Christian apologist Ray Comfort brings the most compelling question of our time to a mass audience with his wildly successfully mini-documentary 180 and mini-history, Hitler, God, and the Bible. Comfort’s mini-theology has also been widely endorsed, with many of the leading figures in American evangelism collapsing all over each other to praise Comfort’s passionate cry for more public awareness of the Holocaust and the evils of National Socialism.
At a time when homosexuality is championed in the public schools, the cross is driven out of public life, the culture has become a cesspool, the freedom to even publicly profess the faith is removed throughout the continent of Europe, and the Christian heritage of the West is denied and denigrated in the academies, the pastors and preachers of “God’s country” are united in their belief that what is really needed is mass mobilization against the impending Nazi takeover.
(Sadly, with only an edit or two, the above could be posted without irony at most American evangelical websites).
Ray Comfort is known to the general public for three main reasons. First, he enthusiastically engages the New Atheists, but in a manner more akin to Internet trolling than the contemporary apologetics of a Dr. William Lane Craig. Comfort’s tactics include shoving cameras in the faces of confused passersby and aggressively questioning them, unilaterally proclaiming victory in debates after ambiguous (to put it charitably) results, and writing attention-seeking books using the names of his more well-known non-interlocutors such as Dr. Richard Dawkins.
Secondly, Comfort’s ministry utilizes the most famous evangelical Christian celebrity this side of Stephen Baldwin, the legendary theologian Kirk Cameron, former star of TV’s Growing Pains. Together, the two have argued for the existence of God and the non-existence of evolution at public forums and on television, deploying such sophisticated techniques as displaying crude Photoshopped images of fictional creatures like the “Crocoduck” to prove that different species could not have had common ancestors. (Needless to say, not only is this a woeful misunderstanding of the theory of evolution, but fossils combining the features of both the duck and crocodile were actually found two years after the “Crocoduck” made its television debut.)
Finally, Comfort is perhaps best known for contributing the awe-inspiring “Banana Argument” to Christian apologetics. On his television program, Comfort produces a banana and triumphantly proclaims, “Behold the atheist’s nightmare!” The fact that Kirk Cameron is seated beside him only adds to the surreal nature of the segment. Comfort explains that the creator of the banana, “Almighty God,” designed it specifically for humanity with a “nonslip grip,” a perfect fit for the hand, a curvature towards the mouth, a tab for opening, and a delicious taste and easy to digest components. This proves God is real.
At this point, you should either be laughing uncontrollably or sobbing at the futility of human existence, and shouldn’t need me to point out that the banana only looks the way it does because men (i.e., white men) genetically engineered it that way. Nonetheless, none of the above changes that spectacular nature of Comfort’s success in real terms. Hundreds of thousands of tracts by his “Living Waters” ministry are sold each year, he brings in millions of dollars in revenue, and 180 has close to 3 million views on YouTube, not counting the hundreds of thousands of DVD copies distributed by churches and pro-life groups around the country.
Whatever people say about him, Ray Comfort is reaching far more people and making a bigger impact in “taking back the culture” than white nationalists are. The reason is because there’s no culture he really needs to take back. Contemporary Christianity fits as seamlessly into modernity as a “well-made banana” fits into a hand. More than that, it is an indispensable support. Comfort is important, not because of his own ludicrous arguments, but because of what his success foretells about the development of American Christianity. Unfortunately, 180 and Hitler, God, and the Bible, shows that as bad as it is, where it is going is even worse.
180 begins with Comfort speaking against the background of a swastika and a drawing of the Führer, with black and white propaganda images flashing in the background. “I’m Ray Comfort, and I’m Jewish,” Comfort begins, with is a strange opening to what is ostensibly a Christian movie. Interestingly, Comfort details the restrictions on free speech and legislation on “Holocaust Denial” in place in Germany and Austria, albeit as a positive thing. He trots out the hoary old misquotation of Santayana about those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. For Comfort it is always 1933, and the goyim are ready to ready to leap to the Hakenkreuz the minute they are unsupervised.
Comfort takes to the streets and asks people what they know about Adolf Hitler. A huge number of people, many of whom are non-white, do not know who he is. Some people do know who he is, but link him with something vaguely bad, like Communism. In outside media, Comfort uses this to argue that the “American educational establishment” is responsible for this ignorance, because, shockingly, only five American states have mandatory Holocaust education. Clearly, if there’s one problem with the American educational system, it’s that we don’t spend enough time talking about racism and anti-Semitism.
