is often attacked by religious people by deliberately associating it
with the regimes of Hitler and Stalin, and it is often claimed that
they were atheists.
and Stalin the Products of Christianity not Atheism
Men' of Religion
as a tailor-made bedfellow of political tyrannies
the holocaust and Stalinism are brought up to illustrate the fallacy
that 'atheism caused the killing spree of the 20th century', as well
as the denial of the role of religion in priming people to follow
and worship charismatic leaders, 'saviours of his chosen people.'
and accept authoritarianism without dissent and the collusion of the
religions with oppressive regimes, they always choose not to mention
the first world war - in which many more were killed in a tiff
between the divine monarchies of Europe
Political Dictators - Hitler and
The prime motivation for both Hitler and Stalin and their regimes,
was political, nationalist, and totalitarian, neither were
promoting atheism per se.
Part of their early conditioning by religion would have included
the belief that the 'wicked Jews' were responsible for the
crucifixion of their idol Jesus.
It is reasonable to suppose that the effects of religion in their
upbringing contributed, along with their innate personalities, and
the times and institutions in which they operated to create the
monstrous regimes they created.
As one writer observed :- "Religious Education is supposed to
ensure that children grow up to be good - but it would take a lot
of good people to compensate for the estimated 50-75 million
people killed by Hitler & Stalin, both of whom were taught by
the Christian religion."
The compliance of those who eagerly promoted and ran these
regimes, those who turned a blind eye or defended them, and those
who just accepted them, as their lot were all products of their
societies, heavily influenced by religion over centuries. These
influences would have shaped their attitudes and behaviour which
in turn would have influenced their reaction to these powerful
'father' figures. People drilled in accepting, believing, in
faith, and unthinking obedience to an all powerful 'god' figure is
all part of the same picture.
associate atheism and freethought with
such activity is as absurd as it is untrue.
were the products of Christian Education
One of the first actions of the Third Reich was to close down
possible sources of opposition such as Trade Unions, and the halls
of Organised Atheism.
was brought up as a Catholic, trained in a seminary during his
youth, make of this what you may.
An important Nazi slogan was 'Kinder, Kirche,
Kueche' ( Children,
The fascists promoted the Christian ethos as a promotion of their
narrow view of family life sex being for the procreation of the
Aryan race, church going and anti-Semitism encouraged.
schools can never be tolerated because such schools have no
religious instruction, and a general moral instruction without a
religious foundation is built on air; consequently, all character
training and religion must be derived from faith . . . we need
[Adolph Hitler, April 26, 1933, from a speech made during
negotiations leading to the Nazi-Vatican Concordant of 1933]
Nazis awarded the Iron Cross for bravery.
The belt-buckle that German soldiers wore said 'Gott
(God with us).
The record of the Catholic church and its attitude to, and action
in relation to the Third Reich is murky to say the least! As was
the response of Catholics and the Catholic church in other
European countries, including France,
and may perhaps explain the otherwise inexplicable collaboration
from so many of their populations.
The following quotation from "Mien Kampf",
Vol.1, Chapter 10, echos the rhetoric
of the 'cultural warfare' of today's US Religious Right:-
to the training of the body a struggle against the poisoning of
the soul must begin. Our whole public life today is like a
hothouse for sexual ideas and simulations. Just look at the bill
of fare served up in our movies, vaudeville and theatres, and you
will hardly be able to deny that this is not the right kind of
food, particularly for the youth...Theatre, art, literature,
cinema, press, posters, and window displays must be cleansed of
all manifestations of our rotting world and placed in the service
of a moral, political, and cultural idea."
More Quotations from Mein Kampf
The Lutheran Church in the Rise of Nazism
The Nuremberg Deception
Betrayal: German Churches and the Holocaust
Church Tax a relic of Hitler's concordat
Back to Top
was brought up as in the Orthodox Christian church, according to
many, in a harsh and abusive household and there is some evidence
that he was abused by priests, while he served as an altar boy.
history of Russia
prior to the communist revolution, was one of autocratic Tsarist
rule, feudalism, mass destitution and regular famines, and
associated with this, the role of the Russian Orthodox Church
keeping the population subservient. Religion was seen as an
aid to the suppression of the poor as it is in other parts of the
world where there is mass poverty today. Placating people by
giving them the promise of a wonderful afterlife if they behave is
part of religions hold over superstitious people! - a
boon to any ruling elite.
rich man in his castle, the poor man at the gate"
meek shall inherit the earth" etc.
answer the secularists charge that religion has caused many wars, by
saying that these regimes killed far more people than other wars.
The Crusaders and Conquistadors would have killed vastly more people
had they had 20th century weapons and technology.
More people were killed in WW1 than WW2, and in the former in
particular all the participants claimed to have god on their side
. Most armies even those in secular states employ chaplains
and it is assumed that God supports their motives and actions. It
would seem that God is always on everybody's side!
The biggest killer of all time is disease. God caused!?
In addition to 'western' military campaigns, there have been
millions killed in every continent, in tribal wars almost all of
which have sole or significant religious/superstitious elements.
In the pursuit of spreading their religions and preserving their
relationships with their state sponsors, throughout the ages, war,
violence, intimidation, oppression, genocide, and the separation of
children from their families, has been the order of the day.
Men of Religion
are many other individuals who have campaigned for human rights
against political oppression. Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King,
Desmond Tutu, Archbishop Huddlestone.
However, the fact that their religions had played a large part in
the building and sustaining of those regimes seems to have escaped
the notice of those who want to cite these individuals as
representative of their religions : Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and
Christians in India : The Dutch Reform Church and other missionary
sects in Africa.: Baptists, Mormons, and many other members of the
Christian Right in the US : Zionists, Christian sects and a
multitude of cults, all play their part in fomenting and sustaining
conflict as they have done throughout history.
is also interesting to realise how few such individuals out of the
hundreds of millions of religious believers, and thousands of
religious sects and cults - and their leaders, priests and
are today's churches who hold such sway
in Latin America, The Middle East, and Africa?
Mobilising their millions of followers against oppression and co-ordinating
peace efforts? No they are promoting their religions and fighting
each other, colluding with oppressive regimes and political cabals
to keep the status quo, and their own place in the scheme of things.
No doubt there are individual priests and other activists who are
also religious battling away at the margins, but their institutions
is not to demean the efforts of individuals, and their importance in
their liberation movements. On the contrary, they were certainly
people who campaigned for justice and human rights, individuals who
rose from within the ranks of oppressed peoples who's
only means of organisation was the very churches that had colluded
with their oppressors, but to take this as representative of
religion is to demean them as human beings in their own right.
information with many quotations by Hitler and his Party
Wilberforce - rich white aristocratic MP who is given
the credit for abolishing slavery - over those who supported the
great struggle against the white,