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ANSWER: We're not anti-semitic, we just hate all Jews

That's basically what ANSWER spokesman Emmanuel Lopez said when asked about cries to send Jews back to the oven at a Fort Lauderdale protest he planned. The people yelling that don't represent ANSWER, and we're kind of anti-Semitic... but it's all the fault of the dirty, dirty Jews!!

But as the protest continued and crowds grew, one woman in a hijab began to shout curses and slurs that shocked Jewish activists in the city, which has a sizable Jewish population.

"Go back to the oven," she shouted, calling for the counter-protesters to die in the manner that the Nazis used to exterminate Jews during the Holocaust.

"You need a big oven, that's what you need," she yelled.

... The protest organizers, asked to comment on the woman's overt call for Jewish extermination, said she was "insensitive" but refused to condemn her statement.

"She does not represent the opinions of the vast majority of people who were there," said Emmanuel Lopez, who helped plan the event, one of many sponsored nationwide on Dec. 30 by the ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism ) Coalition.

Lopez, a state coordinator for ANSWER, admitted there is a problem with anti-Semitism within his organization's ranks. But then he went on to call the supporters of Israel across the street "barbaric, racist" Zionist terrorists.

"Zionism in general is a barbaric, racist movement that really is the cause of the situation in the entire Middle East," Lopez said.

So, I guess Israel deserves all the terrorism and rocket fire and civilian casualties they've been putting up with for years now? Perhaps if they agreed to just let themselves cease to exist, liberals would be happy. After all, why on Earth should the Israelis be allowed to defend themselves?? They brought all of this on themselves because they had the gall to expect to be allowed to live peacefully, and now, NOW, they expect to be able to fight back?! It's the EEEEEEEEVIL Zionist regime!!!!1!!!11!!!!!1!1!!

Oh, but remember, don't call them anti-Semitic. Liberals are tolerant and they love everybody. Just because they want to see Israel nuked into oblivion doesn't mean they don't accept the Jews.


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Comments (50)

Can anyone explain a libera... (Below threshold)
Pretzel Logic:

Can anyone explain a liberal Jew to me? I just do not get it. From Jimmy Carter to Hillary lip locking Arafat to Cynthia McKinney and the list goes on. I do not understand it. The reason Arabs hate Israel is because...Jews live there!

I'm not sure where to start... (Below threshold)
Dave Noble:

I'm not sure where to start in addressing this post.

First, the protester comments quoted are ugly, hateful, and inexcusable.

Having said that, I believe the guoted comments from the organizers express their differences with those commnents.

More significantly, Cassy uses an old propaganda ploy - conflation. She shares a report on a specific rally organized by a specific group on the left - ANSWER. By the bottom of her post, she explicitly depicts liberals wanting to nuke Israel into oblivion.
To get there, she took the comments of a single protester, imputed them first to ANSWER, and then to all liberals. At that point her post has has gone beyond propaganda into Orwellian anti-reason.

Then Pretzel Logic takes up the theme and lives up to their name with a display of twisted logic I won't begin to try to unravel.

Why do conservatives think like that?

I'm sure Cassy would also h... (Below threshold)
Brian:

I'm sure Cassy would also have no problem writing about the Westboro Baptist Church and attributing their deeds to all conservatives.

Given their conclusion that... (Below threshold)
troglodyte Author Profile Page:

Given their conclusion that Cassy is just another biased reporter, perhaps Dave and Brian can enlighten us on the fair and reasoned arguments that were being advanced by the other ANSWER participants in this demonstration. You know, the ones who aren't anti-semitic, take a balanced view and are prepared to give Israel a fair shake. There must be dozens of such people in ANSWER, since it is so obvious to Dave and Brian that Cassy is reduced to citing extremist quotes taken out of context.

Sorry, I just don't get it.... (Below threshold)
Pretzel Logic:

Sorry, I just don't get it.

troglodyte (and that name i... (Below threshold)
Brian:

troglodyte (and that name is apparently fitting), you clearly don't know what you're talking about. There are no "fair and reasoned arguments" being offered by members of ANSWER, because they're an extreme radical socialist/marxist group that even most organizations that you might call "leftist" want nothing to do with for many reasons, not the least of which being its known and demonstrated tendency towards anti-semitism.

Nor did I claim she's taking anything out of context. Just the opposite, really. She's taking an event and putting it INTO another context.

