Talk:Positive Christianity

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The Excommunication of Goebbels and the NNDB[edit]

Is NNDB considered a reliable source for the purpose of RationalWiki? And if not, is NNDB admissible for RationalWiki anyway? There is this article on "Positive Christianity", and I am pretty sure that Goebbels could not have been excommunicated in the year 1932 simply for marrying a Protestant. There were one French (Henrietta Maria of France), one Portuguese (Catherine of Braganza) and one Italian (Mary of Modena) Roman Catholic Princess, as well as one English Catholic lady and Royal mistress (Maria FitzHerbert), and they were all ruled and declared by Popes of Rome to have been lawfully and validly married to Protestant Princes of England (King Charles I, King Charles II, King James II and VII all of England, Scotland and Ireland, as well as Prince George of Hanover, Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall and Rothesay, &c.). There has always been only ONE uniform and unified set of rules for the whole of the "Latin" part (Latin Church) of Roman Catholic Church in the Protestant and Catholic parts of Western Europe, and called the Roman Catholic Canon law, and the Catholic Canon law in Germany is and has always been almost identical to the one in England, so how could the marriage by Goebbels to a Protestant (and in the 20th. century) be somehow suddenly the cause of his excommunication as an invalid and unlawful marriage? It is simply nonsensical. I thank you. --- (talk) 19:40, 12 October 2013 (UTC)

Goebbels could have been excommunicated if he partook of a protestant mass at the wedding although marrying a protestant would not automatically bring the penalty. I rootled round the web and believe that the dogmatic assertion is due largely to the influence of David Irving and as such is open to question Couldn't find any other party apart from NNDB or Irving as a source of the excommunication "fact". Consequently I believe that the BoN may be right …
However note that excommunication is not necessarily the total sanction that non-catholics possibly believe:
In Roman Catholic canon law, excommunication is a censure and thus a "medicinal penalty" intended to invite the person to change behavior or attitude, repent, and return to full communion.[1] It is not an "expiatory penalty" designed to make satisfaction for the wrong done, much less a "vindictive penalty" designed solely to punish.
Excommunication can be either latae sententiae (automatic, incurred at the moment of committing the offense for which canon law imposes that penalty) or ferendae sententiae (incurred only when imposed by a legitimate superior or declared as the sentence of an ecclesiastical court).
Excommunicated Catholics are still Catholics and remain bound by obligations such as attending Mass, even though they are barred from receiving the Eucharist and from taking an active part in the liturgy (reading, bringing the offerings, etc.). However, their communion with the Church is considered gravely impaired.[4] In spite of that, they are urged to retain a relationship with the Church, as the goal is to encourage them to repent and return to active participation in its life.
Scream!! (talk) 21:53, 12 October 2013 (UTC)
Short of the Photostat copy or a photograph of a signed and dated letter—even a forgery (irony intended)—supposedly from the Pope and Roman Pontiff or any other (the Pope is also the Bishop of Rome) Catholic bishop to Goebbels, confirming his excommunication latae sententiae, I am personally not inclined to believe that any claim from any historian or pseudo-historian with a book to sell or peddle, can ever be considered trustworthy or reliable and safe in this regard, bearing in mind that, since probably just short of the last one thousand years, as in the cases of Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa and his grandson being Emperor Frederick II both of the Holy Roman Empire, an excommunication by the Pope or any other Catholic bishop to a Catholic king, prince, duke, head of Government or other member of the Government was (and probably still is) nothing but literally a declaration made openly of War by the Catholic Church as an order from the Church to the Princes of other Countries to invade with a view to depose the excommunicate as well as a declaration that the subjects of the excommunicate are released from their allegiance (i.e., an invitation to rebel), and is never to be taken lightly. The Catholic Church could not possibly at one hand excommunicate a prominent member of the ruling political party of Nazi Germany, whilst at the other hand sign a Reichskonkordat (1933) with the Nazi Government of the same Country; the sternest act that the Catholic Church ever got round to do was the promulgation of the extraordinary German (presumably with a Latin translation, instead of Latin with a German translation) Bull "Mit brennender Sorge" in the year 1937 by Pope Pius XI but without any mass excommunications by name (or even references to the Nazis), and any excommunication would also had been lifted by the then next Pope being Pope Pius XII, known for his anti-Communist and pro-German (if not also Nazi) sympathies. I can however believe that Goebbels could have been posthumously declared after the War an excommunicate, which would merely be a purely symbolic act. The NNDB is certainly NOT considered a trustworthy source for the purpose of Wikipedia. ([1], et al.) --- (talk) 14:05, 13 October 2013 (UTC)
The German Catholic bishop conference excommunicated all members of the Nazi Party in 1931. Gary L. Krupp provided the direct quotations in Pope Pius XII and World War II: The Documented Truth. (talk) 23:39, 10 January 2020 (UTC)
Michael Heseman has confirmed this excommunication decree and tat it was lifted in March 1933. Other sources have confirmed that the Fulda conference and the Freising conference punished Nazi Party membership the same way they did with Communist Party membership.
JohnLogan (talk) 10:45, 11 January 2020 (UTC)

