Who’s Your Nazi?

We seem to have a love affair with comparisons to Nazis and Hitler these days, at least when it comes … Continued

We seem to have a love affair with comparisons to Nazis and Hitler these days, at least when it comes to finding analogies for those with whom we disagree. Some cause or policy we oppose? Compare it to Nazism. Some people whose actions disturb us? Compare them to Hitler. An event that appalls us? It’s a Holocaust.

This practice of comparing people and things to Nazis and the Holocaust has been especially noticeable in the controversy surrounding the mosque/community center being planned for the area near the site of the former World Trade Center. Most recently, Newt Gingrich compared the project’s backers to Nazis when he declared that they should be blocked from putting up the building, just as Nazis would be barred from “putting up a sign” next to the United States Holocaust Museum and Memorial in the nation’s capitol.

The making of such comparisons, however, is not limited to famous and powerful people, who use it for effect in the news. Comparisons to Nazis are tossed off by regular folks just as easily. Witness the recent community meeting on New York’s Staten Island – a meeting also devoted to the construction of a mosque, this one on the grounds of a former Catholic church.

Some in attendance at the meeting referred to the need to resist the building of the proposed Islamic center because, “this was the community’s D-Day”. We all know who the opposition was in the epic battle and once again, comparing those with whom someone diagrees to Nazis was the popular way to go. But such comparisons are not limited to a single issue or party, and they are not a particularly recent phenomenon either.

Last fall, Florida Democrat, Congressman Alan Grayson described the American health care system as a Holocaust. Apparently the congressman failed to distinguish between what many think of as a fatally flawed system for providing medical care and one of the most efficiently run systems, carefully implemented, for the total destruction of entire groups of human beings.

Not to be outdone, Republicans answered back some weeks later with a video in which Adolph Hitler was shown declaring, through creative dubbing, the pleasure he takes in Nancy Pelosi being on his side. I guess the Republicans were not distressed by callous and casual comparisons to the Holocaust and Nazis, as they originally claimed, but simply by who was being compared to them.

My response? We should simply say a pox on both your houses. We are done listening to anyone who makes these ugly and inaccurate comparisons, regardless of whether or not we happen to agree with the policy positions of those who make them.

Simply decrying the use of Nazi, Hitler and Holocaust analogies will do nothing to reduce such use. Each side will go on decrying the use by the other side — whatever the debate and whatever the sides. Instead of bemoaning the situation, we should hold accountable, any and all people, famous and otherwise, who demean public discourse with such analogies. Let them know that as long as they bolster their arguments with such ugly comparisons, we will no longer give any weight to their words.

As a nation, we can almost certainly withstand reaching the wrong conclusion on any single issue, regardless of how big or divisive. What we cannot withstand is the further debasement of the public discourse which sustains our democracy.

We cannot stop all people from using ugly and inaccurate analogies to frame our most important public debates, but we can stop rewarding them for doing so. We have the power to shape this nation by bending the demand curve for outrageous speech and it’s high time we do so.

Brad Hirschfield
Written by

  • Delongl

    I agree that Nazi comparisons are not helpful. The internet figured that out in 1989 and coined “Godwin’s Law” (Google it on Wikipedia).But let’s also stop this trend of assailing someone because they “compared x to y”. This is always an out-of-context quote because if the true quote was worthwhile it would have been used in context. And like this article digs up quotes from 3 months ago, it doesn’t take much to find an objectionable word in someone’s statements and then yell “he compared x to y.”

  • WmarkW

    I totally agree about Nazi analogies.But I’m tired of being told that any position on Zionism less than sucking up, constitutes “leading to the destruction of the Jewish people.”

  • arik67

    Sahih Bukhari Ahadith, Volume 4, Book 52, Number 177:Narrated Abu Huraira:How are people who believe THIS is a word of God are NOT a Nazis?

  • Garak

    Sure. As soon as the right stops calling us socialists for failing to believe in anything other than the most radical, extremist form of the totally-discredited laissez-faire capitalism.And bravo to wmarkw! The good Rabbi hirschfield wrote an excellent column. But he needs to take the next step and have talk with Abe Foxman and Israeli PM Netanyahoo! about their using the Nazi analogy.

  • Nymous

    I don’t like fascists too many of them getting too worked up, and they just end up needing shooting.

  • kycol2

    The root problem is that we have become an acceptably dishonest nation. Lying is a major tool for forming opinions. We lie and expect to be lied to and accept that as SOP. Political speeches are more often propaganda than substantive issues to be debated. Who said that if a lie is told often enough people will begin to believe it? Just ask any Beck cultist who signed the “bailout legislation” into law and they will tell you it was President Obama. No one discusses whether it was a basically good endeavor. We are just told it was a bad deal for the taxpayer. Though it is true that lies come from both sides of the political spectrum, the preponderance of malignant, non-issue dishonesty obviously comes from the radical/religious extreme right. Beck and those others who lead that faction have made the concept of the anti-Christ plausible. It is very difficult not to liken our present situation to some that have gone before.

  • Garak

    @Arik67: 1 Samuel 15:2-3: “Thus saith the LORD of hosts … go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.”Genocide per the god of the Jews. We found the original Nazis.

