Friday, December 17, 2010

I Sometimes Wonder What Drives The Fierce Anti-Christian Sentiment of the Left

Volokh Conspiracy discusses what happened when the Federal Reserve Board order a bank to take down its Christmas tree and religious symbols--and then backed down, after a storm of negative publicity.  What's really interesting is to read the comments, many of which seem to think that any Christian symbols are an immediate sign that a business hates Jews.

There are anti-Semites out there.  But I have met more people than I can count who either hate blacks, or think they are stupid and immoral.  I have met a few who hold similar views of Mexicans.  I think I have met two or three in my entire life who have similar views of Jews (and one of them was half-Jewish).

Where does this perception come from that American Christians are one step removed from buying Zyklon B and firing up the ovens?

UPDATE: There are a number of interesting comments on this (even more so since Instapundit linked to it), of which this is perhaps the most disturbing:
There is this datum from a poll: 'some 60 percent of religiously conservative white Protestants in the United States, polled in 1987, agreed: "The Jews can never be forgiven for what they did to Jesus until they accept him as the true savior."' Quoted in John Weiss, Ideology of Death: Why the Holocaust Happened in Germany (Ivan R. Dee Publishing, 1996).
I see this and I am just amazed.  I've attended religiously conservative overwhelmingly white Protestant churches since 1979.  If anyone that I have ever attended church with this believed something this odd, then they had the good sense not to say it.  Yet this exact question has been asked for decades, and the percentages agreeing with this statement are so high as to be unbelievable to me.  Is there some secret hatred of Jews in Protestant churches that never gets expressed in my presence?  I have not attended particularly liberal churches.  Actually, they tended to be more fundamentalist than I could be in complete agreement with: Southern Baptist; Church of the Nazarene; and some nondenominational churches of a distinctly fundamentalist flavor.


  1. "Where does this perception come from that American Christians are one step removed from buying Zyklon B and firing up the ovens? "

    Liberal Projection.

  2. No such thing as half Jewish - anymore than half Catholic or half Idahoan.

  3. Jewish is a religion, an ethnicity, and a cultural heritage. This fellow had a Jewish mother. By the Israeli Law of Return, that made him Jewish. By an ethnic identity, that made him half Jewish. By cultural heritage, he was an alcoholic. By religion, he was nothing.

  4. One suspects that those of the banking supervision staff of the Federal Reserve and some of the commenters splitting hairs to justify a stupid policy are driven by two forces:

    1. An excess of discretionary time; and

    2. Absolutely thoroughgoing parochialism. They fancy their own sectarianism is reason itself and cannot imagine an evangelical except as a repository of traits for which they have contempt.

  5. Many Jews are liberal intellectuals. There is a long history of conflict between liberal intellectuals and organized Christianity. (And for most of that history, the liberals had the right of it: Christian institutions were pillars of the reactionary, authoritarian, and repressive Old Order in Europe; Christians in America were prominent in obscurantist and reactionary movements such as Creationism.)

    There is also a long history of Christian religious anti-semitism, and hostility of "native" Christians in Europe toward Jews. In the U.S., there are no "native" Christians, but there was plenty of casual and sometimes formal hostility from the Christian majority - mild by European standards, but still very noticeable.

    All that is history, though. What is now is that liberal intellectuals desperately need to believe the worst about Christians, conservatives, and Republicans. Their self-image requires being a champion of justice in the face of danger. For Jews, that includes finding anti-semitism in every corner (except Moslem corners - the enemy of my enemy can't be my enemy).

  6. Sen. Barry Goldwater was told he couldn't play at a "restricted" golf course.

    He said "I'm only half Jewish. Can I play nine holes?"

    (Goldwater's father converted to Christianity, but his ancestry was well known.)

  7. Clayton, don't make the Christmas decoration controversy into a war with the Jews. First of all, it's very un-Christmaslike. Second, Jews today make up only 1.2% of the U.S. population (U.S. Census Bureau). And while most Jews are liberals, less than 1 out of every 26 liberals are Jewish.

    In my neighborhood (northeast Ohio), some Jewish families put up a few colorful outdoor lights this month to add to the festive look of the street and to signal that Christmas displays in general are perfectly welcome.

    The last sentence in your post (with reference to ovens) is pretty crude. Why make the Christmas decoration issue into a battle with the Jews, when it's truly not?

    By the way, I am, and will continue to be, a huge fan of your blog and books.


  8. This isn't a battle with "the Jews." It's a battle with Federal Reserve employees with a PC problem. But the comments over at Volokh Conspiracy do seem to be heavily from people who are convinced that any Christians symbols in a workplace indicate a hatred of Jews.

    I suppose that I would understand this if there was widespread Christian originated hostility towards Jews being expressed in the United States.

    At one time, there was more than a little anti-Semitism of this nature in the U.S. This is not 1940, or even 1950. When I asked for reasons to think that there was widespread Christian hatred of Jews, the only response was Mel Gibson's drunk tirade.

  9. I found that comment thread at Volokh very scary. Scary because of the number of commenters who seemed to have no problem with the government restricting the free exercise of religion.

  10. They're still using Jews as an excuse? I thought nowadays the same type of so-called mind used Muslims as an excuse.

  11. I don't think the Federal Reserve wasteocrats used Jews as an excuse; this was the argument of some of the commenters at Volokh Conspiracy.

  12. Projection, conviction, ignorance—choose any two. The referenced commentators at Volokh’s site are probably part of the same crowd who assume that Hitler was a Christian.

    The evidence is in. Christ was born a Jew. He came for the Jew first, and then the Gentile. A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles. The shepherd who rules God’s people came from the land of Judah. And in His name Gentiles will trust. There is no anti-Semitism to be found in a believing Christian.

    I know what you're thinking. Did he quote six verses or only five? Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I've kinda lost track myself. But being as I have here a Matthew 4:10, the most powerful weapon in the world, you've got to ask yourself one question: Can I trust Satan?

  13. TO: Clayton Cramer, et al.
    RE: If You Only 'Knew'

    Where does this perception come from that American Christians are one step removed from buying Zyklon B and firing up the ovens? -- Clayton Cramer

    It's a conspiracy of the darkest form. Something few people are willing to even countenance. And, it goes all the way back to the third chapter of that first book in that Old Book.


    [When you've eliminated all the other alternatives, the only one left, no matter how improbable, has to be the answer.]

  14. Several of my Born Again Christian friends are vocally pro Jewish. One guy in particular who was recently in the White House for a while turned out to be one of the, if not the, best friend Israel (and thus Jews) ever had.

    Sadly, a lot of Jews hated him and voted for his opponents in two elections. Neither of which opponent ever expressed any support for Israel.

  15. Artices or posts on this subject always call to my mind this response.
    by Michael Medved to the question Norman Podhoretz posed in Commentary: "Why are Jews Liberal"? Being a barely-religious gentile myself, I have nothing to add, pro or con, to Mr. Medved's remarks. But you may find them thought-provoking if you've never encountered them before.

  16. I'm neither left nor right -- I'm a fiscal conservative and a libertarian and not a feminist, which makes me a target for some on the left.

