The following video shows German Chancellor Angela Merkel responding to citizens during a Q&A session. Nash Montana, who translated the clip, has this to say about it:
“Angela Merkel Tells the Truth About Islamization Through Refugees and Islam”
This is the title of the video, suggesting that Merkel really stuck it to the person asking her the question about what Merkel is going to do to keep German culture safe and protect it. The title more aptly should be ‘Merkel accuses Germans of not being good Christians and it’s their fault that the country is being Islamized.’ I find her whole speech infuriating.”
I’m disgusted by it, too, for that and other reasons. The Chancellor’s cynicism and — dare I say it? — chutzpah are astonishing, given the relationship between the German state and the Church over the past century and a half.
When Otto von Bismarck became chancellor of the new German Empire in 1871, his policy remit now extended to numerous formerly independent German states. Some of those states, for example Bavaria, were largely Catholic. Bismarck considered the Catholic Church and the Vatican to be a rival source of power, and rightly so. As a result, throughout the 1870s the German government under the leadership of Chancellor Bismarck waged a Kulturkampf, or culture struggle, against the Catholic Church. The goal was to reduce the influence of Rome, marginalize the Church, and weaken the Christian religion.
The effort to cleanse the German state of Christianity did not end with the accession of Kaiser Wilhelm II and the retirement of Bismarck in 1890. The process continued and intensified between 1933 and 1945 under Chancellor Adolf Hitler, who detested Christianity and hoped eventually to eradicate it from public life.
During the rebuilding of Europe after the war, Germany, like other European countries, followed the progressive “social democrat” model, which insisted that religion be relegated to the sidelines. People who held sincere religious beliefs —in those halcyon days almost entirely Christians — were ridiculed for their atavistic superstitions. Political parties such as the Christian Democrats (Chancellor Merkel’s party) became Christian in name only. For the past sixty years or so, Christianity in the public sphere has been at best vestigial.
We Americans have a relevant saying that applies to Angela Merkel’s cynical complaint about her fellow citizens’ ignorance of Christianity: “Butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth.”
Frau Merkel: Your compatriots are ignorant about Christianity because you and your predecessors deliberately fostered and enforced such ignorance.
That woman has a nerve!
Many thanks to Nash Montana for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:
|00:00||Madame Chancellor, thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak.|
|00:06||A minute ago you were mentioning the responsibility we all have,|
|00:10||in terms of how we should all deal with all this refugee chaos.|
|00:13||But one of our responsibilities is also to protect our own citizens in Europe,|
|00:19||and I am speaking especially about refugees from Syria and similar countries from where now|
|00:24||even more people with an Islamic background come into our country.|
|00:29||And I believe what the gentleman addressed earlier is legitimate, that there is a great fear|
|00:35||here in Europe because Islamization seems to proceed and grow stronger.|
|00:42||So I am asking you, how do you want to protect Europe, and in that regard,|
|00:46||how do you propose to protect our own culture from this?|
|00:50||Uh… I think, first and foremost, that Islamism and Islamic terror are unfortunately|
|00:57||a phenomenon operating predominantly in Syria and Libya and in Northern Iraq,|
|01:04||and to which, unfortunately, the European Union has contributed a myriad of fighters as well.|
|01:10||And therefore we can’t just sit here and say this is a phenomenon that has nothing to do with us,|
|01:15||because those are people, sometimes very young people, who grew up|
|01:19||in our countries, and this is where we bear also a responsibility.|
|01:25||Secondly… uh… fear has never been a good adviser, neither in our personal lives nor in our society.|
|01:34||Cultures and societies that are shaped by fear, will without doubt not get a grip on the future.|
|01:40||And third, of course we have this debate that a lot of Muslims also have,|
|01:46||in which we debate whether Islam even belongs to Germany or not.|
|01:50||But I’m finding that when we have four million Muslims in this country, it’s really not debatable|
|01:54||whether Muslims belong to Germany but Islam doesn’t, or whether Islam also belongs to Germany.|
|02:01||I see there are these worries, but I have to say to that, we all have these chances and all these liberties|
|02:13||to practice our own religion as well, insofar as we are practicing it and believe in it.|
|02:17||So if I am lacking in something in that, I am not suggesting that someone who practices Islam is at fault for that.|
|02:24||We should have the courage as Christians to enter a dialogue then,|
|02:32||and while we are talking about tradition, maybe please go to church every once in a while,|
|02:37||or become a tad more versed in the Bible and maybe be able to just explain a painting in the church,|
|02:44||or at least be able to explain what the meaning of Pentecost is. So there I just have to say|
|02:49||that a lot of people’s knowledge about the Christian Occident leaves a lot to be desired.|
|02:53||But then to come back and complain about how Muslims know more about the Koran|
|02:57||than they do about the bible, I find that very curious.|
|03:00||Maybe this debate will make us want to go back, and encourage us to gain more knowledge about our roots.|
|03:08||So far I find this debate extremely defensively-minded. Sure one has to prepare against the terrorist danger,|
|03:14||but let us all also not forget just how rich European history is of dramatic and gruesome conflict and war.|
|03:20||We should be really careful when we complain if somewhere else something bad is happening.|
|03:26||Sure, we have to stand up against that, but we have absolutely no ground to stand on,|
|03:31||to show haughty arrogance towards others, and I have to say that as the Chancellor of Germany.