Sunday, August 01, 2010

Who Goes Nazi? - Continued More

Slightly off-topic. Much is often made in accusing Christians about their role in bringing Hitler to power that he made such explicit appeal to "evangelical" churches about the good morals he was going to instill in German citizenry, especially the youth, and how easily they lapped it up. This is one of those partial-truth statements that would qualify for a yellow light on snopes.

Evangelical does not mean the same thing in German and modern American contexts. In 1930 Germany, it meant Lutheran and Reformed. Very mainstream, and already misshapen by a hundred years of bad German theology, which culminated in German Christianity, a pretty clearly heterodox movement.

Second, that line of argument always seems to ignore that it was American (and British) Christian peace groups that led the charge to keep us out of war in the 30's, allowing Hitler to consolidate power, build weapons, and start killing Jews. See also the run-up to WWI.

I'm not arguing that the Christian church gets anything like full distance on this. I'm adding a necessary corrective to a popular accusation.

4 comments:

David said...

"American (and British) Christian peace groups that led the charge to keep us out of war in the 30's"

Some examples here.

Kurt said...

Slightly off-topic, but this reminds me of someone I met a few years ago who--as a way of protesting the Iraq war--put on a one-woman show called "A Single Woman" about congresswoman Jeannette Rankin, who cast the only vote against US entry into WWI and, more significantly, against entry into WWII--where she represented the only "no" vote. Oh no, they've turned it into a movie now. I am amazed by the celebration of this sort pacifism which would have allowed Hitler to win. It just goes to show that today's peace groups aren't any different than the ones in the 30s.

Kurt said...

I edited my last comment partway through writing it (a common problem for me), and consequently, I misstated the facts. Rankin was the only vote against entry into WWII, but was one of several to vote against entry into WWI. Originally, I had crafted the sentence to refer only to the vote against WWII, which is how the "cast the only vote against" was retained before the reference to WWI.

Anna said...

Didn't Ghandi also say that the Jews should "peacefully resist" the germans with civil disobedience? I have also heard that a lot of europeans see the US's late entry into WWII as a moral failure. I guess you could give people like Ghandi points for consistency but that is about all you could give them points for.