Comfort also manages to find a “self-proclaimed Neo-Nazi” named Steve, who “loves Adolf Hitler, and hates Jews and people with dark skin.” Steve has unusual fashion sense for a Neo-Nazi, featuring spikes, tattoos, and a blue Mohawk. Comfort and Steve debate, though Steve does not seem to be taking this too seriously, as he swears, jokes, and rhymes that “Jesus was a Jew, and if he was in Auschwitz, I’d give him a tattoo.” Meanwhile, Comfort rhapsodizes about all the black victims of the Holocaust.
Comfort also encounters another “Hitler admirer,” this one with his face blocked out and wearing a straw hat. He berates Comfort telling him, “Don’t you understand that America is run by Jews? Don’t you understand that? Don’t you get it?” Comfort, perhaps giving the game away, responds indignantly, “What’s wrong with that?” (5:18)
Comfort informs us that Adolf Hitler hated Christianity and takes us on a quick tour of Nazi Germany, telling us about how he deceived “millions of Germans who believed his lie about the supremacy of the German race.” We then are told horror stories about the execution of Jews. Suddenly, the movie takes a twist, with Comfort asking random people on the street hypothetical questions about what they would or would not be willing to do to Jews in order to save their own lives, whether this involves shooting them or burying them with a bulldozer. He also asks questions about whether a person who is going to blow up a building should be stopped if there “may” be someone inside.
Eventually, it becomes clear that that what the movie is really about is abortion. With carefully planned routines, Comfort is able to convince people that they should not just refuse to shoot people, but also refuse to even participate in the process of murder through more indirect means. Then he convinces them that they do not really know when life begins, and therefore, they should resist the American “Holocaust” of abortion because it is “murdering babies.” By easily manipulating random people on the street who probably don’t have any deeply held values to begin with, Comfort is able to create a “180” in their opinions, thus getting footage of people saying they are now pro-life, and causing Christians around the country to swoon.
Of course, regardless of a person’s position on abortion, it is fair to say that most who are pro-choice (or pro-abortion, depending on how you want to frame it) do not believe abortion actually is “murdering babies.” The whole debate is whether a fetus (or unborn child, depending on how you want to frame it) actually is a life or not, not whether it’s moral to kill people. The whole point of the movie is vaguely silly, unless you are predisposed to agreeing with it.
However, what is ultimately more significant is the treatment of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. The Nazis are chosen as a stand-in for evil and anti-Christianity, while the explicitly atheistic, anti-Christian, and more enthusiastically homicidal Communists remain unnamed (except by confused passersby who think Hitler was one). Even after being directly confronted with Holocaust revisionism and explicitly “racist” arguments, Comfort veers away and doesn’t even bother to address them, seemingly even admitting that the “paranoid” “Nazi” charge that “Jews Run America” is true.
Nor is the subject of the Holocaust’s existence, rationale, or execution examined. Instead, Nazis and the Holocaust are simply stand-ins for evil and hatred and used as a metaphor for pointless murder. While in the past conservative Christians and reactionaries could at least be counted on to rally against “godless Communism,” today racism is the ultimate sin. Rather than “my utmost for His highest,” Comfort tells us unlimited egalitarianism for racial minorities and the mentally handicapped is the greatest command and the path to salvation.
Hitler, God, and the Bible
Comfort actually attempts to analyze National Socialism and the rise of Adolf Hitler in his companion book, Hitler, God, and the Bible. The book is divided into two parts, with the first a history of the Hitler’s career and the Third Reich. Unfortunately, Comfort’s about as skilled a historian as he is an evolutionary biologist. Like a black boxer or a liberal arts graduate student, he uses words that don’t really mean what he thinks they mean. For example, he criticizes the Reich’s “hollow propaganda” and then admits his “effective economic reform” within the same sentence (p. 55). He spends paragraphs detailing how the Reich never raised taxes on the working class, outlines the social benefits Hitler gave the German people, and even admits that Hitler resolved the economic crisis. Nonetheless, Comfort can only attribute the people’s support to “terror,” “censorship,” and “propaganda.”
Hitler himself is also described as “ignorant,” “entitled,” and mired in illusions and self-pity. Comfort creates the image of a lazy, incompetent failure, the better to build his thesis of Hitler as an “idolater” who needed to be humbled by the Cross in order to be redeemed. However, one can be forgiven for wondering how such a buffoon managed to build a political movement out of nothing.
Comfort glosses over the obstacles faced by the National Socialist movement during the Kampfzeit, the bans, the murders by the Communists, and the hatred and scorn of the press. Instead, he gives us the fifth grade public school text book answer of “people wanted a savior.” Because Hitler provided easy answers, he apparently cruised to power without much trouble.
