Innocence of the Guilty

The most recent political election cycle in the U.S.A. (2016) was particularly acrimonious. One of the major parties was running a candidate that was under several federal investigations. These investigations focused on allegations that this candidate had used one of the highest offices in the land for personal gain. This shady candidate proceeded to lose the election but the liberal media did not ascribe the election results to any suspected wrongdoing on the part of the losing candidate.

The typical mudslinging of a political campaign was redirected in the course of this election. The campaign of the shady candidate did not limit their mudslinging to the person of the opposing candidate. All those who considered voting for the current (2017) President of the United States were cast in a negative light by those who opposed him. The narrative of the liberal media would have us believe that those who voted for one candidate are all evil. And this was not the candidate who is accused of selling his country down the river for personal gain.

By placing the argument in the realm of virtue versus wickedness the liberal media has effectively shut down rational discussion between the people who backed the opposing candidates. Those who voted for the shady candidate were educated and enlightened by the liberal media and they now “know” beyond the shadow of any doubt that those who voted differently than themselves are paragons of injustice. How can you talk about democratic ideals with people who are intolerant, racist, xenophobic, insensitive, bigoted and narrow-minded?

Imagine if someone would read a collection of liberal articles 2000 years from now. You would get the impression that a large group of evil people crucified a knight in shining armor. They voted against her precisely because she stood for every virtue and for everything good. And this was all because they were evil and intolerant.

I never met the historical Jesus and I don’t know anyone who has. But this much is clear. The authors of the Christian Scriptures used the same smear tactics that the liberal media is using today to shield their hero from the criticism of his opponents and to further their own agenda. They effectively shut down rational conversation about the pros and cons of their position. If Jesus was so righteous then why did his followers need to use Hillary Clinton’s tactics to defend his character?

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56 Responses to Innocence of the Guilty

  1. Dina says:

    Okay, I know this wasn’t the point of the article, but the opposing candidate was no Ronald Reagan. He is a thin-skinned narcissist with frighteningly autocratic tendencies. He is neither a Republican nor a conservative. For the record, I didn’t vote for either of them. I just couldn’t bring myself to push the button for either candidate. Now that he is my president, I will give him the benefit of the doubt and sincerely hope that I am dead wrong about him. And I will be first in line to admit it if that is the case.

    But let me say this: whatever the next four years bring, it won’t be boring.

    • Eleazar says:

      Dina, I’m with you. I did the same and voted third party. All anyone had to do was just broadcast Trump’s own words/actions ( Mocking disabled, bragging about sexual assault, condemning free trade while manufacturing his MAGA hats in China ) and he condemns himself, just as one need only post Jesus’ own words to nullify the “meek and mild” reputation Christianity puts on its mangod.
      Rabbi, Trump is truly the Jesus, and his supporters Christendom, in this scenario. His hardcore supporters believe he is infallible. No matter how many times he flipped on an issue, his latest position was always, and continues to be, “absolutely right”. It was Trump who threatened to jail his opponent on live television and cursed the established authority in the nation. He claimed his opponent’s father was complicit in an assassination. He belittled anyone who opposed him with slanderous names like “Lyin Ted”, “Little Marco”, “Crooked Hillary”,etc. Donald Trump does not admit to being wrong, nor apologize when proven wrong, but rather, personally attacks the ones who prove him wrong. Sound familiar?

      Many of his followers see him as a political messiah who will deliver them from disenfranchisement of the established leadership. Another parallel is that just as Christianity’s primary source of propaganda were those outside of Judaism, Trump had the assistance of MILLIONS of Russian citizens on Twitter. Of his 60 million Twitter followers 40% of the accounts were based in Russia. It was alt-right Trump followers who tweeted to me such classics as “KIKE!”, “Go back to Auschwitz” and “the ovens are waiting”. NEVER got ANYTHING like that from the followers of ANY other candidate.

      No disrespect intended, but I believe you’re wrong on this one.

      • Dina says:

        A pox on both their houses!

      • LarryB says:

        Eleazar
        Are you sure those tweats were from Trump supporters? I mean Sure!

      • Eleazar My point wasn’t about the campaign – it was about a tactic that is being used to deflect discussions. The tactic of the liberal media mirrors that tactic of the authors of the Christian Scriptures. I see your point about the character of Trump being similar to the character of Jesus – no contradiction both could be true. And BTW many people voted for Trump not because they thought Trump was good but because they thought Clinton would exploit her position for her own benefit as she has done in the past – and the liberal media cannot see anything positive in voting against Hillary

        1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

        • Eleazar says:

          Perhaps, but there is no doubt that Trump has his own media working the same way: Fox, Breitbart, Redstate, NR, etc, etc.

