German Of The Day: Aneinander vorbeireden

That means to talk at cross purposes. In this case when German politicians use the same word in different ways – gehören (meaning both to belong to and ought to belong to).


In an interview with the German newspaper BILD Seehofer said: “Islam is not a part of Germany. Germany has been influenced by Christianity. This includes free Sundays, church holidays and rituals such as Easter, Pentecost and Christmas. However, the Muslims living in Germany obviously do belong to Germany.”

This statement conflicted with the position of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Merkel said, even though Germany has been influenced mainly by Christianity and Judaism, there are more than four million Muslims in the country, they “belong to Germany and so does their religion.”

Hey, depending upon how you look at it, Germany does not belong to Germany. Neither does Christianity belong to Germany. Let’s not even start with Judaism. So I think Horst Seehofer is right on the money when he says that Islam does not belong to Germany, either. What’s the big deal? We’re all not in this together, folks.

Da muss man schon präzise sagen, was mit dem Ausdruck “gehört” eigentlich gemeint sein soll. Das kann man ja als schlichte Bestandsaufnahme oder Feststellung meinen: Man gehört zu einer bestimmten Familie oder einem Verein an. Man kann es aber auch so verstehen wie bei der Formulierung: Kinder gehören zeitig ins Bett. Dann bekommt die Aussage eine Sollens-Komponente und erhält eine ganz andere Bedeutung. Und drittens könnte die Frage angesprochen sein, ob der Islam die Bundesrepublik Deutschland in ähnlicher Weise geprägt hat wie das Christentum. Je nachdem, mit welchem Akzent man das Wort “gehört” verwendet, bekommt dieser Satz einen anderen Sinn. Diese Unterschiede werden in der politischen Diskussion leider nicht beachtet, und deswegen redet man munter aneinander vorbei. Das ist vorhersehbar und langweilig.


One response

  1. Seehofer seems to look at the German Christendom but forgets Christianity where real Christians do not celebrate heathen festivals like Christmas and Easter, but keep to the God given holy days, like Pesach or 14 Nisan. Real Christians should as followers of the Jewish rabbi be open for all sorts of people, of all sorts of skin colour and all sorts of religions, and should have brotherly love for them, and as such be open for Muslims.

    As you say “depending upon how you look at it, Germany does not belong to Germany. Neither does Christianity belong to Germany.” Jews, christians and Muslims who should believe in the divine Creator God, Allah, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah,should know that the world belongs to God/Allah and that man has it only in loan. We are allowed to live on this globe and we should take care of it. (One of the first rules given to mankind at the beginning of their existence, in the Garden of Eden.)

    The person (Seehofer) may perhaps have a limited view of what shaped Christianity, by which he more means Christendom, because he does not seem to see the believers in the One God who belong to Christianity and as such do not belong to the main German church institutions which worship a Trinity.

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