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In all fairness, not all the comments are bad ones, but in this small article (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/9064139/Declared-a-saint-the-anti-Hitler-activist-beheaded-by-Nazis-at-age-25.html) about the recent glorification of Alexander Schmorell as a saint in the Orthodox Christian Church, many of them are completely rude, ignorant, mean-spirited, and vulgar. The article itself isn't terribly well written (and was originally ridden with misspellings of Alexander Schmorell's name), but that doesn't take away from the extraordinary life this young man, who was executed at age 25 by the Nazis, led. As part of a small group of courageous people, spurred forward by their Christian faith, he and his friends, for a time calling themselves the White Rose tried to help foment popular resistance to Hitler and the Nazis through their leaflets and deeds.

In a secular understanding, they failed miserably. For all their effort, they failed to incite any sort of widespread, grass-roots resistance to the Third Reich. Furthermore, they were caught and executed at a time when many believed that the best thing talented young people could do was wait out the war and try to lead Germany from out of the inevitable rubble.

However, as believers in Christ, the measure of success is far different, and totally incomprehensible to those who do not know Him. To aspire to the Christian ideal is the ultimate foolishness; that one should strive for virtue must be ridiculed because the light of that virtue reveals the dark gutters which many believe they are happy wallowing in. To the members of the White Rose, it was a moral imperative to act against the forces of evil that the Third Reich was, characterizing it as "the dictatorship of evil" and calling Hitler and the Nazis "servants of the antichrist".

Having been caught, arrested, tried, sentenced to death, and facing execution in less than two weeks, Schmorell wrote wrote his sister, the following It will perhaps surprise you, then, when I write that from day to day I become calmer inside, even cheerful and happy, that my state of mind is, for the most part, better than it was earlier in freedom! Where does this come from? I want to explain that to you right now: This whole terrible misfortune was necessary in order to bring me to the true way - and because of that, it really wasn't a misfortune. Above all, I am happy and thankful to God that I had the chance given to me to understand where God was pointing to and through this to be able to go along the right path. What did I know then about faith, from true, deep faith, and of the truth, and above all, about God? Very little! Now, however, I have come far enough, that in my present situation, I am cheerful, calm, and confident, come what may.

It shouldn't be surprising, then, to see all the vitriol spewing forth in the comments on a little article about a true saint. After all, “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you." (Jn 15:18-19 NASB) These comments do absolutely nothing to diminish who Alexander Schmorell, St Alexander now, was when he walked upon this earth or that he has come into God's eternal Glory. God cannot be mocked, and it surely is foolish to even imagine that a few careless and ignorant comments sent out into cyberspace do anything to facilitate a "takedown" of a saint.

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September 2013

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