    I'm also an atheist who thinks Christmas trees are beautiful but who had a miserable childhood thanks to Christian children being taught that the Jews killed Jesus, etc. (I grew up Jewish.) I don't assume all people of a certain religion hate Jews or anyone, but religion can certainly be a divisive force, and it sure was during my childhood. People egged our house, wrote "Dirty Jews" in shaving cream on our garage door, and a group of Christian girls taunted me for being Jewish in junior high -- followed me through the halls and threw chairs at me. It stopped when I told my parents and my father went to the principal. Years later, when the newspaper column I wrote ran in Detroit, one of the girls e-mailed me and apologized. Later, one of the guys who egged our house tried to friend me on Facebook. Sorry, but if you "dirty Jew!" me at 8, you don't get to friend me at 45.

    I would say most of my friends are Christian, and my friend T, who's very involved with his church, started a program to help the homeless. That said, I find some of the messages of Christianity against Jews extremely damaging and they made for a miserable childhood for me.

  17. I'm Jewish, but it doesn't bother me when my Christian friends and co-workers say "Merry Christmas!" After all, just because it isn't my birthday, that doesn't mean I can't help friends celebrate!

  18. Those commenters over at VC aren't so much interested in restricting the free exercise of religion, as they are in restricting the free exercise of one particular religion.

  19. There is this datum from a poll: 'some 60 percent of religiously conservative white Protestants in the United States, polled in 1987, agreed: "The Jews can never be forgiven for what they did to Jesus until they accept him as the true savior."' Quoted in John Weiss, Ideology of Death: Why the Holocaust Happened in Germany (Ivan R. Dee Publishing, 1996). It would be interesting to know whether the poll results would be different now.

  20. For some reason, the Volokh Conspiracy attracts an audience that includes a number of people who hate Christianity, ascribing to it close-mindedness, hatred, sexual repression, Islamophobia, homophobia, anti-Semitism, a unique responsibility for wars, and terrorism a-la Timothy McVeigh. To read them you would imagine that we are only one election away from a theocracy – which to them is the US circa 1950. This is not an exaggeration. Part of it is explained by the Libertarian atheism of Volokh and Somin who don’t seem to ascribe these properties to Christians, but a meaningful portion of the Libertarian/atheist fringe appear to. Then there are the Objectivists, followers of Ayn Rand, who also partake of her hatred of Christianity. It’s a shame because Christians, Conservatives and Libertarians, while by no means identical, have so much in common and need each other in the struggle against collectivism.

  21. Amy: where were you growing up, and when? My stepmother-in-law tells me similar stories from growing up in Chicago in the 1930s, being called a "Christ-killer."

    The only anti-Semitic remarks in school that I can ever recall hearing was when someone on the playground in sixth grade, took me aside and said, "You know what a Jew is, don't you? It's someone who buys stuff, and resells it for more money. [Someone's name that I no longer recall] is a Jew."

    It seemed absolutely bizarre to me at the time, since about 1/4th of my classmates were Jewish, or growing up in mixed marriages. As I said, this was the only anti-Semitism that I ever heard expressed in school--ever.

  22. TO: Amy Alkon
    RE: Heh

    I find some of the messages of Christianity against Jews extremely damaging and they made for a miserable childhood for me. -- Amy Alkon

    You are, in my honestly held opinion, one VERY confused person.

    REAL christians are not against Jews. It's those people who are CINOs who are most likely to had those people. And, based on past experience with you, you're confession about damaging thoughts about 'christianity' holds true today.

    Merry Christmas,

    [The's out there....]

  23. Stephen: I just scratch my head at that. I've attended what are conservative Protestant churches since 1979. If anyone with whom I have ever attended church held such an opinion, they did not share it. Furthermore, I am quite confident that if anyone had done so, the pastor would have taken him aside to correct him for such a mistaken belief.

    I do recall one member of one congregation making some remarks that, while not anti-Semitic, could perhaps be misinterpreted that way--and there was a line of us waiting to patiently and calmly explain his error.

  24. I have a very dear friend who is a devout Catholic but he has some very deep seated ambivalence to Jews. I wouldn't call him an anti-semite-- we have mutual friends who are Jewish and he cherishes them. But if he is representative of European varieties of Christianity in any degree then I can see what gives Jews the creepy crawlies about Christians.

  25. "Later, one of the guys who egged our house tried to friend me on Facebook. Sorry, but if you "dirty Jew!" me at 8, you don't get to friend me at 45."

    I shudder to think of being judged for my entire life by what I was at 8--or even at 18. People learn; they realize that they have done evil in the past. Perhaps the best response to a friend request was to ask him if he remembers what he did at 8. The response will likely tell you a lot about what he has learned.

  26. A large percentage of Jews in the United States are secular Jews who do not even believe in God.

    Secular Jews tend to be left wing anti-Israel Jews who support IslamoFascist Palestinians.

    I am a Christian and in the last 40 years I have not noticed any practising Christians with an antipathy towards Jews.

    A recent anti-Israel group in a Christian Church is the ignorant group of Presbyterians who have little or no knowledge of Israel or Jewish History and have sided with the very IslamoFascists who would KILL them and do in a Islamic country.

    The leaders of the Presbyterian Church are being led by the nose by our American Muslim IslamoFascist Groups in condemning Israel. It is a shame they are so STUPID.

    But the Presbyterian Church is a small minority leftist Christian Church and will disappear in due time

  27. Sad to say, there are a lot of kids out there who are looking for an excuse to hate outsiders. I was an outsider because I wore glasses (back when that wasn't so common). I get the impression that some people grew up in homes where European traditional anti-Semitism had survived a generation or two in America. Certainly, in my generation, the Holocaust was one of the great defining moments of the 20th century. I get the impression that a younger generation barely knows it happened.

  28. "You are, in my honestly held opinion, one VERY confused person."

    Chuckles, she's not confused. She was confronting people that hated her for being a Jew, and expressed that hatred in religious terms. I can see why she would have some strong discomfort with Christianity.

    That's not confusion; what's confusion is people whose understanding of Christianity is so poor that they do not understand that Jesus had to die on the Cross to redeem us from our sins. To use "Christ-killer" as an insult shows a profound ignorance of the faith.

    Of course, there isn't anyone around today who qualifies as "Christ-killer." Such a person would be very old.

  29. Some of the answers have some good info.I never heard any of this growing up in the west and thinking it was all bs would be my starting point... But the poll from the 80s and the stories from Chicago were a bit of an eye opener...

  30. I have updated the posting with my discovery that the question Stephen mentioned has been asked for decades--and the percentages agreeing with it are so outrageously high that I am forced to conclude that there is some deep secret conspiracy that I have not been allowed to know about.

  31. Dear Amy Alkon,
    Yours is a sad little posting:
    1) Either the person from your past remembers what was said, and wishes to APOLOGIZE; or
    2) They don’t recall.
    In the first case, you really ought to say yes, so they can make “amends.” But even if it’s the second case, here’s a new flash you “persecuted”, self-righteous person…You might take a page from Christ’s teachings, most specifically the Prodigal Son and realize that YOU, too are the Prodigal, not just the Good Son. How many people have YOU hurt over the last 30-plus years? Do you know? Has it occurred to you that you TOO are that eight year old? Those things YOU said, in passing, cut someone to the quick? Do you know how many times that happened? Have YOU apologized for all of them? You can see the “Mote in your Brother’s Eye,” but have you taken the time to examine your own eys for motes OR beams?

