The Crystal Night
The reference here is to the night
mentioned in the title of the poem
in which Germans who were in general
agreement with the Nazis in power
proceeded (with clandestine Nazi
encouragement) to vandalize homes,
businesses, and synagogues of German Jews.
The event was characterized in
particular by broken window glass on
the cobblestone streets, one of the dominate
memories of those who were there. From
this came the name the Crystal Night.
One can only hope that history will not
repeat itself here in our fair land; however,
there are those in the secular left camp
of the liberal movement who have already
questioned the waste of buildings being
used as churches.
One of the greatest horrors to come out
of the German Nazi experience is not the
abuses of minorities (as bad as that is)
but the herd mentality; the mass politically
correct group-think; the majority uncritically
following the propaganda of the popular,
the in vogue views of the day. Anything
sound familiar here?
Kristallnacht, Nov. 9-10, 1938
Why sometimes does evil
express itself like this
in beautiful names and sounds and songs
or the treachery of a kiss?
So little children's voices once
heralded a Reich, an age,
dressed in symphonies and glory
its soul steeped in rage.
The tinkling glass upon the stones
announced the long, dark night
through which the Jew was herded, shuffling
from which he crawled into the light.
Through all the mud, dust and snow
of frozen camps and hearts
he's come, crying, can still cry at least
and walks erect, apart.
And only a remnant Nazi
from place to hiding place creeps
pursued around the world
as the former slave now sleeps
sleeps free, alive tonight
and every night and day
a living marker for the ones
who died and have no graves.
Their ashes were scattered
across the forgotten Reich.
For them and him and hope and struggle
all nights are crystal nights.
by Robert Jackson
copyright © 1991
Existence of Christian Student Organizations at Vanderbilt Threatened: Is this the Beginning of a Trend?
October 24, 2011
Religious organizations at Vanderbilt University are at risk, at this time, because of a new policy at the prestigious private university in Nashville, Tennessee. The student organizations are refusing to abide by a new policy that forces them to consider all applicants for leadership positions, even if the applicants do not believe in the basic religious beliefs of the particular organization. The Christian Legal Society, which describes itself as a group of legal experts from all fields: lawyers, judges, professors and others, has taken up the banner to promote the cause of these organizations. This author has sent an e-mail to the Thomas More Law Center, which describes itself on its website as: "a not-for-profit public interest law firm dedicated to the defense and promotion of religious freedom of Christians...," to alert them to the situation. Perhaps, as a law firm, they get involved in these situations only when someone actually takes legal action. Knowing the reputation of this firm, I had supposed they were well aware of the situation at Vanderbilt. I received a quick response, good organization! Many people have begun to speak out about this deplorable attack on religious freedom. A U.S. Congressional delegation has written a letter of complaint to the school.
With the Land O' Lakes Statement in 1967, many major Catholic universities declared their independence from the Church, in the interest of academic freedom. This gave rise to some of the very orthodox Catholic colleges and universities that were founded after that date to counter that event (notably Christendom College in Virginia and Ave Maria in Florida). Perhaps now, our ever more liberal and secular institutions of higher learning just want to wipe out religion on campus altogether. The numerous attempts at a secular sterilization of society are pretty transparent these days. For many liberals, all vestiges of belief in the supernatural must be scrubbed away, which makes one wonder about the more than occasional sympathy we see, among academics, for religions that are not of Judeo-Christian roots, in other words anti-conservative, anti-American faiths. As we have watched universities remove access for military recruiters and seen ROTC programs removed or criticized, it seems, that in the interest of some vague concept of pure thought, we are not supposed to be Americans while we are on a college campus, in America. Apparently colleges are some neutral zone where your views (in fact that which is "you") must be left at the campus entrance gate. That is, unless you happen to be leftist, socialist, and atheistic.
Notable among the defenders of religious freedom in this current case is Vanderbilt professor, Carol M. Swain, Ph. D., who teaches political science and law there. The learned, soft spoken professor and author has been a firm defender of the students and their organizations since this situation began. Her words sum up the dangers inherent in the situation and illustrate how bizarrely ridiculous our new world of relativism, secularism and political correctness has become:
"This hastily conceived policy has the potential to destroy every religious organization on campus by secularizing religion and allowing intolerant conflict. Carried to its logical extension, it means that no organization can maintain integrity of beliefs. Christians can seek to lead Muslim organizations, Muslims can seek to lead Jewish ones, and Wiccans can seek to lead Catholic fellowships. The policy encourages people holding antithetical views to infiltrate organizations they seek to destroy." - Professor Carol M. Swain, Ph.D.
I suppose this takes a bit of courage because it is her employer she is criticizing. While one would think her reputation and prestige would protect her, we live in crazy times. I believe that all Jews & Christians must gather their courage, for we do not know for sure what lies ahead. Father Mitch Pacwa, a learned man himself who I believed spent some time at Vanderbilt, is an important personality on EWTN, the Eternal Word Television Network. Speaking recently at the 30th. anniversary of EWTN's founding, the good Jesuit reminded us in attendance that before their fall into the dark night of dictatorship, Germany and Russia were Christian nations.
There is a thin line, not a grand wall, separating Americans, who think themselves so safe, from the chaos of sectarianism and the scenario of the refugee. Americans seem to be so sold on modernism that they believe the world has outgrown turmoil. It swirls all around them, but it is the: "It can't happen here" syndrome that always gets you. We seem to live in some Alice in Wonderland world in which things are rather not like they are supposed to be and normal rules do not apply, but it can't happen here, right. Well, Professor Swain commented online just today that people nowadays are following the laws they want to obey and ignoring the ones that they don't like. Apparently 31% of the infamous Occupy Wall Street protesters said they favor violence to get what they want. I have to tell you, respect for law is already waning. With failure of that beam of society's structure comes the collapse of respect for each other, our rights, beliefs and property. The turmoil comes next.
If you deny the possibility of large scale political violence between Americans in modern times (since the civil war and the turn of the 20th. Century), just study the history of the union organization era where both sides were wedded to violence as an acceptable tool. Currently, people of the Judeo-Christian belief system seem to be the most often singled out for ridicule and even discrimination, although any religious group could be harmed by policies like the one instituted at Vanderbilt. Can a prestigious university essentially control a religious student organization to the point of making it select its enemies as its leaders. That can't happen here. The good Russian people of the '20s and through the bulk of the 20th. Century, lived an extended long dark night as brutal as the one Germany experienced in the '30s and early '40s. In the upside-down times we currently inhabit, I'm reminded that we are but 16 days from the anniversary of the "Crystal Night." How many good German Jews, worthy contributors to that society, hid in basements and backrooms 73 years ago on November 9-10, 1938, saying to themselves and family, "This can't be happening here!"