Hitler's Table Talks[edit]

The source the quotes come from is disputed by some, but it is an interesting look into the political views of Hitler and the SS. The SS itself had many within it that pushed for an ancestral focus with Germanic paganism. Said quotes aren't very informative of Hitler's opinion on the paganism, but is quite critical of Christianity and the servile, un-Machiavellan doctrine it promotes.Userius (talk) 20:36, 1 October 2017 (UTC)


I joined this site mainly to strengthen its historical accuracy. This debate regarding excommunication seems to be the new let them eat cake controversy. Hopefully the inclusion of historians who referenced excommunication will finally please everyone and we can leave it at this. Montesquieu (talk) 09:45, 19 February 2021 (UTC)

Christian victims and Hitler's paganism[edit]

Shouldn't we also add that christians died in the Holocaust as well? The nazis did kill a signifiant minority of christians (mostly jehovah's witnesses, roman catholics and protestants). Not to mention that there were christians that opposed the nazis and there are reports that Hitler privately repudiated Christianity and was most likely a pagan, mostly based on his obsession with norse/germanic mythology and reconnecting with the so called "heritage" of that culture.Rational Dude (talk) 00:23, 12 February 2023 (UTC)

Thea article is not really about the Holocaust but rather about a particular especially weird version of Christianity. There is a Holocaust article however.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 14:46, 12 February 2023 (UTC)
Alright. But I feel that we should add that most christians did oppose the nazis nonetheless. The way the article is phrased makes it seem like all christian supported Hitler.Rational Dude (talk) 15:16, 12 February 2023 (UTC)
First of all, the article is mostly talking about Nazi attitudes to Christianity - not Christian attitudes to Nazim. If you can identify the part in the article which says (or suggests) that most Christians supported Nazim that would be worth talking about. Secondly, is it really the case that most Christian Germans did not support Hitler when he was initially winning? That's going to be "citation needed".
Finally, you might want to actually read the what the modern incarnation of positive Christianity has to say about itself.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 17:15, 12 February 2023 (UTC)
My bad. I wasn't referring to positive christianity, just christianity in general. I never denied that christians initially supported the nazis, I meant to say that christians opposed the nazis during ww2 and that led to most of them being killed in the holocaust. Hitler did use christianity during his campaign to gain the support of the German population. Rational Dude (talk) 19:27, 12 February 2023 (UTC)
Then that isn't relevant to Positive Christianity, it's relevant to Christophobia or whatever. Also I'm skeptical of the claim that most German Christians went to the Camps during the Holocaust. Do you have citation for that claim? Vee (talk) 20:40, 12 February 2023 (UTC)
I agree. The claim "Christians opposed the nazis during ww2 and that led to most of them being killed in the holocaust." needs to be supported. It might be true of some specific groups but not German Christians in general. And I suspect that we are going to be No true Scotsman territory soon.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 21:15, 12 February 2023 (UTC)
Considering that roughly half of Germany is at least nominally Christian, I find this claim to be highly dubious. However, most of those Christians are either Mainline Protestant or Catholic. So the data isn't exclusive with the possibility that some Christian groups were wholesale eradicated in the Holocaust, but as you said such claims need to be supported regardless. Vee (talk) 22:02, 12 February 2023 (UTC)
Obviously, many non-Nazi Christians wholeheartedly denounced the Nazis. So that's a given.
Within Germany, though, I'm not finding much information on Christians targeted for the concentration camps (except for some small groups like Jehovah's Witnesses who were targeted more for refusing to join the army). From what I see, Holocaust victims that were Christian were targeted more for nationality (eg ethnic non-Jewish Poles, who were predominantly Catholic but were more targeted for being Polish), ideology based (eg communists), or phobias (eg homosexuals) instead of religious.
Generally speaking, the church in Germany at that time was dominated by Protestants and Catholics. While Pope Pius XII seemed to write a lot of anti-war words, his actions were very feeble (actually signing a f'n treaty with HitlerWikipedia) and I do not get the impression from initial Googles therefore that German Catholics were targeted as a whole, though I'm reading that the relationship between the Nazis and the Catholic church was testy at times. During the Nazi period, the Protestant churches in Germany roughly split into two movements. One was the more numerous Deutsche ChristenWikipedia ("German Christians") movement (where the church reconciled and aligned with Nazi antisemitism, racism, etc.). There was also a protest movement called Confessing ChurchWikipedia (Bekennende Kirche). (Edit: reading the Wikis, there was also many German Protestants who were in neither camp and "did nothing" except be cautious, I guess; after the full scale of the Nazi atrocities were revealed after the war, this seemed to have caused some reflection on how the Church as a whole failed.) A few of the Confession Church did seem to go to the concentration camps, but the government opposition part was probably more of a factor than the religion. BobJohnson (talk) 22:39, 12 February 2023 (UTC)
I didn't say German christians, I said christians during WWII. Aside from jehovah's witnesses, there were also roman catholics (mostly polish) and protestants.
Here's an article on wikipedia detailing the treatment of catholics in Germany and German occupied territory. Rational Dude (talk) 00:51, 13 February 2023 (UTC)
To be fair the wording was ambiguous enough that my interpretation was completely reasonable. Vee (talk) 01:00, 13 February 2023 (UTC)
I see, I apologize for being vague and ambiguous. I should’ve been more specific. But I hope you get what I mean now that I’m being more clear. Rational Dude (talk) 04:18, 13 February 2023 (UTC)
What you said was "I wasn't referring to positive christianity, just christianity in general. I never denied that christians initially supported the nazis, I meant to say that christians opposed the nazis during ww2 and that led to most of them being killed in the holocaust."
Which is kind of confusing. In one place you say that Christians (presumably in Germany and presumably in the majority) supported the Nazis. Then you say that Christians (presumably in Germany and presumably in the majority) opposed the Nazis and you go on to say that "most of them" (presumably the majority of German Christians) were killed in the holocaust.
But none of this really has much to do with the article. It might be of interest in Holocaust.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 08:15, 13 February 2023 (UTC)
Again, I should’ve paid attention to being specific. But you’re right, I should add it to the article for the Holocaust.Rational Dude (talk) 13:01, 13 February 2023 (UTC)