Condemn ANSWER all you want. But to take that as an opportunity to proclaim "liberals want to nuke Israel" defies sanity.

Trog,What an empty... (Below threshold)
Dave Noble:

Trog,

What an empty challenge. I wasn't at the rally, nor was Cassy. All she knows is what she learned on Fox News. And she takes that and runs with it in a totally illogical daisy chain of assumptions.

I'm a liberal. I'm not anti-semitic. I don't want Israel nuked into oblivion. How about you, Brian? Any other liberals who blog here, want to nuke Isreael into oblivion.

Any Jewish liberals want to help Pretzel understand? Ask an evangelical Chrisian conservative where Jewish soldiers go when they die and why.

Hey Dave, give me a break h... (Below threshold)
Pretzel Logic:

Hey Dave, give me a break huh? Give us all a break.

Hey Dave, let's ask Steve C... (Below threshold)
Tim:
I'm sure Cassy would als... (Below threshold)

I'm sure Cassy would also have no problem writing about the Westboro Baptist Church and attributing their deeds to all conservatives.

Why would she do that? Fred Phelps supported Al Gore for president in 1988 and ran for state office twice as a democratic. Phelps is a democrat.

Hmmph, got me there. In tha... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Hmmph, got me there. In that case, perhaps Cassy's next screed will be about how all liberals believe God hates fags. Or perhaps citing Falwell/Robertson, that all conservatives believe that on 9/11 the US got what it deserved.

There seems to be a rather ... (Below threshold)
troglodyte Author Profile Page:

There seems to be a rather significant disconnect in communication here. I certainly don't read Cassy as saying that all liberals hate jews. She does say, correctly, that the ANSWER people and their friends are liberals, and they appear to hate jews. I frankly don't see how Dave and Brian can disagree. Instead they generalize a perfectly correct observation into a straw man they vigorously attack.

If Dave and Brian don't "want to see Israel nuked into oblivion" why attack a blogger who reminds us that some do, and criticizes them for that? If they are not defending the anti-semitism of ANSWER, you are certainly defending them against criticism of that bigotry, and that is pretty damned close

troglodyte - "I frankly... (Below threshold)
Marc:

troglodyte - "I frankly don't see how Dave and Brian can disagree."

Then you don't know dave and brian.

troglodyte - "Instead they generalize a perfectly correct observation into a straw man they vigorously attack."

Oops, sorry, you most certainly do know them.

Trog,"There seems ... (Below threshold)
Dave Noble:

Trog,

"There seems to be a rather significant disconnect in communication here. I certainly don't read Cassy as saying that all liberals hate jews."

If I've erred, it's in taking Cassy at her word:

"So, I guess Israel deserves all the terrorism and rocket fire and civilian casualties they've been putting up with for years now? Perhaps if they agreed to just let themselves cease to exist, liberals would be happy.

Oh, but remember, don't call them anti-Semitic. *Liberals are tolerant and they love everybody. Just because they want to see Israel nuked into oblivion doesn't mean they don't accept the Jews."*

The English language has a certain grammatical structure. If you can explain to me how those last two sentences mean anything other than
that liberals want to see Israel nuked into oblivion, I'd be glad to listen.

Pretzel,

Sorry, you don't get a break. Cassy isn't giving anyone a break, might as well a fair shake. Why don't you answer my question about what evangelical Christian conservatives, a large part of your coalition, believe happens to an Jewish soldier when he dies?

Hmmph, got me there. In tha... (Below threshold)
Greg:

Hmmph, got me there. In that case, perhaps Cassy's next screed will be about how all liberals believe God hates fags.

Brian, you and your little group have a crush on the Wizbang women posters. You guys are automatic in your responses to their writings. Your tiny egos must really take a beating when you read them. They have a platform and are published. You don't. I get a kick reading the comments because of you and the gang (peabrain, jp2,etc.).

Hey Dave, what are you ..12... (Below threshold)
Pretzel Logic:

Hey Dave, what are you ..12?

Why don't you answer my ... (Below threshold)
Clay:

Why don't you answer my question about what evangelical Christian conservatives, a large part of your coalition, believe happens to an Jewish soldier when he dies?

