Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Can anyone explain the Christian conservative fetish for Third Reich imagery?

Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Wednesday, in an email to supporters, Bill Johnson, head of American Decency Association, is comparing their resistance to marriage equality with Dietrich Bonhoeffer's resistance to the Nazi regime (text below). It is patently offensive to me as a Jew. It is highly insulting.

Bonhoeffer, as you are probably aware, was a German Lutheran pastor and outspoken critic of the Third Reich. He was eventually executed in 1945 after spending nearly two years in prison.

Aside from war crimes, the Nazis systematically eradicated six million Jews plus untold numbers of homosexuals, Gypsies and other undesirables. They even created bureaucracies to make their ethnic cleansing punctual and efficient. There were mundane civil servants whose job was to most effectively use Jews as slave labor and to murder Jews in staggering numbers. Germany also invaded and occupied peaceful countries without provocation. Civilians were killed indiscriminately.

These Christians might not like marriage equality. They might even intensely dislike the fact that we will not tolerate discrimination in public accommodations. Yet, we aren't murdering and enslaving anyone. That kind of hyperbole diminishes the horrors of Hitler and his henchmen. It is obscene to do so. Here's part of Johnson's email.
In our day, many of us think of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and his stand against Adoph <sic> Hitler and the Nazis.

Today <sic> is our Bonhoeffer moment.
[ … ]
The issue facing God’s people at this point of history is the assault upon Biblical (natural) marriage. I’m talking about the fact that if the U.S. Supreme Court legalizes same-sex marriage we will – without a doubt – lose our Religious Freedom with its ominous societal implications. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in this pivotal case on April 28.

It isn’t just me saying this. I hope you are paying attention to the urgencies of these days that are coming upon us rapidly.

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