Exonerating the “Sinless” – another open letter to Concerned Reader

Exonerating the “Sinless” – another open letter to Concerned Reader

(in response to comment – https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2014/06/01/the-guilt-of-books/#comment-14742 )

Concerned Reader

So you stand by your accusation that my statement – “without Christianity the holocaust would not have happened” – is highly inflammatory and is based on mere speculation.

Let me go back to my parable (for the benefit of those who haven’t read my comment).

The institution has been pouring gasoline for one thousand and eight hundred years on a specific city. The city is saturated with gasoline. And then someone comes and lights a fire and the entire city goes up in flames.

And you still say that it is only speculation to say that without the gasoline pourers the city would not have burned.

The fact is that it is this gasoline (Christian hate) that fueled this particular fire. You want to speculate and say that had Jesus not been born then some other person would have inspired generations of gasoline pourers to target this city. Perhaps; but then admit that you are the one engaged in wild speculation.

In a more recent comment you reiterated your argument that the ones who lit the fire were not of the same institution as the gasoline pourers.

Your argument is irrelevant. The fire would never have burned as it did had the city not been so thoroughly saturated with gasoline. The lighters were very limited in the scope of their influence. The lighters only had a few years to preach and their preaching was limited to one country. The gasoline pourers had been pouring gasoline for centuries and their influence warped the moral compasses in every country in which the fire burned.

Your argument is also inaccurate. The philosophy of the lighters is a direct continuum from the institution of gasoline pourers as documented by many students of history. Furthermore, recognized members of the institution were involved in lighting the fire and not only in pouring gasoline (http://holocaustrevealed.org/Church/Vatican_Hiding.htm ).

Let us move on to another point that you raise in your comment. You argue that the Jesus of the Christian Scriptures was not preaching the hate that was later spewed from Church pulpits. According to you, Jesus was only accusing those who had already examined all of the necessary evidence that should make it obvious to them that he was the Messiah and still reject him. You contend that this would clearly exclude Jewish people who see no evidence that would make them believe the claims of Jesus.

Your argument fails for four different reasons.

You allow the most liberal reading of the Jewish Scriptures in order to justify your acceptance of the claims of the Christian Scriptures. You point to the texts of the Qumran community as examples of legitimate interpretation of the words of the Jewish prophets. Can you then explain to this audience why it is that the words of Jesus need to be read most literally? Why are the hateful Church Fathers not qualified to set an example in interpreting the text that they canonized? Why the double standard?

A second reason your argument fails is that you have ignored the passages in which Jesus speaks of the predisposition of those who reject him. John’s Jesus speaks of people who love darkness as opposed to those who would come to the light. This is not a judgment against an evil activity; this is a redefinition of certain people. These are not people who made a bad choice. Jesus is describing people who are incapable of choosing good. Your attempt to exonerate Jesus does not explain these sentiments.

The third reason your argument fails is that you assume that readers of the Christian Scriptures will recognize that one who has not yet seen the evidence for Jesus’ claims does not stand condemned by Jesus’ harsh words. But John’s Jesus tells his audience that the Jews already have all the evidence. According to John’s Jesus all one needs to do is believe in Moses and the prophets in order to discover the “truth” of Christianity. Since many Jews already read Moses and the prophets and still don’t accept the claims of the Church, so even according to your reading of Jesus they stand condemned by his accusations.

The fourth reason your argument fails is the simple fact that no evidence has ever been presented that would convince one to believe in the Messianic claims appended to Jesus.

Let me conclude by going back to my original statement: without Christianity the holocaust would not have occurred. It seems that you are offended by this statement. Allow me to word it differently (not that you presented any reason for me to reevaluate my statement). How about if I say that the hatred that burned in the hearts of so many Europeans toward the Jewish people was fueled and fed by the clergy of the various denominations of Christianity. This hatred was nurtured and cultivated for many dark centuries. And when the social and political climate allowed for it, this hatred was a major factor that contributed to the death of six million Jews.

Can you agree to that statement?

 

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Yisroel C. Blumenthal

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42 Responses to Exonerating the “Sinless” – another open letter to Concerned Reader

  1. Lachiam says:

    From your mouth to G_d”s ear. May you be blessed Rebbe..

  2. Concerned Reader says:

    How about if I say that the hatred that burned in the hearts of so many Europeans toward the Jewish people was fueled and fed by the clergy of the various denominations of Christianity. This hatred was nurtured and cultivated for many dark centuries. And when the social and political climate allowed for it, this hatred was a major factor that contributed to the death of six million Jews.

    I do agree with this statement rabbi. I do indeed. As I have said, I decry Christian anti Judaism. I in no way intended to cast doubt on the evils perpetrated by the Church. Your rephrasing offers much more clarity, and that’s all I needed to hear from you. Thank you.

    G-d bless!

