The Christian churches build on the ignorance of people and are anxious so far as possible to preserve this ignorance in as large a part of the populance as possible; only in this way can the Christian churches retain their power. In contrast, national socialism rests on scientific foundations.
(The German Churches Under
Hitler: Backround, Struggle, and Epilogue
By Ernst Helmreich
(Detriot: Wayne State Univ. Press, 1979) :303)
There is a form of separation of church and state that those who believe in scientism tend to advocate. It is distinct from what the American Founders had in mind when they used such language. The socialist version of separation seems to have a lot in common with the Reich Concordat with the Vatican, in contrast the Founders were often adhering to separation as a lack of establishment itself based on religious rationales. That form of separation did not have the purpose to stifle religious influence in politics but to promote it.
As noted in a review of that book there were at least some German clergy who believed in the Founder's form of separation although many others found a path toward the other form of separation:
The fifty-five page epilogue sketches the situation of the Protestant and Catholic churches from the end of the war to the present time. It is noteworthy, but hardly surprising, that the [biblically based] Confessing Church, by and large, furnished the leadership for the revived postwar Evangelical Church.
The great majority of Evangelical pastors did not join either the [pro-Nazi] German Christian movement or the [anti-Nazi] Confessing Church, although many were in sympathy with the latter. The story of these [neutered] “neutrals” has yet to be researched and told. [...] [They're always there. The people who just lack judgment...and the tolerance of them for their lack.]
The book is an exceedingly valuable contribution to the literature of the German church struggle; it is exhaustive in scholarly research and rich in bibliographical material, documentation and heretofore unused archival sources.
(The German Churches under Hitler: Background, Struggle and Epilogue
By Ernst Christian Helmreich
Reviewed by Arthur A. Preisinger
Church History, Vol. 49, No. 3. (Sep., 1980) :347)
Compare what was said of the German churches which went along with their culture with what was said of early American churches by Alexis de Tocqueville:
I sought for the key to the greatness and genius of America in her harbors...; in her fertile fields and boundless forests; in her rich mines and vast world commerce; in her public school system and institutions of learning. I sought for it in her democratic Congress and in her matchless Constitution.They were cultivating their culture and if you are an American you have reaped where you have not sown. It seems that we do not even know what the term posterity means now as we spend our way into oblivion, although many early Americans tended to be interested in the heritage they were leaving.
Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power.
America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.
The safeguard of morality is religion, and morality is the best security of law as well as the surest pledge of freedom.
The fertile fields, habors, boundless forests, rich mines and so on can help a nation avoid poverty yet as the oil rich Arab nations prove, natural resources are a necessary but not suficient means to do even that. The answer is not all material, although Leftists have always tended to say it is. As in everything a union between basic spiritual principles and the physical is the only way to get to Liberty. Those German clergy who supposedly took the “two kingdom” doctrine to its logical conclusion in Nazi Germany were not doing so, as the doctrine contains no such conclusion. Jesus did not separate the kingdoms, so he says that people ought to take advantage of the opportunity to call down God's will to earth. What shall one say of separation then? Perhaps that's a topic for another post.