home
RSS
How the Bible was used to justify slavery, abolitionism
April 12th, 2011
06:00 AM ET

How the Bible was used to justify slavery, abolitionism

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) - How did churchgoing, Bible-worshiping Christians justify holding slaves? It’s a question I’ve long had as a Civil War buff and that has new resonance on Tuesday, which marks the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War.

I’ve read books about politics and generals during the war. But I hadn't read much about the religious dimension to the Civil War until I came across a recent USA Today column.

Henry G. Brinton, a pastor at Fairfax Presbyterian Church in Virginia, writes that the Bible was used a weapon by both the North and the South. Brinton says some contemporary Americans are making the same mistake their Civil War ancestors did by twisting the Bible to support their own battle cries.

Brinton, author of “Balancing Acts: Obligation, Liberation and Contemporary Christian Conflicts,” says both the Union and the Confederacy invoked the Bible to justify their positions on slavery.

Slaveholders justified the practice by citing the Bible, Brinton says.

They asked who could question the Word of God when it said, "slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling" (Ephesians 6:5), or "tell slaves to be submissive to their masters and to give satisfaction in every respect" (Titus 2:9).

Christian opponents of slavery elevated biblical principles of justice and equality above individual passages that approved exclusion, Brinton says.

He wonders if a new biblical approach is needed today, as people grapple with polarizing issues like gay marriage.

Opponents of gay marriage, Brinton notes, follow a literal approach to the Bible when they cite Old Testament passages that declare, "You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination" (Leviticus 18:22).

He wonders if gay marriage foes are making the same mistake as defenders of slavery:

But perhaps reproduction is no longer the goal of every person and every marriage. Many couples choose not to have children, or marry late in life when they are unable to produce children. The New Testament values of faithfulness, love, sacrifice and promise-based commitment can be practiced by heterosexual couples without children — and by same-sex couples as well. Discussions of gay marriage can focus as much on scriptural equality as on the ability to reproduce.

At the same time, Brinton says liberal Christians may be making their own mistakes with their approach to the Bible:

Liberals also use Scripture for their purposes, citing commandments such as "thou shalt not kill" (Exodus 20:13) whenever a war breaks out or the death penalty is being debated. But the commandment is actually a prohibition against murder, arising out of blood feuds and vengeance killings between ancient clans and families. A literal reading of this verse does not give us the moral and political guidance we need today.

Brinton says Abraham Lincoln offered the most constructive religious perspective during the Civil War. "My concern is not whether God is on our side," he said. "My greatest concern is to be on God's side."

What do you think? Is it fair to invoke the Bible for political causes?

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Bible • Christianity • Culture wars • History

soundoff (449 Responses)
  1. Ike

    People can justify doing anything with any reasoning be it religious or not. Christians are supposed to conform thier wills to a higher power that includes all of the best morals. As pointed out 'thou shalt not kill" was and is against "murder". Slavery in the Bible was a product of the times and even still exist in parts of the world, but Christians were not demean or dehumanize even those people whom they owned, but treat them with respect and kindness. The type of slavery that was exhibited in America was a product of Darwins/evolutinary belief that Africans were lower on the evolutionary scale and thus not worthy of human compassion and treatment. Many Americans used this to justify thier treatment of slaves. Typically slaves in the Bible were more like indentured servants and could be made free eventually, but slaves in America were more like cattle, bought and sold and regardes as less than human. Sad!

    April 13, 2011 at 11:18 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Ike
      Slavery existed in the United States from 1776 until 1865.
      "On The Origin Of Species" was published in 1859.
      Are you saying that people somehow used Darwinian evolution as a justification for slavery for more than 100 years before the idea was even conceived?
      And whether you believe you're doing your slave a favour by feeding, clothing and "educating" them in a religion – the very concept of owning another human as property is demeaning and dehumanizing.

      April 13, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      I love how people just make up anything that appears to justify their beliefs. Not a bit of fact in the OP.

      April 13, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
    • Invincible Ignorance?

