News from socialist Pinkoland: German Protestant Churches strictly anti-war

Sim

Registered Member
#1
The new chairwoman of the Council of Protestant Christians in Germany, Margot Käßmann, has recently gone public with her strict anti-war stance and her criticism of the war in Afghanistan:


Head of the German Protestants, Margot Käßmann

Quote:
Statements about Afghanistan made by the head of Germany's powerful Protestant Church, with 25 million members, have created a stir in the past two weeks. On Monday, Bishop Margot Kässmann held talks with the country's defense minister. German commentators welcome the debate she has sparked.

As the London summit on Afghanistan approaches, the debate in Germany over the Afghanistan conflict continues to heat up. And the latest high-profile argument has centered on the head of Germany's Protestant Church, Bishop Margot Kässmann, whose sharp criticism of the German military effort in Afghanistan has made headlines around the country in recent days.

Reinhold Robbe, the German parliament's military commissioner, described Kässmann's statements as irresponsible and said that she had an obligation to provide spiritual guidance not only for pacifists, but also for Bundeswehr soldiers in uniform. Robbe also took Kässmann to task for making "populist" statements without ever having visited Afghanistan to assess the situation herself. He said it was naive to think one could solve the problems in Afghanistan with "prayers and candles." And no one, he said, "is stopping Ms. Kässmann from traveling to the Hindu Kush to sit in a tent with the Taliban and discuss her fantasies of developing common prayers and rituals."

Aside from Robbe's jabs, however, the political brawl between the government and the Protestant Church, which has around 25 million members in Germany, seemed to come to a more conciliatory point this week. On Monday, Kässmann made a trip to Berlin on Monday to meet with German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg. According to Guttenberg, the meeting went relatively well. He said talks were "a good start to a necessary discussion" and that he had invited the bishop to come to Afghanistan with him so she could observe the situation firsthand.

Guttenberg later told reporters he had explained to the bishop that he disagreed with her statements that all was bad in Afghanistan -- even if a number of things hadn't improved there yet. Guttenberg had also told the bishop that the German soldiers serving in Afghanistan needed the backing of German society.

And a military bishop, Martin Dutzmann, who also attended the meeting told the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper that the two parties were united in believing there was potential for Afghanistan policies to change for the better.

Still, Kässmann is maintaining her critical stance. In an interview with German public broadcaster ARD on Monday night, Kässmann said the differences of opinion between herself and zu Guttenberg, who is a Catholic, were small. She said he understood that civilian reconstruction efforts must take precedence over armed conflict. Still, she warned, "I have the impression that at the moment things are mainly being seen from a military perspective and that other, more creative, solutions are not." As examples, Kässmann mentioned the fight against drug-trafficking and also developmental aid for small businesses.

'We Do Not See Civilian Development Taking Precedence'

In a separate interview with German public radio station WDR, Kässmann concluded, "As a church we have been clear: We do not see civilian development taking precedence."

The bishop also said that she didn't understand why she had come in for such harsh criticism and that there was nothing wrong with a church calling for peace and reiterated that her comments were not aimed at the Bundeswehr soldiers serving in Afghanistan.

Despite Defense Minister Guttenberg's best efforts to defuse the situation, the debate between the church and the state on the issue of Afghanistan looks likely to continue. Over the weekend, two more high-ranking churchmen spoke out against the presence of German troops in Afghanistan; and on Tuesday Green Party members sent an open letter to the church voicing their support for the church leaders' statements.


link


I assume this positioning of Protestants in Germany is a surprise for you guys here, because Protestants in the US are usually not the strongest anti-war people, aren't they? So consider this another news from socialist pinkoland, where black is white, and top is bottom. ;)

When I first learnt of these opinions held by many Protestants in the US years ago, it appeared to me as news from a parallel universe. Especially the weird melding of nationalism and religiosity is frightening.


(no comment, it speaks for itself)

That's completely different in Germany, where the Protestants are usually the much less extreme, partly even very progressive types of Christian, while Catholics are considered hardliners. Back in the 80s, many Protestants sided with the peace movement against re-armament against the Soviets and environmentalist groups which became the Green Party eventually.

The Catholics are probably (necessarily) more or less the same in Germany as in the US, yet the Catholics are considered less extreme than the mainstream Protestant churches in the US -- so obviously, Protestants differ very much in both countries.

A few years ago, I met several engaged young Protestants on a party and talked with them, and they were maybe among the most extreme pacifists I've ever met. When I asked them about American churches, they became really angry and more or less said "those are not real Christians, they don't have the slightest respect for human life and God's creation" ("respect for God's creation" is a common slogan among German Protestants for environmentalist concerns).

