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Did Christians persecute the Jews? - Page 2

post #21 of 234
Quote:
Originally Posted by ktbug View Post
anti-Semitism is completely entrenched in American society, that it doesn't necessarily have to be active, that the passive persecution and discrimination persists to the level of ingrained cultural phenomenon.

That, and I'd add that many Christians' very interpretation of Scripture (not to mention their practice of evangelism/proselytizing) is inherently anti-Semitic.

Just because you don't notice it doesn't mean it isn't there.
Bingo!

I can list so many examples of subtle, institutionalized discrimination against Jews.

i think my favorite example is that when I was working on my master's in teaching, the university gave a long weekend for Easter, but not Pesach. One of my classmates wanted to go home for the seders, and was told by her professor that it would be an unexcused absence, and she would have to write a 10 page paper about the topic of the missed class in order to not receive a 0 for the absence. The topic of the class that day was "Diversity and Multiculturalism in your science classroom."
post #22 of 234
Quote:
Originally Posted by merpk View Post
While it may not be "Christian doctrine," it's certainly a popular pasttime among Christians.
But there is such a diversity in Christianity, this is just stereotyping. I mean, among those claiming to be Christian are KKK members, a guy who thinks a teletubbie is indoctrinating children into being gay by carrying a purse and people who openly bless same sex unions within the church. Do you not see a problem with making a blanket statement about such a totally diverse group?



Quote:
Originally Posted by ktbug View Post
I'd like to add that it seems disingenuous to say that in your Christian community you don't run into persecution of Jewish people, have never seen or heard anything overt, etc etc. It goes so much deeper than person-to-person namecalling, bullying at school, exclusion from social events, what have you. Just because nobody in your church calls Jewish people by nasty names - that kind of ignores the whole idea that anti-Semitism is completely entrenched in American society, that it doesn't necessarily have to be active, that the passive persecution and discrimination persists to the level of ingrained cultural phenomenon.

That, and I'd add that many Christians' very interpretation of Scripture (not to mention their practice of evangelism/proselytizing) is inherently anti-Semitic.
And I guess one could argue from that stance that Jewish interpretation of Scripture is inherently anti-Christian. I don't think anyone claims that we can agree on Scripture, if we could we wouldn't be different religions. Hatred happens on many levels in all groups in our society, and in most cultures. People fear difference, but that doesn't mean that all Christians or even most Christians are anti-Semitic. Ignorant of Judaism might be more accurate. The most vocal individuals do not always represent the core values of a group.


Quote:
Originally Posted by spedteacher30 View Post
I can list so many examples of subtle, institutionalized discrimination against Jews.
Look, I grew up in a minority religion. Yes, the American dominant culture is Christian. Those are the holidays celebrated publicly and even the government gets them off. The holidays for an example were set in a day when America was way less diverse. Could your professor have been atheist? Why assume because he was a jerk that he was Christian?

This seems to have turned from a question of whether persecution ever happened into accusing Christians of being anti-Semitic. That's as helpful as saying "All Americans hate immigrants" or "All Muslims hate Americans". Are there anti-Semitic individuals who claim to be Christians? Yes, and there have been throughout history. Are all Christians anti-Semitic? No, and to say so is just as wrong as anti-Semitism itself. There were a great number of Christians throughout Europe who helped Jews escape the Nazis during WWII
post #23 of 234
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnyMama View Post
Those are the holidays celebrated publicly and even the government gets them off. The holidays for an example were set in a day when America was way less diverse.
Right, institutionalized Christianity discriminates against other religions. The individual professor may or may not have been actively Christian. I honestly don't know her religion. But, because she didn't examine her bias, and because the university did not have a policy for religious diversity, Christianity was the default.

Perhaps the sticking point is that the thread is titled, "Did Christians persecute the Jews?" when in reality it should be, "Did/Does Christianity persecute Jews?"

I don't know enough about Christian theology/doctrine to answer fully, but there have been so many examples of Christians persecuting Jews throughout history: the Inquisition, the fact that the Pesach seder includes opening a door to prove to neighbors that there is no blood sacrifice occurring inside the home both come immediately to mind.
post #24 of 234
Quote:
Originally Posted by spedteacher30 View Post
Right, institutionalized Christianity discriminates against other religions.
Can you please explain to me what "institutionalized Christianity" is? Do you mean the Roman Catholic Church? Do you mean the marriage between church and state that existed extensively in ages past? There is no one Christian institution.

