The Canadian Red Ensign

The Canadian Red Ensign

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

What is your true Faith?

Do you call yourself a Christian?

If so, please permit me to ask you the following two questions.

If someone were to deny the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, to say that He did not rise bodily from the grave, would you want that person to be punished by the state with a fine or a prison sentence or to be driven from career and community and turned into a pariah?

The second question is the same as the first except that instead of denying the Resurrection of Jesus Christ the person in question denies that the Holocaust took place, or questions the veracity of certain elements of the Holocaust narrative, such as the death count of six million.

If your answer to the first question is yes then I would suggest you need to think through your faith. If you are a Christian then you yourself believe that Jesus Christ rose from the dead for you cannot be a Christian without believing this. If you believe that Jesus Christ rose from the dead then you believe that this was an actual event. The truth of that event does not depend upon your faith or that of anyone else and therefore cannot be harmed by anyone’s denial. Nor should another’s denial be able to harm your own faith in the Resurrection if you recognize that your faith relies upon the truth of what you believe, rather than the other way around, and are well-familiar with the evidence for that truth. The denier, therefore, can only harm himself by his denial, and so the appropriate response on your part, as a Christian, is to testify to your own faith in the Living Christ and to pray that the eyes of the denier would be opened that he might see the light of the Gospel, be converted, and believe.

If a yes answer to the first question suggests that the believer is insecure in his own faith, a yes answer to the second question, especially when joined with a no answer to the first, indicates a far more serious problem. It indicates that the Holocaust is of greater importance to you than the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, that the Holocaust is now in the space which the Gospel ought to occupy in the heart of the Christian believer.

These are all things that Canadian Christians ought to keep in mind in hearing or reading the recent news story about one Monika Schaefer and contemplating what they ought to think about the whole affair.

Schaefer, the Canadian born daughter of German immigrants who were of the generation that saw the Third Reich, is a violin instructor in Jasper, Alberta who has run, unsuccessfully, as the Green Party candidate in the federal constituency of Yellowhead on several occasions. In June she posted a video on Youtube, in which she played the violin and apologized to her parents for believing their generation to be guilty of perpetrating the Holocaust which she has come to believe to be “the biggest and most pernicious persistent lie in all of history.”

As you have probably guessed, certain people are rather upset about this. The head of B’nai Brith, an organization which, if I had as little class as they have I would describe with a considerably greater degree of accuracy than they have ever seen fit to exercise, as a Christophobic hate group, demanded that the Green Party “must denounce Schaefer and distance itself from all Holocaust denying groups and individuals.” Of course the party did just that, declaring that “The Green Party of Canada condemns in the strongest possible terms comments by Monika Schaefer, a former candidate, regarding her views on the Holocaust” and that at the next meeting of their Federal Council they will hear a motion to revoke her membership. Elizabeth May, the party’s leader, declared her condemnation of Schaefer’s “terribly misguided and untrue statements,” saying that Schaefer “does not represent the values of the Green Party nor of our membership.”

The matter of whom the fringe, leftist, eco-crackpot Green Party kicks out of their movement is of no concern to me in and of itself, although I find B’nai Brith’s bullying political parties into kicking out people they do not approve of for reasons that have nothing to do with the party’s policies and platform quite irritating. Schaefer faces more than just being kicked out of her political party, however. Thanks to Ken Kuzminski, the president of the Jasper legion who, according to the CBC was at one time a friend of Schaefer’s, a charge has been filed against her with both the Alberta and the Canadian Human Rights Commissions. That yet another person may find herself the victim of the injustice of being punished for expressing forbidden thoughts at the hands of these Stalinist inquisitions is something which concerns and ought to outrage all Canadians.

The Canadian and provincial Human Rights Commissions are fundamentally un-Canadian institutions if by Canada we mean the Dominion of Canada that fought against Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich alongside the United Kingdom and the other countries in the great British family of nations between 1939 and 1945. The Dominion of Canada was established in 1867 by the Fathers of Confederation on the Loyalist foundation of preserving in the new country they were building, our rich British heritage including our parliamentary monarchy form of government, our Christian religion, our English Common Law, and the basic freedoms and legal rights that developed in the course of over a thousand years of history that included such highlights as the constitution of Alfred the Great of Wessex and the Magna Carta Libertatum. These Human Rights Commissions and Tribunals, which investigate and pass judgement upon the expressed thoughts of Canadians to determine whether they have committed what in the Newspeak of George Orwell’s 1984 was called “crimethink,” are foreign to that heritage and tradition, being much more at home in totalitarian ideological states like the Soviet Union, Red China, and North Korea.

It was the ideology that drove these states – the ideology of Marxist-Leninism, more commonly known as Communism – to which the Liberal Prime Ministers who governed Canada from 1963 to 1984 subscribed, secretly in the case of Lester Pearson, more openly in the case of Pierre Trudeau who was responsible for the Canadian Human Rights Act which established these Soviet-style tribunals. This ideology was an enemy of National Socialism, the ideology behind the Third Reich, but the enmity was that of bitter rivalry between virtually identical twin siblings. The only significant difference between the two was that National Socialism, being racist and nationalist, rejected the liberal universalism, internationalism, and cosmopolitanism of Communism. Otherwise they were revolutionary ideologies that attracted young thugs, hated the old, traditional, order, and established virtually identical party-ruled, police states that governed by fear and required everyone to at least give lip service to the tenets of their ideology.

