Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Secular Theodicy: A Review of Day of Empire (Part I)

The biblical narrative, particularly in Judges, Samuel and Kings, serves as a type of theodicy. The authors of these various books wish to convince the reader that the welfare of God’s chosen people rests on their obedience to God’s will. If things go well it is because the Israelites were righteous and if things do not go well it is because they sinned. While this may be true (And I am certainly inclined to think that there is something to this.), such a notion lies outside our knowledge as historians; historians are not prophets and can claim no knowledge about God’s existence, will or plan for human history. Thus the biblical theodical model of historical narrative is unusable for the writing of history. Those who attempt to write such history (Be they Rabbi Berel Wein, Rabbi Avigdor Miller or Rabbi Yosef Eisen.) are not historians but intellectual frauds.

The problem is that we have no fixed standard with which to judge whether any given society is living a godly life. Our knowledge of God’s will, even from a religious perspective, is rather open ended so we have no clear cut means of evaluating a godly society. How many points does a society have to score in order to count as godly and how many points are various actions worth? How many points does a society lose if they allow women to wear mini-skirts; what about if they tolerate club wielding hooligans beating up women over the length of their skirts? Furthermore, since every society is a mixture of good and bad, we have no way of knowing if a given society is being rewarded for the righteousness of the few or punished for the wickedness of the few. Sodom and Gomorrah being the exceptions, every society can be assumed to have at least ten righteous people. So if a wicked, ungodly society succeeds it can always be passed off as due to the intercession of the righteous few. Conversely if disaster strikes a righteous godly society it can always be passed off as punishment for the secret sins of the wicked few, hiding their idols/television sets behind their doors.

This sets the stage for radical levels of intellectual dishonesty if one wishes to try writing such a history. Since there are so many movable pieces one can fix the results to suit any desired conclusion. It is a heads I win tails you lose situation. God might have brought the Holocaust in order to punish secular Jews and saved the secular state of Israel in the Six Day War in the merit of the Orthodox minority. This of course may very well be true, but I could play this game to come up with anything that I want. For example, if you would indulge me in a little reductio ad absurdum, I could, with equal plausibility, argue that God is a Nazi, who treasures his German people, wishes to lead them to greatness if only they would follow his will and uses world Jewry to chastise them.

God gave the German people victory, as of the fall of 1941, over Poland, France and the Soviet Union as a reward for obeying their divinely sent Fuehrer, Adolf Hitler, and to allow them to rid the world of the Jewish race. (God did not allow them to defeat England because he wanted there to remain a threat so that his German people would continue to cry out to him. Alternatively God was being patient with the British people, also members of the German race, and was giving them one last chance to abandon the rule of Winston Churchill and return to the Germanic fold.) The fact that things turned against Germany can be attributed to the fact that they did not pursue the destruction of world Jewry with the proper zeal and show pure undiluted faith in their Fuehrer. The fact that the Germans had to turn to gas chambers and abandon the use Einsatzgruppen as their primary mode of killing Jews showed a lack of Jew killing zeal. According to the Wannsee conference, the use of Einsatzgruppen as mobile firing squads was proving ineffective as it was having a negative on its members. Clearly if Germans had been full of the proper Jew killing zeal they should have been lining up for the honor of being able to personally shoot Jews and they should have been able to carry out this task with joy and a gladdened heart. Germans should have been able to kill Jews with the same gusto as the Poles and the Ukrainians, who, immediately upon being liberated by Germany, took it upon themselves to slaughter their Jewish neighbors. No German should have suffered negative psychological effects from carrying out such tasks. Later on at the end of the war many in the German high command thought that the elimination of Hungarian Jewry should take a back seat to fighting the advancing Soviet forces. There were even those like Himmler who wanted to make a deal with the Allies in order to save the Jews in exchange for protection after the war. It took a mere Colonel like Adolf Eichmann to see that Hungarian Jewry was dealt with. Not only did the German leadership not pursue the murder of European Jews as they should they also failed to show to the proper faith in their Fuehrer. Over and over it was demonstrated that Hitler was right yet there were those who questioned his decisions to hold the line on the Russian front and in North Africa. The lack of faith was so profound that members of the German high command attempted to assassinate Hitler. God miraculously saved Hitler by causing the bomb to be moved thus allowing for Hitler to survive with only some busted air drums and a withered hand.

Since the German people failed to properly follow God and their Fuehrer, God gave them into the hands of their enemies, the Americans and the Russians, who put an end to the Third Reich and divided Germany up into East and West. Not only that but God allowed the Jews to rebuild their state and gain victory over the Arabs so that now world Jewry could exercise their power directly and not just through the banks and Hollywood. Next God allowed for a wave of Jewish inspired liberalism to sweep the Western world, forcing all proud lovers of the German race and ideals to have to go underground and live in secret. But even in these dark times God has not abandoned his German people. As a comfort to the German race he allowed them to kill off a third of world Jewry in the Holocaust. This serves to comfort the German people and as a sign of God’s promise to completely annihilate the Jews, restore the German people to their former glory and bring about the Final Reich.

(To be continued …)

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