Genocide and Dogma


‘Consider the Holocaust: the anti-Semitism that built the Nazi death camps was a direct inheritance from medieval Christianity. For centuries, Christian Europeans had viewed the Jews as the worst species of heretics and attributed every societal ill to their continued presence among the faithful. While the hatred of Jews in Germany expressed itself in a predominately secular way, its roots were religious, and the explicitly religious demonization of the Jews of Europe continued throughout the period. The Vatican itself perpetuated the blood libel in its newspapers as late as 1914.[3] And both Catholic and Protestant churches have a shameful record of complicity with the Nazi genocide.

[3] The “blood libel” (with respect to the Jews) consists of the false claim that Jews murder non-Jews in order to obtain their blood for use in religious rituals. This allegation is still widely believed throughout the Muslim world.

Auschwitz, the Soviet gulags, and the killing fields of Cambodia are not examples of what happens to people when they become too reasonable. To the contrary, these horrors testify to the dangers of political and racial dogmatism.

It is time that Christians like yourself stop pretending that a rational rejection of your faith entails the blind embrace of atheism as a dogma. One need not accept anything on insufficient evidence to find the virgin birth of Jesus to be a preposterous idea. The problem with religion—as with Nazism, Stalinism, or any other totalitarian mythology—is the problem of dogma itself. I know of no society in human history that ever suffered because its people became too desirous of evidence in support of their core beliefs.

While you believe that bringing an end to religion is an impossible goal, it is important to realize that much of the developed world has nearly accomplished it. Norway, Iceland, Australia, Canada, Sweden, Switzerland, Belgium, Japan, the Netherlands, Denmark, and the United Kingdom are among the least religious societies on earth. According to the United Nations’ Human Development Report (2005) they are also the healthiest, as indicated by life expectancy, adult literacy, per capita income, educational attainment, gender equality, homicide rate, and infant mortality. Insofar as there is a crime problem in Western Europe, it is largely the product of immigration. Seventy percent of the inmates of France’s jails, for instance, are Muslim. The Muslims of Western Europe are generally not atheists. Conversely, the fifty nations now ranked lowest in terms of the United Nations’ human development index are unwaveringly religious.’

Harris. S. 2006. Letter To A Christian Nation p. 15

Zyklon B‏


After June 1941, the Nazi Einsatzgruppen experimented with gas vans for mass killing. Gas vans were hermetically sealed trucks with engine exhaust diverted to the interior compartment. Use of gas vans began after Einsatzgruppe members complained of battle fatigue and mental anguish caused by shooting large numbers of women and children.

Auschwitz II - Birkenau - Entrance gate and ma...

Entrance gate and main track to Auschwitz Birkenau

Gassing also proved to be less costly. Einsatzgruppen gassed hundreds of thousands of people, mostly Jews, Roma (Gypsies), and mentally ill people.

In 1941, the SS concluded that the deportation of Jews to extermination camps was the most efficient way of achieving the Final Solution. That same year, the Nazis opened the Chelmno camp in Poland. Jews from the Lodz area of Poland and Roma were killed there in mobile gas vans.

In 1942, systematic mass killing in stationary gas chambers began at Belzec, Sobibor, and Treblinka, Poland. The victims were unloaded from cattle cars, they were told that they had to be disinfected in showers. The victims were ordered to enter the showers with raised arms to allow as many people as possible to fit into the gas chambers. The tighter the gas chambers were packed, the faster the victims suffocated.

The Nazis constantly searched for more efficient means of extermination. At the Auschwitz camp in Poland, they conducted experiments with Zyklon B by gassing some 600 Soviet prisoners of war and 250 ill prisoners in September 1941.

Zyklon B pellets, converted to lethal gas when exposed to air. They proved the quickest gassing method and were chosen as the means of mass murder at Auschwitz.

At the height of the deportations, up to 6,000 people were gassed each day at Auschwitz – a figure which equals one death every 15 seconds. To put that in perspective: about four people would have died in the time you read this article.