Merkel to Muslims: Learn German and adopt Christian values

German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a booth on ...
German Chancellor Angela Merkel (Image via Wikipedia)

Quite an article, yesterday, from the AFP by way of Yahoo: “Merkel says German multi-cultural society has failed” (hat tip to JDJ for sending this one my way!).

Check it out, yourself, but keep in mind: the words “multi-cultural society” in Europe often mean specifically a society seeking to succeed with Muslims and Arabs in their midst, as the article makes clear.

And Chancellor Merkel is saying publicly that it is going horribly.  Here’s a selection:

Germany’s attempt to create a multi-cultural society has failed completely, Chancellor Angela Merkel said at the weekend, calling on the country’s immigrants to learn German and adopt Christian values.

Merkel weighed in for the first time in a blistering debate sparked by a central bank board member saying the country was being made “more stupid” by poorly educated and unproductive Muslim migrants.

“Multikulti”, the concept that “we are now living side by side and are happy about it,” does not work, Merkel told a meeting of younger members of her conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party at Potsdam near Berlin.

“This approach has failed, totally,” she said, adding that immigrants should integrate and adopt Germany’s culture and values.

“We feel tied to Christian values. Those who don’t accept them don’t have a place here,” said the chancellor.

“Subsidising immigrants” isn’t sufficient, Germany has the right to “make demands” on them, she added, such as mastering the language of Goethe and abandoning practices such as forced marriages.

Of course, Merkel is not demanding that Muslims become Christians — saying that immigrants need to adopt “Christian values” does not mean they must actually become Christian.  In fact, she also said that “Islam is a part of Germany.”  At issue is the tolerance or official “blind eye” turned to such practices as forced marriages, et al. that spring up in some Muslim communities in Europe but which Germany would not normally tolerate.  (I am reminded of the requirement made of Utah to ban polygamy before it was allowed to become a state.)  Merkel is declaring that such tolerance is not likely to continue.

So, while Merkel is not saying Muslims need to become Christians, she is saying that Muslims must become Germans in a more authentic sense, and she is saying that to become German one must adopt certain Christian values.

Of course, Chancellor Merkel is motivated by political concerns, working to keep both sides of the debate on immigration within her own party together.  Yet, it is still jarring from an American point of view to see such a statement, given that an American policital leader (at least one of any importance) who expressed similar sentiment would be excoriated.

Others of influence in Germany are making even stronger statements.  As the article mentions, a now-former German central bank member said publicly that a growing uneducated, unproductive Muslim population in the nation was making Germany “more stupid” and has published a book on the subject: Germany Does Itself In.

The book has been selling like hotcakes, apparently, because such sentiment in Germany isn’t merely concentrated on the fringes or expressed by those in ivory towers.  Again, from the article:

A recent study by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation think tank showed around one-third of Germans feel the country is being “over-run by foreigners” and the same percentage feel foreigners should be sent home when jobs are scarce.

Nearly 60 percent of the 2,411 people polled thought the around four million Muslims in Germany should have their religious practices “significantly curbed.”

Far-right attitudes are found not only at the extremes of German society, but “to a worrying degree at the centre of society,” the think tank said in its report.

I have wondered for some time if the threat of a rapidly growing, non-integrating Muslim culture in Europe might begin to steer the generally secular continent towards its “Christian” heritage in an effort to fight fire with fire.  Religion is destined to play a role in binding Europe together — a task that history, ancient and modern, has shown to be daunting.  The Bible, too, says of the union that will become the Beast power, that it is like “iron mixed with clay” and that it does not hold together easily (Daniel 2:41-43).  Yet returning to a historic “Chrisitan” heritage (what Pope John Paul II called Europe’s “roots”) promises something that can do the job, and it would bring with it the “benefit” of making those who are causing an increasing number of Germans and Europeans to feel uneasy — the growing, non-integrating Muslim immigrant population — to seem all the more foreign.  The more foreign they seem, the easier it is to publicly accept more drastic measures to reject them.

In that light, seeing Merkel stress that Germany has the right to “make demands” of Muslim immigrants and seeing her characterize “German values” as “Christian values” is interesting, indeed.

6 thoughts on “Merkel to Muslims: Learn German and adopt Christian values

  1. Hi Mr. Smith,

    If you think it’s interesting now, wait until they relearn the lesson that America’s Founding Generation turned its back on: one cannot have a society based on “Christian values” apart from “Christian government”. And it wouldn’t surprise me if said “government” eventually takes on counterfeits of all seven principles of God’s true government (including religious faith), even if that no doubt would be mitigated by the humanistic influence of the Beast and the ten kings who will arise with him.

