Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Intellectual Dishonesty of Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict is at it again, attacking "atheist extremism" and "aggressive secularism" on his visit to Britain.
The leader of the Roman Catholic church concluded a speech, made before the Queen and assembled dignitaries at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, with the argument that the Nazi desire to eradicate God had led to the Holocaust and a plea for 21st-century Britain to respect its Christian foundations. ...Benedict was more explicit in his condemnation of militant atheism, noting that Britain had fought the atheistic evil embodied by Adolf Hitler.

"Even in our own lifetime, we can recall how Britain and her leaders stood against a Nazi tyranny that wished to eradicate God from society and denied our common humanity to many, especially the Jews, who were thought unfit to live," he said.

Promoting atheism was not one of the missions of Nazism, and there is no good evidence that Hitler himself was an atheist. The one major political organization directly associated with atheism, the communist party, was a mortal enemy of Adolf Hitler & the Nazi party. Its German members were exterminated or thrown into concentration camps once Hitler gained total control of the state. Anti-Semitism, and the denial of our "common humanity" did not begin with the Nazis. Hitler was able to act on his own radical hatred of the Jews because of the long historical foundation of European anti-Semitism, which had strong roots in certain Christian attitudes and teachings, including those of the Catholic Church.

Pope Benedict is a highly-educated man. It is impossible to believe that he isn't aware of the basic history of the Nazi era in Germany, or the roots and practice of European anti-Semitism and its linkage to Christianity. His attempts to tie atheism to Nazism & anti-Semitism are pure intellectual dishonesty of the worst kind. He is smearing an entire category of people as somehow responsible for atrocities that they had nothing to do with. Portraying atheism as a motivating force for the Holocaust is an outright lie -- and the Pope must know that what he is saying is untrue. He apparently thinks enough people are stupid enough to swallow his ridiculous anti-atheist propaganda.

It should also go without saying that it takes amazing nerve to make false linkages between atheism and Nazism when you yourself were a member of the Hitler Youth. I can't remember a pope in my lifetime that has presented such an ugly face of Catholicism to the world. I wonder how many Catholics will be secretly relieved when this guy is gone and a new pope is in place.

1 comment:

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