Letter to the editor: Conservative Christians will bring atheism
To the editor
Atheism is coming to America, and it is conservative Christians who are bringing it here. During the Nazi period, around 95 percent of Germans identified as Christian. But today, just a little more than 75 years later, almost 60 percent of Germans identify as either non-religious or atheist. What happened?
On the surface, it might seem that atheists infiltrated society and persuaded Germans to dismiss or reject God. But there is little evidence to support this interpretation. More likely is the following: Hitler and the Nazis were self-described conservative Christians. When Hitler first came to power he declared in a speech: "It is Christians and not international atheists who now stand at the head of Germany." It was through their conservative version of Christianity that Hitler and the Nazis were able to make the case for criminalizing, violating, and eventually exterminating Jews, Gays, Gypsies, Immigrants, and many Others. Germans today know what a fanatical version of conservative Christianity can lead to (not all versions of Christianity lead to horrific behavior), which, in part, explains why so many contemporary Germans reject God and religion.
I don't believe that Trump will do in America what Hitler did in Germany, but the overwhelming support for Trump by conservative Christians will lead, I believe, to the same cultural transformation in America that occurred in Germany. Many (and I even believe a majority of) Americans will eventually say: "Look at Trump and his conservative Christian base. These people support perpetual lying, belittling the disabled, criminalizing immigrants, degrading women and minorities, supporting white supremacists, and so much more. In good conscience, not only must I reject Trump, but I must also reject the conservative version of Christianity of which he is a part."
In thirty years from now, when people ask the question, "who killed God in America," the answer will not be "the atheists." It will be the conservative Christians who supported Trump.
Sources: For the 95 percent statistic of Germans who were church-affiliated Christians, see James Carroll's book Constantine's Sword: The Church and the Jews (28).
For the nearly 60 percent statistic of non-religious and atheist Germans today, follow this link to the Washington Post article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2015/04/14/map-these-a...