This is an article that I read on a blog I read regularly, The Internet Monk. I read it twice…prayed…read it again…prayed again and then decided to post it. The issues alive in the culture are deeper than we can ever dream. This is not a public proclamation of who I am voting for or who Christ-followers should support. As I have shared in this blog, I do not feel that I am under a call from God to proclaim my personal political leanings. I believe that those who are called into pastoral, missional and community leadership are to remain primarily allied to a different empire and thus must retain the ability to speak prophetically no matter WHO or WHAT party is in charge of the American "empire". But these thoughts are too powerful not to share.
Here is a powerful column from Uwe Siemon-Netto, the German journalist who runs the Institute of Lay Vocation at Concordia Seminary In St. Louis. I post it in full, with his permission. Please read it to the very end, where you will find a detail that will haunt you to your core.
Remembering Collective Shame
By Uwe Siemon-Netto
This column requires a caveat: I am not an American citizen and therefore neither a Republican nor a Democrat. But as a German residing permanently in the United States I believe that I have a duty to opine on at least one aspect of the upcoming elections – the question whether years from now Americans will have to wrestle with collective shame, just as I have had to deal with collective shame over what has happened in Germany in my childhood for my entire life.
It was West Germany’s first postwar president, Theodor Heuss, who coined the phrase, “collective shame” contrasting it with the notion of collective guilt, which he rejected. No, I cannot be expected to feel guilty for crimes the Nazis committed while I was still in elementary school. But as a bearer of a German passport I have never ceased feeling ashamed because three years before I was born German voters elected leaders planning the annihilation of millions of innocent people.
I am certain that in 1933 most Germans did not find the Nazis’ anti-Semitic rhetoric particularly attractive. What made them choose Hitler, then? It was the economy, stupid, and presumably injured national pride, and similar issues. This came to mind as I read the latest Faith in Life poll of issues Americans in general and white evangelicals in particular consider “very important” in this year’s elections. [click on the link below for the entire article]…