Markus Dröge is the bishop of the Evangelical Church Berlin-Brandenburg-Silesian Upper Lusatia and ambassador for the House of One in Berlin. He openly discusses what it means to be truly Christian and points out that being Christian is not about defending traditions but about having a social mission. Dröge is convinced that the church has to actively react to right-wing populism that is on the rise - he refers to Trump and the German far-right party "Alternative for Germany" (AfD) and what they have in common.
The church, according to Dröge, does not tell people who to vote for but communicates Christian values and sees itself as a sort of sparring partner. From all political parties that there are in Germany, he chooses the AfD to talk about. And there is a reason why. The AfD is the defender of "western Christianity". But their political agenda, according to Dröge, is not Christian when they reject homosexuality, when they only accept a conservative family image, when they aggressively protect unborn life without being able to differentiate, when they promote the so-called German Leitkultur (often a rather nationalist and monocultural vision of German society that tends to solve any problem with cultural assimilation), or when they reject Islam.
Last year, the AfD published a paper saying that the party had to be politically incorrect, that the party in fact needed to provoke. Dröge explains the mechanism: After the provocation, the party denies that it has ever provoked and says that it was only one member's opinion. By doing so, the party makes sure that it is always present in the media. Apart from that, the misanthropic ideas that are constantly repeated start being normalised after a while. Society gets used to them and finally a great many people do not realise that they find inhumane remarks normal.
Dröge asks the question what Jesus would say. Altruism, Christian love or Christian charity do not mean loving your own national traditions, your own family, your own native country, and people who share your religion. Christian love crosses cultural and religious borders. Dröge comes to the conclusion that the values of the church and the values of the AfD are incompatible.
Content from Markus Dröge's speech "Was haben wir Christen, was hat die Evangelische Kirche, dem wachsenden Rechtspopulismus entgegenzusetzen?, 25 March 2017, via
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