Germany: Mandating Away 4,000 Years of Law ?

I traveled to Berlin Wednesday Jan. 26 2022 for what might be the most important debate in the history of the Bundestag – the debate on vaccine mandates. Should parliament approve mandates and the associated digital passport, it’s my view that Germany will be casting off its democratic moorings in the process. It may well take the EU with it. My summary is based on discussions with parliamentarians, journalists and everyday people.

Germany could soon become the only G7 nation to force its entire adult population to undergo an invasive medical procedure. Few would be exempt. Including for religious reasons.

That’s what appears to be emerging after day two of the Bundestag debate on a Covid vaccine mandate. Three drafts are circulating. They include state ordered injections for all 18 and over, for all those 50 and over, and a voluntary program. But the prospect of government mandated injections is being rejected by a growing number of Germans. Almost a third of the population of 83 million want them off the table. For good and completely. 

And after two years of ever tightening restrictions, those people are taking to the streets in increasing numbers in illegal nationwide protests. They include people from all walks of life. Many fear the mandates will spell the end to a fundamental human right – autonomy over one’s own body. 

Source FAZ/Youtube

Two Deaths During Anti-Mandate Demonstrations

On Monday, January 23rd, two men died during that day’s mainly peaceful demonstrations. One was a well-known musician. 53 year-old Boris Pfiefer apparently died of heart failure after being “kettled” or corralled by police forces. BLM protesters condemned similar harsh tactics after enduring them during the 2020 George Floyd protests. Police kettling is finding increased usage against Germany’s anti-mandate protestors, mothers with children included. The other death was apparently a retiree at a protest who suffered a heart attack.

These tragic deaths came during two of the approximately 2,400 “Monday Night Walks” that night across the country.

Prenzlau Monday Jan.23 2022  Photo: Brian Thomas All Rights Reserved

Germany’s weekly street activism come in contrast to the opening of other European countries, like Britain, Spain, Ireland and Denmark, which are canceling all, or most, restrictions on pubic life.

A German mandate for forced vaccinations would be a dubious first.

Will Germany become the first leading western nation to force vaccines upon a significant dissenting minority?

The prospect is unsettling in a country that has gone to great lengths to atone for past failures to protect minorities, and that remains painfully conscious of its past. Post-war Germany has gone to great lengths to craft a public image as a leading voice on moral issues. But by failing to protecting an individual’s right of conscience, the right not to be coerced by government and by extension, minority rights, it is now surrendering, at least in part, that hard won moral high ground.

On what is becoming the defining moral issue of our era, it’s other western democracies that are remaining true to fundamental core values. Not one German government associated public institution has stepped forward to ensure that individual rights play a central role in mandate debates and legislation. In the US, key institutions have rejected them. President Biden surrendered his push for mandates after the Supreme Court ruled them unjustified. Top judges elsewhere, in countries like Belgium, have rejected far weaker mandates. Last week the Czech Republic rescinded mandates promised by the previous government. In Asia, Japan has turned them down for a voluntary vaccine program. And even the WHO does not support mandates outright. The UN body says it’s better to work on information campaigns and to make vaccines accessible.

With Berlin going it alone among western powers, perhaps it will listen to a close partner that post-war Germany has passionately supported and whose opinion it respects – Israel?

Can Israel Save the German-Austrian Mandate Solo?

Before Germany sheers off and joins Austria, it might look to Israel for guidance. 

There are two reasons to look to Israel. The first is technical. The second is legal and spiritual.

“Only the Vaccine Can Save Us.”

Most German politicians claim only five authorised vaccines can end the pandemic. Officials like the country’s Health Minister tirelessly repeat there is no option. But is this in fact the case? Statistics from Israel appear to prove the exact opposite. Israel, the first nation to lock down entirely and vaccinate massively, continues to have some of the world’s highest infection rates. The prime minister has praised the half a million Israelis who’ve already had their fourth vaccination. Clearly, the current vaccine regimen is not the only way out of the pandemic. The more liberal approaches in Sweden and much of the US underscore these and other stubborn facts German politicos and the domestic press insist on ignoring. Even colleagues in mainstream US news headline the fact that covid cases keep falling in the five least fully vaccinated US states.

The second anti-mandate argument from Israel, the birthplace of the Three Abrahamic Religions, is even more compelling:

Source: Wiki CommonsCarole Raddato

The vaccine mandate denies a free human sole authority over their own body.

As such, the mandate represents a complete break with over four thousand years of Abrahamic and Mosaic law. It would be a complete rupture with the civilisation that binds Germany to the other two and a half billion children of Abraham worldwide.