    One step closer to the Holy Roman Empire…

  2. Cherie

    I saw this article yesterday and posted it on FB. What I found particularly interesting was the mention of 1 out of every 10 Germans wanting a “Fuhrer” to govern them. If the economy is bad now, it will of course get so much worse. I wonder how this worsening of the global economy and the German economy will affect the mindset of the German people on this particular topic? Perhaps the worse the economy becomes, the greater the percentage of people desiring a Fuhrer to “help put their economy in order”. Perhaps the influence of money alone could pave the way for a new German dictator. Just some thoughts I had.

  3. Norbert

    I think the holocaust is still far too fresh in the European consciousness for drastically rejecting human rights and Islam as a legitimate government recognized religion. However legislating so people have to accept someone else’s beliefs in return for allowing them to follow their own beliefs is not out of the question.

    That is how Imperial Rome handled their population legally in regards to worship. The earliest Christians under Imperial rule were persecuted not because they denied the existance of the State sanctioned Pagan gods, but that they denied that they were gods.

  4. While not being familiar with specifically Roman writings on that assertion, I am familiar with this verse:

    (Acts 19:26 NKJV) Moreover you see and hear that not only at Ephesus, but throughout almost all Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away many people, saying that they are not gods which are made with hands.

    This, among quite a few other verses I could cite. The early Church most certainly denied the existence as well as the deity of the state-sanctioned gods (the Old Testament alone would let them do nothing else). But they used tact in so doing, so that even at Ephesus the town clerk could find nothing wrong with their conduct, nor yet the Areophagus in Athens, who could easily have killed Paul for what he was preaching.

    If anything, or so I understand it, the denial of the deity of the emperors became a really sore spot in time.

  5. Norbert

    The book by James Parkes, “The Conflict of the Church and Synagogue” is scholarly historical work on that earliest of time. Free for download or reading and in my opinion a rather interesting read, at least the first few chapters. It is more historical than it is religious in nature.

    And I probably did a poor job of explaining the different nuance between the existance of gods and the denying that they are God. Hinduism makes for a good example. Today it exists and is recognized by many modern nations and at times even CoG literature acknowledges they exist as part of many gods available for worship, but are their dieties God? No!

    Here’s an interesting tidbit from that book about how the mindset of the Roman government viewed atheism and religious worship within it’s juridictional boundaries and Emperor worship.

    “But the Jewish proselyte [Christians fell into the same boat] seemed particularly
    dangerous to the security of the empire because he
    was an ‘atheist ‘. This did not so much mean a believer in
    no God, as a disbeliever in the Gods of the state” (pg. 47)

    Our modern interpretation of atheism isn’t the same as those in the 1st century. Back then it was much broader. By denying Caesar and Rome which he represented an offering of incense was to deny the exitence of the god of that nation of being God. A person of that attitude was perceived of NOT loving your neighbor and a danger to the peace of Rome.

    “All that was required for conformity to the state religion was to
    scatter a few grains of incense upon an altar, and to obtain
    a certificate, easily granted, that this had been done. To
    refuse so simple an act of fellowship with society, one might
    almost say of common courtesy to one’s neighbours, seemed
    to show a strangely malignant character. One was not asked
    to believe anything. One was only asked to conform to a
    political convention.” (pg. 47)

    However at that time while there was peace between ancient Israel and Rome, the Jews having their own province were granted an exemption from that law which required the burning of incense. Which made the early Christians an acceptable target for persecution being rejected by both Rome and the leaders of the Israeli nation.

    The line between politics and religion, as much as a person would like them to remain separate, can become rather blurry. It could be said that some peoples version of what they believe to be the god of the Founding Fathers of the USA may not be God either.

  6. This is reminiscent of what Socrates was charged of (and executed for): he was called an atheist because he denied the gods honored by the state. But he was no atheist by our modern standards – like Plato his pupil, he believed in one God.

    Paul’s critique in Romans 1 has long fascinated me in that light. While conceding that it was dangerous for Plato to write openly of one God (and so he did so privately while mentioning “the gods” outside his inner circle), if Socrates and Plato go the point than you can bet other pagans did also but refused to follow the evidence where it led. And I suppose Paul’s first comment to Plato himself might’ve been, “Your own teacher had the courage to go public, and so have I, with this foundational truth, both at the risk of our lives. Don’t you love the truth as much as we do?”

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