Saturday, March 20, 2010

Jesus the Jew

One of the disturbing aspects of Christian history around Easter was the persecution of Jews. Through the centuries Jewish residents of European towns were persecuted during Holy Week as "Christ killers." This hatred was often stirred up by local clergy. In the years leading up to WW2 some Lutherans in Germany were incited to violence against their Jewish neighbours.

The long history of religious anti-Semitism is barely comprehensible, especially since Jesus was a Jew, as were his disciples, and the apostle Paul. While Paul is arguably the founder of what we call Christianity, he never condemned those with whom he had shared a faith.

This was all brought to mind by the news of the recent conviction of two brothers in Poland who stole the sign for the Auschwitz concentration camp back in December of 2009. The theft was related to anti-Semitism and a grim reminder that we need to regularly remind ourselves that hatred directed toward any group is inconsistent with the gospel of Jesus the Christ and the Jew from Nazareth.

Any thoughts?


Deborah Laforet said...

Just sad ones. Were they able to retrieve the sign? I am surprised every time I hear of a hate crime against another race, culture, gender, etc. I always wonder what causes such hate and the need to express it in such hurtful ways.

lionlamb said...

Yes, they did find it Deb. It has been replace with a copy and the original will be kept in a museum.

I agree with you. Why do people feel that they are strong when they stereotype or belittle others? It's interesting that American conservative hate-monger, Ann Coulter, has been creating such a stir in Canada. She despises Muslims and homosexuals, yet feels that she has been the subject of discrimination in this country.

Deborah Laforet said...

Just recently, one of the people from the congregation here was complaining about this woman who was traveling in Canada and talking against the Muslim people. She couldn't believe people would even pay for her plain ticket to Canada. I had not heard about her before. She must have been speaking about Ann Coulter.

I am not sure that criticizing someone for sharing her hate about groups of people would be called discrimination. If she only understood true discrimination.

lionlamb said...

Coulter is coming to a university near you (well closer to you than me, since it is in Calgary.)

What is scary is that Ms. Coulter claims to be a Christian and supposedly bases her statements on Christian precepts. She obviously has access to a version of the New Testament I haven't seen