31 December 2014

Martin Luther was a dick

Martin Luther was, to put it gently, an assbutt. He hated women:
  • "The word and works of God is quite clear, that women were made either to be wives or prostitutes."
  • "No gown worse becomes a woman than the desire to be wise." 
  • "Men have broad and large chests, and small narrow hips, and more understanding than women, who have but small and narrow breasts, and broad hips, to the end they should remain at home, sit still, keep house, and bear and bring up children." 
And he hated Jews:
  • "But what will happen even if we do burn down the Jews' synagogues andforbid them publicly to praise God, to pray, to teach, to utter God's name? They will still keep doing it in secret. If we know that they are doing this in secret, it is the same as if they were doing it publicly. For our knowledge of their secret doings and our toleration of them implies that they are not secret after all, and thus our conscience is encumbered withit before God. So let us beware. In my opinion the problem must be resolved thus: If we wish to wash our hands of the Jews' blasphemy and not share in their guilt, we have to part company with them. They must be driven from our country. Let them think of their fatherland; then they need no longer wail and lie before God against us that we are holding them captive, nor need we then any longer complain that they are burdening us with their blasphemy and their usury. This is the most natural and the best course of action, which will safe guard the interest of both parties."
  • "[If] I had power over them, I would assemble their scholars and their leaders and order them, on pain of losing their tongues down to the root, to convince us Christians within eight days of the truth of theirassertions and to prove this blasphemous lie against us, to the effect that we worship more than the one true God. If they succeeded, we would all on the self-same day become Jews and be circumcised. If they failed, they should stand ready to receive the punishment they deserve for such shameful, malicious, pernicious, and venomous lies."
There are many more quotes like this (feel free to source them yourself), and what gets me is that he's absolutely revered as both a theological visionary and a wise man of God. It's likely that most Christians, assuming they even know who he was, have no idea what a vile human being he really was.

Now, the fact that he was vile, of course, does not in itself mean his theology was wrong. But could you imagine, today, someone appealing to the theology of the Klu Klux Klan with some accommodationist excuse like, "Well, we disagree with their views on race, but they have some great ideas about salvation and God"?

In other words: if Martin Luther were alive today, would he still be viewed as a theological visionary, or just a raving lunatic? And why are modern Christians so keen to overlook his inhumanity? Is it in part because it's harder to blame Hitler's actions on 'atheism' when you realize he got lots of his Jew-hating ideas from one of the most revered Christians who ever lived, even praising Luther in Mein Kampf?

There's really no point to this post, just a stream of consciousness... take it for what you will. 



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