Friday, November 03, 2006

Lutheran Vicar Self Immolates

From The Brussels Journal:

On Tuesday a Lutheran vicar set himself alight in the German town of Erfurt. The 73 year old Roland Weisselberg poured gasoline over himself and set fire to himself in the Erfurt monastery, where Martin Luther took his monastic vows in 1505. Bystanders rushed to extinguish the flames. The man later died of his injuries.

In a farewell letter to his wife the vicar wrote that he was setting himself on fire to warn against the danger of the Islamization of Europe. During the past four years the vicar had frequently expressed his concern about the expansion of Islam, urging the Lutheran Church to take this issue seriously. As the fire started the vicar cried: “Jesus and Oskar!” Oskar Brüsewitz was a 47-year old German vicar who died after setting himself on fire 30 years ago, on 18 August 1976, in the market square of the German town of Zeitz in protest against the Communist regime in East Germany. Both Erfurt and Zeitz are situated in the former East German province of Saxony.

Axel Noack, the Lutheran Bishop of Saxony, said he is shocked by the tragic event in Erfurt. Bishop Noack emphasized that the motive for the suicide complicates matters. He said he hopes that the affair and the question of how Christians should relate to Muslims will not lead to unrest. The Bishop emphasized that Christians reject a culture war. “Fear of other cultures is the result of our own insecurity,” he said, adding that since there are not many Muslims in what was once East Germany, there is not much of a debate about Islam there.

Last Saturday Mama Galledou, a 26-year old Senegalese medical student, suffered severe burns in an arson attack by Muslim thugs, a.k.a. “youths,” on a public transport bus in the French city of Marseille. Muslim thugs have torched eight buses in France during the past days. They hijack the vehicles and empty jerrycans of gasoline into them. Sometimes they allow the passengers to get off first, sometimes they do not.

I'm stunned. In contrast, the bland words of his politically correct bishop make this horrible act even more bizarre and disturbing.

We see two sides of Europe in the face of Islamic encroachment: the blind apathy of those who don't care, and the despair of the ones who do.

UPDATE: I found a deeper insight into this disturbing event at Wolf Pangloss' blog here:

Before he struck the fatal match, the last words he spoke were "Jesus and Oskar."

There is no mystery in why a 73-year-old retired priest would call to Jesus before committing suicide. But why did he call to Oskar? Who was Oskar?

Oskar Bruesewitz was a priest who on August 18 1976 set himself on fire "in the busy market square of the town of Zeitz in Saxony, East Germany"[link] in order to protest increasingly severe restrictions placed on Christianity by the hardline Communist East German government.[link] His suicide proved to be a turning point for East German Socialism, for it empowered the Evangelical Protestant church as an advocate for freedom.

So this man, Roland Weisselberg, had hoped that his self immolation might spark an awakening as did the act of Oskar Bruesewitz in the 1970's. Remember the Buddhist monks who also self immolated during the Vietnam War which shocked America?

We probably won't be seeing any photos of Reverend Weisselberg's demise, nor will we hear about it in the news. Already I hear that the German papers are hushing this story. It's too embarassing for the Bishop of Saxony and the politically correct churches there.

Like Wolf said, let's remember to say a prayer for this man.