Moreover, National Socialism also had no ideology, as Comfort says: “you would have found little sustenance in the words and promises that came flowing out of his mouth. He prodded people’s heart strings, but he didn’t give practical ways to heal the hurts” (p. 29). Of course, less than 30 pages later, he’s admitting that National Socialism rescued Germany from economic crisis, apparently, through a combination of magic, good luck, and “hate.”
In the second part of the book, Comfort attempts to come to terms with the Reich’s attitude towards Christianity and the Jewish Question. Not surprisingly, Comfort doesn’t provide much insight into why the Nazis were anti-Semitic, asserting that Hitler hated Jews because he needed a scapegoat for his own failures, or, alternatively, because he contracted syphilis from a Jewish prostitute. Comfort also highlights several prominent figures who supposedly informed Hitler’s anti-Semitism including Henry Ford, Richard Wagner, Houston Chamberlain, and of course, the well-known racial theorist and far right political organizer Charles Darwin. Darwin, says Comfort, “was the propeller behind the concept of the ‘survival of the fittest’” and casually links him to Hitler’s doctrine, a common tactic among the American religious “Right.”
Thus, Comfort concludes, “The evolutionary philosophies espoused by Charles Darwin were at the core of Hitler’s ideology, and this belief in the superiority of the Aryan race motivated the Third Reich to implement the practices of eugenics, euthanasia, forced sterilization, and racial extermination. As Nazi leader Rudolf Hess admitted, ‘National Socialism is nothing but applied biology.’” The link between the film 180 and the book is the doctrine that the defining social belief of Christianity is universal egalitarianism, with application or even knowledge of scientific principles to improve mankind constituting a grave sin against the divine order of perfect equality.
Well, almost perfect equality. Comfort takes care to note, “Knowing that the Bible says the Jews are God’s chosen people no doubt added to Hitler’s hatred, because he believed the German people were the master race, superior to all others” (p. 101). It’s suddenly much clearer why Comfort didn’t identify himself as a lowly Christian at the beginning of 180. Comfort makes sure to outline the usual theme of Hitler’s Willing Executioners, describing how “almost every part of Germany’s bureaucracy had a hand in the killing process.” Again, this entire process supposedly takes place for no other reason than Hitler ordered it, and his own rationale is based either in his rejection from art school or an STD from some unknown Hebraic temptress.
However, Comfort actually does contribute something interesting with his examination of Hitler and Christianity, perhaps because he’s in his area of expertise. Having identified Adolf Hitler and National Socialism as sine qua non of evil, Comfort’s obvious purpose is to “prove” Hitler was not a Christian. In service to this end, Comfort trots out the usual anti-Christian quotes from Adolf Hitler, but also has to confront Hitler’s explicit public identification as a member of the faith. Comfort explains that Hitler was only professing this faith for political reasons, and details Hitler’s attempted takeover of the German churches with the National Reich Church. The National Reich Church was an attempt to formulate a “positive Christianity” that would purge German religion of its foreign, Jewish, universalist, and egalitarian influences.
The problem of course is that the “National Reich Church” and its precepts (such as the determination to “exterminate irrevocably and by every means the strange and foreign Christian faiths imported into Germany in the ill-omened year 800) never drove out traditional Roman Catholicism or Protestantism in the Reich. In fact, Hitler actively restrained many of the more activist anti-Christian elements within his government.
While Comfort amasses quotes from various figures within National Socialism and from Hitler himself regarding their supposed beliefs, he ignores the fact that most Christian churches and even the so called “Confessing Church” professed loyalty to the Führer.
Furthermore, whatever the motivations, Comfort creates the impression that Hitler professed Christianity to win power, but having achieved it was able to rip crosses and Bibles out of every place of worship in the country without so much as a peep. But the removal of crucifixes, destruction of religious education, and elimination of institutional autonomy once enjoyed by the churches had to wait for our enlightened modern democracy.
One suspects that Comfort knows of all this and actually doesn’t particularly care. Both 180 and Hitler, God, and the Bible end with an altar call, calling on viewers and readers to repent and accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Because Hitler did not do this, it follows, he was not a real Christian and therefore Christians cannot be smeared by association. Of course, this also precludes most Christians of the time, including just about all Roman Catholics and mainline Protestant denominations. To his credit, Comfort recognizes this and states explicitly that unless one is “born again,” they are not Christians.
