Is the Holocaust Justified in the Bible? May 27, 2012

Is the Holocaust Justified in the Bible?

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  • TheAnalogKid

    Yeah. Something about when God’s Chosen People disobey him they have to be punished. 

  •  Not anymore, not in the new testament. that sort of response to sin is not in gods style now that jesus has erased the record of our wrongs 🙂

  • Guest

    Nonsense. Everyone knows atheism is responsible for the holocaust.

  • Scott_Lumry

    Sorry, but I do not believe the god fearing Jew recognize Christ and would, therefor fall under the law of the Talmud. If such is the case, then even the Christian, using the same logic used to believe that gays can not enter heaven, COULD come to the same conclusion as Hitler. Some have argued that Hitler used said reasoning to arrive at that conclusion. So, were the Jews punished by Christians because the Jews had failed in What Christians would believe was God’s plan for them to accept his “Son” as the messiah? It is a trecherous slope, Ms. Brelsford.

  • Onamission5

    Goodness my poe-o-meter has become damaged. I assume sarcasm, but then, sometimes I am not so sure. I will go with my first assumption.

  • Dan

    Brittany, you say that a group of people being harshly punished for sin doesn’t apply in the NT? You might want to read the Bible again. Heck, just glance through Revelation, but Jesus torturing people for all eternity for though-crime is in a lot of other  places in the Bible too. It’s kind of funny when Christians don’t know what is in their own ‘holy’ book.

  • The thing about the Bible… it can justify anything. It can excuse anything. It can condemn anything. It can allow anything. It can require anything. It can forbid anything.

    Which is, of course, why any intelligent person recognizes that it means nothing.

  • revaaron

    If he erased the record of our wrongs, or paid or ransom, why does anyone need to accept or worship him? If he requires that, he didn’t erase the record or pay the ransom. Furthermore, sin is forgiven left and right in the OT- and you don’t even need to sacrifice a godling or animal to get it. So what was the point?

  • TiltedHorizon

    Actually it was “Facial Hair”.  Kaczynski, Bin Laden, Manson, Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot all evil, all had facial hair. Note, Pot’s facial hair is invisible, you can only see it when you are not looking. What? You can’t prove me wrong.

  • Ndonnan

    Ha,you all talk a load of crap,you should stick with the things you really are brilliant at.

  • Coyotenose

    And yet, magically, you can’t actually refute the point. Angry about it much?

  • I believe my comment was a simple statement of fact. Historically, the Bible has been interpreted in all the ways I listed. And more. It continues to be interpreted by different groups in widely different and frequently contradictory ways. I don’t see what is disputable about that assertion.

  • While ‘anything’ might be a bit of hyperbole (might be a stretch to find a way to condemn wearing sandals with socks e.g.)  it is used to justify laws that control the lives of people who either have different interpretations, or, like us, don’t believe it at all.

  • Sindigo


  • DG

    Technically, anything can be used to justify anything, if justifying something is your main goal.

  • TiltedHorizon

    Of course

  • TiltedHorizon

     Photo evidence

  • I have no doubt at all that the Bible could be used to condemn wearing sandals with socks. That’s not much different than using it to require wearing weird underwear or have a weird haircut, is it?

    I was serious in my comment. I cannot think of anything, no matter how strange or extreme, that couldn’t either be supported or denied based on creative interpretation of Biblical passages. There’s something there for everyone!

  • But the underwear isn’t from the Bible, it’s from the Book of Mormon.  I think the real issue is divine revelation.

  • I was talking about the weird Jewish underwear, which is inferred from a strange interpretation of a verse in Deuteronomy.

  • But in practice, the Bible is one of the few things consistently used to justify all manner of conflicting thoughts and behaviors. Other speculative fiction (Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings) isn’t often used that way. Scientific theories (Relativity, evolution by natural selection, the Big Bang cosmology) are not.

  • This would make a great game show:

    “For 500 points, find a Biblical justification for declawing white cats!”

