In the book under review, Ham et al. make the inevitable appeal to Hitler:
Because people groups have allegedly evolved separately, they are at different stages of evolution, and some people groups are less evolved. Thus, the other person may not be as fully human as you. This sort of thinking inspired Hitler in his quest to eliminate Jews and Gypsies and to establish the “master race.” Sadly, some Christians have been infected with racist thinking through the efforts on our culture of evolutionary indoctrination, that people of a different “color” are inferior because they are supposedly closer to the animals. (p. 78f.)
And, in case you missed it the first time,
Evolutionists like Hitler treated the Jews, Gypsies, and other groups as inferior, and therefore argued that they needed to be eliminated. (p. 166)
It is unfortunately necessary again to question Ham’s honesty. In the current sputtering shibboleths about Nazis, you are supposed to mention the persecution of homosexuals and Jehovah’s Witnesses as well. Why does Ham “forget” to mention those groups? Why only Gypsies and Jews? Obviously, because Sodomites are not a racial group, and Jehovah’s Witnesses are not a racial group. (Perhaps it is also because his rhetoric would then find less sympathetic reception amongst his white conservative audience?) But this should have cued him in that his premises might be wrong. He needs a theory to account for the persecution of all the groups that were persecuted.
The “closer to the animals” argument is dubious as stated. Presumably, Ham believes that cattle are “inferior” to humans; yet this has not led him to desire that all the cattle of the earth should be wiped out. Of course we slaughter cattle, but this is different than “eliminating.” The history of man is full of mutual slaughter, and not necessarily based on a theory of inferiority. Indeed, probably it hardly ever is tied to a theory of inferiority.
Moreover, one can believe that some races are inferior to others based on any number of criteria having nothing to do with evolution, nor does such a belief need to entail hatred or a desire for genocide. One could believe that one’s mortal enemies were superior, and therefore had to be eliminated — kill or be killed as they say.
Note further that the desire for racial separation does not necessarily imply a sense of racial superiority, any more than separating the squabbling children is. Think: let it be that the Aryan is inferior to the other races. Fine: now can we have our own country? Indeed, if there is any legitimacy to desiring to see one’s tribe continue qua tribe into the future, then the desire for separation would only become stronger when said tribe is mingled with a superior and dominating rival tribe.
We can summarize the fallacious forms of Ham’s logic thusly:
- Belief in racial inferiority does not imply justification for genocide
- Belief in racial inferiority does not imply belief in evolution
- Desire for racial separation does not imply belief in racial inferiority
- Desire for racial separation does not imply belief in evolution
The Hamites have not thought this matter through carefully because, I suspect, their minds have been addled by the Nazi meme, which our rulers have deeply implanted in the minds of our people. Corrupted by our rulers’ meme, the Hamites in turn plant their own. The meme-planting intent of this passage is clear: if you want to live where you can raise your children far away from Negroes, then you are equivalent to a Nazi, acting like Hitler.
Whenever the H-card is played, one should unpack carefully. Why is the deliberate Judeo-bolshevik slaughter of millions of Ukrainians prior to the ascendancy of H never mentioned? That was surely racial hatred, but not necessarily based on evolution. On the other hand, there are several ways that Ham on Hitler re race is wrong, reflecting the analysis above:
1. H’s alleged belief in the primacy of the German and the relative inferiority of the Slav, Hun, and Mediterranean did not stop him from making friendly alliances with Croatia, Hungary, and Italy (not to mention Romania) against their common enemy, the Bolsheviks; and those allied nations fought valiantly at the side of the Germans. (Slovakia too was on friendly terms, and had something equivalent to an SA of their own.) Many Russian soldiers after capture volunteered to fight with the Germans against their communist rulers. (Roosevelt/Truman obeyed Stalin’s order to hand them over to the USSR after the war for execution — but I digress.)
2. If he had heard that the Slavs regarded their race as superior, I suspect H would have taken that with bemused humor. He would not have cared if you did not agree that the Aryan was superior. Indeed, he would probably respect you more if you held a similar view of your own race. Think of C. S. Lewis’ friends observing that the men of every nation believe their own women the most beautiful, when one of the old ones murmured “yes… but in our case, it is true.”
