Nazi echoes

[A Nazi schoolteacher in his home town once erected] a Maypole as a symbol of a life force perpetually renewing itself. The Maypole was supposed to bring back a portion of German religion and thus help gradually to expel Christianity, which was now denounced as alienating Germans from their own great Germanic culture. He likewise organized midsummer sun festivals, again as a return to the sacredness of nature and to Germanic origins, to take the place of alien notions such as sin and redemption that had been imposed on us by foreign Jewish and Roman religion. When nowadays I hear that in many parts of the world Christianity is criticized as a destruction of individual cultural identity and an imposition of European cultural values, I am amazed at how similar the types of argumentation are and at how familiar many a turn of phrase sounds.

Joseph Ratzinger, Milestones: Memoirs 1927-1977