Eye-Opening Perspectives for Heroic Hearts

Eye-Opening Perspectives for Heroic Hearts

Monday, July 16, 2012


Prayer Stolen By American Industrialist

By Marcus B. Solem for CPW News Service
     You know it as the “Serenity Prayer”.  It is widely credited to H. Richard Niebuhr's older brother, Reinhold Niebuhr, who used it to focus the hearts and minds of Americans in the pre-war years as they contemplated the evils of genocide during the approaching World War II.  Both H. Richard and Reinhold Niebuhr were powerfully influential theologians and ethicists during the mid-Twentieth Century.
     One of Niebuhr’s parishioners became a leading Old Testament scholar and the president of the Texas seminary where Niebuhr was asked to be the special guest lecturer.  He was also baptized as a child by  Niebuhr in the Michigan parish were Niebuhr was the pastor with a front row seat to routine business practices and the workers' responses.
     Among brother H. Richard Niebuhr’s books were Christ and Culture which he wrote as the lecture for the seminary presentation.  Reinhold Niebuhr's parish was a middle-class Michigan community where the majority of the parishioners were labor union members working in automotive plants.  Hearing of the atrocities coming out of Nazi, Germany Niebuhr penned the short prayer.                   
     The prayer, however, was mysteriously appropriated for use not as a prayer for righteous corporate social action in opposing Fascism, but as a personal prayer for overcoming the evils of alcoholism.  Alcoholics Anonymous’ founders included a close personal friend of auto maker and Fascism-friendly Henry Ford, himself a strong supporter of the American German Bund that embraced Hitler’s regime from  within the USA.  Although the creation of AA is often credited to Anglican clergyman, Rev. Samuel Shoemaker, it was Henry Ford’s good friend, Frank Buchman, who was the real force behind AA and the effort to redirect Niebuhr’s prayer for an altogether different purpose….more in keeping with Ford’s political and financial agenda.  Among the other founding members of AA were Rowland Hazard, Jim Newton, Eleanor Forde, Ebby Thacher, Shepard Cornell, Henrietta Seiberling, Rev. Walter Tunks, Norman Shepherd, Russell Firestone and T. Henry and Clarace Williams....a veritable "who's who" of the 1930's "Business Plot" that sought to overthrow FDR and import the values of the German American Bund to the U.S. main street. 

   “Niebuhr should have copyrighted that prayer,” said Sidney Forbes Peabody of the law firm of Lowe’s Tavern Legal Services, LLC.  When asked if Mr. Peabody’s firm operated out of the same Lowe’s Tavern purchased by Henry Ford in 1923 in Sudbury, Massachusetts where in 1925 a KKK rally was responsible for the shooting deaths of Irish Catholic protesters by Klansmen, Mr. Peabody said only, “What’s it to ya?  They were probably drinking heavily and needed to join AA….had it been organized.”

   An attempt was made to confirm the theft of the prayer by contacting a relative of Henry Ford’s chauffeur, A.G.Collins, a close personal friend of Milton Bryant, Henry Ford’s brother-in-law, but Mr. Collins’ kin could not be reached for comment.  Not surprisingly, A.G. Collins' had settled in Hutto, Texas not far from where William Rhodes Davis, Hitler's oil agent in America, procured Nazi oil for the war in Europe.  William Rhodes Davis was the grandfather of California Governor Gray Davis without whom Enron would not have been able to economically rape that state through it manipulation of U.S. power grids.

   Sadly, Frank Buchman's Oxford Group that supported Hitler's potential to ward off the threat of communism found the Oxford Group which started Alcoholics Anonymous appropriating Niebuhr's prayer invoking resistance to any political movement that jack-boots the humanitarian principles in Christianity into the mantra of a sobriety society.  Hitler did not drink.

    Reinhold Niebuhr, the eminent theologian who was the author of the Serenity Prayer, was outraged. Buchman and AA's founder, Sam Shoemaker by association received Niebuhr's response in Christianity and Power Politics' chapter titled "Hitler and Buchman":

       "In other words, a Nazi social philosophy has been a covert presumption of the whole Oxford group enterprise from the very beginning. We may be grateful to the leader for revealing so clearly what has been slightly hidden. Now we can see how unbelievably naïve this movement is in its efforts to save the world. If it would content itself with preaching repentance to drunkards and adulterers one might be willing to respect it as a religious revival method which knows how to confront the sinner with God. But when it runs to Geneva, the seat of the League of Nations, or to Prince Starhemberg or Hitler, or to any seat of power, always with the idea that it is on the verge of saving the world by bringing the people who control the world under God-control, it is difficult to restrain the contempt which one feels for this dangerous childishness."

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