Bavarian Premier Calls for Anti–Blasphemy Laws
An MTV pilot cartoon mocking the pope and even Jesus has sparked religious outrage in Germany. After Muslim outrage earlier this year caused by Danish cartoonists’ renditions of Mohammad, this is Part Two—Christians Strike Back.
Though Germany is unlikely to declare jihad against MTV, what we see from both situations is a notable rise, across the board, in religious sensitivity.
The clash between those two sensitivities is certain to grow more fierce. And who will be on the front lines of this inevitable conflict has already become plain.
When Muslims were offended by the Danish caricatures, one nation visibly took the lead in demanding legal ac-tion against the Danish paper. That nation was Iran. Its confrontational and arguably delusional president (who called the controversy a “blessing from God”) banned Danish imports and halted all trade and business ties with the country in an effort to place Iran at the head of the anti-Denmark campaign. Other countries stepped in line be-hind Tehran’s boycott.
Just as Iran wants to be viewed as the defender of all Islam, in the West we see another nation stepping up to bat for its region’s religious sensitivities. Germany—particularly its most Catholic state, Bavaria—wants to be viewed as the defender of all Catholicism, especially since Pope Benedict xvi hails from that state.
This was made clear in the controversy over the MTV cartoon Popetown.
The 10-episode series, which was to be aired on one of the lesser-watched stations in Germany, was met with outrage from a group “ranging from Bavaria’s Catholic governor Edmund Stoiber to the archdiocese of Munich to members of Germany’s ruling Christian Democrat Party (CDU). … None of them, of course, had actually seen the series. After all, who wants to get bogged down in details when basic principles are at stake? But Germany’s mor-alists, apparently, are alive and kicking” (Spiegel Online, May 10; emphasis ours throughout).
The article observed, “Much of the outrage, not surprisingly, seems centered in Catholic southern Germany.” Stoiber “spoke about a ‘sordid attack on large numbers of people’ and charged the Bavarian minister of justice with developing new legislation on blasphemy.”
Under Edmund Stoiber, Bavaria is determined to be the protector of the faith in Europe. Stoiber saw to it that crosses could not be removed from public school classrooms in his state. At the end of 2005, his interior minister made one of the most significant crackdowns against Muslims ever. Stoiber (not to mention Benedict) is adamantly opposed to a Muslim nation (even a “moderate” one) joining the EU (a stance specifically aimed at Turkey). Even when a blatantly anti-U.S. (i.e., pro-Muslim) Turkish film hit theaters in Germany in February, Stoiber took the lead in demanding that German cinemas boycott the film.
A number of trends the Trumpet has watched for some time converge here.
We are watching for another resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire. Based on key biblical prophecies, we are looking for a Germanic resurrection of such an empire. That is why we strongly speculated on the appearance of a German pope before he was elected. And that is why we have tracked the career of the Bavarian premier radically loyal to the Vatican.
We particularly watch Stoiber when he is involved in religious affairs. With the Nov. 3, 2005, private meeting between the Bavarian Benedict and Stoiber (see our December 2005 cover story), Stoiber is the only German poli-tician to have had a private audience with the pope since Germany’s conservatives took power in Berlin last fall.
The Bible tells us that in this Holy Roman Empire, legislation will be enacted that protects Roman Catholicism’s version of “blasphemy.”
We are witnessing the development of a relationship soon to shake this world!
Religious fervor will continue to rise in Europe. Watch this especially in Germany—and in Bavaria, particularly, from where some of Germany’s most influential leaders have hailed.
And don’t forget about the other rising religious sentiment in global affairs—Islam. Remember Ahmadinejad’s “blessing from God”? Spiegel Online, putting words in the mouths of Germany’s Catholics, said, “It was wonder-ful to be offended—like true believers. The Catholics have caught up with the Muslims in the ongoing competition over who can muster the most outrage.”
Before long a clash between Islam and European Catholicism will come. For more on this, read our editor in chief’s December 2004 piece, “The Coming War Between Catholicism and Islam.”