“Raëlism (also known as Raëlianism or the Raëlian movement) is a UFO religion that was founded in 1974 by Claude Vorilhon (b. 1946), now known as Raël. The Raëlian Movement teaches that life on Earth was scientifically created by a species of extraterrestrials, which they call the Elohim. Members of this species appeared human when having personal contacts with the descendants of the humans that they made. They purposefully misinformed early humanity that they were angels, cherubim, or gods. Raëlians believe that messengers, or prophets, of the Elohim include Buddha, Jesus, and others who informed humans of each era. The founder of Raëlism, members claim, received the final message of the Elohim and that its purpose is to inform the world about Elohim and that if humans become aware and peaceful enough, they wish to be welcomed by them.”
The Nuwaubian Nation
“The Nuwaubian Nation or Nuwaubian movement was a religious organization founded and led by Dwight York. York began founding Black Muslim groups in New York in 1967. He changed his teachings and the names of his groups many times, incorporating concepts from Judaism, Christianity, and many esoteric beliefs.In the late 1980s, he abandoned the Muslim theology of his movement in favor of Kemetism and UFO religion. In 1991 he took his community to settle in upstate New York; then they moved near the county seat of Eatonton, Georgia, in Putnam County. His followers built an ancient Egypt-themed compound called Tama-Re and changed their name to the “United Nuwaubian Nation of Moors.””
The Universe People
Universe People or Cosmic People of Light Powers (Czech: Vesmírní lidé sil světla) is a Czech and Slovak UFO religion founded in the 1990s and centered on Ivo A. Benda. Their belief system is based upon the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations communicating with Benda and other contactees since October 1997 telepathically and later even by direct personal contact. They are considered to be the most distinctive UFO religion in the Czech Republic.“
“Scientology is a body of religious beliefs and practices created in 1954 by American author L. Ron Hubbard (1911–86). Hubbard initially developed a program of ideas called Dianetics, which was distributed through the Dianetics Foundation. The foundation soon entered bankruptcy and Hubbard lost the rights to his seminal publication Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health in 1952. He then recharacterized the subject as a religion and renamed it Scientology, retaining the terminology, doctrines, the E-meter, and the practice of auditing. Within a year, he regained the rights to Dianetics and retained both subjects under the umbrella of the Church of Scientology.
In the OT levels, Hubbard explains how to reverse the effects of past-life trauma patterns that supposedly extend millions of years into the past. Among these advanced teachings is the story of Xenu (sometimes Xemu), introduced as the tyrant ruler of the "Galactic Confederacy”. According to this story, 75 million years ago Xenu brought billions of people to Earth in spacecraft resembling Douglas DC-8 airliners, stacked them around volcanoes and detonated hydrogen bombs in the volcanoes. The thetans then clustered together, stuck to the bodies of the living, and continue to do this today.
Heaven’s Gate was an American UFO religious millenarian group based in San Diego, California, founded in the early 1970s and led by Marshall Applewhite (1931–1997) and Bonnie Nettles (1927–1985). On March 26, 1997, police discovered the bodies of 39 members of the group who had committed mass suicide in order to reach what they believed was an extraterrestrial spacecraft following Comet Hale–Bopp.
