While I have been railing against some of the bigots in certain religious movements, it is necessary to point out that there are people out there who are vicious and whose vitriole towards all religion is unwarranted and intolerable:
“Nazi pope a clear and present danger to the civilized world,” read the headline of a reader’s letter in a forum of NYTimes.com, The New York Times’ Web site.
It wasn’t the worst abuse leveled at Pope Benedict XVI, the former Cardinal Josef Ratzinger, a German. Type the words “Nazi pope” into the Google search line, and you will get nearly 700 mentions.
“Seig Heil, hail Mary!” read one post, misspelling German word for victory, which is “Sieg.”
“What can you expect from a filthy Nazi?” asked one blogger quoted, with horror, by National Review Online. The blogger went on: “…Nazi bas– wearing a dress and no doubt with a past in child-molesting.”
The Internet is of course the kooks’ playground, where anti-German prejudices are safe to disseminate for a simple reason: unlike organizations representing blacks, Jews, Italians or the Irish, their German-American counterparts hardly ever raise a fuss.
You don’t have to be a believer in the entire range of Catholic Church doctrine to recognize how disgusting and completely unfair this type of rhetoric is towards decent people of faith.
I don’t agree with many of the doctrines promoted by the Catholic Church and Pope Benedict the XVI, but it takes a special kind of idiot to equate the Pope with the type of human filth that made up one of the most murderous and vile regimes in the history of mankind. Pope Benedict VXI was forced to be in Hitler Youth- he was yanked out of seminary, and forced to become a member of the military. He had no choice, and as soon as he had a chance, he returned to his true calling. To call this man a Nazi, to associate him with the wholesale slaughter of millions, to claim that he was any of this, is simply beyond the pale.
There are legitimate reasons to dislike individuals like Randall Terry, James Dobson, and the aforementioned Ken Hutcherson, but to make baseless and nonsensical charges that debase and attack all people of faith, such as calling the leader of the Roman Catholic Church is unwarranted and has two effects.
First, it merely confirms the bizarre worldview of people like Randall Terry, convincing them that the world really is out to get them.
Second, it it makes legitimate criticisms of the excesses of some religious leaders and religious communities difficult, because when anyone criticizes them, they immediately are lumped in with the Christophobes and haters who would sink to a level low enough to call the Pope a Nazi.
All this sort of thing does is smear decent people of faith and provide scum like the Terry’s of the world with political cover to wage war on everyone.