From a theological standpoint, the merits of Comfort’s version of Christianity are for another time and place and are certainly well within the mainstream of American evangelical belief. However, from a historical and cultural standpoint, Comfort does not just challenge the National Socialist claim on Germany’s Christian heritage. He dismisses the idea of Christian heritage altogether as well as the existence of any kind of national community.
After all, if both established Protestant and Catholic churches were false, then belief in national destiny is “idolatry” and the only thing that matters is an individual decision whether to accept Christ in the manner prescribed by 20th and 21st century Low Church Protestantism. Comfort frees Christians of Hitler, but they must also relinquish the entire Christian heritage of Europe as equally false and “man-made.” But this implies that every national heritage, ancestry, nation, and community is equally artificial and of no importance. The only thing that matters is making the correct choice as an individual — and hopefully, convincing as many others as possible to do the same. Regardless of one’s religious beliefs on the matter, from a worldly perspective this transforms Christianity from a bond of community into a centrifugal force that rips nations apart in both the past and present.
Nor is Comfort unique or even particularly important in this regard. Take for example John Piper, an important figure in modern American Christianity. He was born in the American South before the “Civil Rights Movement” of the 1960s, into a culture far more Christian and in line with what most would consider “traditional moral values.” However, it was segregated. This is so overwhelming to him that he felt the need to make a short film, Bloodlines, denouncing the Southland and weeping about the joys of a superior Christian community built upon the choices of random people around the world. Going further, he even argues that God actually prefers interracial marriage, and to prove his anti-racist bona fides, adopted a black daughter specifically because the thought of her kinky hair and dark skin made him happy. As a recently retired pastor of a mega-church in Minneapolis, he can look back with pride now that the South has been destroyed, Christianity has been all but driven from public life, and local residents in his new community can enjoy enriching criminal gangs and vibrant group assaults from Somalis imported by mainline Protestant denominations.
The Asia Times’s “Spengler” (a pen name for the Jewish writer David Goldman) writes that “Within the European frame of reference, there is no such thing as American Christendom — no centuries-old schools of theology, no tithes, no livings, no Church taxes, no establishment — there is only Christianity, which revives itself with terrible force in unknowing re-enactment of the past. It does not resemble what Europeans refer to by the word ‘religion.’”
This is now becoming explicit with popular Christian pastors such as Mark Driscoll denying that Christianity (which is to say, modern American evangelical Low Church Protestantism) is a religion at all. A mixed-race Christian on YouTube has created a spoken word video entitled “Why I hate religion but love Jesus,” which has close to 21 million views. At the heart of all of this is the idea that peoples, institutions, cultures, and even families are all artificial and of no importance compared to the individual making the correct choice regarding the divinity of Christ.
There is of course one notable exception to the evangelical attack on community and culture – the Jews. God’s Chosen are allowed to have a culture, community, and pride in their bloodline. Comfort for example takes care to note that Hitler was wrong to be an anti-Semite because “He [Jesus] Himself was Jewish, as were His mother and Joseph. His disciples were Jewish. The first three thousand Christian converts were Jews. Jesus was sent to the Jewish people by God because God loved the Jews with an everlasting Love.”
Pastors such as John Hagee rally Christians by the tens of thousands to support the Jewish state, precisely because it is the Jewish state. Christians pore over books of prophecy and eschatology, pondering over Jewish bloodlines and studying Israeli military strategy. Eventually, this is taken to its logical conclusion that Christians must, inevitably, become Jews when Jesus returns. As Worldnetdaily editor Joseph Farah writes in a column entitled “Modern Israel: Greatest Miracle Ever?”
If you believe the Bible is the inerrant word of God, you will also acknowledge that when He returns you and I and other believers are going to be keeping the Sabbath and observing the Feast of Tabernacles. We will be visiting Jerusalem regularly – and if we don’t we won’t get any rain. I think some Christians are going to be shocked at just how Israeli-centric our life will be in the millennial kingdom.
While it still seems to rain, our Israeli-centric present system doesn’t seem all that different from the millennial kingdom. Rather than a catch all to describe the West’s religious heritage without offending They Who Can Not Be Named, a new faith is sweeping America, something that can actually be called “Judeo-Christianity.” Stripped of culture, ethnic identity, and functioning institutions, the American evangelical right has fallen back on the heroes, heritage, and historical narratives of a foreign people. As Joe Carter, web editor of First Things writes, “To paraphrase an old Willie Nelson song, our heroes have always been Hebrews.”