      Another of the Darwin = Eugenics crowd. Hey Ike. Don't go to the doctor anymore. The basis for all modern medicine is rooted in Evolution. You don't want to be healed by an atheist doctrine do you? Maybe you can ask your master to heal you. He may own you but he treats you nice...right?

      April 13, 2011 at 8:40 pm |
  2. LeeCMH

    Quoting from some book of musings and fairy tails does not provide a rational basis for anything.

    April 13, 2011 at 11:15 am |
    • Korbin

      too bad those fairy tales are much more rational than any other explaination
      find me a creation theory with a better rational basis than intelligent design

      April 13, 2011 at 12:05 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      Evolution. And anything you can make up out of thin air is at least as rational as intelligent design since therecis absolutely no evidence for it.

      April 13, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
    • Invincible Ignorance?

      Anybody who says there's no evidence for evolution doesn't understand Biology. You're just broadcasting your ignorance. Why don't you go to a physics board and claim that E doesn't = MC2? You'd sound just as stupid...and truly...you are stupid...but that's okay...religion likes you that way.

      April 13, 2011 at 8:30 pm |
  3. Bible Clown

    You can prove ANYTHING using the Bible.

    April 13, 2011 at 10:50 am |
  4. citizen

    The Bible itself doesn't approve of the human political system. Anyone understanding that would be hard pressed to find justification for using passages to support political views. But then people who do this are really just looking out for themselves, any way they can think of.

    That said, you can use snippits of any book or text in history, and twist them around to support your views. A hippie could twist passages of sun tzu to seem to support "Make love, no war." That doesn't mean it's accurate to the original text. They do this with the Bible because it's fairly well respected and has been through history, and because so many people don't actually read or understand what was going on in context. So people believe it will lend credence to their stance.

    April 13, 2011 at 10:42 am |
  5. brad

    Actually, no one had to use the Bible to justify slavery. The followers of Charles Darwin could have used Origin of Species to justify it. Darwin noticed that slavery was a fact of nature among certain ants. Darwin hesitated to release his theories for many years because he feared they could be used to justify sub-human behaviours (as happened with eugenics).Also, the Bible did not condone slavery. It merely acknowledged that slavery exists, and how people should act toward their slaves and masters. As history has shown, the followers can justify anything they want using the Bible or Darwin, or whatever.

    April 13, 2011 at 10:28 am |
    • Korbin

      well put brad

      April 13, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      Wow, what double talk. People COULD have used Darwinsim, but they didn't. Slavery is not condoned by the bible it just explains rules involving human property. Does it also give rules about how to properly do other things it does not condone? Slavery is implicitly acceptable to any system that supports it with rules and regulations. Your double talk actually belies the fact that you are uncomfortable and embarrassed with the history of your religion. I understand that, I would be too.

      April 13, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      BTW, there were no "followers" of Darwin in U.S. south in the 1860's. He first published in 1859 and I doubt more than a handful of people even knew who he was, if that many.

      April 13, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
    • brad

      @MarkinFL
      I am not embarassed about my religion. I do get embarrassed about the way some of its adherants act. People who are more "rational" are not embarassed about science. But they ought to be embarassed about the likes of the Nazi Dr. Mengele. They should also be embarassed about Galileo who undermined the careers of other scientists who disagreed with him.

      April 13, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
    • Invincible Ignorance?

      Why should scientists be embarrassed about Nazi scientists? If your logic holds true then you (religion) need to apologize for Osama bin Laden and the actions taken on 9-11. What kind of rot is going on in your head? Can you think?

      April 13, 2011 at 8:34 pm |
  6. Brett in MN

    When was the last time people were martyred in the name of Atheism?

    How about today? North Korea, China, other atheist communist nations freely torture and kill people for their religious beliefs. Not just Christians, but any religion.
    How about Stalinist oppression of religion? Thousands sent to the gulags for being priests and believers.

    Atheism is not a religion of peace, nor can it be absolved of the crimes atheists accuse religion of.

