Christianity and the Shoah

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Christianity and the Shoah

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1gwilensky
Muokkaaja: toukokuu 5, 2010, 2:22pm

For almost two thousand years Christianity taught that Jews were Christ-killers, evil, minions of the devil, bent on defiling the Christian mind, greedy, and guilty of all the ills of the world. Moreover, Christian thinkers introduced the notion of supersessionism, in which Jews and Judaism had been replaced by Christianity, the "New Israel".

I believe that it's this centuries-old hatred that corrupted the minds of millions of Christians and made them receptive to the message of hatred espoused by the Nazis. The Christian population of Europe was receptive to the insanity spewed by the Nazis because to them any message that conformed with their ingrained image of the hateful and hated Jews would have been accepted. Millions of people around the world were passive onlookers (at best) during the genocide because according to Christian teachings Jews, who had brought upon them a curse for killing Jesus, deserved the fate that was being meted out to them. Many thousands of people outside Germany were willing collaborators and became perpetrators because they already felt a deep hatred of Jews. A hatred that had nothing to do with the relentless racial propaganda Germans were subjected to.

2natashaslove
lokakuu 12, 2010, 1:06pm

You make a good point. I would add that this hatred arises from the fact that as Christianity spread from Jews to Gentiles Christians forgot their own religious heritage. The first Christians were all Jews, including Jesus, whom a minority of Jews believed was the Jewish Messiah. All the desciples were Jewish, including James, who was the leader of the Christian Church after Jesus. The Christian Church was based not in Rome, but in Jerusalem, and until about 60 A.D. Christians met in Jewish worship centers along with other Jews, although they were considered radical. As the leader of the Christians James was considered by mainstream Jews to be a Pious Jew himself, and James agreed. From history and New Testament we read of the on-going battle between Paul and James, where James argued that anyone could be a Christian, but first you had to become a Jew, since Jesus taught the Jewish faith. Paul argued that the law of Moses was "nailed to the cross" and that Gentile Christians need not obey it. The debate ended in compromise more favorable to the Gentiles, partly because as Christianity grew more Gentiles accepted it than did Jews and partly because of the Roman destruction of the Temple, which scattered the center of faith not only for mainstream Jews but Christian Jews as well. I know all this may be a bit wide of your point that there has been a deep hatred by many Christians of Jews which contributed to the catastrophe, but I mention this because tolerance is always on point. As a Christian myself, I never tire of pointing out to people that Christianity is the daughter faith of Judaism, and provides a common heritage of which both Jews and Christians should be proud. A better Christian understanding of Christian heritage would certainly contribute to more tolerance.

3Mr.Durick
lokakuu 12, 2010, 5:02pm

Gabriel, I think you have taken a part for the whole, historically, religiously, and sociologically, and so I would expect your book to be a screed rather than an exposition.

Natasha, the last time I read Acts I was surprised at the antisemitism in it. A need to keep the predecessors at bay seemed to develop early among the Christian gatekeepers.

Robert

4natashaslove
lokakuu 13, 2010, 4:26pm

Mr.Durick, Acts was part of the rival group, of which Paul was the leader, which opposed James's view.

5natashaslove
lokakuu 13, 2010, 4:27pm

Although you are correct about the anti-Jewish faction developing early, the pro-Jewish faction still dominated the church for many years...although it did not ultimately prevail.