Our Canadian correspondent Rembrandt Clancy has translated another follow-up report on the church-burning in the German town of Garbsen last month. The translator includes this introductory note:
This essay by C. Jahn, “City of Garbsen: Hackneyed Phrases from the State Bishop”, was originally posted at Politically Incorrect on 16 August 2013. It is the third in a series of short essays by the same author following the recent, historically important, first culturally enriched church arson in Germany in the multiculti era. The first two essays, which also appeared at Gates of Vienna, are entitled: Garbsen: Crystal Night of the Multicoloured Republic? and City of Garbsen: Why the Evangelical Church of Germany is at a Loss for Words. Gates of Vienna also posted some initial reports of the arson attack on the Willehadi-Kirche which took place on the night of 29/30 of July 2013. The church is located in Garbsen, Lower Saxony, and falls within the jurisdiction of the Evangelical-Lutheran State Church of Hanover.
The translated article is below.
City of Garbsen: Hackneyed Phrases from the State Bishop
Even after more than two weeks following the burning down of the church in Garbsen, the Chief of the Evangelical Church of Germany (EKD), Nikolaus Schneider, shrouds himself in a deafening silence, but at least he sends the State Bishop on ahead. This Reverend Father, after 16 days’ delay, on 14 August uttered a short statement consisting of facile, hackneyed phrases which in Garbsen must have sounded like mockery. Here is a sentence by sentence analysis.
(By C. Jahn)
“I am shocked [erschüttert] that a man-made fire has destroyed the Evangelical-Lutheran Willehadi-Kirche in Garbsen.”
Already, with this introductory sentence the State Bishop, Ralf Meister (see photo), deftly wriggles his way around an unequivocal condemnation. To confide his personal feelings (“I am shocked”) to the Christians in Garbsen is too little, given the magnitude of this crime and its historical significance. Still overdue is an unequivocal statement from the church leadership which calls this heinous crime by its name in the clearest language and denounces it in the strongest possible terms. “This act was a heinous crime which is to be excused by nothing, absolutely nothing.”
“To the guilty ones, the extent of their crime must be clear. Their deliberately set fire has destroyed a place of worship which was a spiritual home for many people. At worst such an act of arson could have endangered human lives.”
The formula “To the guilty ones, the extent of their crime must be clear” is strangely out of focus. Here the State Bishop appears to suggest a certain delayed regret and insight on the part of the perpetrators into the reprehensibility of their act. Is an endorsement of extenuating circumstances not already discernable in this statement? Or is the present tense “must be” only a careless mistake and the sentence actually should have been written in the past tense (“must have been”): “To the guilty, the extent of their crime must have been clear”? By such a usage of the past tense the Bishop would have expressed the natural assumption that the extent of their crime must have been already clear to the perpetrators beforehand — but he failed to do that. And then there is the completely intolerable downplaying in the last sentence: “At worst such an act of arson could have endangered human lives.” No, Reverend Father, at worst such an act of arson could have cost human lives!
“Now this crime threatens the social peace in this district of the city.”
What social peace does the Bishop mean? Already, in the months preceding the crime, the residents in Garbsen were harassed and beaten, garden and refuse bins were torched and homes were set on fire. Are such conditions in the eyes of the Bishop constitutive of “social peace”?
“The anger over this malicious destruction is intense and justified. The perpetrators must be found and punished.”
These are the only two sentences in the Bishop’s statement which are to be unreservedly endorsed. Unfortunately the positioning of the two sentences functions only to assuage the public by apparently agreeing with them, so that as service in return, they will now swallow the next sentence:
“At the same time I am alarmed [erschrocken], however, over the public, prejudicial assignment of guilt and responsibility for the crime. A categorical prejudgment of people without any proof is something I resolutely oppose.”
Here again we encounter the rhetorical trick which is once more used by the Bishop: to call upon his own feeling (“alarmed”) in order to arouse the same feeling in his readers. By the above-mentioned “shocked” the Bishop’s feeling is supposed to dampen the anger and fury of the reader; but by the current “alarmed” the reader’s feeling is meant to be augmented. The reader is supposed in any case to be “alarmed” about the “prejudicial assignment”. With this terminology the Bishop ties in seamlessly to the scandalous sermon of his Superintendent [Ingrid Spieckermann], wherein immediately after the night of the fire it was likewise a matter of standing up for the arsonist.
[Translator’s note: The writer, C. Jahn, includes in this last sentence a link to an article at Politically Incorrect which includes quotations from Ingrid Spieckermann that document his point, such as: “What can we do in order to help drop-outs to make a new beginning?”.]