  • DwightCollins

    will you also ask blacks to stop the white hating and blaming rehtoric…

  • johng1

    This column reminds me of when the Nazis took their lunch break and ate venersnitzel and drank beer while singing “aye yigh, aye yigh …”

  • sharonp1z

    I also think Confederates should not be compared to Nazi’s. Although I disapprove of using the rebel flag as a state symbol, it overly simplify’s history. There is a tendency to let the rest of America, the Caribbean and South America off the hook when it comes to oppression. We do not refer to all people of German descent today as Nazi’s but, our country tend to treat a white southerner as evil. It makes it hard for people to embrace the compassion they should feel for their brother and sister.I hope people like Beck do not succeed in polarizing this country further by implying that the most innocent and vulnerable are to blame for the nation’s economic problems.

  • LeeH1

    Oh, please! Who died and made you the word police? No one owns the English language- it is too dynamic. I’m tired of different people suddenly deciding that a particular word can only be used by a minority and for only one purpose and that any one else who uses the same word is wrong.Using a simile to make a comparison of two unlike things is a good tradition in English. Everyone understands the comparison- they just don’t like other people using _their_ special words. It is a control thing, and they most like to control other people.Suddenly, a spark retard on a machine is wrong word. The Holocaust happened over two generations ago, and is only a footnote in history to some people. But use it in everyday speech, and the language police will get after ya.Who the Hell put these people in charge, to tell others what they can say and how to say it? To forbid the N-word is one thing, but to say that only blacks can use the N-word in common speech is blatent racism. Blacks do not own a single word in the English language. Neither do Jews. Neither do Whites. No one owns the English language.The concept of “feministas” or “soup nazis” or “ku kluzers” only show that English is dynamic and versatile.This goes back to the early days of English, when the Norman French were in command. Any dirty animal in the field was low class and Anglo-Saxon: cow, sheep, pig, chick. When it was butchered, given to the chef, and served to the king, it became high class and French: beef, mutton, pork, poultry.Likewise, if it was said in Anglo Saxon, it was a low class word, and often a swear word. But if said in Latin or French, the same noun became OK to use: excretment, urine, saliva, intercourse.The point is that the norman French had swords and an organized military and clerical establishment to back up their demands for class in language. The jews, the balcks, the whites and everyone else no longer have this force. So you can’t tell other people how to speak their own language.If you are insulted, it is because you chose to be insulted. If you re offended, then it is because you chose to be offended. And if you chose to be insulted and offended by what I’ve just said, then urine on you!

  • APaganplace

    “”We do not refer to all people of German descent today as Nazi’s but, our country tend to treat a white southerner as evil. It makes it hard for people to embrace the compassion they should feel for their brother and sister.””Reality-injection. I’m *in* the South, and when someone’s showing ‘Stars and Bars’ it ain’t fun-loving Bo and Luke Duke. This isn’t shown in a vacuum. It usually involves other displays.

  • bigbrother1

    will you also ask blacks to stop the white hating and blaming rehtoric…Posted by: DwightCollins | August 30, 2010 7:58 AMWell, it might help if you stopped being such a d!ck towards non-whites, but that’s asking too much, I know.

  • Navin1

    We must remember the darkest hour of modern history. We must be able to draw contrasts between current events and the darkness of our past, as we must with the light of our past. We have relativistic brains not well suited to knowing absolutes. The rhetoric is rhetoric. Anyone who gives rheotric more weight than meaning, has little of substance to say. But the Nazi comparison must stand. Not just in the general context of us v them but in the particular context of us v them and then in the general context of us v ourselves. In the particular context of us v them, we need to be aware of the dangerousness of such ideologies. This was an ideology the Nazis emphasized and is at the core of the right to destroy another peoples for our own gain. It is at the core of modern, and ancient, evils. We must recognize the us v them paradigm wherever we see it. In the OT, NT, and the Koran or anywhere else. It must be put up in bold letters that these ideologies are the source of hate best expressed in the mid 1900 by the self righteous Nazis and passivley supported by the rest of the world. As we attempt to prevent future genocides, the call to compare with Nazis must be rapid and efective.In the general sense of us v us, we must understand that each of us has a system of beliefs that we hold to be reasonably true to use in social decision making. The vehemance with which we adhere to our views makes us Nazi-like. We must become aware that each of us are capable of being Nazis. Only then can we recognize when we are being Nazis and stop ourselves. So long as we believe we can not be Nazi-like inour beliefs and actions, we will be subject to the same self deception that allowed so much of the white and arab races to hold genocidal views as legitimate. And this persists in the modern world – that genocide is legitimate. Abram, as he marched his innocent son to be killed for god, gave the Nazi mentality a religous frame. We must recognize the inhumanity of such an ideology, such a god, and that we as humans are, and should act so, better than that primitive urge.Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. (Let us hope those that remember to repeat history are not doomed to forget it.)hariaum

  • robertajkaufman3

    Changing existing laws and putting us under global authority is scary stuff if you believe what you are hearing. This country was founded under the lion of Judah we did not always live up to his legacy but history is filled with christian people who gave their lives for this country and that King. How comes it then that we can attempt to supersede all these laws at any particular whim and yet we fight over the obvious indecent act of a mosque being built in the precise location that it should not be built out of that decency Hitler and nazies and any other murdering dictator is no ways as a christian you know comparable to the final battle on this plantet and we must be careful and watch and too stand it isnt always easy to do that while we cannot see into the hearts of men to know if their words are inflamatory or a sounding trumpet we can as christians discern the times and things occuring and base our beliefs thusly. So I wont cry Hitler murdering savage that he was but I will say something is happening now and it is concerning to say the least

  • ravitchn

    There is nothing wrong with raising Nazi analogies. The Nazis were not out-of-sight aliens; they were normal Germans driven to extremes. Anyone could be a Nazi, therefore we need to be vigilant.

