Friday, June 24, 2011

Is Hitler a Christian?

I was recently asked by a 12-year old adorable and very intelligent American boy “Was Bin Laden a Moslem?” I answered “Yes”.

The question suddenly popped up on my mind on that same evening. It wasn’t so much the question, but the fact that a 12-year old kid is already thinking along these lines. I had no doubt of the innocence of his question. However, I had all doubts about the media at work shaping this type of thinking.

The following day, and while having breakfast with the parents of this child, and who happen to be devout Christians, I decided to bring up this question again. It was now my turn to ask the father (who is a good friend) and said “Was Hitler a Christian?” He answered “Yes”. I then continued “Does it ever occur to you why is it that even though Hitler targeted groups based on their religion, we never think of him as a Christian but rather as a Nazi; while in the case of Bin Laden who was specifically opposed to U.S. foreign policy and intervention in the Middle East, we still insist on emphasizing his religion rather than his actions?

After what ended up being a lengthy discussion, we concluded that neither the actions of Bin Laden nor those of Hitler are representatives of their religious beliefs. More importantly, we agreed that once religion is infused in politics, they both become manipulative, toxic, and lethal. Most importantly, my 12-year old friend shared in this discussion, which thankfully succeeded in putting this matter in a different and more tolerant perspective.

As for the media fueling and mongering such thinking, well that's a whole different question altogether!


Anonymous said...

Hitler didn't kill in the name of Christianity and this is why his religion and this is why his religion is never mentioned. Bin Laden's situation is quite a bit different, and so is the situation of every other whack-job blowing themselves up to reach an imaginary afterlife.

Tallouza said...

Anon: The point is that Islam is being systematically and subjectively attacked and discredited using figures like Bin Laden and his ideology to justify these attacks. As for Hitler, Nazism adoption of so called "positive Christianity" was a main driving force behind its ideology. It specifically singled out Judaism, Jews and what it referred to as Jewish materialism to justify its antisemitic practices. Cleansing of the Jews was therefore done on religious basis. If this is not religiously motivated, I do not know what is. Mind you many Christians were opposed to this positive Christianity thing; very much the same as many Moslems who do not subscribe to anything Bin Laden
stands for. The truth is out there, we just have to pursue it. Mental lethargy has led many to take falsehoods for truths!!

kinzi said...

Tallouza, there is an interesting article by a priest who was stopped in an airport and given an earful about priests who have committed abuse against children. He, a faithful and life-long priest, was smeared by the actions of a small minority.

It made me think of what is said to visibly faithful Muslims. Or said behind their backs. I like how you handled the conversation.

In this particular instance, I am not sure the comparison is equal, as Hitler acted in absolute opposition of every teaching of the Christ he claimed to follow. He was born into a Catholic home and was never excommunicated by the Catholic Church (to their shame), but at the end, he even planned to destroy Christianity as he did Judaism...and probably would have destroyed Muslims too.

We don't think of him as a Christian because his actions showed him a type of Anti-Christ, not matter what his words said.

Like I believe that OBL was, a tool of the Anti-Christ. He did not speak for most of my Muslims friends, but prior to Jordan's 911, more agreed with him than I was ever comfortable with.

Media has played a part of this, but at the end of the day, they are reporting the news, not the ones creating it. It will be actions and words of people like you that cleanse a tarnished reputation.

NasEr said...

Naser Marra men hona.
rich 3 comments.
my brain is taking a day off but couldn't resist commenting.

Abed said...

In absolutely no way was Hitler a Christian. He actively despised the Church and made clear how he thought Christianity was not masculine and belligerent enough.

It's a slightly different case for OBL because, in the end, there is no possible way to dismiss him from being a Muslim, and this is partially due to a lack of hierarchy in Islam.

Anonymous said...

I started a joke, which started the whole world crying,
but I didn't see that the joke was on me, oh no.

Raghda Butros said...


Your comment makes little sense to me, so I will need you to explain further.

You're saying that Hitler "acted in absolute opposition of every teaching of the Christ he claimed to follow." Is this to suggest that Osama Bin Laden acted in accordance with the teachings of Islam in your opinion?

We all know that many Christians supported the actions of Hitler and his politics, but in your opinion this does not make him any more Christian. However, the fact that many Muslims may have supported Osama Bin Laden, does, in your opinion, seem to make him more representative of Islam.

Finally, while you think that Christians hold no responsibility for cleansing the reputation of Christianity from the residual effects of the actions of Hitler (and many other vile Christians throughout history), you do think that Muslims are obliged to cleanse the reputation of Islam because of the actions of Osama Bin Laden and other vile Muslims.

This all seems quite contradictory to me.