wrong: Hitler, and most Europeans of the time, were Christian, and doubtless many thought (wrongly; we can all agree that) that they were doing God’s work.

Not the fault of Christianity? There  Chivers is wrong. The Holocaust was long prepared for by Christianity. Two thousand years of anathematizing the Jews and persecuting them with impunity throughout Christendom culminated in the Final Solution.

We must also point out that far from it being “exclusion of God and religion”, it was Christianity itself that kept Europe in darkness for a thousand years.

The Pope dares to speak of  a “truncated vision of man and of society”? Throughout the Middle Ages, the would-be totalitarian Catholic Church punished free thought, blindfolded dissenting visionaries, and “truncated” uncountable numbers of men, women and children literally with sword, rack, and fire. Its victims were Christians and Jews. But atheism is the dangerous idea, the destructive force?

Pope Benedict XVI is neither ignorant nor stupid. But he has given his life to a fantastic dogma, and gained his eminence through it, and he cannot let that stern corrector and spreader of light Reality burst into the Gothick darkness in which he lives and reigns.

One of his cardinals, Walter Kasper, aroused indignation – to our surprise – with some remarks he made, and was dropped from the tour retinue, or “couldn’t come because he has gout”.  What he’d said was that when you arrive in Britain “you think at times that you’ve landed in a Third World country.” (A view that’s not hard to justify, actually.)

He also said that an “aggressive new atheism” was rife in British society.

It’s true that although Britain has an established church of which the monarch is the head, it has long been an irreligious country on the whole. But by no means can it be described as aggressively atheist, unless a few intellectuals like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens speak for the nation, which we don’t think they do.

What everyone – the Pope, the too-candid cardinal, and the newspaper columnists – seem to be forgetting is that Islam is spreading in Britain. The number of Muslims is increasing rapidly by immigration, birth and proselytizing. Successive governments have facilitated Muslim immigration. The heir to the throne is positively partial to Islam. The Archbishop of Canterbury urged that sharia courts be allowed to operate as a parallel legal system, which it now is, to the extreme disadvantage of subjugated Muslim women who might have hoped for some relief under British law.

But don’t expect the Pope, the Queen, the Archbishop, or opinionated cardinals to say anything critical of Islam.

It’s safer to fulminate against atheism.

Jillian Becker    September 16, 2010