The Gospel Truth

A Good Nazi | April 12, 2012

Don’t you just get tired of people boasting about their children and even their grandchildren?

I never do that because I am too busy bragging about their father and grandfather.


How is that for a segue on the foibles of the human condition?

There are all kinds of people out there.

We will only be exposed to several thousand of the billions that roam the earth in search of whatever will make them happy or at least content.

They come in all shapes and sizes.

People come in all sizes and shapes

Some are physically attractive while others are not.

Some are tall and some are short.

Some people you meet will be good and some will not.

You might even encounter a really evil person.

Since the rise of secular humanism absolute notions of good and bad have become very fuzzy if not unfathomable.

I think most people think of themselves as good people.

Even those who promote the most heinous of all human rights violations–I am thinking abortion–probably think what they do is for the good of mankind.

I would venture a guess that Adolph Hitler perceived  himself as a good German for his attempt to bring an ordered peace to the world.

It was actually his able assistant, the troubled and conflicted Albert Speer, whom many historians call the Good Nazi.

Was the Good Nazi

It was that perception that allowed him to escape the gallows in 1946.

I would think that our current president thinks of himself as a good president, a good father and a good husband.

I am only qualified to comment on the first one.

But inside us we all know what is really good, wholesome and uplifting and what makes us feel dirty all over.

Some people have an innate crudeness and vileness that makes us squirm being in their company.

Movies are a lot like that.

Many years ago out of curiosity I saw the movie Caligula, which I believe might have been rated X.

This profane version of one of the early Roman emperors after the birth of Jesus literally made me feel dirty for watching it.

Academy Award winner, Helen Merren had a role in this film.

Image Detail

Before her serious days

It was one of those movies where the lead characters were so vile, so evil and so repulsive that I wanted to run for the doors.

He was one of the most evil and perverted rulers in all of world history.He took great pleasures in torturing, abusing and humiliating his thousands of innocent victims.

Had he lived today I am certain we would find some reason to excuse him…unless of course he was a Republican.

This underscores the fact there is some good in us–even in those who violate the most basic of human rights–the right to life.

After all they said Adolph Hitler was kind to little children–Aryan children I presume.

We are a society that fosters that kind of narcissistic self-love.

We excuse everything that people like us do.

Fortunately unless we have drowned ourselves in a steady flow of the sordid products of our culture or listen to too many Obama speeches (One?), we still are deeply attracted to that which is true, good and beautiful.

Last February more than one person suggested I see the PBS special series, Downton Abbey, about an aristocratic English family struggling to maintain its heritage and dignity, amid the maelstrom of a world war and the rapid changes of a modern society.

At first I resisted but eventually I decided to pick up a copy of the first season.

After all Elizabeth McGovern is one of my favorite actresses.

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Enchanting as Cora Grantham

The first 20 minutes nearly rendered me comatose until my ear started to adjust to the proper diction of a British accent.

As I got to know and understand some of the characters, I became attracted to them as people because mostly all of them  from the lowliest servant to Lord and Lady Grantham, radiated a profound sense of honor and courage.

I was enchanted by their stiff-upper lip morality, honor, pride in family and history and their innate desire to do the right thing.

This was the Edwardian period in English history,which had a personal moral code that had a force stronger than British law.

Of course there were the perfunctory “bad” people, whom I immediately despised.

But even some of them over the course of several years seemed to have some redeemable features.

These characters were so real and human.

Amidst all the strum and drang of the war and later the Spanish flu pandemic in Season II, I was attracted to the innate goodness of their characters.

A week or two ago my wife and I saw the limited-run movie, October Baby.

October Baby is about a woman who learns she is a survivor of a failed abortion.

Learned the dark secret of her “birth”

The New York Times, in a front-page story admitted that it is making a dent at theaters across the country.

The movie tells the dramatic story of Hannah, 19, a home-schooled Baptist who is told by a doctor that her ailments — asthma, seizures, mood swings — are the result of being born prematurely after failed abortion attempt.

She sets out to find her birth mother, a quest that ends in tears and regret.

As I had guessed it was inspired by the story of Gianna Jessen, who was delivered alive at a California clinic after a late-term saline-injection abortion.

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Was aborted 35 years ago

I have met her and broken bread with her and others on two separate occasions.

I think it is cruel and insensitive for the Times to demean her by saying as a paid speaker at anti-abortion events she tells of her struggles and medical conditions. 

As if Planned Parenthood, whom they love and favor takes hundreds of millions of dollars to spread their vile propaganda and destroy over 300,000 human lives, each and every year, since 1973, doesn’t take the money.

