Killing god in small town America


My colleague in the English department, Michael Lackey, published a letter in our local small town newspaper, the Stevens County Times. I think it needs wider distribution!

Atheism is coming to America, and it is conservative Christians who are bringing it here. During the Nazi period, around 95 percent of Germans identified as Christian. But today, just a little more than 75 years later, almost 60 percent of Germans identify as either non-religious or atheist. What happened?

On the surface, it might seem that atheists infiltrated society and persuaded Germans to dismiss or reject God. But there is little evidence to support this interpretation. More likely is the following: Hitler and the Nazis were self-described conservative Christians. When Hitler first came to power he declared in a speech: “It is Christians and not international atheists who now stand at the head of Germany.” It was through their conservative version of Christianity that Hitler and the Nazis were able to make the case for criminalizing, violating, and eventually exterminating Jews, Gays, Gypsies, Immigrants, and many Others. Germans today know what a fanatical version of conservative Christianity can lead to (not all versions of Christianity lead to horrific behavior), which, in part, explains why so many contemporary Germans reject God and religion.

I don’t believe that Trump will do in America what Hitler did in Germany, but the overwhelming support for Trump by conservative Christians will lead, I believe, to the same cultural transformation in America that occurred in Germany. Many (and I even believe a majority of) Americans will eventually say: “Look at Trump and his conservative Christian base. These people support perpetual lying, belittling the disabled, criminalizing immigrants, degrading women and minorities, supporting white supremacists, and so much more. In good conscience, not only must I reject Trump, but I must also reject the conservative version of Christianity of which he is a part.”

In thirty years from now, when people ask the question, “who killed God in America,” the answer will not be “the atheists.” It will be the conservative Christians who supported Trump.

Sources: For the 95 percent statistic of Germans who were church-affiliated Christians, see James Carroll’s book Constantine’s Sword: The Church and the Jews (28).

For the nearly 60 percent statistic of non-religious and atheist Germans today, follow this link to the Washington Post article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2015/04/14/map-these-are-the-worlds-least-religious-countries/

I’m slightly more pessimistic — one thing we’re seeing is how flexible Christian morality is, and while it’s obvious to some of us how hypocritical many Christians are being, the religion still has a lot of resilience. We shall have to wait and see if Trump finally breaks many peoples’ faith.

After that bit of pessimism, though, you have to read the other letter in the paper. The Morris community church is evolving, a rather ironic headline given that this is the local very conservative church, which does not believe in that heathenish notion of evolution. “Evolving”, in this case, means “Our attendance has plummeted and we can’t pay our pastor and we’re selling off our church building”. Yay!

After 30 plus years of having regular Sunday morning services, Morris Community Church is transitioning to a new model of doing church.

Over the last number years, there have been many changes to the paradigm of church life in America. Those changes and transitions have made waves in big cities, and we believe are now rippling to our small, midwest town.

MCC embraced this change by moving from weekly services to church as a lifestyle. Our focus is on discipleship, relationship, and being the body of Christ in and among our communities. Two major factors have brought us to this decision: spiritual and practical.

Spiritually, we feel it is time for our body to do something different in our community. We have the utmost respect for the other churches in Stevens County. In no way is our shift a judgment of them and what they feel God is leading them to do. We pray for blessing for each congregation that the kingdom can advance through their service to the community. At the same time, we feel God is leading us to a different model. Instead of brick and mortar, our foundations are relationships. In 1 Corinthians, Paul writes how we, the people, are the church. With that, church can be anywhere; a coffee shop, a garage, a basement, or at work. We will strive to bring the gospel everywhere we go and aim to serve those in need by being influences in our communities seven days a week.

Practically, our congregation size has dramatically decreased this year. Our senior pastor, Pat Franey, had to come off paid staff and currently is an IT Technician with Morris Electronics. We now meet as an corporate body twice a month; one Saturday for a potluck and worship service and one Sunday for a traditional service. We can continue to meet our financial responsibilities at this time, but it is clear that removing any debts would best fit our current situation.

Being true to the new model we feel God is calling us to, and embracing the practicals in front of us, we are selling our building in hopes to take the proceeds to bless those in need in our community and start from a clean slate.

Maybe Michael Lackey is a True Prophet.

Comments

  1. whheydt says

    And just think…if church property is sold off, it may be bought by someone who will have to…pay property taxes. Thus boosting the local tax base, providing more funds for city services and schools.

    It’s Win-Win, I tell you.

