I read with interest the April 23 review of the new biography of Protestant Reformer Martin Luther by Lyndal Roper, which I’ve only just recently read.
In my view, Luther was a tyrannical egomaniac, a wannabe pope who repeatedly claimed his mouth was the mouth of Christ.
Nobody knew Christ until he appeared, he maintained, including the Church Fathers, whom he derided as “asses” and “dolts.” Which necessarily means that, practically from the outset, Christianity had been a fiasco — despite Jesus’ purported promise of guidance until Judgment Day (Matthew 28:19-20).
An apoplectic anti-Semite, Luther urged the authorities to burn down the schools and synagogues of this “damned people” and forbid rabbis to teach, or face execution.
Guess which 20th century headcase with a curious mustache was inspired, in part, by Luther’s Jew-hatred.
The Reformer was no proponent of the pursuit of sanctity. On the contrary, he was a notoriously foul-mouthed anti-saint, much of whose teaching amounts to libertinism.
For example, believing resistance to sexual temptation futile owing to the incurable corruption of human nature, Luther gave license to fornication, adultery and cohabitation. Divorce? A man may abandon his wife without a scruple. “God cares not.”
The only essential for being right with God, he insisted, is faith. “All other things are completely optional, being no longer either commanded or forbidden.”
That is what induced him to dismiss Moses and “his stupid Ten Commandments” and advise a conscience-stricken confidant: “Be a sinner, and sin boldly, but believe more boldly still.”
William LaRochelle, Lewiston