Friday, November 18, 2016


Police are investigating after the Nazi symbol was left on the front doors of Congregation Machzikei Hadas.

No, this is not Hitler's Germany in the 1930s, it is Canada's capital city, Ottawa, in the year 2016. Many synagogues in this country have security when their congregations worship and from time to time there are anti-Semitic acts including graffiti and the toppling of gravestones. These cowardly occurrences tend to be few and far between. This synagogue has been defaced three times in the past week. Surely the  American election of a racist, misogynist president and his appointment of an Islamophobe and ant-Semite to a top position in his regime has emboldened the hundreds of  ugly incidents on both sides of the border.

I am still startled and angered by the hatred directed toward others because they are in the minds of some"other," foreign, suspicious. While in my head I'm convinced that the Christian way is "do not repay evil with evil" there are times when I would like to smack a cheek rather than turn one.

This past Sunday I preached on the unsettling passage in Luke 21 where Jesus tells his followers that they will be persecuted and they better get used to it. And he tells them to bear witness and testify to the gospel. I suggested that this is both an exhortation to stand in solidarity with those who are persecuted for their faith around the world, whatever that faith might be, and to be bold in upholding what we know to be right in our own settings.

When we hear the stories of people accosted on buses, and look at the ugly symbol of hatred on those synagogue doors we must find the courage to be faithful.



roger said...

The last few years, virtually the only extremism we've heard about is religious-inspired such as Daesh, Boko Haram and Al Qaeda. Right-wing extremism has received little attention, although it has always been there.

Sadly, and shockingly, Trump gets elected and the right-wing extremists seem to have come out of the woodwork. Swastikas, vandalizing mosques and synagogues seem to be occurring more frequently these days - and in Canada.

It is a reminder of the hatred and ignorance that some people have. I can't imagine how miserable an existence someone must have, when they actually care so much about someone's religion, race or orientation that they demonstrate that hatred in these ways.

David Mundy said...

I agree Roger, and sadly a church, Parkdale United in Ottawa has been vandalizedas well.

Judy McKnight said...

This is incredibly sad - to think this could happen in Canada because of the choice Americans made ....maybe we need to screen the media/TV channels we allow more ...