    April 13, 2011 at 10:20 am |
    • Bible Clown

      Really, you think 'atheism; is a religion? You are a fool, or else you glorify your god by lying in his name.

      April 13, 2011 at 10:56 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      The leaders of North Korea and China do not wave a flag of atheism for all to rally under.
      Their religion is a cult of personality – for Kim Jong Il and Mao Tse Tung, respectively.
      It is impossible to act in the name of atheism! It is a negative statement and implies no action or ideology whatsoever.
      Have you ever heard of a political rally for apoliticals?
      The prefix "A" means lack of.
      Please stop conflating atheism with communism, anarchism, nihilism, satanism or any other ISM.

      April 13, 2011 at 11:40 am |
  7. Derek

    The Bible is filled w/ contradictory and inconsistent passages. For example, one passage states it's easier for camel to pass through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter Heaven. Yet how wealthy is the Catholic Church & many Christians in other denominations? Another states that those without sin shouldn't judge others or cast the first stone. Yet everyone has probably sinned at least once in their life about something so why are we all judging other people & casting verbal & sometimes real stones? I think the best rule to live by is the Silver Rule "Don't do unto others, what you would not want them to do to you."

    April 13, 2011 at 10:20 am |
    • rightwingextreme

      Derek...where is the alleged contradictory passage? You quoted a verse from the Bible and then pulled a situation from the world to make your point. Your argument fails in that you do not offer a "contradictory" passage.

      Plus you pull the verse regarding it is easier for a camel to pass through a needle than for a rich man to go to heaven out of context. Christ was using a parable here to prove a point. Riches won't get you into heaven....it is only through faith in Christ that gets you into heaven.

      The Bible doesn't condemn being wealthy. It does warn against laying up all of your trust in money, which as we have seen in the past couple of years can vanish in a short time!

      April 13, 2011 at 10:44 am |
    • Bible Clown

      They claim "the Needle's Eye" is a tight place in the mountains that rich fat people actually CAN get through, and because it's the holy word of god, it can ONLY mean that one place. So it's EASY for rich people to go to heaven. All that stuff about not murdering or robbing people is also easily explained away.

      April 13, 2011 at 10:54 am |
  8. LTIUAFO

    "Is it fair to invoke the Bible for political causes?" ABSOLUTELY. The Bible is THE fundamental foundation building block of the American society. As Christians, we have an obligation to support that "foundation" and to be obedient to the state....WITHIN LIMITS!!

    Romans 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no
    power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God

    Romans 13:2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance
    of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves
    damnation

    Romans 13:3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt
    thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and
    thou shalt have praise of the same:

    Romans 13:4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that
    which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for
    he is the minister of God, a revenger to [execute] wrath upon him
    that doeth evil.

    Has God set up an authority in the state that is autonomous from Himself? Are we to obey the state no matter what?
    ARE WE?
    In this one area is indeed Man the measure of all things? When Jesus says in Matthew 22:21, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's," it is not:
    GOD and CAESAR
    It was, is, and always will be:
    GOD
    and
    CAESAR

    The civil government, as all of life, stands under the Law of God. In this fallen world God has given us certain offices to protect us from the chaos which is the natural result of that fallenness. But when any office commands that which is contrary to the Word of God, those who hold that office abrogate their authority and they are not to be obeyed.

    AND THAT INCLUDES THE STATE....

    April 13, 2011 at 10:17 am |
  9. Pips

    I'm pretty sure "Thou shalt not kill" means not to kill. Even if it was for murder and vengeance, this covers wars as being in the wrong. It covers the death penalty as well. It isn't a "Liberal" thing, this is the way it was written, and the way it is. Deal with it.

    April 13, 2011 at 10:02 am |
  10. Lisa

    @ Korbin "christianity tells us not to kill to love all people"

    That isn't working out very well is it.

    You said "i went a little over board with my statement" and that is pretty typical of a religious person. Whoops I was a hateful jerk but its ok because I can ask for forgiveness then everything will be ok. And I'm right you're all wrong. Etc etc.

