Nazi atheists?

The blogosphere is awash with speculation over the Pope’s obvious gaffe in linking Nazism and atheism. Quoting from the Guardian , here’s just one of his attempts at clumsy flattery masking the real venom:

Even in our own lifetime, we can recall how Britain and her leaders stood against a Nazi tyranny that wished to eradicate God from society and denied our common humanity to many, especially the Jews, who were thought unfit to live.

Even forgetting about Benedict’s own dubious standing as to Nazi Germany, it’s indeed strange and ominous he chose these targets – atheism and secularism – to trample on in Britain. I smell some doctoring here, the more clumsy as it uses the ages-old fear of atheists as seditioners.

Here’s the reaction from Richard Dawkins, and a number of other remarks collected by the BBC

The full text of the Pope’s speech can be accessed here. I would love to add some sidenotes from 17th century anti-atheist polemic. Maybe later.

About beggingscholar

I am a scholar of Early Modern English literature and culture, teaching quite a number of English-related subjects at Kazan University, Russia. I am mainly interested in the formation of the Early Modern public sphere, scandals, subversion, non-literary discourses in literature and other forms of destructive creation.
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