I'm sure that you feel that your question is rather profound, but I find it little more than clever. My beliefs on the destination of the soul have little effect on what actually happens in that regard. Further, I do not applaud or celebrate eternal destruction. I believe there is eternal punishment, but it causes me to tremble, not celebrate.

A question more Germain to this conversation would be whether or not one recognizes Israel as a sovereign nation. If so, does she have the right to protect her borders and her citizens? If your answer is no, then tell us what is the solution? The logical outcome to a negative answer seems to me to be the annihilation of the nation of Israel.

Now, I think the point that Cassy is making, and one with which I agree, is that most liberals are more sympathetic with the Palestinians in this current struggle. Perhaps not to the degree of ANSWER, but liberals do seem to lean towards viewing Israel as the aggressor, a position with which I would vehemently argue against.

My question to you is whether you recognize the sovereignty of Israel. Do you?

dave, why do you write, " b... (Below threshold)
D-Hoggs:

dave, why do you write, " believe happens to an Jewish soldier when he dies?"?

The 'an' part, I am seriously trying to understand why people all of a sudden feel the need to use the word 'an' in this way, as opposed to the more grammatically correct usage of 'a'. Any insight?

There seems to be a rath... (Below threshold)
Brian:

There seems to be a rather significant disconnect in communication here. I certainly don't read Cassy as saying that all liberals hate jews.

The disconnect is that you're not being honest: "liberals would be happy". She could have said "ANSWER would be happy".

"Liberals are tolerant ... Just because they want to see Israel nuked into oblivion...." There's no misinterpreting that statement.

why attack a blogger who reminds us that some do, and criticizes them for that?

Again, you're not being honest. The first part of the post is about ANSWER. Then she generalizes to "liberals". The word "ANSWER" doesn't appear anywhere after the citation.

Brian, you and your litt... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Brian, you and your little group have a crush on the Wizbang women posters. You guys are automatic in your responses to their writings.

Hmm, I didn't realize that Hugh, Shawn, and Barron are women. But if you say so.

Ramsey Clark still a whiny ... (Below threshold)
Spurwing Plover:

Ramsey Clark still a whiny sniveling doofus absolutly no brains at all

Any Jewish liberal... (Below threshold)
maggie:
Any Jewish liberals want to help Pretzel understand? Ask an evangelical Chrisian conservative where Jewish soldiers go when they die and why.

Why don't we ask you where Jewish soldiers go
when they die and why.
Interesting how unbelievers use any and all
excuses to bash christians.

No, seriously, it's a good ... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

No, seriously, it's a good question: a Jewish soldier who explicitly refuses to acknowledge that Christ was anything more than an eccentric, charismatic dude who may or may not have existed about 2,000 years ago gets killed in battle. Would an Evangelical Christian please explain what happens to his/her soul? Don't wrap it up in any theological mumbo-jumbo, just answer the question in such a way that us ignorant atheists and agnostics might understand it.

D-Hoggs,Good catch... (Below threshold)
Dave Noble:

D-Hoggs,

Good catch, it's a actually a typo. I had originally writtten Israeli soldier and then realized that not all Israeli soldiers are practicing Jews. As far as I know some may be Christians.

Now am I going to endure repeatedly ad hominem attacks and dodges or is someone going to answer my question?

Maggie,

How do you know I'm unbeliever (interestingly, a synonym for "infidel)? Not all Christians are evangelical Christians, and then there are all those who "believe" in another religion, like Jews, Muslims, and Hindus. And please don't give me the Christian persecution complex. The current leader of the First World is an evangelical Christian.

Do you want to step up to the plate and answer my question, Maggie, or are you just going to complain from the sidelines?

Do you want to st... (Below threshold)
maggie:
Do you want to step up to the plate and answer my question, Maggie, or are you just going to complain from the sidelines?

Complaint? You mean because you were addressed
with a question?
There is only one kind of christian, the ones who believe Jesus Christ is the Only Begotten Son of God who died for everyones sins. There is no other kind.
The Jews are still the Chosen People, and their
Covenant is still legit. As to who goes to heaven, that is between the owner of each
soul and God.

Maggie,I have no p... (Below threshold)
Dave Noble:

Maggie,

I have no problem with questions. But a rhetorical question is not a question. It's a statement.

You stepped up to bat and went for the walk. I gave you an opportunity to be forthcoming and you let the ball go by. Since you have made that choice, I'm forced to ask you an explicit question: Assuming that you are an evangelical Christian, do you or do you not believe that anyone, Jew or otherwise, who dies, without having accepted Jesus as their Savior, will go to Hell for all eternity?

