Reading through the political, social and spiritual climate of Germany at the rise of the Third Reich, it does provoke some comparisons with our own time. For one, we live in a very divided nation, certainly over issues different from the Germany of the 1930s, but related in at least two major themes: Racial tension and distrust of and dissatisfaction with the government.

The major difference with the racial issue is that while Germany seemed to have a very sudden and rapid shift into its anti-semitism, our injustice towards African-Americans has been in existence since before Hitler's rise. While it may have improved in some ways, in others it has become more sinister, mainly in that it lurks deeper in the background, unnoticed and thus denied by many, allowing us to feel proud of our progress while denying the hard work left yet to do and absolving us unjustly of our national shame.

Government is an entirely other issue. While we may dislike our government, it does not stem from the total undermining of a prior system and a loss of national leadership. We did not lose both a monarch and a monarchy at once. We have not recently attempted to fumble our way into a democratic form of government. We have not lost a major war to have unbearable treaty terms placed upon us, crushing our economy into oblivion. Most of our trouble stems from internal sources, namely our apathy and poor education, especially in regards to our own political system. If we are a democracy, we have none but ourselves to blame.

It is interesting however to see the similarities in national sources of spirituality. Germany had Luther and the reformation as its basis of much of its national identity. Much of ours was formed out of the separation of the Puritans from the Church of England and in that -- and the various forms of Judaeo-Christian deism in our founding fathers -- we also have a "Christian" heritage. We are both nations formed out of religious disagreement and "reformation" of sorts. But as Eric Metaxas wrote, "...confusion...inevitably arises when the Christian faith becomes too closely related to a cultural or national identity."

I think in that confusion, a Germany under the Third Reich and a United States of America on the eve of electing its 45th president agree, but perhaps in not much else.