Upton Sinclair: The Profits of Religion

Book Four - The Church of the Slaves

Der Tag

All this was, of course, in preparation for the great event to which all good Germans looked forward - to which all German officers drank their toasts at banquets - the Day.

This glorious day came, and the field-gray armies marched forth, and the Pauline-Lutheran God marched with them. The Kaiser, as usual, acted as spokesman:

Remember that the German people are the chosen of God. On me, the German emperor, the spirit of God has descended. I am His sword, His weapon and His viceregent, Woe to the disobedient and death to cowards and unbelievers.

As to the Prussian state religion, its attitude to the war is set forth in a little book written by a high clerical personage, the Herr Consistorialrat Dietrich Vorwerk, containing prayers and hymns for the Lord God of Battles:

Though the warrior's bread be scanty, do thou work daily death and tenfold woe unto the enemy. Forgive in merciful long-suffering each bullet and each blow which misses its mark. Lead us not into the temptation of letting our wrath be too tame in carrying out Thy divine judgment. Deliver us and our ally from the Infernal Enemy and his servants on earth. Thine is the kingdom, the German land; may we, by the aid of Thy steel-clad hand, achieve the fame and the glory.

It is this Herr Consistorialrat who has perpetrated the great masterpiece of humor of the war - the hymn in which he appeals to that God who keeps guard over Cherubim, Seraphim, and Zeppelins. You have to say over the German form of these words in order to get the effects of their delicious melody - "Cherubinen, Seraphinen, Zeppelinen!" And lest you think that this too-musical clergyman is a rare avis, turn to the little book which has been published in English under the same title as Herr Vorwerk's "Hurrah and Hallelujah." Here is the Reverend S. Lehmann:

Germany is the center of God's plans for the world. Germany's fight against the whole world is in reality the battle of the spirit against the whole world's infamy, falsehood and devilish cunning.

And here is Pastor K. Koenig:

It was God's will that we should will the war.

And Pastor J. Rump:

Our defeat would mean the defeat of His Son in humanity. We fight for the cause of Jesus within mankind.

And here is an eminent theological professor:

The deepest and most thought-inspiring result of the war is the German God. Not the national God such as the lower nations worship, but "our God," who is not ashamed of belonging to us, the peculiar acquirement of our heart.

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