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Messages - Charles Austin

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One of the most active OSS operatives in the book is Eddy. He had been in the Marines in World War I, then became a missionary, then managed to cleverly combine both of his professions. During his work in the Middle East, he was every bit as much a soldier as a missionary.

J. Francis Watson Has been a New Jersey synod pastor. And I’m not the least bit surprised to learn that he could’ve used a good editor.

We know, although I have forgotten the name, that a German pastor running a mission to seafarers on the New Jersey Waterfront in the early 1940s was deported on suspicion of spying for the Nazis. I believe part of his work was helping German spies who arrived here as seamen, but left the port to establish themselves in the U.S.

Spies are not always “under cover.” Herman was an OSS operative and the agency knew he was clergy. (But some with whom he dealt probably did not know he was OSS.)
The other clergy went about their normal “jobs,” but with some additional tasks and reporting. Yes, they were “agents of the state”, helping their country’s battle against Nazism and later, Communism. As were soldiers, some business execs and some journalists. On all sides.
When I was in Geneva, we gave an East German pastor/journalist a year with the LWF to build his skills. Among other things, he helped me with my German and I helped him with his English and journalistic skills. His newspaper in the East had been confiscated by the authorities on two occasions. After the Wall fell, the German church discovered documents revealing he was Stasi, Staatsicherheit, the East German espionage agency. A spy.
My west German colleague at the LWF, a journalist with 30 years experience, was wary of many from Eastern Europe and some westerners whom he thought were gathering intelligence for their governments.

Colleges draw students and support heavily from the local community. If a college is not in tune with or aligned somehow with the local community, I doubt that it will survive.

Yes. But others might not and I might feel differently if it were 1943.

What role do you think, Pastor Bohler, did the school's openness to a gay-is-good organization on campus play in its closing?

Dr. Stewart Herman was president of the Lutheran School of Theology, Maywood Campus, when I arrived in the fall of 1963. He was charming and friendly to students, and we knew of his distinguished career as pastor of the American Lutheran Church in Berlin in the 1930s. We knew that he had been briefly detained by the Nazi government, because he had been a translator for the American embassy in Berlin, and that he was later an international churchman with the World Council of Churches, helping refugee resettlement and war relief efforts. I interviewed him several times for the seminary newsletter about his work back then.
     What we did not know at the time was that Herman had been a spy, recruited (along with a number of other missionaries and overseas churchmen) by “Wild” Bill Donovan of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), and that during the war he was with the OSS in England, running “ops” managing European “assets” and dropping American spies into occupied France. Stewart’s knowledge of German churches (both the Confessing Church and the “Deutsche Christen”) and his fluency in French and German gave him valuable insights into the situations and people “on the ground” in war-torn Europe and in the post-war years.
     Presbyterians probably did not know that some of their long-term, skilled, multi-lingual missionaries in the Middle East were also spies for the OSS, their payment made through shadowy financial deals with mission boards. The American University in Beirut and other mission enterprises and personnel in the Middle East were often used as “covers” for OSS spies and spies moving through that territory.
    Then there were the Roman Catholic priests and bishops “subsidized” in various ways by the OSS; and – of course known to Americans – John Birch, the Baptist missionary in China who became the chief American spy there during the war.
    Herman and protestants get most of the chapters in Double Crossed: The Missionaries Who Spied for the United States During World War II, by Matthew Avery Sutton, (Basic Books, 2019). The book is extremely well-documented. Herman died in 2006 and his family allowed Sutton to use his papers; and the author had access to many documents from the others whose lives as spies are told in the book.
    We Lutherans, I think, will be fascinated by this “adventure story” about one of our own on the inside of the OSS during the war and after.
    And we will learn how many other aspects of missionary organizations became part of the intelligence-gathering and “operational” work of the United States during those years. Furthermore, anyone who has been close to international church work during the cold-war years and following will think of people from both sides of the former Iron Curtain whose presence in certain places or travels made them useful “contacts” for those gathering intelligence.
     The book is also available on the Audible recorded-book service.

Your Turn / Re: Equality Act
« on: February 26, 2021, 07:42:29 PM »

What on earth does the gender of a healthcare provider have to do with whether that person, it properly qualified, can provide the care that I need? And if I am in dire, or urgent need of medical care, why would I reject the care of a doctor because of their gender?

Your Turn / Re: Equality Act
« on: February 26, 2021, 12:22:55 PM »

Do you favor discriminating against the people cited in law in "restaurants, senior centers, stores, places of or establishments that provide entertainment, health, including care facilities, shelters, government offices, youth service providers including adoption and foster care providers, and transportation. Forms of discrimination include the exclusion and denial of entry, unequal or unfair treatment, harassment, and violence"?
And so long as this thread is started by someone whose real name we do not know, I suggest we all avoid further comment. Anonymity is no longer permitted in this august forum.

Your Turn / Re: Coronavirus news
« on: February 25, 2021, 11:31:33 PM »
Good news on the vaccine front today. Millions more available, actually getting administered to us. We need to show some concern for certain segments of the population, but we can do that if we want to.
Things are looking up.

Your Turn / Re: Does this theology cause harm?
« on: February 24, 2021, 06:45:20 PM »
Hold it! Pastor Poedel you’re a vet? A horse vet?

Your Turn / Re: Coronavirus news
« on: February 24, 2021, 06:42:24 PM »
The first thing you mention is a theory that some, but not many people believe. The second is a theory which is possible, but as yet unproven.
And neither drives any significant faction of the Democrat party.
And neither rises to the level of the bad crap craziness of QAnon.

Your Turn / Re: Coronavirus news
« on: February 24, 2021, 06:16:25 PM »
The ex-president has plenty of media outlets available to him. If you’d let me know of any “conspiracy theory nut cases“ currently holding office as Democrats, maybe there could be a discussion. Or maybe not.
And most of the wacko conspiracy theories made headway with or without social media involvement.

Your Turn / Re: Coronavirus news
« on: February 24, 2021, 01:52:35 PM »
The conspiracy theory nutcases are making inroads. At least one, but probably others serve in congress. One of the craziest conspiracy theories was praised by our ex-president.

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