  2. chrislawson says

    transitioning to a new model…changes to the paradigm…embraced this change…being influences…being true to the new model

    Apparently the new god can be found in the PR department.

  3. consciousness razor says

    Two major factors have brought us to this decision: spiritual and practical.

    “Oh, we got both kinds! We got country and western.”

  4. says

    On the one hand, it would have been nice if he could have written the letter without the slur. On the other, I don’t know how many of the people reading it would know who the Roma are and at least he acknowledged them.

    I’m sure he did it on purpose, but I also find it weird that a professor from the English department capitalized “Gays”, “Immigrants”, and “Others”.

  5. says

    I don’t buy it. Those guys know Trump is as atheist as I am. It may be that the faithful will come to realize that they sold their world-view cheap, but most likely it’s their kids that will see it – through its results.

  6. whheydt says

    Re: nomdeplume @ #7….
    There is a story about the German invasion of England…written by an Englishman, so you can guess how well it goes. Since the author wound with a lot of influence on how the war was fought it makes for an interesting read.

  7. wzrd1 says

    I was going to offer my own deficient contribution, however, every other contribution was both superior and slightly deficient.
    Deficient in that, an adherent read those words and actually owned a mind, which is, astonishingly, fairly common.
    Seriously, if any parent of a child, growing to adulthood, cannot admit to psychological warfare, I honestly want to question them for a few minutes to ascertain precisely how full of shit that they are.

    Seriously, I’m infamous for pissing off the reviewing authority.
    Do to our sparse arena, yeah, it’s far more ideal of a condition to evaluate/

    First real world example of me is, I am indeed retired military. Loath a military solution to any problem,
    Second example of me is, honest negotiation.
    Something absent in this administration and yes, I took a lot of short cut, but it”s stupid o’clock.

    While there is a small chance of fucking up, the precise tilt isn’t so generous.

  8. consciousness razor says

    Marcus Ranum:

    I don’t buy it. Those guys know Trump is as atheist as I am.

    Don’t sell yourself short. There’s a big difference between thinking there’s no god and not thinking. Trump does the latter.

    Sure, call him heretical, heterodox, not devout, whatever loaded terms you like. Do you think he’s arrived at answers to some deep metaphysical questions, based on a rational examination of what he takes to be the truth? That’s not his style. I can picture Trump bullshitting to his cheeseburgers at lunch, because he’s got nothing better to do with that lump of fat inside his skull. But does he seem like the type to fall for the most ridiculous, superstitious nonsense imaginable? Sure, he does — it probably already happened several times this week. Is he also a sick, manipulative asshole, who uses his devout Christian fans for his own purposes? Yes, he is that too. I don’t see why he couldn’t be both.

    Many (and I even believe a majority of) Americans will eventually say: “Look at Trump and his conservative Christian base. These people support perpetual lying, belittling the disabled, criminalizing immigrants, degrading women and minorities, supporting white supremacists, and so much more. In good conscience, not only must I reject Trump, but I must also reject the conservative version of Christianity of which he is a part.”

    It never stops being weird that so much is tied up with fucking theology of all things, even for people (perhaps especially for people) who know next to nothing about the subject.

    It’s not clear what rejection of a “conservative version of Christianity” is supposed to entail. Of course, it wouldn’t have to mean a rejection of religion, so by itself at least, this isn’t a very solid argument that we should expect more atheists in the future.

    But is it even coherent to talk about a “non-conservative version”? I’d say Christianity involves conserving a traditional belief system that is thousands of years old. How am I supposed to make sense of doing that in a non-conservative way? Yes, you might be progressive about a lot of other things (e.g., various political issues), but not the crusty old dogmas themselves.

    And if it’s the political conservatism (not Christianity) that is predicted to meet its demise … well, we’ve heard that one before. That’s been a feature/bug of the way some people think since time immemorial. It’s hard to see that changing any time soon, as long as there’s a new generation that will be susceptible to it.

  9. nomdeplume says

    Not sure if #9 is computer-generated spam or Jordan Peterson under an alias. What do you think PZ?

  10. =8)-DX says

    @nomdeplume #11
    Oh no, wzrd1 has been commenting on here for ages. They just have a rather .. unconventional .. writing and communication style. Kind of personal stream of consciousness although it may be a language barrier as well.

