Historic Parallels

The average man on the street in America, France, England, Germany and, in fact, throughout the industrialized nations of the world, has a sense of disquiet, an ominous feeling that things aren’t working right and maybe never will. Despite his attempts to bring cheer into his life, he can’t shake the fear that his life is just going to go downhill from here.

On the news we see a steady degeneration of governmental stability around the planet. Riots abound; democratic forms of government descend into fanatic factions at constant war with each other; national debts rise to unsustainable levels; and extremely dangerous weapons are passing into the wrong hands.

What’s going on here? Are we simply going through a natural, spontaneous down-cycle in human affairs, or is something more sinister at work?

Even with its own problems, the United States seems to remain a bastion of stability in the midst of a troubled world. But just behind the facade of a stable, business-as-usual U.S. government with a composed, articulate leader at the helm we sense that here, too, there exists a chaotic state of affairs almost but not quite hidden from view. Evidence appears to be mounting of massive and escalating corruption within congress. Despite its members’ enactment of a game-changing healthcare system without considering even its short-term consequences to the American public, and having exempted a privileged few including themselves from its grasp, they continue to ignore an enormous threat of insolvency. Instead, they vote themselves inappropriate raises in pay, and accept hidden gratuities from special interests. They have become so polarized in outlook that they are unable to accomplish any legislation of substance. This do-nothing congress is not only corrupt, but it appears that it is also afflicted with a legendary incompetence.

Given this congressional deadlock over critical issues, Mr. Obama displays an exasperation with its inactivity and pursues the issuance of executive orders as his only available recourse to keep the ship of state upright and above water.

Or is something else at play here? Digging beneath the surface activity of current American politics, students of history may recognize a disturbing similarity between the emerging character of the Obama presidency and Hitler’s grasp for power in the early 1930s. He did so by pursuing a well-known Machiavellian principle: acquire control through means so monstrous that it would be difficult to ascribe them to the deliberate actions of a human being.

Having extricated himself from the taint of jail for violent and illegal political activity, Adolph Hitler become chancellor of Germany on January 30, 1933. But victory was less than complete for this power-hungry narcissist: he had failed to acquire an absolute majority in the Reichstag (German Parliament). After assuming the office of chancellor, he quickly set out to remedy this situation. Less than a month after Hitler’s election, on February 27, 1933, Marinus Van der Lubbe, a mentally-challenged individual with communist leanings and who enjoyed playing with matches was found at the scene of a blaze that consumed the Reichstag building. Like Nero before him who orchestrated the burning of Rome and then blamed it on the Christians, Hitler at his rage-filled self-righteous worst screamed out that the fire was caused by communist insurrectionists. He was posing, of course. Evidence later pointed quite strongly to Hitler himself as the initiator of the conflagration.

The Reichstag Fire Decree was issued on the heels of this dastardly act. Civil liberties were suspended, including habeas corpus and the right of free expression of opinion. The decree also permitted the arrest of Hitler’s communist opponents, virtually annihilating further competition from that quarter.

Soon thereafter, Hitler rammed through the Enabling Act, which transferred legislative power from the Reichstag directly to Hitler and his cabinet. With these moves, the German government underwent a fundamental transformation from a democracy to a dictatorship. It happened very quickly, partly because of Hitler’s almost supernatural speaking ability, and partly because of his message: under his benevolent leadership, the German people could finally acquire the pride and benefits due them as the master race of mankind. The German public’s pride-filled and self-absorbed view of the world and their place in it was welcomed as a wonderful, hope-filled antidote to the ham-fisted oppression of the punitive Versailles Treaty. But somewhere along the way to the recovery of their national pride, they had lost their God.

By the time that Hitler had arrived on the German political landscape the great Protestant Reformation started by Martin Luther in 1517 had played out. Christians had become complacent, materialistic and rather indifferent about God. Understanding very little about Scripture, they knew next to nothing about their God and what it really meant to be Christian. They were, however, patriotic. Their loss of World War I had reduced them to penury and a very wounded national pride. With his hope-filled message of strong leadership and national restoration, Hitler became their messiah.

