I Am Heretic #23: The Atheist, Nazi, and Theist

"I Am Heretic" is a satirical comic, often accompanied with commentary in the form of an article. Download the comic strip from this issue (right click, save as...).

Conservative Christians liken liberals, socialists, and atheists with Nazis. It’s kind of ironic, actually, since it is conservatives who are more nationalistic and share more of the bigoted views of Nazis. It seems conservatives try to find one harmless similarity between Nazi Germany and liberals and then use the horror of Nazi Germany as a whole to slander liberalism.

Nazi Germany may, in some sense, have been socialistic, but “national socialism” was a redefinition of socialism, a conservative take on it that abandoned the very core of liberal socialism. As Roderick Stackelberg explains in Hitler’s Germany (1999), the heart of socialism is egalitarianism, that everyone is equal; this is not characteristic of the Nazis. Progressive, left-wing politics are also based on egalitarian thoughts; everyone is equal and deserves the same rights. Stackelberg says Nazism would be placed furthest to the right on the left-right political spectrum.

I agree with this. It is with the right that we find more “traditional values”: men should be in charge, homosexuals are an abomination, and everyone should stay in their own country. The left does not think like this; the left sees all people as equals: women and men should not have different standings in society based on the parts between their legs, homosexuals are just people who happen to have innate sexual desires that differ from the norm, and too much nationalism easily leads to thoughts of a superior race and the debasement of other human beings, as we see with conservative Americans and non-Americans like Muslims and Mexicans.

Nazi Germany may have been socialistic in a much diluted sense, but socialism isn’t Nazi Germany. The very core of Nazism is in strict opposition to both liberalism and socialism, whereas the capitalistic, nationalistic, and bigoted thoughts of conservatives fit much better in the Nazi ideology.

The last thing I’ll say is that atheists are not one people who all think and feel the same. Atheists don’t all share one political ideology. In fact, the only thing atheism means is disbelief in god claims; atheism is neither conservative nor liberal. That said, without the unhealthy influence of a barbaric holy text, it is much more likely that a person will be progressive, perhaps even a socialist (even though Jesus Christ showcased many socialistic tendencies). And as I’ve explained, it’s not the left that shares frightening similarities with Nazi Germany.