Open letter from Gerd Buurmann to the Chairman of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany

During a visit to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, the Chairman of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany, Bishop Bedford-Strohm and his Catholic colleague, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Chairman of the Catholic Bishops‘ Conference, removed their crosses. Heinrich Bedford-Strohm justified the decision by saying: „We acted out of respect for the wishes our hosts.“

Bedford-Strohm told journalists, that he normally wore his Bishops‘ Cross during visits to mosques. „I think that’s normal.“ In interfaith dialogue it would be wrong to deny one’s faith. In this particular situation in Jerusalem, however, it would have been wrong not to meet the wishes of our Islamic hosts, he explained.

Dear Heinrich Bedford-Strohm,

I would like to disagree. Especially on the Temple Mount, it was particularly wrong of you to remove your cross, because there was someone who said that this place „will be called a house of prayer for all peoples”. Do you know who said that? Jesus! If you didn’t know that, then look up Mark 11:17.

Did you also know how Jesus dealt with people who didn’t treat the place where you removed your cross as a place of prayer for all? Then you may look up John 2:15 where Jesus became irritated:

„He made a whip out of cords and drove them all out of the temple area.“

I admit, Jesus was a bit tough that day. Otherwise, he wasn’t violent. But, Jesus was consistent: He stood by his convictions, and he never denied his faith. He didn’t allow himself to be dissuaded from his faith either in the desert or from the Sanhedrin. But hey, who was that guy called Jesus, Mr. Bedford-Strohm? Jesus was a Jew and your religious founder, Martin Luther, let the world know what he thought of Jews.

„That is what I had in mind when I said earlier that, besides the Devil, a Christian has no more bitter and galling foe than a Jew.“

“The Jews deserve to be hanged on gallows seven times higher than ordinary thieves.”

“I shall give you my sincere advice: First, set fire to their synagogues or schools and bury and cover with dirt whatever will not burn so that no traces are visible. (…) Second, I advise the destruction of their houses.”

Martin Luther is on a line with Hamas, which calls for the annihilation of the entire Jewish people, as stated in Article 7 of the Hamas Charter. The Deputy Minister of Religious Foundations of Hamas, Abdallah Jarbu, says:

“Jews want to present themselves to the world as if they have rights, but, in fact, they are foreign bacteria – a microbe unparalleled in the world. It’s not me who says this. The Koran itself says that they have no parallel: ‘You shall find the strongest men in enmity to the believers to be the Jews.’ May He annihilate this filthy people who have neither religion nor conscience. I condemn whoever believes in normalizing relations with them, whoever supports sitting down with them, and whoever believes that they are human beings. They are not human beings. They are not people. They have no religion, no conscience, and no moral values.”

Fatah is also no friend of the Jews, and is therefore in line with Martin Luther. Bethlehem is indeed the city where the two Jews, Jesus and David, were born, but that was a long time ago. David was king of Judah and Israel some 3000 years ago. Yes, Israel and Judah. These countries were in existence three thousand years ago. So much for the so-called Israeli occupation.

In Bethlehem today, Muslims and Christians are aware of the persecution of Jews thanks to the Palestinian Authority and many Christian non-governmental organizations. The city is „judenrein“ (Jew-free), to use a word once used by the Germans who were also sure to act in the sense of Martin Luther.

At the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, Christians can feel safe only because the Israeli government protects and guarantees universal accessibility to the site. However, Israel does not receive praise from many Christians because the country is run by “jucky” Jews. By the way, the Temple, named after the site where you, Mr. Bedford-Strohm, removed your cross, is Jewish. It was the Romans who destroyed the Temple and covered that which didn’t burn with earth whereby there’s hardly a visible trace today. All that remains of the Temple Is the Wailing Wall, a site made universally accessible by – yes – Israel.

Today, the Temple Mount is controlled by the so-called Religious Foundation of Islam (Waqf). Analogue the Nazi prohibition for Jews to access public parks, the Waqf limits Jewish access to the Temple Mount several days a month up until this day. Eleven gates on the north and west sides of the Temple Mount are open only to Muslims. If there is any doubt, foreign Muslims must prove their affiliation with Islam. For other believers, access is permitted only from Saturday to Thursday through the Moroccan Gate near the Wailing Wall. It is only possible to enter the building after intensive security checks outside prayer times. Jews are admitted, if at all, only in small groups and often with supervision. Only Muslims may enter the Rock of the Dome! It is forbidden for non-Muslims to carry books and religious objects, and even to pray openly. Jews at the Temple Mount are often threatened.