The British family of nations, including the Dominion of Canada, was forced to make a temporary alliance with the Soviet Union in the war against the Third Reich, but the wisest of our leaders, such as Sir Winston Churchill, recognized that the ideology of the USSR was just as bad and dangerous as that of Nazi Germany and it would serve us well in this day to remember that the two ideologies were twins. Those who think that ideas like those of Monika Schaefer ought to be punished by law maintain that they hold this position to prevent a resurgence of National Socialism. The Nizkor website, on its home page, asks the question “Given the evidence…why do people deny the Holocaust?” which it answers with a quotation from some American neo-Nazi group “The real purpose of holocaust revisionism is to make National Socialism an acceptable political alternative again.”

This, however, is clearly nonsense. The first holocaust revisionist was Paul Rassinier, a French Communist and pacifist, who joined the anti-Nazi resistance and was himself imprisoned in Buchenwald and Dora. The American history professor, Harry Elmer Barnes, who had Rassinier’s books published in English, was an American classical liberal. Calvinist theologian Rousas J. Rushdooney, after reading Rassinier and Barnes, pointed to the claims of the standard Holocaust account which they disputed as an example of bearing false witness against one’s neighbour in his commentary on the Ten Commandments in his Institutes of Biblical Law. David Cole, who became a Holocaust revisionist in his youth, going to the site of Auschwitz to investigate after the fall of Communism in Poland, is a fairly mainstream American conservative and certainly no Nazi-sympathizer. None of these men had or have an interest in making National Socialism “an acceptable political alternative again.” Most holocaust revisionists, according to journalist John Sack, in an Esquire article from 2001 in which he described his encounters with David Irving, Ernst Zundel, and other revisionists at a meeting of the Institute for Historical Review, were simply ordinary people of German descent who did not want to think ill of their ancestors.

It would be more truthful to say that it is the influence of Communism, National Socialism’s rival sibling, that lies behind the suppression of Holocaust revisionism. Due to the similarity between the ideologies, it is therefore also true to say that those who want to see people like Monika Schaefer silenced, dragged before Human Rights tribunals, and punished for their views, are closer to the spirit of Adolf Hitler than those they seek to persecute. It has been pointed out that the adherents of these totalitarian ideologies often had no problem switching from the one to the other and it is interesting to note that when the Dominion of Canada was fighting Hitler at the side of Great Britain, Pierre Elliot Trudeau, the author of the Canadian Human Rights Act who throughout his political career praised Communist tyrants like Mao and Castro, was riding around on his motorcycle, denouncing the war effort, with a German helmut on his head and a big swastika on his back.

Fellow Canadians, if any of the spirit of the old Dominion still lives on in you, I urge you not to remain silent while another Canadian is persecuted for expressing an unpopular point of view. It is those who wish to silence and punish Monika Schaefer, not Schaefer herself, who represent all of the things our country went to war to fight in 1939.

As for the Holocaust – make up your own minds about it. Read both sides – conventional history books, such as Raul Hilberg’s The Destruction of The European Jews – and those by the revisionists. David Cole, for example, has an interesting summary of his present views on the matter in the last chapter of his memoir Republican Party Animal. If you find the conventional history more convincing, believe it. If you find the revisionists have better arguments, believe them. If you cannot make up your mind, don’t be afraid to admit it and say that you just don’t know. Any of these options is fine. Just don’t let bullies like B’nai Brith tell you what to think.

Finally, Canadian Christians, when you see Holocaust revisionists being persecuted for their views, recognize this for the injustice that it is. This, and not the unevenness of the distribution of wealth, is what real injustice looks like. Do not be fooled by the wolves in sheep’s clothing, who preach social justice, while licking the jackboots of the ideology responsible for these injustices, an ideology that has been dedicated to the destruction of our faith since the moment its founder penned his foul Manifesto in 1848. If you do not want people thrown in jail or otherwise persecuted for denying the Resurrection – and you should not want that – then you ought to be opposed to their being persecuted for denying the Holocaust. Otherwise, you testify that the Holocaust is more important to you than the Resurrection, raising the question of where your faith truly lies.


  1. That is a very intelligent argument and seems compelling. I'm not completely convinced you are comparing the same sort of thing. I'll have to have a think about it.

    I don't feel comfortable with holocaust denial being punishable, but neither do I feel very sympathetic to those who have been punished for holocaust denial. I feel sympathetic to those who would like to make it a crime, as I think holocaust denial presents a real threat to humanity.

