We could discuss other aspects about Columbine. Why boys were able to obtain such powerful weapons so easily. Why Eric Harris’s mental condition wasn’t diagnosed and treated properly. Why boys who had been in so much trouble with the law before had been treated so leniently (psychopaths like Harris can turn on the the charm when it suits them). I highly recommend Dave Cullen’s book, Columbine. He explores these issues and many others. This week, however, I’ve been sticking to the theme of the myths of Columbine and today I’d like to veer off into a discussion of another psychopath: Hitler.
Adolf Hitler was born 113 years ago today. (A few days ago I saw a cartoon on a right-wing Facebook page that showed a guy praying to God, asking Him why the Divine hadn’t sent anyone to cure cancer. God replied: “I did, but you aborted him.” My reaction to that sort of propaganda is: Okay, but don’t we wish someone had aborted Hitler? Maybe in some cases, even from a right-wing perspective, abotion isn’t such a bad thing.) One of the first false rumors to emerge from Columbine was that Harris and Klebold were neo-Nazis who had chosen April 20 because of that connection. Harris had written about Hitler in some of his early journals so people made that assumption. The truth, however, is that the boys never explained why their original choice was April 19, but they discussed “topping Timothy McVeigh,” the Oklahoma City bomber, which had occurred April 19, 1995. When the date rolled around, Harris decided he wanted more ammo so he decided to wait one more day. No explanation. April 20 – Hitler’s birthday – was just a bizarre coincidence.
There’s something called “Godwin’s Law” – “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.” The corollary to Godwin’s law is: “once such a comparison is made, the thread is finished and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost whatever debate was in progress.” I wrote that here so you’ll know that this discussion does not violate it because what I’m about to say is a rebuttal to something that someone else has already said about Hitler. Besides, perhaps one day a year we could have an exception to Godwin’s Law.
A few months ago I read William Shirer’s The Rise And Fall Of The Third Reich. One major aspect of Hitler’s rise to power was his ability to make the German people feel like they were the ones who were being persecuted. He pointed to the Jews and blamed the Germans’ financial problems on Jewish bankers. He pointed to the Versailles Treaty and blamed Germany’s inability to get a handle on its problems on its war debt and reparations. He pointed to communists and socialists as a threat to Germany’s existence and instilled fear in the German people about every “other” group from the Poles to the Russians to the Hungarians.
So, in this video, when you listen to Dr. Bob Jones III, then-president and now-chancellor of Bob Jones University, ask yourself: In a nation that has never elected anyone but a Christian as President, who is being like Hitler? (for the text of the video see below the clip).
In a sermon posted February 20, 2001, “Christ Prayed for Us”:
@16:22: “Here in the United States, it’s becoming increasingly aware to me and it probably is to you that we believers who stand up for the Lord are more and more treated like the Jews were treated in Germany at the time Hitler was coming to power. They were marked, they were isolated, they were limited, they were made the object of derision and hatred, the symbol of everything dangerous, and of everything that impeded the way of progress in a new nation that was under construction.
“We live in the post-Christian era in America. The deconstruction has taken place, the new construction of a heathen, pagan nation is taking place. And believers, who are a part of what has been destroyed, are looked upon with great suspicion and great hatred, we’re marked, we suffer opprobrium, we’re ridiculed, we’re lied about, we’re slandered, we’re made to appear evil, and threatening to the populace at large and so this hatred grows and grows as derision grows and grows, the editorials increase against the Christian believer and the Bible-believing church, the Christian school, and after a while it’s just like the Jews were in Germany under Hitler. And in surrounding countries like Poland. When Germany took over these nations they were marked for death and extinction. They were lied about, the general populace was made to fear them and consider them a threat and so the populace got behind the government in snuffing them out if possible.
“Are you ready for this? To be hated for His sake? You better be.”