Sex and Fascism, a Church Leader’s Guide

Jesus taught us to love our neighbors, right? And that love extends universally, as illustrated by the Good Samaritan. How, then, can we explain Christian support of National Socialism when it was clear that the Nazis stood for certain people and violently against others?

An answer to this enormous question lies in everyone’s favorite topic: sex.

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Discussion Questions:

1. In what ways did the Nazis exploit and manipulate the topic of sexuality to gain support from the German churches?

2. How did the liberal sexual culture of the Weimar Republic pose a threat to the German churches and align the with the Nazis’ agenda?

3. What was the relationship between theology, morality, and the Nazis’ efforts to enforce strict moral codes in German society?

4. How did the Nazis’ actions against LGBTQ individuals tie into their broader ideological agenda and goals for German society?

5. What was the significance of the Nazi regime’s campaign against what they labeled as “deviant sexual behavior,” and how did it serve their political purposes?

6. How did the concept of “degenerate art” play a role in the Nazis’ suppression of modern art forms and their broader ideological narrative?

7. What were the reasons behind the churches’ support for the enforcement of paragraph 175 and the broader Nazi policies regarding sexuality and morality?

8. What factors influenced the resistance, or lack thereof, to the oppressive policies against minorities, particularly LGBTQ individuals, within the churches and across German society?

9. How did the theological concept of the two kingdoms impact the response of church leaders and pastors to the Nazis’ oppressive policies?

10. Reflecting on the historical context presented, how might faith in Jesus serve as a compass for individuals facing moral and ethical challenges during periods of societal upheaval?

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