Hitler’s Religion of Resentment and Dissemination of Lies

Looking back on Hitler’s project—which as we have been noting was very much wrapped in religious language and pseudo religious rituals disguised as rallies.  In these rallies he thundered his anger at others calling them “devils” and “demons.” In all this it is clear that in many ways he was preaching a religion—a religion of resentment.  He was also selling the message that the remedies to all the resentment was himself—only he could save his doomed people.  He was the messiah.

Book cover for Matthew Fox‘s furthcoming book on Thomas Aquinas. Pre-order book today!

Thomas Aquinas taught that the politician must know more about the human soul than a doctor knows about the human body.  Hitler knew well the German soul of his day and how to appeal to it. He knew the shadow in that soul housed hate and resentment.  Hitler appealed to his citizens’ resentment and they responded in kind. 

He appealed to that resentment on a platform of lies which were repeated time and again through the media which became a propaganda machine headed by his appointee Joseph Goebbels.  “There would be no Third Reich without the media,” Hitler declared.  He had also learned that if you repeat lies often enough many people will begin to believe them.   

Speaking truth at protest for black lives. Photo by Vlad Tchompalov on Unsplash

It is no coincidence that Satan is called “the Father of lies.”  Evil needs to build its presence on lies for it to succeed grandly.  Truth has to be made to disappear. Truth is godly, as I put it in my book on the names of God, “to approach Truth is to approach God.  To seek truth is to seek God.  The pursuit of truth is a godly act; it is a prayer.  Study is a prayer if done with a pure heart and motive. The study of anything is a journey to the Divine.”

We too have to be seeking truth and making justice and to be on our guard about their opposite–lies and falsehoods and injustice.  That is what adult spirituality is all about.  There can be no spirituality without truth and justice.  There can be no peace; no love; no compassion.  Nothing divine-like.  The heart dies and becomes cold without being fed regularly by truth and justice.  Hitler had to dismantle both for his design to be fully accomplished.

Anti-Facebook ad created for the #DeleteFacebook campaign. Photo originally posted to Flickr by Book Catalog.

When one hears that facebook today is happy to allow a place for falsehoods and fake news on its vast platforms one has to cringe.  One has to wonder what else the social media will sell its soul for.  How far is that from Hitler’s commandeering the air waves and the film industry of his day to spread his poisonous religion of resentment emboldened by lies?  And to bring them into his sermons and rituals

Adapted from Matthew Fox, Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh: Transforming Evil in Soul and Society, pp. 289, 394.

See also Matthew Fox, Naming the Unnameable: 89 Useful and Wonderful Names for God…including the Unnameable God, 58.

Banner Image: The famous “Guernica” by Spanish artist, Picasso. This piece was created as an anti-war statement to express Picasso’s deep disapproval of Nazism, the bombing of a Basque city in Spain, and the tyranny of Franco. Photo originally posted to Flickr by Citizen59.

Queries for Contemplation

Do you sense resentment among many people today? 

What do you think are the origins of that resentment?  How best to melt it?

Recommended Reading

Fox makes the point that religion has so often oversold the concept of “sin” that it has left us without language or power to combat evil. Through comparing the Eastern tradition of the 7 chakras to the Western tradition of the 7 capital sins, Fox allows us to think creatively about our capacity for personal and institutional evil and what we can do about them.

Too often, notions of God have been used as a means to control and to promote a narrow worldview.  In Naming the Unnameable, renowned theologian and author Matthew Fox ignites our imaginations by offering a colorful range of Divine Names gathered from scientists and poets and mystics past and present, inviting us to always begin where true spirituality begins: from experience.

Responses are welcomed. To add your comment, please click HERE or scroll to the bottom of the page.

Share this meditation


Daily Meditations with Matthew Fox is made possible through the generosity of donors. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation

Search Meditations





Receive our daily meditations

2 thoughts on “Hitler’s Religion of Resentment and Dissemination of Lies”

  1. Avatar

    I think resentment comes from fear and from disappointment at expectations for material “success”, with scapegoating by politicians to provide a target for blame–in the U.S., it is immigrants, Muslims, differently gendered people, etc., and the rallies are designed to whip up more fear and turn it into hate. I am totally disgusted with FB as well. Lies are the coin of the realm, it seems.

Leave a Comment

To help moderate the volume of responses, the Comment field is limited to 1500 characters (roughly 300 words), with one comment per person per day.

Please keep your comments focused on the topic of the day's Meditation.

As always, we look forward to your comments!!
The Daily Meditation Team

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join us in meditation that supports your compassionate action

Receive Matthew Fox's Daily Meditation by subscribing below: