The Silence of the Lutherans

Below is a follow-up by Rembrandt Clancy on earlier reports about the burning of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the German town of Garbsen.

EKD Silence About the Garbsen Fire
by Rembrandt Clancy

This German original of this article by C. Jahn, Why the Evangelical Church is at a Loss for Words, was posted at Politically Incorrect on 12 August 2013. It is C. Jahn’s follow up to his essay, Crystal Night of the Multicoloured Republic? which was posted in translation on Gates of Vienna on 9 August 2013. This latest essay examines the silence of the Evangelical Church in Germany following the arson attack on the Willehadi-Kirche in Garbsen, Lower Saxony, on the night of 29/30 of July 2013, the initial report on which was also posted at Gates of Vienna.

The Evangelical Church in Germany (Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland, abbreviated EKD) is the umbrella organisation for different regional Protestant denominations in Germany (cf. Wikipedia).

For readers who may be unfamiliar with the term “guest worker” (Gastarbeiter) which is mentioned in the essay, the history goes back at least to the 1960s. At that time there was a labour shortage and an economic boom in Germany to which the government responded by recruiting immigrants, particularly from Turkey. The Gastarbeiter were expected to return home after two years, but for many a temporary stay became a permanent one, and many of their families followed them to Germany.

The translated article is below.

City of Garbsen: Why the Evangelical Church of Germany is at a Loss for Words

Although two weeks have passed since the burning down of the Willehadi-Kirche in Garbsen, there is still no official statement from the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD). For the EKD, the first ever incineration of a Christian church in Germany is not worth even a small press release. And even its Chief Executive Officer, Chairman of the Council of the EKD, Nikolaus Schneider, shrouds himself in a deafening silence. The following contribution is not to excuse this demonstrative silence of the EKD leadership, but to seek an explanation. Three reasons for it can be identified.

(by C. Jahn)

Whoever clicks through the press releases of the last days on the official website of the EKD will not find the incineration of the Willehadi-Kirche in Garbsen mentioned even once. This silence might be understandable on 30 July, the first day after the arson. One may grant to the Council of the EKD that at first it was at a loss for words due to a kind of paralytic shock. But at least by the second day one would have expected an announcement; at least an entirely discreet confirmation, and in view of the oriental circle of perpetrators, one couched in extremely reserved language, together with some generalised clichéd phrases “against violence”. In this way, the minimum expectations of the leadership of the organisation affected by the arson would have been sufficiently fulfilled, at least pro forma.

But no, not even on 31 July did either the EKD or their press agency, the Evangelical Press Service, make an announcement about the arson attack on the church in Garbsen. According to their own promotion called “We set Priorities”, press releases were more important for the Evangelical Press Service on this day than the historic first burning of a Christian church in Germany, such as the following: “Associations and Churches support Energy Efficient Pact, Bavaria” as well as “Munich gets Youth Church with Coffee House”. Then on 1 August the EKD publishes this press release: “In Weinheim the heritage-protected tower of the Martinskirche Refurbished” — a downright mockery in view of the images of the burned out Willehadi-Kirche, which on this day were already being disseminated widely on the Internet. And on 2 August the Evangelical Press Service texted: “EKD supports initiative for single holiday for the anniversary of the Reformation in 2017”. Is that really all Martin Luther would have been able to say three days after the torching of an Evangelical church in the middle of Germany?

On 5 August the Evangelical Press Service announced the following: “Käßmann says Church must strengthen Family”. Did nothing more current occur to Frau Käßmann during these days? And on 8 August we read the following after one week of hiatus, again an official press release from the EKD: “Chairman of the Council of the EKD congratulates Archbishop Zollitsch* on his 75th birthday”. Would it have really cost the Chairman of the Council a great effort to publish, next to the 75th birthday salutation, an additional greeting to the congregation in Garbsen, a pithy one-liner, at least as a sign of solidarity and shared commitment?

The EKD is therefore officially silent with respect to Garbsen; that much is now certain. But why is this otherwise very articulate Organisation, precisely in the case of the burning down of their own church, at a loss for words? If on 30 July in Garbsen, not a church, but a synagogue or a mosque had burned, the EKD leadership would certainly have published an initial announcement after a few hours and would have condemned this crime in no uncertain terms. EKD-Chief Schneider would have insisted on appearing personally at the scene of the crime to gain an overview of the situation first-hand. But in the case of his own church, the distinguished gentleman cannot rouse himself to put in an appearance in Garbsen and speak there with members of his own congregation — he demonstratively stays away from the place where the event happened; and just as demonstratively, his press bureau abstains from any notification of the arson, and his official press service knows enough to announce any number of “priorities”, only not this particular one. Why?

Three reasons for this conspicuous silence of the EKD leadership can be identified:

1. To begin with, a church building today is no longer a building which is symbolic of the EKD’s own self-understanding. The modern “multicoloured” [bunte] EKD understands itself less as a religious community than as a blending of a generalised social service provider and development aid agency with a focus on Africa. One can search for a long time on the EKD website before finding a reference to “Jesus Christ” or the “Bible”. Had the arson affected an administration building of the clerical social welfare organisation [Diakonie], the EKD leadership presumably would have brought themselves to make at least a lapidary statement — even if the perpetrators came from the guest-worker milieu [Gastarbeitermilieu]. But for EKD’s sense of identity today, a burning church is a rather secondarily relevant building. The leadership of the EKD does not know what to say, because a burning church in general terms has nothing more to say to them.
2. Secondly, the burning Evangelical church in Garbsen is also a symbolic indictment of the EKD itself. The EKD does not take a back seat within the framework of the project known as the “Multicoloured Republic” [Bunte Republik]; they are the key perpetrators responsible for it. Scarcely any other organisation, with the exception of the political parties, has so vehemently supported and impelled the continuing settlement of Islamic guest-workers in Germany than has the EKD. They have shown their wholesale vocal support in favour of the indiscriminate naturalisation of the guest-workers; they still promote even today, by all available means, the settlement of hosts of overwhelmingly Islamic asylum seekers and bogus asylum seekers and they actively support illegal immigration. Over the course of this political frenzy, the EKD have heaped upon themselves a heavy burden of guilt by virtue of their arrogant disregard for the security requirements of the Christians who trust in them, and by their nearly blind surrender to the ideological objectives of a state which is controlled by power-oriented politicians. Hence the EKD leadership’s peculiar silence in the case of the burning church in Garbsen is also very much to be viewed as their attempt to avoid inconvenient questions concerning their own participation in and shared responsibility for the state-sponsored settlement policy, along with the dangerous vulnerability for Christians in Germany which has been immediately precipitated by it.
3. Finally, might the timing of the burning of the Willehadi-Kirche have a particular role to play? The incineration occurred in the middle of the election for the Bundestag. For the parties, nationwide news of a church burned down by guest workers would be at this juncture a maximum credible accident in the media [ein medialer Super-GAU]. But in this 2013 election in particular, they are therefore at pains to avoid addressing as much as possible controversial and existential themes such as sovereign debt, energy consumption and the “Multicoloured Republic” etc. The parties do not need a debate triggered by the incineration of a Christian church which draws attention to risks they are only to happy to conceal, and which exposes the dangers and shadow side of the project of the “Multicultural Republic”. The EKD knows that only too well: their willing silence about the burning down of their own church is therefore also to be understood as a gift to the parties — a gift for which the EKD naturally expects a return. For there is enough potential for friction in the increasingly multi-religious, multicoloured state; above all, the state, sooner or later under the pressure of the Islamic associations, will have to give up the collection of the church tax as a privilege of the Christian churches — a threatening financial catastrophe for the EKD. Therefore, at the appropriate time the EKD will remind the parties about the silence of the former, and in the same breath draw attention to their power potential; that after the next church burning, they can also naturally abandon this silence — and accordingly would present the parties with a public debate about the security risks of their “Multicoloured Republic”, which the parties, one and all, could do without. Hence the message of the EKD is the following: for all participants, the church and the state parties, it is best that they continue to work together in future for their mutual advantage and without friction, especially when it comes to money. Looked at from the perspective of this Realpolitik, the Evangelical Church of Garbsen, with its incinerated church, is for the EKD leadership only a pawn to be sacrificed so they can position themselves tactically in the power play between the official church and an increasingly anti-Christian, multicoloured state.

*   Archbishop Robert Zollitsch is the Archbishop of Freiburg and Chairman of the German Catholic Bishops’ Conference. Having reached the age of 75 on 9 August 2013, he is required to retire. The “progressive” Archbishop Zollitsch is known to be a promoter of the “dialogue”.

22 thoughts on “The Silence of the Lutherans

  1. I have always understood, and heard in sermons and discussions, that in Christianity we “do not condemn the person”, but “condemn the action”… Now we see this changing, to not even condemning the action – lest someone, somewhere makes the link with our “brothers in faith” (followers of the Religion of Peace). Meanwhile, the Muslims do not allow conversion to Christianity, forbid Muslim women from marrying Christian men and have discriminatory laws against Christians in any number of countries (as I understand, in Pakistan the testimony of a Christian in court is officially worth HALF that of a Muslim?!)… why is there no outrage, and complete silence over such apartheid and Deep South-style “hate” against Christians – when we know how loud the outrcy would be, were Muslims to be on the receiving end of just a fraction of this treatment?!

    • The thing is: “love the sinner, hate the sin” is a very advanced concept. And, apparently, one has to be a Christian to grasp it; for, even though most Christians I know can comprehend it, pretty much no one outside the faith can. So we may be practicing the principle, but are constantly being accused of “hate” by the people who identify with their sins and have made them a part of their personalities.

  2. Baron – 1st paragraph “on the night of 29/30 of August 2013”
    Shouldn’t this be July?

    • Yes, it should. Thanks for catching that. I’ve fixed it.

      There was another instance of the same error later in the post, which I caught while editing. But I missed the first one.

  3. For me, the problem jumps off the page. That is state support of religious orgs. Based on this article alone, as I know next to nothing about religion in Germany, I would support the abolishment of “church taxes.” If the churches had as their sole form of income the voluntary tithing of their parishioners they would defend them.

    It’s odd how things have gone so sideways. The EKD’s main mission is charity in Africa? They have an entire bureaucracy set up for that cause while the native evangelicals are under attack? It is a wonder to me that anyone goes to church there at all.

  4. How disappointing. Thus far it looks like–for these people–multiculti/political correctness and fear of being labeled “Islamophobic” are more important than survival.
    Are we doomed? I don’t mean to be pessimistic but I’m stunned. Again.

  5. The heresy of atonement through secular multiculturalism and the idealisation of false prophets, across Europe and the UK established churches have taken the heretical enricher rod to their own backs and have sanctimoniously spat their venomous self-loathing on the indigenous peoples.

  6. After further reflection, I believe that stopping state sponsored payment to religious orgs might not be the best idea.
    I say this because the Gulf Oil States will continue donations to western expansion of mosques and the indigenous people will be left to accept this expansion without any meaningful financial clout to back it.
    The fact that the burning to the ground of a Christian Church did not make international news and much discussion justifies the complicity of the MSM and what they think is best for the western world. I happen to disagree…
    But the true disagreement must come from the parishioners of said religion. They must stand up and voice their disagreement.

    • Unfortunately I fear that the parishioners may be stuck in a permanent “turn the other cheek” mode, failing to realise that it is only thanks to the likes of Charles Martel and King Jan Sobieski that they are now Christians, and that the church of those days was more than prepared to support doing what was necessary to protect itself, its parishioners and the countries in which it was based. Yet now in the modern day, we have aid to Africa, Papal visits to (in all likelihood) Islamic supremacist immigrants on Lampedusa, donations to “oppressed” Palestinian children, the slogan WWJD (“What would Jesus Do”) on running shoes, and talk of “love”, “peace” and ‘helping the poor” at every turn – yet negligible support of truly oppressed Christians in Muslim countries, and zero recognition of the danger current Christendom finds itself in – not a danger of banking or “greed” (the first has been around for 500 years or so, the second since the beginning of time), but due to a certain oppressive, discriminatory, some would say evil ideology masquerading as a religion that’s present in “Christian” countries to an ever-greater extent, and whose followers have strategies laid out for the total conquest of Christian societies (one such example here.

      Does such a threat require as a response “dialogue” and “turning the other cheek”? Or does it require the sort of reaction that was present in abundance, from the Church also, during the days of Sobieski?? It seems we are lost, like sheep blinded by headlights. And unless churches and their flock can react in a solid and decided fashion, based on the understanding that our religion and civilisation is here to survive and to thrive, we will be doomed, and writers like “Mujahedin” in the link above may have their perverted dreams come true…

    • Qatar v.s. KSA v.s. Iran. They will burn all three in hell unless they give up all their money and all their oil to me. Verily, I am the Prophet!


  7. The official organizations of the churches have made themselves entirely irrelevant to the equation anyway. Nothing that they do with the government funding is going to contribute to the ability of Christians to oppose Islamic invasion. On the other hand, if that funding doesn’t go to the churches it will just go to some other irrelevant and wasteful cause.

    • It all depends on which Protestants. As an “**!Ugh! Fundamentalist!”, I see Islam as a false religion that leads people to Hell, even if I weep while I say it.

      The official “Protestant” churches long ago adopted a critical attitude towards the Bible and an uncritical one towards cultural trends. The result was that back in the 1930’s, “Protestant” theologians such as Walter Grundemann and Immanuel Hirsch decided that Jesus was an Aryan and a fighter for Aryandom. After the war, Grundemann became a very subservient catspaw of the East German state.

      Were Martin Luther, Martin Chemnitz, Martin Butzer, Johannes Althusius, Zacharius Ursinus, or any other devout representative of either the Lutheran or Reformed tradition in Germany alive today, he would probably stand up publicly the day following the attack, calling on the people to praya for God’s protection, and lead them in repenting of tolerating the teaching of infidel doctrines (such as the non-divinity of Jesus Christ and the irrelevance of his crucifixion, the acceptance of Islam “as another way to God”, and respecting a Popish Antichrist who kissed the blasphemous Qur’an.

      And the Lutherans would probably let loose a loud chorus of Ein feste’ Burg ist Unser Gott, while the Reformierte would probably raise the strains of Psalm 68:

      Es stehe Gott auf, daß seine Feinde zerstreut werden, und die ihn hassen, vor ihm fliehen. Vertreibe sie, wie der Rauch vertrieben wird; wie das Wachs zerschmilzt vom Feuer, so müssen umkommen die Gottlosen vor Gott.

      I gave it in Luther’s translation. There’s also a rousing metrical version, with a musical setting by Mattaeus Greiter.

  8. If one makes the analogy of comparing PC/MC’s role in the collapse of modern western society to what HIV/AIDS is to the human body’s immune system, then the mainline protestant churches would be western society’s T-cells.

    In other words, from the point of view of memes, mainline protestant churches like the Lutheran, CoE, Episcopal, Methodist, and others are ground zero for the infection of PC/MC. So it is not surprising to see this sort of behavior coming out of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Germany.

    Thankfully, there are more flavors of Lutheranism than there are boutique wine labels stocked on the shelves at Trader Joe’s. So, for Lutherans that want to hold to their confessional roots, there are still plenty of options.

    And just for the point of discussion, if this analogy is taken further, one is lead to conclude that the only way out of our current mess is for the Christian faith to undergo a new reformation; one that will leave it immunized against the memetic virus of PC/MC.

  9. Marin Luther saw Islam as the “scourge of God” to punish Christendom when it sinned. Look at the filthy mess we’ve allowed our decadent leaders to make of today’s western society: corrupt media promoting drugs and drunkenness, fornication and all kinds of perversion, socialist covetousness, murderous abortions as birth control, etc.

