Current prominent figures, speaking words the “Christian Right” wants to hear, are not the first national leaders to use Christian morality as a rallying cry.
These words are from 1933:
“The National Government will preserve and defend those basic principles on which our nation has been built up. It regards Christianity as the foundation of our national morality and the family as the basis of national life.”
We can perhaps learn from human experience. Those two sentences were spoken February 1, 1933 by Adolf Hitler during his first radio address after coming to power. These quotes that follow are also from Hitler, the same year.
It is the purpose of the Government “to fill our whole culture once more with a Christian spirit, and that not only in politics. We want to burn out the harmful features in our theater and our literature.”
“The Government, being resolved to undertake the political and moral purification of our public life, is creating and securing the conditions necessary for a really profound revival of religious life.” “The struggle against materialistic views and for a real national community is just as much in the interest of the German nation as in [the interest] of the welfare of our Christian faith.”
“The Government of the Reich … regards Christianity as the unshakable foundation of the morals and moral code of the nation.” “The rights of the churches will not be diminished.”
Strangely, I don’t feel much safer knowing that current American leaders also promise to promote Christian morality, defend the family, honor the churches, “burn out” materialism and harmful influences, and invade any nation that ‘deserves’ it.
“Burn” is a very good word for what the Nazis did to Germany and Europe in the 30’s and 40’s. Of course the time, place, and names are different, very much so. But it is the same human nature at work. We will regret it profoundly if we ignore that fundamental — and very Christian — fact.
Quotations are from The Speeches of Adolph Hitler, 1922-1939, Vol. 1, pg. 369-372 (London, Oxford University Press, 1942 – edition of 1969.)