    You're welcome to your beliefs, I don't need fairy tales to get through the day and love life and conduct myself with good morals and if you do, well the end result is hopefully the same so its all good.

    But please don't say Christianity guarantees any kind of good behavior or love or lack of murder, because it clearly has historically provided excuse for and justification for the very things it purports to be against.

    I'm out of here there are no more intelligent comments coming if Korbin is the only one left.

    April 13, 2011 at 10:02 am |
    • PeterVN

      Well said, Lisa.

      April 13, 2011 at 10:06 am |
    • Korbin

      @ Lisa

      first of all demeaning my beliefs doesnt make them false. truth is irrelevant to what we think.

      second you are welcome to your beliefs too, but if you think christianity is about using Jesus or a higher power to get through the day like its AA then you are sadly mistaken. I dont need Jesus to get through the day. i did it fine for my whole life before i came to him. and i didnt come to Jesus so my days would be easier in fact i expect the opposite. I came to Jesus because on top of the evidence supporting the Bibles view of creation, I realized i need Jesus for eternity. u can get through the day just fine and conduct yourself accordingly, but when its all said and done you need Jesus for eternal life. life is a vapor we are just visitors on this earth.

      on top of it you say you conduct yourself morally
      i would like to know what your morals are?
      just generally
      and if something is wrong or immoral why is it wrong or immoral?

      April 13, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
  11. Basics

    This thread proves how religion poisons everything.

    April 13, 2011 at 9:38 am |
  12. JB

    There's a great song by Roger Waters called "What God Wants," listing all the atrocities man is able to justify as God's will. The tagline is "What God wants, God gets - God help us all." Couldn't agree more.

    April 13, 2011 at 9:19 am |
  13. stevie68a

    Freud said "sin" is really just people's guilt. Religion exploits this guilt to control people. With ethics, you can do the right thing without guilt, and without imaginary gods that often are just divisive beings that create hate. Religion wears a cloak of love, but
    is really about hate.

    April 13, 2011 at 9:02 am |
    • Korbin

      why is doing the right thing right? what makes ethics the morally right thing to do?

      April 13, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
  14. Tha_Truth

    We always knew this deep inside of us, but we just go with what the rest of society is doing, which is what we are told to do, not by the Bible, but by man in general. Not committing these atrocities is the real challenge the Bible really throws at us.

    April 13, 2011 at 8:55 am |
    • PeterVN

      Actually, the bible commands you to commit atrocities, in both testaments. And then threatens you with eternal torture if you don't go along with it. What an evil book.

      April 13, 2011 at 10:04 am |
  15. judystatz

    The devil can quote scripture to serve his purpose

    April 13, 2011 at 8:54 am |
    • derp

      It happens every Sunday.

      April 13, 2011 at 9:35 am |
    • Larry in Omaha

      You bet! "Gay marriage is wrong" is a perfect example of this.

      April 13, 2011 at 9:46 am |
    • rafael

      Anyone can quote scripture to suit their purpose.

      April 13, 2011 at 10:35 am |
  16. Humane Pain

    Why stop at the Civil War? If this news zine is desperate for hits why not go back to Rome feeding Christians to the lions?
    Let's bring back the controversy: Italy should compensate the descendants of Christians fed to lions with a billion dollar settlement! Wake up all you lawyers! A killing awaits!

    April 13, 2011 at 8:53 am |
  17. Brian

    In my opinion, the bible is a collection of stories written by man to codify what men thought were the desires and instructions of God. As such, its use as a political tool, argument or justification for anything is inherently flawed. I do believe in God and am not an atheist; however organized religion and churches, in my mind are something that I choose to avoid. The bible is not worthless as there are some inspiring passages and some decent rules for living contained in it, that being said, man's interpretation of God's desires will always fall short of the real thing and thus we should avoid using something written centuries ago by fallible men as a tool or weapon to support or revile anything. One's conscience and one's heart should guide them in their dealings with others. I believe that Jesus’ message, as set down by mortal man, was very simple, “…….love others as I have love you.” If you start from that premise and try to live up to that tenet, I think God would approve and be a lot happier with humankind.

