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Defamation of Christianity
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Of Christianity - Anti-Semitism, Christendom And The Holocaust
We all know that Christian anti-Semitism caused the Holocaust,
right? The story goes something like this: (1) Christians, from the earliest
days, were anti-Semitic; (2) Christians engaged in unprovoked persecution of
Jews in the ancient and medieval world; (3) Christians encouraged massacres
against Jews that desensitized Christendom to the Holocaust; (4) Men raised as
Christians committed the Holocaust; (5) Christians ignored the Holocaust while
it happened and denied the Holocaust after it happened.
Baseball allows three strikes and “You’re out!” Football gives teams four downs to keep their drive alive. But let us be generous and give this particularly noxious defamation of Christianity five chances to be right. It is still defamation.
Christians were anti-Semitic?
Christianity has never been “anti-Semitic.” The first Christians were Jews. The next Christians were Semitic people, even if they were not Jews. The model of racial moral superiority adopted by the National Socialist German Workers Party resembled Judaism, not Christianity (although Nazi evil was as hostile and incompatible with the righteousness required by Judaism as with the tolerance required by Christianity.)
Racism was condemned as sin in human history first by Christians. Outside Christian theology, racism was the norm. Why, then, describe the conflicts between Christians and Jews in the ancient and medieval world as “anti-Semitic”? Simple: it creates the false impression that differences between Jews and Christians sowed the seeds of Nazi racial policies.
Christians engaged in unprovoked persecution Jews in the ancient and medieval world?
The first three centuries of Christianity was one long religious holocaust by pagan Rome against Christians. When pagan Rome was scattering the Jewish people in the Diaspora, this vile though grand empire was torturing Christians to death. Seldom noted is that Jews, ten percent of the population of the Empire, sometimes helped persecute Christians.
Constantine the Great may have been converted to Christianity on his deathbed, but he was profoundly influenced by Christianity years before, which led him to proclaim the Edict of Milan in 313 A.D. This edict granted religious toleration to Jews, Christians and all faiths within the Roman Empire.
The diverse peoples of the Roman Empire were not forced to become Christians. These cosmopolitan peoples were familiar with many other moral and metaphysical systems, including Judaism. The many people of the Roman Empire embraced Christianity as something far better than they had ever seen before.
This did not lead to perfect moral behavior, but Christian doctrine denies that we will ever be sinless. What naturally did occur, however, was an improvement in the moral conditions within the Roman Empire. Under the increasing influence of Christian morals, Rome did not inflict upon the Jewish people crimes like the Diaspora and the destruction of the Second Temple, the Babylonian Captivity and the destruction of the First Temple, the Assyrian extermination or disintegration of ten of the twelve tribes of Israel and Judah, or the Egyptian oppression of Hebrew slaves which led to the Exodus, Torah and the Promised Land itself.
Christophobes do not even pretend that Roman Christians were committing these sorts crimes, although these crimes were so common in the ancient world. Instead Christophobes fast forward to the Justinian codification of Roman law, which included discrimination against Jews. Legal discrimination, of course, was ubiquitous in the ancient world. Almost every people in the ancient world, including Jews against goyim.
The sort of murderous crimes which smell of religious holocaust, however, do not appear in a Christian Roman Empire which had large numbers of subject Jews. The first episode of religious genocide between these two great faiths took place in 614 A.D., when Jerusalem was captured by Persians and Jews, who together methodically tortured and exterminated more than 90,000 Christian men, women and children.
Christians engaged in massacres of Jews which desensitized Christendom to the Holocaust?
Aside from the Zoroastrian-Jewish extermination of Christians in 614, other religions did engage in mass exterminations of other peoples because of their faith. Overwhelmingly, the victimizers were conquering Moslems and the victims were Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus who had the misfortune to be in the war of Islam militant.
Yet Moorish Spain is often presented as a model of tolerance, suggesting that Christian Spain, after the Christian majority had expelled the Moslem overlords, was somehow kind and gentle and Christian Spain vicious and coarse. Why? Bat Ye’or, the Jewish historian who came from Egypt and who is the greatest modern student of Islamic persecution of others, describes the ideal often presented in history books of a wonderful, idyllic Islamic Spain as a “pious lie” by Jews to make Christians, who never did anything nearly as bad as Moslems in Spain, look worse than Moslems.
The expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492 is described as a comparable episode, but of course it was not. Isabella and Ferdinand were simply reimposing edicts made by prior Moslem rulers requiring that Jews become Moslems, convert or die. The greatest difference is that Christians did not engage in an organized, sanctioned slaughter of Spanish Jews.
The tragic massacres of hundreds of Jews in the Rhineland during the First Crusade are the next “example” of how dangerous Christianity is to Jews. The events are not disputed. Mobs of peasants traveled from town to town killing entire Jewish communities. Seldom noted is that these mobs were strongly opposed by the bishops and archbishops of the towns in which these several massacres took place.
Bishops and archbishops took in Jews, hid Jews, and tried in every way possible to prevent these murders. The mobs tried smashed the doors of bishoprics and tried to kill Christian clergy. The courage of bishops and archbishops against the wrath of wild mobs changed the course of these campaigns: mobs looking for Jews to kill avoided towns which had a strong Christian presence.
Saint Bernard warned crusaders that killing Jews for being Jews was like killing Christ. Popes excommunicated those who called for the murder of Jews. Hardly fodder for holocausts, is it?
Cossacks in the 17th Century engaged in some of the most unspeakable crimes against Jews in human history. This is also cited as “proof” that the differences between Christians and Jews led to mass murder of Jews. The Cossacks, however, were ruthless to virtually everyone, including other Cossacks. Jews were not the first nor the last peoples who suffered horribly at the hands of Cossacks. Moreover, Cossacks were notoriously irreligious.
