Does a man identifying as a six year old girl strike you as satire or reality? Either answer would be correct. You see, it’s becoming hard to discriminate between satire and reality. Consider these other examples:
- A woman who identifies as baby.
- A woman who identifies as an elf.
- A 69 year old man who identifies as a 49 year old man.
- A woman who identifies as a cat.
- A woman who thinks she is a man and identifies as a dog.
- A man who identifies as a woman or a woman who identifies as a man. Transgenderism doesn’t need a source, it is now commonplace!
These stories would be humorous if they were satire, but they are not. Obviously, at best, these delusional people desperately need help. They need empathy and a path to freedom, not affirmation and promotion. Affirmation and promotion would by like agreeing with one with anorexia nervosa is overweight. It would also be like agreeing with a suicide struggler that life is no longer worth living. Both actions would be mean and cruel.
Postmodern Thought in a PC World
Why then is such delusion not only accepted but also promoted and affirmed in our society? Well, partially because of our postmodern political correctness. We now live in an always-smiling, anything-goes society. Truth is no longer accessible, truth is no longer true truth, rather just my truth and your truth. One set of truths is no better than another set of truths, unless, of course, you’re defending Christian truth, and then you are screamed down.
Truth and responsibility are replaced by feelings and personal autonomy. Life is based on how we feel, not reality. One finding oneself is applauded, one following one’s heart is a virtue, and morals are relative.
But following my heart and setting my own morals is like being lost in the forest with a compass that always points to me. While this may be empowering to have me being pointed to, it will never get me out of the forest. When I start putting myself in the center of my world, I become my own god. Since we become like what we worship, I will become more flawed and more disengaged from my created design.
One area I often run into is the claim that claiming Christianity makes one a Christian. This is usually trotted when Hitler and his religion are discussed. Supposedly Hitler claimed Christianity, thus, Christianity is not only connected with Nazism, but Christianity is the root cause of the evils of Nazism.
The Hitler “I Identify as” Fallacy
First, the latest and best research on Hitler’s religion shows he was closer to a pantheist than anything else. It also seems that at times he used Christian language and symbolism in the attempt to win over people. However, he used Christian language equivocally, meaning something else than authentic Christianity. He redefined his words to be more in the atheistic pantheism sense.
More can be found on this point in a book by Richard Weikart’s title, “Hitler’s Religion”. You can find an overview of Weikart’s book by reading this book review.
Did I Strike Out With A Logical Fallacy?
When people claim that Hitler was a Christian, I counter that by saying that even if he identified as one, he was not. Predictably, the comeback is I’m committing the “no true Scotsman fallacy.” What is this logical fallacy? Let me share an example to explain this fallacy.
Let’s say an atheist says, “No scientist believes in God.” I respond by saying, “Well, Dr. Thomas believes in God and he is a biologist.” At that, the atheists responds with, “Well, no REAL scientist believes in God.” In this case, the atheist is begging the question, using circular reasoning. He is protecting his claim from my argument by redefining his words in a biased way.
The same goes here, one may claim that I’m protecting my argument by arbitrarily saying that Hitler wasn’t a Christian, even when he claimed to be.
Now, this would be a good critique to my assertion, except it is not true. Rather it commits another fallacy. To be quite frank, I’m not sure which one, but two come to mind as contenders. Maybe it falls under the equivocation fallacy or maybe the straw man fallacy. For now, let’s call it the “Hitler was a Christian fallacy.”
To explain my point, let me quote a classic aphorism, “Sitting in a garage and identifying as a car doesn’t make you a car.” Here’s the principle, just because I identify as something, doesn’t make me that thing. I assume you are following my thinking here and see where I’m going. Just because I sit in Church and identify as a Christian, doesn’t make me an authentic Christian. It should be obvious that the word “Christian” means something, both in belief and behavior. A Christian means a Christ follower in both beliefs and in behavior. So here is the million dollar question, did Hitler believe and behave like a Christian?
