Seig Heil Santa and Talking Jesus
In a recent interesting story that I ran across on Der Spiegel Online entitled Is Santa Claus a Nazi? regarding the German public outcry over miniature statues of Old Saint Nick that appeared to be giving the infamous straight armed salute that was a national requirement to show loyalty to the regime during the darkest days of the reign of Adolf Hitler. It was as much a necessity for patriotic citizens as those little flag lapel pins that so adorned the collars and lapels of Republicans seeking to show a similar style of national worship in the run up to the Iraq war and to espouse their undying loyalty to their own strong daddy leader while elevating themselves in their own minds and their groupthink to some sort of superior citizen status. Anyway, for some dark reason I found in this story not only a sardonic humor but also a contrast between two cultures that despite the years separating them have similar characteristics.
According to Der Spiegel:
Christmas shoppers in Germany are horrified. Across the country, models of Santa Claus in shop windows appear to be giving the Nazi salute. Some chains have already removed them from the shelves.
If Santa Claus were to move away from the North Pole to one of the more populated parts of the world, what political party would he support? His “peace on Earth” message might indicate a left-of-center stance. But what about his Big Brother (“He knows when you’ve been sleeping. He knows when you’re awake) tendencies? Sounds a lot like the Republicans in the United States these days.
Or maybe he’s a fascist? That, at least, is what a report in the Thursday issue of the tabloid Bild seems to indicate. Germans shopping for Christmas trinkets have been shocked recently to discover row upon row of Santa Clauses looking to all the world as if they are giving the Hitler salute — right arm, straight as an arrow, raised skyward. Never mind that St. Nick is carrying a bag of toys and wearing a silly red hat complete with a white pom-pom. Shoppers were sure — these Santas were Nazis.
You just have to love that line about Republicans, one thing about Germans is that they can smell a fascist movement across an ocean. So intense has been the damnation of history that for millions the first image that pops into their minds whenever even hearing the word ‘Germany’ is of course Hitler so it is only logical that any sort of reminder of the ghastly past be managed lest it provide a spark that could potentially fuel the Neo-Nazi movement that exists in the shadows of Europe and which would more likely be more akin to Hitler Lite than the real thing but the apprehension of the Germans in not waking sleeping dogs is understandable if not admirable.
fter the initial uproar a country that is far more aware of the dangers of shadowy totalitarian movements than ours the ‘Hitler Santas’ were destroyed. Such a shame, they would have made such nice gifts for the Bushist youth, perhaps a few will still be floating around out on E Bay for that Republican hell child who has everything. Maybe Sean Hannity can even score one for his spoiled little rat bastard to go along with that much obsessed over Playstation 3. I haven’t seen Hannity get so hot over anything other than fisting as the PS3. Especially in his running down of John Edwards for trying to procure one for his own kid, perhaps Sean is yet another of the repressed latent homosexuals who run rampant in the GOP these days and maybe what he really wants is to be fisted by Edwards….but hell, I am not a psychoanalyst but only one who is cognizant to the many studies that find that the most homophobic of all are really raging closet queens projecting their self loathing outward to others.
The destruction of the seig heil Santas shows that the German culture is very cognizant and vigilant of any signs that could lead to the reemergence of the Nazi hate machine that destroyed Europe and murdered millions in it’s black wake. The Germans have a reason to be ashamed of their blood soaked recent history and their transformation into a nation of Der Fuhrer’s hateful automatons and while it may seem trivial to outsiders that Germans see a threat of the reemergence of the cult of Nazism that always lurks beneath the surface in something as seemingly harmless as the Santa statues it nonetheless illustrates the fear of a people who have seen the horrors of unaccountable mass movements. Americans should pay heed to this and draw their own conclusions regarding the revisionist history behind the Christian Reconstructionism movement as well as the white supremacy and hatred of Hispanics and fear of Muslims that breeds like virulent germs in petri dishes and is preached by the vilest of Republican demagogues and the propagandists on hate radio.
Much weeping and gnashing of the teeth accompanied the recent news that the Marine Reserves Toys For Tots Christmas toy drive turned down the donation of 4,000 talking Jesus dolls because of GASP religious sensitivity towards potentially sending the doll to a non-Christian child. The very concept that true Americans would be anything BUT Christian is a widely held view in post 9/11 Amerika and the rejection of the dolls created a firestorm of biblical proportions that led to the Toys For Tots program caving in and reversing of the initial decision after the likely deluge of activists and operatives engaging in the standard economic terrorism in the form of targeted boycotts and harassment. The entire Jesus Doll imbroglio smacks of the religious totalitarianism that at least in my opinion is potentially every bit as dangerous of German National Socialism in that it distorts religion to use as a control mechanism, a bludgeon and a cloak of legitimacy for marginal views and holds millions in its sway.
The bible (already a controversial book as far as its historical accuracy due to hundreds of years of revisions and reinterpretations) is cherry picked by theocratic minded scholars and policy makers and every chapter and verse has the potential for spin. For example I once was sent a ‘bible’ that had nifty little explanations next to every admonition of Christ towards the evils of wealth, power and his damned liberal insistence of caring for the poor and downtrodden, the one that sticks out to me was the ludicrous explanation that Jesus’ warning that it is easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven was reinterpreted to mean that the so called ‘eye of the needle’ was local slang for the narrow gate to Jerusalem.
The Jesus industry thrives in America despite the transformation of the prince of peace into the avenger of Timothy LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins’ multi-million copy selling ‘Left Behind’ series that has in and of itself become a cottage industry with spin offs like versions of the repulsively anti-biblical, ultra-violent pulp trash for children as well as video games that encourage violence. The extreme right indoctrinate their youth to be both ignorant of reality (home schooling) and as most bizarrely revealed in the movie Jesus Camp little warriors for God. The kids are programmed by the cult to the extent that they are even featured in camouflage at some points begging the question of what exactly is the agenda behind such mind control and brainwashing at such an early age and what is the end game especially when considering the militia factor and the Christian aspects of the extreme right.
This is a very long and complex topic that I will explore at some point but not today. For now I would recommend David Byrne’s short essay American Madrassas for good comments on the subject. Incidentally, the particular ‘Kids On Fire’ indoctrination center featured in the movie will be closing due to outrageous on screen behavior such as speaking in tongues, being threatened with damnation and having the children appear to ‘worship’ a cardboard figure of George W. Bush as well as the embarrassment of several scenes with the now disgraced Pastor Ted Haggard who preached fire and brimstone from his Colorado Springs megachurch while snorting meth and having sex with homosexual prostitutes. The center portrayed in Jesus Camp is not the only one either, many similar compounds exist in America but since the operators are predominantly white and ‘Christian’ they merit no scrutiny from the Department Of Homeland Security.
Keep On Bombing Brown Babies
Screw the Poor and Downtrodden
Mammon is God
Personally I would rather my kids play ‘Gears Of War’ or any other snuff style ‘shooter’ game, at least they’re up front about the exploitative primal allure of violence and don’t have to conceal it behind flags and crosses.