Lessons learned??

Posted: February 3, 2015 in Uncategorized

70 years ago, Russian troops freed the prisoners of conscience he Nazi concentration camp named Auschwitz. Just last week there was a celebration to commemorate the liberation. One of the survivors from the camp at the celebration made a resonating statement “We survivors do not want our past to be our children’s future,” Roman Kent
Roman Kents quote immediately made me think about something released by the Whitehouse concerning the holocaust. In the press release the president recalls the words of cautionary words of the author and survivor of Auschwitz Primo Levi, “It happened, therefore it can happen again. . . . It can happen anywhere.”
It seems this statement is true about most of history. If it has happened before it is likely to happen again.

“In history, a great volume is unrolled for our instruction, drawing the materials of future wisdom from the past errors and infirmities of mankind.”
Edmund Burke
The bottom line is simple. If society does not learn from its mistakes it will repeat them. The Nazi party was a big mistake, a blemish on the history of the world. The party was voted into power with the support of the church. This mixing of church and state is a huge mistake.

“The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe in blood for centuries.” James Madison
Despite the importance of this separation I see places all over the world in which lines are blurred. The French head scarf ban is one glaring example, of both a blurred line between state and religion and a state inhibiting free speech. See second lesson from the monsters that are nazis would be that a state must allow for and protect its citizens speech.

“…legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.”
Thomas Jefferson, Letters of Thomas Jefferson
Another lesson from this tragedy is that all races religions sexes and sexual preferences which are truly intrinsic to being a human (meaning a race, religion sex or sexual preference is truly part of the beautiful mosaic that makes you who you are), must be respected.
I see this important lesson of respect trampled on often. I watched as an entire state voted to prohibit people from marriage simply because they disagreed with the people’s lifestyle. This blatant lack of respect, to the point of not even allowing these people a basic right is terrible and in some awful irony many of the bigots who support this claim to be doing gods work.

“The first chapter of Mein Kampf, that Hitler says that he’s doing God’s work and executing God’s will in destroying the Jewish people? How come the fuhrer oath that every officer of the Party and the Army had to take, making Hitler into a minor god, begins “I swear in the name of almighty God, my loyalty to the Fuhrer?” How come that on the belt buckle of every Nazi soldier it says Gott mit uns, God on our side? How come that the first treaty made by the Nationalist Socialist dictatorship, the very first is with the Vatican? It’s exchanging political control of Germany for Catholic control of German education. How come that the church has celebrated the birthday of the Fuhrer every year, on that day until democracy put an end to this filthy, quasi-religious, superstitious, barbarous, reactionary system. Again, this is not a difference of emphasis between us to suggest that there’s something fascistic about me and about my beliefs is something I won’t hear said and you shouldn’t believe.”
Christopher Hitchens

I just can’t bring myself to believe that any good god would want a person to deny rights to another. Digression aside the third lesson of history is respect for all humans. I don’t care if your religion demands it or not, history does!



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