Lagura: God is dead! Long live Christ!

Fr. Flor Lagura SVD
·2 min read

IN 1844, a boy was born to a German Protestant minister in Roecken, Germany. The young lad, Friedrich Nietzsche, at the age of five was reportedly so brilliant that one Sunday, when his father was too sick to preach, the boy went up to the pulpit and delivered his father’s homily he had learned by heart.

Unfortunately, his father died leaving the young Friedrich in a house filled with women: his grandmother, his mother, two unmarried aunts and Elizabeth, his younger sister. Some speculated that life, dominated by women, made him decide not to marry. He even quipped, “Woman was God’s second mistake.”

Unfortunately, too, the young lad spurned the religion of his youth.

Promoted at a relatively young age to professorship in philology (the study of language), Nietzsche went on to explore the field of philosophy. With his flair for writing beautiful and bold statements, he authored: Birth of Tragedy, Beyond Good and Evil, Thus Spake Zarathustra, Ant-Christ, Ecce Homo and others.

Nietzsche questioned traditional morality based on his interpretation of Christianity as a religion of the weak and powerless. Thus, instead of mercy and forgiveness he preached “a gospel of strength, revenge, and will to power.”

That which is weak and powerless is bad. To be strong and powerful is good. Happiness is the feeling of increasing power. He popularized slogans like, “Live dangerously” (Leben gefaehrlich) inspiring the German soldiers to fight and die with courage; “Will-to-power” (Wille zur Macht) and most (in-)famously “God is dead!” (Gott ist tot). Nietzsche says the only real Christian died on the cross.

Nietzsche’s fame spread to many countries. Monuments in his honor were built. Beneath one were written, “God is dead!” -- Nietzsche. After his death in 1900 in a mental asylum, a scalawag wrote in the same statue, “Nietzsche is dead!” – God.