Clay,Yes, I recogn... (Below threshold)
Dave Noble:

Clay,

Yes, I recognize the sovereignty of Israel. And I was not trying to be either clever of profound. I was asking an honest question. And since the focus of this blog is anti-semitism, it is an eminently germane question.

Dave,How disingenuou... (Below threshold)
maggie:

Dave,
How disingenuous.
You deem to judge/label my question, giving yourself the right of not answering.
I expect you to read my answer.
Jesus said,' there is no way to the Father except through Me'.
You can interpret that anyway you like. I'm
only quoting Jesus Christ. If you expect me to
be politically correct or to tickle your ears
you're in for a long wait.
The Jews are still under the Law given to
Abraham with the same promise of God.
How about you answering my so called rhetorical
question, or are you avoiding stepping up to
the plate?

And since the focus of t... (Below threshold)
Clay:

And since the focus of this blog is anti-semitism, it is an eminently germane question.

But, you're wrong. My beliefs have nothing to do with anti-semitism, since I am not in the position of being Judge. As I pointed out, my beliefs have no effect on where a Jewish soldier spends eternity. However, my belief requires that I love the Jewish soldier as a man created in the image of God and, as such, has inestimable value. So, your question has no relation to the subject at hand.

So, back to the topic. Being that you agree with Israel's sovereignty, how do you propose that she can protect her borders and citizens against the incessant attacks from across her border in Gaza?

BTW, I think this is a very good discussion. I hope you do as well.

Maggie,Sorry, I ho... (Below threshold)
Dave Noble:

Maggie,

Sorry, I honestly missed the question. I should have read your post more carefully.

My answer: I don't know where anyone goes when they die. In addition, I don't have a theologically-based logic tree that tells me where they might go, based on certain specific criteria. If there is an aferlife, and I tend to believe there is, my personal belief is that you carry the soul you've developed over the course of your life into your afterlife.

Now your turn. Please answer my guestion, as I've phrased it. And please don't merely quote the Bible. I'm asking you what you believe.

If there is an aferlife,... (Below threshold)
Clay:

If there is an aferlife, and I tend to believe there is, my personal belief is that you carry the soul you've developed over the course of your life into your afterlife.

Interesting. On what do you base your belief?

Clay,It's just tha... (Below threshold)
Dave Noble:

Clay,

It's just that - it's a belief. I don't have any evidence.

And since you've chosen to join the debate. You owe me an answer to my question. You've chosen to dodge it as well. So I'll end this cat-and-mouse game now. Evangelical fundamentalist Christians believe that if anyone dies without believing that Jesus is the Only Begotten Son of God who died for their sins and accepting Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, they will spend eternity in Hell paying for those unexpiated sins.

Since a Jew is unlikely to do that, unless he is a Jewish Christian, which is an oxymoron, the vast majority of Jews are condemned to Hell.

If that is not inherently anti-semitic, I can't imagine what is.

Clay, After you ad... (Below threshold)
Dave Noble:

Clay,

After you address my post, and of course, Maggie can join in as well, I will be glad to discuss Israel's sovereignty, right to defense,
and it's implications for the current incursion.

an⋅ti-Sem⋅i⋅tism - (noun) <... (Below threshold)
Clay:

an⋅ti-Sem⋅i⋅tism - (noun) discrimination against or prejudice or hostility toward Jews.

dis⋅crim⋅i⋅na⋅tion - (noun) treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit: racial and religious intolerance and discrimination.

Now, please reconcile your statement above - If that is not inherently anti-semitic, I can't imagine what is - with these defininitions. I think you'll see your error. If anything you're accusing me of anti-humanism. However, then I will ask you to reconcile the fact that man is created in God's image and, as such, has inestimable worth. No cat-and-mouse here.

Of course, this is ignoring the fact that in all cases I am not the Judge.

Now, do you wish to revise your accusation?

I will be glad to discus... (Below threshold)
Clay:

I will be glad to discuss Israel's sovereignty, right to defense,
and it's implications for the current incursion.

Good. You may begin.

Jewish Christian...is an... (Below threshold)
Clay:

Jewish Christian...is an oxymoron

Explain how, please. It is a term which can have two meanings, a historical one and a contemporary one. But, theologically speaking, the term is quite sound.

