Training Against the Evils of Capitalism

The younger generation of today has grown up in a world in which in school and press the spirit of commercial enterprise has been represented as disreputable and the making of profit as immoral, where to employ a hundred people is represented as exploitation but to command the same number as honorable. Older people may regard this as an exaggeration of the present state of affairs, but the daily experience of the university teacher leaves little doubt that, as a result of anticapitalist propaganda, values have already altered far in advance of the change in institutions which has so far taken place. The question is whether, by changing our institutions to satisfy the new demands, we shall not unwittingly destroy values which we still rate higher.

Hayek, F. A.. The Road to Serfdom: Text and Documents–The Definitive Edition: Text and Documents–The Definitive Edition (The Collected Works of F. A. Hayek, Volume 2) (p. 155). University of Chicago Press. Kindle Edition.

Closing a Seminary, 1937

Sometimes Religious Freedom can just be removed by a bureaucrat.

Finkenwalde Seminary

It may be noticed that the underground seminary established by Deitrich Bonhoeffer trained ministers for the Confessing Church while flying a Nazi flag in front of its school. Everything taught there opposed the Nazis but the Nazis were allowed this victory over them before they closed the school permanently and arrested its faculty and students. The flag out front had little to do with the resistance within.

Bonhoeffer himself was arrested and hung by the Nazis at age 39.

The letter below is from the SS and German Police instructing the Gestapo to close the school.

From the Reichsführer SS and Chief of the German Police to the Office of the Secret State Police (Gestapo)

Berlin, August 29, 1937

The persistent actions of the bodies of the so-called Confessing Church in training and examining young theologians in their own organizations, in defiance of the institutions set up by the state, constitutes a deliberate violation of the Fifth Decree for the Implementation of the Law for the Protection of the German Evangelical Church of December 2, 1935 (Legal Code of the German Evangelical p 315 Church; page 130 [Reich Legal Gazette I, page 1370]) and is inclined to undermine both the authority and the welfare of the state.

By agreement with the Reich and Prussian minister of science, training, and public education and with the Reich and Prussian minister of church affairs, I hereby direct:
In accordance with § 1 of the decree of the Reich president for the Protection of the People and State of February 28, 1933 (Reich Legal Gazette I, page 83), the substitute seminaries, study communities, and offices of instruction, students, and examination established by the so-called Confessing Church are to be dissolved, and all theological courses and retreats conducted by them forbidden.

Violations of this decree are to be prosecuted according to § 4 of the aforementioned law. In equivocal cases, my decision is to be secured.

With authorization: Heydrich
Authorized: [signature] Chancellery Employee

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Theological Education at Finkenwalde: 1935–1937, ed. Victoria J. Barnett and Barbara Wojhoski, trans. Douglas W. Stott, vol. 14, Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2013), 314–315.

No, Gun Control is not a pro-life issue!

Well, maybe gun control is a pro-life matter if it is admitted that guns are effective tools to protect the weak and vulnerable from criminals. It is a pro-life action to save a life from harm. But this blog post is about something else.

Christians are often scolded for failing to include better gun control (or banning) in their arguments against abortion and euthanasia. As defined, abortion is the taking of a human life which is yet unborn. Euthanasia is the taking of a human life who is deemed too disabled, ill, or old to be allowed to survive. Abortion is always involuntary for the baby; euthanasia may be voluntary but is increasingly being made involuntary by families and authorities. To be pro-life, the Christian argues, is to be against these acts of murder.

As the gun control argument is presented, Christians are inconsistent if they do not likewise seek to limit access to firearms so that mass shooting tragedies could be reduced or avoided completely.

But if the argument is made this way, it ignores the fact that the most vocal opponents of firearm access are also the most likely to be proponents of abortion and euthanasia. The irony is that those who would control firearms through state regulations are the same people who invoke the powers of the same state regulators to pay for abortions and euthanasia, to train doctors to perform them and limits protestors’ freedom of expression to protest against it.

The government that enforces laws against murder does not at the same time train killers and provide their weapons. It does not protect them from the consequences of their acts and rightly condemns them.

Comparing abortion, euthanasia to mass shootings and murder doesn’t acknowledge this significant difference, while at the same time refusing to see the one similarity: all kill the innocent all are murder.

No one should listen to anyone who calls for a surrender of firearms but pushes for the government-sanctioned murder of the most helpless people in society. Such a mindset is so skewed, so schizophrenic, so depraved as to be disqualified from the discussion. It matters little if the pro-choice crowd has the peoples’ support, state authority and finance, church support, popular media praise, or the approval of educational institutions. The fact is if they will kill the helpless they will eventually get around to you.

Mass shootings are rare. Abortion and euthanasia are not. Jesus warned against swallowing a camel but chocking on a gnat. Failure to know the difference is what damned the Pharisees of His day and it can do the same today.