(Interesting trivia: H thought of the Japanese as the “Aryans of the Orient.”)
3. Nor was his desire to expel jews from Germany necessarily based on a belief that jews were inferior or sub-human in the sense that Ham implies. It was based on his conviction that jews were deleterious in their effect on the German people; and whether that pernicious effect was due to their being superior or inferior would be irrelevant to that conclusion, unless it should be that jewish superiority made separation even more urgent.
4. Why were other groups put in concentration camps, such as Gypsies, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Sodomites? I cannot produce quotes, but it does not require much imagination to find a common denominator to make sense of such a policy: all of these groups are resistant to bonding tribally: they thus needed to be quarantined during the national emergency. All of this would make for an interesting discussion in its own right, but too much of a digression just here. The point is, that Ham’s pulling of the H-card is confused and probably exploitative of current political shibboleths; it cannot be marshaled to his thesis about evolution, or even race.
If quarantining a group believed to be potentially dangerous during a national emergency is so bad, why don’t the Hamites harp on the American segregating of Japanese-Americans during WW2 — which was unambiguously race-based. Why does poor old H always have to take the heat on this one? The answer is, that the American action was very clearly not related to a belief in evolution. It was based on the question of ethnic loyalty. The action may have been just or unjust — that would be the subject for a different essay. But it would reveal a nest of debatable issues that belie the Hamites’ charge of evolution, and place the discussion in a completely different framework.
5. We have made the point before, but it bears repeating in this new application: Hitler’s view that the Aryan needed to be preserved and separated from the Jew is a position that one could hold with or without evolution. The logic is simply absent when people make this assertion.
6. Doubtless, Hitler had a dynamic view of history, such that energetic peoples would tend to expand and sluggish ones contract. Any pointy-headed academic might entertain such a hypothesis about history. No doubt, H desired his own people to be one of the energetic ones, not one of the sluggish ones. Given the hypothesis, that is certainly a rational view to have. It is compatible with either evolution or anti-evolution.
If it turns out that H believed in evolution in point of fact, would that prove Ham’s thesis? No it would not. It is the logical entailment that is wrong with Ham’s analysis.
People need to work up the courage to study that period in our people’s history; or perhaps just a study of critical thinking will suffice. After they do, cheap rhetorical tricks such as are sprinkled through this book will be enough by themselves to strip credibility from such authors. The Hitler treated by the Hamites is actually just a cartoon character created by Hollywood. That is why I say “the Hitler” in the title of this post. It is a stock character, to be dragged out on demand from the back-stage closet, like “the Mummy,” or “the Vampire.”
Now perhaps the Hamites will answer this analysis along these lines: even granting that the desire for racial separation is not logically dependent on a view of inferiors and superiors, and even if such a desire is possible with or without evolution — yet the escalation from separation to extermination (i.e. the “holocaust”) would only be possible on a view of superiority derived from evolution. Now leaving aside the fact that the “holocaust” story itself, as we have begun to document, seems to be patched together with even more baseless assertions and distortions than the Hamites can make in one short book, consider the logic of this move even granting the premise. First, such a view would be a misunderstanding of Darwinism. Darwinism speaks of the fittest surviving, not the “superior” as conceived of along logical, ethical, or teleological grounds. In other words, a Hitler that wished to exterminate a rival gang would not need to deduce a “right” to do so from some axiology of worth: the desire itself would be its own vindication or (upon loss) rebuttal. It is a misunderstanding to think that Darwinism permits a calculation of ethical right, or even a pragmatic right. The fittest survive, because those that survive are the fittest by definition. It has nothing to do with an apriori. Second, such a desire could be produced by other non-Christian worldviews with or without Darwinism being part of the package. One could believe, for example, that one’s own tribal god has created one’s tribe, or set it apart, and so ordained. In that case, Hitler’s view would be formally analogous to the ancient Hebrews’s genocide of the Canaanites, if it were the case that Jehovah were simply a tribal invention and not the true God. Again, such an attitude need not involve either a view of superiority or evolution. Finally, the last resort of the Hamite will probably be to say, that the execution of a genocide requires the cooperation of many persons, whose scruples would have to be overcome by some means or other. But if their scruples are based on Christian convictions, how would this be overcome by Hitler asserting Darwinism? The overcoming of scruples would need to take place by defeating Christian convictions by hook or by crook, and (a) this need not take place via Darwinism, and (b) the cynical Hitler-figure would not need himself to believe whatever subterfuge would be used to overcome the others’ scruples. And again (not to sound like a broken record), the agenda could just as well be pushed on the view of the right and exigencies of tribal survival as on the view of tribal inferiority or superiority.
