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Adolf Hitler, Nazi Germany: Christian Nationalism, Anti-Semitism

The Nazis and Adolf Hitler are commonly thought of as representing the antithesis of Christianity and Christian values. If that's true, why did tens of millions of German Christians adore Hitler, join the Nazis, and participate in the Holocaust (among other atrocities)? Hitler and the Nazis promoted a Christian nationalism, anti-communism, anti-Semitism, and return to traditional values which most Christians appreciated. The Nazi party platform specifically endorsed 'positive' Christianity.
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Third Reich Christianity: Nazi Germany as Implementation of a Christian Agenda
Hitler and the Nazis are often cited as an example of the horrible crimes which atheists have committed in the 20th century. They are only assumed to be atheists, though, because people can't imagine Christians doing such things; in reality, Hitler explicitly appealed to Christianity on a regular basis and this was part of why he was popular....

Adolf Hitler Quotations: Adolf Hitler on Religion, God, Christianity
It's popular among Christian apologists to claim that Hitler, the Nazis, and the Holocaust are all consequences of atheism, secularism, and liberalism. Such arguments fly in the face of reality: Adolf Hitler regularly proclaimed his faith in God, Nazi ideology was committed to supporting Christianity (on its terms, of course), and Nazi...

Adolf Hitler on God: Quotes from Hitler Expressing Faith in God
If Adolf Hitler was an atheist, why did he keep saying that he believed in God, had faith in God, and was convinced that he was doing God's work? Adolf Hitler was not just certain that his attacks on Jews were divinely mandated, but also his efforts to clamp down on society by restoring traditional morality.

Adolf Hitler on Faith: Quotes from Hitler on the Need for Faith
If Adolf Hitler's political and social policies were a product of atheism and secularism, why did he consistently say that religious faith was necessary for morality? Why did Hitler insist that faith is one of the most important things in life? Adolf Hitler's own words make it clear that he was convinced of the importance and necessity of religious faith.

Adolf Hitler on Tradition: Hitler Quotes on Traditional Moral Values
Adolf Hitler is often used as an example of what happens to a society when traditional Christian moral and social values are abandoned. In reality, one of the reasons why Hitler was so popular with conservative Christians in Germany was precisely because he promised to restore traditional morality.

Adolf Hitler on Christianity: Hitler Quotes Expressing Christian Faith
Adolf Hitler often proclaimed his Christianity, how much he valued Christianity, how important Christianity was to his life, and even how much he was personally inspired by Jesus - his 'Lord and Savior.'

Hitler on Secularism, Atheism: Quotes from Hitler Opposing Secularism
Claims from Christian apologists about Adolf Hitler being an example of the evils committed by secularism and atheism are effectively refuted by Hitler's own words condemning secularism and atheism. Adolf Hitler did nothing to promote or encourage Germany's godless, atheists, and freethinkers but he spoke and acted regularly to promote and...

Adolf Hitler on Religion: Quotes from Hitler on the Need for Religion
Christian apologists try to portray Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party as being secular and anti-religious, but in reality Hitler regularly proclaimed the importance of religion in society. He opposed religious institutions that presumed to be rivals to the Nazi state for people's loyalty, but that's not the same as being opposed to religion itself.

Christians on Hitler & Nazis: Quotes from Christians Supporting Hitler
American Christians seem to be completely unaware of the degree to which Christians in Germany threw their support behind Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. If they did, they might be less likely to pretend that the crimes of Hitler and the Nazis can be traced to atheism or secularism.

Adolf Hitler on the Church: Hitler on Learning from Christianity
Contrary to claims made by Christian apologists seeking ways to attack atheism, Adolf Hitler was not only a Christian but he in fact made it clear that he learned from the early history of Christianity as well as more recent Christian political movements. He certainly didn't copy everything from Christian churches and organizations, but...

Adolf Hitler: Compromises with Atheism Destroy Religious, Ethical Values
What did Adolf Hitler think about Christianity vs. atheism? Hitler said: 'By its decision to carry out the political and moral cleansing of our public life, the Government is creating and securing the conditions for a really deep and inner religious life. The advantages for the individual which may be derived from compromises with atheistic...

Adolf Hitler: Fascism is Closer to Christianity than Liberalism or Marxism
What did Adolf Hitler think about the relationship between Christianity and Fascism? Hitler wrote: 'The fact that the Catholic Church has come to an agreement with Fascist Italy ...proves beyond doubt that the Fascist world of ideas is closer to Christianity than those of Jewish liberalism or even atheistic Marxism, to which the so-called...

Adolf Hitler: As a Christian, I Feel that My Lord and Savior was a Fighter
What did Adolf Hitler think about Jesus Christ? According to Hitler's own words: 'My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized 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.'

