Sunday, June 26, 2016
A Midsummer Night's Dream
The first time I watched the 1935 version of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" with Anita Louise as Queen Tatania, Victor Jory as Oberon the King of the Faeries, Mickey Rooney plays the mischevious Puck, and a whole host of other characters, it was pure delight and enchantment. It was such a beautiful production - so dreamlike. The dialogue was musical and lovely to hear. Of course, I didn't really understand the story line, but then, I did not care. I wanted this world that was created on the screen. It took me away from the mundane and sometimes harsh world around me.
She was portrayed more like an angel than anything else.
“If we shadows have offended,
Know but this and all is mended.
That you have but slumbered here,
While these visions did appear,
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding, but a dream.”
In his multi-volume history of the Third Reich, historian Richard Evans writes that "the Nazis regarded the churches as the strongest and toughest reservoirs of ideological opposition to the principles they believed in." Once Hitler and the Nazis came to power, they launched a ruthless drive to subdue and weaken the Christian churches in Germany. Evans points out that after 1937 the policies of Hitler's government became increasingly anti-religious.
The Nazis stopped celebrating Christmas, and the Hitler Youth recited a prayer thanking the Fuhrer rather than God for their blessings. Clergy regarded as "troublemakers" were ordered not to preach, hundreds of them were imprisoned, and many were simply murdered. Churches were under constant Gestapo surveillance. The Nazis closed religious schools, forced Christian organizations to disband, dismissed civil servants who were practicing Christians, confiscated church property, and censored religious newspapers. Poor Sam Harris cannot explain how an ideology that Hitler and his associates perceived as a repudiation of Christianity can be portrayed as a "culmination" of Christianity.