  • Navin1

    A Pagan Place,I have no knowledge of GB’s intent. I feel the evidence is probably in support of your statements. The Nazis, as things stand today, are a referrance point for what is universally considered bad. If we stop at that statment – nazis are bad – we are at being stupid. If we ask what made the Nazis bad, and I agree that it is the judeo-christian-islamic ideal of morality, then we can try to decipher which elements are bad and of those, which do we carry within us. One of those elements is the us v them dichotomy of the abrahamic god. Certainly his was not the first such hateful god, but his has been the most prolific inspirer of hate in modern history. Again, I don’t mean to say jews, christians, or muslims are evil. It is their ideology that they share with the Nazis that is evil. And, stepping beyond the particular case of a social construct, In the more general case of an individual, I feel that we each have the same capacity to become ideologically driven to hate. And in this, I need to be watchful of my own ideology.REgardless of GB, MY Nazi is 1) the ideology of a proxy that stands between me and god, invalidating my moral decisions – jesus, 2) a belief system that the last prophet has come and left us a book that is perfectly moral – islam, and 3) my personal sense of self righteousnous. All three of these things need careful guard in my personal life and the spiritual world in which I participate.hariaum

  • Martial

    A major reason not to use the Nazi analogy is out of respect for soldiers who fought Hitler and Hirohito, alike monstrous for their attempts at rapid conquest of an entire continent with an aim to gratify their “race” at the expense of the rest of mankind. Unfortunately, nothing will stop people from doing this. Therefore, it seems wisest to end every internet conversation with:”You’re Hitler!”Try it now.You’re Hitler.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Naziism is a particular German subset of Fascism. Fascism is not an ideology of belief or an economic system. It is an emotional and social movement that surges and ebbs within modern societies. Its characteristics are a sense of tradtional values under siege and a counter-defense of these trationsl values which sometimes borders on paranoia, a mystical sense of nationalism, and a preoccupation and fascaintion with military power and guns. Some societies seem to fall into Fascism more easily than others, for instance, it does not seem to ever happen in Scandanavia, but it happens frequently in Latin America and in the Middle East. There are persistent elements of Fascism in America, but there is also a very strong counter-balance to it, which all of us must support. When the Nazis took over Germany, it was the most scientifically and cultually advanced country in the world. So, YES, Naziism can happen ANYWHERE, even here in the United States; it is all our duty and responsibiltiy as Americans to guard against its rise, and to defend against it.The tearfully emotional ramblings of Glen Beck and his awestuck audiences remind me a lot of the early Adolph Hitler. It is pretty obvious that this is so. But I do not think Glen Beck has the inner strength that Hitler had to lead a whole nation to utter destruction. When I look at Glen Beck and listen to him, especially when he cries, I see a suicide waiting to happen.

  • lufrank1

    Sorry . . . Israel HAS become a NAZI nation, period.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    I think we might propose a Slavery analogy instead. We might speak of the Middle Passage of the Ethiopian Jews and some MIddle Eastern Jews.Segregation would work for Jews, too….Various Apartheid nations in the MIddle East, etc.

  • yasseryousufi

    arik67 wrote,Sahih Bukhari Ahadith, Volume 4, Book 52, Number 177:Narrated Abu Huraira:How are people who believe THIS is a word of God are NOT a Nazis?********************************FACT CHECKThe Nazi’s who actually killed Jews for being Jews were in fact Christians. Its Christians who have reveled in murdering Jews throughout their history be it all the Jews of England being gathered up to be murdered as an appetizer before taking on the main course of slaughtering the Saracens or the ethnic cleansing of Spain after the re-conquesita (inquisition). Find me one such instance of a Muslim army indulging in this kind of wholesale murder. The closest anyone has come to emulating Nazi’s are………guess who? Serb Orthodox Christians with their pogroms of killing all the Bosnian males and using mass rape of Bosniak women as a war tool. There is no moral equivalency between Islam and Christianity. When it comes to unhindered barbarity, violence and murder no one comes close to the White Christian race/religion.

