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Roman Catholicism - the mother of antisemitism

Karen Armstrong: "There is nothing in the Islam that is more violent than Christianity. All religions have been violent, including Christianity. There was nothing in the Muslim world like antisemitism: that is an import of the modern period. They got it from us. The missionaries brought it over. And then came the state of Israel. Judaism has become violent in the modern world, thanks to the nation state...My message is not that religion has nothing to do with violence. It has always been implicated in it, and trying to take religion out of politics and warfare would have been like taking the gin out of the cocktail. It is inextricably intertwined." www.nieuwwij.nl  2015.

The Jewish people or their stock have to endure being accused of terrible things in the New Testament.  That nobody cares about the absence of independent evidence or their side is antisemitism.  Every time the New Testament is honoured as God's word in a Church there is antisemitism at least implicitly.  If you respect Jews then you spit on the New Testament.  At Easter in particular, the insults delivered to Judaism increase during Christian worship.  On Good Friday, Catholics take the role of Jesus murderous Jewish enemies during the gospel reading.  That we have Catholics and Protestants claiming to follow Jesus a lifelong Jew is antisemitic and shows no respect for his religious allegiance.  Using a Jew, Jesus, to stir up things against the Jews is passive aggressive irony.  The answer as to why Christian activists seem immune to information about the falsity of their version of Jesus and faith is that they are using it/him not respecting it/him.  That is why they don't care.  They hide any discomfort for that is their way of trying to undermine your confidence in the truth.

Church history is riddled with antisemitism.  So accepted was it that the writings of notorious antisemitists were preserved by the Church and distributed as inspirational. 

They still are - Chesterton is highly regarded as a Catholic CS Lewis in every Catholic level from ground to pope. He is venerated as a top Catholic writer, influence, authority and future saint though and often because his writings are riddled with antisemitism and religious rancour towards Jews. His devotees confessed that his faith and his writings promoted views that enabled and helped validate the Nazi regime.  That did not stop them or the Church from advocating people to peruse them.  And that goes on today.  For him, the Jew is "a traitor in France and a tyrant in England".  The Jew must be distinguished in appearance from others: "The point is that we should know where we are; and he would know where he is, which is in a foreign land".

Antisemitism is both accepted and practiced aggressively.  It is only in recent years that somewhat nicer statements have come which shows that the Christian religion is a purely human construct pretending to be holier than what it is.  Holocaust deniers deserve what they get but the Church gets away with worse.

Only religious prejudice can explain why in the country the Jews who we don't hear much about in the media and who have never earned a bad reputation like some religious groups and castes have are hated at all and even worse, hated more than the groups you can expect to be the targets of hate.

Everybody has to ask why a group of people that have been victimised by Christianity and Islam (and religiously influenced monstrosities) such as the Nazis for centuries are hated in such an inexplicable way and big numbers. Why are the percentages of Jew haters always higher in a nation than hatred for Muslims, Roma, gypsies and so on and on. Yes I am referring to the Jews which the Catholic Church called the perfidious Jews on Good Friday for centuries. No Jew commits suicide bombings in Paris or New York or hates our values. Jews are not endlessly painted in a bad light like Roma and Muslims and Catholic priests in the media. I have never seen anything that would make you dislike them. Why for example are Jews picked on when the Catholic priesthood enabled brutal sex abuse of children and even babies by looking the other way? Religion gave them a means of access to children so why does Catholicism get away with it as much as it does? In psychology, members of a group attacking or hating or hurting my group explains if and why I hate them. So if I hate the Jews then why? I have no reason but something is doing it. The answer is in the subtle and unique power of religion Christianity and Islam to instil prejudice. It shows the danger and potential of religion. Psychology has noticed a passive aggressive streak in being Christian. The hidden power of religion shows why Christianity was the oil that sped up the Nazi machinery in Germany and millions of Jews died. Where is our empathy? In 1944 Hitler said, “I may not be a light of the Church, a pulpiteer, but deep down I am a pious man, and believe that whoever fights bravely in defense of the natural laws framed by God and never capitulates will never be deserted by the lawgiver, but will, in the end receive the blessings of Providence." Catholic must leave their Church for its role in what happened to the Jews under the Nazis. Support is subtle antisemitism. And as it happened once it will happen again. It indeed has. Think of the role of priests and nuns in the 1994 Rwanda genocide. The pope never apologised for their role but ignored it. Blame the religion not the religionist if that makes any sense.

