We spent several days recently in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany, the Gateway to the Black Forest.

What a wonderful old town. The walled old town is still pretty much in tact and portions of the wall and watch towers still exist. One of those was of special interest to me as an American tourist looking for a decent cup of coffee, for it was in the tower that the local McDonald’s had taken up residence.


McDonald’s in Germany has the same coffee as do all German Gasthaus’. It is made one small very strong cup at a time from an espresso machine. So I didn’t really get my good coffee until I got home.

It was an experience to see a centuries old gate taken over by an American icon. No wonder some Germans seem to have an anti-American bent about them. This Micky D’s (it’s sign is just above the arch in the picture above) was doing a roaring business however, so the anti-Americanism apparently does not translate into Hamburgers, French fries, and coffee.

Now look what I’ve gone and done. I’ve pointed out the multi-cultural aspects of the typical fast-food diet in America. A sandwich named after the northern German town Hamburg, where it was invented, served with potatoes cut in the French style then deepfried to fatty perfection, and all of this washed down with a South American beverage called coffee, served in an American business venture in Germany. What’s not to like about that?

There is one troubling thing nagging at me however, and it is this. Everyone, even Chinese kids, know what a McDonalds is; everyone does not know what a Cathedral is for though and that is troubling.

While in Freiurg, we bought a small book which explains the history, etc., of the more prominent old buildings for which the town is known. One of these is a Cathedral called the “Munster.” I talked about it in an earlier post. The article in the book explains the history of the Cathedral, the 300 years of sacrifice to build it, the expense and dedication of current residents to maintain it, and then it reminds one and all to please respect and care for it because after all, it is a house of God.

When was the last time you had to be told that a particular building, like the tall one in the pictue below,  was a church?


Something is radically wrong in Western Civilization. If we have to explain the purpose of this kind of building we have slid into an nihilism unmatched at any time in history I am familiar with.

No wonder the “religion of peace” is making such in-roads. At least they know what they believe.