    Bottom-line: you might “befriend” this person. It may be Yhwh/Jehovah knocking on your door, to help heal a wound, in your own soul, or to bring you face-to-face with a few wounds that YOU inflicted. In either case, you might want to get sown off your wounded, self-righteous horse.

  32. Clayton, I have never even heard of school children calling their Jewish classmates “dirty Jews,” and I have been around longer than Amy has. That’s not to say that kids are not cruel to each other. Take it from me, I was a Dutch immigrant in the Chicago school system briefly, spoke almost no English and was called a “DP” without knowing what a “DP” was, just knew that it was a slur some 60 years ago (with sexual overtones for little boys). Somehow it never occurs to me to hold a grudge against other 8 year old kids after all those years. Of course, I’m a Christian, not an atheist or a liberal so forgiveness is part of my creed.

    w.v.:poloc: what Pole DPs were called in Chicago grade schools.

  33. "The Jews can never be forgiven for what they did to Jesus until they accept him as the true savior."

    Ask yourself: forgiven by whom? This answer is both theologically correct, and evinces no hatred of Jews. It's simple equivocation on the meaning of the word "forgiven" by pollster and poll-taker.

  34. There was a bit of a sea-change among Evangelical Christians in the 1970s in regards to Judaism. This was for the better, even if some of the accompanying changes weren't. Most liberals take their cues about conservative religion from what was said back in the 1960s, and thus are notably behind the times. Conservative religion (save for a few back alleys) has been remarkably philo-Semitic for the last 35 years or so, enough that most younger Evangelicals don't remember it being any other way. And since liberals hardly keep up with theological trends in their own sub-section of Christianity (unless those trends are politically useful to them), it is no surprise to me that they remain woefully ignorant of trends elsewhere in Christianity. I remember a talk by Gabriel Schoenfeld (author of The Return of Antisemitism) a few years ago, where an Evangelical pointed this change out to him, and even *he* sounded surprised by this development. In part, I think it's because Jews are (legitimately) a bit frightened by Evangelical theology, and don't interact with them unless they must.

  35. "'The Jews can never be forgiven for what they did to Jesus until they accept him as the true savior.'" "I see this and I am just amazed." "Is there some secret hatred of Jews in Protestant churches that never gets expressed in my presence?"

    If I were asked that question in a survey, I would say that it is a badly phrased question. As a "conservative overwhelmingly white Protestant" this would be my answer: No individual, of any religion or background, can be forgiven by God for *anything*, unless he/she accepts Jesus as his/her Savior. So that includes Jews, but also includes everyone else, including a conservative overwhelmingly white Protestant. This is basic New Testament teaching (see John 14:6 or Acts 4:12).

    Many of the 60 percent who said yes to this question probably were agreeing to this applying to everyone and not just Jews. I do not see any "secret hatred of Jews" in my church or in the Christian school where I teach.

  36. Clayton: regarding that "amazing" 60% figure, I'm not so sure it can't be explained easily. Perhaps the Christians being surveyed are simply providing a straightforward claim that Jews are not exempt from the requirements of salvation as listed in Christian doctrine. If that's the case, then I see the number as neither surprising nor anti-Semitic. It's just an acknowledgement of Acts 4:12, "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” I know that some people turn any claim of Christian religious exclusivity as anti-Semitic, but I don't think that's fair.

  37. Joe,

    Geesh, leave Amy alone. She actually was persecuted for being a Jew. I don't think it at all likely she has done the kind of outright persecution she described.

    Something like hurting someones feelings by failing to invite them to your party is not the same as showing up at their house to throw rotten eggs and scrawl dirty Jew across their garage.

    That's not some innocent mistake, and if you are going to approach someone you did that to to befriend them you had better be on your knees with a full admission and apology first.

    I've thought of approaching people to apologize for the mistakes of my childhood but it dawned on me that it was more for my benefit than theirs, and it's likely they don't even care about me much less remember. Might have helped back then but I doubt it matters now.

    You however have been a real jerk right now and you owe Amy an apology. I hope you don't wait thirty years.

  38. Christian institutions were pillars of the reactionary, authoritarian, and repressive Old Order in Europe

    No, not really, even though that's the cliche. For several centuries being a intellectual and being religious were one and the same thing. All the great universities in the West (the Sorbonne, Cambridge, even Princeton and Columbia in the US) were founded on religious grounds by religious people.

    Christians in America were prominent in obscurantist and reactionary movements such as Creationism

    Christians in America were also prominent in such "liberal" causes as the abolition of slavery. In fact the abolitionist movement in America was a Christian movement from top to bottom.

  39. In response to your update question about the survey, Rory Daulton and mcg are right on target.

  40. My kids are subjected to a never ending barrage of anti-semitism just about every day in school. We live in a majority hispanic city with the anglo minority being mostly protestant except for a vocal palestinian minority in our area. The taunts run the gamut from 'jews lie, cheat, steal', etc to death or violent beatings from the palestinians. The schools were not interested, some of the stuff even came from teachers. I grew up an army brat, you never heard such stuff, but my husband grew up in Queens, NY and there was plenty of that from the mostly Irish kids he went to school with. He counseled my kids to suck it up, but when I heard about the violent stuff I went to the school. My kids don't tell me about the violent stuff anymore, just all the rest of it. It is truly disturbing to me. Now when I hear about how evangelicals are the best friend to Israel and the Jews I just wonder how true that really is. These kids learned this stuff from somewhere.

  41. My father is a Methodist minister from South Georgia. So I grew up in the Christian church and the South. So not only did I hear what happened in public at the church, I also heard what happened behind the scenes of the church. Let's say by the age of eight years old I would be old enough to understand things and I moved out at 18 - so that would give me a decade of experience. In a decade I never once heard anyone associated with the church say a single negative thing about Jewish people.

  42. Ok, so the question in the poll was this: "The Jews can never be forgiven for what they did to Jesus until they accept him as the true savior."

    That is a trick question to ask Christians, because on the one hand, we realize that our scriptures were handed down to us, in part, by the Jews, and that we worship the same God, the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob, and we are generally adamant supporters and admirers of Jewish people and Israel.

    HOWEVER,we also believe that NO ONE, Jewish or otherwise, can be forgiven of God until they have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior, and as the Redeemer, who paid the price for all sin with His infinite Atonement.

    It really has little to do with the rejection of Christ's divinity by the Jewish people during His lifetime. And, of course, we, as Christians, MUST forgive all, if we wish to be forgiven of our own sins.

    In other words, if the question read: "______ can never be forgiven for __________ until they accept him[Jesus] as the true savior." Then just about all Christians would have agreed, and that is likely how those 60% saw it.

    If it had read that Jews today should not be forgiven by Christians for the Crucifixion of Christ, well, almost all Christians would have disagreed, for it is not for us to place blame, but to leave that for God to judge.

    "I, the Lord will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all."

  43. Although the Volokh Conspiracy is a generally "libertarian" group blog, comments there are heavily moderated. (Or were the last time I was there)

    And the moderators are notably more tolerant of all sorts of liberal kookiness than they are of equal and opposite views from the right. Why that it I can't say, but it's the reason why the comments section there often reads like Daily Kos, especially on these hot-button cultural issues.

  44. American evangelical Christians take very seriously the fact that, according to Genesis, God made the Jews his "chosen people". He promised the Jews would never disappear as a people. God promised that Jews and the nation Israel were central to His plan for humanity, and would play a central part in world-changing events. He also promised to pour out special blessings over them.