And what do you mean by it discriminates against other religions? How so? Because as people have said they "seek converts"? That in no way describes the whole of Christianity. There are Christian sects that in fact don't seek converts at all. Have you ever heard of the Amish going out looking for converts? They don't. And there are a great many Christians who only "Seek Converts" in the fact that they engage those who are actively seeking the right spiritual path for themselves. Take a look around, though. If you see people asking in the general spirituality forum asking "What spiritual path do you think would work for me?" You'll see pagans, UU (who are not Christian, I clarify because some are), Wiccans and all kinds of others jumping in and saying "my path might work for you." The vast majority of Christians would go no further than that in "seeking converts". And a significant number reject and question the morals of televangelists who go around to convert the masses as greedy men who seek only to enrich themselves. I converted to Christianity, and had a great number of conversations with conservative evangelical Christians prior to my conversion, and I can honestly say that not one single person ever tried to convert me to my knowledge. In fact, maybe if someone had, I would have discovered what works for me a lot sooner.

And For what it's worth, other religions seek converts too, like Islam and Bahai. Do they discriminate against other religions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by spedteacher30 View Post
Perhaps the sticking point is that the thread is titled, "Did Christians persecute the Jews?" when in reality it should be, "Did/Does Christianity persecute Jews?"
But that's not the question that was asked. In asking that are you asking "Does Christianity require persecution of the Jews?" or just "does it happen?" Because so far, every Christian who has posted has acknowledged that it has and does happen, so the answer to the original question has been in the affirmative from all fronts. But I think by acknowledging that it does happen and saying that it is wrong, the Christians who have posted so far are expressing dismay at the wrongs committed in the name of their faith. Yet people continue to insist that their faith requires it some how. Why vilify people who are acting in a gracious and humble way to address the truth?

Quote:
Originally Posted by spedteacher30 View Post
I don't know enough about Christian theology/doctrine to answer fully, but there have been so many examples of Christians persecuting Jews throughout history: the Inquisition, the fact that the Pesach seder includes opening a door to prove to neighbors that there is no blood sacrifice occurring inside the home both come immediately to mind.
There is no such thing as "Christian theology/doctrine" it is not one thing. The only thing that all Christians seem to be able to agree upon was that there was this man named Jesus who once walked the earth that had something to offer. We don't even agree on who is Christian. There are Baptists who don't think Catholics are. Many "mainline" Christian denominations would say that Mormons aren't, and yet Mormons say they are, however they don't believe that other Christians have the full revealed message. We agree on absolutely nothing, there is no cohesive thing called "Christianity". There are people that insist in strict literal interpretation of the Bible, including the belief that the world was created in 6, 24-hour periods just over 5,000 years ago, and people who doubt that Mary was a virgin or that Jesus was resurrected -- all claiming to be Christian.

And Christians have persecuted other Christians throughout history. It was not just members of other religions who were killed, sought out in mass numbers and put to death.

Can you honestly say that there is not one single event in the whole history of the Jewish people that you think was wrong, unsanctioned by the religion itself? Things like the inquisition, the crusades, the holocaust, these were acts of men, acts of greed and ambition that people may have tried to justify religiously but had nothing whatsoever to do with the religion they victimized to do so. We don't know in the first 2 cases if there was large dissension or not, but in the last we know that many theologians and regular Christians disagreed and actively spoke out against it and even died doing so. Yes, Christians died to save Jews from genocide. And yet people here are saying that their beliefs necessitated that they hate these people? Why would anyone risk death or imprisonment for someone else if their beliefs required them to discriminate against those they risked their lives for? In 1,000 years, will people know that a majority of Americans disagree with the war in Iraq right now? Do people in Iraq or elsewhere in the Middle East know it? We can't assume that the actions of those in power reflect the mindset of the people.

Persecution of Jews by Christians has and does happen. Question answered
post #25 of 234
Modern anti-semitism can be traced directly to Martin Luther's "On the Jews and Their Lies." Sadly Luther was a brilliant debater and writer, and his defense of anti-semitism sowed the seeds for what culminated in the holocaust.
post #26 of 234
Well said, AnyMama.
post #27 of 234
Quote:
Originally Posted by spedteacher30 View Post

