Is Christianity antisemitic?
Patrice Aim in her essay http://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2014/01/15/luther-hitler-unelected/#comment-20127
says, „Martin Luther, a famous religious fanatic, remains of great ideological importance to the established order. A good reason to sink him. Luther is central to the ideology that praises “market” superiority, and “Reformation”. These are actually their true meaning, plutocracy and exploitative reformation into barbarity, no holds what Luther was really preaching flows from his 65,000 words treaty. As a few quotes below demonstrate, it is full of genocidal threats against Jews (and thus, as Luther’s reasoning makes clear, it is also genocidal against all and any minority, and those who do not believe that he, Luther, is not a friend of “Jesus”, whatever “Jesus” is the name of… apparently another homicidal maniac.
EugenR Says: Luther was an extreme example of Christian theologists, who had problem to cope with the very existence of Jews, stubbornly refusing to except Jesus as Messiah. Christianity as any other belief system that is based on dogmas, that have to be excepted as final truth, become violent against phenomena that doesn’t fit to these dogmas. And the very existence of Jews was exactly about this. Saint Augustine solved the Jewish problem more humanly than Luther. He pointed on them as wretched people, whose suffering is a proper punishments for their refusal to recognize the truth about the Savior. But as compared to Luther he was for continuous Jews existence, just not to allow them to thrive. But he lived in the fourth century, at times when the Vandals and Visigoths threatened the very existence of his community.
gmax Says: I remember reading, both directly and indirectly genocidal stuff from Saint Augustine about Jews. Genocide ain’t just about killing people. Aussies down under set up a genocide against Bushmen in the 1960s, by stealing their kids. Saint Augustine wanted Jews out of Israel, their home. That’s genocide.
EugenR Says: Dear gmax, agree, i intended to be ironic about Saint Augustine. He is the prove that the antisemitism didn’t start with the crusaders as contrary to some apologetic claims of the church, but is derived from the Christian faith itself. Lets not forget, that he lived in times, when it seemed that nothing will stop the destruction of Christian Roman empire, (he died when the Vandals besieged his city). Naturally his approach had to be more mild than that of Luther, who lived when Christianity looked as the superior faith. Not due to spiritual but rather material achievements, mainly colonialism and Renaissance in arts and sciences partly supported by the Catholic church, that due to Reformation made a U-turn in its pro education position.Truth the Catholic church was a very corrupt organization at the time, but as to my view, corruption of any autocratic entity is the good news, because they give hope the autocracy will collapse soon. The bad news are when the autocracy succeeds to keep its zealousness popular and murders all its real or imaginary opponents. An other urban mythology is the intellectual openness of the Lutheran movement that brought to enlightenment and scientific revolution of 17-18 century. France was Catholic and its achievements were comparable to that of protestant English. The English were more lucky because of gradual and not revolutionary political change to non autocratic political system, invention of steam engine and above all, North America becoming a protestant English country rather than French. And it could easily be otherwise if not the stupidity of its kings and dictators. Yes the English King Gorge III was disastrous too, but he had the parliament that eventually forced him to come to reason (or rather to lose his reason).
Gmax Says: Dear Eugen: Ah you’re joking about Augustine? I feel better already. I feel Christianism has had a terrible effect: the dark ages, as Patrice always say.
Patrice Ayme Says: Dear Eugen:The difference space between England and France has several ignored dimensions: The French peasants owned their land. That made them less prolific. The “West Country Men” a set of very nasty plutocrats, dominated English politics, and made it viciously expansionist. They used liberal amounts of human fodder, especially from vagrants in cities… that had to be rid of. So they were offered the rope or the boast. They took the boat. By contrast, the French felt that going to America was a great honor. (The French were also exterminated by Philippe II: they were the first to settle the present USA.) Since Roman times, England has had readily exploitable coal. Interestingly, it’s a French professor in Germany who invented the first serious steam engines we know of, and the first steam boat (destroyed by monks). All this in… Germany.
