I Loved My Grandmother. But She Was a Nazi.

They joined the Nazi Party to be youth leaders in an agricultural education program called the Landjahr, or “year on the land,” in which teenagers got agricultural training. My grandmother always maintained that she had joined the Nazis as an “idealist” drawn to the vision of rebuilding Germany, returning to a simpler time and, perversely, promoting equality.

In the Landjahr, sons and daughters of factory workers would live and work side by side with sons and daughters of aristocrats and wealthy industrialists. She liked the idea of returning to “traditional” German life

.. the Landjahr program was part of Hitler’s larger “Blut und Boden” (“blood and soil”) vision of making Germany a racially pure, agrarian society. The “racially pure” part was not something my grandmother ever mentioned.

.. “But didn’t you hear what Hitler was saying?”

.. “He said a lot of things — I didn’t listen to all of them.”

.. In the late 1930s there was talk of sending Jews to Madagascar and to “settlements” in the east.

.. In 1939, Nazi operatives donned Polish Army uniforms and staged a takeover of a German radio station at Gleiwitz that Hitler then held up as an act of provocation by the Poles.

.. “Didn’t you ever listen to the foreign news reports?”

“Allied propaganda” was my grandmother’s answer.

.. My grandmother heard what she wanted from a leader who promised simple answers to complicated questions.

The Biggest Difference Between Coding Today and When I Started in the 80’s

the biggest skill back then was invention, creativity, imagination, whatever you would like to call it; unlike today there was no Google, no Stackoverflow, no open source at your fingertips, rarely even someone to email to ask for help. You were basically programming on an island, and anything you needed to figure out or solve, you had to do it yourself. Sometimes you might go to a library and search books and journals, or maybe you could ask someone at a user group or conference, or if you were lucky someone you knew was a programmer. Generally though no matter what you wanted to do it was on your shoulders to come up with it. Even if someone else in the world was solving some similar problem, you probably had no way to know about it.

What you need today is searching, understanding and evaluation. You have access to the world’s smartest (and sometimes dumbest) people. The chances that something you need hasn’t been done elsewhere is rare and the real skill is in finding it, relating it to what you need, deciding if it is useful or adaptable, and if it is of a decent quality.

.. That is a very different skill set than the 80’s programmer—working with little information, having to imagine how to fix it or invent it or solve it in some way. Back then of course there were a lot fewer programmers (guessing maybe 1% or 0.1% of today) and unless you were good at figuring things out for yourself, you really couldn’t be a programmer outside of some very large employer. Today it seems much more likely that someone without much imagination can still become a decent contributor, you can learn online, you can build things on top of open source, you can read what other people think and follow along. It’s not that programmers back then were smarter than today, just that it was the skills needed were different.

Why Baptists Should Support Muslims’ Right to Build Mosques

Some at the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) called for the firing of any SBC official who supported the rights of Muslims to build mosques, and they recommended the removal of the ERLC’s name from the amicus brief. Some even went so far as to posit that Muslims do not deserve the same religious freedoms as Christians.

.. Those Baptists continuing to oppose Moore should take time to consider the history of their spiritual forefathers.

.. While today we tend to think of America as the world’s beacon for religious liberty, a city on a hill, 17th- and 18th-century Baptists would have begged to differ. In the colonies, Baptist rejection of infant baptism was considered abhorrent by the established churches. To Anglicans, Congregationalists, and Presbyterians, this deviation from tradition was demonic and divisive.

.. Baptists endured harassment, including, fines, prohibition against their services, flogging, and even jail time. Massachusetts outlawed Baptists altogether in 1645, calling them “the troublers of churches in all places.” As a result of the government’s response, much of the populace developed a distinct hostility toward the Baptists.

.. This motivated many Baptists, and other non-Protestant minorities, to remain loyal to England throughout the American Revolution. It was hard to support a rebellion for “equality” of representation when many of the revolutionaries didn’t regard Baptists as religious equals. Baptists’ loyalist leanings only brought them further political animosity.

.. John Adams even told Backus that a shift in the solar system was more likely than an end to the established church of Massachusetts. Thus, persecution against Baptists endured throughout the American Revolution. They continued to be taxed to support the established churches but received none of the revenue for themselves (a.k.a. taxation without representation).

.. They preferred to depend upon the power of God, rather than government, to accomplish the purposes of the church.

.. Backus noted that religion was “a voluntary obedience unto God which therefore force cannot promote.”

.. Everyone, including Muslims, is made in the image of God, possessing inherent dignity that is expressed in and through human capacity to hold sincere religious beliefs.

.. The hypocrisy of those who criticize interfaith alliances for common purposes, like the alliance in the New Jersey mosque case, is that while they accuse such coalitions of putting politics before God, their underlying motive is to use the government to bolster and secure the faith of their choice. In reality, they are dishonoring the Baptist tradition of religious liberty established by those before them. What’s more, their position is short-sighted. Given the present shift in American demographics, it might not be too long before the Baptists are once again a powerless minority.