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Hitler Was Not An Atheist

by John Patrick Michael Murphy

The following article is from Free Inquiry magazine, Volume 19,
Number 2.

In George Orwell's 1984, it was stated, "Who controls the past
controls the future, who controls the present controls the past." Who
is going to control the present-fundamentalism or freedom?

History is being distorted by many preachers and politicians. They
are heard on the airwaves condemning atheists and routinely claim
Adolph Hitler was one. Hitler was a Roman Catholic, baptized into
that religio-political institution as an infant in Austria. He became a
communicant and an altar boy in his youth and was confirmed as a
"soldier of Christ" in that church. Its worst doctrines never left him.
He was steeped in its liturgy, which contained the words "perfidious
jew." This hateful statement was not removed until 1961. "Perfidy"
means treachery.

In his day, hatred of Jews was the norm. In great measure it was
sponsored by two major religions of Germany, Catholicism, and
Lutheranism. He greatly admired Martin Luther, who openly hated
the Jews. Luther condemned the Catholic Church for its pretensions
and corruption, but he supported the centuries of papal pogroms
against the Jews. Luther said, "The Jews deserve to be hanged on
gallows, seven times higher than ordinary thieves," and "We ought to
take revenge on the Jews and kill them." "Ungodly wretches" he
called the Jews in his book Table Talk.

Hitler seeking power, wrote in Mein Kampf, "... I am convinced that I
am acting as the agent of our Creator. By fighting off the Jews. I am
doing the Lord's work." Years later, when in power, he quoted those
same words in a Reichstag speech in 1938.

Three years later he informed General Gerhart Engel: "I am now as
before a Catholic and will always remain so." He never left the
church, and the church never left him. Great literature was banned by
his church, but his miserable Mein Kampf never appeared on the
index of Forbidden Books. He was not excommunicated or even
condemned by his church. Popes, in fact, contracted with Hitler and
his fascist friends Franco and Mussolini, giving them veto power
over whom the pope could appoint as a bishop in Germany, Spain,
and Italy. The three thugs agreed to surtax the Catholics of these
countries and send the money to Rome in exchange for making sure
the state could control the church.

Those who would make Hitler an atheist should turn their eyes to
history books before they address their pews and microphones.
Acclaimed Hitler biographer John Toland explains his heartlessness
as follows: "Still a member in good standing of the Church of Rome
despite the detestation of its hierarchy, he carried within him its
teaching that the Jews was the killer of god. The extermination,
therefore, could be done without a twinge of conscience since he was
merely acting as the avenging hand of god. ..."

Hitler's Germany amalgamated state with church. Soldiers of the
vermacht wore belt buckles inscribed with the following: "Gott mit
uns" (God is with us). His troops were often sprinkled with holy
water by the priests. It was a real Christian country whose citizens
were indoctrinated by both state and church and blindly followed all
authority figures, political and ecclesiastical.

Hitler, like some of the today's politicians and preachers, politicized
"family values." He liked corporeal punishment in home and school.
Jesus prayers became mandatory in all schools under his
administration. While abortion was illegal in pre-Hitler Germany, he
took it to new depths of enforcement, requiring all doctors to report
to the government the circumstances of all miscarriages. He openly
despised homosexuality and criminalized it. If past is prologue, we
know what to expect if liberty becomes license.

As a young child, I remember my late father, Martin J. Murphy,
practicing a speech and loudly quoting the following: "Light up the
mountain. Bring out the wild and fiery steed. Let it be known, that I,
Gustavus, have insulted the King." Thinking for yourself and
speaking your true thoughts - now that's a real family value.

John Patrick Michael Murphy, a retired attorney and a member of
Freethinkers of Colorado Springs, co-writes a freethought column for an
alternative weekly newspaper.