What Is Up Satan’s Ass?

We all know Martin Luther as the guy who nailed the Ninety-Five Theses to the door of the church in Wittenberg, and the founder of Protestantism. He is known as a thorough Biblical scholar and writer of hymns, and encouraged people to read the Bible for themselves in their own languages, translating the book into German for this purpose. Perhaps not as well-known is how foul-mouthed and antisemitic he was. You can’t win ’em all, I suppose.

What’s weird is that some of what Luther said isn’t too far off from this Mr. Show sketch. I’ve found several different pages that include some of his more vulgar utterances. One of my favorites is from his mockery of the Pope: “You are a crude ass, you ass-pope, and an ass you will remain!” He seems to have made rather a hobby of calling the Pope an ass. Mind you, it’s quite likely he was justified in this. He was also somewhat obsessed with flatulence, as can be seen in another quote: “I am of a different mind ten times in the course of a day. But I resist the devil, and often it is with a fart that I chase him away. When he tempts me with silly sins I say, ‘Devil, yesterday I broke wind too. Have you written it down on your list?'” Oh, and he apparently claimed to have been visited by the Holy Spirit while on the crapper, and told some story about a dog pooping in a bishop’s grave. Also, he favored heavy drinking, and liked to punish himself by lying outside in the snow overnight.

Luther’s antisemitism seems to have gotten worse over time. His main excuse for his anti-Jewish feelings was that old saw about the Jews rejecting and killing the Messiah. Never mind that, even if this had been true, it would have happened 1500 years earlier. I love how Christians who hold this view seem to think Jesus was walking around with a heavenly neon sign saying, “This is the Messiah, morons,” rather than maybe considering that the Jews of the time rejected him due to, you know, lack of evidence. At first, he presumably thought he would be able to convert the Jews of his area, but when he failed, he turned his famed temper toward them. Luther advised burning the synagogues, forbidding rabbis to teach, and destroying the homes of Jews. Even worse, he spoke of killing Jews as essentially a moral imperative for Christians. While Luther didn’t do any of these things himself, his advocacy of such actions was partially used to justify anti-Jewish violence in later times. Way to give credit to the people who created your religion, Martin! Mind you, it looks like the man also thought Moses was a heretic. You were a crude ass, Martin Luther.

Putting aside these extremes, what about Luther’s theology? Well, I think it’s a little difficult in this day and age to argue that the masses shouldn’t be able to read their own religion’s holy book, or that selling time off from Purgatory makes any sense whatsoever. (The idea of buying your way to salvation didn’t start with L. Ron Hubbard by any means.)

Luther also viewed the Eucharist as a symbolic ritual rather than literal cannibalism, which I’d say counts as a step forward in good taste if nothing else. Perhaps his biggest contribution to Christianity, however, was the idea of salvation by faith alone, which comes across as rather fishy to me. Not that I’m necessarily on Team Catholic here, just that I have to wonder what kind of supreme being would care more about what you THINK than what you DO. Eh, I guess it could be worse. It could be Calvinism. {g}

This entry was posted in Catholicism, Christianity, Historical Personages, History, Judaism, Lutheranism, Religion and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to What Is Up Satan’s Ass?

  1. vilajunkie says:

    Wow. I had no idea Martin Luther was such an, wait for it, ass. He and Mel Gibson could get along very well.

  2. Pingback: It Don’t Mean a Thingli If It Ain’t Got That Zwingli | VoVatia

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