Caught as I am here in Weimar in the Luther decade, I'm very dubious
about his value as a thinker.
(As an exAltarboy and minor seminarian, the
German Dominican nuns of my elementary school academy spoiled me as an
honorable witness of his evil heresy.) By an incredible serendipity, I
was in Wittenberg (for the first time) to attend an urban planning
seminar sponsored by the Bauhauas Dessau in the Melancthon Gymnasium.
(I overnighted in the youth hostel of the very church on which Luther had
nailed his theses.)
I attended the opening ceremony for the Luther
decade at which noble UNish sentiments were uttered by eloquent Lutheran
bishops from all over the world. The dedication ended with the forced
liberation of 500 doves! (A quincentennial occurs, happily for the
birds, only once every 500 years.)
It was followed by an enactment on
the shores of the nearby river Elbe of Luther's flight from his Augustinian
Catholic promises in Erfurt. Later on that day I ran into a delightful
Cranach exposition about his tenure there as well as a memorable
exhibition in the former city hall taken over to exhibit Christian art of
the last century. (All these experiences usefully secular).
My five year old son Danny attends the Jonas Falk kindergarten for
which my Lutheran wife and I are very grateful. Holidays she often
succeeds in dragging me to her church as well as to weekend seminars in
The folks are civilized and the food is good, but I don't
have a nanosecond of interest in theirs or any other theology. They are a
not very useful heritage from a prescientific era of competing European
I read Danny new illustrated books on dinosaurs about
which he has a commendable passion. He scrutinizes bugs with an energy
that makes me hope he will become a natural scientist using the greatest
of all allegedly divine gifts, reason.
What happens in the allegedly
greater Hereafter is a silly distraction from the unlimited wonders of