Worldviews are comprehensive. No cultural stone is left unthrown in the battle against competing ideologies. Secularists who write their screeds against Christians who engage in politics have history on their side, and it’s not a very good history. Under Nazism, churches were “confined as far as possible to the performance of narrowly religious functions, and even within this narrow sphere were subjected to as many hindrances as the Nazis dared to impose.” This is the evaluation of a 1945 report published by the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the precursor to the CIA. It was called The Nazi Master Plan: The Persecution of the Christian Churches and was prepared for the War Crimes Staff. It offered the following summary: “This study describes, with illustrative factual evidence, Nazi purposes, policies and methods of persecuting the Christian Churches in Germany and occupied Europe.”
Where did the strategic plan begin? “Implementation of this objective started with the curtailment of religious instruction in the primary and secondary schools with the squeezing of the religious periods into inconvenient hours, with Nazi propaganda among the teachers in order to induce them to refuse the teaching of religion, with vetoing of . . . religious text books, and finally with substituting Nazi Weltanschauung [world-and-life view] and ‘German faith’ for Christian religious denominational instruction. . . . At the time of the outbreak of the war . . . religious instruction had practically disappeared from Germany’s primary schools.” Does any of this sound familiar? This is a perfect description of our nation’s public schools with the only difference being that a materialistic world-and-life view and “secular” faith have replaced the once Christian worldview that served as the foundation of education in America.
The next step was to neutralize the impact that churches would have on politics. “Under the pretext that the Churches themselves were interfering in political and state matters, [the Nazis] would deprive the Churches, step by step, of all opportunity to affect German public life.” How often do we hear that the “separation between church and state” means that churches must remain silent on social and political issues, that pastors cannot use their pulpits (unless they’re liberal) to influence legislation? The editors of Mother Jones magazine write that the assault on the separation of church and state principle is “now under way [and] promises to alter not only our form of government but our concept of religion as well.” This is secularist propaganda reminiscent of the Nazis.
The First Amendment is addressed to Congress not churches: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Nothing is said about what churches can or cannot do regarding politics. The freedoms afforded to all of us in the First Amendment, churches included, embrace speech, assembly, and press. This means that churches are guaranteed the right to speak about religion and politics, write about religion and politics, and organize (assemble) about religion and politics. These are the only true First Amendment rights. The amendment that protects Mother Jones when it devotes an entire issue “exposing” the “dangers” of Christian involvement in politics, education, and various forms of media also protects churches and Christians who want to change the moral direction of our nation. If Christians can get enough people to make the changes, then there is nothing in the Constitution that says abortion can’t be outlawed and homosexuals can marry. The folks at Mother Jones believe in “democratic pluralism and Constitutional democracy,” but only when these principles apply to them.
. The report is available online at http://www.camlaw.rutgers.edu/publications/law-religion/nuremberg/nurinst1.htm
. “The Great Debate of Our Season,” Mother Jones (December 2005), 26.