Friday, November 11, 2005

The separation of Church and State...

(Hitler Given First Jolt by Protestant Pastors: Refusal of 4,000 Lutheran Clergymen to be Nationalized Brings Nazi Regime Significant Check
By Edwin L. James
The New York Times; Dec. 3, 1933 pg. E1)

Reich Bishop Ludwig Mueller, picked by Adolf Hitler to "nationalize" religion in Germany, was to have been consecrated today as head of the German Evangelical Church. The ceremony will not take place. Back of that slip in the Nazi program lies the development of the first real fight in Germany against the National Socialists' scheme of effecting a "totalitarian" State in which every factor of life was to be subjugated to the one purpose of a State coordinated into a machine.

In other words, the German Lutherans have given Herr Hitler his first jolt. In the face of growing opposition to his efforts to crush religious beliefs into a Nazi form the Chancellor has now decided that the results of his efforts to "nazify" religious faith in the Reich represents simply a church dispute in which the State leaders of the country should not try to take a part.

The effort to reshape religion in Germany is being undertaken by the German Christians, who belong to the Lutheran Church, but who are all Nazis. Their head is Bishop Mueller. The German Christians, in turn, are divided into extremists and moderates. The extremists would do away with the Old Testament, revise the New Testament. They wish to make a Nordic church... They would look upon Jesus Christ not as a holy figure but as an historical figure. In the long run, they would force all Germans, except Jews, into a German National Church, based not on Christianity but the consecration of the virtues represented by the Nazi political faith.
Certainly it is to the Lutheran pastors that credit goes for being at a crucial stage the only Germans to stand up against the steam-rolling tactics fo the Nazi regime. ...the Nazi attempt to take Christianity out of the church found that the German church has defenders of a nerve and determination which marked none of the political leaders whose parties passed almost without effectual protest under the crushing advance of the National Socialists.
The whole world will watch the fight of the 4,000 pastors who do not wich Dr. Goebbels to rewrite the Bible, revise the Ten Commandments or edit the Lord's prayer. There are left disciples of Martin Luther who will not yet admit that, in the words of Dr. Rosenburg, Christianity is the "product of a moribund civilization of weary Mediterraneans."
As I noted before, the resistance of "organized religion" caused Einstein to comment:
Having always been an ardent partisan of freedom, I turned to the Universities, as soon as the revolution broke out in Germany, to find the Universities took refuge in silence. I then turned to the editors of powerful newspapers, who, but lately in flowing articles, had claimed to be champions of liberty. These men, as well as the Universities, were reduced to silence in a few weeks. I then addressed myself to the authors individually, to those who passed themselves off as the intellectual guides of Germany, and among whom many had frequently discussed the question of freedom and its place in modern life. They are in their turn very dumb.

Only the Church opposed the fight which Hitler was waging against liberty. Till then I had no interest in the Church, but now I feel great admiration and am truly attracted to the Church which had the persistent courage to fight for spiritual truth and moral freedom. I feel obliged to confess that I now admire what I used to consider of little value.

--Albert Einstein, as cited in:
(The German Churches Under Hitler: Backround, Struggle, and Epilogue
By Ernst Helmreich
(Detriot: Wayne State Univ. Press, 1979) :345)

An interesting contrast,
A Bible and a newspaper in every house, a good school in every district-all studied and appreciated as they merit-are the principal support of virtue, morality, and civil liberty.
--Benjamin Franklin as cited in: (America's God and Country
By William Federer :246)

Compared to,
13. The National Church demands immediate cessation of the publishing and dissemination of the Bible in Germany.
(The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany
William L. Shirer
(Simon and Schuster) 1990 :240

Another example,
A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when they lose their virtue they will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader...
If virtue and knowledge are diffused among the people, they will never be enslaved. This will be their great security.
--Samuel Adams

Compare to a sample of the culture of the Weimar Republic and its questionable questions:

In 1930, the same year that Marlene Dietrich's Blue Angel was released, Hannah Hoch made the photomontage Marlene. With its challenging array of sexual signs...the photomontage provokes a wealth of questions about gendery identity and sexuality, strategies of representation, and the reading of imagery by a Weimar audience. [...] Viewed in its historical context, Hoch's image takes its place amidst an enormous proliferation of images of androgyny during the Weimar years, produced by both avant-garde artists and mass-culture institutions.
[...] keeping with representations of the New Woman and certain leftist ideologies of Weimar, her androgynous images depict a pleasure in the movement between gender positions and a deliberate deconstruction of rigid masculine and feminine identities.

(Androgyny, Spectatorship, and the Weimar Photomontages of Hannah Hoch
By Maud Lavin
New German Critique, No. 51,
Special Issue on Weimar Mass Culture (Autumn, 1990), :62-86)

Within this cultural milieu something began to happen as a "general dissolution of principles and manners" began to undermine Liberty and so Samuel Adams was proven correct philosophically by history, as the Founders often have been.

The only criterion for membership in the Party was that the applicant be 'Unconditionally obedient and faithfully devoted to me'. When someone asked if that applied to thieves and criminals, Hitler said, 'Their private lives don't concern me.' [...] Rauschning (276) expresses a similar sentiment:
Most loathsome of all is the reeking miasma of furtive, unnatural sexuality that fills and fouls the whole atmosphere around him, like an evil emanation. Nother [sic] in this environment is straightforward. Surreptitious relationships, substitutes and symbols, false sentiments and secret lusts - nothing in this man's surroundings is natural and genuine, nothing has the openness of a natural instinct.
0ne of Hitler's reactions which is carefully hidden from the public is his love for pornography.

(A Psychological Analysis of Adolph Hitler, His Life and Legend
Walter C. Langer
Office of Strategic Services Washington, D.C.) (Emphasis added) cf. Nizkor

Shirer also noted it: those years when Hitler was shaping his party to take over Germany’s destiny he had his fill of troubles with his chief lieutenants who constantly quarreled not only among themselves but with him. He, who was so monumentally intolerant by his very nature, was strangely tolerant of one human condition -- a man’s morals. No other party in Germany came near to
attracting so many shady characters...pimps, murderers, homosexuals...Hitler did not care...

(The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich
By William Shirer (New York, Fawcett Crest, 1960) :173) (Emphasis added, that was the form of tolerance that is said to only be being intolerant of "intolerance" itself.)

[Related posts:
The Nordic Pagan Chant Grows Louder
Nazism and Christianity
A Separation of Church and State
Right2Left, revisited
and Why The U.S. Government Should Print Bibles with My Tax Money, from]

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