The threat of totalitarianism is my topic. I listen to talk radio in little snippets while I am driving and so I hear little bits and then think. This past evening I heard little snippets that caused me to want to rant, ramble, and rave. Please read the entire blog and then comment and tell me what you think and know.
I have a Masters in Divinity. I remember clearly the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a Lutheran minister who died in a concentration camp just days before Allied troops freed Germany at the end of World War II. It was on that day during a memorial service at Perkins Chapel in Dallas that I was introduced to one of the great theologians of the twentieth century and to one of the great mysteries of our time. How could such a holy and devout man of God participate in a plot to kill Hitler? What was he thinking? I have read half of his books since then and I still cannot answer that question. What compelled him to defy everything he stood for to try to stop what was happening in Germany?
You see, moral outrage was required in Germany during the early 1930’s, but the trains were running on time. The pulpits were silent then — as they are in America today.
Today everybody was talking about Hilmar Von Campe, an ex-Hitler Youth member and author of “Defeating the Totalitarian Lie: A Former Hitler Youth Warns America.”. In this book Von Campe is urging Americans not to repeat history by ignoring what happened in Nazi Gerrmany during the 1930’s. A summary of his comments can be found in an article that was published today:
One of the greatest theologians of the Cold War was Reinhold Niebuhr. Everyone knows him — they just don’t know it. He is the author of the Serenity Prayer which appears on plaques and is said daily at AA meetings without his getting any credit. The original prayer is actually much longer.
Reinhold Niebuhr wrote a book called The Nature and Destiny of Man, in which he discusses human nature and develops his thesis about the nature of sin. Essentially his thesis was that women tend to err by placing too much emphasis on relationships, while men tend to err by emphasizing what they know and do. The former he refers to as the “sin of lust” and the latter he refers to as the “sin of pride.” In developing this thesis on the sin of pride, Niebuhr relies on themes that he developed in his earlier works, one in particular being The Children of Light and the Children of Darkness. To deny that people err in either of these directions is to be unaware of human nature. The existence of evil in this world is real and must be recognized and confronted.
When Michael Savage was ranting and raving about the demise of Bear Stearns last February, he was like the canary in the coal mine. I did not hear anyone else complain about how Wall Street had thrown one of their own to the wolves and then profitted from the process. Everyone was oblivious. Then Wall Street went down the tubes and their whining was heard around the world. Enter the bailout plan and the point of this blog.
On Mondays and Thursday nights I set the clock and then take a nap. I have midnight appointments with Jesus at the Chapel of Peace at St. John’s Hospital here in Tulsa, where I participate in a 24-7-365 adoration program. (I am now a Roman Catholic.) I had trouble waking up tonight and was running really late, but I had the luxury of knowing that someone else was also on the schedule for the first hour. So I happened to hear snippets of a talk show that I had never heard before.
I therefore cannot tell you the source of my anxiety. All I can say was that the show was on at 12:30 am on Friday, November 14, 2008 on KRMG radio in Tulsa.
The essence of what he was saying was that another talk show host in (I believe) New Haven, Connecticut had interviewed Senator Chris Dodd on the morning of October 29, 2008. The interview never aired. The talk show host who did the interview was fired that afternoon. Why was he fired? Why was the interview never aired? Was this censorship or coincidence? Was it politically expedient? Are we in need of fighting the Fairness Doctrine or should we be calling it the Censorship Doctrine? These are questions that must be answered.
The aforementioned interview has now been leaked and portions of the interview were playing on my radio as I sat mesmerized in the hospital parking garage, thinking about Reinhold Niebuhr, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Hilmar Von Campe, and what they would have to say about Chris Dodd and other leaders of our Congress.
Chris Dodd is the Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee. He authored the infamous bailout plan.
Some of the questions raised during the interview, which I frantically scribbled on an envelope from my purse were: Did Chris Dodd commit mortgage fraud? What was his relationship to Countrywide? Was he benefitting from his relationship with a company whom he was supposed to be regulating?
The interviewer posed many questions about the bailout plan. It sounded to me like there is a lot in it that the American people would be shocked to know. Mr. Dodd sounded very arrogant.
Has anyone else out there in Active Rain land heard this interview? Does this censorship concern you? Does the threat of totalitarianism frighten you?
[Forgive me, friends, if my biases have shown too heavily tonight. I am proud to live in Oklahoma, a “red” state which happens to be the only one where every county voted “red” during the last presidential election. Nobody can say we didn’t try…. ]