There isn’t much that has changed with the “religious Left” all the way back to 1933. Let me illustrate.
We have recently witnessed the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the concentration camp that claimed so many lives during the Holocaust. The “religious Left” had some complicity back then as well. Many of those churches, both Protestant and Catholic, turned a blind eye to the plight of those being gassed and starved. Most denominations and individual churches co-operated in it all because they had been seduced by Hitler.
There were denominations and individual churches that refused this kind of co-operation to be sure. They would not put Hitler’s picture on their wall or altar as they were commanded to do. I write about this in my book about Holocaust survivor Anita Dittman. Her pastor from the Lutheran Confessional Church ignored the Nazis sitting in his service and aided the Jews of his community as well. (See order blank enclosed to purchase the book.)
But during WWII, many of Europe’s and America’s “religious leaders” were pre-occupied with America’s “economic and social agenda” as the “religious Left” is today on both continents. Albert Palmer, President of Chicago Theological Seminary said Americans should be solving the problems of social and economic justice at home rather than condemning Germany through a haze of Allied propaganda.”
Methodist leader Ernest Fremont Title claimed that Nazism could be overcome non-violently which is vaguely reminiscent of John Kerry’s wish to fight a “kinder, gentler war” with Islamofascism. Thus churches and denominations were protesting wars then as they do now.
As news of the destruction of Jews in Europe reached the American press, America’s Christian leadership failed to even lobby for immigration reform. Thus, from 1933 to 1941 more than 100 anti-Semitic groups appeared in the U.S., many with “Christian overtones.”
How is the “religious Left” operating today? Several articles are posted on their Web sites, including the National Council of Churches–www.ncccusa.org. You will see them laud the efforts of environmentalists, sharing the wealth, commentaries on poverty, land mines, anti-war rhetoric, boycotts against everything but abortion factories, and an obsession with the Palestinian cause. Some blatantly promote socialism and a few laud Communism, thus anti-Americanism abounds. Hardly what the founders of their denominations had in mind!
Here are some highlights, or perhaps we should call them “low lights”:
* The National Council of Churches (NCC) insists that hundreds of Palestinians in prison, mostly for terror-related crimes, be released by Israel for they have been “wrongfully detained.” The World Council of Churches has just called for the divestment of all funds in Israel to hurt their economy. Both rail against Israel’s security fence which has saved thousands of lives.
* Last Fall over 50,000 Evangelical churches observed the”International Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem Day.” The WCC and NCC had their “Day of Prayer for Peace.” They quoted Arafat-loyalist Hanan Ashrawi on a PA Web site as she spoke about Middle East peace, a subject she knows nothing about. There was no mention that on that same PA Web site was footage of two PA TV programs showing official religious leaders openly calling for the genocide of Jews.
* The Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) openly opposes “Christian Zionism” as do many other members of the “religious Left.” They do not like the theology that goes with it–that is, Israel’s key present and future role. They say that what comes with the territory is the sentiment that Christian Zionists have no concern for the plight of the Palestinians. Christians show favor to Israel based on a phony “biblical mandate” which ignores the basic rights of the people who are also made in the image of God–the Palestinians. They visited and praised Hezbollah, a radical terror group that wants bin Laden to vaporize America. The PCUSA also plans to pull all funds out of Israel to cripple their economy.
* All churches comprising the “religious Left”–both Protestant and Catholic–embrace “Replacement Theology”; that is, that the Church is the new Israel. This flies in the face of Scripture but these people long ago dropped the Bible as their standard.
So how much has changed in the climate of the organized church since 1933? My conclusion is, very little–except for the “remnant.” May your numbers increase. You brighten my day and remind me that God will always reveal truth to those who earnestly seek it. There really is a sub-set of believers who are more interested in being biblically correct than politically correct.
(Jan Markell is founder/director of Olive Tree Ministries, Inc. To learn more or get her free e-mail alerts of print newsletter, visit her web site, www.olivetreeviews.org.)