David Lane, the backroom Christian right political kingmaker, has an article in Charisma News that goes full-on Godwin. The only alternative to Christian theocracy, he seems to believe, is Nazism. The whole first half of the article is devoted to blathering about Hitler, then he lamely attempts to relate it to today’s America and same-sex marriage:
Which brings us to the current spiritual crisis facing America. Nazism practiced Gleichschaltung, a process for conforming every aspect of society to its totalitarian control. Here in the United States, the Supreme Court looks to conform every vestige of American life and society to the worship of the golden calf of Secularism. Contrast that “conform-to-culture” vision with the words of the Apostle Paul: “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom. 12:2)
Another diabolical serpent is stalking the land. This is natural, of course, for freedom eternally faces a fundamental moral challenge. Why? It’s part of God’s unending order. “The serpent’s final defeat under Messiah’s heel (Gen. 3:15) is delayed to effect God’s program of redemption through the promised offspring,” Bruce Waltke writes. “In the interim, God leaves Satan to test the fidelity of each succeeding generation of the covenant people (Judg. 2:22) and to teach them to ‘fight’ against untruth (Judg. 3:2).”
Let’s be clear, it was Christianity—not paganism, not so-called religious neutrality, and certainly not secularism—which produced freedom and liberty in America. As my friend Os Guinness noted, “The plain fact is that no free and lasting civilization anywhere in history has so far been built on atheist foundations.”
Two obvious responses. First, this plainly ignores the entire history of officially Christian nations throughout Europe, none of which had anything like a “free and lasting civilization.” They were not free, especially on maters of religion, nor did they last as Christian civilizations. All of them eventually transitioned to predominately secular societies.
Second, it also ignores the fact that Hitler himself continually claimed that the society he envisioned was entirely based upon Christianity.
The National Socialist State professes its allegiance to positive Christianity. It will be its honest endeavour to protect both the great Christian Confessions in their rights, to secure them from interference with their doctrines (Lehren), and in their duties to constitute a harmony with the views and the exigencies of the State of today.
And before the prime minister of Bavaria, he said:
I would like here to appeal to a greater than I, Count Lerchenfeld. He said in the last session of the Landtag that his feeling ‘as a man and a Christian’ prevented him from being an anti-Semite. I say: My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded only by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God’s truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. .. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison.
And now Staatspräsident Bolz says that Christianity and the Catholic faith are threatened by us. And to that charge I can answer: In the first place it is Christians and not international atheists who now stand at the head of Germany. I do not merely talk of Christianity, no, I also profess that I will never ally myself with the parties which destroy Christianity. If many wish today to take threatened Christianity under their protection, where, I would ask, was Christianity for them in these fourteen years when they went arm in arm with atheism? No, never and at no time was greater internal damage done to Christianity than in these fourteen years when a party, theoretically Christian, sat with those who denied God in one and the same Government.
Hitler’s warped vision was certainly in line with the brutal and viciously anti-Jewish views of Martin Luther, the founder of Protestantism. It also fit perfectly well with 15 centuries or so of anti-Jewish pogroms by the Catholic Church. Hitler himself said in 1934. What it did not fit with was Enlightenment secularism.
Founding Father Daniel Webster said it best: “If we and our posterity shall be true to the Christian religion, if we and they shall live always in the fear of God, and shall respect His commandments, if we and they shall maintain just moral sentiments and such conscientious convictions of duty as shall control the heart and life, we may have the highest hopes of the future fortunes of our country; and if we maintain those institutions of government and that political union, exceeding all praise as much as it exceeds all former examples of political associations, we may be sure of one thing, that while our country furnishes material for a thousand masters of the historic art, it will afford no topic for a Gibbon. It will have no decline and fall. It will go on prospering and to prosper.”
Daniel Webster was not, by any reasonable definition, a founding father. He wasn’t even born at the time of the revolution and was all of five years old when the Constitution was written. Founding father doesn’t mean “really old guy.” And this whole idea that fealty to the Christian God is the only thing keeping us from ruin is patently absurd. Somehow vast swaths of the world where Christianity barely exists have managed to continue going, some civilizations for thousands of years, without such belief.