To the Editor,

History is meant for reflection and healing­—not for repeating. Our never-ended Civil War was our first taste of religious extremism and overreach.  Christian fundamentalists considered slavery God’s will and a commodity, a market share and knee on your neck thing. The abolitionist progressive Christians were and are the promoters of the pesky Golden Rule thing.

The second World War was considered by the Arab world as the “Christian wars.” Europe was overwhelmed by the fascist Nazi Christian Germany until the United States entered the fray. Five-star General Dwight Eisenhower called our involvement a “great crusade.”  Hitler considered himself a living embodiment of God. Citizens would weep with love and adoration; this cult of personality gave his privileged white followers permission for enslavement and murder of millions. Jews, the handicapped, gays, gypsies and other minorities were considered impure and were scapegoated to death, literally. This came about because of Hitler’s insatiable hatred, bigotry and grievance. His speeches were about inflaming, demanding loyalty and supremacy and his promise to “Make Germany Great Again”­—MGGA. Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” might be his “Art of the Deal” and along with Ayn Rand’s “Virtue of Selfishness” only accomplished with the acquiescence of a grievance-minded population.  The energy was a show of force, the Night of Broken Glass, the Burning of the Books to stop independent thinking and promote intimidation and manipulation. Today we have Charlottesville, Stop the Steal and the coup attempt on January 6. Fundamentalists with their blind faith and trust in false prophets and false religions like QAnon and various conspiracies, all the while demand freedom of religion. Go figure.

Again, I refer back to the Golden Rule. For those of you with children and grandchildren, look them in the eye and tell them you want a better future for them and not a better past for yourselves. The Golden Rule is a path forward, will carry the day and get the knee off your necks.  

“We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools” – Dr. Martin Luther King.  Decency is not a radical concept!

Leland Jenson,

Detroit Lakes, Minn.