Did Christians persecute the Jews? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 234 Old 01-09-2008, 09:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So, like, I figured this would be a good place to link to this, since there seems to be idea that Christians haven't persecuted Jews, that Christians don't have any problem with Jews, that there is no anti-Semitism in the United States of America at all.


From religioustolerance.org.

The Centre for the Study of Historical Christian Anti-Semitism home page.

amazon.com's first entry to a search for "Christian Anti-Semitism."

From the site of The Committee on Church Relations and the Holocaust.





It's also worth pointing out that no matter what it says in the Christian Bible (New Testament), the very refusal of the Jews to accept Jesus as a messiah or divine contradicts Christian theology. Which is why anti-Semitism was Church policy (talking about the Catholic and Orthodox churches).






So that it is clear, this is not to attack Christians or Christianity. This is entirely because some members of MDC believe that there is no such thing as Christian anti-Semitism. And I disagree. And have the links to back it up.
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#2 of 234 Old 01-09-2008, 09:58 AM
 
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It's infuriating and wrong and I don't believe it reflects at all true Christian teachings. But it's dangerous to deny that anti-semitism never happened
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#3 of 234 Old 01-09-2008, 10:15 AM
 
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I would say yes, Christians have a long history of Jewish persecution. I would also say, as an American, that anti-semitism is alive and well.

Last night Borat was on tv. I think this movie does an incredible job of exposing the bigotry and ignorance of most of America. He really is very smart, because he gets people to expose themselves because they think they are safe and that he is "one of them."

I grew up in an area that is heavily Jewish (think town with eruv), and even there you could still hear anti-Semitic comments/feelings.

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#4 of 234 Old 01-09-2008, 10:34 AM
 
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I grew up in an area that is heavily Jewish (think town with eruv), and even there you could still hear anti-Semitic comments/feelings.

It isn't "even there" it is more so there....

I will say that this week has been a wake up call for me. I knew that there were Holocaust deny-ers, but I had no idea that there were anti-semitism deny-ers until now.
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#5 of 234 Old 01-09-2008, 11:56 AM
 
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Actually, Merpk, this has been on my mind for awhile and especially in the last week or so. I had a thread up here about some great podcasts about Jewish American History. No one posted on the thread and it only had about 16 views so I actually retitled the thread so that it might be more informative and get more views.


http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=823041

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#6 of 234 Old 01-09-2008, 01:15 PM
 
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If you think there is anti-semitism in America, try living in Europe, or better yet Eastern Europe. You will find that anti-semitism in America is mild in comparison. But in all honesty, growing up in Ukraine I felt anti-semitism from all kinds of group of people, not just necessarily Christians.
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#7 of 234 Old 01-09-2008, 01:39 PM
 
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I don't think anybody is claiming that ALL Christians are anti-Semetic, or that anti-Semeitism is a basic tenet of Christianity. We're not debating Christian theology here. We're simply pointing out that many Christians have persecuted Jews throughout history, and this continues today.

I have not personally encountered anti-Semitism in my life (with one possible exception on a message board shortly after DS was born.) I know plenty of Christians who are respectful of other faiths. There's no need for any Christian MDC members to get defensive because we're not making any accusations about any individuals. There is a HUGE difference between disagreeing with somebody and persecuting them because of that disagreement.

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#8 of 234 Old 01-09-2008, 02:54 PM
 
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Wow, I didn't realize either that people in the US didn't believe it existed.

When I was growing up it was perfectly acceptable in the area I lived for people to be openly anti-Semitic. Kids, grown-ups, everyone. And when kids said horrible things to me in front of grown-ups no one said a thing. And the anti-semitic slang was part of the vernacular. It was really difficult. And I grew up in southern california, where in theory you would think there would be less anti-semitism than a lot of other places given the larger overall Jewish population and stereotypical liberal PC-ness (although I don't think things were so PC yet in the 70's and 80's). But that is just one individual. There were a few Jewish kids in my school and everyone knew who we were.
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#9 of 234 Old 01-09-2008, 05:37 PM
 
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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.

Various Christian leaders (i.e. Charlemagne and his descendants of the Carolingian Empire) were more permissive toward the Jews and others less so -- mostly based on the usefulness of Jewish mercantile trade and the ability of the Jews to move between the Christian empires and the Muslim ones more fluidly.

