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The Little Steps In Between

June 1, 1933: Nazi Germany institutes boycott of Jewish-owned businesses. (Screenshot from British Pathé).

Here’s a quote from a book titled They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-45, a study of ten Germans who lived under Nazism. The author was Milton Mayer, who wrote it in 1955; it was republished by University of Chicago Press two years ago. Read this and think of our own time and place:

“But the one great shocking occasion, when tens or hundreds or thousands will join with you, never comes. That’s the difficulty. If the last and worst act of the whole regime had come immediately after the first and smallest, thousands, yes, millions would have been sufficiently shocked—if, let us say, the gassing of the Jews in ’43 had come immediately after the ‘German Firm’ stickers on the windows of non-Jewish shops in ’33. But of course this isn’t the way it happens. In between come all the hundreds of little steps, some of them imperceptible, each of them preparing you not to be shocked by the next. Step C is not so much worse than Step B, and, if you did not make a stand at Step B, why should you at Step C? And so on to Step D.

“And one day, too late, your principles, if you were ever sensible of them, all rush in upon you. The burden of self-deception has grown too heavy, and some minor incident, in my case my little boy, hardly more than a baby, saying ‘Jew swine,’ collapses it all at once, and you see that everything, everything, has changed and changed completely under your nose. The world you live in—your nation, your people—is not the world you were born in at all. The forms are all there, all untouched, all reassuring, the houses, the shops, the jobs, the mealtimes, the visits, the concerts, the cinema, the holidays. But the spirit, which you never noticed because you made the lifelong mistake of identifying it with the forms, is changed. Now you live in a world of hate and fear, and the people who hate and fear do not even know it themselves; when everyone is transformed, no one is transformed. Now you live in a system which rules without responsibility even to God. The system itself could not have intended this in the beginning, but in order to sustain itself it was compelled to go all the way.”

Via Steve Perisho’s blog. 

Again: think about how this kind of thing is happening to us, and why. Because it is.

Here’s one way it’s happening to us:

 Some Christian schools have encountered hospitals and schools that refuse to accept their nursing and education students for jobs and internships, Shirley Hoogstra, president of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, told The Christian Post.

The students are being turned away due to the colleges’ understanding of marriage as between one man and one woman. The problem is not widespread, Hoogstra explained, but it is an issue that the CCCU has been dealing with and is concerned about for the future.

“There have been small pockets in the United States where Christian colleges that have held a traditional understanding of marriage have had some of their professional programs impacted,” she said. “For instance, there have been some public schools that will not allow teachers into their schools. Not because they have witnessed the student teachers in any way being bigoted or discriminatory, but because they have a penalty against a school that has a traditional understanding of marriage.

“In terms of nursing placements, this has repeatedly been a conversation between the public hospitals and nursing placements for student nurses. It’s not widespread yet, but there are pockets of it, which concerns us.”

That’s one way things are changing. There are others, as you well know.

UPDATE:And then, medical professionals began to lose their jobs because they would not conform to the new ideology — and those who defended him were compared to the Ku Klux Klan:

Allan Josephson, professor of pediatrics, child and adolescent psychiatry, and psychology at the University of Louisville, says he was discriminated against and demoted for his “conservative” views on transgender youth, according to a federal lawsuit filed by the Alliance Defending Freedom. The alliance is a considered an anti-LGBTQ hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Insider Louisville reported. The university declined comment on pending litigation.

Josephson, former chief of Louisville’s Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychology, has publicly criticized “transgender ideology,” argued against kids using bathrooms based on gender identity, and said that after “empathetically listening to their child, parents should use their collective wisdom in guiding their child to align with his or her biological sex,” according to the suit. Louisville staff members allegedly found out about the remarks and brought them to the attention of his division. In 2017, Josephson was removed as chief but retained his professorship, allegedly because his views did not align with the official Louisville curriculum. Josephson maintains that there is no curriculum on gender dysphoria. In 2018, he says he was told that his contract would not be renewed and that the division was going in a “different direction.”

And from The Guardian today:

A psychologist who has played a key role in opposing the introduction of relationship and sex education lessons in schools is being investigated by her profession’s governing body over her fitness to practise.

Dr Kate Godfrey-Faussett, who has extensive experience working with young children and families, is a leading figure in Stop RSE, a campaign against relationship and sex education (RSE) lessons in schools.

In a speech broadcast online, Godfrey-Faussett, who converted to Islam 25 years ago, has that said many young Muslims were “turning to same-sex relationships because they haven’t had the guidance”. She has complained about the “queering” of the “Muslim community” and said Muslims should “work psychologically or in a mental health capacity” with those experiencing same-sex attraction.

UPDATE.2: News from America’s most elite law school:

On March 25, one month after the controversy, Yale Law School announced via email that it was extending its nondiscrimination policy to summer public interest fellowships, postgraduate public interest fellowships, and loan forgiveness for public interest careers. The school will no longer provide financial support for students and graduates who work at organizations that discriminate on the basis of “sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.”

Yale based its decision on a unanimous recommendation from the school’s Public Interest Committee. The committee explained: “The logic of our broader recommendation is that Yale Law School does not and should not support discrimination against its own students, financially or otherwise. Obviously, the Law School cannot prohibit a student from working for an employer who discriminates, but that is not a reason why Yale Law School should bear any obligation to fund that work, particularly if that organization does not give equal employment opportunity to all of our students.”

The law school also thanked Outlaws for raising this issue.

Yale is within its rights to do this, note well. This is one more small step toward making it difficult, even impossible, for traditional Christians to work. What is happening is that people are losing their jobs, and professional opportunities, because they don’t go along with gender ideology.

It’s not just religious people; if you are a stone-cold atheist physician who objects for medical reasons to whatever the trans lobby demands today, that could mean the end of your career. I have a personal friend who is a physician, who is facing exactly this.

That’s why I’m not posting (most of) the caterwauling whataboutism, and the Godwin’s Law griping, on this thread. Intelligent people can perfectly well see what is analogous about the situation Mayer’s interviewee describes, and what’s happening today. It’s not about building concentration camps; it’s about how an entire society is quickly and radically changed, with all its structures still intact. It all happened by people assenting to small, steady changes along the way, until suddenly, it was a new world. The small steps have become a steady trot.

 

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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