i think my favorite example is that when I was working on my master's in teaching, the university gave a long weekend for Easter, but not Pesach. One of my classmates wanted to go home for the seders, and was told by her professor that it would be an unexcused absence, and she would have to write a 10 page paper about the topic of the missed class in order to not receive a 0 for the absence. The topic of the class that day was "Diversity and Multiculturalism in your science classroom."
And I had to do something similar for missing class to attend services on Orthodox Holy Thursday and Friday. You suck it up and do what you have to do.
post #28 of 234
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtiger View Post
And I had to do something similar for missing class to attend services on Orthodox Holy Thursday and Friday. You suck it up and do what you have to do.
Likewise Orthodox Christmas, which is thirteen days after Dec. 25. It can be difficult to get a day off work or school approved. The same goes for any holiday which is not observed by the majority. People can get quite snarky about "weird" holidays, but I still do not see it as a hostile conspiracy.
post #29 of 234
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamabadger View Post
Likewise Orthodox Christmas, which is thirteen days after Dec. 25. It can be difficult to get a day off work or school approved. The same goes for any holiday which is not observed by the majority. People can get quite snarky about "weird" holidays, but I still do not see it as a hostile conspiracy.
Every year, I send in a note explaining that the kids were absent in observance of Russian Christmas, Orthodox Holy Friday, etc. Every year, I have to call the two schools and reiterate that they should be excused absences due to religious observation. Guess what? The Jewish kids don't need to do that for their holy days that school is in session. And that's okay. As badger said - it's not a conspiracy. Hostile or otherwise.

Which is not to say that there has not been persecution. Of Jews. And other religious - and ethnic - groups. Of course there has been.
post #30 of 234
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtiger View Post
Every year, I send in a note explaining that the kids were absent in observance of Russian Christmas, Orthodox Holy Friday, etc. Every year, I have to call the two schools and reiterate that they should be excused absences due to religious observation. Guess what? The Jewish kids don't need to do that for their holy days that school is in session. And that's okay. As badger said - it's not a conspiracy. Hostile or otherwise.

Which is not to say that there has not been persecution. Of Jews. And other religious - and ethnic - groups. Of course there has been.

Actually, the Jewish kids do. You're thinking perhaps of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, the days "everybody" knows. They are not the only holy days that school is in session. I can't begin to tell you about the tests I got zeros in ... in college, too ... for Jewish holidays. A comparative religions class, no less, I had to drop because the holidays were all at the beginning of the week and I missed too many classes for the prof's preference ... I could go on.

I don't think taking days off or hassles about taking days off is a problem, though. I don't think of it as oppression or discrimination. That's life when you're a minority, that's all. As long as they give you the opportunity to (a) make it up or (b) deal with it appropriately, it's not discrimination, anyway.
post #31 of 234
Quote:
Originally Posted by merpk View Post
Actually, the Jewish kids do. You're thinking perhaps of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, the days "everybody" knows. They are not the only holy days that school is in session. I can't begin to tell you about the tests I got zeros in ... in college, too ... for Jewish holidays. A comparative religions class, no less, I had to drop because the holidays were all at the beginning of the week and I missed too many classes for the prof's preference ... I could go on.
Yes, had problems in college with a prof. who wanted to know "why I had 'holidays' [said heavy with sarcasm] that the rest of the Jews in class didn't have to miss class for". But I agree, it's not a nefarious plot.

Now, that being said, what I think is being missed in our rush to say that "not all Christians are antisemites" (which I agree with, btw) is the fact that the Christian religion has been used as the theological basis for antisemitism. And it was not just Catholics. And I really think the whole "but everyone has persecuted somebody sometime" is a huge cop out. You can say I'm not an antisemite and still acknowledge the history of Christianity has been rife with it.

I also think that most people who insist they have never known anyone with antisemitic views, it's only b/c they haven't been in a situation where it was exposed or don't have a sensitivity to it. When I was in prep school, I will never forget telling some guy I knew who decided to rant on "JAP's" when I waited for him to finish and said, "you do know I'm Jewish, don't you?" After he turned 27 shades of blue to red and said, "but, but, but you're not like that! ummmm, you're a WASPY Jew!" So uh, I was OK. I could "pass". But those other Jews. Declassé .
post #32 of 234
Quote:
Originally Posted by merpk View Post
Actually, the Jewish kids do. You're thinking perhaps of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, the days "everybody" knows. They are not the only holy days that school is in session. I can't begin to tell you about the tests I got zeros in ... in college, too ... for Jewish holidays. A comparative religions class, no less, I had to drop because the holidays were all at the beginning of the week and I missed too many classes for the prof's preference ... I could go on.

I don't think taking days off or hassles about taking days off is a problem, though. I don't think of it as oppression or discrimination. That's life when you're a minority, that's all. As long as they give you the opportunity to (a) make it up or (b) deal with it appropriately, it's not discrimination, anyway.
Not in our schools. We live next door to Lakewood, NJ and EVERYone knows the Jewish holidays. ALL of them. So... sorry if I find it hard to sympathize.