  • maddymappo

    Nazism did not appear out of a vacuum. There was one thousand years of intense anti-semetism in Europe that fed it, and a church that reinforced this by placing collective blame for the slaughter of the lamb of god, Jesus, on all of the Jews.Newt Gingrich’s analogy is not off the mark. The Islamic culture is so intensely hateful of the Jews and western culture that the fanatics who follow Bin Ladin and other Wahabis are emerging from the same kind of petri dish of hate. The comparison to Nazism of political policies in the country, that people do not like or agree with even thought their lives are not being threatened, they maintain their freedom of speech without being jailed, etc, and they have the ability to change those policies, just does not apply. So I do agree that the comparison to Nazis is inaccurately applied and over used and abused in many cases, but Newt got it right on the ground zero mosque.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    MartialI do not see Naziism or Fascism as belief systems. They are more, irrational, social and emotional movements. Such movements appear in some societies that are under stress. Why this seems to happen in some societies but not in others, is not clear to me.Remember, however, that Germany as a powerful nation state did not emerge until the late 19th century. It did not gradually evolve into a nation-state like England, France, or Spain. Why?Because it was crippled and divided by the Thirties Year War between the Catholics and Protestants in the 17th century. It was kept artifically divided, and then it was artificially united under the military conquest of its most militaristic and Spartan state, Prussia. And its sudden emergence dislocated the international system of the time. This dislocation contributed to the First World War, which resulted in great suffering for the German people, who then followed Adolph Hitler. So, in a way, we can blame the warring factions of Christendom, in the 16th and 17th centuries for setting the stage for modern German Naziism.Our own country’s dislocation was slavery and its violent over-throw in our Civil War. This dislocation persists into the present day. In Mississippi, more than half of the population lived as slaves, before the Civil War. It is almost impossible to imagine such a nightmare society. The sudden abolition of slavery, by force, in such a society has not resolved, even now.There are persistent strains of Fascism in America, rooted in what happened way back in those days. But, I think, there are enough other dominating influences to keep this persistent tendency in check.Your comments on Naziism seem a little flippant to me. Germany was the most advanced country in the world when the Nazis came to power. What makes you think that it could not happen again, anywhere in the world? The Nazis in Germany were not an alien people; they were bad people, the worst of the worst, who are not distinguished by any nationality, but are among us all, everywhere, in every country and in every epoch. The problem is keeping these people in check, and preventing them from gaining power.That goes for America as well as for N. Korea, Cuba, or Iran.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    And BTW,… the example of the European Wars of Religion, and especially what happened in Germany, was fresh on everybody’s minds in America, when the Constituton and the Bill of Rights were implemented into law. The Founding Fathers knew EXACTLY what they were doing, when they targeted freedom of religion in the Bill of Rights. People today, don’t remember, and don’t understand.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    … and another thing …Fascism in general, does not inevitably and invariably target Jews; it targets scapegoats, people who are easy prey to a particular society under stress. In Nazi Germany, it was the Jews. The Jew-a-phobia of Middle Eastern societies is particulary ironic, because the Nazis would just as easily have cast Arabs and Muslims into their ovens, as well as Jews. Such movements invariably seek an easy scapegoat for all the problems of society. Who are the scapegoats in American society today, that the Glen Beck types seek to blame for everything?If a group of people is being blamed for everything that is bad, it is a pretty safe bet that it is not true. This is the GREAT FAILURE of the tea party movement, that it is appealing to the base and Fascisistic tendencies in people, whom one would expect should know better.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    Hi DITLD,YOU: I do not see Naziism or Fascism as belief systems. They are more, irrational, social and emotional movements. Such movements appear in some societies that are under stress. Why this seems to happen in some societies but not in others, is not clear to me.ME: Christianity, as Onofrio, among many others have said, involves a huge faith commitment, and in that it is not alone. The Nazis, who comprised both cultural and observant Christians, bought into a myth heavily cloaked in Christian-style rhetoric with other irrational and nonrational “beliefs.” At the same time, they were in some ways, hyper-rational. The most eloquent explanations of both tendencies have been offered by Horkheimer and Adorno, Dialectics of the Enlightenment. Also, see Zygmunt Baumann. YOU: This dislocation contributed to the First World War, which resulted in great suffering for the German people, who then followed Adolph Hitler. So, in a way, we can blame the warring factions of Christendom, in the 16th and 17th centuries for setting the stage for modern German Naziism.ME: Not entirely. Moreover, who/what will we blame for Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Russia, France, Hungary, Romania, Poland, Croatia, etc., etc., where ordinary church-going people simply got up and killed Jews all by their lonesome, in advance of the nazi occupation.Who or what will we blame, keeping in mind that this had become a tradition among those then fascist, revanchist, nationalist folks? And then, of course, we are led to consider Stepinak, his two hundred Croat Utase priest colleagues, who ran concentration camps, tortured to death, murdered with their own hands Serbian Orthodox, Jews, Roma? Who will we blame for the 800,000 deaths that they caused through their incitement? Who and what that they deposited the loot in Vatican Bank, where it still resides, as I have often mentioned.Lawsuit efforts continue….And the Ratlines? (See Wikipedia.)

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    And speaking of the Spanish Inquisition, inaugurated by none other than “Isabella, the Catholic,” as she is still known to many today, and the effort to make Spain Judenrien (and Muslim-rein), let us consider the notions of pura sangre (pure blood). This meant that because Jews and AmerIndians lacked “pure blood,” even if they converted, they could never be ture “Christians.” Therefore, the true Christians slaughtered them.Those who desperately wish to believe that “racism” began only in the nineteenth century, take note. Racisms always had materialist foundations. Arguably, it begins with the essentialism of the NT, gathers strength in another body of work from which the Nazis drew, that of St. John of the Cross, a church father, who came perilously close to Inquisitional thinking. And so on down through the centuries. And then it was spread. Yea, I say unto you, it was spread to the Middle East, Africa, and Asia….And yet, Jews do not believe that God had sons, daughters, cousins, and/or pets. It just is that way with Jews. It’s cuz Abraham smashed the idols in his Dad’s idol store. (It’s a long short story.)