Hitler’s “Christian” Beliefs
Well, simply put, he didn’t hold to essential Christian beliefs, rather promoted something called “positive Christianity” (also here). This form of “Christianity” is so different from authentic Christianity, it hardly can be compared. They reject the ancient Christian creeds, the essential doctrines are denied. For example, the divinity of Jesus, salvation, miracles, and Jesus’ resurrection are denied. Even Jesus was different. They claimed him to be some sort of Aryan, anti-Semitic fighter. Unsurprisingly, Hitler also rejected the Jewish roots of Christianity and disliked Paul. Also, social anti-Christian Darwinism failed his racism.
His pantheistic beliefs also opposed biblical Christianity. Romans chapter one speaks against using creation as gods. Paul even says such people have become fools! This is strong language, but it needs to be, creation worship is a dangerous religion!
With his totally gutted idea of Christianity, it is obvious that he could not remotely be an authentic Christian. In addition to holding proper theological teachings, Christianity is also defined in people who have a behavior that attempts to mirror the biblical Jesus. Did his actions match Christianity?
Hitler’s “Christian” Behaviors
Hitler’s life and behavior demonstrates it was impossible that he was a Christ follower. This is hard to grasp at times today, but to say Hitler was a Christian is like saying a practicing homosexual, adulterer, drunkard or a mass murder is a Christian. Again, just because you identify as something that doesn’t make you that thing.
You see, you can’t have Jesus as Savior without him being Lord and Master. He cannot be one without the other. Also, we should note that Hitler placed the state above Jesus, something opposed to Christianity.
Along with his other philosophies, social Darwinism helped form his ideas that led to his horrid anti-Christian actions. Because of his views on social Darwinism, he became extremely racist and implemented eugenicists. Remember, Darwinism in general is incompatible with Christianity. Neo-Darwinism preaches naturalistic forces and purposeless events caused life’s diversity. Christian doctrine teaches life was created by an intentional Creator.
In addition to social Darwinism, his ideas of racism were also encouraged by the racist actions of the 19th century Jacksonian Democrats against the Native Americans. In addition, his ideas would also augmented by the American Democratic black racism and black slavery of antebellum south and their ideas well into the 20th century (and here).
Just like his American Democratic predecessors and peers, his acts of racism, slavery, murder, torture and genocide demonstrate that he wasn’t even remotely Christian. He obviously rejected the Christian ideologies of human rights, human dignity and human equality.
Hitler’s left leaning “German Workers’ Party,” later changed to “National Socialist German Workers’ Party,” was more than just extremely racist. As can be found in the Nazi party’s 25-point Plan, it also was anti-Capitalist. Remember, capitalism is a Christian creation. In this party plan, they laid out socialistic ideas, including the promotion of the group over the individual, wealth redistribution, a welfare state, nationalization of key industries, state run education for all, state involvement in healthcare and large central government.
Superficially, Hitler’s socialism is not identical to Marxism in at least three ways. First, they did not overtly promote atheism, even though all religion had to be subservient to Nazism. And religion to them, in their case positive Christianity, was closer to atheistic pantheism.
Second, while they did not overtly abolish private property, they did at least take the property of the undesirables and exhibited the fascist tendencies of extreme regulation private industries and property not socialized already.
Lastly, they did not claim to be international, like Marx’s socialism. However, even though this was the claim, they did seem to desire world domination.
Hitler is just one in a long line of people of the past, the present and in the future who claimed, claim and will claim Christianity. However, we know that authentic Christians will be known by their fruits. Jesus, and the biblical writers, anticipated those who would claim to be Jesus followers, but were not. Warning after warning was sounded. Criteria after criteria are given. Authentic Jesus followers are not the same as fake Jesus followers.
Simply calling yourself a Christian does not make you one, just like identifying as a kangaroo, a turnip or poached egg doesn’t make you any of those things. Rather, you are defined by your characteristics. Hitler can be claimed to be a Christian, but it is obvious that his beliefs and his behaviors say otherwise.
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