Friday, April 29, 2005

The Christian Nazis

This interview with Dr. Steigmann-Gall, when read with Bush's remarks about "Faith" based politics in mind, will corkscrew through any passivity one might have regarding the "fundamentalism" of the GOP leadership. Frist and Bush both exploit a vague christianity which allows mainstream GOPers to rationalize waking up in bed with the hate mongering religious right.
The Christian Nazis: "Hitler�s Christianity
The Turning: How did Hitler see Christ?

Steigmann-Gall: Almost all of the Nazis I investigated esteemed Christ, with only one important exception. Now how did they square the circle by esteeming the king of the Jews? By determining that, all along, Jesus had really been an �Aryan.� It sounds obscene of course, and it is obscene. But people, when they try to understand it, think that this is another idiosyncrasy of Hitler, or his sloppy way of trying to have everything both ways.

Here, too, however, we see that there is a lineage behind the idea that Jesus had in fact been an Aryan. And one of the places that you see this is in 19th century German thought. Two men are most often seen as originating the idea of the Aryan Christ - one is an Englishman, Huston Stewart Chamberlain, famously the son-in-law of Richard Wagner, who lived long enough to see Hitler's rise and who sanctioned Hitler as God-given. And the other was a 19th century Frenchman, Ernest Renan, who came out with a theory that Jesus had not been a Jew at all. Antisemites in the 19th century looked at Jesus and said 'Well, he doesn't care about the law, he doesn't like the Old Testament, he throws the moneychangers and hagglers out of the temple.� In John 8:44 he says 'Jews, you are the children of the devil',� this kind of thing. And so there was a particular kind of intellect in the 19th century who began this idea of the Aryan Christ. And Hitler and almost all Nazis continue this lineage of thought.

The Turning: I guess the riddle now is if the Nazis were reading the New Testament and finding such racist ideas in it, were they just radically misreading and misinterpreting what an average German might have heard in a church at the time? Or, were they in step with their times? If you had gone "

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