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In his work “Ethics”, theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, writing in Nazi Germany, made a point that it is worse for a liar to tell the truth, than for a lover of truth to tell a lie: “Schlimmer ist es, wenn ein Lügner die Wahrheit sagt, als wenn ein Liebhaber der Wahrheit lügt...” [1] It is better to tell a lie than to be a lie. Prior to Trump the meaning appeared somewhat elusive.

Having watched Trump and Putin’s propaganda machine, for an extended period of time, everyone should better understand what Bonhoeffer meant. The occasional truth from liars only serves to confuse people more, and can lure them into a web of deceit. And, Bonhoeffer was obliged to lie to the Nazis and did not feel that it was ethically wrong.

The links between Putin and the Nazis are direct, via the East German Stasi, with whom Putin worked as a KGB officer. He is old enough to have learned his techniques first hand from old Nazis. The Stasi used those engaged in illegal activities as informants, creating mafia ties.

Most importantly, Bonhoeffer should teach everyone the importance of hurrying up and putting Trump on trial, while there are still legal mechanisms in place to do so. It is unclear what mechanism can remove Putin from power, if it would even help, since he apparently represents Russian mafia and rich, powerful oligarchs. How to stop the wheel of Putin’s imperialism, militarism-nuclear arms race, environmental destruction, and human rights violations? Stopping the Trump-Putin wheel will give Americans the opportunity to stop the wheel of US imperialism, militarism, environmental destruction, and to pull back from the nuclear arms race. The Russian mafia play dirty, and this may be why no one dares to put Trump on trial. Trump’s mafia ties go back decades. Who will be brave enough to save us all?
Bonhoeffer books Ethics Discipleship Prison
Dietrich Bonhoeffer 4 February 1906 – 9 April 1945

The great masquerade of evil has played havoc with all our ethical concepts. For evil to appear disguised as light, charity, historical necessity or social justice is quite bewildering to anyone brought up on our traditional ethical concepts, while for the Christian who bases his life on the Bible, it merely confirms the fundamental wickedness of evil“. Dietrich Bonhoeffer [2]

The ultimate question for a responsible man to ask is … how the coming generation shall continue to live.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer [3]

If you wish to know more about Bonhoeffer, it is best to start with the biography written by his friend, student, colleague and editor of his work, Eberhard Bethge. And, Bonhoeffer’s own work. Metaxas’ more widely available work apparently has many inaccuracies, some suggesting laziness. So, it is best to read it after you’ve become a mini-expert on Bonhoeffer, if at all: “Metaxas’s Counterfeit Bonhoeffer: An Evangelical Critique/ Review of Eric Metaxas, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy: A Righteous Gentile Vs. the Third Reich” (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2010) by Richard Weikart, California State University, Stanislaus https://www.csustan.edu/history/metaxass-counterfeit-bonhoeffer https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eberhard_Bethge

[1] Ethik, Zusammengestellt und hrsg. von Eberhard Bethge, 12. Auflage, Kaiser, München 1998. S. 68-69; DBW (E) 6, 62f. https://de.wikiquote.org/wiki/Dietrich_Bonhoeffer
[2] “The great masquerade of evil has played havoc with all our ethical concepts. For evil to appear disguised as light, charity, historical necessity or social justice is quite bewildering to anyone brought up on our traditional ethical concepts, while for the Christian who bases his life on the Bible, it merely confirms the fundamental wickedness of evil“. Dietrich Bonhoeffer [1] “Who stands fast?” in Letters and Papers from Prison, Touchstone, [1953], 1997, p. 4
[3] “The ultimate question for a responsible man to ask is not how he is to extricate himself heroically from the affair, but how the coming generation shall continue to live.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “After Ten Years”, December 1942, in Letters and Papers from Prison, p. 7, “how the coming generation is to live” but the slightly different translation “how the coming generation shall continue to live” found here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dietrich_Bonhoeffer The German says “sondern [wie] eine kommende Generation weiterleben soll,” (“Vom Erfolg” p. 14 in “Widerstand und Ergebung: Briefe und Aufzeichnungen aus der Haft“, Guetersloher, [1951], 2002)