Seeds of Auschwitz
The institutionalized movement to draw the hearts of people to Jesus has long seen the need to teach mankind about Jews and Judaism. By the time the books of the Christian Scriptures were put into writing, Christianity was already a predominantly gentile movement. Yet the authors and editors of these books saw fit to devote many words to the description of Jews and Judaism for the edification of their readers.
It is in this same spirit that later generations of Christian teachers found it important to enlighten their audiences on the subject of Judaism. The image that these teachers painted of Jews and Judaism was not a pretty one. According to the Christian teachers the Jews are children of the Devil, murderers and liars, cheaters, haters of Godliness, jealous and greedy. These Christian teachers taught their flocks that the Jews attempt to rob the world of its wealth while refusing to do any work themselves. These followers of Jesus explained to those who would listen to them that Judaism is a hypocritical religion that is focused on form and not on substance and that it developed as a negative reaction to Christianity that is rooted in nothing more than a baseless hatred of Jesus.
These lies were taught to the people of Europe in the name of love, righteousness, justice and Godliness. This slander was taught, and repeated, expounded upon and illustrated in all forms of art until it was absorbed into the psyche of millions of people. Civilized nations were lead to associate hatred of Jews and Judaism with religious virtue.
This slander was not contained in the churches and in the universities, but it spread into the practical world as well. Jews were persecuted in every country where the teachings of the Church were respected and believed. And this slander was a foundational factor in the systematic slaughter of six million Jews during the Second World War. Killing six million people is only possible with the widespread cooperation of many nations. And the centuries of the Christian teachings on Jews and Judaism served as the foundation upon which this cooperation rested.
In our day and age, many people recognize that the holocaust was a crime of unprecedented proportions. Even many followers of Jesus identify the holocaust as something evil. But their reaction to the holocaust is extremely disturbing, to put it mildly.
If the holocaust is the epitome of evil you would expect the institutionalized movement to draw the hearts of people to Jesus to do some soul searching. You would expect them to ask themselves why it was so important for their predecessors to teach the world these lies about Jews and about Judaism. You would expect them to ask themselves if they are still propagating lies about Jews and about Judaism, and they are. But instead of looking into their own dark past they rush to proclaim Jesus’ alleged innocence. Not only do they seek to whitewash Jesus but they seek to declare the supposed innocence of the movement that deifies Jesus. According to these propagandists, true Christians never do anything wrong and if they do something wrong then they can’t be true followers of Jesus who allegedly only taught love and righteousness.
We can’t bring back the victims of the holocaust but the least we owe them is to try to eradicate the evil root that spawned their senseless destruction. As someone who stands outside of the movement to draw people’s heart to Jesus, it is not for me to psychoanalyze the psychology of that movement. But as a Jew I can say this: the institutionalized movement to draw the hearts of people to Jesus is still a breeding ground for misinformation about Jews and Judaism. The vast majority of Christians with whom I have interacted are deeply misinformed about my people and about my beliefs. They tell me that they learned these lies from the revered writings of the Christian Scriptures. Perhaps they don’t believe that I am a murderer and a child of the devil but they are still convinced that my religion is materialistic, hypocritical and devoid of true Godliness. They are still confident that my rejection of Jesus’ claim for deity is rooted in a blind hatred of Jesus instead of in a love for my God.
This is what I find disturbing. Why do they teach the world about Judaism? Why do the followers of Jesus need to talk about Jews and their beliefs? Don’t they realize the devastating effect of this strange habit of theirs? Can’t they see that this practice of slandering a nation is the root cause of 2000 years of persecution? Is it so difficult to see how Auschwitz grew out of the seeds of denigration of Jews and their beliefs?
Don’t talk about innocence if you are still sowing seeds of destruction.
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Yisroel C. Blumenthal