In the book, Portraits of Paul, Malina and Neyrey show how “in the ancient world, people took their major identity from the various groups to which they belonged.” They say there were no individuals as such just a “collectivist culture”.  This is true and the Bible teaches that the Church is the body of Christ which is why the whole body is to blame for the sin of a member.  This teaching silences those who wish to use the few bad apples thinking when members of their religion do harm.  It is their responsibility too.  Their enrolling babies into the religion is a total abomination in that light.  Sectarian enrollment grows into sectarian violence.  Consent is very important when there are issues around collective responsibility.  Christianity however has preferred to impute collective responsibility to the Jews rather than itself.  As we shall now see. 

 ~ St. Justin Martyr:  I hold that those of the seed of Abraham who live according to the Law of Moses and who do not believe in Christ before death shall likewise not be saved; and especially shall they not be saved who curse this very Christ in the synagogues and who curse everything by which they might obtain salvation and escape the vengeance of fire.

~ St. Amphilocius of Iconium: God abhors those who refuse to offer to His Son the honor they pretend to pay to Himself.

 ~ St. John Chrysostom: How dare Christians have the slightest intercourse with Jews, those most miserable of all men. They are lustful, rapacious, greedy, perfidious bandits -- pests of the universe! Indeed, an entire day would not suffice to tell of all their rapine, their avarice, their deception of the poor, their thievery, and their huckstering. Are they not inveterate murderers, destroyers, men possessed by the devil? Jews are impure and impious, and their synagogue is a house of prostitution, a lair of beasts, a place of shame and ridicule, the domicile of the devil, as is also the soul of the Jew. As a matter of fact, Jews worship the devil: their rites are criminal and unchaste; their religion a disease; their synagogue an assembly of crooks, a den of thieves, a cavern of devils, an abyss of perdition! Why are Jews degenerate? Because of their hateful assassination of Christ. This supreme crime lies at the root of their degradation and woes. The rejection and dispersion of the Jews was the work of God, not of emperors. It was done by the wrath of God and because of His absolute abandonment of the Jews. Thus, the Jew will live under the yoke of slavery without end. God hates the Jews, and on Judgment Day He will say to those who sympathize with them., "Depart from Me, for you have had intercourse with My murderers!" Flee, then, from their assemblies, fly from their houses, and, far from venerating the synagogue, hold it in hatred and aversion.

 ~ St. Polycarp of Smyrna: Whosoever does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is Antichrist, and whosoever does not profess the testimony of the cross is a devil, and whosoever perverts the saying of the Lord to his own evil desires ... is the first-born of Satan.

The latter was a friend of John the apostle.  Even without the antisemitism of the New Testament we would still know from tradition and the prevalence of Christian hate for the Jewish that the founders of the faith were outrageous bigots and absolute proof of how bigoted doctrines will produce violence when the bigots are able to inflict it.

Luke 13:6-7 Jesus tells the parable of the fig tree.  The tree will experience violence for bearing no fruit.  In the context of the times that is definitely commanding the death penalty.  It makes sense for a man who was supposed to be Messiah or Christ a warrior king to do that.  Bible prophecy and even the last book of the Bible boast of a violent Messiah.

The fig tree refers to the Jewish Religion.  Jesus had no problem with its teachings - it is just that it was full of fakes.

Jesus cursed a fig tree to make it wither away for it had no fruit even though it was not the season for fruit.  This action is held to express his view of Judaism as exemplified by a fig tree.  The notion that Jesus would blame a tree for not having fruit out of season pictures how he thinks that nobody has an excuse for saying saintly holiness is beyond them.  Christianity teaches that God's grace transforms and if your good fruits are not good enough it is because you did not accept God's help.  The use of the tree as a picture of Israel or Judaism comes from Hosea 9:10.  Note that Jesus washes his hands of Israel telling it will never bear fruit again.  That is very severe and so the children of Israel will be denied any help or grace from God to help them bear good loving fruits.  It is antisemitism at its worst.  Jesus provided the rationale for antisemitism.

Antisemitism is the best example of the harm a religion can do purely on theological grounds. And Jesus himself virtually says that.

Jesus Christ though a circumcised Jew sowed the seeds of anti-Semitism in the gospels.  His appointed followers the apostles were no better.  The rift with Judaism got so bad that the followers of Jesus were barred from synagogues and the Temple and it became bitter and ingrained.  The Jews wrote very little bad stuff about this Jesus or his followers.  The Christians issued library after library of slander and hate for the Jews.

The Jews are condemned for what happened to Jesus on the cross time and time again in the New Testament.  That is pure anti-semitic sectarianism because the gospel of John says Jesus had to be put to death or the Romans were going to turn on the people over him. The high priest reasoned that it is better for one man to die that for the whole nation to perish.  It is extremist.