This fundamental denial of the legal and spiritual basis for human dignity would cut Germany off from a millennia old legal continuum. It’s a superstructure for governance extending back to our planet’s very first cities and first codified laws. It is also a legal tradition, that in spite of all their many differences, binds together Jews, Christian and Muslims.

They all teach a similar precept. And that bedrock precept allows no room for any government to stake a claim over a citizen’s body. Here it is:

There is one God. Every human is made in his image and carries his image in their own unique personhood. To deny the dignity of personal autonomy is not only an offence against the individual. It also violates the dignity of the Creator, God himself, who has bestowed his children with his own sacred image.

Vaccine mandates violate the first commandment:

“You shall have no Gods before me, and you shall love God with all your heart, all your mind, and all your soul.”

German law, the western legal framework, indeed our entire global concept of human rights find their origins in that one commandment. German vaccine mandates would remove this cornerstone from the overarching body of law and establish a new and alien principal. This new principal replaces God with government officials as the entity possessing the right to claim an individual’s body. In one grand sweep, vaccine mandates would legally terminate an individual’s right to his or her sanctity, and the freedoms that proceed from it.

Via vaccine mandates, government claims ownership of a human’s body, even before that individual can themselves claim possession of that God given birthright. Mandates invert the guiding principle of our civilisation:

Freedom is given by God, not by man. It is inalienable, untouchable, and non-negotiable.

 

Image Credit https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Philippe_de_Champaigne_-_Moses_with_the_Ten_Commandments_-_WGA04717.jpg (Philippe de Champaigne / Public domain)  Previous

It’s Not Just Moses

The teaching and documents of one of the world’s biggest religions, Catholicism, seamlessly assert the Mosaic basis for human dignity over the last two millennium. They include the documents from Vatican Two and Pope Paul VI, which unequivocally champion the right of the individual not to be coerced on matters of conscience. Pope Francis has sown confusion on vaccine mandates with ongoing statements that counter these two thousand years of catechesis. The issue is taken up in this thoughtful piece by the left-center, mainstream outlet “Religion News Service” if you are interested.

And US bishops, in Of Human Dignity, have long underscored the continuity of Judeo-Christian ethics in secular government infrastructure:

“However, an acknowledgment of the dignity of the individual human being is not uniquely Catholic. This belief is found not just in the Bible, not just in the teachings of Jesus, but in the wisdom of non-religious thinkers. Ancient stoic philosophers like Seneca emphasized human dignity. The enlightenment philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) defended humanity as an end-in-itself never to be used simply as a means. In 1776, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and the American Founders … .”

What Strange House is Austro-Germany Building?

This novel Austro-German legal edifice would be bereft of any trace of the God of Abraham. It would be an empty, soulless and windswept house.

Incredibly, this is not the first time these two nations have lock-stepped toward the chimera of a superior, manmade world.

It’s still not too late to turn back.

Millenia ago, Moses anticipated this very moment. Just prior to his death on Mount Nebo, Moses’s bestowed a blessing. It was also a plea to remember the law is life itself:

“Take to heart all the words I have solemnly declared to you this day, so that you may command your children to obey carefully all the words of this law They are not just idle words for you—they are your life. And thereby you shall live long … .” Deuteronomy 32:44

Through grace or merit or both, Germany has profited in countless ways from Mosaic precepts. For decades they have served and protected the people of this nation as they did the people of Israel. This codex has been the legal and moral foundation for Germany’s modern freedoms and prosperity.  

Today’s German politicians, though, appear intent on severing their legal and bonds with the West’s earliest spiritual origins. Friedrich Nietzsche indicated he thought this might be inevitable at some point. In “Beyond Good and Evil” (here’s a free copy) he said: “We Northerners undoubtedly derive our origin from barbarous races, even as regards our talents for religion—we have POOR talents for it.” (the caps are Nietzsche’s)

Personally, I have encountered more than enough Germans to believe this is not the case. Still, as politicians stare into the widening legal abyss of their own creating, they might want to consider Nietzsche and his warning that the abyss might just stare back.

Stradanus Map of Hell Wiki Commons

Brian Thomas. All Rights Reserved 2022

Brian Thomas covered German parliamentary politics for over 30 years for a major international broadcaster. He was on hand as the the New Berlin Republic took up business in the Reichstag in 1999 and has reported extensively on German and European life and politics. He now covers stories independently with an emphasis on giving a voice to the marginalised, weak and forgotten.

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