  3. Concerned Reader says:

    Your rephrasing is so much better rabbi, and I want to thank you and explain why I think this is so. Your decision to rephrase more directly clarifies the role of individual clergymen, such as Martin Luther in establishing the context of evil hate against the Jewish people, it notes The very politicized power hungry hierarchy that was the Imperial ancient/medieval Catholic Church, it does not inadvertently lump Christianity’s millions of followers into a homogeneous pot, and it allows us to bear in mind the political factors like Eugenics, social Darwinism etc. It is also better as it doesn’t inadvertently lump those few very Christian people who also suffered in the Shoah into the class of Gas pouring evil monsters.

    I know it may seem to you that you haven’t really changed your opinion, and that is fine and acceptable🙂 but this clarification in language of yours has removed all that I regarded as speculative in your comments, it has removed what I regarded as sweeping statements. It has allayed the things that were objectionable.

  4. Dina says:

    Con, read carefully! Does “various” mean “individual”? That’s news to me. The rabbi did not clarify the role of individual clergymen, etc., and did lump together all of the denominations. Look carefully:

    “How about if I say that the hatred that burned in the hearts of so many Europeans toward the Jewish people was fueled and fed by THE CLERGY OF THE VARIOUS DENOMINATIONS of Christianity” (my emphasis.) Furthermore, “this hatred was nurtured and cultivated for many dark centuries.”

    This is exactly the sort of generalization you so dislike. Just because a statement is general does not make it false.

    One more thing: how can you ignore the four points the rabbi laid out that show your position to be tenuous (that’s me being charitable)?

    • Dina says:

      Also, Rabbi B. applied the word “various” to the denominations and not to the clergy, which in your eyes would make it even worse🙂.

      • Concerned Reader says:

        THE CLERGY OF THE VARIOUS DENOMINATIONS Dina, CLERGY DOES NOT EQUAL CHRISTIANITY DENOMINATIONS DOES NOT EQUAL CHRISTIANITY.

        WHEN YOU SAY CHRISTIANITY CAUSED X OR ISLAM CAUSED Y OR JUDAISM CAUSED Z THEN IT IS OVERLY GENERALIZED. the rabbis words added NEEDED clarification.

        • Jim says:

          Con,

          There is no need to “shout” at Dina or anyone else here. Dina is a reasonable individual who will consider your arguments and weigh them. “Yelling” them at her will not add any merit to them, nor likely make her read them any more closely.

          Jim

          • Dina says:

            Thanks, Jim, I was just going to tell Con that there’s nothing wrong with my hearing.

            To Con, I would just say that it’s silly to divorce a religion from all of its clergy and all of its denominations.

            And you are still not addressing Rabbi B.’s challenges. Will you?

          • Concerned Reader says:

            Caps lock got stuck, I’m sorry Dina NO Shouting was intended. It’s not silly at all to distance oneself from the clergy taking part in the religion at a time in the faith’s history when only very very few of the heartfelt adherents were actually able to read their text for themselves.

            I blame the clergymen in the Church for not heeding Paul’s warnings in Romans 11, I blame them for ignoring Jesus’ Jewishness, I blame them for advocating a reading of the the text that ignored their own moral responsibilities in favor of victimizing others. I can blame our clergy for that, because it is Christian, it is human, it is good to criticize them for these failings. Our texts do not have to be understood the way they read them.

          • Dina says:

            I accept your apology, Con. Thanks.

            The clergy that you blame were able to read the text for themselves, and their interpretation held sway until the 1960s. Can you find a Christian writer from the early Church fathers until the sixteenth century (just picking a century here), who interpreted the anti-Jewish passages the way you do?

            I am not unintelligent, and when I read the text for myself, I knew for sure that if that was all I knew I would hate the Jews. That’s a problem right there–a problem rooted in the text.

  5. Concerned Reader
    My rephrasing just removed your ability to impute meanings into my words that I never intended.
    Now that you have accepted that the institution of gasoline pourers contributed significantly to the fire – how can you point to Christianity as something that brought blessing to Gentiles without also pointing to it as something that brought the Gentiles so much curse?

    • I know you aren’t stupid Dina. Ancient Christian laity did not have access to their gospels. Only the bishops could read the texts, and they could teach it as rightly, or wrongly as they chose.

  6. Rabbi B (Response to Reason 1)

    You allow the most liberal reading of the Jewish Scriptures in order to justify your acceptance of the claims of the Christian Scriptures. You point to the texts of the Qumran community as examples of legitimate interpretation of the words of the Jewish prophets. (Plausible contextual readings and perspectives of the day rabbi) Can you then explain to this audience why it is that the words of Jesus need to be read most literally? (Carefully rabbi, not necessarily literally) Why are the hateful Church Fathers not qualified to set an example in interpreting the text that they canonized? Why the double standard?

    Sadly, The hateful gentile church fathers are not “qualified” because they were largely unaware of some of the very important information about the cultural, social, political, religious, context of the discussions in the books that it was their charge to interpret. They transmitted faithfully what they as Gentiles had been expected to know.