  • jimwalters1

    Skimming these comments, somewhere between a quarter and half the people commenting here should be ignored if we apply Rabbi Hirschfield’s rule. How sad.

  • haveaheart

    There is a fundamental difference between describing someone as a “Nazi” and invoking the Holocaust for overblown comparisons.Ascribing “Nazi” characteristics to domineering individuals was made culturally acceptable by Jerry Seinfeld in the “Soup Nazi” episode of his eponymous TV series. Seinfeld’s point was that it’s really no big deal to accuse someone of being a rigid and judgmental control-freak (i.e., like a Nazi, like Hitler) if that’s how he behaves in society.The Holocaust, however, is vastly different territory. It is, in many ways, sacred because of the tremendous injustice, pain, loss of life, rending of families, inhumane treatment, and humiliation inflicted on the European Jewish population (and others, such as the Gypsies, who were considered to be filthy outsiders).This is not the stuff of jokes and should not be part of anyone’s puerile present-day comparisons — especially those made for political gain. (You can see Seinfeld making this distinction, albeit in a comic way, in the episode where his mother says, in complete horror, “You were making out during ‘Schindler’s List’?”)The victims of the Holocaust and their descendants can rightfully ask society not to conflate all of its dreary little woes with the significance of the genocide that occurred at the hands of Hitler and the Nazis.But they must remember that the individual perpetrators are not sacred, that the very worst that is carried in the human soul must be carried around publicly as a reminder of what a minority of ignorant hooligans can set aflame on the world stage. (Think Rwanda; think Darfur; think Sierra Leone.)

  • haveaheart

    Oh, and by the way, Rabbi, it’s “Adolf,” not “Adolph.”Sorry, but I’m an editor, and these things make me nuts.

  • yasseryousufi

    @Mary,Thanks for all that info. My criticisms are never of any religion but of the perverts who defile their religion. You will find such people in every religion. No religion have singular monopoly over goodness or evil. Yet we have Islam bashers who believe its only the muslims who commit violence in the name of religion or otherwise. We have a similar Shia Sunni divide in Islam and although I am a Sunni I will agree that Shia’s have unjustly suffered at the hands of Sunni Kings throughout our history. A little bit history of Christianity that I know tells me that Catholics were pretty violent too when they used to be in power. Just yesterday I read that a prominent Rabbi of the Shaas party in Israel which is a part of the ruling coalition there said that he wished and prayed to God that a plague befell on Palestinians and Mahmud Abbas killing them all. He has also called for annihilation of all Palestinians. Yet that party is still part of Israeli Government.I just wish we stopped poking noses in everyone else business, educate ourselves more about different cultures and just give everyone a benefit a doubt and not preempt their actions as evil.

  • Jihadist

    Mary Cunningham!Long time no see.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    FarnazI have some sense of European history, but I admit, there is alot that I do not understand.My guess is that Naziism was a manifestation of some aspect of human nature, that is not specific to Germany nor to any nationality. My guess is that the Nazi leaders had no motivations at all beyond their own pschopathic narcism, mean spirit, and brutal lust for power; and that their followers had no motivations either, but just let the emotions of fear and paranoia surge in thoughtless and irrational ferver of nationalism and obedience to a strong leader; and that the philosophy of Naziism was never intended to mean anything real about the world, but was a cynical justification for irrational brutality, which most Germans neither cared about, nor understood.We can use the word, Nazi, as an insult, like calling someone fat or ugly. Used that way, it is at best, impolite. But we can also use it to describe real and true tendencies that we have observed before, in Nazi Germany. I think that there is nothing wrong with calling something “Nazi” if that is what it seems to be.I do see elements of Naziism in American society, espeically in the South, and I see it in politics too. There is nothing wrong with pointing this out, if it is true.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Mary C… but nowadays, it is ok to be Catholic in the UK, isn’t it?

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    DanielintheLionsDen:We know enough about Nazism, its Christian/Catholic roots, material/racial permutations to do more than guess. We could fill several libraries on the topic. Prominent French anti-Jewish racists, Houston Stewart Chamberlain, Ford, et al, all contributed to Nazism, a specific ideology that manifested in a specific time and place, but which shared certain characteristics with other nativist, racist, revanchist movements.Per your point, which I’ve made frequently, twentieth-century Jew killers were not unique to Germany, which to this day wonders why it was they and not the Russians, who nearly finished the Jew-killing job. Again, Ukraine, Poland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Greece, Romania, etc., etc., participated in the genocide of Jews, often in advance of the Nazi arrival. France was busy rounding up Jews before anyone asked them to. The RCC was implicated. We have photographs of Lithuanian citizens slaughtering Jews, of Croatians, including priests holding Serbian Orthodox, Jewish, Roma heads, holding dishes under their victims’ slit throats to collect the blood that spilled out of them as they stood and exanguinated.All of this I’ve posted on ad nauseum (no offense!), with bibliographies. And the sins of the fathers have been visited upon the children, with their Jew hatred, and their genociding again and again and again, the inevitable consequences of dispensing with justice, of which the ancients knew much.

