Pastor Ulrich Wagner. Photo: Robert Brouczek
Seriously, folks. You cannot make this shit up…although God knows I wish I had:
Q. Herr Wagner, you said during a debate on refugees in Siegertsbrunn, among other things, that asylum seekers should be offered the services of prostitutes. Were you serious?
A. The thought came as a friend told me that in his village, there would be 100 asylum seekers, and now many were afraid that so many men might harass the women there. Founded or not, I want to confront these fears this way. Because they exist.
Q. Do you think that’s the right way?
A. I definitely wouldn’t want a flat-rate bordello for asylum seekers, but it’s clear that these men have sexual needs. But there we close our eyes. No one thinks that far.
Q. We look away?
A. But the need is there. We have prostitution in our society, after all, that’s supposed to be a recognized profession, the newspapers and Internet are full of ads for it. But when it comes to asylum seekers, we give them food and drinks and say: The problem is solved. But it’s not.
Q. So, free sex sessions paid for with taxes?
A. My first thought isn’t even who pays for that. But there was once a Hartz IV recipient who tried to claim that his bordello visits should be paid for. He naturally had no success. But maybe there could be a support group. “Free Love For Free People”, it could be called.
Q. So you had a name for it already.
A. I’m not shy. Maybe a bordello owner will be ready to do a good work. There’s not much going on in the mornings, I’m guessing.
Q. You’re really not very shy.
A. Look, the mayor can’t address that, naturally, no politician can. Catholic priests can’t, either. Who else could say something like this, if not an evangelical pastor?
Q. But you’re the only one up to now, so far as we know.
A. Yes, when I talk about it with colleagues, I always get a lot of surprised looks. Lots of them wouldn’t even dare to think such a thing. So then I say: “You always talk so nicely and politely.”
Q. How do you think your statements are being received?
A. I’m a free citizen, I have a right to a free opinion. If anyone wants to get mad at me, he can get mad. And probably some will get upset. But that’s their problem.
Q. And your church?
A. I consider the newer tendency of the church to be really bad — to tell others what they should think. We’re not in North Korea. But then, some will naturally say, “Typical Wagner!”
Q. Is that all the same to you?
A. I can only answer to God.
Translation mine; interview by Sebastian Horsch.
That “only God can judge me” attitude doesn’t strike much of a chord with other Germans. Münchner Merkur readers reacted with overwhelming disgust: “Speechless”; “I feel so sick I could puke!”; “What lunacy, sexual assaults are supposed to be sanctioned stone-cold, not rewarded with gift certificates for the whorehouse”; “A more dehumanizing attitude toward prostitutes have I rarely ever read!”
Of course, some, like Trump supporters, are all thankful that at least SOMEBODY is saying the unspeakable.
But it’s not so unspeakable, at least as far as German Protestants go. In addition to Herr Wagner’s loosely-thought-out initiative, there’s this, in which another Lutheran pastor goes to Köln — yes, the scene of the New Year’s most publicized sex assaults — and pays a churchly visit to the biggest brothel in town:
The efforts of an evangelical pastor to take large donations from the Köln brothel, “Pascha”, have created outrage in the church, among women’s organizations, and with feminists. Particularly harsh criticism has landed on Pastor Hans Mörtter, because he attended a “good works night” at Pascha on its 20th anniversary, and expressed praise for the establishment and its proprietor.
Mörtter — who was honored on his 60th birthday as the “social conscience of Köln” — said, of the proffered 8,500-euro donation that it was neither dirty money, nor was there anything wrong with taking it. “I think that Pascha, as a place, is quite in order, it’s a biosphere, a big family, and I see that the people who work here are serious, and that it’s important to them to support the social life of the city,” said Mörtter in a documentary that appeared on WDR last week. On the Internet, Mörtter gave his blessing to the grandees of Pascha, saying they are “people like you and me”.
In the WDR report, brothel owner Hermann Müller, alias Hermann Pascha, shown in photos side by side with Mörtter, gives his life’s motto, among other things: “A woman comes into the world to serve a man and obey him.” That’s what his father and grandfather told him. “My women think so too, and that works out great!”
Translation, again, mine.
So you can see that there are at least two German Protestant pastors — one retired, the other still active in city politics, tending to the homeless and jobless — who seem to think nothing of giving the brothels their blessing. And of either handing taxpayers’ money to them, or getting back a small amount as a “charitable donation” (and yes, 8,500 euros is chicken feed to a place like Pascha, with gross receipts in the millions every month).
The horrible thing is, the charities need the cash. So too do the asylum seekers, who have more trouble finding jobs locally than does the average German. And so, too, do the women who work the brothels, who are very young, very poor, and often imported for the purpose from Eastern Europe by mafias, seeing as there aren’t many local women willing to put up with the abuse they’d take in there. The idea of “sex work” as “empowerment”, oddly, hasn’t sold well among German ladies, in spite of the “profession” being legal since 2002, taxable, and even advertised in job centres on a fairly regular basis! (Gee, I wonder why.)
The fact that the girls in the brothels are in as poor a situation as the young male refugees, if not worse, is apparently not even up for discussion, at least as far as the pious pimps and their reverend buddies go. Nope. Hermann Pascha himself — an archconservative if ever there was one! — thinks it’s a woman’s job to serve and obey men. No room for discussion there! If a guy wants to rape your ass without a condom, who cares, as long as he’s paying? And at Pascha, he can even do it for a low, all-you-can-fuck flat rate!
How exactly this is supposed to keep women safe from rape (by refugees or others) is an open question. Nobody dares to ask that, because the answer is so obvious: A class of women set aside as “okay to rape as long as you pay” is a most definite human rights violation. Unless one doesn’t see women as human at all, that is.
Also unmentioned, but worth mentioning, is what the Norwegians are doing differently from the Germans. They’re actually taking the trouble to educate newcomers about the different sexual rules in their country, and how, freedom being what it is, not every woman will be up for anything and everything with any and every man. And that trying to force a woman to have sex with you is a crime and will be punished as such.
Why is no one thinking of doing the same, in every part of the land, for newcomers to Germany? Both in terms of money and the dignity of women, it would end up costing far less.