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The dangerous German ideologies…. January 17, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Basics, catachesis, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sickness, Society.

….and the havoc they have wrought on the world.  This is not a well thought out post, necessarily. Just some scattershooting, feel free to poke holes in my theory:

Before I begin, I should note that I am part German. My wife, entirely so.  Even so, my studies of history over the past several years have revealed to me that, of all the bad ideas run amok in the world, the vast majority of them stemmed directly from a German source, or were heavily influenced by Germanic thinking.  All of modern history has been tainted and, I would say, gravely damaged, by warped, destructive ideas emanating from Germany.  A brief list:

  • The heresies of Luther, Calvin, and Zwinglii, Germans all.  The worst, of course, was the heresy of rejection of Authority and private interpretation of Scripture.
  • From private interpretation came the rationalism of Georg Hegel, and his nonsense theory of thesis-antithesis-synthesis.  This served as the intellectual wrecking ball of Scholasticism.
  • From protestant private interpretation and Hegelian rationalism we got the Endarkenment.  While there were not many German players in the “enlightenment,” all the conclusions reached by French and English enlightenment philosophes were grounded in the errors of protestantism and rationalism.
  • From the endarkenment came the perfection of leftist statism, the ideas of communism put forth by Marx and Engels, Germans both.  Further on, we had the immensely destructive nihilism of Nietzsche and the subsequent ultimate gotterdammerung socialist government of the Nazis.
  • Out of all this wicked brew came the “synthesis of all heresies,” modernism.  Many of the leading lights of modernism were German, especially Martin Heidigger.
  • Even before all the above, the Dutch-Germanic Erasmus of Rotterdam put forth a large number of ideas which helped shape the coming protestant revolution.  While not necessarily a heretic, per se, he distorted the Catholic Faith in ways that laid much of the intellectual groundwork for what followed (this bit might be weak, I don’t have a really strong knowledge of Erasmus).
  • At Vatican II, the Germanic bloc dominated, informed by the extremely problematic theories of Rahner and von Baltasar.  Much of revolution in the Church stems from Germanic ideals, such as the entire liturgical movement, which had its core in pre-conciliar Germany with its abusive “youth Masses” and all manner of bad ideas.

Looked at a certain way, almost the entire destruction of Christendom and the incalculable wreckage and suffering that followed can be laid at the feet of Germans.  I don’t say this as an excuse to start a persecution or anything, I just find it odd.  Why have so many extremely bad ideas come out of Germany?  Is there something in the German psyche prone to rebellion and error?

Even today, we see a veritable revolt on the part of the Church in Germanic countries – Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and what’s left of the Church in Holland (not much) – why?  Why are the errors so concentrated in one place?  Does anyone have a historical/sociological explanation for this?

I’m out of time – discuss.


1. DiscipleoftheDumbOx - January 17, 2014

This, I have suspected for a long time now. I am glad that I am not alone in this conclusion. Belloc noted that along with the Germans, the English would be the harbringers of that which would return us to the servile state. This, due in great part, to the abandonment of the Catholic faith initiated by those two European countries in the 16th century.

tantamergo - January 17, 2014

Well, English are Anglo-Saxon, thus, German. Ultimately, even Hitler thought they were Aryans.

2. codephined - January 17, 2014

“Endarkenment” … I like that.

Maybe because it used to be the main seat of the Holy Roman Empire?
Satan always attacks and perverts what once belonged to God… just look at France. The once-magnificent daughter of the Church became the birthplace of classical liberalism (American “conservatism”) and ancestor of modern liberalism.

3. Woody - January 17, 2014

Bad beer?

4. Lorra - January 17, 2014

Funny you brought this up because I asked my husband that same thing on Sunday. What is it with Germany? It seems that the worst things come out of that country. I’ve noticed it with the British as well.

Glad to know I am not alone, and has anyone here noticed how people think of the same things at the same time?

tantamergo - January 20, 2014

It’s Grace. Very possibly.

With so many bad ideas coming out of Germanic countries at present, perhaps we’re being prompted by Grace to remember all the other bad ideas, to help enlighten (heh) others to reject these.

I left out a number of other really destructive German thinkers.

5. Ben Warren - January 17, 2014

I thought German beer was supposed to be good! The Germans get the club not because they’re low on the totem pole, but because, traditionally, they’ve been very industrious. Same for the British. The corruption of the best is the worst, right? In contrast, look at Italy, Spain, Portugal, and now France: very deeply into Marxism. The stereotype (for whatever it’s worth, and I say it’s worth something) of Italians is that they daydream all day and come across beautiful women all the time. Not nearly so impressive.

