The day before yesterday I watched a documentary on fundamental Christians in the United States. And what I saw, really, really worried me.
Maybe it's just because I'm German and know quite a lot about the Third Reich and it's leaders. Maybe it's just because I'm not really a firm believer myself (but I just wrote about that topic). But seeing children being used for "Christianity", for the goals of adults who either are slightly deranged themselves or have an ulterior motif they've not shown this far, makes me sick. I'm not a children's person at all, normally I don't care too much about children. But seeing them used, seeing their minds being crippled by adults who should know better, who should learn what the world tolerance means, really gets me angry and sick.
Creationists, anti-abortionists, people who want to wage war on those who do not believe the "right thing," all those people make me sick anyway. But seeing them influence children, before they are old enough to really understand about it, that makes me more than sick, that makes me angry.
That suddenly makes me grateful for the fact that children have to go to a proper school in Germany, that mothers are not allowed to teach their children at home, just because they think the 'average' education is wrong. They may find a private school for their children which is religiously based - but even they are controlled.
Children will, at least until puberty, believe what they are told. They will believe all non-Christian people are bad. They will believe the world was created in six days - plus one day of recess. And for many of them, it will take a lot more years - until they themselves get into a conflict with the strict and intolerant belief of their fundamental religion - before they see that the world isn't that easy in structure. That black and white are not the only colours, that people are not good or bad because of whom they pray to, but because of their hearts, minds and souls.
They become soldiers in "God's Army" (and I find myself thinking of Christopher Walken...). They think it's great to be a martyr - well, that's not what it's often made up to be, after all, you have to be dead before you can become one.
But I'm not angry at the children, they don't know better. I'm angry at the adults who use them. And to me, who has studied history and heard a lot of speeches, made by Hitler and his minions, a lot of the things they tell the children - and of the way they motivate them - look and sound scarily similar.
That scares me, because I look at those children and think 'HJ' ("Hitlerjugend", the youth organisation of the Nazi) or even 'Werwolfkommandos' ("Werewolf Commandos", that was the name of the commandos made up completely of young boys that were sent against the enemy as the last wave during the last weeks of battle in 1945). Maybe I'm over-reacting here, maybe I'm seeing things that aren't there at all, but I'm really, really worried.
Hitler showed what you could make children do: betray their own family, kill people, die for people - and other things. He didn't do it in the name of a god - but does that make it less bad or even worse? In the end he used children in the worst way possible - save for actual physical or sexual abuse.
It's what terrorists do, it's what fundamentalists do. In my book that makes them bad people by default. They can fight all they want - as long as they do it themselves. They can believe all they want - as long as they don't impose their belief on other people. And those who do it in the name of god, they are the worst. And they should read the bible again, especially the New Testament. They've got something fundamentally wrong.
Christianity is a religion, and a strong one. It's one of the five major religions in the world today. One of the others is younger - Islam -, the other three are older. The older ones are past the 'hot phase' already and have settled down a bit, just like older people would. Islam is still a lot 'hotter', but it will settle down, after all, it's six hundred years younger than Christianity. Christians were pretty wild, too, six hundred years ago.
Tolerance should be a high value in the life of every human being, today more than ever before. Because tolerant people recognize and accept that every being is an individual and has its own views and beliefs.
I, for example, strife for tolerance every day. Sometimes I make it, sometimes I don't, but every day I try it. If there is a god (surely not the god the Roman-Catholics or those Christian Fundamentalists believe in, but a god, nevertheless), I hope she'll take that into account, once I die. And if I'm going to be reborn, I hope that will help me not to end up as a cockroach. But above all, I hope that, in this world, I make those I meet feel a bit better, because I try my very best to treat them without prejudice. But honestly: I'd find it hard to treat those female preachers who teach children all those things with tolerance.
Jesus forgave his enemies, even Judas who betrayed him. He stood for peace, tolerance and love. He surely would not like people waging war and teaching intolerance and hatred to children in his name.