I’ve had numerous conversations with those opposed to Christianity who claim that the infamous German dictator of the 1940’s was Catholic, or at least that he was a Christian. Is this the case; and if not, why do so many make this claim?
When one considers there are no photos of the German leader taking communion, or standing in church with his hands raised, or praying, or recordings (written or audio) of him professing any kind of religion in his adult life, it is absurd to claim that he was a Christian. Even if one rejects books that document conversations in which he mocks Christianity, the burden of proof lies on the individual who claims that the dictator was a Christian.
What I find interesting is the flimsy evidence on which the claim is often based. The dictator had soldiers swear by God. Is this use of religious language the smoking gun? The German military uniform used the phrase “God with Us.” Would a non-Christian use such language?
Consider the phrase “God with Us” had been on Prussian uniforms since the 1700’s. It was not an invention of the German dictator. If one claims that use of religious language is proof of Christianity, then he or she uses a standard rejected by anti-theists when it is convenient. I have yet to meet an anti-theist who doesn’t say it is of no consequence that the U.S. Constitution is signed, “In the Year of Our Lord.” They say use of this phrase, and religious language on other documents, is an example of the religious phrases customary to that time period. They say it is not an indication that the men who signed the constitution were Christians.
Any anti-theist who changes his or her standard in this way demonstrates Special Pleading, a logical fallacy. In special pleading, an individual deliberately ignores aspects that are unfavorable to their point of view. They apply standards, principles, or rules to other people or circumstances, while making his or her own circumstances exempt from the same critical criteria. One cannot argue that use of religious language proves Christian intent only when it benefits a specific argument.
The attempt to connect the man responsible for killing six million Jewish people with Christians appears to be motivated by something akin to an ad-hominem attack on all who have faith; they are saying don’t trust them, they are just like the 1940’s dictator.
Why do you think some are so motivated in their effort to get you, and others, to avoid considering God’s word, even if it means misrepresenting His message? What are your thoughts?