  • Sindigo


  • This is going to be really long, so I apologize in advance. If you’re not interested, just skip it. Thanks.

    This is usually where I part company with a lot of “new atheists”. However, like Noelplum99, I’ll add my own disclaimer: I really like Noelplum a lot. I don’t always agree with him, but he has some very good and interesting discussions to put forward in a rational sense as an exercise in philosophy. So I really do like his videos – even this one.
    However, I do have to say this: it appears to me that a lot of “new atheists” are woefully ignorant of much of the history just before, during, and since the Holocaust in the Jewish community.

    As Noel points out, this isn’t the first tragic thing which has happened to the Jews. It’s just a culmination of sorts. Just before the Holocaust, several decades before and continuing for a while, I should say, you had the pogroms in Eastern Europe. Until the Holocaust happened, the word “Pogrom” was possibly the worst thing a Jew could hear. And while the technology didn’t allow for the entire planning and systematic slaughter of the entire Jewish people before the Nazis came around and really rolled up their sleeves on that subject, you did have entire villages of Jews pretty much wiped out in Eastern Europe from time to time. It was sporadic, but it was brutal and violent on a very personal scale.

    That’s where Zionism comes in, in a sense. Noel mentions that there are a lot of atheists in Israel today, and this is true (and I currently live here since a few months, as some here know). However, what he appears not to know, and many here as well, is that modern day Israel, and the Zionist movement, was actually started by mostly atheist Jews. It was, in fact, Jews who had rejected the entire notion of religious duties and living by the Torah who decided that they needed to recreate their own country; no longer to be relegated to ghettos, but to farm the land and defend it once again as free people. In fact, most of original Zionists were also heavily involved in the Communist and Socialist movements. The first real communities which most people learn about in the history of the modern state of Israel are the Kibbutzes – real utopian communist enclaves, even to the point of some of them having shared dormitories for the children.

    I’ve mentioned all this before but it bears repeating: Israel was founded, at the start, mostly by atheists and agnostics, and it was actually *rejected* as a notion by the religious. If anyone cares, read “The Chosen” by Chaim Potok (also an amazing movie). It talks of exactly this problem: the secular/atheist Jews going against the wishes of the rabbinical religious Jews at the foundation of the state of Israel.

    But this secular movement didn’t start with the Holocaust. It mostly started with the pogroms and the Holocaust was a sort of apex of it all. What I’m trying to say is this: the Jewish community has, by and large, debated this many times over in the last two centuries. The entire idea of there having been pogroms and a Holocaust of Jews created a debate in the Jewish community which mostly came to the conclusion that while the traditions may be important as a cultural theme for their ethnicity, that they didn’t actually believe any higher power was protecting them in any way whatsoever. This is why they started taking up guns and formed Jewish defense groups and, later, the IDF. In a sense: that was the whole point (from a Zionist perspective). It was to say: We don’t believe in the messiah, and he’s never going to come. We’re not waiting around for the rebuilding of the temple to decide we’re going to fight back.

    That was, literally, blasphemy. And it remained so with many Jews until after 1967, when Israel re-captured the West Bank and Jerusalem. At that point, there was a change of heart in the religious communities because, suddenly, they saw it as a sign from God. If you think that’s ridiculous, imagine how ridiculous it sounded to an atheist Israeli who fought on the front lines suddenly to be told that it’s all part of God’s handiwork, by somebody who rejected the concept of the Jewish state before then as blasphemous. With a history like that, it’s no wonder that so many Jews end up as comedians.

    What I find very sad is this complete lack of historical understanding of all of this by most atheists I read and encounter (outside of Israel). In a sense, if you’re an atheist, this is part of your “philosophical heritage” as well. You may not like it (I won’t debate Zionism right now), but it’s been discussed plenty of times before. And, not only that, it has been responded to and acted upon in ways that “new atheists” couldn’t even dream of doing today.

