These days, a diverse crowd of activists, comprised of some of the world’s wealthiest elites down to college kids, see themselves as saviors blessed with the omniscience to rescue humanity from its grievous faults and sins.
To fight “global warming,” for instance, climate change advocates demand the elimination of fossil fuels, the consumption of insects rather than beef or pork, and the return of vast tracts of land to wilderness. Our COVID-19 masters of the universe locked down much of the world, damaging millions of lives while transferring loads of money to tech companies, Big Pharma, and other corporations. Meanwhile, the champions of social justice gallop into the lists to break lances with those who oppose abortion, who believe that God and biology make us men and women, and who are baffled by the proposition that being color blind makes you a racist.
All these postmodernist warriors share a common motive and goal: to redeem the rest of us poor dolts from our mistakes and misinformation—or at least, those of us deemed worthy of life.
This has happened before.
Set in Germany between the two world wars, Edna Hong’s book, Bright Valley of Love, tells in fictionalized form the true story of Gunther, a boy born handicapped and then so neglected by his mother and grandmother that his bones become deformed, and he can no longer walk or speak. When Gunther is six, his absentee father takes him to Bethel, a Christian community caring for the infirm, the mentally ill, and epileptics—adults and children alike.
Surrounded by the love of pastors, deaconesses, and teachers, Gunther grows to manhood having attained not only the power of speech, but also the ability to read, write poetry and hymns, and even to walk. On graduation, Bethel gives him a permanent job, food, and a place to live.
All is well until Hitler and the Nazi regime declare war on the sick and vulnerable, deeming them dead weight, worthless, a drag on the resources of society, and deserving elimination. When Bethel’s Pastor Fritz learns that Nazi medical teams are planning to haul the residents off to death camps, he sends out numerous letters to authorities and makes trips to Berlin, begging for the lives of those in his care. At one point, feeling baffled at every turn, he asks his wife, “Julia, what are we men—human beings or wild beasts?”
To reveal the ending of this story would spoil the plot. Suffice it to say that Gunther, many of the characters, and Bethel itself were real and slated for destruction by the Nazi regime.
Unfortunately, readers of Bright Valley of Love will find parallels between the Germany of the Third Reich and America today.
Like those who once believed in a master race, today’s progressive leaders, both here in the United States and globally, regard themselves as superior human beings. They possess the correct solutions to what they regard as problems. The rest of us abide in darkness.
And like today, the contrast between the devout Bethel Christians and their secular, ideological masters is glaring. The pastors and staff of Bethel treat each human being, no matter how crippled in body or mind, as a soul. Their fascist government, however, regards those same human beings as servants of the state, to be thrown away when officials deem them useless. In effect, Bright Valley of Love gives us a horrific vision of a post-Christian society.
Even today’s devout Christians would admit that our society is effectively post-Christian, a culture in which the winds and whims of relativism reign rather than truth or morality. Here’s just one example: the traditional meanings of such words as sex, marriage, and woman are all under attack or have collapsed. This should come as no surprise, for what else, after all, might we expect from a culture that proclaims as truth, without a hint of irony, “your truth is not my truth?”
For the national socialists who once ruled Germany, individual desires and beliefs were but dross to the steel they intended to produce. For those who now claim to fight for human rights and the survival of the human race, the individual human being becomes simply an inconvenient digit in an equation. In other words, these protectors of “humanity” are now waging war on the human person.
Near the end of Bright Valley of Love, in a debate with his friend Dr. Brandt, Gunther declares that “no rulers on earth can make a standard that decides what is human, what human life is worth preserving. God alone can give us that standard.”
Words to keep in mind and take to heart in the battles that lie ahead of us.
Image Credit: Flickr-Pat Loika, CC BY 2.02 comments