Two months ago I wrote an article, Forgotten History – Christians and the Holocaust – which notes that what Europe needed in 1933 were more Christians, not fewer. The article details the consistent and solitary voice in opposition to HaShoah were Christians. Now, when the voice of Christianity seems increasingly dim amid the din of paganism and Islam militant, it is worth recalling that the source of nearly all modern miseries can be traced to the decline of Christianity in Europe in the late Nineteenth and early Twentieth centuries.
Two months ago I wrote an article, Forgotten History – Christians and the Holocaust – which notes that what Europe needed in 1933 were more Christians, not fewer. The article details the consistent and solitary voice in opposition to HaShoah were Christians. Now, when the voice of Christianity seems increasingly dim amid the din of paganism and Islam militant, it is worth recalling that the source of nearly all modern miseries can be traced to the decline of Christianity in Europe in the late Nineteenth and early Twentieth centuries (as I note in my book, Sinisterism: Secular Religion of the Lie.)
The same anti-Semitism of the late Nineteenth Century that led to the Dreyfus Affair in France, was just as hateful toward Christianity: hatred of Christianity and anti-Semitism often went hand in hand with the worship of socialism. The government of France before the Great War required senior officers to report those officers under their command who attended Mass. This cabinet office regulating religions called the Ministry of Cults.
The Third Republic of France that persecuted Dreyfus, was so hostile to Christianity that during the Great War there was an acute shortage of nurses, because most nurses had been nuns (“sisters”) and driven or harassed into exile. The Dreyfus Affair was not because France was too Christian, but not Christian enough.. The leader of the so-called “Right” in France was a rabid opponent of Christianity and his articles about priests and nuns rivaled the pornographic and repulsive articles of Nazis like Julius Streicher about lecherous Jews preying on innocent Aryan virgins (and similar tripe.)
When did Germans begin to reject Christianity? J. Salwyn Schapiro, in his 1940 edition of Modern and Contemporary European History notes that Bismarck was bitterly anti-clerical and was little influenced by religion at all. Prussia, under Bismarck, in 1872 passed “May Laws” which required civil, rather than religious, marriages, which suppressed many religious orders, which resulted in the jailing of many clergymen, the confiscation of much church property and the closing of many churches.
Price Collier in his 1913 book, Germany and the Germans, notes how both anti-Semitism and anti-Christianity not only coexisted in Imperial Germany, helped support one another: “The German sees a danger to his hardly own national life in the cosmopolitanism of the Jew; he sees a danger to his duty-doing, simple-living, and hard-working governing aristocracy in the tempting luxury of the recently rich Jew; and besides these objective reasons, he is instinctively antagonistic, as though he were born of the clouds of heaven and the Jew of clods of earth. This does not mean that the German is a believer, in the orthodox sense of the word, for this he is not. He loves the things of the mind not because he thinks of them as of divine creation, and as showing an allegiance to a divine Creator, but because they are the playthings of his own manufacture that amuse him most. His superiority to other nations is that he claims to enjoy maturer toys. Not even France is so entirely unencumbered by orthodox restraints in matters of faith.” Later Price writes the following, again, this is Imperial Germany before the Great War, the Versailles Treaty, the Second World War or HaShoah: “In Germany half-baked thinking, following upon, and as the result of, the barracks and corporal methods of education, have turned the Protestant population from the churches. The slovenly and patchy omniscience of the partly educated, leads them to believe that they know enough not to believe.”
In his book, The Dictators, Richard Overy states that in the decades preceding the First World War Germany was becoming increasingly secular, and that after that war, from 1918 to 1931, 2.4 Million Evangelical Christians formally renounced their faith as well as almost half a million Catholics. In Prussia, only twenty-one percent of the population took communion and in Hamburg only five percent took communion. Long before Hitler, German religious leaders were publicly condemning the rise of moral relativism and decline of traditional religious values.
Professor Litchtenberger in his 1937 book, The Third Reich, describes pre-Nazi Germany as a place in which the large cities were ‘spiritual cemeteries’ with almost no believers at all, except for those who were members of the clergy. The middle class went through the motions, but lacked all living faith. The workers, influenced by socialism, were suspicious of the church. Even in the countryside, preachers had little influence on the people.
In the 1938 book, The War Against God, by Sidney Dark and R.S. Essex, this pre-Nazi antipathy toward Christianity is described as having lost all its vitality and its services were lifeless. The same year Mower wrote in Germany Puts the Clock Back, Mower that by 1920, God and Christianity had been in steady decline, a process that had begun in 1860. Then Mower describes a culture not so much causal as vicious about sexuality, art sickened into atonal music, the absence of any sense of sin, and the entire graduating classes in high school turning up for birth control devices as well as the commonplace occurrence of abortion.
Why is Europe dying? Europe is dying or decaying because it has lost all faith, and that is a process that began a century ago. Selfish pensioners, eating their grandchildren’s seed corn; sexual animals prowling instead of divinely created men and women loving; the hatred of purpose – all these converge like scavengers on the dying carcass of a continent that has committed spiritual suicide.
Bruce Walker has been a published author in print and in electronic media since 1990. He is a regular contributor to WebCommentary, Conservative Truth, American Daily, Enter Stage Right, Intellectual Conservative, NewsByUs and Men’s News Daily. His first book, Sinisterism: Secular Religion of the Lie by Outskirts Press was published in January 2006.