And guess what? I got zeros for missing Russian History classes to go to Church on Russian Orthodox Holidays. Boo hoo for me. So you work a little freakin' harder the rest of the time.
post #33 of 234
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtiger View Post
Not in our schools. We live next door to Lakewood, NJ and EVERYone knows the Jewish holidays. ALL of them. So... sorry if I find it hard to sympathize.

And guess what? I got zeros for missing Russian History classes to go to Church on Russian Orthodox Holidays. Boo hoo for me. So you work a little freakin' harder the rest of the time.
Am I the only one here who finds this attitude a little disturbing? I'm having a hard time formulating a response, but it's just....disturbing.
post #34 of 234
Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2seven View Post
Am I the only one
here who finds this attitude a little disturbing? I'm having a hard time formulating a response, but it's just....disturbing.
no, you aren't the only one


(what's up with this 50 characters minimum thing?)
post #35 of 234
No you're not Chava. merpk, AFAIK, grew up in/near NY. So um, not like people don't know about Jewish Holidays there.

So mtiger if you know all of them, since everyone does. Name them. Without looking them up on google.

post #36 of 234
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nickarolaberry View Post
Well, from a historical point of view institutionalized Christian anti-Semitism goes back as far as the adoption of Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire by Constantine. The status of the Jew was formally enshrined in the servi camerae which more or less isolated Jews as non-citizens and formalized their second class status and limited their livelihoods, places of residence, etc.

[snip]

To claim that there is no Christian Biblical basis for the persecution of Jews is somewhat disingenuous, and even more so to disregard two millennia of Christian persecution of the Jews as not religiously based. Forced disputations, the Crusades (which managed to obliterate entire Jewish communities), the Inquisition and the expulsion of the Jews from England, France, Spain, Portugal (etc. etc.), the killings of Jews following the Black Death, blood libels (should I go on?) -- while they may very well have had real political/military/economic factors -- were justified, legitimized, and mobilized by religious Christian arguments.

I honestly have a difficult time believing there is even a question about this.
One reason Christian practice has historically often included anti-Semitic teachings and actions is that the New Testament reflects tensions between early Christians and Jews. So I would date it to much earlier than Constantine, although his period is probably the first time that Christianity was closely enough aligned with political power to influence laws or military actions that were anti-Semitic. I guess it depends on how important the exercise of power is to the definition of institutionalized anti-Semitism that you're using.
post #37 of 234
I've missed the posts that led up to this... I need to go back.

But for those who don't believe that anti-Semitism exists?

My earliest memory is of... a cross being burned in my front yard. I was almost 4 years old. The next week a brick was thrown through my window. I've been called every name in the book... including my all time fav "Christ-Killer"

One job I held, I tried to take Yom Kippur off, I was a consultant and on the road.. needed to get an early flight home to get ready for the holiday...."this is a Christian company, based on Christian morals and values, we don't accept HEATHEN holidays as excuses."

Yup. It exists. SOmetimes it's subtle, sometimes, not so much....

But yea, some of my best friends are Christian....
(oh, and I married a nice Catholic boy who is amazed quite frequently that anti-semitism still is so common .. he never saw it before, but now that it is directed at his wife and PRECIOUS children? he's amazed)
post #38 of 234
Wow, I'm reeling here. Guess that's why I don't read in this section very often.

I do, whole heartedly agree that there is an evil disease called 'anti-semitism' and it is disgusting and very disturbing, to put it lightly.

However, I don't understand how you can blame the disease on the christian, when a true christian loves a jewish 'man' more than their own life. If it weren't for the jews, there would be no christians. I can understand how the christian beliefs are ugly and scandalise to the true jew -for example, a christian's worship of Jesus would be seen as idolatry, but come on, please don't paint us all with a broad stripe.

I do have a very, very small definition of christian -- perhaps from reading the words of Jesus who (paraphrase) said that the road is narrow that leads to eternal life, and that MANY will expect eternal life, but he will tell him that he never knew them. (matthew 7:21-23) And so, I consider anti-semitism to be a sign that a person is not a true Jesus lover/christian. But that is me. Another strong christian jew wrote these words: They are the Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. To them belong the partiarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen (romans 9:4&5) Personally I think those things given are things to be savored and appreciated, but once again, that is me.

From the bottom of my Christ transformed heart, I wish you all peace and numerous blessings from your God.
post #39 of 234
Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2seven View Post
Am I the only one here who finds this attitude a little disturbing? I'm having a hard time formulating a response, but it's just....disturbing.
Yeah, me too

*sigh*
post #40 of 234
Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2seven View Post
Am I the only one here who finds this attitude a little disturbing? I'm having a hard time formulating a response, but it's just....disturbing.
Which attitude, exactly?
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