Ratzinger’s blood libel against atheists

Not exactly a denial of God, is it?

It reminds me of Durban: a gathering of peace-minded folks from all over the globe getting together to discuss problems which afflict us all. But all they can talk about is Israel. The love-fest turns into a blood libel against the Jews.

Joseph Ratzinger knows that he can’t aim his pious invective at the Jewish people as his predecessors did. So this most contemporary pope takes aim at the next best enemy of his faith: atheists. It’s another blood libel in the making. Here are his words from Assisi yesterday*:

The enemies of religion…see in religion one of the principal sources of violence in the history of humanity and thus they demand that it disappear. But the denial of God has led to much cruelty and to a degree of violence that knows no bounds, which only becomes possible when man no longer recognizes any criterion or any judge above himself, now having only himself to take as a criterion. The horrors of the concentration camps reveal with utter clarity the consequences of God’s absence.

Do we really demand that religion disappear? Or do we just demand that it know its place and stay in it, and not meddle in things which aren’t its business? And there in that last line is the blood libel: that Nazism was the outcome of atheism. But Ratzinger was in the Wehrmacht as a young man, and knows perfectly well that Nazi anti-Semitism was a Christian inheritance. Adolf Hitler was a Catholic who has never been excommunicated and Mein Kampf was never added to the Index Librorum Prohibitorum as, say, Kepler, Voltaire, Locke, Mill and Galileo were. Kettle black enough for ya’?

The absence of God leads to the decline of man and of humanity. But where is God? Do we know him, and can we show him anew to humanity, in order to build true peace? Let us first briefly summarize our considerations thus far. I said that there is a way of understanding and using religion so that it becomes a source of violence, while the rightly lived relationship of man to God is a force for peace. In this context I referred to the need for dialogue and I spoke of the constant need for purification of lived religion. On the other hand I said that the denial of God corrupts man, robs him of his criteria and leads him to violence.

See? There it is: “the denial of God corrupts man, robs him of his criteria and leads him to violence.” While religion can be used either as a means to violence – as Ratzinger knows only too well – or peace, atheism inevitably leads to the degredation of humanity and the violent corruption of society.

He’s telling fibs again. The happiest societies on Earth are the most secular. Sociologists know this. Ask anyone who has escaped from religion and they will likely tell you they are happier and feel “free” for the first time in their lives. This is not uncommon at all, no matter which religion is being left behind.

This knowledge is making the pope shit his pants.


* One year ago, almost to the day, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said some disturbingly similar things about atheists. And he published them in a Vatican newspaper, to boot.

15 thoughts on “Ratzinger’s blood libel against atheists

  1. And they wonder why atheists get angry? Because they think being crapped on from a great height on a daily basis by people who millions of other people think are infallible is not sufficient justification. And by the way, Ratzinger is not even as nice as you’re giving him credit for. He may not have targeted the Jews directly, but do you think he doesn’t know to what extent atheism is considered a Jewish invention? Don’t miss any subtext with this guy, otherwise you’ll only get half the insult value.

    1. Oh, no, I know quite well how faithful he is to his predecessors’ doctrines. And I’ve written elsewhere on the anti-Semitic rhetoric of his underlings. I hate these interfaith Kumbaya gatherings – where all the faithful put on airs of friendship only because they have one common enemy: us.

  2. Thanks for posting. The line that struck me was man having only himself to take as criterion. I dare say as an atheist we have to be more concerned or only concerned, not with ourselves, but with the other members of society. I care what my fellow man says, thinks etc and not so much about an arbitrary and capricious god. And my other issue….and maybe this is a theist line….will any god due? Allah, zeus ,Vishnu? Is his stance belief in any god is better than belief in no god…but if u are going to believe in a god, may as well believe in the only real one, right?
    Having grown up catholic I was supposed to follow popes infallible ramblings….but at some point I realized the pope is nothing more than the current ceo of the catholic church. Of course he has so say xyz….he has to keep his shareholders and contributors happy. I believe what he says as much as I believe when cigarette lobbyists say cigarettes aren’t addictive. When mcdonlds ceo says our food isn’t unhealthy. they are hired…not to tell the truth but to manipulate the market and tell his shareholders what they want to hear.

  3. Please understand what “blood libel” means and the implications behind it before using the phrase to refer to something that clearly is NOT “blood libel”.


    Don’t get me wrong, Nazinger is scum and he’s trying to rile the religious of multiple faiths against the evil “godless” through fearmongering. NO argument there . . . just your misuse of a phrase with a very specific meaning.

    1. Jenny, thanks for your comment. I had some qualms about the choice of “blood libel”, too, but felt he was making a rather strong accusation himself that atheists are directly responsible for the worst, most violent crimes in modern history. That, in fact, was the substance of his speech. It’s no less serious an accusation.

      I know well the history of blood libels. Ratzinger, however, has made something of a sport of targeting atheists as his church once directly attacked Jews. Beneath the surface of diplomatic Kumbayaing, it’s the same old libel. But the blood is on the hands of his church.

      1. Not every word that comes out of the mouth of the pope is covered by the Doctrine of Papal Infallability under Canon Law. He may be a jerk at times but don’t fall for the misunderstanding that all that he writes or says is “Infallable” when in truth it is not. Bruce DaBear, USA

  4. Ratzinger is a coward. The Jehovah’s Witnesses had the balls and moral courage to stand up to the Nazi thugs. Ratzinger and his family use the excuse that they had no choice but to join the Nazi Youth. Sorry, I don’t buy it.

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