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Hitchens
Posted: 12 April 2007 07:31 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Posted: 12 April 2007 07:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Not sure if I’ll read it or not. Personally, I find Hitchens to be a great polemicist, and a hugely arrogant man, but little else. If you agree with his conclusions you will often find his polemical turns of phrase bracing, but take that for what it’s worth.

Re. fascism, it was most linked with religion in Franco’s Spain and in parts of South America, and I do see a tenuous link between them. Hitlerite fascism was based on a sort of neo-pagan romanticism that was a substitute for traditional religious thinking; the power structure that it enabled was for the sole purpose of setting up a cult of personality in the F?hrer himself.

For Franco, it was partly to the benefit of the Catholic church. And even in today’s Spain there are definite allegiances between the right wing and the Catholic church ... not sure if these extend to the Falange (Franco’s party, which is still active there), but it would not surprise me.

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Posted: 12 April 2007 07:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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He is going to be a guest on Point of Inquiry about the book. I am persuaded by him and I think D.J. is too. Of course, Hitchen’s arguments rub some of our people the wrong way, and a number of people at CFI disagreed with him on his position on Iraq.

Its definitely worth discussing more.

Cheers!

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Posted: 12 April 2007 08:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Posted: 12 April 2007 03:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I haven’t heard of him, but the title of his book does sound intreguing.  I’ll have to listen to the podcast to figure out if I really want to buy it or not.

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Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 13 April 2007 01:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Mriana, he has a number of books out and writes a regular column for Free Inquiry magazine. If you have access to past issues, you can get an idea about his writing style from looking through them.

His one great virtue is that he is a very good writer ...

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Posted: 13 April 2007 05:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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OK thanks.  I’ve probably have read his work, but didn’t take notice of his name before now.

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Posted: 13 April 2007 07:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Posted: 13 April 2007 10:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I’m not a fan of Hitchens, and I’m not very happy that CFI works with him.

I do agree that fascism and Nazism are inextricably linked to religion however, in many ways.

http://www.rationalrevolution.net/articles/understanding_fascism.htm

http://www.rationalrevolution.net/articles/darwin_nazism.htm

The Nazi movement was defiantly a religious movement, and anti-Semitism up to that time was essentially a purely Christian phenomenon. Christianity is the source of anti-Semitism, there really isn’t any other source for it, though it has since branched out and persists on its own, even outside of Christian circles, it was Christianity that gave birth to it.

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Posted: 13 April 2007 11:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Posted: 13 April 2007 12:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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[quote author=“George Benedik”]The Jews always had money. Christianity merely made it possible to steal the money from them.

Sorry? Jewish people only got into the money lending business in medieval Europe because the Christians believed that their religion made lending immoral—so they fobbed the job off on their non-co-religionists.

Further, throughout history Jews have very often been very poor. One thinks of the shtetls and ghettos of eastern Europe. Their poverty was largely caused by deep and institutionalized anti-semitism.

RR is entirely right that anti-semitism is an originally Christian phenomenon, and there is no doubt that the Nazis got their noxious anti-semitic views from the influence of this sort of religious bigotry.

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Posted: 13 April 2007 12:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Posted: 13 April 2007 12:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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[quote author=“George Benedik”][quote author=“rationalrevolution”] Christianity is the source of anti-Semitism, there really isn’t any other source for it

I strongly disagree. The Jews always had money. Christianity merely made it possible to steal the money from them.

I’m not sure what “money” they were supposed to have back in the 1st century in Rome. When Christianity became the dominant religion in Rome in the 4th century, immediately laws against Jews, or any non-Christians, owning property, etc., were passed.

A whole slate of laws were passed against Jews during the 4th-6th centuries in the Roman and Byzantine Empires largely because “the Jews killed Jesus”, and this trend simply continued throughout history. Again, see the linked materials for more details.

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Posted: 13 April 2007 12:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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[quote author=“George Benedik”][quote author=“dougsmith”]there is no doubt that the Nazis got their noxious anti-semitic views from the influence of this sort of religious bigotry.

Are you serious? It was precisely because of power and money that the Germans did what they did to the Jews. Any of this had nothing to do with religion. The same happened with the Spanish Inquisition. It was the Jews who financed Columbus’s second voyage (the money was obviously stolen from them because they didn’t believe in Christ). And the list goes on and on…

The voyage of Columbus was financed by the king and queen of Spain. Jews were the primary crew members, because this was during the Inquisition, and since they thought it was a suicide mission, they emptied the jails and put them on Columbus’ ships. Almost everyone in jail were Jews.

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Posted: 13 April 2007 01:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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[quote author=“George Benedik”] It was precisely because of power and money that the Germans did what they did to the Jews. Any of this had nothing to do with religion.

Have you looked at German history and the history of Nazi ideology? The anti-semitic stuff came from the same roots as the Oberammergau Passion Play (see also HERE ) and Richard Wagner’s operas . Wagner mixed neo-pagan ideology with Christian religion, and anti-semitism played a role in his art that was important to Nazi ideology. (And I say this as someone who enjoys Wagner’s brilliance while being disturbed by his clear anti-semitism. Fortunately for his legacy he died in the late 19th century, and so his influence on the evils of Nazism are indirect).

One can also find a clear anti-semitic message in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, coming straight from the New Testament.

While I don’t think that Nazism was itself a religion—as I say, I consider it a quasi-religious cult of personality—nonetheless, RR is right that its anti-semitism has roots in Christian bigotry.

BTW, money was a side-issue for Hitler. He was anti-capitalist, that’s true, but he didn’t hate Jews because they were rich. He hated them because he believed they were an “inferior race”.

For more info on Nazi anti-semitism see HERE or HERE .

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Posted: 13 April 2007 05:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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