          • Dina says:

            Okay, totally off topic here, Eleazar. But NR was #NeverTrump to the bitter end, so I find it surprising you’d lump them in with the others. (I religiously read NR every day.)

      • LarryB says:

        Eleazar
        Im still looking but about those hats.
        http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2015/oct/07/tweets/tweets-say-donald-trumps-make-america-great-again-/
        Maybe now you’ll share where your russian tweets news comes from and add the hats, personally I don’t know what I dislike more, being called names or being lied about. You did neither to me but I am a Trump supporter. I would have voted for a canary before voting for Hillary.

    • Dina I am not saying that Trump is a Tzaddik – all I said was that the tactic used by the liberal media is the same one that the authors of the gospels used to defend their hero

      1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

      • Dina says:

        I know, Rabbi B., I know that wasn’t your point at all. I’m a political junkie and couldn’t stop myself. (Both my husband and I are elected officials! Our term is almost up, time to start campaigning soon…)

  2. Yedidiah says:

    For more than a year many rational people were asking how one could talk about democratic ideals with Trump supporters who were intolerant, racist, xenophobic, insensitive, bigoted and narrow-minded. Many Republicans who are far from being “dupes” of the “liberal media” & who had far more negative things to say about the candidate of the other party than Trump had (who by the way about 8 years said that that other candidate would make either a fine President or VP) had seen Trump’s many shady dealings before & during his campaign. Remember their many “anyone but…” hopes & polical tactics? So maybe Trump is a twin of Clinton, only racist, more xenophobic, & more openly intolerant?

    • Yedidiah says:

      Actually the gospel writers “tactics” have little in common with the “liberal” media. The gospel writers are not really defending their hero (from whom?), but “preaching to the choir”, promoting a pro-Hellenistic, pro-Roman “Judaism lite”. The gospels aren’t trying to sell Jews on Jesus (despite what many people think Matthew is trying to do, but failing), nor trying to stop non-Jews from converting to Judaism. In the 1Corinthians letter, the author writes “Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,” But the NT, especially the gospels, is either emphasizing signs, miracles, & “prophesies” (with a lot of mis-translations, either intentionally or through ignorance” or promoting a Jesus having the “wisdom of God”. Likewise, CP is wrong in his assessment when he believes “Jews had Yeshua” & gentliles were trying to “steal him” away.

  3. CP says:

    I enjoyed this short article; I think it is spot on until the last paragraph. Not that disagree with it entirely. I feel it is an oversimplification which in my opinion results in a distorted view of what really happened. Below I’ll try to explain:

    [“I never met the historical Jesus and I don’t know anyone who has.”]

    * If anyone cares to notice, the historical Yeshua is not taught by ANY mainline Christian religion. The vast majority of Jewish objections result from a Christian representation of Jesus rather than a historical Yeshua.

    [“The authors of the Christian Scriptures used the same smear tactics that the liberal media is using today to shield their hero from the criticism of his opponents and to further their own agenda.”]

    * The difficulty with this assertion it is is only half right. Aside from the fact we don’t have the autographs, the resulting writings by denigrating Yeshua’s Judaism equally smears their hero as their opponents. The reality is in order to make Jesus their own, he needed to be Gentilized. Otherwise he is as one of their opponents. If your going to steal a car, you don’t leave it parked in the owners driveway. You paint it, change the plates and park in your own driveway.

    [“They effectively shut down rational conversation about the pros and cons of their position.”]

    * Yes, this is the intention. Rational conversation could reveal who Yeshua really is, what he really taught, who he belongs to and what religion he practiced.

    [“If Jesus was so righteous then why did his followers need to use Hillary Clinton’s tactics to defend his character?”]

    * Defense of his character isn’t the goal. The goal was to steal Yeshua, create division and shut down communication. As long as Judaism had a claim on Yeshua, Judaism would be in charge. The Gentiles didn’t want to answer to Jews, they wanted to be in charge. What better way than to use the above mentioned tactics to convince the current owner that what they had wasn’t worth keeping by making it ‘un-Jewish’. Once they had what they wanted, they ran for the border slamming the door behind them.

    (Side note: Think about logically: Yeshua came, died, rose, ascended to God leaving behind a group of 100% Torah observant Talmudim. Then Paul who never met Yeshua, starts traveling, teaching and writing letters to the Gentiles. This new religion about Yeshua takes off like wildfire among Gentiles and all of a sudden they are hungry for writings about the one their new religion is based on. But the problem is Yeshua didn’t write anything, however the disciples had notes they turned into narratives. These were gobbled up and passed around by the early Gentile Church. Who knows what kind of spin could have been committed on the orignal texts. But if one looks close, the historical Torah observant Yeshua is still therein the Texts.)