    Also that sweet, sweet Shadenfreude as the conservative church sells its building… pastor gets an actual job… moving into coffee shops (imho that’s exactly where religion should go to stay).
    =8)-DX

  11. lucifersbike says

    How would Michael Lackey explain the greater decline of Christianity in the UK, the Netherlands and Scandinavia compared to Germany post-war? None of these countries had a totalitarian government claiming to be Christian, and the Nazis made no serious effort to convince the Dutch, Norwegians and Danes that their occupation was anything but military. His hypothesis might be more plausible in the light of more recent changes in Spain, which had 50 years of fascism supported by the Catholic Church, but the general decline of church attendance and membership which is common to the whole of north-western Europe has a lot more to do with post-war prosperity and increasing equality in the period from 1952 to about 1972.

  12. KG says

    lucifersbike@14 is right. Michael Lackey’s hypothesis shows the same lack of attention to the actual historical pattern of Christian decline since 1945 as the claim, particularly associated with right-wing American sociologist Rodney Stark, that the greater religiosity of the USA relative to western Europe results from the lack of a “state church” in the former, and the resulting greater competition among denominations.

  13. chrislawson says

    lucifersbike@14–

    Excellent point, but I disagree that the Nazi occupations mentioned were portrayed as purely military. The Nazis justified their occupation as building an Aryan empire and were genuinely surprised when the tall, blond Norwegians didn’t take kindly to them and turned Prime Minister Quisling’s name into a global insult.

  14. says

    That WaPo map is very imprecise. Recent statistics I could find on several expert websites put the number of religious people at around 60% in Germany, e.g. here (question is: Do you believe in a god?):
    https://de.statista.com/statistik/daten/studie/169072/umfrage/glaube-an-gott-in-deutschland/
    and here (a statistic measuring the number of people who belong (i.e., are registered with) a religious institution (the church/a religious community):
    https://fowid.de/meldung/religionszugehoerigkeiten-deutschland-2016
    The fact alone that people in Germany have to explicitly opt out of belonging to a church in order to not pay church tax tells you something about how secular the German post-war state is. Even if you don’t pay church taxes, btw, a part of your tax Euros goes to the churches, which operate many social services such as hospitals and kindergardens. The churches also have their own form of labour laws which severely restrict the right to labour action (strike) and allow them to fire people who don’t adhere to their morality (there was a case where a woman got fired for marrying again after a divorce!).

    The 60% atheist number seems, however, to be true for East Germany (i.e. the ex-GDR Bundesländer):
    http://www.bpb.de/geschichte/deutsche-einheit/lange-wege-der-deutschen-einheit/47190/kirchennaehe?type=galerie&show=image&i=47195
    (red is “not registered in a church/rel. community”)
    The fact that the Eastern regions are much more atheist than the West has been observed since 1990, and there are may explanations for this (most obviously, the GDR led a “Kirchenkampf”, a fight against the churches in the 50s which led to many people leaving the church). This article collects some of the reasons (in German):
    http://www.bpb.de/geschichte/deutsche-einheit/lange-wege-der-deutschen-einheit/47190/kirchennaehe?p=all

    The really interesting sociological phenomenon is that since 1990, the West slowly closes in to the East, while the East remains constant. The article mentions the observation that children are more likely to take up atheism from their parents than religiousity from at least Christian parents – and this has been a constant over the last 70 years. The reason, however, for relatively high numbers of atheists in Germany is communism more than any other!

    In any case, the Hitler connection is complete speculation, based on a misinterpretation of the complex and tactical ways in which the Nazis engaged with organised religion and with spiritual movements (and also with atheism and science!), using them when convenient, but fighting them whenever there was a risk of these ideologies and organisations coming in the way of their keeping the power.

  15. rcs619 says

    So, I think it’s important to remember that this isn’t some zero-sum game. It’s entirely likely that Trump, Pence and people like them will help with the growing disillusionment towards fundamentalist christians. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the outcome is a surge in atheism though. It’s entirely possible (and likely) that many of those disillusioned christians gravitate towards more inclusive and more moderate (or even liberal) sects of the religion. Whether or not they eventually go all the way and become atheists is anyone’s guess after that though. Religion is more than just hard beliefs people follow, it’s a community and a culture too, and those are strong security-blankets.

    The important thing though, is that christians becoming more moderate is still a net positive to the nation as a whole. If they want to praise Jesus while advocating for civil rights, helping the poor and accepting scientific consensus, that’s totally fine. Yes, it’s mental gymnastics on their part, and yes there will still be some political/social/philosophical conflicts here and there with other religions and atheists, but they’re still allies against the fundamentalists and that’s what matters. Fundamentalism is the real problem. It is by its very nature rigid, unreasonable, and largely incompatible with western culture (to varying degrees, of course. Not all fundamentalist sects are created equal, etc etc).

