Elections are just around the corner in Bavaria, Germany’s largest and economically strongest state. On October 14, Bavarians will go to the polls to elect a new state government. One thing that is already sure is that the Left Party, Germany’s mainstream socialist party, will not have much success. It is currently polling around 3 to 4 percent, far away from the usual 10 percent it has countrywide and below the threshold of 5 percent to have seats in the Bavarian parliament.
Seemingly this has led to some desperation in the ranks of the party. Socialism and Christianity have always had a rough going with one another, to say it mildly. All the more surprised I was when I spotted the following billboard of the Left Party recently in my hometown Regensburg (which is in Bavaria):
More brotherly love.
Jesus would have voted for us.”
As a practicing Catholic, this left me in slight bewilderment to say the least. Of course, these assertions are mere political opportunism. Bavaria is one of the most conservative and religious states in Germany. It is also a Catholic stronghold — 58.6 percent of Bavarians are Catholic. Bavarians don’t like extremism: in contrast to many other places in Germany, they are as much anti-communist as anti-fascist. The usual reaction of Bavarians when they see a Nazi or socialist would be disgust coupled with thinking that this guy should get off his high horse quickly (this reaction holds true for most other extremes — including libertarianism, as I have been happy to find out over the years). This is the reason why the Left, generally much disliked in Bavaria, is attempting to suddenly be religious.
But what is the track record of socialists, and more…