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A popular image of the Nazis is that they were fundamentally anti-Christian while devout Christians were anti-Nazi. The truth is that German Christians supported the Nazis because they believed that Adolf Hitler was a gift to the German people from God. German Christianity was a divinely sanctioned religious movement which combined Christian doctrine and German character in a unique and desirable manner: True Christianity was German and True German-ness was Christian.

 

Read Article: Adolf Hitler & Christian Nationalism: Nazis' Program of Positive Christianity

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March 1, 2010 at 9:50 pm
(1) ckitching says:

It is probably fair to point out that Hitler’s version of Christianity would be quite foreign to most people. He had merged Christian mythology with some pagan and occult influences. Despite this, a lot of Christian sects, while not sharing these beliefs, supported him nevertheless for many of the reasons you laid out.

March 2, 2010 at 6:18 pm
(2) ChuckA says:

^ RE (1) ckitching’s previous comment…
The often vague, and rather culturally malleable “Christian mythology” has, as is often pointed out by various SECULAR historians, incorporated elements of paganism right from the get-go. It’s also argued that it has its, actual, true roots in previous Bronze Age pagan mythologies, as well as other contemporaneous Roman Era cults.

One example, is the early RC Church’s (pre-Constantine) rather unabashed belief in Astrology. It has certainly vacillated, of course, depending greatly on the variations in subsequent contemporary societal fashions, both superstitiously oriented and more quasi-scientific.
The surviving early ‘evidence’ being certain artistic renditions of the 12 Apostles as representing the 12 signs of the Zodiac; and, according to rather recent, unofficial claims (albeit by certain modern Astrologers) there’s, supposedly, a still existing, early papal bathtub, adorned with the 12 Signs of the Zodiac.
[I tried Googling (whilst giggling?) for it...but, alas...I haven't found it...
yet.]
Of course, the most obvious evidence, at least to me, is the oh-so-popular Christian “Fish” emblem; which, I think, is a direct rip-off of the Astrological “Pisces” sign; representing the “Age of Pisces”…or the Christian Era, which follows “Aries”, in the (Counterclockwise) Zodiacal “Precession of Equinoxes”, which uses the symbol of the Ram…of the preceding Jewish Era.
(The Jews still ritually blow the Rams horn.)
Another curious pagan element which, I think, merits some serious consideration,is the so-called “Son” of God moniker; as really, the “Sun” of God…or the “Sun Mythology” comparison.
I assume y’all have ‘hoid’ about that one by now…?
“Zeitgeist”, anyone?
On that note (the perennially controversial):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tc3lBKMwAh8&feature=related

What, you might ask, brings all of this shtick to the surface?…
Having just read, today (3/2/10), a (familiar to this Site) Christian’s comment RE another Post, I’m reminded that all too many “True Scotsman” style Christians readily conjure up, without batting their “non-critical thinking” eye, their own truly baffling, ultra-pseudo-theological mix of outrageous (Colon-extracted?) insanity.
[A Psychic (Cold Reading?) Hint]:
“I’m seeing (feeling?) a…ummm…”B’, first name; and…erm…”H”…last?
I’m DEFINITELY picking up some strange, “Scotsman-like” proselytizing regarding a “Thomas More Law Center” Post.
I COULD, of course, be totally “self-falsifyingly” wrong.
[And, if I might add, I certainly mean no disrespect towards any ACTUAL, living/breathing, "True", native Scotsmen who might be reading this blather.] :shock:

March 2, 2010 at 6:56 pm
(3) ckitching says:

>Another curious pagan element which, I think, merits some serious consideration,is the so-called “Son” of God moniker; as really, the “Sun” of God…or the “Sun Mythology” comparison.

Unfortunately, this one can’t really be true. It’s a mistake to think that Sun and Son, which are homophones with similar spelling in modern English, would be even remotely similar in the ancient languages early Christians and Jews of the era spoke/wrote. “Zeitgeist” makes this mistake by not properly researching its claims, and simply repeating things that sound plasible (and I won’t even get into the 9/11 and central bank paranoid conspiracy theories).

Other than that, I largely agree. The early church did indeed co-opt a lot of pagan traditions, sometimes for political reasons, and sometimes as part of the religious mythology itself. This should be obvious, as half the Christian bible consists of a version of Jewish holy texts.

March 6, 2010 at 6:55 pm
(4) todd says:

First, I will say I am a Christian. I think Austin is right, but in a very broad and particular sense. As they say, the devil is in the details. My concern is that unless the details are examined, some unfortunate and inaccurate leaps of logic will be made by the reader.
There is a big difference in saying “Christians” vs. saying “The Church”. There are also several different branches of Christianity.
Not every German Christian was in favor of Adolph Hitler. Take for example, men like Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the famous Lutheran theologian, who even as a pacifist was involved in assassination plans against Hitler.
There was also Martin Niemoller, a WWI U-boat captain turned minister who was kept in solitary confinement in a concentration camp for seven years for being an outspoken opponent of Hitler and the Nazi party.
And in truth, Hitler understood the power of religion, seeking to absorb many religions into the umbrella of the Third Reich. A more accurate religious view to ascribe to Nazi Germany would be a pantheistic humanism.
Take the Swastika, for example. It has been used in numerous religions as a symbol, even in places as diverse as Vainakh mythology. As for Hitler, he saw the Swastika itself as representative of Aryan decent of Germany. Nazis used various religious symbols, but in essence, worshiped themselves.
Where I think Austin is right is that while there were pockets of resistance, most aspects of German society (including some church leadership) accepted the Nazi movement. And acceptance doesn’t always mean it was embraced. Rather, the Nazi movement was allowed to be by the German people.
The more organized Catholic church saw Hitler’s Nazi party as a potential buffer against the spread of Communism, and by mutual agreement with Hitler, the Church and the Nazi party left each other alone for a time. By the time the Catholic church saw that Hitler was the greater evil, it was too late; he had already gained too much power.
As for the Protestants, being less organized, some supporter Hitler. Those that didn’t were persecuted and imprisoned for their stance.
I could see Nazi Germany era church members with a very liberal, shallow view of biblical Christianity being sucked into the “me focused” line of the supremacy of the German race and ascribe to it broad biblical meaning. People who profess to be Christians are not immune to the trappings of having their humanness elevated to that of virtual godhood. Those with a true understanding of the Christian faith and the ability to see evil for what it is and resist it were likely those who were harassed, persecuted, and imprisoned for standing up for their faith.
Let me also say as a Christian, I don’t think that Austin is necessarily being unfair–just far too brief to give a fully accurate picture. But rather than the wording make it appear that German Christianity and German Nazism fully and gladly merged, I think it is more accurate to say that Nazi Germany took advantage of some theologically unsound people who ascribed the Christian faith to themselves, but in the end were deceived (either willingly or as a result of having a weak view of what their faith was). And that is what is lacking from Austin’s piece.

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