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Friday, September 17, 2010

A Scared Pope: Ratzinger's Reductio ad Hitlerium

If someone must know how disgusting it is to be accused of being a Nazi, that person must be Joseph Ratzinger. He did join the Hitler youth, but did so because he had no option. The young Ratzinger despised what the nazis did and eventually deserted.

However, here is the Pope, comparing atheists to nazis

Row after Pope's remarks on atheism and Nazis

The pope urged the UK to guard against "aggressive forms of secularism".

He said: "Even in our own lifetimes 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.

"As we reflect on the sobering lessons of atheist extremism of the 20th century, let us never forget how the exclusion of God, religion and virtue from public life leads ultimately to a truncated vision of man and of society and thus a reductive vision of a person and his destiny."

Despite the initial outrage and indignation, many other things come to my head

First, that someone who is arguably the most powerful person in the world, someone who preaches homophobia and inequality, someone who prefers to see people dying from AIDS instead of using condoms, someone who protects child abusers, is angry at us, is a sign that we must be doing something right.

Second, notice that Ratzinger is so desperate and scared that he doesn't elaborate an intricate argument to accuse atheists of being nazis. His argument consists in that nazis wanted to take God out of our society, just like atheists and their "aggressive secularism". That's it. A supposedly educated person can't go further than just compare a group of people to the worst in the world's mind. Just look at the internet. What happens when someone is desperate to insult, discredit or has no argument against his opponent? Reductio ad Hitlerium

Third: Ratzinger is desperate to be seen as the polar opposite to evil. Why? Because he is being seen as evil right now. His protective attitudes towards priests and catholic officials who sexually abused children for decades have taken away much of the Catholic Church's credibility as a moral guide. His power is going down.

Fourth: That his power is going down might be the Catholic Church's own fault, but it's been mainly non-believers in a secular society that have told the world of the atrocities committed by the Catholic Church. Even though it's catholic children who have been abused, Catholics in general seemed pretty dyspeptic about it for decades. It's been critics of the church, such as atheists, who have made this known.

Fifth: Ratzinger is either a huge ignorant or a huge liar. The nazis did not committed their horrible crimes based on their lack of faith. Hitler himself seemed to get along pretty well with Christianity.

And what phrase do nazis like to quote?

And if there is still any doubt, check out the words from the Fuhrer himself

"I am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so." - Hitler to General Gerhard Engel, 1941

"Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord." - Mein Kampf

"And the founder of Christianity made no secret indeed of his estimation of the Jewish people. When He found it necessary, He drove those enemies of the human race out of the Temple of God; because then, as always, they used religion as a means of advancing their commercial interests. But at that time Christ was nailed to the Cross for his attitude towards the Jews; whereas our modern Christians enter into party politics and when elections are being held they debase themselves to beg for Jewish votes. They even enter into political intrigues with the atheistic Jewish parties against the interests of their own Christian nation." - Mein Kampf

Yet, let us remember that Nazism was not based on religion or lack of it. If anything, it had some pagan elements that favored the idea of Aryan supremacy. The Third Reich persecuted religious institutions withing Germany, as well as free-thinking or atheist groups. In other words, nothing had to distract the attention from Hitler and the Reich.

Ratzinger's cynicism is outrageous, but we have to understand his position. He is losing power and will do anything to keep it. Secularism gives its righteous place to all religions, a place in the people's mind and away from public policy if religious beliefs are unscientific or discriminatory. So, we are in the good path. Let's keep doing it.

With that ideal, I'll leave you with the Penn & Teller documentary about the Vatican. It's always good to remember it.

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Blasfema libremente

"Que esté permitido a cada uno pensar como quiera; pero que nunca le esté permitido perjudicar por su manera de pensar" Barón D'Holbach
"Let everyone be permitted to think as he pleases; but never let him be permitted to injure others for their manner of thinking" Barón D'Holbach