In your face

This is why you have to LOVE Hitchens. Putting to rest the tired old argument that Nazism was a “secular” movement. What a load of bullshit. Everything Hitler and Mussolini did was with the fucking blessing of the Church. The Religious Right wants all of us to forget that messy affair, but luckily guys like Christopher Hitchens are around to kindly repudiate their lies.

Comments (13)

  • avatar

    Isaac

    I hate the “Hitler was an athiest” arguement, not only it is wrong, it’s irrevalvent too. Would that mean that we all want to kill millions of jews? Crocoducks!

  • avatar

    Jim

    Haha, he’s got great comic timing.

    Brilliant point, sick to death of hearing that hitler was somehow influenced by his “atheism” into doing all the evil things he did.

  • avatar

    Razzle

    What do you think of Hitchens as Malcolm X and Dawkins as Martin Luther King?

    I hope you get what im driving at

  • avatar

    Wendy

    Love him!!

    Have you ever seen “Rock Star”, with Mark Wahlberg and Jennifer Aniston? Timothy Spall, the guy who played the road manager, reminds me *so much* of Hitchens. He’d be the perfect choice to play him in a movie about his life!

  • avatar

    Rob

    Hitchens is hilarious. And no doubt WWII Germany was wrapped up in all sorts of religious/mythic/occult stuff.

    Where his argument fell apart a bit, and I was surprised by his lack of insight in the book God is Not Great, is where he tries to apply religious motivation to guys like Stalin and Pol Pot. I get that he’s set up a very basic [but flawed] dualism – religion bad, atheism/rationality/logic good, but claiming that those groups were ACTUALLY religions, even though they made no claims to religion is a bit specious.

    I don’t get why he just doesn’t make the leap that’s it’s not necessarily religion that’s bad – it’s the unwavering belief that only you and like minded people possess the “truth.” All too often that’s part and parcel with religion, but it occasionally works for politics and philosophy as well.

    “Belief is the death of intelligence. As soon as one believes a doctrine of any sort, or assumes certitude, one stops thinking about that aspect of existence.”- Robert Anton Wilson

  • avatar

    Scott

    So much of Hitler’s own personal belief system was rooted in Norse & pagan ideologies (hence his love love Wagner). Even if you want to dispute that, there’s no denying “Gott Mit Uns” (God is with us) was used as propaganda.

  • avatar

    Scott

    Oh, and claiming that Stalin & Pol Pot & North Korea are religious isn’t entirely true – rather he affirms that they implement the same dogmatism found in religion – you aren’t allowed to question God/The Pope/Dear Leader, etc.

  • avatar

    Rob

    [To Scott] – I agree with your assertion here, and it’ what I think as well, it’s just I’ve seen Hitchens in debates on TV, when confronted with secular atrocities like Stalin, reply that “yes, they are exactly like religions and they count when I’m talking about religions and you can’t say they’re secular because I say so.”

    I do think that loyalty, fealty and blind obedience to a political party or Dear Leader is remarkably similar, psychologically, to religious belief. But you can’t honestly argue that it IS, IN FACT a religion when the leaders avow athiestic principles.

    Now, if Hitchens had called his book “Belief is Not Great: How Dogmatism Ruins Everything” that’s be one thing, but he didn’t. And he has some kind of psychic disconnect in admitting that yes, atheists have committed atrocities as well.

    But we’re waaaaaay behind. C’mon atheists! Work to be done!

    Kidding.

  • avatar

    Scott

    ^Agreed. It’s a slippery slope when you assert all dogmatic insttutions as religions (though N Korea has a bizarre divine reverence for its heads-of-state, so it almost really is a cult. USSR…not so much)

  • avatar

    Kyle

    Blind, mindless loyalty to ANY ideology is dangerous. That applies whether your ideology is religious or secular.

  • avatar

    Joshua McGee

    Rob, that was exquisite insight.

    I think Hitchens is completely unhelpful here, insofar as that is completely orthogonal to his being right. Of course he’s right. But while unhinged-and-maybe-drunk Hitchens is comfy in-grouping to an atheist such as I, the likelihood of a religionist seeing this and saying, “By George, Chris, you’re absolutely right! I hereby denounce my faith!”

    What to do about that? Unsure. I’m not trying to craft a “unified front” for us. Hell, I’m not even trying to craft an “us” for us. But at the same time it makes me applaud outside, it makes me wilt a bit inside. Giving up the particular mythologies of one’s childhood seems difficult for many people (I honestly can’t figure out why this is harder than Santa Claus, but that’s beside the point, as it demonstrably is for so many people.) The future-rationalists are all walking tightropes: helping hands for them, not sucker punches, please.

    (But, gawd, he did rather serve it to them, eh?)

  • avatar

    Joshua McGee

    the likelihood of a religionist…

    “… is small”. Or something. Something to complete the clause.

  • avatar

    keith

    Rob said:

    “I do think that loyalty, fealty and blind obedience to a political party or Dear Leader is remarkably similar, psychologically, to religious belief. But you can’t honestly argue that it IS, IN FACT a religion when the leaders avow athiestic principles.”

    They don’t avow atheistic principles any more than a Christian is “avowing atheistic principles” when he denies the divinity of Odin or Zeus. They, themselves, replaced the Abrahamic god. Stalin, Pol Pot, Hitler, etc. performed all the functions of a god. Even better than gods, since there is empirical evidence of their existence, as opposed to Yahweh.

    Worship God and do what he commands, and you will be rewarded; defy God, and suffer a horrible fate worse than death. Replace the word “God” with “Stalin”, and the dogma is identical.

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