Some people stand up for a cause and get wrapped up in the game. Other people somehow manage to stay level-headed and focused on what they are fighting for. In Martin Luther’s case, he was so dedicated to his case against the Roman Catholic Church that he unintentionally changed the path of Europe. Martin Luther was a revolutionary socially because he proved to society the power of the individual and he was a revolutionary in religion because he started the idea of religious freedom and accidently set the ground work for a new way of worship.

Despite the rebuttal and threats thrown at him by the Catholic Church, Martin Luther was completely determined to undermine them and reform what it did. However, his quest turned into a political battle between the heads of state and the people under them. As the first propagandist, He began by appealing to the people and attempting to get secular rulers on his side by proving that the Holy Roman Empire was draining Germany’s money through the self-indulgence of the Papacy (12:50). There was an enormous amount of money being put towards the parade that would accompany the pope and all his secretaries. Luther’s cause became a political battle. With opposition of the papacy, he reached out to the individual, the everyday German and tried to show them that they have a say in the way they are ruled, starting the idea of democratized religion (14:00). He was proof that an individual can make a difference if he stands up for his beliefs. Luther inspired a revolution of all sorts of people to uprise and demand freedom socially and in their faith. He was particularly bothered by the way his words affected the peasants. They rebelled for their own freedom based on his principle that everyone should be “free and no subject to human beings” (46:45). While he meant it about faith, the rest of the people began to apply to social freedom as well. Seeing how much Luther made a difference in society, people continued uprising in hopes that they’d make a difference in their own community as well. This caused reform on education, making rules and authority more local and completely changing the structure of the community while breaking away from the church’s power (42:30).

Within the church and within the idea of religion Luther also elicited much change. He basically ripped everything the Catholic faith was based on to shreds. The pope was hypocritical because of all the money that went into the lavishness of the job, there was only two sacraments and the rest the church made up (11:50, 24:03)—things that were at the core of the religion he attacked. He did not believe that religion should rule everyone’s lives and that religion was actually about God and the individual. As stated in the film he “liberated man’s relationship with God” by making it “one-on-one and unmediated” (25:10). He believed the clergy should not have to stand between man and God and the Pope really meant nothing. From this idea sprang the Protestant Revolution and completely flipped Europe from being a Christian world to being whatever anyone wanted to be (50:40). Credit for what America was founded on could even be given to Luther because he inspired the people to believe what they choose. As the movie stated, he was one of the “great emancipators of human history” (53:20).

Emily Labedz Word count: 569

ger/102/2012/winter/emily_labedz-_martin_luther.txt · Last modified: 2012/03/08 20:19 by eflabedz
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