    April 13, 2011 at 8:31 am |
    • Frespech

      The first part of that admonition was to fear/love God- so loving what God loves and hating what he hates is imperative.

      April 14, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
  18. Ian

    Its clear as glass the left wingers are starting to use the civil war, 150 years latter as a political tool to grab votes and stir up racial tensions.
    now toss in the bible, something libs love to hate.
    liberals are shameless malcontents

    April 13, 2011 at 8:24 am |
    • cdgfla

      Yep, and the mentally unbalanced Westboro Baptists; the money hungry Benny Hins, Joel Olsteens, Billy Grahams, and Jimmy Swaggarts; and the pedophile Catholic priests are the truest standard bearers of moral decency in society.

      I'm sure that if those pesky carpetbagging liberal Northerners and their demands for Abolition would have just left things alone the US would be much better place now too? We liberals sure do love to champion morally wrong causes after all.

      April 13, 2011 at 8:34 am |
    • Havildar

      One can smell the fear among the Teaparty Republicans hence the Civil War, Bibles etc. They know that their senile brain can not cope with the crisis that they fellow nuts in congress are causing so out comes the talking points of the Nutty Right wing and their paid commentators. Like Senator Kyl's own staff said that the Republican Senator has trouble with numbers (failed in Math) and the Truth. He is great at telling Fairy Tales that his followers will buy, even when that story is a packet of lies.

      April 13, 2011 at 9:36 am |
  19. Mick Lee

    in 1462, Pius II declared slavery to be "a great crime" (magnum scelus); that, in 1537, Paul III forbade the enslavement of the Indians; that Urban VIII forbade it in 1639, and Benedict XIV in 1741; that Pius VII demanded of the Congress of Vienna, in 1815, the suppression of the slave trade and Gregory XVI condemned it in 1839; that, in the Bull of Canonization of the Jesuit Peter Claver, one of the most illustrious adversaries of slavery, Pius IX branded the "supreme villainy" (summum nefas) of the slave traders. Everyone knows of the beautiful letter which Leo XIII, in 1888, addressed to the Brazilian bishops, exhorting them to banish from their country the remnants of slavery — a letter to which the bishops responded with their most energetic efforts, and some generous slave-owners by freeing their slaves in a body, as in the first ages of the Church.

    Gee, people ignore the Church. Who would have thunk it.

    April 13, 2011 at 8:18 am |
    • Havildar

      Civil War was over Slavery. Would the White Southerners have felt differently if they were the Slaves and the Natives, and other people of Colour were the Slave Masters?

      April 13, 2011 at 9:28 am |
  20. Chris

    A lot of Christian-bashing going on here. People have always used religion for their evil. Don't think for a moment though that atheists haven't also committed atrocities.

    April 13, 2011 at 7:42 am |
    • Superchik

      When was the last time people have been martyred in the name of Atheism?

      April 13, 2011 at 8:57 am |
    • Korbin

      have you heard of the holocaust? read mein kampf. hitler justifies his view through evolution and athiesm. If there is no God then there is nothing wrong with killing we are all animals then.
      many more than any other religion have died in the name of athiesm

      April 13, 2011 at 9:02 am |
    • Lisa

      @Korbin. Hitler was a Roman Catholic. http://www.secularhumanism.org/library/fi/murphy_19_2.html

      April 13, 2011 at 9:15 am |
    • Korbin

      @ Lisa

      Hitler was not a catholic
      He clearly believed in evolution and darwinism
      he was an open athiest read his autobiography
      also catholicism although under the christian name they are not truly christians. They distort the bible and follow the lead of man rather than God. Catholicism is more damaging to christianity than atheism is becasue every time they do something wrong its the christians. NO. but regardless hitler was an atheist

      April 13, 2011 at 9:22 am |
    • Sora Vulliam

      @Korbin ummmm no.... lol dude poeple have been commiting slauter in the name of there god for ummmm i dont know sence man started worshiping a higher power of any kind... thats somewhere in the hundreds of billions over the time frame of a few thousand years. And in some places you will still be killed for not having a God

      April 13, 2011 at 9:22 am |
    • Havildar

      People do not need a religious excuse to kill one another. Humans like the King Cobra love to kill. look at the various organizations that support Killing of fellow Himan Beings eg NRA, all the War loving groups, Super Religious people, etc etc.

