My good friend, Internet and comedy sensation Keith Lowell Jensen (who's Coexist Comedy Tour--Google it!--is sweeping the nation) is rather fond of using Hitler's defunct political juggernaut to make his point that religious people are without exception dangerous, brainless (or brainwashed) maniacs who must be rounded up and exterminated. He says (on his blog, in his movie, in his book--all of which I highly recommend--Google them!) that religion is what facilitated, encouraged, and generally inspired the Nazi atrocities. Without religious types, he implies with his inimitable (and genuinely infectious) enthusiasm, there may have been no holocaust, and there would certainly have been a greater abundance of religious Jewish people for him to mock and deride.
I thought his argument might be a little unfair, but it always gets a good cheer from a crowd of downtown hipsters, so I never thought of blogging about it. And really, I've talked about it with Keith and he has a heart of gold the size of Alaska. Finally, as everyone knows, I prefer to spend my blogging time making fun of fat people (come to think of it, why couldn't Hitler have--holy crap. Please forget I almost thought that.)
Then one night at work, I'm randomly clicking through sundry blogs and Youtube garbage (as I am unfortunately wont to do), and come across some mad (in both senses of the word) right-wing-preacher-freak's indictment of atheists, wherein he actually uses a version of what we were all starting to think of as the Keith Lowell Jensen Postulate. According to this man (and, we may assume, his ilk) the Nazis and their Holocaust were made possible by Godlessness--by the squelching of religion. His face was no doubt redder, but in a completely neutral rhetorical examination, his argument was AT LEAST as compelling as Keith's. And he actually cited evidence beyond the punchline.
But I still wasn't going to write about it here.
Then, that same morning, whether by complete random chance (Keith's very plausible explanation) or under the direction of some higher power or unity or harmonic convergence (the Dalai Lama's explanation), I was driving home, and two guys on the radio are expounding The Godwin Rule. This has, unbeknownst to me, been around since the mid-nineties, as chat rooms expanded exponentially, and people from all over began discussing "issues."
The Godwin Rule stipulates that in any discussion, debate, or argument, on any subject, the first person to bring up the Nazis LOSES IMMEDIATELY.
I thought: Beautiful! (I mean, we kind of already knew that--but it's beautiful.) Because it means that when Rush Limbaugh calls radical feminists "Feminazis," he has given the argument to the opposition, (thereby erasing whatever chance he may have had to make a point about the abhorrent nature of strident political activism! Thanks for nothing, Fatso!) Because it means that when people justify war as a concept, they have to do it purely philosophically, without the Hitler Crutch. Because it means that when a crowd of downtown hitlers--I mean, hipsters--huzzah the belittling, demeaning, and stereotyping of a diversified group of good hearted individuals, they are cheering the demise of their own half brained point of view.
So on the one hand: Let us at last put the Nazi to bed as a rhetorical device.
On the other: Keep up, dummies! The world could use a little simplification.