  • Secular

    Mr. Yousufi, you wrote,”Thanks for all that info. My criticisms are never of any religion but of the perverts who defile their religion. You will find such people in every religion. No religion have singular monopoly over goodness or evil. Yet we have Islam bashers who believe its only the muslims who commit violence in the name of religion or otherwise”. The criticisms has always got to be of the religion. It is their scripture that prescribes the actions that the followers follow. All the scripture is filled with rather vile prescriptions and proscriptions. Buried under all that worthless & dangerous rubbish lies a few soiled pearls. The clever ones and the gullible ones pick these few pearls and foist them as shining example of their religion’s superiority over others. All religions are nothing but tribal creeds put together to either promote the tribal cohesion or to expand the tribe or both. You take Judaism for instance the whole old testament is nothing but a carefully crafted piece of fiction to keep the tribal cohesion by proclaiming that Jews were the chosen people of the GOD. Added to that to further enjoin them to be bond together are all the post Exodus genocide stories to not only promote cohesion but not to let outsiders in. Essentially promoting that all means are justified in maintaining the survival of the Hebrews. Next came Christianity, being a new religion it needed recruits, as early attempts to carve out adherents out of the Hebrews was a failure. In fact early christians even debated if they should completely chuck out the OT altogether. They adopted the second approach of expanding the tribe beyond the few original Hebrew break-aways. Hence the NT myths promote a more universalist approach seeking the new converts hence it promises the converts Nirvana by simply accepting Jesus as the saviour. In case of Islam it took on both the approaches, by promising Nirvana to the converts and stringent punishments to the drop outs. So in short it is the religion that is to be blamed.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    Secular:You take Judaism for instance the whole old testament is nothing but a carefully crafted piece of fiction to keep the tribal cohesion by proclaiming that Jews were the chosen people of the GOD. Added to that to further enjoin them to be bond together are all the post Exodus genocide stories to not only promote cohesion but not to let outsiders in. Essentially promoting that all means are justified in maintaining the survival of the Hebrews. However, since you are an expert (endlessly making pronouncements, refusing to learn or refer to sources I’ve recommended–since you are an expert, one of many in your particular tribe, I might add), let us begin with ירושלמ (Forgive me for suggesting the obvious to expert you.) If you wish to use English, all right. I’m not happy with it, but all right.Start with Yerushalmi, and go freely to Bavli. I’m fine with that.You are growing increasingly tedious with your ignorant opining. Forgive me, but I have tried everything with you. Either demonstrate your expertise, or keep quiet about that of which you know nothing. If you are an “expert,” or even if you know anything about Judaism, we’ll know once we get into the key source texts.At this point, it appears that you know nothing of Judaism or Christianity. Nothing or next to it of Islam. I cannot imagine why you would want to continue to embarrass yourself, so I’m giving you the chance to prove me wrong. Btw., Bavli is also fine. (There, I used English.)Hmmm….Looks like my Gita is getting dog-eared….

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    Secular,You do evidence no knowledge of either Judaism or Christianity, and I mean nothing. What you’ve posted is propaganda that no one with have a functioning brain accepts any longer. Even the Vatican is at pains to distance itself from the local/universal drek, and the Vatican is not alone.Your intimate knowledge of Jesus’s disciples is hilarious. (Are you on medication?)But again, we begin with Judaism. Don’t hesitate to get lost, but if you must return, please quote from the texts I mentioned to make your arguments, since without them, there is no Judaism. You know this, of course. Because you are an expert. Btw., have you read much George Mosse? Nazi Culture? Essentials of Nazi Ideology?Just wondering. They drew on the sort of drek you write, the Nazis, but were more elaborate, also, moved forward. Mosse is sketchy on this. But good.Better is Leon Poliakov. We’ll get to him down the line. First, though, Judaism. Btw., I would imagine, that as we move ahead, Expert You and me, we can anticipate reaching Miamonides in about ten years. But to me, it is worth it. These texts fascinate.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    DanielintheLionsDen:We know enough about Nazism, its Christian/Catholic roots, material/racial permutations to do more than guess. We could fill several libraries on the topic. Prominent French anti-Jewish racists, Houston Stewart Chamberlain, Ford, et al, all contributed to Nazism, a specific ideology that manifested in a specific time and place, but which shared certain characteristics with other nativist, racist, revanchist movements.Per your point, which I’ve made frequently, twentieth-century Jew killers were not unique to Germany, which to this day wonders why it was they and not the Russians, who nearly finished the Jew-killing job. Again, Ukraine, Poland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Greece, Romania, etc., etc., participated in the genocide of Jews, often in advance of the Nazi arrival. France was busy rounding up Jews before anyone asked them to. The RCC was implicated. We have photographs of Lithuanian citizens slaughtering Jews, of Croatians, including priests holding Serbian Orthodox, Jewish, Roma heads, holding dishes under their victims’ slit throats to collect the blood that spilled out of them as they stood and exanguinated.All of this I’ve posted on ad nauseum (no offense!), with bibliographies. And the sins of the fathers have been visited upon the children, with their Jew hatred, and their genociding again and again and again, the inevitable consequences of dispensing with justice, of which the ancients knew much.

