It’s nearly as rare as a hailstorm in Hades that I write in response
to an e-mail to the editor, but at least one recent missive deserves a
quick stab. Reacting to Greg Nyquist’s WorldNet Magazine article,
“The Lions are Back,”
about worldwide persecution of the Christian Church, some chap named
Lance Leighnor wrote to say, “While I can support some of what you write
and even agree with it … the latest bit of Christian nonsense to hit
your site is really so far off to the right, it’s off the radarscope.”
Not too sure which radarscope that happened to be, I was happy that
Lance so quickly clarified what he meant: “Do Christians feel they have
to be persecuted in order to validate their faith? From what gets
written on your pages, it would appear the answer is yes.”
Never mind that such persecution might actually be news. No, we
lackeys for the Lord just like reminding the world we get our rumps
walloped on a regular basis — makes us feel special or something.
After all, when Serbs kill Albanian Muslims, that’s news, but when
Christians wind up becoming backstops for bullets, that’s just flexing
our martyr muscles. Oh, pity us.
Lance was also quick to point out that Christians have, in their
benevolence I’m sure, introduced the joys of martyrdom to many others as
well — saying that sundry, sour saints of Christ have murdered as many
as 500,000,000 people in the last 2,000 years. (Cheers, plaudits and
great whoopee are, by the way, in order for the bean counters over the
last couple millennia who diligently kept such accurate records of this
long-term death and annihilation campaign. We’re talking tough work
here, folks. Have you ever seen an abacus that actually goes that
high?) Lance went on to write that this campaign “sadly includes the
Jewish Holocaust, directed by that good German Lutheran Hitler. …”
Hitler the Lutheran?
Just to check, I pulled my copy of “Mein Kampf” out from under the
kitty-litter box to give it a quick once-over. As far as I can tell,
Hitler mentions Luther only once,
and only in a passing reference as a “great reformer.” He never cites
him as an authority for his views. Further, Hitler spent many years as
a member of the Church of Rome — which of course had that little scrap
with Luther a few hundred years before, called the Great Reformation.
Catholics are still a bit touchy about the whole thing.
In other words, if Hitler’s a Lutheran, then so is the pope.
Lucky for Lance, however, bone-headed ignorance enjoys company — and
with whom better to share a seat on the rock-head roster than President
William Jefferson Clinton?
Billy Jeff earned his butt rest on the boob bench when addressing an
assembly at a Feb. 4, 1999, prayer breakfast, where he publicly
confessed, “I do believe that even though Adolf Hitler preached a
perverted form of Christianity, God did not want him to prevail.”
The latter part of this sentence is obvious to anyone with even a
meager understanding of Christian theology. God governs and controls
the universe — something that (it sometimes seems) Clinton wishes he
could do, but on which God holds the patent. In simple terms, if God
doesn’t want it to occur, the script gets canned.
No problem here. The real trouble is in the phrase, “Adolf Hitler
preached a perverted form of Christianity. …”
That’s the sticking point — a point that stuck William Donohue,
president of the Catholic League, like a fireplace poker right in the
eye. After the remark, Donohue asked the president to apologize for the
observation, which he dubbed, “a remarkably ignorant comment about
Hitler and Christianity.” Donohue further commented, “Anyone who has
studied Hitler knows that this is pure nonsense,” adding, “Hitler was a
neo-pagan terrorist whose conscience was not informed by Christianity,
but by pseudo-scientific racist philosophies.”
The foundation of those philosophies was a Mulligan stew of muddled
ideology: bite-sized pieces of Thomas Henry Huxley, chunks of Charlie
Darwin, hunks of Ernst Haeckle and less-than-tender morsels of Friedrich
Nietzsche — men not well known for their strident confession to
traditional Christianity. Rather, they and Hitler dismissed
Christianity either in part or in toto.
In his book, “The Atheist Syndrome,” John P. Koster profiles Hitler
in an attempt to explain his rejection of Christianity. Writes Koster,
“Hitler appears to have believed that Jesus never rose and that
Christianity was a sort of Jewish conspiracy.” That goes a fair pace
beyond simple “perversion” it would seem. And far from being sincere
about matters of faith, Koster points out that very often Hitler used
religion as a tool. For instance, in unifying his political base, he
would often speak to his right-wing toadies in terms of his “Christian”
war against commies and Jews, while muttering anti-Christian slogans to
his atheist and leftist cronies. For Hitler, Christ was a multipurpose
messiah — good for sympathy when talking with Christians and good for
nothing when talking with atheists.
Throwing the president back into the debate from a different angle,
this tactic is strikingly similar to a practice he and his friends
share. Clinton and Co. frequently belittle the so-called “religious
right” while, at the same time, courting the affection of churchgoers
when the need arises. Every time Bill gets caught on TV with an intern
stuffed under the kneehole of his desk and needs a little image boost,
he plays the God card, lugs his 10lb.
King James to church and puts on his “Devoted and Faithful” hat. With
camera-shutter salvation only a quick-click away, it seems that all Bill
has to do is get his church-meeting mug on the idiot box for 3.7 seconds
and he could murder Al Gore with his bare hands while watching his poll
numbers soar to the highest firmament.
In the end, of course, Clinton and Leighnor’s words belie some pretty
Hitler wasn’t just weirdly Christian or slightly unorthodox,
preaching a quirky, buggered faith. You don’t call a Buddhist an
unorthodox Christian. He simply isn’t one. Ditto for Adolf. He wasn’t
Christian, any sort of Christian — Lutheran, Catholic, evangelical or
otherwise. Everything he did was a rejection of the doctrines of
Christ. Hitler’s totalitarian power fetish was a middle finger to God’s
rightful place as Sovereign Lord and the Jewish Holocaust was a
grotesque and horrific violation of the Ten Commandments’ injunction
against murder on a gut-wrenching scale.
Think of it this way: If ole Dolf were transported to the Last Supper
would he be John — head resting on Christ’s bosom? Or would he be
Judas Iscariot — plotting the demise of the only begotten Son of God?
My vote goes for option 2. After all, Christ was Jewish, and Hitler
never did behave very Christianly when it came to folks like that.