Tuesday, July 10, 2007

What the Lutherans Don't Tell You

(This is all meant in good fun, to prove a point about some Anti-Mormon tactics.)

Martian Luther was an anti-Semite (all citations from the Wiki entry on Martian Luther, unless otherwise cited):

"In an early work, That Jesus Christ was born a Jew, Luther advocated kindness toward the Jews, but only with the aim of converting them to Christianity: what was called Judenmission.[69] When his efforts at conversion failed, he became increasingly bitter toward them.[70] His main works on the Jews were his 60,000-word treatise Von die Juden und Ihren Lügen (On the Jews and Their Lies), and Vom Schem Hamphoras und das Geschlecht Christi (On the Holy Name and the Lineage of Christ) — reprinted five times within his lifetime — both written in 1543, three years before his death.[71] He argued that the Jews were no longer the chosen people, but were "the devil's people." They were "base, whoring people, that is, no people of God, and their boast of lineage, circumcision, and law must be accounted as filth."[72] The synagogue was a "defiled bride, yes, an incorrigible whore and an evil slut ..."[73] and Jews were full of the "devil's feces ... which they wallow in like swine."[74] He advocated setting synagogues on fire, destroying Jewish prayerbooks, forbidding rabbis from preaching, seizing Jews' property and money, smashing up their homes, and ensuring that these "poisonous envenomed worms" be forced into labor or expelled "for all time."[75] He also seemed to sanction their murder,[76] writing "We are at fault in not slaying them."[77]

Luther taught that Polygamy was acceptable:

"In 1539, Luther became involved in controversy surrounding the bigamy of Philip I, Landgrave of Hesse, who wanted to marry one of his wife's ladies-in-waiting. Luther ruled that polygamy was acceptable, noting that the patriarchs of the Old Testament had had more than one wife, and so Philip entered into the second marriage in secret. Philip's sister made news of the marriage public a few weeks later, scandalizing Germany.[2]"

Luther was eager to punish ‘Witchcraft’ by the severest of means:

"Luther shared some of the superstitions about witchcraft that were common in his time.[96] He believed that it was inimical to Christianity. In his Small Catechism, he taught that it was a sin against the second commandment,[97] and that, with the help of the devil, witches were able to steal milk simply by thinking of a cow.[98] He is reported to have said in a "table talk" that he would burn them himself:

"'On 25 August 1538 there was much discussion about witches and sorceresses who steal chicken eggs out of nests, or steal milk and butter. Doctor Martin said: "One should show no mercy to these [women]; I would burn them myself, for we read in the Law that the priests were the ones to begin the stoning of criminals."[99]"

Luther fomented civil unrest against existing authorities, then turned his back on his followers:

"Despite his victory in Wittenberg, Luther was unable to stifle radicalism further afield. Preachers such as Zwickau prophet Nicholas Storch and Thomas Müntzer — whose rallying cry was "let not your sword grow cold from blood" — helped instigate the Peasants' War in 1524, during which many atrocities were committed, often in Luther's name. This war was being pursued by the peasantry in order to establish a classless society with shared goods. In 1525, Müntzer eventually succeeded in establishing a short-lived communist theocracy.

There had been revolts by the peasantry on a smaller scale since the 14th century; many of them now believed that Luther's attack on the Church and the hierarchy meant that the reformers would support an attack on the upper classes in general, because of the close ties between the secular princes and the princes of the Church. Revolts broke out in Swabia, Franconia, and Thuringia in 1524, gaining support from disaffected nobles too, many of whom were in debt. Gaining momentum and a new leader in Thomas Müntzer, the revolts turned into war.

"Luther sympathized with the peasants' grievances, as he showed in his response to the Twelve Articles in May 1525, but he reminded them to obey the temporal authorities and became enraged at the widespread burning of convents, monasteries, bishops’ palaces, and libraries. In Against the Murderous, Thieving Hordes of Peasants (1525), he condemned the violence as the devil's work, called for the nobility to put down the rebels like mad dogs, and explained the Gospel's view on the sharing of wealth:

"Whosoever can, should smite, strangle, and stab, secretly or publicly, and should remember that there is nothing more poisonous, pernicious, and devilish than a rebellious man... the Gospel does not make goods common, except in the case of those who do of their own free will what the apostles and disciples did in Acts IV. They did not demand, as do our insane peasants in their raging, that the goods of others - of a Pilate and a Herod - should be common, but only their own goods. Our peasants, however, would have other men's goods common, and keep their own goods for themselves. Fine Christians these! I think there is not a devil left in hell; they have all gone into the peasants. " [57]

"In "Against the Murderous, Thieving Hordes of Peasants" Luther opposed the peasant movement for three reasons. First, instead of conducting themselves appropriately by lawfully submitting to the secular government, the peasants chose to resort to violence, therefore failing to heed Christ's counsel to "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's." Second, due to the peasant's violent actions of rebelling, robbing, and plundering, Luther explained that they were "outside the law of God and Empire," therefore meriting "death in body and soul, if only as highwaymen and murderers." Lastly, Luther presented how the peasants "cloak this terrible and horrible sin with the Gospel" and call themselves "Christian brethren," sins which Luther considered utter blasphemy.

"Without Luther's backing for the uprising, many rebels laid down their weapons; others felt betrayed. Their defeat by the Swabian League at the Battle of Frankenhausen on May 25, 1525, followed by Munzer’s execution, brought the revolutionary stage of the Reformation to a close. Thereafter, radicalism found a refuge in the anabaptist movement, while Luther's Reformation flourished under the wing of the secular powers."

Finally Luther questions the legitimacy of canonical books of scripture, just because they disagreed with his preferred theology:

"Luther was also frustrated by the works-emphasis of the book of James, calling it “the Epistle of Straw, and questioning its canonicity." (http://www.greatsite.com/timeline-english-bible-history/martin-luther.html)

Martian Luther, dangerous cult leader. Lutheranism, unchristian hearsay.

(This post brought to you by the Association for Unsympathetic Logic in Inter-Religious Discourse).

P.S. In all fairness, a Lutheran actually told me most of this stuff.

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