  • Secular

    Farnaz, OK I know nothing about JUdaism. So I read this book Old Testament or whatever you call it. It claims this skydaddy created this whole world or was it universe in six days and then he took rest. That makes me wonder where was the sky daddy before he started all this creating. never mind that I digress. then he creates all of humankind. Then off all the people on all he six continents he chooses these 12 tribes as his chosen people. If I am not mistaken book of Exodus is replete with this claim. Why do you think that claim was put in there? Or do you really think there is this skydaddy, who created all the stuff in six days? For naive ignorant one like me when I read this nonsense, I wonder why did they make that claim and drilled it into those bronze age gullibles. The purpose is to make them feel special. As one of the people chosen I would definitely feel special and also would feel certain strong bond with the others who are so chosen. But I suppose for there must be a more nuanced motivation for that chosen people claim that only a sophisticate like you can comprehend. Or may be I am just making too much of that little claim.I don’t care much for the late 20th century and 21st century interpretations of the 3000 old musty tomes, which are of course influenced by the progressive secular thought of the day.Frankly it matters little to me if your copy of Gita is getting dog eared or not. that book is just another 4000 year old musty tome, as relevant in 21st century as your beloved tanakh

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    Secular, the point is that you know nothing of Judaism. Period. Ditto, Christianity. The texts to which I referred are ancient. They are not twentieth century, LOL. Ditto Maimonides. Ditto Aristotle and Plato. Now Aristotle and Plato were not wise on all matters, but they have influence, shall we say, despite the fact that they it has been awhile since they were in their prime. That which is ancient is not necessarily garbage, as a glance, for instance, at the three tragedians might show, geenyoss vous.Bottom line: You don’t know what you’re talking about with respect to religion. Some grow, morph, are reinterpreted, thrive. The brilliant founder of Reconstructionist Judaism has been described as an atheist, a description he never objected to. Atheism is acceptable to Reconstructionists.If you want to lash out, know what you’re lashing out at. And leave alone that of which you know nothing. I’m an atheist, Secular, and the end of religion as we know it would not make me weep. What does is militant ignorance.

  • yasseryousufi

    Secular writes,”The criticisms has always got to be of the religion. It is their scripture that prescribes the actions that the followers follow. All the scripture is filled with rather vile prescriptions and proscriptions.”*********************************Secular you just rehash the defeated points of your Fanatic Athiest Prophets Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins. Religions don’t kill people. Its people with twisted minds and criminal tendencies who indulge in death and destruction. Sometimes they hide behind religion to justify their crimes. However, some of the biggest murderers were infact Athiest like Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao etc. Whats your theory regarding their crimes? I cannot have a discussion on religion with someone as non serious as you are. Your constant attempts at being a comedian with your Sky God jokes just point towards your bad taste. I can however discuss evolution with you. If the World wasn’t created in six days, whats your counter argument? How did this world came into being? Do you believe your forefathers were algae, fungus and earthworms?

  • Secular

    Farnaz, you wrote,”That which is ancient is not necessarily garbage, as a glance, for instance, at the three tragedians might show, geenyoss vous”. I did not claim that everything ancient is garbage. I assign that status only to the scriptural writings. As the authors of them had bitten off far more than they could chew. they have tried to handle the natural world of science to everything under the sky, including morality and ethics. The slow progress in science that mankind had made has quite unmistakably shown that as far as the nature and scientific facts go they were pulling stuff out of the north end of a southbound mule. When it comes to the ethical and moral lessons go they are just as poor in performance as with science. Hence my derision for them.I don’t need anyone to interpret for me these books unless you claim that the King james translation by the scholars of the day is completely devoid of any merit. When the first four commandments say only about the deity cast as megalomanaical deity, those commandments have no relevance for any thinking person. When one the commandments say, do not bear false witness against your neighbour. I know it is not without reason that there are three extra words. Contrary to popular interpretation of that statement, as though the phrase “against your neighbour” is not there, there is a purpose of r those words. The word neighbor is meant to mean fellow tribesman. The word neighbor is used in contrast to a stranger period. These books are replete with vile, given the our modern understanding of ethics and morality. If one suggests that these were the early stepping stones for modern morality, I might concede but beyond that these books are as useful as books of Alchemistry are to converting lead into gold.

  • Secular

    Yousufi, you wrote, “Secular you just rehash the defeated points of your Fanatic Athiest Prophets Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins. Religions don’t kill people. Its people with twisted minds and criminal tendencies who indulge in death and destruction. Sometimes they hide behind religion to justify their crimes. However, some of the biggest murderers were infact Athiest like Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao etc. Whats your theory regarding their crimes?”Of course religions do not kill people. Yes people with twisted minds, motivated by the twisted writings of twisted minds, in the form of religious scriptures kill people. Religions are memes or concepts they are not animate things with a mind. I rehash the defeated of my fanatic prophets, you say. When was this battle royale take place, when their points were all defeated in one fell swoop. If anything there has been steady erosion of the scripture hold on its fiction about historical and scientific facts over the ages. When it comes to the origin of our species goes yes WE are the progenies of single celled creatures that livid few billion years ago. We were not created by some omnipotent god, all at once. If he did create us then, he is a mighty poor designer, as he had not heard much about Fault Tolerance, redundancy and other good design principles which all engineers are familiar with today. No engineer would have put the entire entertainment center machinary in the middle of a sewage canal. So there you go.