Heaven’s Gate members believed the planet Earth was about to be “recycled” (wiped clean, renewed, refurbished, and rejuvenated), and the only chance to survive was to leave it immediately. While the group was against suicide, they defined “suicide” in their own context to mean “to turn against the Next Level when it is being offered” and believed their “human” bodies were only vessels meant to help them on their journey. In conversation, when referring to a person or a person’s body, they routinely used the word “vehicle””
Church of the SubGenius
“The Church of the SubGenius is a parody religion that satirizes better-known belief systems. It teaches a complex philosophy that focuses on J. R. "Bob” Dobbs, purportedly a salesman from the 1950s, who is revered as a prophet by the Church. SubGenius leaders have developed detailed narratives about Dobbs and his relationship to various gods and conspiracies. Their central deity, Jehovah 1, is accompanied by other gods drawn from ancient mythology and popular fiction. SubGenius literature describes a grand conspiracy that seeks to brainwash the world and oppress Dobbs’ followers. In its narratives, the Church presents a blend of cultural references in an elaborate remix of the sources.“
“The Aetherius Society is a millenarian, New Age, UFO religion. It was founded by George King in the mid-1950s as the result of what King claimed were contacts with extraterrestrial intelligences, whom he referred to as “Cosmic Masters”. Regarded as firmly based in Theosophy, the Aetherius Society combines UFO claims, yoga, and ideas from various world religions, notably Hinduism, Buddhism, and Christianity. Stefan Isaksson notes that it has “become a complex religious belief system that includes an extraterrestrial hierarchy of various spiritual masters and such concepts as universal karma and religious healing.” The religion’s goal is to prevent worldly destruction by improving cooperation between humanity and various alien ‘masters’,and by using 'spiritual energy’ to improve the spiritual calibre of the world
👽 If you want more posts about UFO religions or want us to cover a specific group, message us!
Established in 1977, Puez Geisler National Park is a nature reserve in the Dolomites. It occupies 10,722 hectares of land. The mountain Pass Würzjoch is to the north of the park, with another mountain pass, Grödner Joch, to the south. Val Badia, a deep valley, can be found to the east of the park, and the small town of Villnoss to the west. The area is most popular for hikers and mountain climbers. There is also a chairlift ride available part way up the mountain.
The town of Vilnoss is where the little St Johann Church can be found. The church is popular for photographers, due to its spectacular mountainous background.
Myers Briggs Type & Political Affiliation (Old Data)
As you can see, from observing the table, there are a few things that stand out:
xSTJs and xNTJs identify as Republican the most.
Democrat affiliation is lowest among rational types.
Democrats are represented highest among “SF” and “NF” types.ESTJs mostly identify as Republican.
INTPs followed by ENTPs identify mostly as Independent.
THE MBTI TYPES AND POLITICAL ISSUES
1. GUN CONTROL
Conservatives believe that individual Americans have a right to defend themselves and their families with guns and that right cannot be taken away by any method short of a Constitutional Amendment. The Second Amendment gives the individual the right to keep and bear arms. Gun control laws do not thwart criminals. You have a right to defend yourself against criminals. More guns mean less crime. Relevant function: Extroverted Sensing likely in favor by: ISTP, ESTP, ISFP, ESFP
Liberals believe by taking arms away from law abiding citizens, they can prevent criminals, who aren’t going to abide by gun control laws, from using guns in the commission of crimes. The Second Amendment gives no individual the right to own a gun, but allows the state to keep a militia (National Guard). Guns kill people. Guns kill children. Relevant function: Introverted Intuition Likely in favor by: INTJ, INFJ, ENTJ, ENFJ
2. AFFIRMATIVE ACTION
Conservatives believe that we should live in a color blind society where every individual is judged on the content of his character and the merits of his/her actions. People should be admitted to schools and hired for jobs based on their ability. It is unfair to use race as a factor in the selection process. Reverse discrimination is not a solution for racism. Relevant function: Introverted Feeling Likely in favor by: ISFP, ENFP, INFP, ENFP
