However, the most cursory understanding of the message of the Gospels makes clear that everything Hitler and his thugs stood for, the horrors and destruction they unleashed on Europe, most particularly the holocaust and everything associated with it, was absolutely antithetical to Christ’s message.
That seems like a no true Scotsman fallacy to me. Germans were overwhelmingly Christian, though some prominent Nazis were pagan theists, like Himmler of course. The Holocaust wasn't just down to Hitler or the Nazis either, the Catholic church, a few individual objections aside, signed a concordat with Nazism, and stood by, or even colluded in the persecution. Of course European Christianity has a long history of antisemitism, spanning centuries of persecutions and pogroms. The idea most Germans didn't know what was happening has never really stood up to scrutiny.
I accept that church leaders - Catholic and Protestant - were often cowardly, and at times guilty of active collusion with the Nazis. I also accept that at the time the Nazis came to power, most Germans were nominally Christian.
Well there you go, though the vast majority of Germans were Christians in 1939, there was a census I believe.
Humanity is to blame for the Nazis, not Christianity.
Humanity is to blame for the Christian religions as well, and of course European Christians have a long history of persecuting Jews, long before Nazism and the Holocaust.
The one thing every active Nazi, every collaborator, and every passive observer, has in common is that they were human beings.
Well that doesn't really tell us anything at all? A 1939 census demonstrated that over 94% of Germans identified as Christians. Oddly enough 100% of Christians are human?
Nazi atrocities showed the world the depths of horror we are all capable of descending to, when we collectively surrender to the darkness in our hearts.
What is showed is that once we abandon our critical reasoning, and submit to dogma, people tend to protest less and less and obey more and more.
“Anyone who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.
This is the same darkness Christians believe Christ came to bring a candle into. The message of peace, love, and service to one’s fellows which the Jewish teacher Jesus of Nazareth taught is unequivocal;
I'm sorry but that is absurd, if it were true then why has Christianity such a long history of blood and violence from the crusades to the Holocaust? I sense another no treu Scotsman fallacy is imminent.
it’s there in the Gospels, and for many centuries it’s been translated into most languages including German.
As are a deity depicted as a violent sadistic psychopath, endorsing, encouraging and committing almost relentless acts of barbarism and mass murder. Despite these platitudes, you may claim you believe this to be the message of Christianity, but it's demonstrably clear many Christians do not share your views and have not shared them in the past.
For what it’s worth, I also think it’s an error to see Nazism as a German phenomenon. In the 19th Century Germany was a beacon of post enlightenment culture and civilisation. Berlin, Vienna and other cities were hubs of progressive thought in philosophy, science and the arts. If, following economic collapse, fascism could take hold in Mittel Europe less than a century after her cultural heyday, it can take hold anywhere. Which is a lesson for the citizens of democracies everywhere.
On that we can agree, the fledgling Weimar Republic had done well, to build a democratic country from the disastrous first world war, but their post war economy had been built on borrowing, largely from the USA, so when the Wall Street crash came, and the great depression and the US called in those loans, the German economy collapsed. The democracy was not robust enough to survive, and Hitler was waiting, as like all despots he was an opportunist, who knew how to prey on people's fear and ignorance.