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Monday, July 20, 2015

It Can Never Happen Here! Right?

Americans like to pat themselves on the back, talk about their American exceptionalism, and pride themselves on being better than the rest of the world. But the fact remains that mankind is fallen and pride "goeth before destruction." Our Founding Fathers were, in many cases, principled men who gave us a government, a republic, based on godly principles (which were not, even then, fully practiced - as slavery so tragically demonstrates). Our history is filled with examples of government and private citizens exploiting people, generally for profit. You see it in the treatment of the Indians constantly driven from land deeded to them when its value was desired by others as well as in the practice of indentured servitude and in the factories and mills populated by exploited workers. You could say our history is a record of broken promises.

But now let's come to the past 80 years. After World War II Americans looked with horror at what happened in Nazi Germany.
How could a civilized people, ostensibly Christian, in a culture rich in literature, music and art, declare certain segments of the population untermenschen (subhuman) and exterminate them without mercy? (By the way, the term untermenschen was not coined by the Nazis but came from an American eugenicist, Lothrop Stoddard, another blot on the "exceptionalist" myth.)

In a sense, to see how the evil started, one would have to go back to the Garden of Eden, but I'll only go back to 1933 when the first piece of anti-Semitic legislation was passed in Germany, Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service (April 7, 1933). Paragraph 3 reads:
1) Civil servants who are not of Aryan descent are to be retired (§ 8 ff.); if they are honorary officials, they are to be dismissed from their official status.
Even before this bigoted piece of legislation, a policy of encouraging a boycott of Jewish shops had begun, and the first anti-Semitic legislation was joined in 1935 (September 15) by the Nuremberg Laws, two more pieces of racial hatred that denied citizenship to non-Aryans, forbade both marriage and sex between Jews and non-Jews, and even gave the Reich the right to remove citizenship from Aryan Germans who failed to "faithfully serve...the Reich." The law defined "Jewishness" by heredity rather than religious observance and defined citizenship in such a way that even full- blooded Aryan Germans could be stripped of it. The first law, Reich Citizenship stipulated:
1. A Reich citizen is a subject of the state who is of German or related blood, and proves by his conduct that he is willing and fit to faithfully serve the German people and Reich.
2. Reich citizenship is acquired through the granting of a Reich citizenship certificate.
3. The Reich citizen is the sole bearer of full political rights in accordance with the law.
Clearly, this law immediately denied citizenship to Jews since they were not considered of German blood and made all Germans suspect if they failed to adhere to the laws and policies of the Reich. But the second law, passed the same day, "for the Protection of German Blood and German Honor," was truly draconian. It forbade Jews from marrying non-Jews and declared all such marriages void even if legally contracted outside the country. Jewish men were forbidden to engage in sexual relations with Aryan women or hire them as servants. They were also forbidden to fly the national flag although they could "display the Jewish colors," an ironic permission given the requirement later to identify their shops as Jewish and wear the yellow star on their persons. Punishment for violating the laws was hard labor and/or fine and imprisonment. These laws set the foundation for the ultimate persecution and annihilation of the hated race. In toto 400 laws targeting Jews would be passed during Hitler's 12-year reign. (Read a history of the Nuremberg Laws here and more on Nazism here.)

So what does all this have to do with us in the United States in the 21st century?

Let's start with one law, the Affordable Care Act also known as Obamacare. Provisions written into the act and upheld by some courts REQUIRE Christians to face ruinous fines or violate their religious beliefs. The recent decision in the Tenth District Court requiring the Little Sisters of the Poor to provide contraception to their employees is an anti-Christian piece of legislation that, if upheld by the Supreme Court, will force the sisters to either bend to the immoral will of the state or give up the charitable work that defines their existence.

Increasingly, state laws deny Christians the right to practice their faith outside the church doors. Christian bakers, caterers, photographers, and others involved in providing wedding services face the retribution of Leviathan for working within the parameters of their Christian beliefs. In Boston and San Francisco, facing evil laws that required placing innocent children with same sex couples, Catholic Charities stopped offering adoption services at all. The recent Supreme Court decision, Obergefell v. Hodge, mandating legalization of same sex marriage in all 50 states, sets the stage for marginalizing and persecuting churches who refuse to go along.  Frank Kessler writing in Crisis Magazine described a disturbing trend in the courts' addressing faith-based organizations:
In many ways the situation the Little Sisters of the Poor are mired in is but a part of a larger effort by federal courts to reshape the First Amendment by marginalizing the ability of religious organizations to take ministries into the public square. 
But of course, it isn't just "religious organizations" facing the jackboot of a secular government imposing its immoral agenda. It's any Christian with a conscience. You may have your own hate-filled, homophobic beliefs, but lock them inside the Church. While hate-crimes legislation isn't yet as draconian as in Canada, it's been advancing for years and many states increase penalties for hate-based crimes. (As if a person murdered for money is less dead than one murdered for hate.) The advancement of gender ideology and Christian resistance to accepting it as morally good is almost certainly the vehicle that will be used to persecute Christians as haters. (See hate crimes laws here.)

Like Jews in the Third Reich denied citizenship, Christians more and more are marginalized and denied full protection of the law when they disagree with the politically correct secular agenda. Freedom of religion is being defined as freedom of worship. In other words, you can pray inside your church or synagogue, but you must still offer your pinch of incense to the Emperor-god when you are in the market place. Intolerance against the exercise of conscience is growing. Christians must respect the consciences of atheists, sodomites, and the transgendered and even affirm them, but the Christian conscience must be suppressed when it conflicts with evil laws. Where will it end? History gives us the warning.

It can never happen here? Wake up, folks. It already is.

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