    By the way: many of the Holocaust survivors and soldiers of 1948 are atheists. If you speak to them and ask them straight out, they’ll tell you that they don’t believe in an actual God, but they were defending themselves as a people. I might add that most atheists in Israel absolutely despise the religious movements here. Those ultra-orthodox don’t pay taxes, receive welfare, don’t have to serve in the military, and try to tell everyone what to do. And like any religious fundamentalist movement, they breed like rabbits (which is a major problem now).

    I’m sorry I wrote so much, but I think there’s a lot of things there that many don’t appear to know.

  • Thackerie

    Silly, the point was the same as when God drowned every living thing on Earth except for one old drunk, his family, and a few animals — to restore ever-lasting righteousness to the world, so that “sin” would no longer exist …

    … Oh, wait … never mind

  • Thackerie

     Well, you could make a case for the Bible condemning certain socks … those made of mixed fibers. God really hates that.

  • The Other Weirdo

     Actually, there’s probably justification in there somewhere for not declawing white, or any other colour, cats. You might at some point need them to attack children for mocking a bald man, and declawed cats are just cute, and not in any way scary.

  • The Other Weirdo

     True. Now the situation is much better. Now God sends you to eternal torment instead.

  • The Other Weirdo

     Hell, even us atheistic Jews don’t recognize Christ. It doesn’t god-fearing ones.

  • DG

    Because the Bible is so old, and so widespread, we find more examples.  But even in recent history, we see people quite creative in what they use to accomplish great evil.  Evolution by natural selection was huge in many of the theories that went straight into the Holocaust.  The racial element was key, for it was founded upon many of the latest theories of the day.  Eugenics, social Darwinism, these were the building blocks for the Holocaust.  After all, if humans are nothing but animals… 

    Some may, as in slavery, have gone to the book to justify it, especially against those who might object. After all, slavery itself did not rise because someone read a Bible and said, “Gee, it says slavery is  OK, let’s get some slaves.”  It came because of economic and national developments that were emerging at that period in European history.  People simply turned to the Bible to justify it in hindsight, or to argue for it against those using the same to argue against it.  But whatever, the inspiration for the Holocaust was found in the labs and the lecture halls of the early 20th century, not only in pulpits and pews, if it was there at all.

    So while age has the advantage in numbers: religion and the Bible have been around for eons, plenty of time to be abused, other things like natural selection and Darwin’s theories, while relatively new and young in history, have found their abusers quite prepared to up the ante in terms of horrible abuse and misuse. 

  • I thought Hitler denounced Darwin, not that it would change your point that people can and do twist writings to fit their own purpose.

    However, again, religious texts are very commonly used to dictate how we should all act.  That makes perfect sense when it’s your interpretation of your book being used to tell us all what to do.  It makes a little less sense when what you’re being told you should obviously do is pray five times per day facing Mecca.  Or what your position in society is based exactly on your birth.

    I just hope you’ll play the imagination game, and think about living by rules from the 
    Q’uran or Bhagavad Gita.  There is absolutely no argument to be made for “Rules from the Bible” that could not be made for “Rules from the Q’uran”

  • Stev84

    There are people who somehow manage to extrapolate several pages of rules from a single verse. Especially dress codes.

    Though a dress code mandating nudity would be unlikely, one could say that Adam and Eve were created nude so everyone has to be nude too

  • Evolution was a pretty minor element in eugenics. Genetics was much more important, and from a purely scientific standpoint, much of what eugenicists sought is perfectly achievable by applying genetics and directed evolution. That doesn’t mean that evolution or genetics are being applied using an odd interpretation. If fact, the interpretation is just fine; it’s the social policy that’s flawed. That is quite different from Biblical interpretation, where policy is based directly on ambiguous interpretation of a document that has no basis in reality, and no reliable interpretation.

    Of course, the sad thing isn’t that the Bible cannot be unambiguously interpreted; the sad thing is that anybody would consider it a document even remotely worth considering to justify anything.

  • For the most extreme example, just look at the Talmud. A massive body of law tortuously interpreted from a minimum of actual scriptural text.

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