“Gott mit Uns!!”

The congress person from my district — Lauren Boebert — makes a big noise about her Christianity and about her guns. She’s also a hate-filled little person who is now under investigation for lying about (and stealing) campaign funds. In a discussion with others from my district about how this phenomenon got to be the surrealistic horror she is, someone who lives nearer Rifle, the town where Boebert is from, said, “Boebert was radicalized by her church.” The woman then went on to describe the church.

“Radicalized by her CHURCH? Who ARE these people? How does that happen?” I woke up this morning with that in my mind.

In the process of making coffee, I thought of my own novels. One is about the Crusades. One is about the Reformation. One is about fleeing Europe to escape religious persecution. The radicalization of Christians by a Christian church is a very old and very common story. This isn’t the first time Christians have been whipped up into a weapon-wielding frenzy by something purporting to be faith.

This is The Palastinalied, or the Palestine Song, a Crusader song, written in the 13th century by Walther von Vogelweid, one of the most well known (in his time and ours) composers of Minnesangs or lyrical ballads. It’s a hymn and a marching song sort of like “Onward Christian Soldiers.” Wikipedia has a translation of this song.

There are aspects to this whole moment in time that, to me, resemble the idea of a “holy war.” Not good. Those things always go sideways and for a lot of people, there was no homecoming. I have a hard time imagining Jesus urging his followers to carry AK-47s or carry their Glocks onto the floor of the United States House of Representatives.


29 thoughts on ““Gott mit Uns!!”

  1. “Radicalized by her church” doesn’t have to be bad, but seems to be the vast majority of the time. In the 1970s-80s the Liberation Theology movement radicalized Roman Catholics in Latin America to oppose imperialism and right wing death squads. Archbishop Cesar Romero (El Salvador) and Fathers Ernesto and Fernando Cardenal (Nicaragua) were among the leaders of that movement. The underpinnings were found in the book “Sandinismo, marxismo, cristianismo: la confluencia” (you can probably translate that into English yourself), by Italian writer Giulio Girardi. If you read Spanish, I recommend it highly. (E. Cardenal has written of liberation theology in action in “The Gospel in Solentiname”, about a christian community in Nicaragua.) This was a rare bright spot in a religion marked by The Crusades and the current far-right evangelicals who claim Christianity as their own.
    Lauren Boebert seems to be losing all the headlines to Marjorie Taylor Greene. I guess she’s not quite crazy enough for prime time.

  2. I suspect the process of radicalization of Christians is no different from the radicalization of Muslims or the radicalization of Communists. People all share exactly the same weaknesses and all “radical” leaders use the same techniques.

  3. I’m not sure about the woman you’re referring to, but I’ve read about one very radical pistol-packin’ mama ready to blast all commies with her AK47, calling on Christians to join her in her war on socialism. Pardon me if I misquote a scripture slightly but, “What concord hath Christ with the NRA?”
    I’ve had some discussions with American evangelicals about the teachings of Jesus versus the right to blast those who threaten you. This morning I read an excellent article* and I think I’ll reblog it, for what it’s worth. Sadly, PEv teachers of the past have reset all the inconvenient teachings of Jesus to “a future dispensation,” so you can ignore the “Love your enemies and do good to them that hate you.” It makes me so sad to see sincere people so misled.
    Maybe you’re read it too? *https://johnpavlovitz.com/2021/02/01/when-your-god-is-a-gun/

    • Pavlovitz has written just exactly what I think. ❤

      As I studied the Swiss Reformation, the teachings and questions, for my book, The Brothers Path, I realized that somehow I had already taken some of the Anabaptist early teachings to heart. Not so much the forms of things, but the belief that God's law is superior to the law of any society and should be adhered to. It's a good law, "Love your neighbor as you love yourself." It's so simple. I personally believe it is a natural reflex and often the easiest road to choose.

      The woman featured in Pavlovitz' article is exactly the woman I've written about in this post. Lauren Boebert is just one of several such women, I'm afraid. I think a lot of what I labeled Christianity (now? maybe for a while?) is a doctrinal mutation that suits the already existent beliefs of a group of people.

      Here's an article that looks at the phenomenon of this type of Republican woman from the beginning… https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/07/opinion/marjorie-taylor-greene-republican-women.html?smid=fb-share&fbclid=IwAR0jBTmu3AQIHulMOkRUOCbNLG49zx_FEVpUtmuh3bvOg-_HDLbKwn6mSe0T

        • She is. Ignorant, very arrogant, and dishonest. I believe her election was manipulated. There was a nice Dem lady running against her, nothing flashy, but nice. When it looked dangerously close a couple of right wing “Independents” became candidates and syphoned votes from the Dem. Boebert won by a mere 6 points. We’ll see what happens. Three people have already thrown their hats in the ring for the next election in 2022.

          • when I read that article, I trembled for America. But politics will always attract the power-hungry. Political views aren’t my concern. My concern is the statement, “Let those who name the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”
            Jesus talked of a time when people would stand in judgement and they’d say, “Lord, haven’t we called on you, done this and that for you, prayed, worked miracles, etc.” (My paraphrase)
            “And He will say, I never knew you. Depart from me…” Those are awful words to face! It’s so important for Christians to find out what God expects of his followers and to obey his word.

  4. Yikes. I would be so saddened by being “represented” by someone like Lauren Boebert. Let’s hope your district mobilizes to get rid of her next cycle. I worry that these women will get more and more outrageous trying to one up each other for attention. They remind me of those women on “Real Housewives of (wherever).” Just appalling !

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