Liberals believe that it’s okay to discriminate based on race as long as it primarily benefits minority groups. Due to prevalent racism in the past, minorities were deprived of the same education and employment opportunities as whites. We need to make up for that. Support affirmative action based on the belief that America is still a racist society. Minorities still lag behind whites in all statistical measurements of success. Also, the presence of minorities creates diversity. Relevant function: Extroverted Feeling Likely in favor by: ESFJ, ENFJ, ISFJ, INFJ
3. SOCIAL WELFARE
Conservatives oppose long-term welfare. We need to provide opportunities to make it possible for poor and low-income workers to become self-reliant. It is far more compassionate and effective to encourage a person to become self-reliant, rather than keeping them dependent on the government for money. Relevant function: Extroverted Thinking Likely in favor by: ESTJ, ENTJ, ISTJ, INTJ
Liberals think that the solution to every problem is another government program. Even when those new programs create new problems, often worse than the ones that were being fixed in the first place, the solution is always….you guessed it, another government program. They support social welfare. They want welfare to provide for the poor. To liberals, conservatives oppose welfare because they are not compassionate toward the poor. We have welfare to bring fairness to American economic life. Without welfare, life below the poverty line would be intolerable. Relevant function: Introverted Feeling Likely in favor by: ISFP, ENFP, INFP, ENFP
Conservatives are capitalists and believe that entrepreneurs who amass great wealth through their own efforts are good for the country and shouldn’t be punished for being successful. The free market system, competitive capitalism, and private enterprise afford the widest opportunity and the highest standard of living for all. Free markets produce more economic growth, more jobs and higher standards of living than those systems burdened by excessive government regulation. Relevant function: Extroverted Intuition, Extroverted Thinking Likely in favor by: ENTP, ENFP, ENTJ, ESTJ
Liberals are socialists who view successful business owners as people who cheated the system somehow or got lucky. That’s why they don’t respect high achievers and see them as little more than piggy banks for their programs. Favor a market system in which government regulates the economy. We need government to protect us against big businesses. Unlike the private sector, the government is motivated by public interest. We need government regulation to level the playing field. Relevant function: Introverted Feeling, Introverted Sensing Likely in favor by: ISFP, INFP, ISTJ, ISFJ
Conservatives believe that abortion ends the life of an innocent child and since we believe that infanticide is wrong, we oppose abortion. Human life begins at conception. Abortion is the murder of a human being. Nobody has the right to murder a human being. Support legislation to prohibit partial birth abortions, called the “Partial Birth Abortion Ban” (partial birth abortion – the killing of an unborn baby of at least 20 weeks by pulling it out of the birth canal with forceps, but leaving the head inside. An incision is made in the back of the baby’s neck and the brain tissue is suctioned out. The head is then removed from the uterus.) Relevant function: Introverted Sensing Likely in favor by: ESTJ, ESFJ, ISTJ, ISFJ
Liberals, largely believe that abortion ends the life of an innocent child, but they prefer killing the baby to inconveniencing the mother. A fetus is not a human life. The decision to have an abortion is a personal choice of a woman regarding her own body and the government should stay out of it. Women should be guaranteed the right to a safe and legal abortion, including partial birth abortion. Relevant function: Introverted Thinking Likely in favor by: ISTP, ENTP, INTP, ESTP
Conservatives, but not necessarily Republicans (which is unfortunate), believe it’s vitally important to the future of the country to reduce the size of government, keep taxes low, balance the budget, and get this country out of debt. Conservatives believe that government, by its very nature, tends to be inefficient, incompetent, wasteful, and power hungry. That’s why we believe that the government that governs least, governs best. Relevant function: Extroverted Thinking Likely in favor by: ESTJ, ENTJ, ISTJ, INTJ
Liberals, and Democrats for that matter, believe in big government, high taxes, and they have never met a new spending program they didn’t like, whether we will have to go into debt to pay for it or not. Relevant function: Extroverted Feeling Likely in favor by: ESFJ, ENFJ, ISFJ, INFJ
