This week, Gov. Mike Huckabee, along with David Lane of the American Renewal Project, hosted a tour with roughly 100 ministers and faith leaders to follow the steps of three world leaders who greatly influenced world history for the better, with the hopes that these leaders would return to America empowered to do likewise.
Retracing the steps of Pope John Paul II in Krakow Poland, Margaret Thatcher in London England, and Ronald Reagan in California, The Journey: A Spiritual Awakening, was designed to exemplify how “God raises extraordinary leaders for extraordinary times.” Huckabee explains, “their lives and messages brought hope to generations and freedom to millions by confronting evil everywhere. From their lives and their leadership we can extract immeasurable lessons for every nation wishing to be free and great.”
In the wake of Houston Mayor Annise Parker’s subpoena of emails and sermons of ministers, his timing, many argue, could not be more relevant. On Friday, November 14, Journey attendees visited Auschwitz and Birkenau and a museum located in the administrative building of Oskar Schindler’s enamel factory. On route to Auschwitz, Lane referenced similarities between 1930 Germany and 2014 America. Quoting from Inside Hitler’s Germany, Life Under the Third Reich, he paraphrased Martin Bormann’s assessment that national socialism and Christianity are “irreconcilable.”
Pointing to what was largely a Lutheran country and the former home of the Martin Luther who sparked the Protestant Reformation in 1517, life under Hitler immeasurably transformed Germany’s identity and culture. By 1938, much of Germany’s Christian practices were eliminated. Crosses in schools were replaced with Hitler’s picture, the Bible, with Mein Kampf, Christmas carols and the nativity play were eliminated, and the greeting, “Happy Christmas,” was replaced with “Yuletide.”
In fact, to Hitler, the role of the church would no longer serve Christ, but him. Posted on one of the museum’s walls was a statement Hitler made on October 2, 1940 about occupied Poland’s Christians. He said, “It shall be the priests’ task to keep the Poles calm, numb, and dumb.” The Museum’s commentary under the quote states, “The Germans did not manage to force the clergy to convince the faithful to leave [Poland] to work in the Reich, to join the Baudienst, or to work efficiently to benefit the German economy. Owing to admirable and wise behavior of priests during the occupation, the authority of the church grew at that time; much more people attended services as compared to before the war. Religiousness gave hope and palliated grief.”
Upon arrival at Auschwitz, Gov. Huckabee said, “We are entering a place where evil personified lost and God won. Where innocent, unarmed people were systematically murdered by the most educated, scientifically advanced, theologically trained, sophisticated, modernized and knowledgeable Germans.
Germany, which was a leader in most academic disciplines and professional fields, Huckabee said, “should be a sobering reminder that unless we stand against evil in our own time,” another Holocaust to another people group “will happen again.”
“The very people who created the death industry and ‘scientifically’ and medically experimented on prisoners,” he added, “went home every day, ate dinner with their families, played with their children, went to concerts, and lived normal lives, knowing all the while those under their authority were living in horror.”
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SOURCE: The Christian Post