Bonhoeffer was a theologian who plotted to assassinate Hitler. He paid for this with his life.
Glen Beck’s program judged liberals as atheists slandering Bonhoeffer as a humanist advocating a “social gospel.” Bonhoeffer would be a patriotic Tea Party fundamentalist. This is reminiscent of the ’60s where those believing in a “personal truth” and fearing the student anti-war movement characterized Bonhoeffer’s ethical relativity as “If it feels good do it.”
No one knowledgeable could believe either assertion. Many members of our ’60s discussion group longed for a system of universally applicable rules, eternal truths, and for the security of a simple world free of ambiguities. Politics never came up.
Man’s law changes, grows, and develops along with social evolution.
Though explicit, it lacks broad sweep and nevertheless requires a jury for its application. Bonhoeffer denied unrestrained individualism but not the 10 Commandments, Golden Rule, Seven Deadly Sins, motivation, circumstances or situation.
He felt that God’s will was performed in action instead of words and that this was neither intuitive nor simple.
His emphasis was on personal responsibility, freedom from the law, separation of church and state, and that government should never try to create values. He would argue that simplistic ideologies promote mistrust and are at the root of failure to compromise.
Our representatives encounter inescapable situations that demand choices between wrong and wrong. Bonhoeffer’s writings illuminate our quandary.
Glen Beck’s program would be helpful were it to emphasize this instead of fanning the fires of liberal hatred.