Race vs. Gender in Nazi Germany & Modern America
If there are biological differences of race, why is it invalid to treat people of different races in different ways but valid to treat different sexes in different ways? What arguments against differential racial treatment don't also work against differential gender treatment? I'm not sure there are any. Might this mean that people who accept...

Hitler's Detachment, Dogmatism, Uncompromising Nature
There is a popular perception of Hitler as a charismatic and popular leader. This is all true, to a certain extent, but it's also not the whole story. Hitler was charismatic in public because he practiced hard. Out of the spotlight, more of his true character revealed itself: he tended to be detached from others' suffering, dogmatic in his beliefs, and completely uncompromising.

Appeal of Fascism: Restoration of Religious Values, Moral Crusade
Many people have wondered, quite legitimately, how fascism could ever be appealing enough to develop a large following. Fascism was popular enough in Germany and Italy to take over those governments. Fascism also developed strong followings in other nations, like France and England. The unfortunate truth is that wherever it appears, fascism promises people what they want most.

Characteristics and Nature of Fascism
Fascism is a frequent topic of conversation; unfortunately, it is more often than not used simply as an epithet for any political system which people dislike. This is a problem because despite some difficulties in definition, fascism is a real political philosophy which poses real threats. Using the term as an epithet masks the real problems and real fascism.

Nazi & Christian Conceptions of Women's Social Roles
Both religious and political conservatives tend to try to take women out of politics, business, and other public roles in order to limit them to the home, the family, and the church. It is their belief that women's roles are necessarily constrained by God and/or nature to taking care of the family and home life, leaving public life to men.

Blurring the Line Between Lawful and Unlawful Conduct
The difference between lawful and unlawful conduct is crucial for any society which is built upon laws. The laws are what help ensure the equality of everyone because the laws stand above everyone's passions or preferences. Everyone is expected to follow the same laws and to be held to the same penalties for failing to do so. When the laws become irrelevant, then so do justice and morality.

Catholic Complicity in Nazism, Anti-Liberal Ideologies
There were lots of reasons why Catholic leaders should have opposed Hitler and the Nazis and this makes people wonder why they bent over backwards to accommodate the Nazis. What people need to understand is that there were also lots of reasons why Catholics and other conservative Christians wanted to work with the Nazis. Most were bound up with their common opposition to Weimar and liberalism.

Political Christians vs. Nazi Liberals
Getting involved with politics is a double-edged sword for religious groups: on the one hand, they have the opportunity to affect national policies in a way that is compatible with their beliefs; on the other hand those beliefs may become corrupted by the political process. Usually this is an observation one might hear from religious liberals, but religious conservatives are also noticing.

Nazi Christian Ethics: Killing Unequal Humans, Victims of Guilt, Sin
Some wonder how Christians could have cooperated with the Nazis - especially when it came to the Nazis' more vicious policies, like forced euthanasia, wars of aggression, and eventually the Holocaust. Evidently, it wasn't too hard - they didn't even need to compartmentalize and ignore their dogmas. They could rely on Christian leaders providing theological justifications for Nazi programs.

Defeatism, Dissent, and Treason at Home During War
Whenever a nation goes to war, it becomes important for everyone at home to rally behind the flag and support the nation's goals. Or is it? What if the nation's goals are immoral, or if the nation went to war under false pretenses? This doesn't always seem to matter to nationalists: they accuse dissenters of treason regardless of how reasonable their dissent was.

Racing to Save a Nazi Church
Most Christians today don't have any conception of just how tightly intertwined Christianity and Nazism were in Germany. It's often assumed that they two were antagonistic; the truth, however, is that many Christians saw Nazism as fully compatible with their religion. One of the few physical examples of this, a Nazi-themed Lutheran church, is at risk for falling down.

Film Examining Christian Support for Nazi Party
The Baptist General Convention of Missouri showed at Columbia, Missouri, the one-hour documentary 'Theologians Under Hitler.' Based on the book Betrayal: German Churches and the Holocaust, it examines the relationship between Christian theologians and the Nazis, something which most Christians are unaware of or in denial about.

Blending Christianity and Science in the Service of Political Ideology
The conflicts between religious faith and empirical science seems to be continual, but just as continual are the efforts to find some middle ground where both can co-exist. It's important for many Americans to find a way to bridge the gulf between traditional Christian faith and modern science.

Jehovah's Witnesses' Resistance to Hitler and the Nazis
It's a common conceit among Christians that their religion was in opposition to the Nazi regime of Germany. The truth, however, is that most Christians either went along with the Nazis or actively supported them. Just about the only Christian group that opposed the Nazis - and paid for it - were the Jehovah's Witnesses. How many other Christians supported them?