How the West Was Won and How America Was Lost
Well, it wasn’t always so. James Russell wrote in his classic The Germanization of Early Medieval Christianity that the Christian faith triumphed in Germanic Europe because it redefined itself in terms the indigenous population could understand. Instead of emphasizing Jewish history or a promise of universal egalitarianism, Christian missionaries appealed to the “Germanic regard for power . . . emahasiz[ing] the omnipotence of the Christian God and the temporal rewards he would bestow upon those who accepted him through baptism and through conformity to the discipline of his Church” (p. 23). Early Germanic Christian epics such as the The Heliand and The Dream of the Rood turned Jesus from a mystical rabbi into a Germanic warrior-king who turns defeat into victory through loyalty and sacrifice.
Russell writes, “The early medieval Germanization of Christianity, in most cases . . . was not the result of organized Germanic resistance to Christianity or of an attempt by the Germanic peoples to transform Christianity into an acceptable form. Rather, it was primarily a consequence of the deliberate enculturation of the Germanic religiocultural attitudes within Christianity by Christian missionaries. This process of accommodation resulted in the essential transformation of Christianity from a universal salvation religion to a Germanic, and eventually European, folk religion” (p. 39).
Notably in regards to warfare, Russell quotes J. M. Wallace-Hadrill in observing “It is the position of the Church rather than of the Germans that had undergone modification” (p. 40). What became the Faith of Europe was a world-accepting, hierarchical, Germanic faith far removed from the world-denying, egalitarian, and Jewish mystery cult spawned from the deserts of the East.
Bible-believing American Christians seem to be doing their best to reverse this process. Deracinated Americans have now created a faith that not only justifies but praises their dispossession and essentially worships their own oppressors. Denied the right to nationhood themselves, the American religious right aggressively and even militantly champions the culture, the government, and even the military of a foreign power. Perhaps even more incredibly, white evangelicals have fetishized blacks to an extent that only Hollywood celebrities can rival, as a way to display their superior commitment to egalitarianism. While evangelicals often speak about an “adversarial culture,” the truth is that there is no significant difference between a John Piper or a Sandra Bullock.
However, to simply dismiss Christianity as a whole would be to ignore both the history of the “Germanized” faith inspired many of Europe’s greatest triumphs as well as the heroic work and important philosophic contributions of folkish Christians such as those at Spirit, Water, Blood, the Kinist Review, and other kinists that emphasize Occidental Christianity. The development of Ray Comfort-style Judeo-Christianity — egalitarian, embarrassingly philo-Semitic, deracinated, and aggressively anti-intellectual — is something relatively new and not an organic process. Instead, it is the permissible channel by which resistance to the cesspool of modern American culture is funneled.
While the occasional opposition to abortion or homosexuality may challenge the Zeitgeist, it is always framed on the grounds of ever greater egalitarianism. Thus modern churches are justified even in the eyes of their apologists not so much because their adherents believe it is true, but because they lead to liberalism and can make our great modern democracy run a bit more smoothly. Certainly, the American religious right believes its own creed about the need to embrace Jesus as Savior, but the doctrine has been organized in such a way that the institutions have no real worldly importance beyond getting out the vote for a Rick Santorum so he can call George Zimmerman “a sick man.”
When an isolated and powerless congregation really does challenge liberal beliefs, such as by banning interracial marriage, all the power of the system (and all of the other churches) join together to crush them and force adherence to the only dogma our society really cares about. Properly channeled, supervised, and controlled, American Judeo-Christianity is the tonic that lets the dispossessed white cultural conservatives accept what is being done to them, and gives them a foreign culture to study and defend rather than their own.
The atheist’s nightmare may not be a banana, but Judeo-Christianity is a nightmare for the contemporary West. Millions of American Christians recognize that there is something deeply wrong with what used to be their country, but they are being rallied to fight against the supposed proto-Nazism of Richard Dawkins and Charles Darwin in the name of the Hebraic savior “Yeshua.” A people cannot survive with a spiritual outlet, and Judeo-Christianity has been all but designed to fulfill the existential longings of a shattered country without upsetting the system of control. Not only is this form of faith “man-made” and indeed a religion, it is a custom-made creed necessary to uphold the power structure.
There is no issue more divisive in the white advocacy community than religion. That said, unhyphenated Christians, heathens, atheists, and everyone in between must recognize the objective reality that every white man has a stake in decoupling Christianity from Judaism and reattaching the faith to the folk. No man can serve two masters, and no faith can serve two peoples. If traditional American Christians want to hold to God and country, it has to be made clear that it should at least be our God and our country.