The big meme going around in liberal circles is to highlight Pope Benedict XVI’s experiences in the waning days of World War II.
Now, it’s truly a novel experience to find myself defending the Catholic Church and its leader, but things are just getting TFS (“Too… Stupid”) to let slide. Hell, this is just one of two such pieces I plan on writing.
Young Joseph Ratzinger joined the Hitler Youth when it was compulsory, after doing all he could to avoid it, and still did all he could to actually participating. He entered the German Army when he was conscripted, and deserted.
It is especially worth noting that all this occurred before Ratzinger turned 18. Even more significant, Nazi membership was restricted to people 18 and older. Therefore, there is absolutely NO WAY he could have ever been a member of the Nazi Party.
Of course, youth is hardly an excuse for errors in judgment — just look here. To that list, I’d like to add a couple other examples:
Congressman Henry Hyde (R-Illinois) once dismissed his fathering an illegitimate child as a “youthful indiscretion,” without mentioning that he was 41 at the time of the affair.
Senator Robert Byrd (D-West Virginia) was 28 when he joined the Ku Klux Klan.
And let’s not let the succeeding 60 years of Ratzinger’s life. He’s led the Church’s move towards reconciliation towards the Jews, and personally wrote the document that outlined the Church’s sins against them over the centuries. His elevation to Pope is being widely welcomed in Israel, and that’s something that will drive the neo-nazis absolutely even MORE stark raving wonko.
And that’s a GOOD thing.
So the next time you see some of the leftist whackos howling about about “a former Nazi in line to be made a saint,” just smile and laugh at them. It’s far more rewarding than arguing with the idiots.