Both American (here) and foreign politicians (here) have recently blamed atheists and secularists for everything from plagues to plaque. Christian (here) and Jewish (here) have joined in the growing chorus that secularists are a threat to the future of our species. Bishop Anthony Fisher of Parramatta has added his own bizarre list of ills from secularism, blaming it for Nazism, Stalinism, mass murder and abortion in his Easter message.
Archbishop Fisher is considered a favorite of the Pope and expected to be the next head of the church in Australia. He called the harm from “godlessness” to have been “devastating” in the last century, noting “‘Nazism, Stalinism, Pol-Pottery, mass murder and broken relationships: all promoted by state-imposed atheism or culture-insinuated secularism.” Pol-Pottery? Sounds like a community college ceramics class.
This human world of ours would be inconceivable without the practical existence of a religious belief. The great masses of a nation are not composed of philosophers. For the masses of the people, especially faith is absolutely the only basis of a moral outlook on life. The various substitutes that have been offered have not shown any results that might warrant us in thinking that they might usefully replace the existing denominations. …There may be a few hundreds of thousands of superior men who can live wisely and intelligently without depending on the general standards that prevail in everyday life, but the millions of others cannot do so.
- Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1 Chapter 10
By helping to lift the human being above the level of mere animal existence, Faith really contributes to consolidate and safeguard its own existence. Taking humanity as it exists to-day and taking into consideration the fact that the religious beliefs which it generally holds and which have been consolidated through our education, so that they serve as moral standards in practical life, if we should now abolish religious teaching and not replace it by anything of equal value the result would be that the foundations of human existence would be seriously shaken.
- Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 2 Chapter 1
Hitler was actually baptized as Roman Catholic, attended a monastery school, was an altar boy and claimed to be a “soldier of Christ.” There is a debate over his view of religion when he died, but Hitler actually encouraged faith among his soldiers and citizens in his twisted view of the world. He also wrote “I believe today that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator.” (Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1 Chapter 2).
It appears that this is a new coordinated message of the Church, citing the scourge of secular humanism while struggling with its child abuse scandal. Not only has the Pope advanced this theme, (here) and Jewish (here), but other Church leaders used the issue as part of their Easter messages.
For example, Cardinal George Pell, the Archbishop of Sydney, also attacked atheism. Cardinal compared Catholic charities to those other people, noting ”we find no community services sponsored by the atheists.” That is perfectly bizarre since Pell is suggesting that atheists do not support such charities, including religious charities. There are a host of non-religious-based charities from environmental groups to human rights groups to anti-poverty groups. It appears that Pell has confirmed that there are no secularists supporting those groups, though he did not say how he completed that survey. Such ridiculous statements move these statements from preaching to propaganda.
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