Hitler was not a Christian... Maybe?[edit]

After reading the Wikipedia article on Hitler's perception of Christianity, it seems pretty clear that Hitler was probably not a Christian, or at least had great disdain from Christianity, while possibly "tolerating" it's existstence and it's "aura" as being an example of some sort of "European idea", much like how some nazis today both dislike Christianity as it being a Jewish creation, but while also praising it for representing an idea which has lasted for a while during Europe's domination of the globe, being part of the "European identity". Hitler did seem to believe in a higher power though z or at least to be spiritual, so I wouldn't say he was an atheist. Is this view commonly accepted by most historians? — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

OK. So the question really is: "What is a Christian?". Is it one who self-identifies as a Christian; someone who others can identify as a Christian by using some external criteria; or is there some other way? If it's a question of self-identification then Hitler was a Christian. At least according to various references of his to "my Christian faith" in "Mein Kampf".
But are we going to ask "Did he act like a Christian?" based on the beliefs of some particular Christian sect? In that case one might equally ask: "Is Trump a Christian?" he claims to be; "Was Al Capone a Christian?" he received the last rites; for that matter is the Southern Baptist Church actually Christian - including its multiple odious beliefs?
The only real way that we can establish whether a particular group or individual is "Christian" is by looking at how they self-define. In which case Al Capone, the Southern Baptist Church and (yes) Hitler were/are all Christian. It's more a question for sociologists or anthropologists (or possibly linguists) than it is for historians.
But I'm not sure how much this has to do with this particular article which is kind of ambivalent on the question.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 14:05, 14 July 2023 (UTC)
This is veering into "No True Scotsman" territory I think. Hitler self-identified as a Christian and supported a racism-fueled Nazi-politicized sect of Christianity called the "German Christian movement".Wikipedia I don't think I have seen anything that argues against him being a Christian outside of cranks who try to excuse the historical cases where Christians were the ones that committed grave crimes. (Obviously this usually is Christian apologists.)
Now, one can argue that the type of Christianity Hitler endorsed was against scripture, or even heretical. I think that in a religion where the second most important doctrineWikipedia is "love thy neighbor", there is much scope for making this sort of argument.
There is some parallels here with the evangelical movement (especially in the days of Donald Trump etc.). There, ideology exists like the prosperity gospel which is so whack-a-doodle out of alignment with scripture that even Billy Graham slammed it. So is, say, Hillsong "not Christian" now because they half follow this whack-a-doodle theology? No. Hillsong calls themselves Christian. Heck, they branched off a well established evangelical sect (Pentecostal, a sect not without its own controversies). Religion is half a social identity; what you call yourself, you are. What is "true Christian" and "heresy Christian" is an argument for religious studies, of which there will be as wide of an opinion range as there are church sects. BobJohnson (talk) 14:58, 14 July 2023 (UTC)