Of course, this is off-topc.

Dave Noble, You are apparen... (Below threshold)

Dave Noble, You are apparently not accepting
the answers posted because you
don't like them. Tough cookies.

BTW Mr.Noble, Jesus was a J... (Below threshold)
maggie:

BTW Mr.Noble, Jesus was a Jew.

Clay,"Good. You ma... (Below threshold)
Dave Noble:

Clay,

"Good. You may begin." Why, thank you, my leige, I will proceed now that you have graciously deigned to grant me your hearing.

Clay and Maggie,

Just a moment, though. I understand your "I am not the Judge statement," but it's inadequate. Let me pose a historical analogy. Back in the days of segregation, it was not uncommon for segregationist Christians to cite Genesis 9:20-27, in which Noah cursed Ham's son Canaan, as a justification for the enlsavement and segregation of black "Hamites." They would likely have taken the same tack you have if accused of being racist and indicated that it was Noah that cursed the descendants of Ham, not them. They would then have said that they were merely quoting God's Word, the Bible. Unfortunately, that does not make their position any less racist.

Similarly, the fact that the Bible says all unrepentant Jews go to Hell does not make that belief any less anti-semitic. Further, the belief on the part of Christians that Jews have rejected the Messiah has fueled anti-semitism for two millenia, through the Holocaust.

Jewish Christian is as much an oxymoron as Christian Muslim. Please explain how it could be otherwise. If "Jew" is defined racially, a Jew could be a Christian, but if "Jew" is defined in terms of religious beliefs, it is impossible to be a Jewish Christian or a Christian Jew. What are known popularly as "fulfilled Jews" are Jews who have left Judaism and embraced Christianity. They are no longer Jews and our now Christians. By the way, the inherently condescending term "fulfilled Jew" is for obvious reasons not very popular with Jews.

All of my posts so far are completely relevant to a thread that begins "ANSWER: We're not anti-semitic, we just hate all Jews" and ends accusing all liberals of being anti-semitic. My argument is that, particularly for those on the Religious Right, that is a case of hurling a rock from the shelter of a structure that is particularly vulvnerable to counter-attack.

Maggie, it's not that I don't "like" yours and Clay's answers, it's that you both refused to answer the question I asked. In desperation, I answered it myself.

Clay,Hamas has bee... (Below threshold)
Dave Noble:

Clay,

Hamas has been sending rockets into Israel since their founding. While a violation of Israel's sovereignty, it is a provocation, not an existential threat.

I offer the following brief observations, starting with the current incursion and moving to the long term perspective past and future.
Israel's second invasion of Lebanon in 2006 was designed to break the back of Hezbollah.
The general consensus both inside and outside Israel is that it failed decisively. Hezbollah was strengthened and the Lebanese civilians suffered horribly. I see nothing to indicate the same thing isn't transpiring once again.

The last time I checked 10 Israelis had died in recent months, of which only 3 were civilians. At the same time, the Palestinian death toll was heading for 700. Gaza, desperately poor, oppressively overpopulated, and grossly underfacilitized in the best of times, has become a charnel house and a humanitarian nightmare. This is too high a price to pay for Israeli sovereignty. The other day the Israelis hit a clearly marked UN vehicle and killed the driver, causing the UN to suspend humanitarian operations.

Israel will no more break the back of Hamas than it was able to break the back of Hezbollah.
A substantial motivation for the current incursion is an attempt by the Israeli government and the IDF, aimed primarily at the internal audience, to compensate for the Lebanese failure.

I believe in Israel's right to exist. But I also believe a grave injustice was inflicted on the Palestinian people in 1947 and subsequently.
The Palestinian people were made to pay for the sins of European anti-semitism. That injustice cannot be undone now, but it should be the background for any understanding of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
I do not have an answer to that conflict. But I have no doubt that what is happening in Gaza now is not the answer and that the human cost is far too high.


You're not answering anythi... (Below threshold)
maggie:

You're not answering anything desparately. You
are advocating the Teachings Of Jesus are anti
semitic, racist, and bigotry.

I'll let God be the judge of who is right or wrong.

