By Oswald Sobrino, J.D.; M.A. (Econ.); M.A. (Theo.); M.L. (Master of Latin), doctoral student, University of Florida.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Remember the 2008 Campaign . . . And a Candidate Saying "That's Above My Paygrade"

Draw your own conclusions and inferences. Remember the 2008 American presidential campaign (see hint in the post title above) and read the excerpt below from the biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer that I have been recommending these past weeks. But first let me set the scene. Before the brutal invasion of Poland in 1939 that would spark the Second World War, Hitler made clear to his generals that he planned the brutal extermination of many segments of the Polish population. The SS, not the German army, would do the dirtiest work in Poland. Hitler basically told the army generals to stay out of the way of the SS. Now, the excerpt follows:

There was something in the German psyche that responded to this sort of suggestion [namely, just do your military duty and ignore the SS] too well. But there were some brave souls who did consider the larger picture. Niemoller [a Lutheran pastor who strongly opposed Hitler and paid for it with lengthy imprisonment]. Now Canaris [the admirall in charge of German military intelligence] was another.  So he protested to Keitel [the field marshal who was head of the German military high command]. But in vain. . . . . Keitel did not concern himself with such things above his pay grade. He told Canaris: "The Fuhrer has already decided on this matter."
Source: Eric Metaxas in his biography of Bonhoeffer pictured above [at p. 352; emphasis added].

Think of the abortion issue and how some prominent politicians, and many others, say explicitly or in effect that the pressing moral issue of the taking of innocent life in utero is a matter "above their pay grade" and that the Supreme Court has already decided on this matter in Roe v. Wade and its progeny. The issue of the taking of life in the womb will not go away, no matter how much we wish it to remain hidden inside the walls of the clinics dotting this nation.