Posted by Dena on November 15, 2008, at 19:27:59
To better understand the concerns over anti-Semitism, watch this powerpoint (be sure to use the full-screen option, found at the lower right corner of the small screen). I dare you, I dare ALL of you, to watch this: http://tinyurl.com/6nx2g4
Powerfully shocking & haunting images!
I visited the Holocaust museum when I lived in Washington, DC ... I studied the Holocaust in my teens (the horror of it fascinated me -- the sheer unreality of it, and yet it was real)...
I spent some time in East Berlin, when the wall was still up - and I saw the remnants of that repressive regime. And when we lived in Stuttgart Germany, in the early 1980's, my father took the military base's youth group (from the church) to see Dachau - one of the preserved extermination camps in Germany. I went there 3 times -- they've kept is just as it was, after WWII, and it's absolutely devastating. My father would then tell the teenagers about the Milgram Experiment (http://tinyurl.com/6dpovg) on the way home on the bus, so that they'd know that none of us are above such atrocities -- that any of us, given the right (wrong!) set of circumstances, and particularly when propaganda and "allegiance to the state, right or wrong" is promoted, then they, too, could be lured into such brutality.
Man's inhumanity to man is abysmal...! Especially in the name of religion (as Hitler told the Pope: "I'm just acting out what your church has taught for centuries!"). For far too long, Christianity has taught, both overtly and covertly, that Jews are responsible for the death of Jesus (as if that weren't His own plan!), and have persecuted the Jews relentlessly (even as the Jews, due to their own misunderstandings, persecuted the early followers of Jesus). As is written, there are those who will kill others, and believe that they're doing God a favor ... but only God is able to discern the hearts, and thus bring forth true judgment and justice (and His mercy always triumphs over His judgment -- for as it's written, all Israel will be saved -- Israel being the first-fruits for the rest of mankind). God's judgment against *that* generation of Jews has come and gone (in 70AD) ... and mercy triumphed. All have been reconciled to Him, He is now all in all. God is no longer at war with humanity -- and we need to be aligned with that reality!
That very deception (that we humans can act out God's justice) is alive and well among us, in this world -- we didn't purge ourselves of it after WWII ... and when we forget the past, we're doomed to repeat it (i.e., in the Sudan, in Rwanda, in Darfur, etc). It's imperative that we remember, that we do not sweep this under the rug of our collective consciousness ... that we do not deny it, that we do not minimize it. It's critical that we come to see and believe that there's no more "us vs. them" in this world -- it's all "US". It's time to understand one another, to explore our differences, to see ourselves as neighbors -- to love our neighbors, and if we cannot yet do that, then to love our enemies until they become our neighbors and family...!
My own husband and 8 children would've perished in the Holocaust -- had we happened to have been born in Europe a few generations earlier (even though we're all followers of Jesus). I would've likely perished as an accomplice. If we continue to allow even subtle anti-Semitism, or anti-anyone-ism, we're setting the stage for a future Holocaust, that could happen right here in the USA.
Just one thing that needs clarifying in that power-point: it was said that schools in the UK are no longer teaching the Holocaust out of fear of offending Muslims -- that's actually not quite accurate. One school in northern UK did choose to not teach the Holocaust one year, so that it wouldn't incite anti-Semitism from the Muslim students (they likewise didn't teach on the Crusades - yet another atrocity done "in the name of God"). One reporter took this story to an extreme (as reporters are wont to do, for ratings), and it brought about a public outcry. The good news is that the UK schools are committed to teaching on the Holocaust. You may appreciate much of what's said in this "Snopes" article on it: http://www.snopes.com/politics/religion/holocaust.asp
My strong and adamant opinion is that any form of anti-Semitism, or anti-ANYone-ism, cannot be allowed or tolerated on this forum, whether overtly or subtly. I've watched over the years as Lou has steadfastly taken on anti-Semitism seemingly single-handedly -- only to be met, over and over, with blatant denials of any such intolerance happening. It sounds a whole heck of a lot like, "The Holocaust didn't really happen, so get over it and quit making such a big deal out of this." May I suggest that it's possible that those who have not *experienced* anti-Semitism may in fact be somewhat blind to it, while those who are either Jewish, or are related to those who are Jewish, may be better attuned to it? Perhaps the former should respectfully listen to, and give credence to, the latter...?
I've seen Lou handle these encounters with kindness, patience, and far more graciousness than he's been given. He's asked repeatedly for justice, for a response, for an acknowledgment that he's been heard -- only to be met with ridicule, shunning, patronizing comments, and even disrespectful silence. He's repeated his requests persistently, following the very protocol that has been given him ... protocol that favors some while squelching him, protocol that keeps changing, seemingly targeted personally at him, and which perpetuates the inequities. For heaven's sake -- answer the man, and abide by the very protocol that you claim to uphold...! This entire situation has become petty and childish.
Lou's sole desire is to share a powerful and transformative experience of his -- in the hopes that it may benefit someone else. He has nothing to gain by doing so. He's been shut down ad nauseam, while others are allowed to get away with the very same things he's been accused of. (I understand that some may find his posting style to be frustrating, particularly when he often asks for clarification. But understand where that comes from: Lou is carefully meticulous -- he doesn't want to risk misunderstanding, hurting, or even offending anyone -- and so he asks many questions, to better ascertain where a person is coming from. That is to his credit -- that should be met with grace and understanding.)
This is not about me standing up for a friend, which I'm only too happy to do. This is about a human being standing up for what's right. And you know it. For those of you who dared to watch the power-point presentation linked above, and who can thus better understand Lou's driving passion that we learn from history -- stand with him as well. Speak out. Say what you see. Don't condone the inequities with your silence. Let's never forget what atrocities can be done when people choose to look the other way, and remain silent. One day you may be on the receiving end of ignorant hatred, that began with making allowances for "us vs. them" thinking...!
"The unanswered questions aren't nearly as dangerous as the
"We turn to God for help when our foundations are shaking only to
learn that it is God shaking them." - Charles West
"Naked is having no clothes on. Nekkid is having no clothes on and
being up to something."
"Our truth, when it becomes the ONLY truth, ceases to be truth."
"While we're not fearful of tasting new things, we don't necessarily
swallow all that we taste."