holocaust

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A recurrent theme from the religious right and the Intelligent Design creationists is that the Nazi racial policies that led to the Holocaust were inextricably linked to Hitler’s reading of Darwin. Some of my earliest blogging at this site addressed this issue
(Did Darwinism lead inevitably to the Holocaust? part 1 – Eugenics and Part 2).

But of course, Intelligent Design creationists cannot let go of this discredited idea. In particular, the Discovery Institute continually presses the accusation that Darwin’s theories somehow inevitably led to the Holocaust, in particular by advancing the ideas of one Richard Weikart. This morning I noted an article at Sensuous Curmudgeon – Hitler & Darwin, Part II – which, quite apart from setting the foolishness of the Intelligent Design creationists in context, provided a link to a particularly interesting paper (Was Hitler a Darwinian? from the historian Robert J. Richards of the University of Chicago.

I’d just like to recommend Richards’ paper (and, indeed, the Sensuous Curmudgeon) which clearly sets out the origins of Hitler’s anti-semitism.  Not that it will deter the Discovery Institute from further distorting history.

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I’m back from family visiting during the easter egg break, which seems to be associated with a weird death cult originating in the Middle East a couple of millennia ago.  Bizarrely, during this festival the high priests (and slightly less elevated but no less deluded individuals) of said death cults are prone to releasing peculiar and illogical sermons.  Since these sermons aren’t restricted to their places of worship, but are thrust in my direction via several media, they do cross my radar.

Over in Germany, they are practised in dissecting bizarre claims about their 20th century history.  Death cult bishop Walter Mixa, the Catholic Bishop of Augsburg, is reported in Der Speigel Online (German Bishop Links Nazi Crimes to Atheism) as saying in connection with a “rising tide of atheism” that:

“Wherever God is denied or fought against, there people and their dignity will soon be denied and held in disregard,” he said in the sermon. He also said that “a society without God is hell on earth” and quoted the Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky: “If God does not exist, everything is permitted.”

He then went on to claim that the Nazi crimes against humanity were due to the perpetrators; atheism:

“In the last century, the godless regimes of Nazism and Communism, with their penal camps, their secret police and their mass murder, proved in a terrible way the inhumanity of atheism in practice.” Christians and the Church were always the subject of “special persecution” under these systems, he said.

Fortunately Der Spiegel has the experts on tap to disabuse the reader of this canard.  You can also read my take on the origins of the Holocaust on this blog (Did Darwinism lead inevitably to the Holocaust? – part 2).  I’ll leave the reader to refer to the rebuttals on the Der Speigel site (but recall the less than exemplary behaviour of Mixa’s particular death cult sect before and during WW2).  Apparently it’s not the first time Mixa’s said dubious things about the past:

The Easter sermon was not the first time that Mixa has made comparisons to Nazism for rhetorical purposes. In February, the bishop compared the number of Jews murdered during the Holocaust with the number of abortions performed over the past decades, according to a newspaper report. The bishop’s spokesman also responded to criticism of Mixa from Germany’s leading Green Party politician, Claudia Roth, who called the bishop a “crazy über-fundamentalist,” by comparing her words to Nazi propaganda.

Closer to home the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu,  leading spokesman for England’s very own death cult, pronounced on a varity of illogically linked topics in the news media.  He has this to say on the subject of football on Easter Sunday (BBC News: Football-free Easter Sunday urged):

Dr Sentamu, the former bishop of Birmingham, said there was a “time and a place” for football which was not on Easter Sunday.

He added:”Do not think…22 people chasing a ball around is all life is about.”

He’s fond of his history – adding that Aston Villa Church Bible Class formed a football team in 1874 and the members of St Domingo’s Bible Class began playing football at Stanley Park in Liverpool in 1884.

Anyway, onwards…Sentamu also complained that the bankers responsible for the current credit crunch ought to have heeded two century old advice (for which I cannot find a web link).  I suppose that’s recent stuff compared to the creed he peddles, so it seems up to date.

Finally, Easter Monday’s “Thought for the Day, as long as it’s not humanist” slot on Radio 4 was the usual nonsense (Platitude of the Day: Reverend Dr Giles Fraser, Vicar of Putney).

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Just the other day, the Pope welcomed back a group of dissident bishops (apparently some breakaway bunch known as SSPX – Damian Thompson seems quite exercised about it over at Holy Smoke) back to the fold of the Catholic Church.  The big fuss is being made because of the ghastly views of one of these bishops, Richard Williamson.  Here’s a recent video from YouTube.

I suppose if you’re capable of denying reality in favour of bearded sky dudes and other superstitious nonsense, you can delude yourself from the reality of 20th century history and the appalling crimes of Hitler and his cronies.

Wikipedia has a page on Richard Williamson.

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Introduction

In the second part of this article, I’m going to address the frequently made accusation that Darwinist theories of evolution led directly to the Holocaust.  This is an accusation that is levelled by those on the religious fringes who equate Darwinism with atheism, and seek to discredit both with an association with a particularly evil action.  In Part 1, I discussed the connections between Darwinist naural selection and the eugenic policies that were popular in several countries in the first half of the 20th century.  In Part 3, I will round the article up with a general discussion. Read the rest of this entry »

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