Yet the Church was still strong enough in Germany that der Feuhrer couldn’t afford to offend her entirely. He claimed to be a Christian, although his god actually was himself. He kept the Church in place, but there, too, he set about to fundamentally transform her. Hitler’s new Christianity was more German, more masculine, bold, abounding in self-pride and racially pure. And, endowed with these impressive qualities, it was no longer Christian.

Having effectively destroyed the German Communist Party, Hitler needed a new scapegoat. Casting his evil eyes about, he focused them on the Jews, where figuratively they narrowed into malicious slits. On April 7, 1933, just over two short months after becoming chancellor, he enacted the “Restoration of Civil Service” laws under the guise of increasing efficiency within the government bureaucracy. But within this act was the deadly “Aryan paragraph” that ostracized the Jews, removing them from government jobs, and legalizing much of the abuse against the Jews that followed. From that time forward, they would be his targets for blame in an escalating display of the monstrous behavior of a vicious, inhuman animal.

Back in 2009 when Glenn Beck had his show on Fox he would comment sometimes on how, with Obama at the helm, America might morph into something similar to Hitler’s Germany. Distasteful as Obama was to his watchers, most of us thought that Beck might be a bit over-the-top on that one. Even Beck may have doubted it, because his initial suggestions in that direction were performed in jest. Nevertheless, when post-election political events had turned the jesting into something more serious and alarmingly relevant, the doubt evaporated. Upon his recommendation in 2010 I bought Eric Metaxas’ book Bonhoeffer (Thomas Nelson, publisher).

It was a good read. The narrative followed the increasingly difficult attempt by German pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer to call the Christian Church into obedience to the Gospel during the Hitler era and up until Bonhoeffer’s execution at the hands of the nazis. His hanging occurred April 8, 1945, just weeks before Germany was overrun by the Allies. I found Bonhoeffer’s refusal to bow to the German jackboot to be quite moving, but insofar as there might be any prophetic implication regarding our own situation in America, I wasn’t there yet. It was still too soon for genuine apprehension, at least for me.

More recently, after the uneasiness began to become entrenched in my mind, I read for the first time another Christian nonfiction book, Mind Siege. This one was from Dr. Tim LaHaye and David Noebel, written over a decade ago in 2000 (Word Publishing). I’m not particularly a fan of Christian fiction, so I hadn’t been exposed to LaHaye’s hugely popular Left Behind series. But this nonfiction book grabbed my attention from the outset. It set out to describe the anti-Christian mindset of the dominant forces in today’s society and the extent to which they had managed (by the year 2000) to secularize America and much of the rest of the world.

Having read this work from the perspective of the beginning of Obama’s second term as president of the United States, I found it to be disturbingly prophetic and even more relevant to the present time. As there were so many parallels noted between the ancient idolatries of the past and modern America as we experience it today, I wondered if Beck hadn’t had a point from the very beginning, that some of those same parallels existed between America and a more recent godless and dictatorial regime, that of Hitler’s Germany.

Consequently, I reached for my copy of Bonhoeffer and re-read selected passages. I was aghast to see such blatant similarities of mindset in our society, particularly of the Church. I was further appalled to discover through this work the possibility that Obama is borrowing some of Hitler’s methods in his rise to power, even in his cynical use of the prevailing secular mindset toward his acquisition of power and self-aggrandizement. But regardless of what Mr. Obama’s motives might be, the parallel between contemporary America and Hitler’s Germany goes way beyond the man alone.

The astonishing thing about this parallel is that we, collectively, appear to have entirely forgotten the issues for which we so nobly fought in World War II. Therefore, we appear to be doomed to repeat the deadly mistakes of the past, with or without the assistance of Obama.