There is something deeply personal about the movie that touched me deeply.

I liked the people in it, even Hannah’s natural mother, actress Shari Rigby who rejects her a second time.

One of the movie’s most poignant moments that the NY Times failed to mention occurred during an out-take interview after the film.

When Rigby was offered the role, she wanted to know, how did you know?’ 

Shari Rigby Picture

How did they know? 

She had done the same thing as her character and was still suffering for her choice.

The film acted as a sort of catharsis where she could finally forgive herself as her screen daughter did in the end.

There are also wonderful performances by Hannah’s father, who had his own issues with her.

Her boyfriend, who obviously loved and respected her, treated her like a lady when they were forced to share a motel room for lack of funds.

Both actors radiated desire and conflict and in the end chastity won and they were both the better for it.

Though she was a Baptist in the movie, she learns the true meaning of forgiveness from a Catholic priest in a cathedral that she just wandered into.

Like the characters in Downton Abbey, these were mostly good people, who were tempted, did wrong and punished themselves.

In the end they all got down on their knees figuratively and opened their hearts for forgiveness and guidance.

Hollywood does not make movies like October Baby.

Their benefactors would laugh them out-of-town.

They would rather lose money on something that appeals only to our prurient natures.

I don’t see how people like that sleep at night!

That’s why I want to surround myself with morally good people and not just some self-proclaimed Good Nazis.



  1. Let’s hope and pray that October Baby touches the
    hearts of many. Perhaps it will influence people to defend all human life and also value and promote chastity.

    No matter what Planned Parenthood and other pro-choice/pro-abort organizations tell us we know that
    a woman will never be the same after having an abortion. Such women are to be pitied and prayed for.

    Men, in later years, have regrets as well.


    Comment by MF — April 12, 2012 @ 2:37 pm

    • Don’t be too patronising MF: God knows where those mothers are, the fathers too.
      Many clergy, paid for by them too in some instances, whether we like it or not.

      Comment by L. Newington — April 13, 2012 @ 4:31 am

  2. An abortion by a woman is a desecration of the most important person on earth, a mother.

    Comment by Jim Vondras — April 13, 2012 @ 2:30 am

  3. I recall seeing the documentary on ‘The good Nazi’ Albert Speer, but can’t recall my thoughts at the time.
    What I do recall, is the painting by
    artist Gottfried Helnwein, The Epiphany {Adoration of the Magi}.
    Propaganda of the Third Reich: blonde Nazi soldiers and Aryan Mary and Christ.
    The history of the artist is quite compelling too.

    Comment by L. Newington — April 13, 2012 @ 4:25 am

  4. Lord be merciful to me a sinner. I agree that many people think of themselves as good. What is good? I ask the Lord to let me see myself as HE sees me and then I wait. Hopefully He will be gentle and reveal a little at a time. Pax

    Comment by Mary B. Lachney — April 14, 2012 @ 6:42 pm

    • Hopefully by a well formed conscience Mary, if not by the institutional church, which seems to have lost it’s guidance, but by searching the scriptures for yourself.

      Comment by L. Newington — April 15, 2012 @ 9:16 pm

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About author

After graduating from Holy Cross, Bill Borst earned an MA in Asian History from St. John's University and a Ph.D in American History from St. Louis University. (1972) A former New Yorker, he taught for many years in the St. Louis area, while also hosting a weekly radio show on WGNU from 1984-2006. He currently is a regular substitute for conservative Phyllis Schlafly on KSIV radio. (1320) He is the author of two books on social history, "Liberalism: Fatal Consequences," and "The Scorpion and the Frog: A Natural Conspiracy." He just retired as the Features editor of the Mindszenty Foundation Monthly Report. In his 11 years from 2003-2013 he wrote nearly 130 essays on Catholic culture and world affairs. Many in St. Louis also know him as the "Baseball Professor," because of a course that he offered at Maryville College from 1973-74. It was arguably the first fully-accredited baseball history course in the Midwest.The author of several short books on the old St. Louis Browns, he started the St. Louis Browns Historical Society in 1984. In 2009 his first two plays were produced on the local stage. "The Last Memory of an Ol' Brownie Fan," ran six performances at the Sound Stage in Crestwood and "A Perfect Choice" ran for two performances at the Rigali Center Theater in Shrewsberry. His third play, "A Moment of Grace," ran six performances at DeSmet High School in January of 2011with First Run Theater in January of 2011. He is currently working on a 4th play, "A Family Way," which is a comedy about a happy dysfunctional family. He can reached at







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