One gets the feeling that Ham never tests his premises by the free variation of imagination. After a while, one starts to wonder if he is just cliché-monger, not a thinker at all. But if Ham merely passes along the usual “white lies” about Nazis, we cannot let the “Editor-in-chief” Jim Fletcher in his forward to the book off the hook so easily. Of that little piece of work, we must borrow the words of Mary McCarthy spoken originally about Lillian Hellman: Every word in it is a lie, including “and” and “the.” Consider just this one whopper:
Even the Japanese in World War II, to justify that nation’s expansionist aggression, had been told that they were the most “highly evolved” race on earth. After all, Europeans, with their longer arms and hairier chests, were clearly still closer to the ape, weren’t they? (p.13)
I seriously doubt that he can back up his quote with a published citation: I am calling your bluff, “Mr. Fletcher.” But perhaps he will find some Japanese somewhere that said that. Perhaps some over-heated rhetoric on either side may be excused on the mitigating circumstance of the heat of battle — on the level of the playground pugilist’s “your mother wears army boots.”
However, even the slightest acquaintance with the facts belies this assertion as a fair statement of the case: the expansion of Japan was into the territory of fellow Orientals, and they were allied with that nation, Germany, which is arch-European! Even the attack on “European” America was reluctantly undertaken due to the deliberate provocation of the Roosevelt administration, as “Mr. Fletcher” would have known if he had read even ten pages of history before getting up on his soap box.
Again, if he feels the need to take a cheap shot, why not pick on “us” rather than “them”? After the US government had goaded and tricked the Japanese into a war they did not desire, consider how “the Allies” treated them racially. Military commentator Fletcher Pratt “declared that the Japanese ‘can neither make good airplanes nor fly them well.'” (T. Fleming, The New Dealers’ War, p. 44) After Pearl Harbor, “an agitated General Douglas Macarthur swore they must have acquired Germans or some other white mercenaries to fly their planes.” (pp. 44-45) “After the bombs fell, the paper’s cartoonist, Theodore Giesel, future beloved children’s book writer Dr. Seuss, drew a picture of a long column of slanty-eyed Japanese lining up to collect TNT at a house labeled ‘Honorable Fifth Column.'” (p. 110) “Pearl Buck risked her status as a best-selling author … in her 1943 novel, The Promise, about the British and Chinese fighting the Japanese in Burma. She depicted the British as infected with all but incurable racist attitudes, which led them to see Asians as subhuman, even when they were allies.” (p. 379) “In an official government film, Action at Anguar, issued in the spring of 1945 to support the seventh war-bond drive, footage showed Japanese soldiers being burned alive by flamethrowers while the narrator said: “By this time we had shot, blasted or cooked six hundred of the little apes.'” (p. 540)
A Christian should be doubly careful to be fair and just in his treatment of his enemies, knowing the proneness of human nature to self-deception. One feels cheap having to correct Ham and his colleagues on these matters: like having to prove that there were 10 cookies in the jar in the presence of the little liar that obviously stole one. The situation has gone beyond the passing on of falsehoods that are part of the received tradition taught in government schools. One can forgive someone that has not been corrected, for passing on the false idea that Lincoln waged the “Civil War” to end slavery. But here, we are dealing with a situation that has gone beyond that: people think they can actually make up any slander out of thin air and pass it on with impunity when dealing with Nazis.
Schlissel thinks one can lie when dealing with a Nazi: it is but a short step, and one which most published Americans evidently have taken, to think one can tell any lie about the Nazis. Ham et al. undoubtedly think that if these baseless assertions about Nazis turn out to be false, they are just little “white lies,” well justified by the circumstance. But John Murray showed convincingly that even inadvertent passing along of falsehoods involves one in sin: for God is Truth. This is a very serious matter. If people claiming to be Christians continue to do it after being corrected, the credibility of their profession will eventually need to be questioned.