Hitler’s Campaign to Make Germany Great Started Small

Less than a hundred years ago, Hitler rallied German “Christians” into spouting a nationalistic creed, “Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer,” that ended with the death of somewhere between 6 million and 11 million Jews.  All too many German Christians supported Hitler.  I started to type that they looked the other way while Jews were tortured and killed, but that would not be accurate.  Christians actually supported Hitler.

But a few Christians resisted.

Hitler started small.  The featured picture of the blog is of a propaganda poster that was placed up at every German school. It shows Jewish teachers and students being suspended from school due to the “economic hardship” that they were putting on the “good” German school system. Notice how the Jewish children and teachers are made to look ugly, while the German children look nice.  This is not dissimilar from our leaders calling Mexicans rapists and murders and literally lying about the hardship they are placing on America.  The truth is that they work harder than American citizens and make less. We are actually benefiting (unjustly, but that is for another post) from having them in the workforce.  Nor is it dissimilar from restricting Muslims from our country in the recent executive order debacle.

I know a man who is a lobbyist for a foreign government. He is not a follower of Jesus, but he has started an organization that supposedly defends Christianity around the world. From the Facebook pictures of himself and his wife at the inauguration, he clearly has the ear of the Trump administration. However, his organization is not about living out the teachings of Jesus. It is about disparaging Muslims. Why? Because his country has literally been at war internally (rich Christians versus poor Muslims) for as long as anyone can remember. It is not a religious war. It is an economic war. And it benefits his “Christian” employers financially to keep Muslims from having equal footing in United States policies. He wants America to be afraid of Muslims — the same way that Nazi Germany wanted its people to be afraid of Jews.

Has Christianity in the U.S. become a nationalistic cult where politicians, leaders, and even clergy use myths about God to convince their followers to put America first over and against all the other children of God? Certainly not all Christians, but generally, the ones that label themselves “evangelical” have.  If you are in this camp, wake up, because nothing could be further from the teachings of Jesus about what makes any part of humanity great.

But Jesus called the disciples (who had been arguing over who was and wasn’t great) to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. It will not be so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be your slave; just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Mat 20:25-28 NRS)

If you want America to be great, then practice loving kindness to everyone all of the time. Love America, but love others just as much.  This is what Jesus taught would make us great.

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Check out April’s Books, the Disorderly Parable Bible Studies, for group and individual reading.  She’d love for you to find the words “Follow” somewhere on this page (depending on your browser) and follow her blog too!

One thought on “Hitler’s Campaign to Make Germany Great Started Small

  1. As a teacher I felt the most important part of my job was to emphasize social justice wherever and whenever I could. We had a social justice group that tried to keep us focused on how our privilege affects us and on making sure each student saw themselves reflected in our curriculum and instructional materials. In my second grade class we spent time on ways to have reasonable discussions, ways to support each other, and how to think critically both academically and socially. I retired in June and now am appalled at the actions of our government and the effect they will have directly on students in the targeted groups and indirectly on the majority group students. I hope teachers are holding up the values of our democracy because it’s terrible to think of a generation of children growing up formed by the terrible ideas on display now.

    Liked by 1 person

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