Conservative Christian Politics in Pre-Nazi Germany
Before the Nazis took power in Germany, conservative Christians were actively engaged in defending German Christian culture against the dangers of modernism, secularism, and communism. They insisted that Christianity be the basis for politics and culture; moreover, they were determined to protect society from anti-Christian influences. Does this sound familiar?

Nazi Socialism & Christian Socialism: Opposition to Godless Capitalism
It's common for conservatives to associate liberals in America today with Nazis because both supposedly support socialism (and, ultimately, communism). This reveals a painful ignorance of history because the 'socialism' of the Nazis was of a very particular sort: Nazi socialism was, in their minds, a Christian socialism which opposed communism, liberalism, and atheistic Jewish socialism.

German Catholic Church's Complicity in the Destruction of the Jews
The mass murder of Jews in Germany, as well as throughout Europe, is generally attributed to the Nazis - but committed Nazis in the German government could not have achieved what they did alone. They had to have help from others throughout society and a source of significant, critical help was the Catholic Church. Yes, the Catholic Church was actively complicit in the mass murder of Jews.

Religious Affiliation and Nazi Party Support
An important subject of research about Nazi Germany is the relationship between people's religion and what they did to support the Nazis: voting for them, joining the party, and/or helping them achieve their goals. It's commonly thought that Nazi support came primarily from Protestants, but the whole truth is a bit more complex.

Hitler and the Nazis: Working God's Will Against the Jews
Many Christians today complain about people who simply talk about believing in God without doing anything about it. They have a companion in this whom they'd rather not be associated with: Adolf Hitler. Like many Christians, Hitler wanted people to make an effort to fulfill God's will rather than simply talk about it. Unlike others, though, he tried to do something about it.

Christian Conservatism and the Nazi Agenda
The Nazi Party almost certainly wouldn't have acquired power in Germany if it had not been for the fact that their social and cultural views meshed so well with those of conservative Christians in Germany. The Nazi Party critiqued the same things about the Weimar Republic as conservatives did. They promoted an ideological vision that almost perfectly matched what conservative Christians wanted.

Anti-War Sentiments as Treason
If it's not possible to whip people up into a frenzy of support for a war, it may be enough for the government to so denigrate anti-war positions that people will be pro-war by default. If anti-war beliefs are valid, then they might attract greater support; if they are perceived as invalid or perhaps treasonous, then people will avoid any association with them out of fear at the very least.

Adolf Hitler & Christian Nationalism: Nazis’ Program of Positive Christianity
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...

Christian Nationalism: Betrayal of Germany, Betrayal of God
When Christians identify their nation's political agenda and political system with God's Will, any losses suffered by their nation are perceived as an affront to God as well. Admission that some political action taken was wrong and needs to be reconsidered is tantamount to a betrayal not just of political leaders and the nation's destiny, but of God as well.

Christian Anti-Semitism in Post-Nazi Germany
Just about everyone is aware of the deep and destructive anti-Semitism which characterized Nazi Germany. Many forget the deep and destructive involvement of German Christians in this anti-Semitism - including the Holocaust. One might imagine that after the truth about what happened was revealed, Christians would have repented; unfortunately, things didn't work out quite that well.

Nazi Germany and the Right-Wing War on Homosexuality, Sexual Deviance
One of the things which the Nazis used to appeal to Christian voters in Weimar Germany was their strong opposition to all forms of sexual deviance: prostitution, pornography, sex without procreation, too much liberty for women, and of course homosexuality. The Nazis argued that all this created impurity within Germany and imperiled Germany's future.

Protestant vs. Catholic Reactions to Nazism
For a number of reasons, Christianity was instrumental for Nazi seizure of power in Germany. Some reasons, like the fact that most voters were Christian, are obvious. Other reasons are not so obvious and one of these is the fact that Christian leaders actively reassured Germans that Hitler and the Nazis not only were no threat to Christian civilization, but were in fact a source of hope.

Nazis & Christians: 3rd Reich as Implementation of a Christian Agenda
Hitler and the Nazis are often cited as an example of the horrible crimes which atheists have committed in the 20th century. They are only assumed to be atheists, it seems, because people can't imagine Christians doing such things - but the fact is that Hitler explicitly appealed to Christianity on a regular basis and this was part of why he was popular.

Christian Nationalism in Nazi Germany
"A board hanging in Lippe, Westphalia, in 1935 crudely summed up the Jews for the German Christian Movement (Glaubensbewegung "Deutsche Christen"): "Baptism may be quite useful, but it cannot straighten a nose." The German Christians, as adherents of the movement came to be called, believed National Socialism and Christianity to be mutually reinforcing."