St. Augustine who of course was Catholic but also could be said to have been one of the most influential Christian writers/philosophers/thinkers of all time, also formed the basis of Christian/Church policy toward the Jews by comparing them to Cain (murderer of his brother Abel) -- and thus the punishments visited upon Cain (endless wandering, bearing a "sign" of sin, excommunication, etc.) should be visited upon the Jews. (Incidentally, this poses a major theological problem for Catholics vis a vis the existence of the State of Israel).

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.

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#10 of 234 Old 01-09-2008, 08:54 PM
 
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I honestly have a difficult time believing there is even a question about this.
Not only that. It makes me ill.
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#11 of 234 Old 01-09-2008, 10:14 PM
 
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Not only that. It makes me ill.
I find it shocking too.
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#12 of 234 Old 01-09-2008, 10:23 PM
 
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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.

Various Christian leaders (i.e. Charlemagne and his descendants of the Carolingian Empire) were more permissive toward the Jews and others less so -- mostly based on the usefulness of Jewish mercantile trade and the ability of the Jews to move between the Christian empires and the Muslim ones more fluidly.

St. Augustine who of course was Catholic but also could be said to have been one of the most influential Christian writers/philosophers/thinkers of all time, also formed the basis of Christian/Church policy toward the Jews by comparing them to Cain (murderer of his brother Abel) -- and thus the punishments visited upon Cain (endless wandering, bearing a "sign" of sin, excommunication, etc.) should be visited upon the Jews. (Incidentally, this poses a major theological problem for Catholics vis a vis the existence of the State of Israel).

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.
I agree completely. I think sometimes what I find is that even when people can admit to the above-referenced history of Christianity (and most often they can't), they think that it doesn't apply to them because they aren't anti-semitic and in fact "some of their best friends are Jewish"

You get this a lot with people talking about race issues in America - and it has been discussed often here at MDC - "My family didn't own slaves so why should I feel guilty?" type of thinking.

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#13 of 234 Old 01-09-2008, 11:58 PM
 
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Everyone has persecuted everyone at some point. Why would Christians be exempt from that? I don't get why some people are afraid to admit that Christians have persecuted Jews (or that x group has persecuted y group). Pretending it never happend doesn't change history.
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#14 of 234 Old 01-10-2008, 12:09 PM
 
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Did Christians persecute the Jews?
Yes.
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#15 of 234 Old 01-11-2008, 03:17 AM
 
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I don't question whether or not it happened in the past. But, every group of every culture has some history of something bad that they did in the past.

For me, I have never seen Jewish persecuting among Christians that I know. But then again, I have been raised somewhat sheltered, I guess. I know it happens, it is not right (actually, VERY wrong), but I can't change the past, only the future.

That is what I strive for. Making a difference in the future. So that when hundreds of years go by they will be able to say, "There was a change in history and all the hatred stopped and people learned to get along with each other; it was a long and hard lesson to learn, but we finally did it".

Any misspellings or grammatical errors in the above statement are intentional;
they are placed there for the amusement of those who like to point them out.
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#16 of 234 Old 01-11-2008, 12:55 PM
 
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I don't question whether or not it happened in the past. But, every group of every culture has some history of something bad that they did in the past.

For me, I have never seen Jewish persecuting among Christians that I know. But then again, I have been raised somewhat sheltered, I guess. I know it happens, it is not right (actually, VERY wrong), but I can't change the past, only the future.

That is what I strive for. Making a difference in the future. So that when hundreds of years go by they will be able to say, "There was a change in history and all the hatred stopped and people learned to get along with each other; it was a long and hard lesson to learn, but we finally did it".
Ditto. I have heard a couple of "Jewish comments" though...directed at me, and I'm not of Jewish descent that I know of (there has been speculation about my maternal grandmother's hidden past). I don't deny what happened in history. I also don't take EVERY account of "Christians persecuting Jews" as being from Christians...I take it case by case. Some were such a case and some weren't. I also see some of it being more of an ethnic or racism issue, though they used religion to excuse themselves for it. Martin Luther, I make no excuses for him; yes it was a religious issue for him that he took it as a personal affront that he couldn't convert the Jewish people he came into contact with...but then, he had alot of issues that he couldn't come to grips with...this was one of the worse and he took it out on others. Constantine, I take major issue with anyone claiming him as some sort of Christian saint. More like a person that knew how to play politics and take advantage of religious superstition to do so. He obviously played both sides of the fence. Did some Christian succumb to his claims and thus follow his lead? I'm certain. I'm also certain that there were those that didn't....however, majority rules and is remembered (and yeah, I'm gagged by it also).