    Lying, stealing, raping, murdering, destroying Muslims are immigrating into our homes because we’ve blinded ourselves with sin, even Lutheran leaders of today. Muslims are committed to subjugating or eradicating the “Saturday people” (Jews) and the “Sunday people” (Christians, even just nominal ones).


    The end is probably nearer than most of us think.

    • As a hardcore Reformed believer who’s closer to Zwingli, Bullinger, Ursinus, and a host of Netherlands and British theologians, I am in complete agreement with Herr Doktor Martin Luther.

      And, maybe it just could be the case that a civilization arrogant over its technical prowess, education, culture, and intelligence and loudly denying that the Christian God had anything to do with it is now learning not to blaspheme at the hands of a culture that’s produced only slums surrounded by deserts.

      …dieweil sie wußten, daß ein Gott ist, und haben ihn nicht gepriesen als einen Gott noch ihm gedankt, sondern sind in ihrem Dichten eitel geworden, und ihr unverständiges Herz ist verfinstert. Da sie sich für Weise hielten, sind sie zu Narren geworden. (Romans 1:21-22, after Luther).

  10. The BBC have just told us that in Cairo yesterday a mosque was burned to the ground but that many more churches have been destroyed. Could we have a statement from the supreme pontiff or the Archbishop of Canterbury.

  11. The problem with modern mainstream Lutherans is not turning the other cheeck. In fact, I suspect that in some cases they might be quite vocal in their condemnation of some things – racism or ‘intolerance’, for example.

    The problem is their subtle betrayal of Christian faith by means of replacing it with purely earthly concerns – human rights, humanitarianism, social work, etc. There is nothing wrong with helping the poor in Africa or some oppressed minority at home. But for a church, all this is secondary to its main spiritual objective – that is, to serve a framework for a life of prayer and worship of Jesus Christ and as the way to salvation. And to protect her faith from corruption and dilution. All its social work must be put into perspective of eternity. Modern European Protestants (and, perhaps to a lesser degree, Roman Catholics) have all but lost that perspective. They consider pacifism, tolerance and multiculturalism more important than God’s commandments. Thus, they have lost their bearings and are ready for any compromise with the dominant ideology of the times.

    As for turning the other cheek, we should not forget that it is a commandment meant to serve as guidance in personal relations. The ancient Fathers of the Church have never construed it as forbidding Christians to fight for the freedom of their countries or from defending the things, which are holy to them (church buildings, for examples). Christianity is not a Tolstoyan doctrine. Although it does strive to resolve conflicts in the spirit of peace and love, it does not exclude the use of force when it is absolutely necessary. Christians fought courageously against Arab and Turkish invaders in the past.

    • Well, this Calvinist thinks we started to go wrong when we stopped flogging Quakers out of town at the cart’s tail.

      Consider the following, from the indictment of Thomas Aikenhead in Scotland in 1697 (Aikenhead was the last person to be hanged for blasphemy in Britain):

      Aikenhead was indicted in December 1696. The indictment read:

      “That … the prisoner had repeatedly maintained, in conversation, that theology was a rhapsody of ill-invented nonsense, patched up partly of the moral doctrines of philosophers, and partly of poetical fictions and extravagant chimeras: That he ridiculed the holy scriptures, calling the Old Testament Ezra’s fables, in profane allusion to Esop’s Fables; That he railed on Christ, saying, he had learned magick in Egypt, which enabled him to perform those pranks which were called miracles: That he called the New Testament the history of the imposter Christ; That he said Moses was the better artist and the better politician; and he preferred Muhammad to Christ: That the Holy Scriptures were stuffed with such madness, nonsense, and contradictions, that he admired the stupidity of the world in being so long deluded by them: That he rejected the mystery of the Trinity as unworthy of refutation; and scoffed at the incarnation of Christ.”

      While Aikenhead apparently repented on the gallows (and so was probably seen as among the elect by those who hanged him), he’s been mentioned as a martyr by many “secular humanists” and Unitarians before them. And isn’t it an interesting point how the indictment mentioned his preferring Muhammad to Christ–a commonplace among the more radical in the continental so-called “enlightenment”?

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