A reason for being, in handy Venn diagram format.
The Literally Unbelievable post (concerning the test questions asked of potential religion teachers in Ireland) prompted the inevitable Godwinian comment:
Everyone, knows Hitler was a athiest, only a non-believer could possibly single out one group of ppl based on their religous beliefs…..
Which in turn prompted this depth charge from Broadsheet commenter Jon Pierson late last night:
I’m sorry to disappoint you but Adolf Hitler was raised a Roman Catholic. You may also be surprised to hear that Joseph Stalin was not only a Roman Catholic but actually a seminarian. DO NOT trust Wikipedia or religious propaganda but go to original source material to confirm these facts.
The Nazi Party were, fundamentally, a reaction against the perceived ‘sell-out’ by Bismarck of the German people in the Treaty of Versailles. The anti-Semitism came, not from any belief or non-belief system but from a need to ‘blame’ someone for Germany’s economic woes following the First World War and to rally ‘der volk’ to believe that, without some random factor (the Jews) everything would be better.
Stalin was not going after ‘the religious’, he was a megalomaniac attempting, and succeeding to, consolidate his power over the masses who, when seeing what fate befell those who failed to toe the line, er. toed the line.
I have no idea why otherwise rational individuals believe the rubbish spouted by the religious to justify their existence other than the fact that, even today, children as young as four are subjected to recognised methods of mind control and hypnotic techniques to indoctrinate them to ‘believe’ in something that, had you been born in, say, Iran, you would have believed in the polar opposite of the same reason.
I know that it’s difficult for the religious to manage more than just the one book and, even then, only the edited highlights, but have a go at actually reading ‘The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich’ by William L. Shirer and, also ‘Mein Kampf’ by Adolf Hitler.
Now, don’t just pick out random bits that ‘fit’ your religiously formed opinions – like you do with your bible – read the whole of the books from start to finish. In fact, read the whole of your bible from start to finish because, if you do (and have the ability to do so from a neutral stance) you will discover the violence of your god, his inability to deal with iron chariots and the alarming difficulty he has, in the modern era, to do all that smiting he did against his enemies. You will also discover that, in much the same way that tens of thousands of others have since, your Jesus figure was actually preaching the end of the world within the lifetime of those to whom he was allegedly preaching… in much the same way that Harold Camping has predicted the ‘end of days’ so many times I hear that he has now given up.
You see, just because there may, or may not, have been some bloke preaching the ‘end of the world’ and ‘judgement day’ two thousand years ago – and someone made notes – does not make it any more valid than me telling you that you will ascend to your idea of heaven tomorrow.
‘Faith’ is only a trust that what someone tells you is true. Trust me, there neither is, nor ever will be, any evidence, whatsoever, that there is some old bloke sitting in the clouds controlling everything. I actually have a science degree and a law degree. Both degrees required me to read more than just one book, please open your mind to the rationalism of reality and close it to superstition and supernaturalism. You only have one shot at life, make the most of it and waste no further time on imaginary beings. (Anyway, if your god is so cool, if you live your life without harming others, maybe even helping others, and adopt an ethical and moral attitude to life, surely he will reward you whether you claim belief or not.)