Catholicism, Liberalism, and Democracy
Vatican apologists like to portray the Catholic Church as having been a bastion of liberty and democracy during the dark days of Italian fascism under Mussolini. The apologists' history suggests that the Vatican opposed fascism and supported democratic reforms; the truth is just the opposite, though.

When National Interests Take Precedence Over the Rule of Law
Some members of the Bush administration, as well as conservative apologists for the administration, believe that the president's responsibilities in time of war and to protect the national interests mean that he can ignore laws and treaties. If he believes the protecting the nation requires violating a law, he has the authority to do so. Where does such reasoning lead?

Christian Churches and Nazi Germany
Christians today often like to make a big deal about Christian opposition to the Nazis in Germany, but such 'opposition' was often more hype than reality. When Christian churches did oppose the Nazis, it was usually in cases of perceived threats to church authority and not in cases of violence towards Jews or Hitler's wars of aggression.

Hitler & Socialism
Many conservatives insist that the Nazis were an example of a 'socialist' government as part of their effort to discredit socialism and leftist policies in general. This is rather like using the example of East Germany, the German Democratic Republic, to discredit democracy: it demonstrates the speaker's inability to comprehend reality.

Christian Nationalism: War Theology in Weimar Germany
Christianity is proclaimed by its adherents as a religion of peace which transcends national borders in a manner that unites humanity. The reality, though, is that Christianity has been deeply involved not only with ideologies of nationalism, but also ideologies of war and violence. It's happened before and it could happen again.

Opposition to Liberalism, Secularism, Immorality: Hitler's Appeal
People tend to regard Hitler and the Nazis as being an inherently anti-Christian movement. At the same time, though, the Germany which elected Hitler was overwhelmingly Christian - Jews were a minority and no other religion had significant numbers. What was it that caused Hitler to be so appealing to German Christians?

Adolf Hitler's Positive Christianity
Most people view Hitler as the epitome of evil; he himself, however, certainly didn't view his actions as evil or as being motivated by evil. No one does - most people think that they are doing what is right and/or necessary. Hitler, for example, thought that his actions were consistent with the needs of the German people and the dictates of Christianity

Auschwitz, Anti-Semitism, and Modern Christianity
"After Auschwitz the mission of reconciliation and acceptance permits no deferral. Even if we know that Auschwitz is the gruesome expression of an ideology at not only wanted to destroy Judaism but also hated and sought to eradicate from Christianity its Jewish heritage, the question remains..."

Far-Right Attacks on Prisons Being Soft on Criminals
Contemporary American conservatism has long made the idea of 'law and order' an important political slogan. Conservatives attack the prison system for being too lenient, for emphasizing treatment over punishment, for pampering prisoners, and for being too sentimental. There is a precedence for such arguments, but it's not a very pleasant one.

Hitler & Christian Anti-Communism
People often wonder how and why Hitler could have acquired so much support from the German population. Any reasonable explanation would have to be very complicated, but it is possible to cite one simple reason which has a lot going for it: anti-Communism. Many Germans were frightened of communism and saw Hitler as their Christian salvation.

Terror in the Name of Law & Order
When people think of totalitarian regimes like Nazi Germany, they imagine societies where everyone lives in fear of the secret police and government action. The truth, however, is both more mundane and more disturbing: the Nazi state only acted against the undesirables in society, with most people openly supportive of the actions.

Relationship Between Catholicism and Nazism in Germany
A popular image of the Nazis is that they were fundamentally anti-Christian while devout Christians were anti-Nazi. The truth, however, is far more complicated because there were many issues on which Nazis and religious conservatives found common ground. Like any politician, Hitler was able to use these to his advantage

Holocaust Theology for Christians & Jews
The Holocaust is one of the central, defining events of the twentieth century. It's also a defining event for both modern Judaism and Christianity - but while Jews realize this, Christians don't seem to. Some professional theologians do work related to the Holocaust, but for most believers it doesn't appear to have intruded on their thinking.

The Lessons of Nazi Germany for Christianity
The actions of Nazi Germany appear to contain important lessons for humanity about the use and abuse of power, the insidious nature of hatred and fear, and of course the importance of democratic institutions in protecting us from the whims of authoritarian impulses. Not everyone learns the same lessons, though.

The Catholic Church in Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany was responsible for some of the most horrific acts of the twentieth century, if not of all human history. Germany was at the time a very Christian nation with large numbers of both Protestants and Catholics. How did they reconcile their religion with Nazism? How did the churches go along with the Nazi government?

Protestant Catholic Reactions to Nazism
Christianity was instrumental for the Nazi seizure of power in Germany. Many Christian leaders actively reassured Germans that Hitler and the Nazis not only were no threat to Christian civilization, but were in fact a source of hope.

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