EDITORIALS

"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 of Independence.

Hitler's Christianity - by Joseph C. Sommer

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: "[Catholicism’s] 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 in 1938.

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 Luther's birthday.

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 to succeed.

Joseph Sommer is an author and attorney - http://www.humanismbyjoe.com/

 

 









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