Ron Rosenbaum, Writer

May 25, 2008

Hagee's Hitler Comment Was Bad Enough, But This Is Worse

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 5:27 am

You know Hagee, the now-repudiated McCain “spiritual advisor”, who announced that Hitler was God’s “hunter”, the useful figure God used to implement his plan to drive the Jews to Israel. (He’s God, he couldn’t come up with a way to do it that didn’t involve the murder of 6 million of them. If he could drop manna from heaven, why not cruise ship tickets to Haifa?)

Stupid and offensive (to Jews, God, everyone else with a brain or a heart) as it was this piece in the Washington Times is even more dispiriting: “Jews Defend Hagee’s Words”.

Here various Jews without brains (or heart or conscience) explain that because God is all-powerful, and thus could have prevented the Holocaust from happening, but didn’t, we are required to believe the allegedly all powerful God wanted the Holocaust to happen and Hitler was his chosen instrument.

I came across this school of thought which alas has been propogated by various demented rabbis from time to time, while writing Explaining Hitler.

What this repellant theology forces one to do is absolve Hitler and human nature, free will and evil, from the crime of the Holocaust, absolve the Nazi party, the German people, the hands-on mass murderers in the death camps and put the blame–no, give the credit in this demented view–to God. If one accepts this vision of God one is forced to choose between a God who approved of Hitler and no God at all. I know my choice.

Perhaps the best refutation of this vile nonsense whether uttered by Christian pastor or Jewish rabbi came from Yehuda Bauer, who, when I interviewed him in Jerusalem for Explaining Hitler had just retired as founding head of the Yad Vashem Holocaust Musuem, and was a professor of holocaust studies at Hebrew University.

Bauer is one of the most brilliant people I’ve ever spoken to, dwarfing the mental midgets like Hagee or the Jews in the Washington Times piece linked above.

This is what he told me in regard to such views: “There’s no way that there can be an all-powerful and just God. He can either be all powerful or just. Because if he’s all powerful [and permitted or encouraged the Holocaust for whatever “larger” purpose] he’s Satan. If he’s just, he’s a nebbish.”

Poor God, plagued by brain dead believers who accuse him of mass murder.

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2 Comments »

  1. For the sake of your argument, let’s assume there is a God. Please explain how anyone could possibly know what this “God” “thinks.” I realize that there are folks who either make a living or make a place for themselves by claiming to know God’s thoughts. How do they do it? How could you know if they did? Help me out here. I’m waiting.

    Comment by Mark Van Wagoner — May 25, 2008 @ 2:01 pm | Reply

  2. To play the devil’s advocate a moment:

    Many classic Jewish theologians reconcile Pharaoh’s free will with God’s punishment. There’s a similar issue in that Exodus story: If God intended the Jews to be enslaved in Egypt, how can he punish Pharaoh for being the instrument of that slavery? One answer that is given is that Pharaoh had agency in his own participation – God chose for the Jews to be enslaved, but Pharaoh did not have to be the one to do it. (Presumably someone else would have stepped up to the plate.)

    We’re still left with a logical conundrum, which is that if God determined it would be done – SOMEONE had to pull the trigger. If we reached a state where every individual exercised their free will and refused to do it, how would God’s will be done? There are a number of answers given to this particular conundrum (many dealing with Chassidic or Kabbalistic notions – one in particular: If we were in a world where everyone refused to harm the Jewish nation, it would presumably be a redeemed world where punishment from above wasn’t required in the first place).

    Which isn’t to say that I necessarily agree with this interpretation (and certainly it doesn’t support Hagee’s claim). But people who believe in God’s omnipotence have spent much time dealing with these issues and questions. Calling them brainless is a lot like asking a theologian “How can God make a rock he can’t lift?” There are inquiries and explications of that question too – after all, history and philosophy are full of really brilliant God-believers. It seems cheap to mock them without giving them a voice to explain.

    Comment by Mordy — June 8, 2008 @ 2:31 pm | Reply


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