BTW, Maggie and Clay: I am ... (Below threshold)
Dave Noble:

BTW, Maggie and Clay: I am not accusing you personally of being anti-semites. But if you are both evangelical fundamentalist Christians, then part of your belief structure has an inherently and inevitably anti-semitic implication. And that implication is not merely theoretical. Tragically, it has had catastrophic results for the last two thousand years.

Maggie,I'm sorry y... (Below threshold)
Dave Noble:

Maggie,

I'm sorry you feel that way. If you believe that is my purpose, you either don't understand what I am saying, or are willfully distorting it.

I respect the teachings of Jesus. Unfortunately,they have been used, and are being used to justify evil. To deny that, you must ignore history.

God will always be the judge, but He is not participating in this blog. Except through us.
More importantly, God does not need to be defended, but He has charged us to take care of his children, in Israel and in Gaza.

You've written a lot, and I... (Below threshold)
Clay:

You've written a lot, and I'll keep this limited to the anti-Semitism charges levied against Christianity. I agree that many people view Christianity as being latently, if not overtly, anti-Semitic in nature. I'm amazed that Jesus and His followers are portrayed as creating a splinter faction that would later make a complete break from real Judaism. The resultant byproduct - the Christian Church - is seen as an exclusively Gentile affair with a certain animosity towards its Jewish roots. Even a cursory study of the Bible would prove that false.

It's unfortunate that Christian leaders throughout the centuries - men as influential as Martin Luther - are quoted making some particularly scathing anti-Jewish comments. Events such as the Spanish Inquisition, when the entire Jewish community of Spain was forced to either convert, leave, or face execution, are given as examples of Christianity's low view of the Jewish people.

But are these accusations true and fair? Was it Christ's intent to create an anti-Jewish movement? Is the Church exclusively a Gentile institution? Are the anti-Semitic statements and actions of some Christians the exception or the rule? In other words, are these anti-Semitic incidents borne of an accurate view of the Christian scriptures or a perversion?

The Christian faith and the teachings of the New Testament, when truly understood, show nothing less than a deep affection for the Jewish people and an appreciation of Christianity's Jewish roots. Christianity is inexorably linked with Judaism, and its heartfelt longing is for the Jews to share in all the blessings, peace, and joy which Jesus came to bring. There are four simple proofs we can offer to demonstrate the very "pro-Semitic" nature of Christianity:

1. Jesus, our Savior and Lord, is a Jew. He was born a Jew. He lived a Jew. He died a Jew. He arose from the dead a Jew. His genealogy in Matthew ch. 1 and Luke ch. 3 shows his very Jewish lineage.

2. Jesus did not come to earth to create a new religion. Jesus came to fulfill the religion that God had established at Mount Sinai: Biblical Judaism. Jesus (and Jesus alone) met all of the legal, moral, and sacrificial requirements of the Torah. As Jesus Himself said, "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill" (Matthew 5:17).

3. The first followers of Jesus were all Jews, including Cephas (Peter), the early leader of Christianity. The Christian message was first announced and received within the Jewish synagogues of Israel and the Diaspora. (See Acts 1:8).

4. Paul, "the apostle to the Gentiles," never forgot his Jewish background and was greatly burdened for his Jewish kin. He writes: "I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh, who are Israelites" (Romans 9:3,4).

Despite Christianity's rich Jewish roots and love for Israel, there certainly have been many professing Christians who have acted or spoken disparagingly against the Jewish people. However, there is no excuse for this, and I would never wish to white-wash their misdeeds. Christians are to live by the Law of love, not hate. Psalms 122: 6 commands us to "pray for the peace of Jerusalem."

It is very likely that much of the anti-Semitism carried out "in the name of Christ" was wrought by people who were not genuinely committed to Jesus and His way. By the time of the Spanish Inquisition, the Roman Catholic Christianity of the day had become thoroughly corrupt and unbiblical. Nevertheless, even true Christians fall far short of God's perfect standards and have their own areas of personal weakness and ignorance.