    Where Christians and Jews differ, of course, is over the identity of The Messiah. Christians believe Jesus was the spiritual Messiah for all of humanity, and whose coming, ministry, death and resurrection fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies. Jews believe the Messiah is yet to appear, and that when he does he will affect the temporal sphere, empowering Israel (both the Jews and the nation)and raising it above all other nations.

    While Christians disagree with Jews over the identity of Jesus, and want them to accept Him as the Christ, they also take seriously God's promise to other nations that He will "bless them who bless you (Israel and Jews), and curse them that curse you". Christians therefore (at least those evangelicals who seem to terrify the left-wing Jews so much) put Israel and Jews in a special place of honor and respect. These same evangelical Christians insist that their political representatives do everything in their power to see that the US remains a guarantor of Israel's security.

    In short, Jews and Israel have no greater friends on earth than American evangelical Christians, and it astounds me that so many Jews refuse to see or acknowledge it. Particularly since historically strong policy of strong US support for Israel almost dead among the American Left. Let's just hope Jews recognize who their friends are before they find themselves abandoned by those whose shaky support they've craved for decades.

  45. mrogow: Wow. I've seen it frequently claimed that the Catholic Church was a hotbed of anti-Semitism. The post-World War II pogroms in Poland had significant backing from Catholic priests, and Hugo Chavez's "Jews control everything" speech a couple of years ago seemed like a weird Marxist/Catholic amalgamation. Yet the surveys mentioned above that get those horrifying responses would suggest that Catholics were less anti-Semitic than Protestants.

    Where are the kids getting this stuff? Kids tend to be worse than adults on all sorts of behaviors, but it is a bit astonishing that someone is teaching them this stuff when practically no one seems to know any adults who think this way.

  46. "The Jews can never be forgiven for what they did to Jesus until they accept him as the true savior."'

    Clayton, I have to agree with Rory & mcg & Peggy. This is a badly-worded question (starting with use of the passive voice), and, like many surveys of religious beliefs, reflects a very shallow understanding of those beliefs. It conflates the Catholic belief in corporate responsibility and forgiveness ("Jews" being forgiven) with Protestant ideas about the same. Conservative Protestants do not share the Catholic doctrine of corporate forgiveness, and most of them don't even know about it. For conservative Protestants, everything happens on the personal level. So, my guess is that most people reading the question didn't even recognize the theology contained in the first part of the question, and skipped right to individual responsibility. The idea that everyone. of whatever ethnicity, has to accept Christ as the true savior in order to be forgiven of any sin is pretty basic theology, and no directed at any one group.

    You could argue that the responses reflect the unfortunate historical ignorance of many conservative Protestants, who know nothing about the development of Christian theology between the Book of Acts and the Reformation. Or that the question reflects the ignorance of secular pollsters about the differences between two branches of Christian theology. But I don't think it's a fair reading to assume anti-Semitism.

  47. Let's try to keep some perspective here. If you grow up as a white kid in a black school, or a black kid in a white school, or a Catholic in a Protestant school, or any minority in any majority school (including non-Jew in a majority Jewish school) you are going to hear some negative comments.

    It may be unpleasant, It's not necessarily evidence of anything meaningful.

  48. I am an evangelical christian and the poll results you quoted only make sense to me if I interpret the poll question in the following way:

    Do historical christian beliefs require acceptance of Christ as Savior in order to achieve salvation? Yes.

    Do Jews, the historical "chosen" people, get a special exemption from this requirement? No.

    So do evangelical christians have a special antipathy to Jews? No, far from it. But they do believe that a Jew's state is exactly like any other person who has not "accepted Christ as their savior."

  49. Joe: your post truly exemplifies the most vacuous drivel that only a completely braindead idiot transfixed by Oprah and Dr. Phil could spout.

    Facts: A bunch of little bastards made her childhood miserable. There is no reason to believe they have materially changed their opinions. They've done nothing to repair the damage they caused.

    If I were her, if someone had wronged me that seriously, I wouldn't consider forgiving them until they produced material evidence that they had had a change of heart. For example, 200 hours of service at a Jewish charitable organization would be a good start. I guarantee you, though, those idiots would never do it. Because whatever guilt they may feel, it's not enough to actually take time out of their lives to make amends.

    Instead, they would probably use lame excuses like you put forth, "but I was only 8" or "but you've done bad things to people too." Sit in on any court session, you'll hear the same litany. It's BS.

  50. TO: mrogow
    RE: Perhaps.... would help us out here. What community is it you live in. Not your address. Just the name of the city and the state.

    I ask because based on everything I've witnessed in my 60-year sojourn, I've NEVER encountered the sort of hatred directed against Jews that you claim your children experience on a daily basis. And that sojourn includes time in the deep-south, coming of age, in the midst of the desegregation of the late 60s. Wherein I was subjected to all kinds of hatefilled speech because I didn't hate blacks as much as my classmates in junior high did. [Note: Indeed....the man down the street from me ran for school board on a desegregation platform. Two days AFTER he LOST the election, his car was firebombed in his driveway. And my home-room teacher stormed out of a school assembly where my minister—who looked and sang like Glenn Campbell—talked about loving everyone.]

    So, I'd like to do a little more research on just WHAT is going on in your community. Just to verify your report.


    [Things are never as bad, nor as good, as first reported. -- US Army staff puke axiom]

  51. "It may be unpleasant, It's not necessarily evidence of anything meaningful."

    It's a bit odd that it is expressed as religious hatred. Where does a kid get the idea to call someone a "Christ-killer" come from? That does not sound like something that you would just dream up out of boredom.

  52. "Joe: your post truly exemplifies the most vacuous drivel that only a completely braindead idiot transfixed by Oprah and Dr. Phil could spout."

    My, what an effective way to persuade someone to your point of view!

  53. re Jews responsible for Christ's death: I never once heard this growing up in Bible Belt America. Nonbelievers killed Christ, but Christ was destined to die anyway -- that's the way the scenario had to play out. So who killed Christ is irrelevant; that he died to redeem mankind from sin is the central idea.

    I converted to Catholicism as an adult. At mass, the Jews are always referred to with respect, as is their interpretation of the Old Testament. My impression is modern day Catholicism feels a kinship with Jews because of common roots, and that anti-Catholicism is the logical offshoot of anti-Semitism. In other words, "When they come for the Jews, we're next."

  54. As a few others have said, there was a big change in much of the Christian world over the thirty or so years following 1960. A lot of religious animosities (many of which were carried here from persecution in Europe) faded away in that period. This includes not only Christian vs. Jew, but Protestant vs. Catholic and the various disputes between branches of Protestantism (ironically, one of the biggest influences in this reconciliation
    movement was Jerry Falwell, who is more often characterized as a spreader of hatred).

    However, even before that change, I think that there is too much tendency for people to attribute to hatred something that is not motivated by hatred at all (just as current Christians are wrongly accused of hatred for opposing gay marriage).

    What the Protestants were probably reflecting is the doctrine that sin and redemption are both transmitted through the blood. The following is not intended to be a persuasive argument or a statement of my belief, only an outline the doctrine: We all became sinners by Adam's sin. All Jews are blessed because they are descended from Abraham. We Christians all became holy by the blood sacrifice of Christ. All Jews became guilty of the death of their Messiah. There are many places in the Bible that support this interpretation, including when the Jews told Pilate that they and their children would accept the guilt for the Crucifiction.