    So yes. Religion mellowing itself out some and twisting itself to let in more progressive ideals is still a good thing. Gotta count your blessings where you can and take your allies where you’re able.

  16. What a Maroon, living up to the 'nym says

    Those guys know Trump is as atheist as I am.

    Atheist? No, Trump is more of an autotheist.

  17. Holms says

    I love the fact that this spiritual feeling became a ‘major factor’ at exactly the same time that the finances became dire. This transparent excuse prompts the question – would they have followed this course of action if the congregation had remained large?

  18. kome says

    My major disagreement with Lackey’s paper is that he says he doesn’t believe Trump will do in America what Hitler did in Germany. With all due respect to your colleague, Trump and the rest of the Republican party have already done many things in America that Hitler and the Nazis did in Germany.

    We have concentration camps. They haven’t gone away. Outrage hasn’t shut them down. ICE officials have still drugged and raped children, destroyed records of families they’ve incarcerated without trial, and continue to round up more people to throw in these camps. And this is just what we know about now. Governments keep secrets, sometimes out of real necessity and sometimes just to protect their own asses. And just like the German people didn’t know about the final solution until it was well under way and they had already accepted everything else about living under a Nazi regime, what the hell do we not know about ICE’s activity?

    We are already well on our way in the descent into Nazi Germany era behavior. And we didn’t do it because of economic anxiety brought about by repaying the costs of World War 1, we did it because the history of America is a history of racism the likes of which the world has never seen before.

  19. Saganite, a haunter of demons says

    If I said you had a beautiful corporate body, would you hold your insolvency against me?

  20. Allison says

    rcs619 @18:

    It’s entirely possible (and likely) that many of those disillusioned christians gravitate towards more inclusive and more moderate (or even liberal) sects of the religion. Whether or not they eventually go all the way and become atheists is anyone’s guess after that though. Religion is more than just hard beliefs people follow, it’s a community and a culture too, and those are strong security-blankets.

    I think a lot of people join churches more because of the community than because of the religion. This is a point that most atheists don’t seem to get. Community is a basic human need. Moreover, people usually want a real-life community and one that shares their values, especially once they have children and are concerned with the values that their children will absorb. And churches are (mostly) communities that welcome and support new members. For most people in churches, asking them to abandon religion is asking them to live without any community.

    If atheism offers real-life communities with people of similar values, I haven’t seen any sign of it. In fact, from what I’m reading here, it seems like a lot of atheists and atheist organizations are pretty hostile — they are more like “anti-communities.” I think a fair number of atheists join liberal religious congregations because those groups share their values and don’t demand adherence to any theology. For instance, my UU congregation has a number of atheists, as did the Quaker meeting I used to attend.

  21. anbheal says

    The case of the Catholic Church here is instructive, with parish after parish being sold off to pay for litigation settlements, and empty pews on Sunday morning, even in the biggest. Ex-Catholic is now the third biggest “denomination” in America. They didn’t leave in favor of atheism, they left due to disgust with the hypocrisy and corruption and unrepentant sexual violence. And the incessant denigration of progressive politicians while encouraging the parishioners to vote for monsters in their stead. And the non-stop jeremiads from the pulpits against divorce, birth control, and homosexuality. Socially and politically the church was a bully. And now they have lost half their members.

    But it’s a big leap from that fact to assume that the ex-Catholics are now more liberal or more atheist. Younger ones, sure, probably. But I bet a lot of middle-aged and elderly Irish and Italians and Poles and Latinos hate gays and abortions and blacks just as much as they used to, and would answer “I’m still a Christian” in a New York heartbeat. They just hated the priests when they were growing up, and finally found Mass with 14 other elderly so depressing that they stopped going, and stopped donating.

  22. springa73 says

    I suspect that professional historians would say that there were at least several different reasons for the steep decline in religious belief in much of Europe in the later 20th century. Simple assertions that “X caused Y” don’t usually stand up to close scrutiny in the study of history, as far as I can tell.

    Having said that, I’ll bet that the support that much of the religious establishment in much of continental Europe gave to the Nazis and fascists and other right-wing movements certainly helped to discredit organized Christianity for many people after WW2.