When Jesus was supposedly on trial, the Jewish mob asked for a criminal, Barabbas to be released, so that Jesus would be crucified.  Pilate washed his hands literally because he felt forced by them to kill an innocent man.  That does not fit the popular hope that the Jews who had Jesus killed are a small mob not reflective of the wider Jewish community who were possibly bribed by the priests to help them destroy Jesus.  How could Pilate fear such a grouping?  Pilate was ruthless and would have happily crucified them all. 

JP Holding tries to lie and make out that when Pilate washed his hands and the people said, "His blood be upon us and our children" that the people were not taking responsibility but being prophets.  They were predicting that they and their children would be made to suffer for the death of Jesus.  That is totally insane.  They would have said, "His blood will be upon us". They would not have talked as if they wanted the blame.

Some go as far as to say that as Pilate washed his hands the crowd was being ironic and sarcastic and meant, "The blood is on you and you wash your hands of it.  The blood is on us then!!!!!" 

Acts 1:20 twists Psalm 69:25 and 109:8 to make them appear to refer to the fate of Judas who betrayed Jesus. The problem is the verses are plural. They are not about one person. Christians answer is that the text is about Judas but also the other Judases who collaborated with him – the Jews. This answer is possible if you assume prophecies really do predict the future. But it is an anti-semitic answer. Judas or Judah is being used as an emblem for Judaism – the Judah religion. Or the Jewish race. Or both.

The texts that blame all the Jews for killing Jesus or murdering him though it was the Romans are supposed to be referring to corporate responsibility.  In that culture and even in many cultures today, you can be to blame for what you didn't do.  "You see, we have a different sense of justice than in your society. In your society, you punish criminals. In our society, we punish crimes."  That is how Fighting Words by Hector Avalos puts it.  Even in our society we do that at times.  An employer can be blamed for what his employee does against his will.  The mother who pays her life savings towards her wealthy stubborn son's fine takes his penalty.

To that it is plain that it is hardly nice if the Bible is not saying all Jews were murderers of Jesus if it means that they are as good as.  It is like desperation to accuse them of murder and that is the only avenue you can take to pin it on them.  Imputing corporate responsibility does not necessarily make accusing nicer.  It makes it worse.  And corporate responsibility is all about how ordinary people provide the water for murderers to swim in and thus that they have no right to take the moral ground.

A quote from   "Other responses emphasized that the New Testament itself, in passages like Luke 23:34, absolved the Judeans of responsibility."

Let us take a quotation about whether the Jewish people knowingly killed the Son of God.  Did they mean to do that?  The question is horrible for it implies it is unspeakable to kill the Son of God as if killing Jesus if he were an ordinary man does not matter as much.

"On the other hand were texts thought to suggest that the Judeans or their leaders did know who Jesus was when they crucified him. Of course, not one of these texts says something like, “Caiaphas knew Jesus was the Messiah, and crucified him anyway.” Nor do they offer anything which erases the literal force of passages like Acts 3:17 and 1 Cor. 2:8. Instead, such culpability was read into passages that had little if anything to do with the death of Jesus, and indeed, preceded his death. Matthew 21:33-39 tells a parable of vineyard tenants who kill the son of the landlord, and this was taken to be an illustration of how Jesus was treated by the Judeans, which it probably is, but like most analogical comparisons it is possible to read too much into such text. The analogy breaks down at certain obvious points like: Not all Judeans of the day made wine; not every prophet was treated with disrespect. Anti-Semitic interpretation presumed to draw over from this parable a parallel of knowing execution of the landlord’s son, even though that directly contradicts Peter’s declaration in Acts 3:17. John 9:39-41 is even less relevant. Jesus is interacting with the Pharisees, and declares them to not be blind…but not blind to what? His divine identity? That could hardly be the case."

Even if the parable was a story, the point is that the people all knew who the son was.  That is meant to be taken seriously.  It is silly to say that everybody in a country drinks wine but it is not silly to say that everybody deliberately has somebody killed knowing who he is.  Jesus told the parable to ordinary people and ordinary people know what to take literally and not to - they take declarations that all are to blame literally.

All that in our quotation is not much of a help for if Jesus was really a righteous man and a servant of God they were still very bad.  It is illogical to say that the Jews were not so bad if they meant to kill a holy person but were horrendously bad to kill the Son of God.  His goodness was the point.  Nothing else.

So what Jews did kill Jesus knowingly? "The most that can be said is that having seen Jesus heal a blind man, these Pharisees, in an unrighteous manner, declare themselves to have understanding which they lack, and slander Jesus after he has shown himself approved by God by the performance of miracles. But John 9 occurs some time before the crucifixion and takes place before only a set of Pharisees. The death of Jesus is far off, and is not even mentioned."