Conservatives believe the phrase “separation of church and state” is not in the Constitution. The First Amendment to the Constitution states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” This prevents the government from establishing a national church. However, it does not prevent God from being acknowledged in schools and government buildings. Oppose the removal of symbols of Christian heritage from public and government spaces. Government should not interfere with religion and religious freedom. Relevant function: Introverted Sensing Likely in favor by: ESTJ, ESFJ, ISTJ, ISFJ
Liberals, most of them anyway, are hostile to Christianity. That’s why, whether you’re talking about a school play at Christmas time, a judge putting the Ten Commandments on the wall of his court, or a store employee saying “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays,” liberals are dedicated to driving reminders of Christianity from polite society. They support the separation of church and state. Religious expression has no place in government. Support the removal of all references to God in public and government spaces. Relevant function: Introverted Feeling Likely in favor by: ISFP, ENFP, INFP, ENFP
8. DEATH PENALTY
Conservatives believe the death penalty is a punishment that fits the crime; it is neither ‘cruel’ nor ‘unusual’. Executing a murderer is the appropriate punishment for taking an innocent life. Relevant function: Introverted Thinking Likely in favor by: ISTP, ENTP, INTP, ESTP
Liberals believe we should abolish the death penalty. The death penalty is inhumane and is ‘cruel and unusual’ punishment. It does not deter crime. Imprisonment is the appropriate punishment. Every execution risks killing an innocent person. Relevant function: Introverted Feeling Likely in favor by: ISFP, ENFP, INFP, ENFP
Conservatives advocate for school vouchers to give all parents the right to choose good schools for their children, not just those who can afford private schools. Parents (who pay the taxes that fund the schools) should decide how and where to educate their child. Relevant function: Introverted Feeling Likely in favor by: ISFP, ENFP, INFP, ENFP
Liberals believe School vouchers are untested experiments. We need to focus on more funding for existing public schools -to raise teacher salaries and reduce class size. Relevant function: Extroverted Feeling Likely in favor by: ESFJ, ENFJ, ISFJ, INFJ
10. THE ENVIRONMENT
Conservatives desire clean water, clean air and a clean planet, just like everyone else. However, extreme environmental policies destroy jobs and damage the economy. Changes in global temperatures are natural over long periods of time. So far, science has not shown that humans can affect permanent change to the earth’s temperature. Relevant function: Extroverted Sensing likely in favor by: ISTP, ESTP, ISFP, ESFP
Liberals believe Conservatives don’t care about protecting the environment. Industrial growth harms the environment. Global warming is caused by an increased production of carbon dioxide. The U.S. is a major contributor to global warming because it produces 25% of the world’s carbon dioxide. The U.S. should enact laws to significantly reduce that amount. Relevant function: Extroverted Thinking Likely in favor by: ESTJ, ENTJ, ISTJ, INTJ
Conservatives believe that free healthcare provided by the government (socialized medicine) means that everyone will get the same poor-quality healthcare. The rich will continue to pay for superior healthcare, while all others will receive poor-quality free healthcare from the government. Health care should remain privatized. Support Healthcare Spending Accounts. Relevant function: Extroverted Thinking Likely in favor by: ESTJ, ENTJ, ISTJ, INTJ
Liberals support universal government-supervised health care. There are millions of Americans who can’t afford health insurance. They are being deprived of a basic right to healthcare. Relevant function: Extroverted Feeling Likely in favor by: ESFJ, ENFJ, ISFJ, INFJ
Conservatives support legal immigration at current numbers, but do not support illegal immigration. Government should enforce immigration laws. Oppose President Bush’s amnesty plan for illegal immigrants. Those who break the law by entering the U.S. illegally should not have the same rights as those who obey the law by entering legally. If there were a decrease in cheap, illegal immigrant labor, employers would have to substitute higher priced domestic employees, legal immigrants, or perhaps increase mechanization. Relevant function: Extroverted Sensing likely in favor by: ISTP, ESTP, ISFP, ESFP
Liberals support legal immigration and increasing the number of legal immigrants permitted to enter the U.S. each year. Support blanket amnesty for current illegal immigrants. Believe that regardless of how they came to the U.S., illegal immigrants deserve: – U.S. government financial aid for college tuition. – visas for spouse/children to come to the U.S. Families shouldn’t be separated. Illegal immigrants do the jobs that Americans do not want to do. Relevant function: Extroverted Feeling Likely in favor by: ESFJ, ENFJ, ISFJ, INFJ