EugenR Says: The steam engine was invented by Heron the Greek almost 2000 years before the industrial revolution, but for what usage? The important thing was not its reinvention but the usage. The English needed coal, and it forced them to make the steam engine a practical tool and the rest came because of some smart people around. One of them was Brunel, a French living in England.
Patrice Ayme Says: Dear Eugen: The Egyptians, early on, used the steam engine to open temple doors magically. That’s where the Greeks got it from, and it was used similarly.(Whenever looking at the Greeks, look all the way to Egypt, and don’t forget Crete!). As far as the Romans were concerned, they had absolutely all the engineering, potentially, to make steam boats (paddle powered: they invented, and used massively the paddle mechanism, to measure ships’ speeds). But, of course, under the Principate, new ideas, even in tech, were officially the enemy. Denis Papin crossed the Rubicon, as he traveled more than a 100 miles with his steam boat. Everybody knew this, and could see how useful it was. As everybody knew deforestation was an acute problem (it became catastrophic in 1300 CE). As I said precedingly, Edward III took anti-pollution edicts in London around 1325 CE, because of the heavy coal burning. Coal developed more in England, because there was more of it, and fewer forests. Another French engineering team made the first (steam powered) cars… Or, rather, tanks. The program was paid by the Ancient Regime military, and the idea was the idea of the tank: go cross country. The first car accident, duly notified quickly resulted in Paris.
EugenR Says: I read what I wrote above…………”the antisemitism didn’t start with the crusaders as contrary to some apologetic claims of the church, but is derived from the Christian faith itself…….”, I got a strong urge to correct myself.
The theological foundation of Judaism is the intensive God-human-God relation loaded with tension and activity based on recipe exactly prescribed in the Five Books of Moses the Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy or in other words the Pentateuch. This books of stories and law prescribe to Jews many complicated rules God ordered to follow. Most of the laws have no human to human consequences, and it is almost impossible strictly to follow them without to fail. This creates a constant relation of sin and guilt, to which the all mighty God reacts with continuous punishment, threats for the future, but also consolation and promises.
One of these promises is to help the Jews to create an independent statehood under a king directly appointed by the God, the Messiah. (Messiah in Hebrew means one who was anointed, or greased, which is the part of act of ceremony of apotheosis of a king.) The best known Messiah was of course King David (Who according to last archeological findings was rather a local chieftain between the mountains of Jerusalem and Hebron than a great King). But since David times, for thousand years of Jews living in the Levant the “Holly Land”, the Jewish statehood had only very few years of real independence. In the nine century b.c. came already the Assyrians, followed by Babylonians, Persians, Greeks and finally the Romans. All these empires of the region left very little gap for Jewish independence.
After 1000 years of not fulfilled God’s promises for independent Jewish Kingdom ruled by king Chosen by God how could the Jews cope with the frustrating situation, after again the Jewish statehood was ruled by a Roman dictator, who claimed that he and his horse are God. To a Jewish believer like Jesus, his followers and many other Jews it had to be a shocking experience to see, that God allowed these people to rule the Holy Land, and it seems it is not going to change very soon. But you can’t go to complain to your all mighty God and claim your promised kingdom, viz. what happened to Job in the Book of Job.
So what could the Jews do in their frustration? Leaving the belief in Torah was not an option, so some of them tried to find new definition for Messiah. Not anymore a earthly creation, but a divine creature, who’s promised kingdom is not on earth but in the heaven. All I wanted to say is that Christianity is a understandable development of Jews theological concept, of Jews living in the first century under Roman governance. So why did it become the major source of anti-Judaism? First, because in the Canonical gospels the general public watching the Jesus crucifixion ceremony was called Jews and not the audience. The second and even more important issue is, when Christianity has become the dominant political religion, they tryed to destroy every hint, that can shake the foundations of their obscure belief, and every thought that is not compatible to their expansionist intentions. So they destroyed all the gospels except of the four canonical gospels, they persecuted the Arians and many others like them, and of course the Jews, who happened to have the copyright for gospels, yet they themselves or at least some of them refused to except the ultimate truth, the truth of the official Christian church.