Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Nazism and Christianity: A Response to Danusha Goska's Essay; Christians Bear Some Responsibility for Nazi Anti-Semitism

Source
Edwin Woodruff Tait, PhD, a Christian author, has responded to my essay "Against Identifying Nazism with Christianity." Dr. Tait disagrees with my main point. He argues that Christians bear some responsibility for Nazi Anti-Semitism. You are invited to read and respond to his work at John Guzlowski's Echoes of Tattered Tongues blog here.

11 comments:

  1. I have read the long essay by Edwin Woodruff Tait, and he presents no evidence that substantively contradicts what Dr. Goska had written. It also skirts around the real reasons for Nazi attitudes against Jews.

    As noted earlier, the fact that the Nazis targeted the handicapped--a group that never had Christian hostility against them--refutes the claim that Christianity was necessary for the emergence of Nazism and the Holocaust.

    Using Tait's pick-and-choose and allege-the-precedent approach to past historical events and Christian attitudes, one could just as logically argue that Nazism was made possible by such things as: Jews as the Chosen People, the "genocide" of the aboriginal peoples of the Land of Canaan (the Promised Land), the "all gods except the One of the Jews are false gods", the stoning of religious dissenters in ancient Israel, the Jewish forced conversion of the Idumeans, etc.

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    1. In your final paragraph you appear to be citing Judaism itself as the cause for the Holocaust.

      I reject that.

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    2. Certainly not. I am only showing that fallacy of Tait's reasoning: Namely, if it is valid to blame Christianity for Nazism, then it is just as valid to blame Judaism for Nazism.

      I categorically reject the validity of blaming either Christianity or Judaism for the Holocaust!

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    3. Thank you for the clarification.

      Delete
  2. I explicitly say that I'm not arguing that Christianity was _necessary_ for the Holocaust. I don't think we can know that. I'm saying that in the actual course of events that we can study, centuries of virulent Christian anti-Judaism preceded Nazi anti-Semitism, and there are plenty of instances of Christians (even Christians who generally opposed Nazism, such as orthodox Catholics and Confessing-Church Protestants) speaking of a "Jewish problem" and granting that government measures against Jews might be justified. (Bonhoeffer, for instance, used this language in his very brave speech against Hitler which was taken off the air. Obviously he was using this language as a concession in order to give his powerful criticisms of Nazi idolatry more punch, but the fact that he felt it possible to say that sort of thing at all is very telling.) I don't claim that it's possible to isolate what causal effect Christian anti-Judaism had or didn't have on the course of the Holocaust. I claim that it's presumptuous and smug of Christians to assert that it had none and that we are therefore absolved of all responsibility.

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  3. My comment on John's blog:

    Edwin is eager to associate Christians and Christianity with hate and genocide and equally eager to protect and shield Islam from any honest observation, and to elevate Islam to a status it has not earned.

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    1. Mr. Tait also brings your position on Islam into this discussion when it is irrelevant. Suggesting that talking about Islam truthfully, like you do Dr Goska, is dangerous and could lead to atrocity is sleazy. I think he is trying to smear you.

      Chris Helinsky

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    2. Chris, it's a debate tactic. It's called ad hominem discredit the speaker when you can't discredit her argument.

      Also it's very PC. PC dogma: Christianity bad / Islam good.

      Delete
  4. Think of oneself as saying mean things about a neighbor, and even sometimes wronging that neighbor. One day, a total outsider comes, and murders your neighbor. Are you therefore partly responsible for the murder? Certainly not. Yet that is exactly the logic behind the Blame-Christianity-for-Nazism crowd.

    In like manner, any allegation of a connection between past Christian calls to limit Jewish influence, and the later Nazi extermination of the Jews, is a complete (not to mention scurrilous) non-sequitur. It is like saying that, since influential Jews sometimes called for strictures against Poland, and Nazi Germany later did the same, therefore the two are connected, and Jews must bear some responsibility for Nazi policies against Poland.

    The perennial complaint about Church teachings on Jews and the Crucifixion of Christ is especially ironic. For centuries, Jews ALSO accepted responsibility for the Crucifixion of Christ--though of course as a positive act. Recall the book both I and Dr. Goska had reviewed: JESUS IN THE TALMUD, by Peter Schaeffer.

    The blame-Christianity-for-Holocaust meme should never be echoed by Christians. It is a myth, and exists for only one purpose: To elevate Jews to a perpetual moral high ground over Christians, and to demean and discredit Christianity. It is a propaganda tool regularly employed by atheists and leftists.

    I would like to see the day that the Blame-Christianity-for-Holocaust meme is condemned for what it is--a form of anti-Christian bigotry.

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  5. Peter RechniewskiMarch 2, 2017 at 3:22 AM

    Are you seriously offering the analogy in the first paragraph as a meaningful contribution to the debate? Think about it carefully!

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  6. Yes.

    Saying mean things about one's neighbor does not, by itself, make one an accessory to the eventual murder of that neighbor.

    Christians saying mean things about Jews do not, by themselves, make Christianity an accessory to Nazism and the eventual Holocaust.

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