We've all been in those tiresome "atheism will cause you to become a Nazi" arguments before. At the moment I am reading The Christian Delusion, and chapter 14 specifically covers these arguments from Dinesh D'Souza. Of course the arguments are bad, but I had no idea how bad.

The argument fails even a surface examination. Mein Kampf is full of Christian creationist arguments, Nazi propaganda was full of Christian arguments, and their policies regarding Jews were sadly similar to policies by both Protestants and Catholics for centuries. Martin Luther's On the Jews and their Lies sounds shockingly familiar to anyone who read Mein Kampf, and Hitler even praised Luther's book. So we do not technically need to delve into the specific details of the "atheism causes fascism" argument, but oh the details are batshit insane.

The Nazis and Hitler supported something called Positive Christianity


The argument of Positive Christianity is that many Christians got Christianity all wrong, and the Positive Christians wanted to bring Christianity back to its "original intent." They used all the "chosen people" crap from the Old Testament to justify their racism. Hitler insisted that all of that "we are all God's children" stuff from other Christians was a perversion of Christianity created by Jewish materialists. The details of the theology of Positive Christianity should be familiar to anyone who has looked into the religious beliefs of white supremacist groups.

So here is D'Souza's argument. Because Positive Christianity includes theological opinions D'Souza does not approve of, therefore Positive Christianity is anti-Christian, therefore anyone who follows Positive Christianity is an atheist.

No, seriously. That is D'Souza's arguments.

This is of course insane. There are tens of thousands of Christian denominations, and if the logic of D'Souza's argument holds, then any Christian who has theological opinions that you disapprove of (which would be all of the other denominations besides yours) is an atheist.

There is plenty else wrong with D'Souza's arguments. He uses questionable sources, and even cites the wrong source. He prefers dodgy analysis of the Nazis' intent over the statements of the Nazis themselves. But this insistence that Positive Christianity is atheist is simply the worst argument of the lot.

The next time you are in one of these discussions with a theist and you hear the phrase "anti Christian," talk to them about what they found anti-Christian about the Nazis views. When you get down to the details, the argument is loony even by Christian standards.