Christianity, at its heart, is not anti-Semitic. In fact, it is very much Jewish.
Now, I must call you to task. It appears that you asked your question in desperation to assert that Christianity was anti-Semitic because the God of Christianity sends Jewish soldiers to Hell. Then you added that "the belief on the part of Christians that Jews have rejected the Messiah has fueled anti-semitism for two millenia, through the Holocaust" as if to suggest that Christianity is at the root of the Hitler's final solution. However, I could just as easily say that Nazi Germany often viewed the atheistic philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche as one of their founding fathers. They incorporated much of his ideology and thoughts about power into their own political philosophy, but would you allow me to say that Neitzche's philosophy was responsible for the Holocaust? Of course, you wouldn't (or I hope you wouldn't) because to do so would require one to ignore the contextual meaning of his political philosophy. To suggest that Neitzche's philosophy is responsible for the Holocaust would be dishonest, as would be the same suggestion in regards to Christianity.

Clay,I appreciate ... (Below threshold)
Dave Noble:

Clay,

I appreciate your thoughtful post. Unfortunately, as sincere and largely accurate as it was, by the last paragraph you depart from a tone of discussion and begin to engage in polemics. I did not ask my question in desperation, I answered it in desperation, despairing that I would ever get you or Maggie, or anyone else, to answer it. I am not desperate to attack Christianity. But I think evangelical Christianity's actual theological position on the spiritual status of Jews should be acknowledged.

I believe there is a deep ambivalence in the beliefs and feelings of evangelical Christians with respect to Jews. That ambivalence did not originate with Martin Luther, though I applaud your acknowledging his anti-semitism. I commend "Constantine's Sword" by James Carroll to your reading. Anti-semitism was deeply established in Europe in both the Roman Catholic and Protestant branches of Christianity, and in popular culture, long before Freidrich Nietzche's relatively esoteric writings. It should also be noted that Adoph Hitler was never ex-communicated from the Roman Catholic Church and spoke of his "Lord Jesus Christ" in Mein Kampf.

Where does this leave us? At the point where the average evangelical fundamentalist is in some way retroactively responsible for the Holocaust?
Not in the least. However, I believe the unguestioning support of the Religious Right for each and every act of the substantially secular state of Israel is, in an appreciable part, a combination of guilt over the long history of Christian anti-semitism and a desire for a fulfillment of Biblical prophecy regarding the Second Coming of Christ. In this schema, Israel and individual Jews become a means to an end - the resolution of Christian guilt and the implementation of the Second Coming of Christ. As much as Christians might feel guilty about anti-semitism and long for Jesus to return, it is immoral to treat Jews, or any other fellow human, as a meams to an end.

Clay, I really do respect your beliefs and respect you as an interlocutor.

With sincere respect for your faith and an equally sincere concern for the political implications of your theology,

Dave Noble

Clay,To further cl... (Below threshold)
Dave Noble:

Clay,

To further clarify the record:

"1) Was it Christ's intent to create an anti-Jewish movement? 2) Is the Church exclusively a Gentile institution? 3) Are the anti-Semitic statements and actions of some Christians the exception or the rule? 4) In other words, are these anti-Semitic incidents borne of an accurate view of the Christian scriptures or a perversion?

With respect to the first guestion, I would answer with an unequivocal "No." Regarding the second question, I would say, as a practical matter - "Yes" Regarding the third question, given the two-millenia history of Christianity, I would say unfortunately "They are the rule." Regarding the final question, I would say "They are a perversion." But, although anti-semitism is a distortion of the teachings of Jesus, it's historical roots in the Church, writ large, are, unfortuately, both venerable and vibrant.


A point of clarificationn: ... (Below threshold)
Dave Noble:

A point of clarificationn:
Hitler spoke most explicitly of Jesus in the following passage (not from Mein Kampf) -
In a speech from April 12, 1922 and published in his book "My New Order", Adolf Hitler explains his perspective on Jesus Christ:

"My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God's truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter.

In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was his fight against the Jewish poison. Today, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed his blood upon the Cross. "

I'm sorry that you thought ... (Below threshold)
Clay:

I'm sorry that you thought my post degraded into a polemic. That was not my intent. I was pointing out that anyone can pervert any idea or religion. The responsibility of proper interpretation rests with adherent. Jesus states that He is "the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through [Him]." He doesn't say that no Jew comes to the Father", hence, your continued attempt to attach anti-Semitism to Christianity is erroneous because no class or group is singled out. Are some Christians anti-Semitic? Unfortunately, yes, but they are in error and not following Christ's teaching. Thankfully it is not pervasive as you insist. Are some liberals anti-Semitic? Yes, again. In the final analysis the defect is not in Christianity, but in imperfect people.