What do you think?
 

JAdams

Registered Member
#2
*After looking at the picture, marveling at it's beauty and identifying as much of the people behind Jesus as possible because I am a history nerd.*

*ahems*

Well, I can see how that picture can be frightening. Whoever drew that obviously had not read up on the seperation of church and state. Let the government decide if the war is necessary, imho.
 

CaptainObvious

Son of Liberty
V.I.P.
#3
*After looking at the picture, marveling at it's beauty and identifying as much of the people behind Jesus as possible because I am a history nerd.*

*ahems*

Well, I can see how that picture can be frightening. Whoever drew that obviously had not read up on the seperation of church and state. Let the government decide if the war is necessary, imho.
I'm confused as to how you feel separation of church and state fits in to this. The government decides because they have the authority to decide, or the people decide because they have the power of the ballot box? I'm just trying to understand what you meant.
 

Bjarki

Registered Member
#4
Interesting news from NL as well:

'Dutch Iraq war inquiry colours UK investigation'
The findings of the Dutch Davids Commission may have far reaching effects on Britain’s own investigation into the legality of the war in Iraq.

The commission concluded there were no legal grounds for the Netherlands to support the Iraq war. Some experts say it will make it very hard for the UK government to maintain that the war was legal.

Unambiguous
British Professor of Law Philippe Sands, who was interviewed by the Davids Commission which led the inquiry, told Radio Netherlands Worldwide that the findings of the Dutch inquiry are clear and unambiguous.

“They concluded that the war was unlawful, so I think the findings are very helpful on the international issue of legality”, Mr Sands says. “It’s the first independent assessment by anybody, anywhere in the world, of the view of the legality of the war. The fact that the report has been written by distinguished law experts gives it authority”.

Benchmark
Professor Sands says this authority means the report will be an important benchmark for international inquiries into the war, such as the British investigation which is currently taking place.

The British inquiry will be turning to the issue of the legality of the war next week. British Attorney General Lord Goldsmith, who earlier justified the war on the grounds of UN resolutions, will be one of the people facing the commission.

'Unreasonable arguments'
He will have a difficult time maintaining his point of view, Mr Sands says: “It can’t be helpful for him that the Davids Commission has concluded in the opposite direction. They’ve even gone further, they’ve said the UN resolutions were used as unreasonable arguments”.

The outcome of the Dutch inquiry couldn’t have come at a worse time for the UK Labour government. There have been heated debates in Britain over its decision to enter the war and the Davids conclusion only adds to the belief that joining the US coalition was unjustified.

“It came completely out of the blue here in the UK”, Prof Sands says. “People here didn’t know about the Dutch inquiry but Mr Davids should be pleased to see that his report has been treated with so much respect in the UK media”. British media attention was helped by the fact that Tony Blair’s former spin doctor Alistair Campbell appeared before the UK inquiry on Tuesday, the same day the Davids report was published.

Letter
The Davids report included at least one aspect which was of particular interest to the British. According to the commission, then Prime Minister Tony Blair gave a secret letter to Jan Peter Balkenende in 2002 about his plans for Iraq. To date, the letter has never been made public and nobody knows what was in it – not even the Davids commission was allowed to see it.

“The curious thing was that Tony Blair had made it clear he wanted the letter back after Mr Balkenende had read it – which is pretty unusual – but also that Mr Balkenende should not share the content of the letter with anyone”, Mr Sands says.

Duped
“We assume that it contained what Mr Blair knew about Iraq. But of course, we now know that he had nothing. So there couldn’t have been anything of any significance in that letter. It seems that Mr Blair duped Mr Balkenende rather as he duped the entire British population”.
The British inquiry will continue for at least the rest of this year, with its final report expected sometime in early 2011. However, Mr Sands doesn’t think its findings will have the same impact as the Davids report. “I’ve watched much of the inquiry and I don’t think they’re a particularly robust group of individuals”.

Crystal clear
“Four of the five commission members are really soft and none of them have any legal experience. I just don’t get the sense that this group is going to be as crystal clear as Mr Davids and his colleagues were”.
 

JAdams

Registered Member
#5
I'm confused as to how you feel separation of church and state fits in to this. The government decides because they have the authority to decide, or the people decide because they have the power of the ballot box? I'm just trying to understand what you meant.
I...um...

Now that I reread my post, I have no idea what I was talking about. XD