    This doctrine is less common now, but even when it was very common, it was not necessarily a sign of hatred or a motivation for persecution. To a Christian, the phrase "X can never be forgiven until they accept Christ" does not mean that you should hate X, it means that you have a great duty to love and pray for X.

  55. It's a bit odd that it is expressed as religious hatred.

    "Jew" in America can be a religious, ethnic, or cultural signifier. In practice it is almost always used in the latter two meanings, even by Jews themselves. So I don't buy into the idea of "religious hatred".

    Where does a kid get the idea to call someone a "Christ-killer" come from?

    According to you, you know of only one instance of this (allegedly) happening, to your stepmother-in-law in the 1930's. If it's both more widespread and more recent I'll start to worry about it.

  56. Where does this perception come from that American Christians are one step removed from buying Zyklon B and firing up the ovens?

    Once upon a time many conservative Christians did harbor anti_Semitic sentiments Maybe 50 years ago. But like so many of the assumptions of leftists, that state of affairs has not been re-examined in a half century. Nixon is still President. All wars are Viet Nam. The War On Poverty is still a viable model. Lunch counters in the South are still segregated. And Christians are anti_Semitic. The Left is living in the past in so many ways. They are regressive, not progressive.

  57. "The Jews can never be forgiven for what they did to Jesus until they accept him as the true savior."'

    This is actually standard evangelical doctrine EXCEPT that "Jews" can be replaced by any group at all.

    All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God means ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

    Some evangelicals do think that *probably* being God's chosen people is going to help them out, but since we're not told that in scripture, only that "no one comes to the Father but by Me" we've got to go by the rules that we're given. But no matter if an individual has been saved or not makes no difference to the fact that the Jews ARE God's chosen.

    Someone who understands evangelical doctrine should ask poll questions that don't confuse the essential elements of salvation through accepting Christ and the question of *special* responsibility of Jews (something beyond that everyone involved was Jewish since they were, after all, in Israel.)

  58. Clayton: "Where does a kid get the idea to call someone a "Christ-killer" come from? That does not sound like something that you would just dream up out of boredom."

    When my half-Filipino son was in preschool, a kid told him he had "dirty dark skin" and needed to wash. Certainly, that sort of thing doesn't come out of nowhere either. But I wouldn't go so far as to accuse the child's parents of overt racism. Kids hear things from relatives, friends, TV, even in supermarkets. Sometimes their brains put them together in ways that result in hateful expressions. It doesn't mean that the parents are deliberately teaching their kids prejudice, or that the mindset will last a lifetime.

    This same son, by the way, danced around at church saying "Naked dancing! Naked dancing!" but it reflected nothing more than his love of the shock value of the word "naked," coupled with the fact that he was dancing. It certainly didn't mean that we took him to strip clubs, and now that he's 10 he knows that we don't dance naked, especially at church. This is what I mean by kids putting things together in strange ways. I wouldn't read anything sinister into an isolated incident.

  59. Clayton,

    His response is about as effective as Joe's comment "... you might want to get sown off your wounded, self-righteous horse." I think Joe had that coming, and it had nothing to do with persuasion.

    Where do people get this ridiculous idea Joe has that you have to pass out forgiveness like confetti at a parade?

    Amy didn't describe a life crippled by her pursuit of vengeance, or a life wasted holding a grudge. She didn't sound like she had "a wound, in your own soul". She forgot about the twit till he tried to "friend" her out of the blue.

    It's perfectly normal not to forgive those who don't deserve it, and perfectly reasonable.

  60. Well, my other comment was just repeating what everyone else said.

    But I wanted to say something about kids. Children are children because they have limited understanding. Sometimes that hangs on a while. It's not that they were taught something, but that they misunderstand.

    To take a non-religious example, my oldest when he was five watched a children's show depicting racism to show how that was wrong. It had never occurred to him that anyone should care about skin color or other differences but the show portrayed the different puppets being mean to each other. At his age he wasn't making judgment calls about right and wrong he was simply figuring out what *was* so he decided that this was how people acted.

    You'd think that something aimed at children, produced by people with educations in child development, you'd think they'd understand this. But they screwed up anyway and I had to do damage control.

    There is no real way to avoid the simple and real fact that Jesus was Jewish, all of his disciples were Jewish, and the religious leaders who objected to him and had him crucified were Jewish. Religious teaching for children concentrates on "Jesus loves you" and "Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world..." A child's understanding is limited and they get odd ideas from the most unlikely things.

    And in the end, no one has to teach a child to be cruel. And cruel children seldom understand how cruel they are being. And finding things to be cruel *about* doesn't take some adult telling them so. It takes the adult correcting them. But kids being cruel know not to do that when adults are around.

  61. "It's perfectly normal not to forgive those who don't deserve it, and perfectly reasonable."

    Who ever deserves forgiveness for their actions? Forgiveness is a sign of mercy. I'm not saying that everyone must be forgiving, but it is amazing how holding grudges wounds the grudge holder most of all.

    If someone makes the effort to open up communication, what's the harm in responding?

  62. I live in San Antonio, TX. Also, around Easter without fail someone would also call my kids 'christ killers'. When they were little they would come home and want to know who was this 'christ' and why did people think we killed him. They would try and tell them we never killed anyone. We are reform jews and our kids go to temple, etc. My kids weren't bullied, they have friends and enjoy school (well middle school, not so much, but that's middle school). It's the pervasive nature of this that is so upsetting to me. However, my kids also say there are racist slurs directed towards other minorities from mostly hispanic kids, especially african americans, since we have very few. I'm just glad it has a large military compliment to go against all that.

  63. I work with a number of jewish people. All of them are liberal. Some of them know I am a Christian and only interface with me on a professional level. The few that either don't know I am a Christian or simply don't care communicate with me on many levels. Liberals are non-believers. It doesn't matter what their background, they just don't any part of GOD (Jesus is GOD so let's keep that in mind). On the other hand, most Christians don't know many Jews mainly because in America, Jews are populated in certain areas. Also, since Jesus was a Jew by birth, most Christians wonder why most Jews do not believe in their own savor. It is simple, most USA Jews are liberals, thus non-beleivers. That all said, it is the liberalism in people that make them non-beleivers, not race or other made up excuses. Merry Christmas.

  64. I think that in many cases, a child that is spouting apparent anti-Semitism or racism or whatever is in fact just acting on a more general sense of hatred of the different. And they are simply choosing the terms calculated to inflict the most damage.

    I'll bet many adults do the same, but it's easier for me to believe this about children, who are likely to be quite naive about the history of the insults they are using.

  65. TO: Brian Macker
    RE: [OT] Amy

    Amy didn't describe a life crippled by her pursuit of vengeance, or a life wasted holding a grudge. She didn't sound like she had "a wound, in your own soul". -- Brian Macker

    You don't seem to know her very well.

    RE: Enough....

    ....about Amy. Let's get back ON-TOPIC. Eh?

    As I intimated with mrogow and has been mentioned time and again in this thread. I don't think there are any REAL christians that hate the Jews. Rather, I suspect those who don't really KNOW Christ as their Lord, hate the Jews. Or hate anyone else. And that includes, believe it or not, Jews. And, I suspect the 'secular' ones amongst them, i.e., those who do not practice their faith. After all the old part of that Old Book calls for the practicing Jew to respect the foreigner in their midst.