You have failed to make your point. The fact that you persist in your obvious error does cause me to wonder about your prejudice against Christianity. Thoughtful people adjust their viewpoint when confronted with error. Oh well, it's up to you.

But, hey, have a great day! It's warm here, and I am working on my '62 International Scout, a constant source of enjoyment for me.

Dave,I'm sorry for... (Below threshold)
Clay:

Dave,

I'm sorry for being abrupt, but I feel as though we've reached the point where we agree to disagree. I said it badly, and do earnestly apologize. I would like to leave with making my point more concise, after which, the floor is yours and you have the last word.

As I understand it, your assertion is that since some Christians are anti-Semitic, that Christianity must be so. Logically speaking your argument is absurd.

Not everyone who invokes the name of Jesus is a Christian. As Christ himself stated, "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven." Was Hitler doing the Father's will? No, of course not. Adolf Hitler was politically astute enough to maintain some public distance between himself and the Neo-Pagan ideologues of the Nazi Party. He was not above using connotation words associated with Christianity as a political tool. But he was not far from Neo-Paganism at heart. After his death documentation became available showing that Hitler had approved grandiose plans to wean the German churches away from Christianity and into the Neo-Pagan fold.

To quote Shirer in The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: "...under the leadership of Rosenberg, Bormann and Himmler, who were backed by Hitler, the Nazi regime intended eventually to destroy Christianity in Germany, if it could, and substitute the old paganism of the early tribal Germanic gods and the new paganism of the Nazi extremists. As Bormann, one of the men closest to Hitler, said publicly in 1941, 'National Socialism and Christianity are irreconcilable.'

What the Hitler government envisioned for Germany was clearly set out in a thirty-point program for the 'National Reich Church' drawn up during the war by Rosenberg, an outspoken pagan...

"The National Reich Church of Germany categorically claims the exclusive right and the exclusive power to control all churches within the borders of the Reich: it declares these to be national churches of the German Reich.

"The National Church is determined to exterminate irrevocably...the strange and foreign Christian faiths imported into Germany in the ill-omened year 800...

"The National Church has no scribes, pastors, chaplains or priests, but National Reich orators are to speak in them.

"The National Church demands immediate cessation of the publishing and dissemination of the Bible in Germany...'"

"On the altars there must be nothing but 'Mein Kampf' (to the German nation and therefore to God the most sacred book) and to the left of the altar a sword.

"On the day of its foundation, the Christian Cross must be removed from all churches, cathedrals and chapels...and it must be superseded by the only unconquerable symbol, the swastika."


(The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, by William L. Shirer, p. 240 in some editions, p. 332 in others. Chapter headed "Triumph and Consolidation", subsection "The Persecution of the Christian Churches")

"You see, it's been our misfortune to have the wrong religion. Why didn't we have the religion of the Japanese, who regard sacrifice for the Fatherland as the highest good? The Mohammedan religion too would have been much more compatible to us than Christianity. Why did it have to be Christianity with its meekness and flabbiness?" -Adolf Hitler

The "meekness and flabbiness" to which Hitler objected in Christianity fell straight from the lips of its Founder: "But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also." (Matthew 5:39).

Bigotry is found in every culture, religion, and ideology. It is always wrong, but anti-Semitism is especially abhorrent in Christianity, since there is so much against the thought found in the Bible.

Rom 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

Rom 10:12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him.

Gal 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Col 3:11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.

The fault is not found in Christianity, the fault is found in man's inability to live up to God's morality. Man will always use what is available to further his evil cause, whether it's a sword, an idea, or a religion.

This conversation is over.

Good day.

Clay,It's more tha... (Below threshold)
Dave Noble:

Clay,

It's more than a bit arrogant to believe that you have the right to declare when the converstation is over. On the other hand, I have no desire to have a conversation with someone who has no desire to have a conversation with me.

In passing, I will note that you use a rhetorical device I am familiar with - the positing of a theoretical "True Church," immunized from the errors and atrocities of the historical church that the rest of us see in the real world, here on the ground.
Unfortunately, the rest of us live in a world where the born-again Christian George Bush authorizes torture of our enemies and evangelical Christians support the slaughter of Palestinian children because the Israel represents the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy.

I am only thankful that the Christian theocracy the Religious Right advocates is not a reality. Otherwise, I might be burned at the stake for my "error."

Thank God, we live in a secular state.




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