      April 13, 2011 at 9:25 am |
    • Keith

      It's inevitably the fact that anyone who says "read Mein Kampf" and goes on to make a claim about Hitler being an atheist has not, in fact, read Mein Kampf:

      "Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.

      -Adolf Hitler (Mein Kampf)"

      April 13, 2011 at 9:26 am |
    • Chris Mankey

      "Have you heard of the holocaust? read mein kampf. hitler justifies his view through evolution and athiesm"

      That's an utter utter lie.

      "I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.." Adolf hitler

      "He clearly believed in evolution and darwinism
      he was an open athiest read his autobiography"

      No, he never mentions evolution or Darwin. He does mention who much he believes in god and how atheists can't have a moral code because it lacks a god-based foundation. All of this is all over his writings. Stop being such a damn liar!

      April 13, 2011 at 9:29 am |
    • derp

      "My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God’s truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison. To-day, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow my self to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice… And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows . For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people."

      Adolf Hitler, 12 April 1922

      An argument can be made that Hitler lost his faith later in life. But make no mistake, he was christian when he came up with the plan to exterminate the jews. If Korbin actually read mein kampf, he would know that. Hitler exterminated Jews and atheists. Atheists don't kill jews and nonbelievers, christians do.

      April 13, 2011 at 9:32 am |
    • Lisa

      @ Korbin you are wrong and anyway using Hitler to make any sort of argument is stupid because Hitler was clearly insane and would use anything – religion, science, history, whatever – to justify his homicidal insanity. So who cares really if he was an atheist or a catholic, I believe he was both depending on his mood, who he was talking to and what better served his goal at that moment.
      @Keith thank you for making a comment from an informed viewpoint.

      Religious convictions are deadly. History is clear on this point. Anyone who says otherwise hasn't read enough history and one only need to look around the world today and see what perpetuates war. Because you can say it is about oil or power or whatever and it is for the people 'at the top' but the people doing the actual fighting? They get riled up by having their religious and/or patriotic convictions manipulated.

      April 13, 2011 at 9:32 am |
    • Neil

      When was someone martyred in the name of atheism? Soviet Union. Joseph Stalin killed millions of people. The reason why we have "In God we trust" on our coins, and "Under God" in the pledge was to show that you would not be killed in this country for believing in a God. This was to contrast with the Soviet Union, which was based around a governmental system that demanded atheism.

      As far as Hitler is concerned, he was not a Catholic nor was he an atheist. He used Darwinian principles (social-Darwinism) to justify the Holocaust. However, he was a spiritual. In the public eye, Hitler was a Christian. He made himself appear to be a Christian to keep the people in his favor. To attack Christianity would've been political suicide on account of them holding a majority. In private, Hitler hated Christianity. He wanted to wipe every Christian off the face of the planet. His goal had been to eliminate the Jews first, then the Christians. (By the way enough with the Catholic phobia/hatred. Catholics are Christians. I do disagree with many of their teachings, but that does not make them not Christian. They confess to the Triune God, and believe in Jesus' death and resurrection. They sound Christian to me.)

      April 13, 2011 at 9:33 am |
    • Lisa

      @Neil Very poorly reached conclusion. Claim that Stalin was an atheist, and he is a bad person, therefore atheism is bad (or some equally specious conclusion). Stalin was a power hungry politician, also insane, nothing more.

      "This was to contrast with the Soviet Union, which was based around a governmental system that demanded atheism." That wasn't all they demanded, if that was it, everything would have been fine!

      You would probably also say "it is cold today therefore global warming is a hoax"!