  23. Rich Woods says

    @Bernardo Soares #36:

    In any case, the Hitler connection is complete speculation, based on a misinterpretation of the complex and tactical ways in which the Nazis engaged with organised religion and with spiritual movements (and also with atheism and science!), using them when convenient, but fighting them whenever there was a risk of these ideologies and organisations coming in the way of their keeping the power.

    Yet ‘On the Origin of Species’ was on the Nazi list of books to be burned. Someone should remind today’s fundamentalists.

  24. Rich Woods says

    Oops. Not sure how I turned #17 into #36. Sorry.

    (PS. I bet it was time travel. Given me few tachyons and I’ll show that Bernardo’s answer to my criticism was unjustified.)

  25. raven says

    I try to keep track of the decline of xianity in my local area on the West Coast.
    My main sources of information are just looking around and getting a local fundie xian newsletter.
    My impressions.
    1. There is a decline in the churches.
    2. It is rather slow though.
    Very few churches have closed down completely.
    There is at least one that I know of though.

    A lot of them are struggling.
    They’ve mentioned a loss of members and revenue.
    They’ve had to lay off staff and defer maintenance on their buildings.
    The one church I’m most familiar is, is my parents.
    It’s a medium size Mainline Protestant in an area with a huge population of older people.
    Their membership has definitely gone down noticeably as the old people die off.
    They have a children’s Sunday School that usually has no children. None. Zero.
    A Boomer would be considered young on Sunday morning there.
    The average age is probably in the 70’s.

  26. raven says

    (Well, Cthulhu, there is a bug in the FTB word processing software that cuts off left margin numbers. I’m reposting this so it doesn’t look quite as haphazard.)

    I try to keep track of the decline of xianity in my local area on the West Coast.
    My main sources of information are just looking around and getting a local fundie xian newsletter.
    My impressions.
    1. There is a decline in the churches.
    2. It is rather slow though.
    Very few churches have closed down completely.
    There is at least one that I know of though.

    .3. A lot of them are struggling.
    They’ve mentioned a loss of members and revenue.
    They’ve had to lay off staff and defer maintenance on their buildings.
    .4. The one church I’m most familiar is, is my parents.
    It’s a medium size Mainline Protestant in an area with a huge population of older people.
    Their membership has definitely gone down noticeably as the old people die off.
    They have a children’s Sunday School that usually has no children. None. Zero.
    A Boomer would be considered young on Sunday morning there.
    The average age is probably in the 70’s.

  27. says

    @Rich Woods, #27

    Can you give me a source for that info, that “On the Origin of Species” was on the list of books to be burned? I haven’t found it online, but don’t have access to the literature atm.
    Here are the sources I could find online, none of which lists Darwin as an author of burned or banned books:

    1: The Moses Mendelssohn Center for European-Jewish Studies has a project trying to retrace the book burnings that happened, including the books that were burned. Here’s the author page under D:
    http://www.verbrannte-buecher.de/?page_id=308

    2: the German Wikipedia entry for it quotes this list produced by a Nazi librarian that was sent out to student organisations (the main organisers of book burnings), which also doesn’t list Darwin or “Über den Ursprung der Arten” (German transl. of Origin of Species, I also looked for the variation “Entstehung der Arten”)
    https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liste_der_verbrannten_B%C3%BCcher_1933#Die_Listen_des_Bibliothekars_Herrmann
    I also couldn’t find Darwin on the English Wikipedia entry:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_authors_banned_in_Nazi_Germany#D

    3: the U of Arizona library has a translation of some of the important sources for the book burnings, including Herrmann’s list and instructions on how to decide which books to burn. The latter includes this reference to “Darwinism”:

    6. Writings of a philosophical and social nature whose content deals with the false scientific enlightenment of primitive Darwinism and Monism (Häckel).

    http://www.library.arizona.edu/images/burnedbooks/documents.htm
    Ernst Häckel is, however, also not on the list, although leading Nazis rejected his monism and evolutionary theory that emphasized common ancestry, because it conflicted with their idea of Aryans as bringers of culture. Häckel is thus a good example for my point: Nazis took from him some of his eugenicist and social darwinist ideas, while rejecting those parts that conflicted with their ideology.

