"When the Federal Republican
Constitution of their country, which they
have sworn to support, no longer has a substantial
existence, and the whole nature of their government
has been forcibly changed, without their consent,
from a restricted federative republic, composed
of sovereign states, to a consolidated central
military despotism, in which every interest
is disregarded but that of the army and the
priesthood, both the eternal enemies of civil
liberty, the everready minions of power, and
the usual instruments of tyrants."
Because "It denies
us the right of worshipping the Almighty according
to the dictates of our own conscience, by
the support of a national religion, calculated
to promote the temporal interest of its human
functionaries, rather than the glory of
the true and living God."
- The Texas Declaration of Independence
(March 2, 1836)
Note: The Texas Capitol Building
currently displays a granite plaque engraved
with the Ten Commandments as well as numerous
references to God displayed throughout the Capitol
but nowhere in the Texas Capitol is a copy of
the Texas Declaration of Independence displayed
for public viewing. Texas Public Schools have
an entire class devoted to Texas History yet
the Texas Declaration of Independence is not
a part of the curriculum. Most Texans alive
today have never read the Texas Declaration
Hitler's Christianity - by Joseph
Some people say Adolf Hitler was
an atheist. They blame atheism for Hitler's
philosophy. But the historical record shows
that Hitler believed in God and was convinced
he was carrying out God's will.
Hitler served as an altar boy
in the Catholic Church. Growing up in this environment,
he surely learned something of the centuries
of discrimination and persecution the Church
had supported against Jews in Europe.
Former Jesuit theologian Peter
de Rosa describes the groundwork Catholic theology
laid for Hitler and the Nazis: "[Catholicisms]
disastrous theology had prepared the way for
Hitler and his final solution. [The
Church published] over a hundred anti-Semitic
documents. Not one conciliar decree, not one
papal encyclical, bull, or pastoral directive
suggest that Jesus command, love
your neighbor as yourself,' applied to Jews."
Not surprisingly, then, Hitler
wrote in his book, Mein Kampf: ". . . I
am convinced that I am acting as the agent of
our Creator. By fighting off the Jews, I am
doing the Lord's work." He made essentially
the same claim in a speech before the Reichstag
Hitler considered himself a Catholic
until the day he died. In 1941 he told Gerhard
Engel, one of his generals: "I am now as
before a Catholic and will always remain so."
In fact, Hitler was never excommunicated from
the Catholic Church, and Mein Kampf was not
placed on the Church's Index of Forbidden Books.
Hitler's biographer John Toland
explains Catholicism's influence on the Holocaust.
He says of Hitler: "Still a member in good
standing of the Church of Rome despite detestation
of its hierarchy, he carried within him its
teaching that the Jew was the killer of god.
The extermination, therefore, could be done
without a twinge of conscience since he was
merely acting as the avenging hand of god. .
Even after World War II, Catholic
assistance to the Nazis continued. The Vatican
aided the escape of more Nazis than any other
governmental or private organization.
The Protestant influence on Nazi
Germany was no better, because Hitler is said
to have admired the founder of Protestantism,
Martin Luther, more than any other German. Among
Luther's many denunciations of the Jews, there
are such religious sentiments as: "The
Jews deserve to be hanged on gallows seven times
higher than ordinary thieves," and "We
ought to take revenge on the Jews and kill them."
When Hitler was asked in 1933
what he planned to do about the Jews, he said
he would do what Christians had been preaching
for centuries. And the Nazis carried out their
first large-scale pogrom of Jews in honor of
Christians constituted a wellspring
of support for Hitler. Steve Allen notes that
in the 1930s, Nazi Germany "was the most
church-affiliated nation in Europe. The German
people were almost entirely Catholic and Lutheran.
Despite such factors they launched the Holocaust
and World War II." Charles Kimball likewise
says the Holocaust "would not have happened
without the active participation of, sympathetic
support of, and relative indifference exhibited
by large numbers of Christians."
Also in pre-World War II Germany,
corporal punishment was used in the schools
and schoolchildren were required to start their
days with prayer. Today's advocates of spanking
and school prayer should consider that those
practices, although supported by religion, proved
ineffective in promoting high ethical standards
and good behavior among German youth.
Further, Nazi Germany's soldiers
wore belt buckles inscribed "Gott mitt
uns" ("God is with us"). This
slogan sounds eerily similar to Ohio's present
motto, "With God, all things are possible."
Like many tyrants both past and
present, Hitler used the mantle of religion
to justify and further his selfish, hateful,
and destructive philosophy. By conditioning
people to blindly accept the pronouncements
of authorities, instead of teaching them to
think for themselves, religions often make it
easy for such evil dictators and demagogues
Joseph Sommer is an author and
attorney - http://www.humanismbyjoe.com/