True Religion In Berlin

And no. It isn’t the one you might think it would be.

Christian

Only about one quarter of Berlin’s population belongs to one of the two big Christian denominations. The Lutherans take up roughly 16 percent of that number, the Catholics 9 percent. The numbers for both of these groups have dropped in recent years and will most likely continue to do so.

The number of Muslims in Berlin, on the other hand, countinues to rise and rise. They currently make up about 9 percent of the population.

Why does it feel like this is not really a news item? Duh. Because it isn’t. Hey, don’t get cross with me (cross, get it?). I’m just reporting what I read.

Nur noch ein Viertel der Berliner Einwohner gehört einer der beiden großen christlichen Kirchen an. Die evangelische Kirche kam Ende 2016 auf einen Anteil von 15,9 Prozent an der Bevölkerung. Bei den Katholiken waren es 9 Prozent.

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Have A Merry Muslim Christmas?

If only we could. I thought this was fake news at first but this stuff is for real, folks. Although… What is real anymore, anyway? Fake is real, real is fake. But I digress.

Christmas

A Muslim student at a German high school in Lüneberg complained about a planned Christmas celebration to be held during class so, well, it promptly got cancelled.

“It’s really difficult for the school administration to find a compromise. One doesn’t want to hold an event just for Christians and exclude other religions.” No, one doesn’t. Does one? Damn. And I wasn’t even aware that we had been excluding all those other religions all those other years in the past, either. I’m not worthy.

And yeah, it’s really difficult alright. It’s clearly really difficult to find school administrators who have any sense these days. Well, at least we know now that school administrators are the same the world over. Except in Muslim countries, perhaps.

“Es ist auch wirklich schwierig für die Schulleitung, einen Kompromiss einzugehen. Man möchte nicht nur eine Veranstaltung für Christen machen und andere Religionen ausgrenzen.”

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US-Amerika To Penetrate Germany Again Tonight

“They see it as just one more example of American commercial penetration*.”

Halloween

Popular as it is, many people are vehemently against Halloween in their countries, whether it be religious objections or fears of cultural imperialism.

It may be a bit of both in Germany, where 48 percent of respondents in the 2017 YouGov survey said the spooky holiday is a U.S. import that displaces German culture. October 31 is Reformation Day in Germany, and commemorates the day when Martin Luther launched Europe’s Protestant Reformation.

So on that happy note, Happy Halloween everyone! Whatever holiday you might be celebrating tonight.

Fast 50 Prozent der Deutschen glauben, Halloween sei ein US-Import, der die deutsche Kultur gefährde. Fakt ist, dass der Brauch ursprünglich aus Irland stammt.

*Psst. Don’t spoil everybody’s fun by explaining that Halloween originated in Ireland.

German Of The Day: Wegretuschiert

That means to airbrush out.

Lidl

And a lot of customers are cross at the big German discounter Lidl these days for doing just that: Airbrushing out crosses on their products. It’s like Lidl crossed a red line here or something. And now they’re caught in the crossfire. I guess you could say they forgot to dot their i’s and cross their t’s.

First it was a number of Greek products last month and now its Italy’s turn. And why is Lidl doing this? Apparently “to observe religious and political neutrality.”  They promised to stop doing this after last month’s airbrushing incident, however. I guess they forgot to cross their heart and hope to die.

Well I, for one, certainly want my moussaka to remain religiously and politically neutral but maybe this is taking it just a wee bit too far.

Damals erklärte Lidl, dass ein derartiger Eingriff dazu diene, die religiöse und politische Neutralität einzuhalten. Nun fehlen auf Lidl-Werbefotos in Italien erneut die Kirchenkreuze.

The Case Of The Cryptic Cross

Somebody call Sherlock Holmes. Pronto like.

Cross

Berlin police and media are clearly puzzled by this unsolvable criminal case. An Afghan wearing a Christian cross was viciously attacked by two young men at S-Bahn station Neukölln after asking him “Why did you become a Christian?”

“We just can’t figure it out,” one investigating officer said later at the scene of the crime. “Why would Germans do such a thing? Sure, Berliners aren’t exactly religious but to just attack some guy because he’s a Christian in a Christian country like this? At least nominally a Christian country, I mean? Too strange.”