  • Secular

    Oh sorry Yousufi, I intended to write about the three great villains of the 2oth century, by far without a shadow of doubt – Messers Stalin, Mao, & Pol Pot. They are atheists and what they did indeed is something i have to hang my head down for. That said, they were also megalomaniacs, who were not driven by the atheistic precepts at all, for what they did. They did not kill all those people because they refused to accept atheism. But they killed the people because the people were considered hindrance to these megalomaniacs’ power and authority. Precepts of Atheism had nothing to do with those ugly tragic happenings. While I hang my head down as those bastards happen to belong to the same club, figuratively speaking.

  • areyousaying

    Who scapegoats minorities, attacks others’ religious beliefs and exploits Christ to rally political votes?Glenn Beck Christians use Hitler’s playbook. What else would one call them?

  • frankbd

    I’m MY OWN damn Nazi, thank you very much.And if anyone else wants to try being my Nazi, they’re going to have to get passed me to do it.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    SEcular, “The word neighbor is meant to mean fellow tribesman. The word neighbor is used in contrast to a stranger period.”Not period, note even comma. First, there were twelve tribes. Second, the point you attempt to make, like all the others you attempt and fail to make, is hotly contested.,”You shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LOrd.””Welcome the stranger, for you were a stranger in Egypt.”As I said, any time you are interested in discussing the texts of Judaism, I’m ready willing and able. However, you are not, as you said. You know nothing about it.Debating at this infantile level is almost impossible for me. I’m willing to use English translations for Yerushalmi and Bavli, but that’s as far as I go.Get in touch when you have more to offer than bluster.In the meantime, concentrate on the Dalit.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Yusufi”If the World wasn’t created in six days, whats your counter argument? How did this world came into being? Do you believe your forefathers were algae, fungus and earthworms?”It’s called science; look it up.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    I think that “love your neighbor” means love anyone that you would not normaly love, such as your parents or brother and sisters and children, for if you only love those that love you, then what is the credit in that?But it is all moot, anyway, since it is almost universally acknowledged by all Christians that they just can’t do it, and so why even try. The tired old slogan is “love your neighbor,” but the reality is “throw a rock at anyone who looks at you sideways.”But then, what’s the point?

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Wasn’t Hitler worse than Stalin? He didn’t even get a mention.

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    Secular,When one the commandments say, do not bear false witness against your neighbour. I know it is not without reason that there are three extra words. Contrary to popular interpretation of that statement, as though the phrase “against your neighbour” is not there, there is a purpose of r those words. The word neighbor is meant to mean fellow tribesman. The word neighbor is used in contrast to a stranger period. You are way, way out there. And I do mean out there.(Do you have health insurance?)

  • farnaz_mansouri2

    Secular,Addendum: You shall not covet your neighbor’s….I guess the deity figured it unlikely that they’d covet the wife of hotelier in Rio, so why mention it. Sheesh.

  • Secular

    Farnaz, I kindly refer you to Deuteronomy, Chapter 15, verses 1 to 3:1. At the end of every seven years thou shalt make a release.2. And this is the manner of the release: Every creditor that lendeth aught unto his neighbor shall release it; he shall not exact it of his neighbor, or of his brother; because it is called the Lord’s release.3. Of a foreigner thou mayest exact it again: but that which is thine with thy brother thine hand shall release.And to Deuteronomy, Chapter 15, verses 19 and 20:19. Thou shalt not lend upon usury to thy brother; usury of money, usury of victuals, usury of any thing that is lent upon usury:20. Unto a stranger thou mayest lend upon usury; but unto thy brother thou shalt not lend upon usury: that the Lord thy God may bless thee in all that thou settest thine hand to in the land whither thou goest to possess it.Per the above verses it is quite clear that the use of word neighbor is not as universalist as is in the modern sense. In fact the neighbor and brother are used narrowly to mean the children of israel. Please do not be so condescending as to tell me that there were twelve tribes of Hebrews. Though I do not believe that there were these biblical characters Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob, aren’t the twelve tribes named after the so called twelve sons of Jacob, born of various different sisters and their maids? So they all, Hebrews are pretty much the same tribe. The point is all these scripture are written by people for keeping the fellow adherents together and promoting harmony amongst them and not the universal documents. Indeed there are verses that, are there which perhaps explicitly recommend tolerance towards strangers or outsiders but those are far and few between. As I read it the OT is full of exhortations to plunder and pillage the others around them. One cannot say that the OT is a scripture that is not very tolerant of other religions of the day. How els do you explain constant drum beat of “I’am your Lord”, “My People”, “Do not go whoring with other Gods”. The last phrase itself suggests that there are other Gods besides Yweh, which he even recognizes, but his people must have no truck with them. I too can go on and on. Stop this ad hominem attack of me and show me where I am wrong. Ignorant or dumb I may be, but the onus is upon you to why I am wrong. Whether I am as steeped in Judaism as you are or not, these scriptures have to stand on their own words. If I need to read ten other books to understand this one book then this book is inadequate by definition. Or the other books are trying to rationalize away the text. If you wish to discuss this and enlighten me, I am ready. But it does not speak well of you if you engage in ad hominem attacks.