« Gay marriage promoted by Obama, blocked by Bundestag | Main | Germany a Nightmare for the National Rifle Association »

May 12, 2012



"...notion of a loving and forgiving God patently ridiculous?"

Do you?


I consider myself an aspiring Christian, but I've seen enough pain and sorrow to constantly question my faith.


The answer might be simple: Prussian subservience and German thoroughness. Imagine, Germans never had a problem with a law named 'police reporting obligation'. Germans perfectly blend in any political system, orders from top are always considered the result of superior insight and rarely questioned - at least by 50% of the population, right and left bourgeois, bureaucrats, police, army etc.

The Left Party still is a people's party in East Germany. Nostalgy of the beauty of militarized life...


The most secular states in the USA have a high number of Catholics. While the most religiously fanatic areas like Mississippi are all Protestant. I find the notion that Protestants are more prone to atheism absurd. It is not North versus South either, as the British and Scottish were always Protestant fanatics with the Church of England. The Irish moreover are Catholics, and Ireland is more fanatical than the American South, so in both cases, neither branch seems more prone to Atheism. Vermont is the most secular state in the USA and has plenty of Irish immigrants, moreover. I cannot therefore qualify, being an atheism myself, what makes people Atheists or net in certain areas. I read that Czech Republic was the most secular nation in Europe.


Romania is one of the most extremely religious places in Europe, but it too was under Communism. It is merely inexplicable.


I became an atheist when very young, not even a teenager. I was walking around my apartment building where my family lived, and started thinking that my mother would die if I didnt believe in God, sort of like the rhyme "step on a crack, break your mother's back". Suddenly, I had an epiphany that it was all non-sense! I was only 11 years old or so. Ive never believed in God since that time. It is all just so many threats and "magical-thinking" with religion.


There is a difference between Protestants. Lutherans for example are rather liberal compared with Baptist. It lies pretty much in the theology. Estonia and East germany were both Lutheran and are now the least religious places in the world. Scandinavian Lutherans survived due to the state church in those countries.


Yes, the liberal Lutheran communities of Scandinavia and northern Germany have been more accepting/forgiving/tolerant of friends and neighbors shedding allegiance to dogma. So lapsing does not carry nearly as high a social price. But that does not explain the high rates of irreligiosity in Czechia, where a large majority of remaining Christians are Catholic, or in mainstream (i.e., non-Haredi) Israel.

So what do East German, Czech, and Israeli cultural-religious traditions have in common? Turning religious traditions into movements of social and/or national liberation. Northeastern Germany had Martin Luther, Bohemia had Jan Hus, both of whom would have been impossible without the context of social unrest in their societies at the time. And liberal Judaism, of course, had and continues to have Zionism.

So it is possible to be entirely irreligious, but still feel a strong cultural affiliation with, and even pride in, the positive change brought on (or at least promised) by Lutheranism, the Hussites, and Zionism. You can have an in-group sense of belonging without the need to believe in Luther’s solas or the 613 mitzvot in the Torah. Everyone knows what a secular Jew is. Perhaps we need a similar concept of “secular Lutheran.”


„secular Lutheran“ - I like the concept. Thanks for your comment.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

My Photo
Blog powered by Typepad