    • CP would you care to explain why you are so quick to accuse Dina of hate-mongering yet the authors of Christian Scriptures are not?

      1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

      • CP says:

        R’B, perhaps you misread my comment? I mounted no defense for Gentile spin on the originals. As a matter of fact I agreed it is akin to what today’s liberal media has done.

        I say this respectfully: I believe it is shortsightedness to think only the Jews are maligned in the eyes of Gentiles by the texts, when Yeshua is equally maligned in the eyes of Jews by the Gentiles. This is purposeful to divide, making a new religion to rule apart from the Jews.

        It’s the age old evils, power, control and money, – ‘nothing new under the sun’

    • Yedidiah says:

      You are basing your “Yeshua” on those Christian writings & representation. A “Torah Observant historical Jesus/Yeshua” would be no different from any of the thousands of other Torah observant Jews 2000 years ago. “Pirkei Avot” mentions more significant teachers worth “stealing”.

    • CP Your theory is that the writers of the Christian Scriptures knew clearly that Jesus preached a different message than their own and they demonized the Jews in order to hide the real Jesus? Did I read you right?

      1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

      • CP says:

        R’B, close. It is my opinion the first writings were correctly Jewish. When the Gentiles accepted the teachings of Paul they naturally wanted to know more about this Jesus. Paul, never having met Yeshua didn’t have this information. Paul only taught about Jesus explaining why he came and died, but didn’t pass on the first hand teachings of Yeshua. This created a void or ‘market’ so to say among the Gentiles for the original teachings of Yeshua. This void was met with the Gospels gleaned from the Jewish Talmudim. As the Church became less Jewish there was less Jews to explain what the Texts meant. As the Church became more Hellenized the Church began to “correct” the text so it made sense in light of what they already believed was true.

        • CP says:

          R’B, to add; yes, I don’t doubt the political environment between 70 and 500 was the impetus to hide the Jewishness of Yeshua and his teachings, but as I said before, it was also a matter of “control” and who’s in charge. ‘If Yeshua is a Torah observant Rabbi, the Gentile Church loses control to the leaders of Judaism’

  4. Sharon S says:

    Perhaps , your perception of Christian behavior and attitudes stems from your observation of Christian west . However , the situation is totally the opposite for Christians in the East , who , like the Jews once were , are suffering for their faith , even as we speak.

    Yes , I admit that the Christian Scriptures are filled with negative portrayal of the Jewish people. Yes , these potrayals lay the groundwork for Jewish persecution for 2,000 years .However , in all that hate , there are teachings on forgiveness , mercy and love , which is consciously instilled in our devotionals and services.

    Catholics , in particular are constantly reminded with the message that the Christian faith is not a walk in the park. Following Jesus entails us to take up our Crosses (challenges) and to follow Him . It means constantly forgiving our enemies and to pray for them. It means turning the other cheek.

    This is what’s empowering Christian response in the Middle East , China , India and in my country to stand for our faith as we grapple with authoritative forces in our country seeking to undermine and dehumanize us .

    So , basically , the group of Coptic Christians beheaded by ISIS or the group of Christians in Mosul, Iraq that had to flee their homes did not use smear tactics to prop of Jesus , but they gave up their freedom and their lives for Him.

    Do unto others as what you want others to do unto you – The Jewish nation was , at one point , not treated as humans and was persecuted for so long . You knew what it was like to be ostracized and condemned for your relationship with God . As lights and a people closest to God , I would expect your people to feel more acutely if the same injustice and oppression befall upon your brothers/sisters in humanity.

    Yet , I see the very opposite of that , especially in this post.

    Your painting of Christians is not representative of all the Christians in this planet . Majority of Christians are struggling with persecution , with their lives on the line , and all they say is ‘Father , forgive them , for they do not know what they’re doing’-That’s their testimony.

    Thank you.

    • Dina says:

      Sharon, the persecution of Christians in Muslim countries is horrific. Nothing in this post is meant to minimize their suffering. Furthermore, Christians today do not persecute Jews.

      If I may be so bold, I believe the point of the article was to show how the Christian scriptures effectively shut down conversation between Christians and Jews. The influence of Christian scripture prevents Christians from hearing Jews out with an open mind and an open heart because they are predisposed to think we are spiritually blind, etc.