“Any ideas who could have done this awful thing?” asked his Partner, Barney. “We’ve asked all the shop owners around here but no one saw a thing. I think we’ll head a few steps down the street to that radical Al-Nur Mosque over there and see if any of those folks know anything. They’re religious at least.”

Laut Experten richtet sich die Aggression von Tätern oft gegen Zuwanderer aus muslimischen Ländern, die sich für den christlichen Glauben entscheiden.

Saudi Arabia’s Number Two Export Popular In Germany, Too

It’s called extremism.

Extremism

It has long been known that Saudi Arabia has been exporting Wahhabist ideology – largely similar to the ideology of the so-called “Islamic State” (IS). Propaganda material and organizational expertise are being sent along with money. People are being hired to build mosques, educational institutions, cultural centers and similar organizations, so that Wahhabist theology can reach the public – with great success.

Der saudische Wahhabismus ist bekannt als Quelle der Dschihad-Ideologie.

People* Now Slashing Ambulance Tires In Germany

While the ambulance crew is trying to save somebody’s life, I mean. People (* see secret code for people here) can be that way.

Ambulane

I was giving this some thought the other day and I think this type of stuff all comes down to loyalty. I know, that’s an awful word to say and it leaves a bad taste in your mouth (like tradition, country, family) but, in the end, people are generally loyal to something “higher up” and behave accordingly. The type of loyalty these particular people have has nothing to do with loyalty to a country or to the laws of a country, however, and certainly not to the country or laws of Germany. You can tell this by the way they dress and the way they shave. This loyalty has to with something higher up in the religious sense. And please note here: This is all the more evident once you realize that the “good people” in this group refuse to bring the “bad people” in this group in line. They too are loyal to that same thing in the end. It is dilemma. That’s the nice word for it, however.

PS: Some people in Berlin who have tried to open a “liberal mosque” have gotten over 100 death threats from other people. People will be people, people.

German Of The Day: Vollverschleierungsverbot

That means full-face veil ban. Veil, what will they think of next?

Veil

That just became law in Germany, although it only applies for Richterinnen (judge ladies), Beamtinnen (civil servant ladies) and Soldatinnen (soldier ladies). All ten or twelve of them. How many women in those positions in Germany might want to wear such an awful thing, anyway? But hey, it’s a good start I guess.*

“Integration bedeutet auch, dass wir unsere Werte und die Grenzen unserer Toleranz gegenüber anderen Kulturen deutlich machen und vermitteln.”

* I don’t think men in those positions are allowed to wear them, either. But don’t quote me on that.

German Of The Day: Inside Islam

That means Inside Islam and it’s the name of a new book by journalist Constantin Schreiber.

Inside

In it he describes his visits to 20 randomly selected “normal” mosques in Germany (he avoided anything that had to do with extremism) and how he was alarmed to discover that the preachers there were not only conservative but also undermined all German efforts directed toward equality and integration.

Believers were exhorted to live by Islamic values and to stay away from the sinful ways of the world outside. Those who do not follow Islamic rules were threatened with the hell fires of the other side.

One preacher’s statement sums it up nicely: “You can’t be both a Muslim and democrat (a supporter of democracy). There can be nothing that is both sweet and bitter.”

“Ich habe, wenn ich mit den Imamen sprechen konnte, auch immer die Frage gestellt, Denken Sie, dass Ihre Moschee ein Ort für Integration ist? Und es haben alle Imame interessanterweise gesagt, ja, unsere Moscheen sind Orte für Integration. Wenn ich dann aber zum Beispiel gefragt habe, wie lange sind Sie denn in Deutschland, dann habe ich zu hören bekommen, neun, elf oder vierzehn Jahre, dann habe ich gefragt, sprechen Sie Deutsch? Nein.”

Young Germans Shamelessly Copying Americans Again

Or at least that’s what the latest “Generation What?” survey taken by a German media group indicates to me: More than 70 percent of the young people here have no confidence in politics.

Confidence

When asked about political institutions, only 27 percent replied that they “more or less” had confidence in them. Only one percent asked said they trusted these institutions completely.

They were nearly as skeptical when it came to confidence in religious institutions and in the media itself.

Mehr als 70 Prozent der jungen Menschen ohne Vertrauen in die Politik.