13. SAME-SEX MARRIAGE
Conservatives insist that marriage is between one man and one woman. Opinions differ on support for the creation of a constitutional amendment establishing marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Believe that requiring citizens to sanction same-sex relationships violates moral and religious beliefs of millions of Christians, Jews, Muslims and others who believe marriage is the union of a man and a woman. Relevant function: Introverted Sensing Likely in favor by: ESTJ, ESFJ, ISTJ, ISFJ
Liberals believe marriage should be legal for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender couples to ensure equal rights for all. All individuals, regardless of their sex, have the right to marry. Believe that prohibiting same-sex citizens from marrying denies them of their civil rights. Opinions differ on whether this issue is equal to civil rights for African Americans. Relevant function: Extroverted Feeling Likely in favor by: ESFJ, ENFJ, ISFJ, INFJ
14. SOCIAL SECURITY
Conservatives believe the current Social Security system is in serious financial trouble. Changes are necessary because the U.S. will be unable to maintain the current system it in the future. Support proposal to allow a portion of Social Security dollars withheld to be put into an account chosen by the individual, not the government. Relevant function: Introverted Intuition Likely in favor by: INTJ, INFJ, ENTJ, ENFJ
Liberals generally oppose change to the current Social Security system. Opinions vary on whether the current system is in financial trouble. Changing the current system will cause people to lose their Social Security benefits. Support a cap on Social Security payments to the wealthy. Relevant function: Introverted Feeling Likely in favor by: ISFP, ENFP, INFP, ENFP
Conservatives support lower taxes and a smaller government. Lower taxes create more incentive for people to work, save, invest, and engage in entrepreneurial endeavors. Money is best spent by those who earn it. Relevant function: Introverted Thinking Likely in favor by: ISTP, ENTP, INTP, ESTP
Liberals support higher taxes and a larger government. High taxes enable the government to do good and create jobs. We need high taxes for social welfare programs, to provide for the poor. We can’t afford to cut taxes. Relevant function: Extroverted Thinking Likely in favor by: ESTJ, ENTJ, ISTJ, INTJ
Please keep in mind that this research was conducted over a decade ago. The above table is taken from a U.S. sample of 3000 people. It was part of data collected when Consulting Psychologists’ Press revised the MBTI in 1998. Political affiliation and mbti type was among the survey questions.)
Priestess Miriam was born and raised in Mississippi where she experienced the power of mysterious spiritual forces beginning in early childhood. Around 1975 the power of the spirit called strongly to Priestess Miriam leading her to many spiritual orders and ultimately to a seat at the Angel All Nations Spiritual Church. There she increased her knowledge of spirit and explored metaphysical concepts and teachings. In October 1982 she was consecrated as Bishop of the Church and served there until 1989. In 1990, Priestess Miriam and her late husband Oswan Chamani settled in New Orleans where they founded the Voodoo Spiritual Temple, the only temple of its kind in the City at that time.
Priestess Miriam is praised as an unbiased and unprejudiced spiritual guide who sees people not by race or color but by what is in their hearts. At the Voodoo Spiritual Temple Priestess Miriam offers many kinds of traditional Vodoun spiritual services with Voodoo Weddings being the most popular.
As Oswan would say, “Me and the Father is one!” Well I say equally that me and the Voodoo Spiritual Temple is one each in the heart of all of you. My goal is to retain the unified structure in which the Temple is about and to serve those who are challenged with multiple conflicts in their lives and to educate in a way that people can retain order and discipline in their lives that they will be able to serve themselves and others with the best of respect.
The Purpose of the Voodoo Spiritual Temple is to train and develop the spiritual and mental powers lying dorment in each of us.
14 stand for “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for White children” byDavidLane.
88 refers to the Nazi salute “Heil Hitler” // H being the eighth letter of the alphabet. It can also refers to “88 precepts” an Essay also wrote by DavidLane.