Nothing in the New Testament says that the Jews killed Jesus in COMPLETE ignorance.  It is obvious from how popular Jesus supposedly was that they killed a man they suspected was God's Son.  That is what is being suggested by the New Testament.

In Acts 4:27 we read, "Indeed Herod and Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus."  As there was a lot of visitors to Jerusalem from other parts of the country we cannot take "the people of Israel in this city" to mean that not all Israel was to blame.  It means it was. It is a pointed statement but it is the way people talk and does not mean he did not blame the rest of Israel. 

A religion is a body of common beliefs and different sectarian groups hating each other within the one religion does not mean that at core or in some religious legal (religion has a law even if implied) way they are not the same religion.  Religion and sect can mean the same thing but don't have to.  It depends.  We cannot for example say that the early Christians were a separate religion from the Jews any more than we can pretend that ISIS is a separate religion from Islam. If we do we may be showing ideological bias.  It is wrong to say then that Christianity was founded by Christ.  It was founded decades after when his followers were forced to become a new religion.

If the doctrine that Jesus somehow perhaps supernaturally directed the composition of the gospels is true then Jesus is to blame for the terrible scourge of anti-semitism. Without the Jews being blamed for killing Jesus and without the New Testament there would have been no persecution of the Jews.  People tend to be populist - that is they can have it it for a group over very little so even if the New Testament did not teach anti-semitism it is a bit complicated to show that and that is no good to the people. 

The electorate empowered the Nazis not invasion or force or lies.  What did the electorate share for that to happen?  Religion. 

Pope Pius XII who died in 1958 knew all about the Jewish Holocaust under the Nazis during the Second World War from the start. He made no effort, despite all the means at his disposal, despite the discreet options open to him, to get this information out to the world so that something might be done. He made no condemnation of the persecution of the Jews. He even stated in writing that he admired Hitler though he knew that Hitler was a rabid anti-Semitist. Pius's Church spewed anti-Jewish sentiment in its official newspapers and continued to publish books and preach sermons against the Jewish people right up to the end of the Second World War. Such publications were an encouragement to Nazi thought and practice. Pius let the world think that what was happening to the Jews was not too bad.
 
Benedict XVI and his supporters would say that Pius had to be silent or he would make things worse. This does not excuse Pius failure to do anything. This is the Church that says that doing nothing and saying nothing always makes things worse. Denmark was under Nazi rule. Yet the Danish Lutheran Church was able to condemn Nazi anti-Semitism and work to save the Jews. The Church and Danish people managed to save 7,000 Jews. The more powerful Roman Catholic Church in Rome refused to copy the Danish Church's example and in 1943 1,900 Jews were deported to Auschwitz from Rome itself! To say the pope was right to say nothing for it would make this worse is to admit that he knew what was going on and took no action. Catholics have said that he refused to condemn or speak out because the Nazis would turn on the Catholic Church itself. In other words, protecting Catholics loyal to the pope was all that really mattered. They are saying that a real evil, happening in the present matters less than a possible and preventable evil that may never happen. How twisted is that? And besides, if the Nazis started to persecute Catholics the world would have taken action to stop it. The Jews because of Christian slander were not considered to count for much and no Christian country was willing to do much to help them.
 
Praising the pope for saying nothing and excusing him by saying he didn't wish to risk the Nazis starting on the Church ignores the fact that the Nazis were hoping to eliminate the Jewish race not the Jewish religion as such. Plus Nazi support came from people who identified themselves as Catholics. Even if there was a risk, you don't let people slaughter all they want and say nothing over something they might not do or get the chance to do at all! Perhaps if some persecution of the Church took place, the pope speaking out could still have produced a better outcome than would have been had he said nothing.
 
The Nazis were supremely confident that no condemnation would come from Rome when they didn't touch Catholic clergy and prelates who would back the pope and condemn them if he did. Interesting. The Holocaust is an example of how Catholicism even if it had no Inquisition to destroy the Jews was happy to condone and use somebody else's.  The Church knows that evil people gain reassurance and strength from going to communion and feeling part of a holy community.  And the Nazis were always welcome to communion - uniforms and all.  The Mass or Eucharist is a total insult to the blood of the Jews.  The Church has never admitted or repented of this placebo for evil.

