Why Atheists Fight
- Pope attacks secular Britain as being like Nazi Germany
- Gay child molestation scandals drive down Pope Benedict's U.S. approval ratings
- Pope again apologizes for sex abuse failures
- Pope officially attacks atheism (Reuters)
"Even if Hitler had been an atheist, his political philosophy was not based upon atheism and had no connection with atheism. Hitler was arguably (and by his own account) a Roman Catholic. In any case he enjoyed the open support of many of the most senior catholic clergy in Germany and the less demonstrative support of Pope Pius XII. Even if Hitler had been an atheist (he certainly was not), the rank and file Germans who carried out the attempted extermination of the Jews were Christians, almost to a man: either Catholic or Lutheran, primed to their antisemitism by centuries of Catholic propaganda about 'Christ-killers' and by Martin Luther's own seething hatred of the Jews. To mention Ratzinger's membership of the Hitler Youth might be thought to be fighting dirty, but my feeling is that the gloves are off after this disgraceful paragraph by the pope."
- [Thank you to Wisdom Quarterly reader Jim Mitchell who confirms that Pope Benedict was not a Nazi. His proof is that the photograph above was cropped from the original as the young former Hitler Youth cleric was photographed in a gesture of blessing. Thank you, Jim. The Pope's own written admission of his membership must have been a misprint.]
[Pope] "Ratzinger [who renamed himself Benedict XVI] has several times gone on record on his supposedly 'problematic' past. In the 1997 book Salt of the Earth, Ratzinger is asked whether he was ever in the Hitler Youth.
"'At first we weren't,' he said, speaking of himself and his older brother, 'but when the compulsory Hitler Youth was introduced in 1941, my brother was obliged to join. I was still too young, but later as a seminarian, I was registered in the Hitler Youth' " (Source).
It is ironic that the pope was a member of the Hitler Youth. And we sympathize with and understand Dr. Dawkins' position and that of any atheists who feel offended. But there is no use in mudslinging at mudslingers. In fact, it is said, "The one who slings back is worse than the original slinger" (according to The Dhammapada). It might just be that the pope is trying to divert attention from so many gay child molestation scandals by the clergy under his command by striking at an easy target, those "godless atheists."
- Laying Down the Rod (Bhikkhu Bodhi)