My undergraduate degree is in History. I had an emphasis on German history…particularly the period known as the Weimar Republic. I was fascinated to learn  that otherwise sane, brilliant disciplined people could so quickly surrendered their wills, their children and ultimately their lives to something so antithetical to all of their history, and to someone who revealed his genocidal and maniacal views clear for anyone to read in his book Mein Kampf.

I went on to seminary and later and then ultimately to a Doctoral program in Ministry Studies. I never forgot the lessons of Weimar, and the power of propaganda as I then asked, ”How could the Church of Jesus begin to behave in a similar fashion and adopt positions that are in direct opposition to the Word of God?”

I think in each instance it has a lot to do with peer pressure and fear of banishment from communities by the ‘Ins” and the subsequent penalties of isolation and discrimination, loss of employment….and eventual arrest and confiscation of all one ever was or had or believed.

Books will be banned, speech will be policed ruthlessly, history will be scrubbed of all that doesn’t fit the ‘narrative du jour’. Monuments will be toppled, and a Kristallnacht of the soul will take place. The street violence will be so horrible that people will willingly embrace any strong, almost godlike leader who will promise to stop it and restore order (even though he and the cabal who pulls his strings orchestrated it)

I always think of my mother when I hear the name Paul Harvey. She religiously listed to his broadcasts and eventually so did I. Paul Harvey was more than a commentator…He was at times prophetic.

 Judge for yourselves as you listen to “If I were the Devil”

The version I found was recorded in 1965, my freshman year of High School. Ask yourselves…was he right?

After you’ve listen to Paul Harvey consider the following from German Pastor and Theologian Martin Niemoller

“Niemoller enthusiastically welcomed the Third Reich. But a turning point in Niemoller’s political sympathies came with a January 1934 meeting of Adolf Hitler, Niemoller and two prominent Protestant Bishops to discuss state pressures on the churches. At the meeting it became clear Niemoller’s phone had been tapped by the Gestapo It was also clear that the Pastors’ Emergency League which Niemoiller had helped found was under close state surveillance. Following the meeting Niemoller would come to see the Nazi State as a dictatorship, one which he would oppose.” The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Niemoller who ended up as a holocaust survivor is best remembered for a poem

First they came for the communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a communist
Then they came for the socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a socialist
Then they came for the trade unionists
Bur I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist
Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew
Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me…

As I reflected on Paul Harvey’s If I Were the Devil and Niemoller’s haunting poem….I got to thinking of what is happening right now on the streets of America…particularly the assault on the very notion of police departments, and the villainization—no demonization of police officers.
Some current social media posts suggest that Hitler first defunded the Police. That’s not exactly what happened. It’s worse than that. Hitler stepped into restore order and FUNDED the woefully underfunded, feckless Weimar police then eventually augmented the police…with HIS police and ultimately murdered all his perceived enemies including the leader of The Brown Shirted thugs that we remember as street gangs that brought him to power….The Night of the Long Knives

Here’s a chilling thought. Even if things calm down, the damage is done. So called Police Reform will yield a new kind of law enforcement. I am confident in saying that fact is a ‘given.’ It should give one pause to ask the inevitable question “Once we’ve torn down all the statues, gotten rid of all the ‘Racist Cops,’ elected all the right progressives…what  or who will take the place of authority vacated by current law enforcement agencies?

First, they came for the ______
But I did not speak out
For I was not a _____
Then they came for the cops
And I did not speak out
For I was not a cop
Finally they will come for me…and make no mistake about this…and for you and for yours
And there will be no one left to speak out for you and I