    On the other hand, the 'seculars' probably hate Israel, i.e., the REAL Jew, because their very existence puts shame to them, for being false to their ancestors. So, as I've commented in the past, it's a classic example of how....

    Where 'Good' can tolerate the existence of 'Evil', 'Evil cannot tolerate the existence of 'Good'. Because 'Good' will continually be an example of what is wrong with 'Evil'. Therefore 'Evil' must always attempt to destroy 'Good'. Just for the sake of its own 'peace of mind'.


    [The Truth will out....]

  66. Once upon a time many conservative Christians did harbor anti_Semitic sentiments Maybe 50 years ago.

    I think that part of the problem here is that the term "anti-Semitism" is used to cover everything from the sort of mild bigotry which every group in America once(?) held for all the others (and this includes even the bigotry of Jews towards non-Jews), all the way to Dachau and genocide.

    The "anti-semitism" felt by Jews in America was more akin to the bigotry felt by Irish, Italian and other "ethnic" Catholics than to the treatment of American blacks, let alone the treatment of Jews in some European countries.

    So using the same term to describe both this and the Nazis clouds the truth rather than illustrating it. In America being called a "kike" was no more a prelude to violence than being called "Wop" or "paddy" or "frog".

  67. I find Joe's comment disturbing. He's blaming the victim.

  68. I'm with Amy on the FB friend issue. If the last time you saw someone you were hurling hateful invective their way, your first communication with them should be "I'm sorry", not "I want to be your friend." You can send people messages on Facebook before you try to add them as a friend, after all.

  69. The problem is that non-Christian pollsters are profoundly incompetent when it comes to writing poll questions in such a way as to make them meaningful and unambiguous to informed, orthodox Christians.

    Look at this question, for example. "The Jews can never be forgiven for what they did to Jesus until they accept him as the true savior."

    "The Jews." Which Jews? All of them? The particular ones who conspired to have him crucified? The Messianic Jews who believe in Jesus now? The non-Messianic Jews now?

    Or, "...can never...." Does that mean "can" in reference to capability, or will in reference to what is actually done?

    Or, "forgiven" whom? By God? By Christians?

    And, is this question clumsily equating forgiveness specifically with salvation, generally? Or if that wasn't the intent, is it interpreted by some respondents in that fashion?

    In Christian moral theology there isn't a single Jew alive today who's any more responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus than any Christian alive today, or for that matter any atheist.

    So presumably we're talking about the Jews alive at the time? Caiaphas et alia?

    Or perhaps we're talking about Jews, generally; and the person doing the forgiving is God, and "forgiven" in this case is being broadly construed to mean "saved?"


  70. ...continuing...

    That's about the only way that the responses make sense. In that tortured interpretation of the question, one could answer, "Well, yes, Jews would need to accept Christ to be saved; thus, I suppose they aren't functionally forgiven unless they do so."

    But the funny thing about that is that it ignores two important distinctions. First, a modern Jew doesn't need to be forgiven for crucifying God incarnate. He didn't; that was some other Jews 2,000 years ago. (And not just Jews; I think I recall something about a bunch of Romans being rather heavily involved...!)

    A modern Jew needs to be forgiven of his Pride, Sloth, Lust, Gluttony, et cetera. But what's that got to do with his being a Jew? Those are the same things we all need to be forgiven of? So why bring up his Jewishness in that context? It's not as if Jews are any more sinful than any other people group.

    Indeed, in Christian thought the Jews' first century behavior was representative of humanity in general. There isn't anything particularly Jewish about the fact that they crucified Christ. Christianity teaches other group of humans would have reacted to God incarnate in the same way. (In Christianity this notion is a part of a doctrine called "Original Sin.")

    So the question is confusing, confused, and largely nonsensical from the point-of-view of a Christian. One can hardly be surprised if the results are surprising, because they are meaningless, and meaningless questions produce meaningless results.

  71. Really, I “owe Amy Alkon” an apology? Why? Isn’t this the “Advice Goddess?” Might do the Advice Goddess a little good to be less a “Goddess” and give a little less advice, and a little more humble.

    Secondly, I don’t know if it was vacuous or not, I don’t think just Oprah or Dr. Phil would “spout” it. I think Jesus or a number of Talmudic or even Islamic scholars might suggest it. Or course, they’re “religious folk” so; in your case they may not count.

    So “Amy” was persecuted/hurt by some? So was my Life Partner. Sooner or later you have to “confront” your tormentor, as my Life Partner confronted his/her abuser. You don’t move on unless you can do it.

    What you CAN do is remain a nice little “victim” and let your anger keep you warm at night. “Those people hurt you” and you can wrap that around you like a blanket and let those people live in your head, and guide your life, forever. Or you could meet them and see if they’ve changed, and move on as an adult.

    Lastly, what’s wrong about pointing out that Amy, or you, or me, might not have the “lock” on being the victim, mayhap WE’VE done a little damage ourselves. Gee, who is this person to ask to be Amy’s friend? Why they hurt Amy! Of course, Amy or you or me may have just as thoughtlessly, hurt people, but hey let’s don’t think about that! Let’s just sit on our high horse, be indignant and self-righteous.

  72. Amy, Viktor Frankl, who may have suffered worse anti-semitism than you, summed up the choice one has in the face of hatred in "Man's Search For Meaning." I won't give away his secret, but highly recommend you read it.
    P.S. - it's not burning off a face book request!

    mrogow, you cite a majority hispanic community with a "vocal palestenian minority but somehow make the problem sound like it's caused by the white-Anglos. Since the phrases you give come directly from the anti-jew propaganda inspired by the Koran, I hope you will reconsider. There really are people who want to kill Jews, but you won't find them in Evangelical Christian circles.

    I think a part of the reason for a transformation in anti-semetic feelings was the men who served in WWII. They came home and faced a choice: Change their thinking about Jews or be like the Nazis they had just fought. Most chose to change their thinking and the rest were marginalized.

  73. "When my half-Filipino son was in preschool, a kid told him he had "dirty dark skin" and needed to wash. Certainly, that sort of thing doesn't come out of nowhere either."

    Where it probably comes from is human nature, revealed more in young children who have yet to be socialized.

    To be different as a youngster is to face ridicule or more. It doesn't matter if it's ethnicity, skin color, wearing glasses (I'm Clayton's age more or less), or being good at academics and bad at athletics (my curse).

    In the modern age, accusations of hate are intentionally used as weapons. This produces signals that cause many to interpret all sorts of things as hate, but it really is a tool of the left. Hate is almost as useful as racism, so if they can't get you on one, they'll get you on the other.

    I have tried to explain on Volokh conspiracy, to the atheist gays who frequent the comment section, that my objection to gays in the military does NOT come from either hared of gays or "homophobia". But it doesn't match their mindset, because hatred is what they want to believe.

  74. "I live in San Antonio, TX. Also, around Easter without fail someone would also call my kids 'christ killers'."

    Wow. That just amazes me. Do you know anything about the kids who are saying things like this? Are they coming from evangelical Christian homes? This is so outside the experience of not just myself, but just about everyone I know.

  75. It is historical. Remember all the quotas Jews had to deal with in America? There were even movies about it.

    BTW anti-Jew feelings in America peaked in 1944.