Salient is the reaction to these crimes within Christendom. Europe in the 1600s was not yet “modern.” Nevertheless, Christendom in the 1600s strongly and unequivocally condemned Cossack atrocities against Jews. There was no denial and no support for this holocaust against Jews by Christendom.
Men raised as Christians committed the Holocaust
Did men raised as Christian murder millions of Jews? Yes, but what is unstated matters immensely: men raised as Christians, and who emphatically and contemptuously reviled Christianity, murdered millions of Jews. The only people in Europe who opposed the Holocaust when they could have saved their lives by being quiet were Christians in Europe. The only people who spoke out against the Holocaust while it was happening were Christians.
No one in 1945 seriously believed that Christianity “caused” the Holocaust, but many people believed that the evil which Hitler represented was ended by Christians. There are dozens of examples of the deep gratitude which Jews felt toward serious Christians in this hellish part of human history, but perhaps one example sums it up best: Rome has the oldest synagogue, perhaps, on earth; after the war was won and Nazism was defeated, the Chief Rabbi of Rome converted to Christianity.
If Christians “caused” the Holocaust, then who caused the greater holocaust in the Soviet Union a dozen years earlier? This greater holocaust was not caused by serious Jews who seriously believed in the theology of Judaism, but it is worth noting that Judaism and Jewishness is no more perfect a vaccine against these sorts of crimes than Christianity.
Lazar Kaganovich, probably the greatest mass murderer in modern history, the Soviet Himmler, an atheist Marxist, considered himself Jewish; Kaganovich spoke Yiddish; he was raised as an observant Jew. Yagoda, the sadistic head of the Soviet secret police, was Jewish. Men who reject the moral precepts of Christianity and of Judaism will commit unthinkable crimes against humanity. Kaganovich and Himmler had the same theology: man is god.
Christians want to deny the Holocaust?
The myth that somehow America and Britain “denied” or “concealed” the Holocaust is more than just odd. Consider what happened on December 17, 1942. Th allied governments of every Christian nation in Europe and America denounced the mass murder of Jewish in occupied Europe “in the strongest possible terms.”
This mass murder was described as a “bestial policy of cold-blooded extermination.” Anthony Eden introduced the resolution in the House of Commons, and a Labour MP asked that all members “rise in their places and stand in silence in protest of this disgusting behavior” Lord Samuel, a Jewish peer and former Leader of the Labor Party sad “These events are an outcome of quite deliberate, planned, conscious cruelty of human beings.” Is Holocaust denial?
America and Britain (we tend to forget that Britain was not just a predominately Christian nation, it is a formally Christian nation: Christianity, specifically Anglicanism and Presbyterianism, are the government religions of England and Scotland respectively) deliberately decided that defeating Nazism in Europe was much more important than defeating Japanese Imperialism in Asia.
Japan had more ability to actually threaten the island democracies of Anglo-America, because the Japanese fleet and naval aviation were superb. Japan was exterminating in unthinkable ways millions of Chinese and other Asian peoples.
If the democracies of Anglo-America were indifferent to that enormous crime we call the Holocaust - by the way...what do we call the holocaust of Chinese by Japan? I seem to have forgotten - then these Christian nations certainly showed that indifference in inexplicable ways.
Christians as Christians have been condemning the murder of Jews for more two thousand years. This has often not reciprocated. The first religious and racial genocide in Europe during the 20th Century was not the murder of Jews but the murder of Christians within the Turkish empire.
Almost every horror later used by Lazar Kaganovich against innocent, overwhelmingly Christian, people, and even later used by Nazis against innocent, largely Jewish, people were used first against Christians in this forgotten holocaust.
Packing people into cattle cars, torturing innocents, liquidating children - all these things happened in Armenia before the Gulag, and in the Gulag before the Nazi death camps. As with the Holocaust, Christians who were not in harm’s way risked their lives to save the innocent. Also, to his enormous credit, an American Jew, Henry Morgenthau, worked bravely and tirelessly to help these wretched victims.
But some people also denied this first experiment in racial and religious genocide. In 1918 Ben Gurion, the first president of the modern State of Israel, and Ben-Zvi published a book projecting an Eretz Yisrael in the Ottoman Empire. Future President Ben Gurion says in that book: “it must be said, to the credit of the Turks, that their rulers behaved toward the conquered with a degree of tolerance and generosity which is unparalleled in the history of Christian peoples of the period.” Ben Gurion does not mention a single world about the Armenian genocide.
The extermination of the Christian Armenians had been preceded by decades of mass murders of Christians in the Turkish Empire. How did Theodor Herzl, the father of Zionism, feel the Fifth Zionist Congress in 1901 should react to these decades of torture and mass murder of Christians? Herzl urged the Congress to send a message to Abdul Hami II (know as the “Bloody Sultan” for his massacres of Armenians) which had an “expression of dedication and gratitude which all the Jews feel regarding the benevolence which his Highness the Sultan has always shown them.”
The best and the worst moral attitude
Jews should want Christians to be deep and sincere Christians. Christians should want Jews to take Judaism seriously. Defaming Christianity does not lead to a safer, kinder world for Jews. It leads to monsters like Bormann and Eichman. The best protection against holocausts are men like pious Christians like George Washington and Pope John Paul II. The best protection is honest, decent Jews like Henry Morgenthau BatYe’or .
Monsters like Kaganovich, craven and cynical creeps like Ben Gurion are found in all races, all faiths and every age. Some are CINOs (Christians In Name Only) and some are JINOs (Jews In Name Only.) One of the best ways to seed and to nourish this sort of evil is to defame Christianity - like pretending that the Holocaust is the logical consequence of serious Christianity.
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