    The last website also points to the problem with the lists of burned books, which is actually not unfamiliar to anyone research National Socialism, and is the reason why I reject simplistic claims about Nazi ideology & practice such as “The Nazis were Christians” or “the Nazis were atheists”:

    What was forbidden? What was burned? It is difficult to say for sure, in part because there were so many agencies which got involved. According to Leonidas Hill, author of “The Nazi Attack on Un-German Literature, 1933-1945,” by 1934, over forty agencies had lists ennumerating 4,100 publications to be banned. The following list is necessarily partial, but should represent the most influential literature blacklists from 1933 to 1935.

    The NS state was organised in such a way that different agencies constantly struggled to implement policies that were often formulated relatively vaguely. From national down to the local institutions, bureaucrats operated under the “Fuhrer principle”, i.e. make decisions in a way that you think the Fuhrer would make it, or “working towards the Fuhrer”. This, however, led to a lot of bureaucrats challenging each other as to what the Fuhrer would actually want, casting local or regional conflicts around influence and power in a way that whatever was decided, it would guarantee the central power of the Fuhrer. This makes NS ideology in practice an extremely complex field that often contradicts itself, but is in reality often guided by strategic interests of the moment.

  28. says

    Addendum: the last paragraph I quoted means, of course, that it is perfectly possible that Darwin was burned somewhere, but it would be necessary to do some local research to find who ordered it to be burned and with what reasoning. I could imagine a Nazi priest using the opportunity, for example.

  29. jack16 says

    I think that today in the United States of America there are concentration camps, inmates supplied by ICE. There are commercial prisons with many untried inmates, and inmates convicted through racially biased law. (paid for by taxpayers)
    Health care in such places is poor.

    jack16

  30. anchor says

    @#6 – “Those guys know Trump is as atheist as I am.”

    Trump’s ego would never allow the existence of a god unless it was him. That is a mighty strange criterion for atheism.

  31. KG says

    I reject simplistic claims about Nazi ideology & practice such as “The Nazis were Christians” or “the Nazis were atheists”: – Bernardo Soares

    Denialism. – John Morales@34

    Nope. Knowledge of the complexities of Nazi relationships with the churches, and the range of beliefs among senior Nazis, which you evidently lack. Your link does nothing whatever to disprove Bernardo’s scepticism about simplistic claims such as “the Nazis were Christians”. Of course the Nazis were willing, indeed eager, to garner support from the churches and pose as devout Christians – and many Christians and the main churches were willing fellow-travellers. That doesn’t mean Hitler or his closest cronies were sincere Christians, any more than Trump is.

  32. John Morales says

    KG,

    Of course the Nazis were willing, indeed eager, to garner support from the churches and pose as devout Christians – and many Christians and the main churches were willing fellow-travellers.

    Mmhmm.

    That doesn’t mean Hitler or his closest cronies were sincere Christians, any more than Trump is.

    Ah. No True Christians, they. LARPing, they were.

    I stand corrected.

  33. John Morales says

    But, still.

    If the Nazis weren’t True Christians, and Trump ain’t a True Christian, doesn’t the analogy hold up even better?

  34. says

    @KG, #36

    Thank you for making my point better than I could have. Both claims (Nazis were Christian vs. Nazis were atheist) are actually kind of weird to me, and I wonder if this is a specifically American discussion between US atheists and Christian fundamentalists, because for German historians, this is just not a question. The relationship between the churches and the Nazis is an important and much-discussed subfield of the research, as is the question on whether religion was a factor in popular support (this, however, refers more to the differences in electoral support before 1933 between Protestant and Catholic regions in Germany, and other factors – urban vs. rural, proletarian vs. petit bourgeois or farmers – play a role). Both questions, however, are part of a larger and more complex discussion on how Nazis secured and retained popular support in Germany, how their ideology evolved, and how independent social institutions such as the churches submitted – sometimes willingly – to Nazi rule.

  35. John Morales says

    Bernardo Soares:

    Thank you for making my point better than I could have.

    <snicker>

    Hey, I entirely acknowledged his point!

    (High five!)

  36. John Morales says

    PS

    Both questions, however, are part of a larger and more complex discussion on how Nazis secured and retained popular support in Germany, how their ideology evolved, and how independent social institutions such as the churches submitted – sometimes willingly – to Nazi rule.

    Complex if you don’t see how they are utterly compatible, that I can’t deny.

    (Hey, do ya know how the Vatican became a State, not just a religous center?)

  37. KG says

    Complex if you don’t see how they are utterly compatible, that I can’t deny. – John Morales@42

    Yes, all those historians who have spent decades of their professional lives studying these issues should just have asked you for a couple of sentences to resolve them.

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