Taxpayer funded ARD in its “Wort zum Sonntag” (Word for Sunday) last Saturday placed evangelical Christians on a level with Salafists. Catholic father Wolfgang Beck (photo) said in so many words in his “Devotion”:
“It doesn’t matter whether it’s Pius Brethren, whether evangelical groups or Muslim Salafists that we might meet this week in the shopping zones: They all have more in common than perhaps you would like. Most of all, this striving for the greatest uniqueness. All efforts are exerted for life to conform to that which is preached. Sometimes that impresses me, and besides that I with my compromises appear pretty weak mostly.” (here is the video from the ARD-Mediathek).
The Association of Evangelical Independent Churches (VEF) and the Evangelical Alliance rejected this comparison as “completely unacceptable.” The Evangelical Alliance, in addition, sent a programming complaint to the ARD.
The radical-islamic Salafists who are considered violence hungry and are being monitored by Constitutional Protection are currently making headlines because they intend to distribute 25 million free copies of the Qur’an in the German-speaking region. The “Word for Sunday” was seen by right at 1.7 million viewers.
Evangelicals: We stand without question behind the Constitution
The German Evangelical Alliance – The association of evangelical Christians from state and independent churches – protested “against the equating of Pius Brethren, evangelical groups and Salafists” on the program. They sent Norddeutscher Rundfunk (Hamburg), which is responsible for the program, an official programming complaint. Even if Beck would have especially emphasized the “striving for the greatest possible uniqueness,” in his report it’s done in such a way as though there weren’t “an objectively existing common ground,” writes the general secretary of the Alliance, Hartmut Steeb (Stuttgart), to the intendant of the Norddeutscher Rundfunk, Lutz Marmor. Beck suggested with his formulation that there are more such comparabilities than just a consistent attitude. “According to the journalistic-ethnic principles that apply to the NDR, it surely cannot be allowed that simply because of the ‘do what one says’ freedom-loving and freedom-destroying people, friends of the Constitution and enemies of the Constitution, can be mentioned with each other in one breath,” Steeb further said. In a glance at the programming complaint it mentions the “incomparability of the groups addressed”: “While monitoring by Constitutional Protection is rightly in line for the Salafists, we as the so-called evangelical group stand unquestioningly behind our Constitution and its supporting values, like, for example, the free exercise of religion.” The progress of the presentation suggests in addition, the Alliance says, that the issue is with such fundamentalists among these three groups that “as a rule” allow no questions. This can also be rejected as incorrect.
Comparison between Salafists and Evangelicals is demagogic
The president of the German Evangelical Alliance, chairman Michael Diener (Kassel), according to his own statement turned right after the program directly to the speaker on “Word for Sunday” and presented his criticism. The comparison that Beck carried out is “without style and demagogic because it transfers comprehendable fears of islamic extremism in society directly to Christians who among others are indigenous in the German Evangelical Alliance.” Diener asked Beck to distance himself publicly from these statements. The Alliance president also invited the Catholic theologist to a meeting: “Allow yourself to be bothered by your judgment, which I can only say is disparaging, by seeking out conversation with me or other representatives of evangelical groups.”
EKD and VEF media representatives: Comparison “completely unacceptable”
The media representative for the EKD (Evangelical Church of Germany) and the Association of Evangelical Independent Churches (VEF), Markus Bräuer (Frankfurt/Main) called the comparison of Pius Brethren, Evangelicals and Salafists “totally unacceptable.” Christians of the evangelical persuasion are known for aligning their faith and their life in special fidelity to the Gospel. Other than the Salafists, for example, they leave no doubt that any person, regardless of their faith, their sex and their origin, are endowed by God with the same dignity. For evangelicals there is no question that democracy is the form of society in which human rights and religious freedom are best preserved, Bräuer answered upon inquiry by the evangelical news agency idea. He believes that Father Beck doesn’t make these differences clear. Bräuer expressed the hope that the Word for Sunday speaker will provide a clarification quickly.
It is known that in some places in the Christian camp there unfortunately is intellectual darkness regarding Islam. But these statements by a priest in front of around 1.7 million TV viewers cannot be outdone in its stupidity.
Posted by PI / Translation: Anders Denken