Martin Luther 95 Theses
Martin Luther 95 Theses

MUNICH — MunichNOW Arts & Culture) — Five hundred years ago today, Martin Luther, a devout Catholic priest with a massive intellect, sent a letter to his bishop, Albrecht von Brandenburg, with Luther’s 95 theses, or problems, with the Catholic Church he had inquiries about. He only intended to clean up the Church.

Reformation Day
500 years ago today

But as is often the case with genies and bottles, Luther unleashed forces beyond any single man’s or institution’s control and the results had unintended consequences. The Protestant Reformation was born, and it would not come without bloodshed, as newly-minted Protestant peasants revolted against their Catholic princes.Ref

In the end, Luther sided with those princes (he had only wanted to reform the Church, not split from it), and in 1525, he wrote “Against the Murderous, Thieving Hordes of Peasants”, and described exactly how and why peasants should be run through with sharp metal objects.

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In 1543, he wrote two pamphlets (one was rather long) on how to throw Jews out of Christians’ lands and burn their synagogues. One was titled “On the Jews and Their Lies”, and the language he used was vulgar and direct.

Islam also felt the wrath of his quill. When not starting revolutions, Luther also found time to write hymns like “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” and numerous others. He translated the New Testament into German, basically modernizing and standardizing the language. The translation also opened the spiritual world to any reader, and though there were few readers then, their numbers were increasing and would continue to do so.

An early printing of Luther's hymn A Mighty Fo...
An early printing of Luther’s hymn A Mighty Fortress Is Our God (Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here in Germany, we celebrate the 500 years of the start of that religious revolution in the Christian faith, cognizant of the controversies which surround Luther the person and figure. Today is a day off for the whole country, which will allow us time to reflect. Tomorrow, for more than half of Germany is another holiday “All Saint’s Day” (All Hallows Day), which will allow us time to reflect on how much candy we get today on Halloween (All Hallowed Evening=Hallowed Eve).

“Trick or Treat” is “Sweet or Sour” when in Germany!
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Michael V. Owens
Michael V. Owens was born in San Diego, California, but is a product of the Orlando, Florida, school system. This gave him a love of the ocean and its bounty, a rudimentary education, and a great swing for both baseball (then), and golf (now). Michael graduated with diplomas in History and English Literature, which have done little good when “debating” Trump supporters on Facebook, or trying to find a job in America. However, in Munich they have been golden! (Not the swings but the diplomas.) His choice to move here was the best one he has ever made, after coercing his wife to marry him and their having a daughter. He has lived in Munich for about 15 years and hopes at some point to learn German, for as Oscar Wilde said, “Life is too short to learn German.” That is so true on so many levels. Michael can be read with fewer constraints from his editors at He can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram under the name LaptopsAndLederhosen.