The symbol number 1 is a Celtic cross. This is one of the most famous symbol used by White nationalism, White supremacy and Neo-Nazi organizations. It represents a square cross interlocking surrounded by a circle.
The symbol number 2 is an Odal Rune (with wings). It was originally used by ethnic Germans from Yugoslavia, then under the Third Reich, as the symbol of the ‘Hitler Youth’.
Above a photo of Dylann Roof, 23, who was convicted for the murder of 9 black parishioners on a racially motivated crime June 17, 2015 during a bible study. He was sentenced to the federal death penalty on January 10. He however requested a new trial by arguing that his actions didn’t constitute interstate commerce. No decision has been taken yet.
In the English version of the Reformation, Martin Luther’s role amounts to little more than noises off. First, he attracted the hostility of Henry VIII, aided and abetted by Thomas More, as they flung barbs at “this venomous serpent” challenging the Catholic church’s stranglehold over Europe. Then, just over a decade later, the king exploited the breach in Rome’s defences that Luther had created to launch a national church.
But Henry was always keen to stress that he was no Lutheran, and the German reformer’s new take on Christianity did not survive intact when crossing the Channel. So the celebrations this year of the 500th anniversary of Luther issuing his 95 theses – the key text in his onslaught against the pope’s abuse of power and scripture – is set to largely pass us by.
The “joint fest for Jesus Christ”, organised by the Lutheran World Federation and the Vatican, is a remarkable act of togetherness after half a millennium of enmity and bloodshed. It will be getting into gear this Easter across continental Europe, but there is no party happening here. Which is mighty unfair on Luther.
When the new Protestantism – a word invented by Luther’s enemies at the Diet of Speyer in 1529 – did arrive on these shores once Henry had shut out Rome, it might not have been specifically Lutheran, but it would not have existed at all had it not been for Luther. Once he had argued that you could worship God by following the scriptures not the pope, others such as Zwingli and Calvin followed in his wake, setting up their own churches as Protestantism quickly fragmented.
We live today in secular, sceptical, scientific times, when religion itself is regularly branded irrelevant. So Luther, if considered at all, tends to be dismissed as dour, distant and two-dimensional, better suited to the dusty pages of history books than the 21st century. So much so that he is often confused with Martin Luther King, whose continuing importance is much more readily understood.
Yet as one of the makers of modern Europe, and a populist who rose to prominence on a wave of anti-establishment discontent among those who felt themselves shut out and forgotten (sound familiar?), his story has never had a more immediate resonance.
In his native Germany, at least, they still appreciate that. Some 30% of the population remains Lutheran, including the chancellor, Angela Merkel, daughter of a Lutheran pastor. Recently a Playmobil model of the Augustinian friar, clutching his quill pen and Bible, became the fastest-selling toy its makers have ever put on the market there, with 34,000 sold during its first 72 hours on the shelf.
A case of celebrating a local hero? That is part of it, but it is too narrow. Luther’s contemporary relevance for all of us lies in understanding how and why an obscure monk from a backwoods university, light years away from the corridors of power in Renaissance Rome, orchestrated a revolution so powerful that it brought a hitherto all-powerful Catholicism to its knees.
It certainly was not down to the originality of his theological arguments. Not a single one was new. All had been aired before, some by saints, many by those branded heretics by Rome for their trouble, their lives snuffed out on pyres in public squares as casually as the candles on its gilded altars.
What Luther did in the 95 theses – which, incidentally, were sent to his local archbishop, not nailed to a door, a fanciful exaggeration put about by his followers after his death – was to tap into a deep vein of alienation among the poor in a fragmented Germany. They were disillusioned not only with the excesses and corruption of their pope and church, but also with their own local rulers in the jigsaw of states that made up their country.