Even Christians are molested at the Temple Mount.

Dear Heinrich Bedford-Strohm,

Imagine if the Vatican would refuse entry to the country for Muslims during Christian holidays, or Jews and Muslims would be prohibited from entering the square in front of Cologne Cathedral on Sunday. Christians no longer behave so disagreeably. They once did, but the Enlightenment pulled out that medieval tooth. This didn’t occur without the guillotine.

Islam is much less tolerant as proven by the exclusive Muslim claim to the Temple Mount. This claim goes back to a battle 1400 years ago, whereby the site was captured using brutal force and has since been maintained by an acute intolerance towards other religions. Religious hatred, especially of Jews, has no limits. During the last few years, over 7500 rockets and shells have been fired at Israel, in accordance with the declared intention of the Hamas Charter to destroy the entire Jewish people. Fatah and Hamas honor murderers of Jews as martyrs and financially support their families. This is the attempted genocide and ethnic cleansing as demanded by Martin Luther.

Friedrich Nietzsche wrote about Christianity:

„The Christian faith from the beginning is sacrifice, the sacrifice of all freedom, all pride, all self-confidence of spirit; it is at the same time subjection, self-derision, and self-mutilation.“

„Christianity remains to this day the greatest misfortune of humanity.“

„Christianity is the one great curse, the one great intrinsic depravity, the one great instinct of revenge, for which no means are venomous enough, or secret, subterranean and small enough – I call it the one immortal blemish upon the human race.“

Bertrand Russell explained:

„Religion rests first and foremost on fear. I regard religion as a disease, a source of unquenchable misery for the human race. „

“The worst feature of the Christian religion, however, is its attitude towards sex.”

“Christianity has been distinguished from other religions by its greater readiness for persecution.”

“The assertion that Christianity has an uplifting effect on the morale, can only be maintained if you ignore all the historical evidence or falsify it.”

“The Christians assure us that their religion is a religion of love, but the adoption of Christianity by Constantine did nothing to reduce war, and in our day, many of the most fanatic warmongers are Christians.”

Heinrich Böll wrote:

“German Catholicism is lousy and dirty in appearance, stupid and brazen in its methods.”

Heinrich Heine blasphemed:

“If your right eye offends you, pluck it out. If your right arm offends you, cut it off. And if reason offends you, become a Catholic.”

Thomas Jefferson knew:

„Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them; and no man ever had a distinct idea of the trinity. It is the mere Abracadabra of the mountebanks calling themselves the priests of Jesus.”

Albert Camus explained:

„Christianity is immoral.“

Jean-Jacques Rousseau taught:

“Christianity preaches only servitude and dependence. Its spirit is so favorable to tyranny that it always profits by such a régime. True Christians are made to be slaves.”

Islam hasn’t yet faced this intensity of criticism. That’s why the Waqf can practice pure intolerance at the Temple Mount. Your submission, Mr. Bedford-Strohm, to intolerance is perhaps Islamic, but it’s certainly not Christian and certainly not enlightened. From the Enlightenment we have religious freedom, which came with a lot of blood-letting.

When Heinrich Heine was in Paderborn, he wrote as a German poet, a Frenchman and a Jew, born in Dusseldorf, one of the most beautiful poems on Christianity. With these poetic words, I would like to end this letter, hoping that you, Mr. Bedford-Strohm, if not your faith, at least you may consider the enlightenment seriously.

And as the morning mists dissolved,
Just as the day was flowering,
The man who was crucified on the cross
I saw by the road-side towering.

Whenever, poor cousin of me, I see
Your image, I’m filled with sadness–
You, who would fain have saved the world,
A world-redeemer, what madness!

And ill indeed they’ve entreated you,
The gentlemen high in council;
But why on the subject of church and state
Could you not keep your counsel?

‘Twas unlucky for you that the printing-press
Had not yet been invented;
On the problems of heaven a book you had writ
And to a publisher sent it.

The censor would have deleted therefrom
Any portions to this world applying,
Kindly the censorship would have quashed
The case for crucifying.

(Had you preached but your Sermon on the Mount
From a text of a different bias!
You had genius and talent enough to know
That one ought to spare the pious!)

Changers of money and bankers forsooth
You lashed from the temple scorning,
Unhappy dreamer! And now you hang
On the cross as a dreadful warning.

***
(Translation: William Wires)

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