America’s Abortions and Germany’s Holocaust … Cut From the Same Cloth

In January, I read Eric Metaxas’s excellent biography: Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy. I must say it was a “page turner.” Bonhoeffer grew up and served as a pastor at the time of the rise of Adolph Hitler and the Third Riche.

In the context of the Nazi’s increasing attacks on the Jews of Europe, Bonhoeffer articulated three ways the church is to act towards the state. The church was first, to challenge the policies and actions of the state, calling the state to act as God intended, and second, to aid the victims of the state’s actions, those being persecuted. Thirdly, Bonhoeffer believed the church “has an unconditional obligation to the victims of any ordering of society, even if they do not belong to the Christian community.

Nazi soldiers put Jews on the trains to the camps

Expounding on the third point, Bonhoeffer explained that the church is to “not just to bandage the victims under the wheel but to put a spoke in the wheel itself.” In other words, to bind up the wounds of the victims of the state and to do what it can to stop state crimes against humanity.

An example in U.S. history is the Civil Rights movement using peaceful protests to disrupt the state’s policies related to racism and the cultural residue of slavery.

While I was reading Bonhoeffer, the U.S. press was exposing the exploits of an American abortionist. Dr. Kermit Gosnell was being charged with the death of one mother and seven babies whom he killed and dismembered with scissors after they were born. The parallels between Gosnell’s  “medical work” in a modern U.S. city and the “work” of the Nazi doctors in the German death camps was jarring.

In Nazi Germany, medical doctors were employed in hideous experimentations (read torture) on living human beings, including the infamous gas chambers and death camps. The genocide in Germany began with the Nazi policy of murdering newborn babies with physical or medical handicaps. They were deemed as having life unworthy of life. It was German medical doctors that, at best, turned their backs on the holocaust. At worst, doctors were the leaders in justifying and carrying out these abominable practices.

The Guttmacher Institute, research arm of Planned Parenthood and the American abortion industry, records an average of 1.2 million babies being aborted each year in the United States. Over 1,000 of those are late term abortions that kill babies who could survive outside the womb.

How is it that this genocidal practice is legal in the United States? It is really quite simple; the same culture of death that grew in the soul of Germany 70 years ago is growing in the United States today. A nation built on atheistic-materialistic premises permits the murder of 6 million Jews in German or 1.2 million babies a year in the United States. The Holocaust of the Jews and the feticide of the unborn are cut from the same moral and metaphysical cloth.

Where were the institutions tasked with overseeing Dr. Gosnell’s practice? They turned a blind eye. As did most people in the Philadelphia neighborhood where Dr. Gosnell carried out his diabolical work.

Are we in America, so enamored by our toys, so caught up in our comfortable lifestyles, that there is little place in our conscience for the death march of 1,200,000 babies a year and the suffering of their mothers? What must those who profess the name of Christ do, not only to minister to those women who may find themselves in an “unwanted pregnancy” but also to jam the spoke in the wheel of governmental practice of legalizing the murder of newborn and unborn children?

May the life, courage, and self-sacrifice of Dietrich Bonhoeffer enflame the church today!

– Darrow Miller

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3 Responses to America’s Abortions and Germany’s Holocaust … Cut From the Same Cloth

  1. Dennis Warren says:

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    Hi Darrow,

    Yes, I do see similarities in the two cultures – however I’d like to say some things in regard to your words:

    ” A nation built on atheistic-materialistic premises …”

    Please let me know if I’m not understanding what you meant.

    I also read (or actually listened to – via an audible.com MP3 download) Metaxas’ excellent biography about Bonhoeffer’s remarkable life. I’m wondering how you would respond to one of the things I picked up about how many German citizens viewed themselves just during the period between the world wars. I understood the book to be saying most in Germany considered their country/culture to have been shaped to a great extent by the Reformation as led by Martin Luther’s ideas. Germany at the time could boast of some of the world’s most respected theologans.

    And just as many Germans viewed themselves as having a great Christian heritage, I think many conservative evangelicals here in the United States even today would not consider ours as a “nation built on atheistic-materialistic premises” … … yet consider what we allow to happen all around us..

    My opinion is that without regard to what premises our nations may have been built on … for the most part, both nations allow our government officials to make decisions based primarily on atheistic-materialistic premises. Since we elect them, I suspect most of us probably make the decisons that determine how we live much of our lives based for the most part on similar premises … (i.e when it comes right down to it).

    Darrow I think we are agreed that very bad things can and do happen when a person and/or culture as a whole forsakes a Godly heritage in favor of making decisions without regard to those values. To me the really gut wrenching thing about Germany and the United States is that we have a different heritage than places like Cambodia and/or Nepal, etc…

    My mind goes to one specific individual case where someone discared Christian premises in favor of what he considered atheistic premises. Stalin, as I’ve heard he came from a history of believers, and even attended seminary for awhile, but tragicaly decided to go the athiestic route.

    Yes. many very bad things have resulted when both individuals and cultures in general have turned away from premises like God exits, is good, and each person is made in his image and deserves to be treated with honor and loved to the same extend as we do ourselves. I guess this applies whether the individual people and/or cultures were in Germany during Bonhoeffer’s time, or me and my culture here in the United States today.

    Seems like decisions (and which premises we base them on) for each of us impact other people (individuals) and so evenutually with enough decisions and resultant actions I suppose we are responsible for forming our own culture, (maybe like the way we make our own governments by our votes and what and how protest … or not).

    -Dennis

  2. Darrow responds to Dennis:
    [Dennis] “I’m wondering how you would respond to one of the things I picked up about how many German citizens viewed themselves just during the period between the world wars. I understood the book to be saying most in Germany considered their country/culture to have been shaped to a great extent by the Reformation as led by Martin Luther’s ideas. Germany at the time could boast of some of the world’s most respected theologans.”

    [Darrow] Both comments are accurate in my estimation. The problem in my mind was not with the Reformation base, aside from of Luther’s comments about Jews which were wrong and problematic. The problem was that Germans at this time were functioning dualistically. They were “spiritual” in their Christian life and married to the Third Reich in their political life. Much like many Christians are today. For a great treatment of this read Erwin w. Lutzer’s Hitler’s Cross.

    [Dennis] “And just as many Germans viewed themselves as having a great Christian heritage, I think many conservative evangelicals here in the United States even today would not consider ours as a ‘nation built on atheistic-materialistic premises’ … … yet consider what we allow to happen all around us.”

    [Darrow] I agree.

    [Dennis] “My opinion is that without regard to what premises our nations may have been built on … for the most part, both nations allow our government officials to make decisions based primarily on atheistic-materialistic premises. Since we elect them, I suspect most of us probably make the decisons that determine how we live much of our lives based for the most part on similar premises … (i.e when it comes right down to it).”

    [Darrow] You are correct. My wife, Marilyn, often says we get the president or government that we deserve.

  3. Pingback: Eric Metaxsas, Religiosity, and DNA | Darrow Miller & Friends

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