When do ideologies or religions die

Religion in politicsThe AfD and Christianity

Volker Münz, church policy spokesman for the AfD parliamentary group, takes more than four hours to talk about the Christian and the non-Christian. He sees something Christian in his party, something non-Christian in the churches.

"The church tax revenues are gushing, the money is being misused in many places in my opinion. I see a very blatant misuse of funds in the Gender Institute in Hanover. That is actually a scandal. For me, this gender ideology is an ungodly ideology. "

Volker Münz, church policy spokesman for the AfD parliamentary group (imago / Jens Schicke)

He is also against the homosexual blessing. In his Protestant home parish of Uhingen, the economist sits on the parish council and is therefore a member of his Württemberg regional church. But it is at odds with the EKD, i.e. the Evangelical Church in Germany. He does not understand that high church representatives like Berlin Bishop Markus Dröge do not want to talk to the AfD at management level now - unlike last year at the Protestant Church Congress. Because the AfD in particular represents Christian values.

Münz says: "That hurts me because I am denied being a Christian. It says: 'Yes, the church has to move with the times, we have to accept same-sex marriage in the church too.' These are all developments where we adapt to the zeitgeist and then think we can read that out of the Bible in order not to be sidelined. "

"Christ for Germany"

In the AfD parliamentary group there are others who claim the C for themselves. Waldemar Herdt, for example, who originally comes from Kazakhstan. Herdt feels connected to the free Pentecostal church "Lebensquelle" in Osnabrück. It doesn't shy away from nationalist slogans like "Christ for Germany". Basically, however, he is just a Christian, believes Waldemar Herdt.

"I am also a Catholic, I am also a Lutheran, I am also Orthodox. I think that the partitions that the denominations have built do not reach to heaven. Everyone who loves God and has Jesus in their heart is my brother . "

And for the AfD member of the Bundestag, being a Christian and being German simply belong together.

Herdt: "Are you ready to suffer for being German? Are you ready to stand for being German? Are you ready to fight for the country too? Perhaps to die too?"

And as a Christian and AfD member, it is also clear to him: Islam does not belong to Germany. Because: Islam is not a religion at all.

Herdt says: "Islam is not a religion at all, it is an ideology! You have to read that, you'll find out for yourself. Because Islam is actually hostile to all other religions. How can we protect an ideology that despises other religions and destroyed by the majority? "

Of course, the AfD respects religious freedom. But Islam is a "political ideology". Therefore one does not have to protect Islam according to the constitution. Beatrix von Storch, deputy group leader of the AfD in the Bundestag, sees it similarly. She is still a member of the Protestant Church, but prefers to go to a Catholic community, she says. In a strictly conservative one, in which the old Roman liturgy is read and in which one feels more committed to Vatican I. Beatrix von Storch thinks little of the openness to Islam formulated in Vatican II.

She says: "I believe that the future and the fate of this country will be decided by the question: How do we deal with Islam? That decides about our civilization. We live in the modern age and when we start to make compromises with the Stone Age We end up in the Middle Ages. We are in favor of religious freedom, of course, everyone may live their faith, but Islam has another claim, that is to regulate the law in society. That is not covered by our religious freedom. If you want to live under the Sharia, you are welcome to do so, you just have to leave our beautiful country. "

"The red lines are crossed"

And how do the churches deal with it? As head of the Catholic Office in Berlin, Prelate Karl Jüsten is also responsible for pastoral care for Christian members of the Bundestag. Also for those in the AfD. He doesn't just contradict them when it comes to Islam. Not only Catholic theology, but culture in general, owes a lot to Islam.

Jüsten says: "Regardless of whoever claims that Islam does not belong to Germany, you have to take note that Islamic influences are an integral part of our cultural history. Take, for example, the rediscovery of natural law by Albertus Magnus and Thomas Aquinas, that would never have flowed into Catholic theology without the Muslims bringing it back to Spain at the time. One cannot foresee how important Islam is. "

The Berlin prelate Karl Jüsten (imago / Metodi Popow)

It was not until the Middle Ages that Muslim theologians recalled the natural law of the ancient philosophers: there are inalienable rights, ultimately human rights, regardless of gender, nationality or religious affiliation. If Christians in the AfD see their faith threatened, they should do more for it in the Protestant or Catholic Church, says Prelate Karl Jüsten:

"If those who now refer to the Christian West would all go to church well, take part in church life and practice their faith, I would not worry at all about the faith in Germany. Then we can completely Bear cheerfully that many millions of Muslim believers live in this country and I don't have to be afraid of foreign infiltration. "

The Protestant prelate Martin Dutzmann, who often coordinates with Jüsten, sees it similarly. Dutzmann is the authorized representative of the EKD Council for the Federal Republic of Germany. The Christian AfD members belonged to his Bundestag congregation just like the Christians of the other parliamentary groups, he says. He therefore feels obliged to talk to you. So he tries to get AfD Christians to pray properly.

Dutzmann says: "Unacceptable is the much-quoted statement by a Mr. Höcke who called the culture of remembrance, the Holocaust memorial, a memorial of shame and did not really distance himself from it. A statement by Mr. Gauland, who said that you have to be a woman, is also unacceptable Dispose of Özoguz in Anatolia. A statement by a Mr. Poggenburg who denigrates migrants as caraway dealers and camel drivers is unacceptable. These are red lines that have been crossed! "

Martin Dutzmann, prelate and authorized representative of the EKD Council (imago & Metodi Popow)

Of course, he does not exclude the AfD MPs from prayer. In doing so, however, one does not in any way give their thinking a church blessing.

Dutzmann: "First of all I have to assume that something connects us, that is the community in faith or the community established by Christ. I do not have to question that: that the Christian faith has a universal breadth and does not focus on the national and we have no national god and no national religion in Christianity, "says Dutzmann.

The AfD problem with charity

Even if there are a few similarities in the AfD program with the Catholic Church, for example: No advertising for abortion or strengthening the family. Prelate Karl Jüsten thinks there is basically nothing Christian in the main features of the alternative party for Germany.

Jüsten says: "The Christian image of man means that all people are the same and because all people are the same, I cannot distinguish between national or ethnic origins. So the AfD repeatedly comes to differentiate itself on all points, for example in the area immigration, when it comes to family reunification. We cannot want families to be torn apart when they are on the run and then the family, which we all value equally, can break up. "

But Volker Münz from the AfD no longer understands the attitude of the churches. Jesus Christ spoke of charity, but not of love for Islam or foreigners.

He says: "It's not generally called philanthropy, but consciously charity. Who can we help and who do we have to help? First I have to help my family, then in my environment also my relatives and then, the further away it is, the more difficult it will of course. "

Karl Jüsten, however, considers this point of view to be wrong. For Christian Caritas there are no gradations according to religion, origin or skin color:

"Anyone who claims that charity relates only to the area close to the person has not read John Paul II, who in" Centesimus annus "worked out very essentially that there is a love of neighbor in the immediate area, which means that there is a love away He covers the area of ​​the people of a country. And that there is a love of distant people and by that he understands the people in one world. Anyone who claims that charity only relates to the narrowest area is not only wrong, but I think that's stupid. "