The word “prejudicial” is classic stereotypical multicolour-speak [Buntsprech]. To use such a word in Garbsen of all places is almost a verbal punch in the face for the inhabitants there: the experiences suffered daily in Garbsen from an arrogant, lawless and violent immigrant milieu, and the concomitant defencelessness of the inhabitants, are certainly not just prejudices, but are constitutive of the awareness born of the similar experience of countless people. And the suspicion that the perpetrators originate particularly from these lawless circles is no “prejudgement”, but an obvious conclusion, which indeed virtually forces itself on the observer in virtue of the peculiar posturing of politicians, media and churches. To be exact, had there been any other perpetrators, German right- or left-wing radicals for example, the honourable Bishop would certainly not have required 16 days to finally bring himself to make a public statement.
“The Hanover State Church sees the problems of this district of the city as a growing social hotspot [Brennpunkt] and takes the complaints of the inhabitants of Garbsen seriously”.
The entire sentence is a mockery considering the actual behaviour of the Hanover State Church. The “problems” have most certainly been known to the Hanover State Church for years — and, if not, then they should seriously examine their communication processes with their own base. The State Church in Hanover has certainly not taken seriously the complaints of the inhabitants of Garbsen, not even a single time. They have turned a deaf ear to these complaints all these years; they did nothing, and by acting deaf and doing nothing they make the situation still worse; to be precise, the Church should have thoroughly represented the residents of Garbsen in the political sphere, and could have made the frightening circumstances in this district of the city a subject for discussion. But in fact they did not give a tinker’s damn about the complaints of the residents of Garbsen. And they are also guaranteed do likewise in the future as soon as the dust of the burned out Willehadi-Kirche has settled.
“We endorse and support the congregation in their efforts at de-escalating solutions and we will help in rebuilding.”
The key term in this sentence is “de-escalating solutions”. This term is also typical multicolour-speak and means in good German to deliberately turn a blind eye, say nothing and show the white feather. In clear and understandable German the sentence translates as follows: “We will encourage the congregation to accept the burning down of their church without protest and on this condition — and in fact, only on this condition — we will possibly rebuild the church”. “To help” certainly does not mean “to actually do”, but just only “to help”.
“But we hold fast to the belief that Christians are instructed not to judge.”
To the Christian laity it is not entirely clear where this sentence is to be found in the Bible in connection with a crime. Presumably it is not found there at all, and the Bishop simply contrived it himself.
“During my visit and discussions in Garbsen I have heard and seen, apart from the destruction, much that is encouraging.”
The Bishop is now seeking for a positive conclusion for his text. Those who have mastered the linguistic-political core vocabulary of the Multicoloured Republic can already imagine this positive conclusion:
“The solidarity after the fire is vast; and not only within the parish and the Hanover State Church Community. Also our Catholic sister church and the local Muslim community include the Willehadi parish in their prayers and have offered active assistance. Therefore we are very thankful and see it as an heartening signal.”
Shared distress binds people together. More helpful than such truisms, would be for the Bishop to have disclosed from whence he derives such precise knowledge that the Mosque community “includes” the Willehadi parish “in their prayers”. More precisely put, this statement would be considerably more believable if the Bishop had been able to point to something concrete; for example, that “the Imam X” assured him in mutual conversation that the Mosque community includes the Willehadi-Kirche in their prayers. Even if this statement about the prayer of the Mosque community could be true absolutely — the Bishop’s wording, which is kept rather general, also allows one to read between the lines that something more concrete is unfortunately missing, and the prominent reference to the “Mosque community” is once more aimed only at taking under protection the social milieu of the probable circle of perpetrators.
“Here out of a deep crisis arises a positive culture, which is exemplary, and which cannot be destroyed by an act of arson.”
With his earlier reference to the “Mosque community” the Bishop instinctively engenders in the recipient the association of “multiculti”, a term which the Bishop now expressly pursues in a slightly moderated form (“culture”) and to which he immediately lends a “positive” connotation in conformance with ideology. Whether this new, “positive culture”, which only arose after the crisis, “cannot be destroyed by an act of arson”, remains to be seen. Is the Bishop already pondering here the next act of arson, or is this a Freudian slip?
“I hope very much that this strengthening of the borough community, also in the coming months, gives courage to many citizens to shape, with solidarity and fairness, the diverse culture in Garbsen.”
In conclusion, once more multicolour-speak at its very best: “with solidarity” and “diverse culture”. With that the Bishop, at the end of his remarks, has arrived exactly at the quixotic tra-la-la that the Evangelical Church has been preaching to us since forever and a day from the pulpit, and for the immense failure of which the Willehadi-Kirche in Garbsen has become the symbol.