There’s another parallel between Obama and Hitler that has been widely noticed. Like Hitler, Obama has a golden tongue. His eloquence is legendary. But, also like Hitler, behind the public façade Obama appears to be emotionally disengaged from anything that doesn’t add to his self-aggrandizement. When he appears to display compassion for human misfortune, as in the aftermath of Sandy, it’s a fleeting photo-op that rarely, if ever, leads to an actual mitigation of suffering. Hitler was so disgustingly indifferent to suffering that his actions invited disbelief. How many Germans refused to accept the fact of his death camps because such were too horrible to be true? How many Americans refuse to accept that Obama is a madman out to destroy the United States in order to bring it into compliance with a world government, perhaps with himself as the ultimate leader?

There are other crucial parallels between Obama and Hitler. Hitler burned the Reichstag and blamed it on the communists, in the process taking over the legislative function. Our president appears to see our Second Amendment rights as a challenge to his authority. At every opportunity he has attempted to mislead the American public about the reason for the Second Amendment, variously ascribing the legitimate purpose of weapons in the hands of general citizens as recreational or for hunting. In discussing this untruth with friends and family, I am amazed at their lack of understanding that the actual reason for permitting guns is to provide a buffer for citizens in the event that a bad government should come upon the scene. It’s an important distinction, because if the reason for our weapons was recreational or hunting, we wouldn’t have the need for banana-clip magazines or assault rifles. On the other hand, if our Second Amendment rights were granted to protect us from a bad government, we’d want all the assault rifles we could get our hands on, and as far as our magazines are concerned, bigger would work. A few rocket launchers, tanks and Apache helicopters would work too.

Whether or not he or the CIA under his control had something to do with the school shootings, Obama took full advantage of this crisis period to bring his gun-control agenda to reality. He also gave the go-ahead for Fast and Furious, thinking to create chaos and then blame it on the guns in the hands of the public. Hitler was unsatisfied to be merely head of government; he wanted absolute control. Obama appears to want the same: observe his fostering of dissention within the Republican Congress, and his attempt to legislate by executive order. Hitler set the Jews up as scapegoats for Germany’s problems. Obama did the same, first with ex-president Bush and now also with Republicans. We Christians are simply waiting in the wings to be added to that group and be denounced as hateful and ill-adapted to modern society, the root cause of America’s problems. Hitler manufactured terrorism and put it to use for the opportunity to clamp down on society; Obama’s doing the same. Hitler attributed false motives to his opposition in order to subdue it; so does Obama.

Being a member of a racial “minority”, Obama has refrained so far from heaping blame for all the country’s ills on Jews, although like all godless leaders throughout history, he has a peculiar distaste for the nation of Israel. He also dislikes Christianity, going out of his way to avoid Christian symbols. He has other scapegoats, including ex-president George Bush – to a nauseating extreme – , Fox News and political conservatives.

Hitler surrounded himself with unsavory individuals whose moral character was as weak as his own. The Brownshirts who helped elevate him to power were nothing but thugs of the coarser sort; Himmler was a psychopath; his SS troops amassed a record of atrocities; Eichmann and his staff had to discard all human decency in order to accomplish the things they did; Hitler’s regime employed the infamous Gestapo, and the equally infamous medical teams that slaughtered prisoners in the most inhuman manner in the name of scientific advancements. Is Obama any different in his elevation of corrupt Chicago politicians to positions of power in his administration? Or in his use of Hillary Clinton, to whom are attributed unanswered questions regarding the Whitewater Scandal and the death of Vince Foster? What about the moral fiber of his supporters in Congress, including Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi? For additional examples, one may consult Michelle Malkin’s Culture of Corruption, which is replete with associates of Obama whom one wouldn’t want to share a dark alley with.

These attributes of Obama’s make him the perfect leader to accomplish the objectives of the prevailing secular mindset. Indeed, it was the prevailing secular mindset itself that brought Obama to power.

[to be continued]


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