      This has been my personal experience when I talk to Christians about religion.

      But all my other interactions with Christians have been nothing less than delightful. I work with and interact with Christians often in my line of work, have a personal mentor who is a Christian (whom I look up to and admire), and a good friend who is a Christian. I think I can take the liberty of speaking for Jews: we have nothing against Christians and are very content to live and let live. The only time you’ll find us taking a stand is when they try to convert us. This blog is nothing more than an attempt to thwart missionary attempts to convert Jews.

      If Christian missionaries would leave us alone, this blog would cease to exist.

    • Sharon S My post had nothing to do with Christians and everything to do with the authors of the Christian Scriptures. God created humans in His own image and He breathed into them a holy soul. The Godliness that is inherent in man has the ability to draw good out of a book like the Christian Scriptures and many Christians throughout history have done so and have lit up the world around them with goodness. But man also has a tendency for evil and that gives them the ability to justify bad deeds with a veneer of religiosity and virtue. And I see that the authors of the Christian Scriptures have done just that and sadly they persuaded many people throughout history to hate as they did with deadly results. Just because good people respect the book and find good in it will not convince me that the book is good. Yes – it has much good in it – but in order for it to be a good book it needs to be revised.

      1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

      • Sharon S says:

        Shalom Rabbi B,

        I understand where you’re coming from .This post certainly relates , in a way , to my experience as a Christian searching for the truth in Islam.

        I could not reconcile my conviction on the Unity of God in the Quran with the verses of violence in the same Quran. That was the main deal breaker for me.

        A tree is known by its fruit-I used to think that the NT produced fruits of love and kindness and the Quran -fruits of terror and hatred .

        This blog challenged that myth, and honestly its a hard pill to swallow.

        Nevertheless , there is benefit in owning up to that truth if it can bring mutual understanding and acceptance .

        Thank you.

        • Sharon S Man was created in the image of God. It is clear from the Bible that God expects justice, kindness and truth from all of mankind. It is written in our hearts. Every culture and religious group has had good people and bad people. We must all move forward seeking more truth, because none of us are perfect – and we all have what to learn.

          1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

  5. Concerned Reader says:

    Many of you have said that my articles (and views) have been very hard to pin down, others have said very nice things about what I have written. For both perspectives, I am very grateful.
    While I usually have great respect for what Rabbi B writes, I have got to say, bringing the recent political vitrol into the discussion (even if only to make a point) is in poor taste with all due respect to rabbi B.
    I realize that rabbi B was only wishing to draw a comparison betwen the smearing anti Judaism of the gospel’s authors and the recent political smear BY BOTH SIDES, but I feel that such comparisons will only charge emotion and stop ears. Again, all respect rabbi.
    I do not think it is in proper taste to indirectly fuel the stereotypes that lump any members of political or religious groups into one can, even if merely for illustration. It is a fact that there is cost to rhetoric.
    For instance, I utterly despise monickers such as “libtard,” or even the notion of a “Liberal media,” on the grounds that the rhetoric isn’t just innacurate, but the historical sources of that rhetoric are extremely shady themselves.
    For example, some of the very people to propogate the notion of the “liberal media,” are those very people who supposed that it was somehow a Jewish kabal in charge of everything, fueling peoples hate in the 30s. Rhetoric is dangerous, no matter the intent of the weilder.
    In the same fashion, I don’t believe that if you are a Republican, it must therefore make you a bigot.
    I ikewise despise when people think Conservatives are incapable of being thoughtful or compassionate to people who are different than them, or have a different opinion/worldview. I know because of people in my own daily life that the catagories of “iberal,” and “conservative,” are largely misleading.

    I myself have the benefit of having been registered as a Republican, but also as a Democrat. I have been on both sides of the political spectrum, as I am sure many Americans have been.
    I am well aware of the investigations surrounding HRC, and how this negatively impacted her prospects to be the POTUS. While many Americans were taken aback by her email scandals, (not foreign to washington as anyone well knows: it happens a lot,) the only person who had a true negative impact on the conservative nominee, was the nominee himself, and his words spoken in his own voice. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bush_White_House_email_controversy.

    Sharon S has made an excellent point, showing how Rhetoric misses and obscures crucial details. I have Egyptian heritage, I’m not unfeeling to the suffering of the Copts, or even members of the Eastern Catholic rites in middle eastern countries.
    As my article starting points pointed out, many Christians feel that their faith has a solid basis based on verifiable positions, but that (in spite of those things,) the data itself does not account for Israel’s unique covenant obligations.

