“Here I stand, I can do no other,” is the side script on a red pair of “All Star” knock-offs. It is Luther Year in Germany and everything sells. A candy shop has a special a grand selection of Praline in a deluxe box in shape of a Gutenberg-Luther Bible. Tetzel’s money boxes, which play a song when souls are released from Purgatory and jump into heaven.
Transparent umbrella’s with built-in speakers will provide you with a divine “voice” from above when you go through a storm. And a replica book press à la 1600, is geared up to provide you with your favorite Biblical text. Ah, what would the world be without magic and marketing!.
Hardly two weeks ago, and 500 years after Luther unchained the Reformation, the Pope canonized three shepherd children in Portugal, who,100 years ago, were jailed and threatened with being boiled alive in olive oil when they claimed the Virgin Mary appeared to them. The Fatima children ‘s reported visions would go on to strengthen the faith of Portugal’s persecuted Catholics and make the small farming town of Fatima one of the world’s foremost pilgrimage sites, with around 6 million visitors a year. It is one of the best “money bags” of the Church, and Luther’s Reformation seems to have had no effect in Portugal.
As long as people are into magical thinking, they will throw their money and support at anything to satisfy their hocus pocus fancy. Harry Potter, only a hardly disguised resurrection story, became a world success and spooks in all young minds of today. President Trump, with his Papal Corporate Culture of grand fanfare and who rejects humanism, takes the world for an Abrahamic religious tour along centers of magic, from Mecca, or nearly, to Jerusalem and Rome. His ecumenical religious magic and the Fake News that it produces is not likely to have much success. Magic is very competitive as any Potter child knows and the problem in the Middle East is not one of religion but one of inequality and horrible poverty. While Princes live in magnificent splendor, the man in the street dies from malnutrition and maltreatment.
ISIS and Al Qaeda had easy recruiting amongst millions of illiterates, not because of religion, but because of poverty. And once again in history, the USA is found on the side of the usurper, not on the side of the suffering masses. The collective allied power of the new Trump coalition will simply wipe them off the face of the earth, like nasty flies. And the masses will cheer the Trumpists on like many fascists and magicians, before him.
Luther’s Reformation failed miserably.
By Jacob Gelt Dekker
Columnist for Curaçao Chronicle