I struggle with Christmas every year in the sense that though I have objections to Jesus Christ society and the Church have no right to dishonour the fact that if the gospels are to be believed he died trying to reform his Jewish religion.  He is treated as a Catholic and his Judaism is disrespected and full advantage of the fact that he is not around to object is taken.  There is no evidence that he intended to form a new religion never mind a non-Jewish religion and his followers remained a Jewish party until they were expelled from the synagogues decades after his death. Christ would be in floods of tears at how he has been used by people seeking to disguise self-deception as faith. There is an intrinsic racism in how he is portrayed as non-Jewish as in religion and non-Jewish as in race. Imagine what he who attacked workers in the temple would do to cribs with their Caucasian Jesuses. Anti-semitism is the answer to all who claim that terrorism and violence have no religion.  The lies are the answer to all who say that corruption and distortion have no religion.

It goes, "Jesus himself was a Jew, and he appears never to have doubted or denied the covenant with the patriarchs, the chosenness of Israel, the appropriateness of temple worship or the divine authority of the Hebrew Bible. He saw himself as fulfilling, rather than abrogating, the law and the prophets (Mt 5:17). And contrary to what is often unconsciously assumed, the earliest Christians were also Jews, and the New Testament is a Jewish book. The earliest Christians wanted no break with Judaism; in fact, they believed that accepting Jesus as the Messiah was the correct Jewish thing to do."

That is true and those who turn Jesus into a liberal or a social worker and who would have allowed liberal abortion and same sex marriage need to be reminded of that.  Funny they don't argue that he allowed liberal divorce!  They are worse than fundamentalists for they are more confident in their own infallibility than they are in the Bible.  At least a Bible thumper can read and its better to regard a book as infallible than as every fad as infallible.  But it is obvious that Christianity has shed too much Judaism and that is a sign of anti-Judaism.  It is not justified so it is a cloak for anti-Semitism.  The critical matter of circumcision which makes one a Jew and a participant in God's covenant is just treated as a non-issue.  Christianity disrespects the criteria set by the Jewish religion and which is inherent to it about how one becomes a Jew.

It is reasonable to suppose that the miracles of Jesus were invented or exaggerated in the gospels as a tactic against the Jews.  The New Testament aims to make the Jews look bad and mad for not believing in such an obvious Son of God and saviour as Jesus.  One is unwittingly hurting the Jews and their innocent ancestors if the miracles are really just manipulative propaganda against them.  Jesus said in John 5:46 that if the Jews really believed what Moses wrote they would believe in Jesus for he wrote about Jesus.  This attacks any Jew who hears about Jesus and does not believe.  The Jews here do not mean only the Jewish leaders.  And when you turn to what Moses wrote all he said was that a prophet like him would come.  It is as vague as anything.

John has Jesus say to the Jews: If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now I am here. I did not come on my own, but he sent me. Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot accept my word. You are from your father the devil, and you choose to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. Which of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? Whoever is from God hears the words of God. The reason you do not hear them is that you are not from God.

Saying God is not their Father or God, that they fail to understand because they don't want to, that their father is Satan is as far from "Love the sinner hate the sin" as one can imagine. He clearly identifies Satan with Satan's sins.  Satan is described as being a liar by nature and having no truth at all in him.  That is another way of saying, "Satan is not a being with sins.  He is a being who is evil as a being."  When he denies any suggestion that we must love Satan and hate his sins in the same breath as saying the Jews are their sins too.  They are all to be hated with their sins.

 

The early Christians called themselves Jews.  It is antisemitic to be a non-Jewish Christian or to claim to be.  Christian history is encapsulated in what St Alphonsus Maria Liguori wrote, "Poor Jews! You invoked a dreadful curse upon your own heads in saying:

"His blood be on us and our children"; and that curse, miserable race, you  carry upon you to this day, and to the End of Time you shall endure the chastisement of that innocent blood. O my Jesus! ... I will not be obstinate like the Jews. I will love Thee forever, forever, forever!"  That a religion would even look the other way when such speech is uttered is horrendous.  If you want to hate the Christian religion but love the members then do it. 

Those who deny the Jews killed Jesus might say they are not murderers but they still blame them as accessories or of creating an atmosphere that facilitated Jesus' brutal death.  It means little if they don't call them murderers.  The fact that Christians even ask if the Jews of yesterday were to blame for Jesus' death or of setting the stage for it is bad if Jesus was a fraud or deluded.  It is a terrible thing to be wrong about.  It is better to be wrong about one man than many.  And it is worse that they even ask how today's Jews may be to blame.  Don't let the "may" soften anything.  Their question is heinous.

Jesus was not an innocent person.  He deserved to die the way he did as he condoned and even claimed responsibility for the laws commanding people to stone others in the name of God.  To honour him at all is taking a step to antisemitism.
 
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