      April 13, 2011 at 9:40 am |
    • Korbin

      yo its just so that does not make me a liar but hitler was an athiest
      and was definetly not a christian.
      christianity tells us not to kill
      to love all people
      and that the Jews are Gods people from the start.
      german at the time he took over had many religious sects and groups mainly catholic and protestant so it was POLITICALLY inspired when hitler spoke of a higher power in his speeches ect. but he clearly used it rather than believing it. He spoke of a aryian christ, like the geneology of Jesus is in the Bible. he was Jewish. descendent of king david. anyways u can buy into that jargon if u please but dont say hitler was a christian and acting on religious beliefs. the bible tells us our actions prove our faith. so whenever you think a "christian" is mass murdering or martyring people of other religions they were not christians. not in the true sense of christian as in the bible. Christ centered anfd following individuals who devote thier life to Jesus and his teaching and FOLLOW THEM.

      April 13, 2011 at 9:47 am |
    • Korbin

      @ neil

      I agree catholics are christians but when they commit mass murder they are not acting upon christian beliefs.
      i went a little over board with my statement of catholics but their theology is really messed up. Dont get me wrong though i know pleanty of catholics that are saved and i will see in heaven but the church as a whole says "the only salvation is through the catholic church" which is false and very damaging to the gospel. they also say sacraments are nessesary for salvation and that you can lose your saving grace. so its hard to put in words their state withim chrsitianity but what is definitive is when they go against teh Bible they are not acting with chrisitian beliefs which is what we see often in history

      April 13, 2011 at 9:52 am |
    • Sora Vulliam

      @Korbin

      so what your saying is that anyone who sins is an atheist?

      April 13, 2011 at 10:02 am |
    • SkekLach

      "christianity tells us not to kill"

      LULZ! After you read Mein Kampf, you should read the Bible.

      Also, Soviet Russia killed very few people over religion. People were allowed to be religious, but they wouldn't stand for religion being more important than they were. During periods of time throughout Soviet Russia, religion experienced a resurgence and people were quite open about it.

      Hitler began to subscribe to that communist thought later in life as well. He hated Christianity because he wanted nationalism to be more important than religion to the people.

      And his school of thought was based around EUGENICS. Darwinism and Evolution are close topics, but his pursuit and ideas are best defined as eugenics.

      April 13, 2011 at 10:21 am |
    • Korbin

      Im not saying that anyone who sins is an atheist. Im saying anyone who continually commits iniquity with no regard for God and then claims to be a christian is not being truthful. repentance and striving against sin is essential in christianity.

      and @ skek

      I have read the bible, i read it continually, and the bible does not contradict itself. It clearly states thou shalt not kill it doesnt get more concrete than that. and if you are referring to times in the bible such as joshua when God commands israel to destroy all the canaanites it is because God knows everything. he knew that those people were evil and were worshiping baal, and that if the israelis allowed any of them to live they would do the same. and as you see in the next couple books after that becasue the israelites didnt kill them all they spent the next close to 800 years in war becasue of it. The bible says that we should not kill as in murder, as in innocent life. If God commands us to go to war to destroy an evil nation that would pollute the world that hardly counts as a contraction

      April 13, 2011 at 11:44 am |
    • I_get _it

      Korbin,
      "God knows everything. he knew that those people were evil and were worshiping baal, and that if the israelis allowed any of them to live they would do the same."

      You slimy weasel. The Hebrews claimed that "God" was on their side to justify their slaughter. If the Amalekites were sooooo bad, "God" could have just offed them in one of many of 'his' 'wondrous ways', as 'he' did in so many of the other coc.kamamie stories in that book.

      April 13, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
    • myklds

      "THOU SHALT NOT KILL" is one of the Ten Commandments of God.

      If Hitler believed in God, he should not have killed those people.
      Since Hitler mass murdered people, thus, he doesn't believe in God.

      If hitler doesn't believe in God and Atheists don't believe in God, therefore, Hitler was an Atheist.

      He (Hitler) had made those statements just to justify his heinous act on the expense of Christianity.

      April 18, 2011 at 11:52 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6
Advertisement
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.