    1. Thank you Mr. Celestine.

      The most famous Holocaust denial case in Canadian history was that of Ernst Zundel. He was German born, immigrated to Canada, worked as a graphic artist here, and ran a publishing company on the side. SOme of the literature he published was Holocaust revisionist. He was tried twice in the 1980s using an obscure law against "spreading false news" that was eventually struck down by the Supreme Court in an appeal of one of his convictions. These trials were well-publicized. His third trial, at the end of the 1990s, over material on his website (hosted out of the United States by an American woman he eventually married) was not. During the first two trials, Canadians were free to comment on whether a man should be punished for publishing unpopular opinions or not, and they did. In the third trial, apart from the few of us who watched these things and knew what was going on, there was very little commentary. The media had decided to blackout reporting on the government's use of Human Rights Commissions to silence people with unpopular beliefs. This collusion between government and media in allowing persecution over beliefs to take place in our country with must of us beign kept in the dark about what is going on, was a very bad indication of the direction our country was headed. In the fourth trial, which took place with the collusion of the American government (Zundel had moved to the United States to marry the hostess of his website, applied for citizenship there, and was handed over by American immigration services to Canadian authorities), Zundel was imprisoned in solitary confinement, in a tiny cell in which the light was kept on round the clock, and his case was heard by a prejudiced judge who refused to recuse himself, and who heard material presented by the prosecution that neither the defendant nor his lawyer were allowed to hear or answer. The result was that he was sent to Germany, the German authorities having been notified, and upon his arrival in Germany he was sentenced to prison for five years, for opinions he had expressed outside Germany. In all this time, Zundel, a notably pacific man, had not harmed a soul. His own house, however, had been bombed by anti-racist terrorist lunatics.

      It seems obvious to me, that those facing persecution of this nature who should justly be the objects of sympathy, not the people who think that others should face this kind of persecution for mere thoughts and words. It seems obvious to me that basic human decency, to say nothing of Christian justice, requires this. I, frankly, cannot understand the other point of view at all.

    2. Do you think you could be friends with a person who was an holocaust denier?

      Would her professed belief not give you any reservations about saying "I don't agree with you, but I think you're a decent person"?

    3. Yes, I could be friends with a holocaust denier and no, assuming there are no other grounds for not thinking this person to be a decent person, I would have no such reservations. I don't see any rational reason why holocaust denial should be regarded as a moral taint on those who profess it. There are plenty of people who say that the moon landing was faked and many more who think that people are crazy for saying so, but nobody, to the best of my knowledge, says that moon landing deniers should be prosecuted, hounded from their jobs and careers, beaten up, terrorized, and treated as pariahs. I have friends with a lot of ideas that I would regard as bat guano crazy - vegetarianism, liberalism, environmentalism, and socialism among them - and if that sort of wackiness does not hinder friendship, I see no reason why holocaust denial ought to. Holocaust denial is no different from moon landing denial, and ought not to be treated differently. Ironically, those who think that it ought to be treated differently - that holocaust deniers should be imprisoned and silenced, that ordinary people should not be allowed access to the writings of holocaust deniers but only be allowed to learn of their thoughts through the presentations of their avowed enemies, and that holocaust denial ought to cut people off from friendship, social status, and even earning a living, are testifying indirectly, that they really think there is something to the holocaust deniers' arguments. As the late, great Johnny Cash put it in the words to "Farmer's Almanac" "lies have to be covered up, the truth can run around naked". People who think that holocaust denial is something to be punished, are behaving like they are covering something up. Their actions may do more to spread holocaust denial, than any of the words of the deniers themselves.

    4. Let me offer you an analogy.

      Suppose that my sister had been raped by some vile person. The rapist was caught and charged on the strength of the evidence. He pleads guilty and is punished.

      Imagine that some person offers the opinion that regardless of the evidence, my sister's testimony and the offender's admission of guilt, that my sister had not been raped and had consented to sex.

      This person is not the mother or wife of the rapist, who might be forgiven for sympathizing with him. She is in fact somebody with no personal connection with the case at all.

      This person persists in communicating on blogs and on Twitter that my sister is a liar and was never raped.

      I think it would not be unreasonable for me to be horrified at her professed opinion. I think I might be forgiven for concluding that she has a sick and depraved mind in her project. I might also be forgiven for having no patience with anyone defending this person right to publish her opinion.

      My sister might also be reasonably concerned about her continued public defamation and want to seek legal advice.

      Do you see some similarity to what holocaust deniers are doing on a much larger scale?

    5. Imagine a scenario that begins the same way the one you proposed does, but that instead of calling your sister a liar or saying anything about her case personally, someone makes the claim that a large number of rape accusations are false. Would you think it reasonable to take this person's words as a personal assault on the honour of your sister and respond in exactly the same way as you would to the person in your scenario?

      In my opinion, my revised version of your analogy is closer to what is actually going on with holocaust revisionists and those that seek to silence them.

  2. Toleration of unpopular or "revisionist" opinions is commendable - up to the point where intolerant opinion becomes a threat to the principle of toleration.

    While I would not support the suppression of revisionist views about the reality of the Holocaust, I am convinced that, as one of the most thoroughly documented events in modern history, the "conventional" account of the extermination of the Jews is true. It's for this reason that I'm impatient with Holocaust deniers.