Luther struck a chord with a congregation that felt exploited and ignored: on the one hand, fleeced to pay for lavish basilicas in Rome by the sale of worthless pieces of parchment known as indulgences that “guaranteed” a berth in heaven for loved ones (or themselves); and on the other, in the secular world, seeing the age-old ways on which their livelihoods depended overturned by the rise of a money economy.
The 95 theses – and much of what Luther subsequently said in public as his message spread across the continent, right up to his excommunication in 1521 – were the work of a classic disrupter who, in today’s terms, wanted to drain the “Vatican swamp”.
Fluent in the language of the street, the undeniably charismatic Luther wrote most of his best-known and most inflammatory texts not in church Latin but in German, going on to produce in 1522 the first translation of the New Testament into everyday German, and in 1534 a translation of the whole Bible.
Those in the pews no longer had to rely on the word of priests and bishops instead of the word of God. He realised the force of appealing over the head of “experts” long before Michael Gove hit upon it in the Brexit push.
And in working with the owners of newfangled printing presses, he was among the first to spot the potential of what was the social media of its day as an alternative means of spreading his new anti-establishment gospel. Pamphlets of edited versions of his tracts spread like ripples through Germany, then Europe, Rome and even England. In an age of widespread illiteracy, he made sure he engaged those who could not read by including illustrations, using crude, often satirical woodcuts from the studio of his close friend and fellow Wittenberger, Lucas Cranach the Elder.
So when he stood before the Holy Roman Emperor and the princes and prelates of Germany at the Diet of Worms in 1521, defending his writings on pain of death, Luther had crowds outside on the streets rallying to his defence, stirred up by leaflets and posters saturating the town.
Much as they wanted to be rid of “this petty monk”, as pope Adrian VI labelled him, the establishment could not hand him over to his fate for fear of igniting an uprising. So Luther, unlike those earlier would-be reformers, lived to put his theories into practice.
All those who court popular support, though, inevitably one day lose it. For Luther, that moment came in 1525, when the long-brewing unhappiness among Germany’s poor boiled over in the Peasants’ War. Luther was forced to choose sides, and threw his lot in with thode princes who had embraced his Protestantism (and with some who hadn’t).
This was not a matter of self-preservation. His doctrine of the “two kingdoms” – leaving to the state earthly matters, and to the church those spiritual pursuits that were Luther’s lifeblood – was sincerely held, but his application of it was taken as a cruel betrayal by many among the rebels who had placed their hopes in him as their saviour.
Yet the consequences of Luther’s rebellion were not confined to a particular period, to Germany, or even to organised religion. His essential message was that, at the end of his or her life, each believer stood naked before God, awaiting eternal judgment, with only the Bible and their faith to protect them. The “good works” that Catholicism encouraged – earning brownie points by going to mass, making pilgrimages, praying to relics and contributing to the church coffers – were irrelevant in salvation.
He was thus challenging the entire late medieval way of doing things and the result was strikingly modern. For Luther championed conscience, informed by reading the scriptures, over the dictates of church rules and regulations. Read scripture and make your own mind up. This, in its turn, opened the door in the 17th and 18th centuries to Enlightenment notions of human liberty, free speech and even human rights, all of which today shape Europe. Our ability to read the word of God and reject it out of hand comes from Luther – an outcome he could not have foreseen and which would surely horrify him.
But if that sounds too abstract, there is one final aspect of Martin Luther that gives him a relevance and a three-dimensional appeal. For sheer, selfless courage, he is impossible to outdo. He may now be recalled, if at all, as a jowly friar from history, but for a thousand years before Luther came along, the Catholic church had been one of the great powers on earth, so powerful it even fixed the calendar the world still uses, taking as its pivot the birth of Jesus Christ. Until Martin Luther.
He had the courage to take on a monolithic church, in the full expectation that it would cost him his life, but he did it nonetheless, confronting the might of the first truly universal religion, in person and often alone, with an extraordinary passion, intensity and energy. And, most remarkable of all, not only did Luther survive, he triumphed, and we are all better off because of him.