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The Beautiful White Rose

420px-Scholl-Denkmal,_München

White Rose Monument in Munich, Germany.

Dear Friends,

In the darkest times a light shines. In Germany, during World War 2, one of those lights was the White Rose resistance movement. This little group of students defied the might of the Third Reich from within. They “published” a series of pamphlets highly critical of the actions, philosophy, and character of the leadership of Germany. Found out, they paid for their courage with their lives. Their memory is sweet, especially to Germans, who have little to be proud of from those dark days.

Theology of Conscience

Conscience motivated them to speak; compelling them to act against the evil that had overwhelmed their nation. Members of the White Rose embraced the “theology of conscience” taught by John Henry Newman. He believed the “natural moral law” summed up in the Ten Commandments, was written on the heart of every human being. Including the Fourth Commandment to children to honor their parents. Likewise, as all parents know, this carries with it the obligation to see to it that their children do so.

Newman wrote that the conscience “reaches forward to something beyond self, and dimly discerns a sanction higher than self for its decisions… we are accustomed to speak of conscience as a voice… like no other dictate in the whole of experience.”

{Newman, J. H. An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Ascent, (Burns, Oates, and Co, London, 1870) p. 107.}

Indeed, the conscience is the “voice of God” within a man, and not a creation of man at all.

The Most Difficult Yardstick

The article, “Would the White Rose Bloom Today?” compares, but cannot contrast, the behavior of the German people and judicial systems in the 1940s and today. In regards to education and the family, there is little difference in the two kinds of socialist governments in power then and now. In both, morality and natural law do not balance the dictates of government…or so it appears. But what of those who must obey the dictates of that quiet voice within, their conscience? Is a conscience clause possible under a socialist government? It was not in the Nazi era. Are things different today?

As Sophie Scholl wrote in her diary before the dark days of her capture and execution (she was beheaded):

“Sophie measured herself against high standards and believed others should do the same.

We all have this yardstick inside ourselves, but it just isn’t sought enough. Maybe because it is the most difficult yardstick,” she explained in a letter to her boyfriend, Fritz Hartnagel.

{Quoted in Hitler Youth, by S.C. Bartoletti (Scholastic, Inc. 2005), p. 38}

Yes, the conscience is the demanding and difficult yardstick of all to follow, and in the case of the White Rose in 1942-3, brought these young men and women into mortal combat with an evil regime. The forces of evil prevailed then, but the memory of the White Rose is sweet, and the memory of the National Socialist party a stench.

Read the whole entry, “Would the White Rose Blossom Today?

In the same way, the consciences of the loving parents in the Communities in Germany have brought them in conflict with another socialist government and a society that has annulled the ancient covenant between parent and child described in these precious words…

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother (this is the first commandment with a promise), that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land. Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:1-4)

For the Communities of the Twelve Tribes, in perilous days,

Kevin Carlin

First distributed as Twelve Tribes Newsletter # 27 on January 14, 2014.