You may have heard this claim before, that Adolf Hitler was a Christian and committed his atrocities in the name of God. Similar to how everyone wants to show how Jesus supported their view, everyone wants to keep Hitler out of their camp and push him into someone else’s. Let’s look a little deeper and set the record straight. Was Hitler a Christian?
Didn’t Hitler Have Support from the Church?
There are a few things that people often point to as support for Hitler being a Christian. He did have followers and supporters from within the church at the time. But that says less about his own views and more about his ability to manipulate and gain power. There were plenty of other groups he either got on his side or stomped under his boot. Keep in mind there were many who opposed him from the church as well, such as Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
What Did Hitler Believe About Jesus?
Another feature people point to is how Hitler liked certain figures, such as Martin Luther, and Jesus himself. However, his love of those figures nearly always revolved around their opposition to the Jews, and not their theology or teaching. He saw Jesus as an Arian revolutionary fighting against the Jews of the day, not believing he was God, performed miracles, rose from the dead, or had anything to do with God and salvation. Looking at the context of Hitler’s claims where he would appeal to God or “The Lord” it’s pretty clear he’s not talking about the God of the Bible.
No True Christian!
But of course, as soon as you say that, you’re probably going to be called out for the “No True Scotsman Fallacy.” The claim there is that we’re the ones shifting the definition of a Christian in order to exclude someone we don’t like. “Oh, you’re a Scotsman, but you don’t wear the right kind of kilt, so you’re not a true Scotsman.” It’s a fair question to raise, but not at all applicable here. He didn’t consider himself one. Even by the loosest definition of the term, Hitler still couldn’t be considered a Christian. Hitler is no more a Christian than Richard Dawkins is because he said the phrase “Oh, God.”
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