Last night on his TV show, called The Factor, Bill O’Reilly said that the Nazis were “Godless.”
What was the Moto of the Luftwaffe [the German Air Force]? Was it “Kein Gott für uns”? Or was it “Gott mit uns” [God with us]?
You can listen here to a speech, about religion in Germany, made by Hitler in 1939.
Was Hitler a life-long Catholic, who never officially left the church? Or was he Godless?
One of the first laws that Hitler put into effect in Germany was known as the “Aryan Paragraph.” This new rule stated that only Aryans could have positions in the German government; Jews were no longer allowed to have government jobs. This rule was soon expanded to ban Jews from becoming Pastors in Christian churches in Germany.
Was Germany “Godless” because Jews were not allowed to preach in Catholic churches?
The main opposition to Hitler’s “Aryan Paragraph” came from a group of young pastors led by Martin Niemöller, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Heinrich Gruber. Initially, their main complaint was that Hitler had united all denominations of Germany’s Protestant churches under Ludwig Müller as the first Reich Bishop.
When the new law that Jews were not allowed to be Protestant ministers went into effect, Niemöller organized the Pastor’s Emergency League to protect Protestant pastors, who were violating the new law, from the police.
With the support of Karl Barth, a professor of theology at Bonn University, in May, 1934, the rebel pastors formed what became known as the Confessional Church. Over the next few years, hundreds of these pastors were sent to concentration camps; Dietrich Bonhoeffer was executed. [Bonhoeffer was involved in the July 20, 1944 plot to kill Hitler, which is why he was singled out to be executed.]
One of the major differences of the teaching of the Confessional Church was that Jews, who had converted to Christianity, could become pastors. Hitler did not want Jews to become pastors in Christian churches. Could Aryans become rabbis in Jewish Synagogues?
Hitler did not want Germany to be ruled by Jews — in any way. Did that make the Nazis Godless?
Let’s see what Wikipedia has to say about the Godless Nazis:
This quote is from Wikipedia:
Most members of the Nazi Party, however, were Christians. Composed mostly by members of the Lutheran Evangelical tradition, members of the apostate Nazi-inspired Positive Christianity sect and some of the Catholic faith tradition respectively. […]
There was some diversity of personal views among the Nazi leadership as to the future of religion in Germany. Anti-Church radicals included Hitler’s Personal Secretary Martin Bormann and Minister for Propaganda Joseph Goebbels, the neo-pagan official Nazi Philosopher Alfred Rosenberg and security chief Heinrich Himmler. Some Nazis, such as Hans Kerrl, who served as Hitler’s Minister for Church Affairs, believed Christianity could be Nazified into “Positive Christianity”, by renouncing its Jewish origins, the Old Testament and Apostle’s Creed, and holding Hitler as a new “Messiah”. Hitler himself believed that in the long run, National Socialism and religion would not be able to co-exist, but was prepared temporarily to restrain some of his more radical instincts out of political considerations.
Now let’s go to the website of the United States Holocaust Museum to see what the Jews have to say about the Godless Nazis.
The following quote is from
Hitler espoused the importance of Christianity to German nationality and Christianity’s role in a renewal of national morality and ethics, leading Niemöller to enthusiastically welcome the Third Reich. Niemöller later confessed that even Hitler’s antisemitism reflected a more extreme version of his own prejudice at that time.
Niemöller’s conflicts with National Socialism emerged out of his opposition to the German Christians, a pro-Nazi faction within the German Protestant Church that sought to apply Nazi racial dogma to church membership in such a way as to bar so-called non-Aryans (people considered Jewish under Nazi racial laws) from the ministry and from religious teaching positions.
Catholic priests were put into the Dachau concentration camp, but not because they were priests. It was because they were preaching against the Nazis.
I wrote about the priests at Dachau at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/KZDachau/DachauLife3.html
Bill O’Reilly, who is Catholic, is an authority on Nazis, so maybe he will tell us more about their Godless traits tonight. Meanwhile, be sure to read this blog post about the Nazis and religion: https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2011/03/06/were-the-nazis-pagans/