Religious Moderates

Posted by Dan | Posted in Religion | Posted on 04-07-2011

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A question from my Formspring, and my response. Discussion encouraged below.

“If I believe in a peaceful version of my religion, and it’s not hurting anyone, so then why do you still think that’s bad?”

Put it another way: let’s say you believe in a peaceful interpretation of Hitler’s Mein Kampf. You follow the ‘good’ bits and ignore the ‘bad’ bits. You would never dream of harming another human being or anything like that, and regard all those who do as “extremists” and people who have “taken Hitler’s writing out of context”. Thus, you proudly wear your Swastika, state your political allegiance as “Nazi Party” on the census and live a perfectly good and moral life.

You raise your children with the same beliefs and values you follow, and they too grow up to be nice, moral Nazis who assert that anyone who gases Jews is a dangerous extremist who gives your political party a bad name, and that it is wrong to judge all Nazis just on the behaviour of a few fundamentalists.

A few years down the line, a large percentage of the country regard themselves as Nazis. The vast majority of those would never dream of condoning anything bad, and if questioned on the specifics of their belief will say something along the lines of: “Oh, well I believe that to be a good Nazi you just have to be nice to people and go to the local Third Reich meetings once in a while.”

The result of this is that the Nazi Party hold serious political weight. It would be a disastrous move for a politician to publicly state that he disagrees with the Nazis. If he attempts to point out that there are some very horrible ideas in Mein Kampf and there is clear evidence that teaching people that this book is a fine example of moral fibre increases the number of those who commit atrocities directly attributable to its teachings, he is told: “Oh that’s just the extremists – MOST of us would never dream of doing that.”

So it is generally accepted that Nazism is fine, morally admirable and generally a great thing because a lot of the people who bear the flag are at heart nice people. Nazi charities are set up, and they give millions to charity. Copies of Mein Kampf are placed in every hotel room in the country, and children are raised to believe that they are ‘bad’ and ‘wrong’ if they question the teachings of Hitler.

Do you see what’s wrong with this picture?

The moderates are the dangerous ones, because they make unacceptable ideas appear acceptable.

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This is officially my ‘go to’ article for when my views on religion are questioned.

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