    What happened in that and subsequent years to change things? I think pictures from the camps made people pull back.

  76. "I think a part of the reason for a transformation in anti-semetic feelings was the men who served in WWII."

    Something similar happened in the South--a number of Southern veterans came back from World War II, hostile to Jim Crow, because of its similarities (although less severe) to the Nazi laws.

  77. I grew up for a few years in the South in the late 40s early 50s. (I was around 5) Some kids I was playing with called me "Jew Boy". My mom had to explain to me what it was about. Of course I didn't really understand it until I was older.

    So American anti-semitism is within my historical experience.

    Let me add that it was the first and only experience of that kind in my whole life. (I'm 66)

  78. Let me add my own anecdotal evidence.

    I grew up and am still a member of a Lutheran denomination whichis predominately ethnic German (although my own congregation has a goodly number of hispanic members).

    Growing up, the only position I ever heard was in accordance with those who have already posted on the Christian belief that every single person, through his or her own sin, is guilty of Christ's death. This was emphasized so strongly that when I first heard of the term "Christ-killer" -- not personally, but in a first-person-singular essay -- I was amazed at the poor theology involved in that accusation.

    However, since becoming an adult, I have encountered anti-Semitism within the denomination. Almost without exception, it has appeared in the older cohorts: over 65 almost exclusively, and none under age 30. What is interesting, it tends to crop up in those who are more on the political fringes, and, in my experience, more common on the left side of the political spectrum.

    My observation also is that it is more prevalent in Roman Catholic circles than in Conservative Christian circles, though I've observed it so seldom, it is difficult to make a statistically valid observation.

    In any event, thanks for the post and food for thought.

  79. Let me add that schools as Protestant indoctrination centers (you can look up the origins of the public school systems) was still somewhat in effect in the 50s and 60s. I was forced to attend assemblies where songs such as "Jesus Loves Me" were common fare. I resented it. (BTW some of this was in a High School where 1/4 of the students were Jewish). Let me add that at the time my High School was considered to be one of the top 10 in the nation. (in Nebraska no less)

    It took me decades to overcome the bias this caused. And I'm still fierce about making and keeping public schools secular institutions. For all our sakes.

    It is rather instructive to be a minority in a culture. You get a different perspective.

  80. The answer to why so many Christians would believe that Jews cannot be forgiven until they accept Christ is simple. Christians beleive that the only way ANYONE can be forgiven of their sins is through accepting Christ. Duh.

    It is like an incident I recall from my junior high school days. The local police did a survey that discovered some astounding percentage of students (over 80% if I recall) in my grade had "taken drugs." Just the week before we had spent an entire period in Health Class on the definition of a "drug" which included such items as aspirin, antibiotics, ibuprophen, etc. In both cases the polster is suprised because in his ignorance he's actually asked a different question than he thought.

  81. Clayton,

    I wonder if "can Jesus ever be forgiven for being a Jew" be a counter to the counter to the Christ Killer meme.

    Second: the Jewish religion has more in common with Buddhism than with religions of faith.

    I was brought up Orthodox and it was pounded into us that sins against G-d would be forgiven. Sins of faith were relatively inconsequential.

    It was repeatedly repeated that it was sins against our fellow man that were paramount. The Day of Atonement is not about getting right with G-d, it was about getting right with our fellow man. Righting wrongs. Healing breeches.

    Put simply Christianity focuses on faith. Judaism focuses on works. (not entirely true on either side)

    When I lived in Chicago a Jewish friend said in effect that it would be easier for him to become a Buddhist than to become a Christian.

    To give some idea of what it means culturally. I have been a successful electronics engineer (self taught), I was a tiny but significant part of the microcomputer revolution (a board I designed went into the world's first BBS - I helped the guys who did it with some hardware/software problems.) Mom still respects doctors more. She doesn't come right out and say it. But she gushes over doctors. I've never heard her gush over engineers.

    You can be a Jewish atheist. I don't believe that is a possible combination in Christianity.

    WV: nosync Yep.

  82. Perhaps the Christians being surveyed are simply providing a straightforward claim that Jews are not exempt from the requirements of salvation as listed in Christian doctrine.

    There is going to be friction. You see I do not need saving. You can't imagine how offputting it is to hear that I do. I don't need my sins to be forgiven. What I need to do is to get busy and right any wrongs I have committed.

    "Jesus saves, Moses invests" is more true than you know.

  83. I think that part of the problem here is that the term "anti-Semitism" is used to cover everything from the sort of mild bigotry which every group in America once(?) held for all the others

    A lot of Jews were leaders in the anti-Jim Crow movement. I'm not sure of the history but I believe Jews were instrumental in setting up the NAACP. (or maybe another organization of the type).

    As far as I know Jews were the only group in America subject to quotas in educational institutions.

    In fact the Jews have drifted from the Blacks over Black support for quotas. (Affirmative Action)

    As to Jewish bigotry. "Goyim" was always said with a sneer or irony in my home. Or sometimes more like "Goyim?!" So yeah. Bigotry is human. When you get civilized you endeavor to give it up. Sometimes it takes 40 or 60 years.

    Teaching hate is one of the most pernicious things humans do. Since consanguinity relations are most common in human behavior (there is even an equation for it). It takes a LOT of effort to go beyond supporting one's genes. That is what is so amazing about 1776.

    You see that in the current political line up. In other words - Jews support Democrats because Jews support Democrats. Or as my mother once put it "Why do you support Republicans? What have they ever done for you?" I tried to explain that Republicans have better ideas. Generally. She wasn't buying it.

  84. The question was why Jews think Christians, specifically traditional/evangelical Protestants, are anti-semitic NOT whether the Protestants think they're anti-semitic. Based on my experience as a Jewish convert who grew up a Presbyterian in the Bible Belt, I'd say there are three basic reasons:

    1) Jews know next to nothing about Protestant theology and have spent centuries suffering the consequences of blood libels and convert-or-die (or convert-and-die-anyway) Catholicism, not to mention various schoolyard bullies.

    2) Even if they'll hide you in the basement from the Nazis, those devout Christians nonetheless have no problem believing God will torture you for all eternity. Personally, I can live with that. I just think it's ridiculous. But the conviction bothers a lot of Jews, as does the evangelism that springs from it.

    3) When businesses try to be polite to Jews, among others, by such simple inclusive efforts as saying, Happy Holidays (which includes everything from Thanksgiving to New Year's) rather than Merry Christmas, they are denounced for waging a War on Christmas. If so, the mall music suggests Christmas has won.

  85. TO: M. Simon
    RE: [OT] Homie??!?! High School was considered to be one of the top 10 in the nation. (in Nebraska no less) -- M. Simon

    Which school was that? And when?

    I did the late 50s in Lincoln. The early 60s in Belleview, a.k.a. Offutt AFB.

    UNL in the 70s. Class of '75.


    [Go Big Red!]

  86. TO: M. Simon
    RE: 'Goyim' R Us

    People can call me whatever they like. Even if they think it an insult. After all, as I'm confident you've seen me say on other blogs....

    I've been abused by the BEST!

    Besides, if they wish to insult my religious beliefs, as some Wag put it around 2000 years ago....

    Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. -- Luke 6:22 (KJV)


    [When the stones get thrown;
    They either miss;
    Or they turn to glory. -- Newsboys, Step Up to the Microphone

    P.S. Thank you Amy, for honoring me thusly.....

