Why, it’s a double serving of anti-atheist stupidity today. Firstly, as you may know, Pope Ratzi is now in the U.K. And, naturally, the first thing to do once he arrived on British soil was to claim in his speech how “atheist extremism” drove Hitler and the Nazis to purge Europe of 11+ million victims during the Holocaust [emphasis added]:
Even in our own lifetime, we can recall how Britain and her leaders stood against a Nazi tyranny that wished to eradicate God from society and denied our common humanity to many, especially the Jews, who were thought unfit to live. I also recall the regime’s attitude to Christian pastors and religious who spoke the truth in love, opposed the Nazis and paid for that opposition with their lives. As we reflect on the sobering lessons of the atheist extremism of the twentieth century, let us never forget how the exclusion of God, religion and virtue from public life leads ultimately to a truncated vision of man and of society and thus to a “reductive vision of the person and his destiny” (Caritas in Veritate, 29).
You would think that a man seated at the helm of an organization that claims moral authority over billions of people would be aware of some basic historical facts about the things he pontificates about (haha, a pun), rather than repeating baseless anti-atheist canards all over again. There is nothing about the Nazi’s rule or ideology (nor Hitler’s) that was even remotely atheistic. As has been pointed out numerous times, the religious beliefs of the Nazi movement were complex and somewhat difficult to analyze, but Hitler himself openly embraced Christianity time and time again, and even used numerous failed attempts on his life to claim that he was guided and protected by divine providence. Hardly the words of a man who lacks any belief(s) in any and all gods.
Naturally, the British Humanist Association took exception to the pontiff claiming that atheist ideology somehow led to genocide during the 1930s and ’40s and released a statement condemning his nonsense. Which brings us to our second Fail Quote from self-anointed Defender of the Catholic FaithTM, Bill Donohue:
The pope did not go far enough. Radical atheists like the British Humanist Association should apologize for Hitler. But they should not stop there. They also need to issue an apology for the 67 million innocent men, women and children murdered under Stalin, and the 77 million innocent Chinese killed by Mao. Hitler, Stalin and Mao were all driven by a radical atheism, a militant and fundamentally dogmatic brand of secular extremism. It was this anti-religious impulse that allowed them to become mass murderers. By contrast, a grand total of 1,394 were killed during the 250 years of the Inquisition, most all of whom were murdered by secular authorities.
So, it wasn’t bad enough for the Pope to claim that godlessness led to Nazis and the Holocaust. Now, we have this jackass demanding that atheists actually apologize for Hitler, who (I repeat for clarity’s sake) had nothing to do with atheism in any way, shape or form, and even goes so far as to assert that we should also apologize for Mao, Stalin and whoever-the-hell-else anti-atheist ankle-biters like to lop godless folks in with.
Tell you what, Donohue. The day you and Catholics collectively apologize for the Inquisition, the witch trials & burnings, the Crusades, the Vatican’s refusal to oppose Hitler during WWII and to even excommunicate any Nazis since, and your horrendous stances on issues such as the use of condoms, the prohibition of which leads to the deadly spreading of HIV and AIDS in Africa (and elsewhere) … then maybe you might have some sort of credibility when you start demanding that other people apologize for this and that.
Oh, wait, none of those are your fault, you say? Well, then, why are you also demanding that atheists apologize for the crimes of monsters long past – and especially, individuals who were neither led by godlessness, nor used it as a structure or driving goal for their acts?