6. Lynne - January 17, 2014

And tying this in to your post on homeschooling below, Germany has all but outlawed it (homeschooling).

7. Woody Jones - January 17, 2014

I thought Calvin was French.

skeinster - January 17, 2014

Beat me to it- he was. His real name was Jean Cauvin.

tantamergo - January 20, 2014

Alsatian, German-French.

8. Molly Alley - January 18, 2014

Chesterton commented about how obsession with order leads to insanity and anarchy and chaos. That same mentality that serves the Germans so well in engineering and science can lead to a loss of perspective. One can become obsessed with a small hidden truth to the point where the obvious truths become lost.

stoney - January 18, 2014

Interesting analysis, Molly. You might be on to something there. Didn’t liturgical abuses (at least at the time they were considered abuses) such as receiving Communion in the hand and altar girls originate in Germany as well? At least they gave us PBXVI, perhaps a future doctor of the Church.

9. Rick - January 18, 2014

This is an interesting question. I wonder if it stems around the historical malaise that many Germans experienced in the Post-WWI era, which was only amplified by the horrors of WWII. I know you’ve listed him as a dangerous mind, but von Balthasar wrote a book, “The Apocalypse of the German Soul.” I think the German populace was indeed severely damaged by its history, which led to rather dark, depressing, and dangerous ideologies.

Certainly the reformation had something to do with it. Within theology, liberal (especially German) Protestant scriptural scholarship–with its “demythologizing” agenda–greatly impacted future scholarship.

As a rather conservative theologian, I do feel the need to express surprise at your choice of bad-seed theologians. I have studied Rahner extensively. It is my assessment that–while I do take issue with some of his works–he is much more conservative than many (especially his so-called ‘followers’) acknowledge. For instance, he led the charge in publishing a volume against Hans Küng’s rejection of papal infallibility. He attempted to defend a Thomistically-based metaphysical epistemology while studying under Heidegger. Küng was the much more invasive figure. I appreciate much of Rahner’s own thought, while I cringe at most Rahnerians’ thought. I think he has be hi-jacked and co-opted in ways he neither wanted nor imagined.

Similarly, von Balthasar has become an interesting figure. Many see him as liberal. Many others see him as conservative. I think his link with Adrienne von Spyr has greatly clouded his own thought. Yet, on the whole, is is rather conservative. He offers a lot of very good insights that defend the Church’s traditional doctrine. His book on “The Office of Peter and the Structure of the Church,” in which he vociferously attacks the intra-Catholic “anti-Roman attitude,” is well worth reading. Similarly, his little, easy-to-read book, “In the Fullness of Faith: the Centrality of the Distinctively Catholic,” is a great resource for computing false-ecumenism. Not to mention the fact that he and Ratzinger were very close friends, who–together with de Lubac–founded the journal “Communio” precisely to be a more conservative response to the liberal “Concilium.”

I think much of the reaction against von Balthasar comes from cursory readings/understandings of one book (out of dozens that he wrote): “Dare We Hope that All Men Be Saved?” It is more of a reflection on the meaning of the theological virtue of hope as a median between the two extremes of despair and presumption than it is an apologetic for universal salvation. But many miss this, and thus assume he was liberal through and through.

His thought on the Church and on Mary is particularly noteworthy and beneficial. Similarly, his “Razing the Bastions” and “Love Alone is Credible” are wonderful reads. As such, I hardly think he can be considered a top “problem” from the German-speaking world. His positive contribution to Catholic thought far out-weighs any negative confusion that may have come and which always inevitably comes from great minds.

If anything, the works of von Balthasar and Ratzinger were precisely reactions against the errors of Germanic thinking that surrounded them.

10. Rick - January 18, 2014

N.B.: Corrections
–by “greatly impacted” I mean in a negative sense.
–“In the Fullness of Faith” is good for “combating” not “computing” false-ecumenism.
Addendum: Although not “German, “Schillebeeckx” is a much more dangerous figure.

11. maggycast - January 18, 2014

Hmmm…Germany is such a pretty place…maybe they puffed up in pride over it? Like the idea that the German order concepts mess with the head/heart at times…also like the generational sin idea too. And sure…why not throw in the love of booze…that fries your brain and thus your intellect. I’m part German too! Although I’m a mutt…German, English and Irish…glad the Irish is in there to humble the industrious snob genes:+) God bless~

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