  87. Just one more comment: I didn't mean to suggest that the slurs come from evangelicals only. I never asked my kids what group was insulting them at the time. I suppose since we are in a hispanic majority city that's where the most insults come from, but honestly, I just never asked. The death threats and violent beatings, etc., always come from the palestinians. Since I was raised an Army Brat (and then married a soldier) all this came as a profound shock to me.

  88. I haven't seen anything at church to suggest that any of the members at this church, or my previous one, are anti-semites. In fact, most are very clearly the opposite.

    However, outside of church, I will say that one of the biggest reasons I gave up on online gaming was that I got tired of just how large a portion of the "25 and under" crowd there were disgusting little bigots. Seeing things like "Blizzard jewed me with the latest patch" gets very old, very quickly.

  89. I grew up in a Baptist congregation during the '60's and '70's, hardly the most liberal time for that Protestant sect, and I can't remember any preaching denouncing the Jews. I distinctly remember at least one sermon denouncing the idea that the Jews as a people were "to blame" for the crucifixion.

    By the '70's, I heard a lot of interest in jewish customs, history and respect for the jewish faith as a foundation of Christian belief albeit one that was replaced by Christian doctrine ( as one would expect a Christian church to be preaching ).

  90. The poll question you wrote about is pretty sadly worded. If you want to know why the difference between traditional and evangelical views on Jews are different, see "replacement theology". In a nutshell, Catholics and Lutherans (at least; there may be others, it's not a Catholic/Protestant issue) view Christian gentiles as replacing the Jews in the covenant - basically they say the Jews messed up and now it's the gentile's turn. Thus there is animosity toward Jews; see writings by Luther advocating violence toward Jews to coerce them into converting. Evangelicals, on the other hand, regard gentiles as being grafted into the covenant, and the Jews as still being God's chosen people and timepiece. Evangelicals will see prophecy about Israel as being literally about Israel; other traditional churches will see prophesy about Israel as being about the Christian church. If Israel is replaced in the Bible, dangerous ideas are formed, and I can see why Jews would be nervous about Christians who buy replacement theology - Jews may as well be forgotten. But Evangelicals are friends of Israel.
    Replacement Theology, or Supersessionism, is a whole different way of interpreting the Bible.

  91. Virginia Postrel,

    Your comment about your conversion is somewhat confusing; were you converted to Judaism or to Christianity? A few thoughts on your comments.

    (1) It isn’t just Jews who are ignorant about Christian theology, most people who are not Christian share the same ignorance which leads to misunderstanding. What’s interesting about that is that Americans are overwhelmingly Christian. Christianity permeates our culture so I’m curious why this ignorance is so widespread. It’s similar to Liberalism vs. Conservatism. Because the media culture is so overwhelmingly Liberal, conservatives understand the Liberal viewpoint well – it surrounds us and permeates our every waking moment - while the Liberal mass media hires reporters to report on Conservatives as if we are some strange remote tribe who have weird habits.
    (2) You must know some very old Jews. I’m referring to the ones who spent centuries suffering under the Christian knout. Forgive me if the reference of so many people, Blacks, Jews, Aztecs, whoever, who claim to have been persecuted for centuries drives me up the wall. If you have been wronged, by all means seek justice, but invoking your long dead ancestors is a cheap way to achieve victim status. In Liberal-land victim status allows you to proclaim your moral superiority to white, male, Christian heterosexuals.
    (3) You apparently have little knowledge of Christian theology yourself if you think Christians believe that God’s going to torture you for eternity. Thanks for demonstrating your own ignorance.
    (4) Finally, this is the Christmas season, not the Winter Solstice Season, or Frosty the Snowman Season, or even the season which coincides with the commemoration of a holiday celebrated by roughly 1.5% of the American people. If you are uncomfortable with that I’m just going to have to live with the guilt that the celebration of MY faith is interpreted as in insult to you.

    Merry Christmas.

  92. TO: All
    RE: mrogow

    Generally speaking, I tend to take people at their word. However, when their report contradicts the vast amount of information available, I ask for a way to corroborate their report.

    When they become evasive, e.g., do not respond directly to simple questions, I tend to lower their credibility.

    Such has just happened with mrogow. I asked them what city and state these 'attacks' occur in. They are evasive in their response.

    In light of that and all the reports we've had here as well as personal experience these last 60-odd years..... know....


    [Military intelligence is not an oxymoron. Except to real morons.]]

  93. The problem, if there is one, is that many Christians don't understand the theology that they themselves profess.

    Given, the poll may have produced faulty results; but, just take for granted for a moment that the poll is accurate, what does this say?

    This says that 60% of the Church does not even correctly understand Biblical theology! Yes, the Jews at the time of Christ crucified Him. But, does that correctly translate into the fact that they can never be forgiven? I think not. Here's why:

    1) Jesus' own words: "But Jesus was saying, "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing " And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves." (Luke 23:34). Christ, our mediator with the Father, asks for forgiveness for those who crucified Him, who of course, were the Jews.

    2) More importantly, Jesus Himself says:

    "No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again This commandment I received from My Father." (John 10:18)

    Again in the Gospel of John, we read:

    "Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, 'I am thirsty.' A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, 'It is finished.' With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit." (John 19:28-30)

    And also:

    "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit." (John 12:24)

    Here's the point: Christ came, born of a woman, God in flesh, to "seek and save that which is lost." (Luke 19:10)

    He, being the Soveriegn LORD over all creation - no one took His life from Him - He voluntarily gave it up, that He might be the propitiation for the sin of many.

    A correct understanding of Biblical Theology clears this right up, and quickly. The Jews didn't kill Christ - He gave His own life up for those whom He would draw to Himself, and grant forgiveness and everlasting life.

    Jesus is the sacrificial, spotless Lamb of God, who came to take away the sins of the world, and Who now reigns on the throne over His Kingdom, forever. This was all a part of God's plan from the beginning, and He used the Pharisees, the Scribes, and the Sanhedrin for His Good and Perfect purposes in His plan to reconcile His creation to Himself.

    Praise to the LORD of Hosts and creation, for He is Good - His steadfast love endures forever!

  94. patwell5641 said...

    > Christian institutions were pillars of the
    > reactionary, authoritarian, and repressive Old
    > Order in Europe

    No, not really, even though that's the cliche. For several centuries being a intellectual and being religious were one and the same thing.

    Intellectualism is not intrinsically contradictory to reaction, authoritarianism, and repression. Legions of "clerks" have been grovelling toadies to power.

    In Europe, the institutional Church was an arm of the state (whether Protestant, Roman Catholic, or Orthodox). Churches were funded by state-collected taxes, and priests and bishops were state functionaries. (Catholic clergy were nominally subordinate to Rome, but there were endless legal and political battles between the Papacy and secular governments over the scope of Papal authority.) State power was regularly used by the Church to suppress religious dissent.

    And the clergy, almost without exception, were loyal to and preached in support of the political order - monarchy and aristocracy. Look up the phrase "throne-and-altar conservatism". That sentiment was a powerful force in Europe well into the 20th century (see Francoist Spain or Imperial Russia, or the anti-Dreyfusard Right and its successors in France).

    The universities are cited. Yes, the universities were founded and supported by the Church - but even within the universities, the Church-appointed authorities favored conformity to orthodoxy and tradition over innovation and free-ranging inquiry.