I agree, that we could find persecution by most groups and against most groups at some point in history. Some are just closer to us in post-modern history than others. No, we shouldn't forget them.

Maybe it's because I'm of mixed heritage, but I can't sit and beat up myself for what some of my ancestors did to the other of my ancestors. The best I can do is learn from history, put each case into context, learn from that to do what I can to make certain it doesn't happen again, and teach my children the same. It just makes it harder though when we keep rehash the ills of history to strike out at eachother rather than to learn from them and work towards bettering things.

BTW, not all Christians believe they have to go and convert the Jewish people.

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I don't think anybody is claiming that ALL Christians are anti-Semetic, or that anti-Semeitism is a basic tenet of Christianity.
Thank you, Ruth, for this. This is how it was coming across in the other thread at times. I do believe this is what some of us were reacting to.

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#17 of 234 Old 01-11-2008, 10:29 PM
 
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Christian here.

There is a LONG history of persecution of Jews by Christians. It was pretty well accepted as the norm because "they crucified Christ" at least in Europe throughout the centuries. And it still goes on in the US and other countries.

I personally think this is really bad scriptural reading, though.

For one, Christians believe that Christ's death accomplished something really important: the atonement for human sin for all time.

For another thing, Jesus spoke of his coming death, he knew it was going to happen, he knew it was his destiny.

Lastly, it's the crowd that calls for his crucifixion, we have no idea of the makeup of the crowd, it likely contained Jews, Greeks and others.

I really don't think you can blame anyone for Jesus' death, and why blame anyway?

I also don't think we have to run around converting Jewish people to Christianity. If they're God's chosen people, why do we need to convert them? The NT is pretty clear that the children of Israel are the chosen people.

There's been a lot of horrible things done over the ages in the name of religion, that doesn't mean it fits in the religion to do those things though. And Christians have been and still are persecuted in some places too.
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#18 of 234 Old 01-12-2008, 09:59 AM
 
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I think it's undeniable.

But I don't believe it reflects Christ's teaching or true Christian doctrine.

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Maybe it's because I'm of mixed heritage, but I can't sit and beat up myself for what some of my ancestors did to the other of my ancestors.
Me too. I have anscestors who were anabaptist (early Mennonite/Amish) and severely persecuted by both Catholics and Reformers--tortured, killed, or exiled. I also have an ancestor who was burned at stake for being a "papist" (Catholic). He's actually called John "Staker" Wallace in the family history records.
Even the Mennonites had their bad apple who took over Munster for a short while and killed a lot of people.
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#19 of 234 Old 01-12-2008, 06:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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While it may not be "Christian doctrine," it's certainly a popular pasttime among Christians.



It's worth noting for all the "this is history" stuff, according to the FBI statistics, hate crimes against Jews are still the highest of any other religious category, and by a depressingly large margin. That includes hate crimes against Catholics, Mennonites, and Muslims.

From 2006 FBI stats:

Attacks on Catholics in the US totalled 76.
Attacks on Muslims in the US totalled 156.
Almost on Jews totalled 967. Seven in 10 "religious" hate crimes were against Jews.


To assist in perspective: During the same period, the FBI recorded 576 hate crimes against Hispanics in the US. There are approximately 44 million Hispanics in the US. There are about 6 million Jews.





These are just crimes reported to the FBI, BTW.





That's a lot of hate still being spewed at Jews.





Just for the record.
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#20 of 234 Old 01-12-2008, 06:27 PM
 
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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.

Just because you don't notice it doesn't mean it isn't there.
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#21 of 234 Old 01-12-2008, 06:36 PM
 
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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."
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#22 of 234 Old 01-12-2008, 07:10 PM
 
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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?



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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.


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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
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#23 of 234 Old 01-12-2008, 07:25 PM
 
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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.
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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?

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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?

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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
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#25 of 234 Old 01-12-2008, 11:44 PM
 
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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.
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#26 of 234 Old 01-13-2008, 03:06 PM
 
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Well said, AnyMama.
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#27 of 234 Old 01-13-2008, 03:35 PM
 
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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.
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#28 of 234 Old 01-13-2008, 04:20 PM
 
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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.
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#29 of 234 Old 01-13-2008, 04:41 PM
 
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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.
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#30 of 234 Old 01-13-2008, 04:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.
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