    Christians base their faith on what they presently know, and on their experiences. I can respect that.

    Dina also makes a point, and I can also respect that.

    Jesus has no meaning to Jewish experience of their own history or national commitment.

    Christians should not expect Jews to find solace, redemptive value, or meaning in a name that has caused them such tangible pain and suffering in lived experience.

    • Concerned Reader I accept your criticism – the emotions tied up in this election seem to run very deep on both sides of the fence. I would like to think that if Trump lost the election and the conservative new-outlets would not attribute it to his faulty character but to the inherently evil nature of those who voted against him (and by the way, most people who voted in this election were voting against somebody not for somebody) – I would have written the same article. Thanks for your insight – it is always appreciated

      1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

  6. Sharon S says:

    Hi Dina ,

    Thanks for your comments .Yes, I fully understand that the article above is on the Christian scriptures , not on the behaviour of Christians themselves.

    However , I pointed out that there are messages of love , peace and forgiveness that one can find from Christian scriptures.

    Yes , these scriptures lay the groundwork for hateful vitriol from St John Chrysostom , yet the same scripture inspired Corrie Ten Boom and her sister to save the lives of 800 Jews during the Holocaust .

    Why is this so ? Both of them love Jesus and place Him as the Lord and Saviour of their lives .Why is their perception towards the Jewish people so drastically different?

    I believe that the doors of meaningful communication is not shut completely.There is still hope , and this blog can be a catalyst for a deeper understanding between well meaning Jews and Christians.

    Thank you.

    • CP says:

      Sharon S, you’ve written:
      “Yes , these scriptures lay the groundwork for hateful vitriol from St John Chrysostom , yet the same scripture inspired Corrie Ten Boom and her sister to save the lives of 800 Jews during the Holocaust .

      Why is this so ? Both of them love Jesus and place Him as the Lord and Saviour of their lives .Why is their perception towards the Jewish people so drastically different?”

      Sharon, as I’m sure you know the Christian Scriptures teach one must die to him/her self. When a person doesn’t completely die they take to much of themselves into the text, perverting the text to their own personal agenda.

      I think this is a great lesson for all, but the reality is; not all will die to themselves and some will only partially die and others only pretend to die. This creates the mess we have today.

      Some want to blame the text, but the real culprit is sin crouching at the door which desires to have us all.

    • Dina says:

      Sharon, I agree with Rabbi B.’s answer to you on this, but I think we need to ponder the question: why were there so few Corrie Ten Booms and so many of the other kind?

      I find when talking to Christians about the history of Christian persecution of the Jews, they get upset because they do not grasp the extent and magnitude and pervasiveness of the persecution. Sharon, are you open to reading a few books on the subject? I have some suggestions for books on the history of Christian anti-Semitism that will help you understand where we are coming from. Please let me know if you are interested.

      • Sharon S says:

        Hi Dina,

        Yes , I’m open to explore the subject.

        Thanks

        • Dina says:

          Great, Sharon, here are some books I recommend. The subject matter is difficult.

          Thy Brother’s Blood: The Roots of Christian Anti-Semitism by Malcolm Hay
          Christian Antisemitism: A History of Hate by William Nicholls
          Holy Hatred: Christianity, Antisemitism, and the Holocaust by Robert Michael
          The Anguish of the Jews: Twenty-Three Centuries of Anti-Semitism by Edward Flannery

          These books are all written by Christians, I believe.

    • Sharon S Thanks for your comments – Indeed – I hope and pray that hearts meet through respectful dialogue

      1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

  7. Sharbano says:

    What I find interesting, if not fascinating, is how So many are actually “influenced” by media in one way or another. As my mother was fond of saying, “believe nothing of what you read, and only half of what you see”. Does anyone really believe a media that is agenda driven can actually give an honest reading. A media that treats guilt by association as “newsworthy”.
    What is “unfortunate” is the utter laziness by people unwilling to find a complete truth rather than a partial, misleading one that is spoon fed To them.

    • CP says:

      Sharbano,

      I find interesting you’d say this, as I catch a fair amount of heat here for; ‘not being lazy, rather willing to find the complete truth rather than partial, one that is spoon fed’ by Christianity about Jesus.
      Yes, many nay-sayers have encouraged me to abandon my search for the historical Yeshua, saying he can’t be found. Yet what I’ve learned so far has brought closer to God, made me a better person and distanced me from man made doctrines.

  8. Eleazar says:

    For the record, Donald Trump’s “Holocaust Message” made NO mention of Jews or antisemitism.

  9. Eleazar says:

    You assume too much, my friend.

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