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Austin Cline

Conservative Christian Politics in Pre-Nazi Germany (Book Notes: The Logic of Evil)

By February 25, 2006

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Before the Nazis took power in Germany, conservative Christians were actively engaged in defending German Christian culture against the dangers of modernism, secularism, and communism. They insisted that Christianity be the basis for politics and culture; moreover, they were determined to protect society from anti-Christian influences. Does this sound familiar? The Logic of Evil: The Social Origins of the Nazi Party

In The Logic of Evil: The Social Origins of the Nazi Party, 1925-1933, William Brustein writes:

The principal raison díetre of the Center Party was the defense of the Catholic religion in Germany. To this end the Center Party participated in government to ensure religious freedom, basic religious instruction in all schools, financial aid for parochial schools, and the preservation and strengthening of Christian culture and ideals in community life. According to the Center Partyís program, Christianity should be the basis for state, society, and culture, and German economic and social policy should moreover embody a Christian social spirit. ...

Center Party leaders also found themselves embroiled in debates over and pornography. The party marshaled its resources to halt all government efforts to facilitate divorce. The partyís leadership equated laws facilitating divorce with the advent of bolshevism in Germany and the end of German Christianity and civilized culture. The Center Party threatened to quit the governing coalition if the government enacted a divorce reform law. In November 1926 the Center Party submitted a bill to the Reichstag for the protection of youth from pornographic literature (Schund- und Schmutzgesetz). The bill won Reichstag approval despite opposition from the Social Democratic and German Democratic deputies.

It appears that many of the basic policies and beliefs of the Catholic Center Party of pre-Nazi Germany would find fertile ground and a welcome reception in modern America. Of course, itís worth noting that these policies and beliefs not only did nothing to prevent the Nazi takeover of Germany, but in fact helped facilitate it because they helped push agendas and ideas which the Nazis themselves were able to use with such effectiveness.

The Nazis didnít run as anti-Christian, but as more Christian than everyone else. They, too, adopted positions attacking homosexuality, divorce, and abortion. They, too, insisted that Germanyís Christian culture needed to be fostered and protected. Christians like those in the Catholic Center Party helped pave the way for Nazism. Is there any danger that conservative Christians in modern America might end up doing something similar?

 

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Comments
January 30, 2013 at 12:29 pm
(1) Karen says:

No, there is no danger that conservative Americans will follow the path of Nazis and Hitler. However, one can also see great similarities between Hitler’s rise and “progressive” actions, attitudes in America today. The “green” movement, greater government control. Promises of jobs, which all turn out to be government jobs. Bigger government, bigger government control. People dependent on the government instead of themselves. They become puppets or prisoners. Beware, Agenda 21 looms.

January 31, 2013 at 5:44 pm
(2) Austin Cline says:

However, one can also see great similarities between Hitler s rise and progressive actions, attitudes in America today.

…because Hitler was such a progressive when it came to politics and religion.

February 8, 2013 at 4:52 pm
(3) Robert Carver says:

As a historian of WWII I find Karen’s comments ill-informed and factually in error. Just read Mein Kampf and highlight all of the passages where Hitler states he is doing God’s work, that he is fighting a battle between good and evil, that he supports traditional family and German values, he is a nationalist, he believes in the exceptional nature of the German volk, he believes that God is on his and Germany’s side in this ultimate struggle, he believes in using the power of the state to control morality and personal behavior, he understands the power of propaganda to promote his worldview using the Big Lie via a controlled media, etc. The only “progressive” efforts made were in his massive jobs program but it wasn’t specifically about economic recovery as much as it was about rebuilding and later rearming Germany after the humiliation of defeat and the hated Versailles Treaty. Karen needs to actually read and study history first before making conclusions based on the facts of history.

February 8, 2013 at 11:11 pm
(4) Rob C says:

The Nazi party had what some might call “progressive” policies today but on the main it was a party and a political outlook that appealed to people across the social hierarchy but all with a deeply nationalist and conservative bent. Not to say that all conservatives in Germany supported or even accepted Hitler’s policies. The “Night of the Long Knives” purge in 1934 targeted people both within and without the Nazi party including both people on the left and the right of the traditional political spectrum as did the Nazi regime in succeeding years.

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