    Being non Jews, these church fathers, (many of whom were converted freshly from polytheism by other Gentiles) were only ever told in the tradition to follow the rudimentary aspects of the law as binding. (Acts 15 and manuals like Didache being their main guide to Christian practice.) As a result, they faithfully transmitted the texts, but only with the insights that they were privy to as G-d fearing Gentiles. So, They were largely not knowledgeable about second temple Jewish legal arguments concerning points of practice, they were not aware of second temple politics, they did not know how heated halachic discussions can get etc. nor did they know about matters relevant to full Torah observant halachic culture. As you have said, Judaism is a family, so naturally, arguments (including Jesus’ arguments,) belong within that context of a family argument.

    When Jesus calls Jews, (and also his chief follower Peter too btw) Satan, and sons of Satan, it is a stern rebuke, it was likely not meant by him to be a call to violence against other Jews. In the DSS, for example, the Yachad sect calls the priests in Jerusalem in their day “those of the lot of belial, sons of darkness,” etc. After using such strong and hurtful language, these Torah observant people said, to paraphrase, “btw we sent you a letter about our works of law, with info on how to change your practices so you can run the temple more correctly.” 4qmmt

    The Dead Sea sect used the same kind of awful language that Jesus did, but it was used, and it always remained fully within the vein of an internal religious family rebuke among Jews, talking about Judaism.

    The gentile Christians, and gentile Churches who codified and transmitted the NT texts and traditions they received about Jesus faithfully (that’s how we know about Jesus’ Judaism at all, btw) were received and transmitted solely from within the context of what gentile Jesus believers were expected to know and do, which was a g-d fearing diet Jewish practice, not full on Judaism.

    We have information today that sheds much more light on the in time, in culture context of the NT. Jesus was talking Judaism with Jews, and as a result his words today can be understood better, and in a way that doesn’t have to give truck to his rebuke in an overzealous uninformed or violent way. Gentiles today can know that Jesus was talking “in house,” with other Jews, not as an outsider. Those early churchmen faithfully heard about Jesus, but not from the family perspective that the text was written with.

  7. Shomer says:

    Hitler, because of his deeds, never was excommunicated from the church; thus, he is still a Christian! Thus, he is still a brother of all Christians (and Messianic Jews likewise). Sorry, for being that frank.

    • LarryB says:

      Shower
      What about his deeds kept th church from excommunicating him?

      • Shomer says:

        Maybe, the Holocaust could have been a reason for the church to excommunicate him; yet it didn’t. As a result, Hitler is a Christian to this very day and he is evidentially responsible for the holocaust. Sorry – who is responsible vor the holocaust; is it hitler or the church or both?

  8. Pingback: Exonerating the “Sinless” II | 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources

  9. Concerned Reader says:

    To LarryB and Shomer. Something you may not know about Excommunication in Christian practice. Excommunication is a punitive action, not a condemnation to hell or something used by the Church against a bad guy. Excommunication is meant to instill repentance in a person who it is hoped has the intent or the potential to repent in line with 1 Corinthians 5:5 A “catholic” who does not attend the Church, who is not involved in the sacraments, and who is in general non interested or even openly hostile to the Church is not subject to excommunication, but is subject to the following verse. Mathew 10:14 “If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet.” An apostate is not excommunicated, because excommunication accomplishes nothing for such a person. The Roman emperor Julian is the perfect example of this. He was completely uninterested in Christianity, openly supported polytheism, and was even openly hostile to Christianity to the point of ordering that Bishops he opposed be burned alive, tortured, etc. The Church did not excommunicate this clearly ANTI “Christian” emperor. Julian was a bad guy for Christianity, and he wasn’t excommunicated, because excommunication does not apply to the unrepentant apostate. Hebrews 6 So, Hitler, while he was given a Catholic education, was treated like other secular rulers who disavowed their upbringing. This is not to excuse Christian inaction, merely something for the sake of clarification.

    • Concerned Reader

      Perhaps you are not aware that when Hitler died the Cardinal Bertram of Germany order that all churches in his archdiocese recite a special prayer for Hitler’s soul. Until the end of his life, Hitler had a tithe withdrawn from his salary and given to the Catholic Church. Hitler never publicly disavowed his Catholic faith. If you feel that excommunication would have been impracticable but why could the Church have not put Mein Kampf on their list of forbidden books?

      The whole question is ridiculous because the officialdom of the Catholic Church was pro-Hitler. In Slovakia and Croatia Catholic priests participated in the practical killing of Jews and the Pope knew about this. The Vatican helped Nazi murderers escape justice after the war. Who are you trying to whitewash
      are you also perhaps aware that in 1948 all catholic communists were excommunicated – but this never happened to Catholic Nazis

      • Sharbano says:

        You source from a well known, rabid, anti-semitic website?? That certainly says where you are coming from. Therefore everything you cite is suspect.

        • Sharbano says:

          It’s not Only Duke’s site, which is suspect in and of itself but also veteranstoday. Your words are Sheker and I have no interest whatsoever to enter into a debate let alone a conversation with you. We know where you are coming from so go peddle your trash elsewhere.

        • Sharbano says:

          Well well well, it didn’t take long to find out who you really are and the type of person you are.

        • Dina says:

          Michael, cast the beam out of your own eyes before removing the splinter from your friends’.

          For the sake of the audience of this blog: what Michael has written here is a packet of lies. I’m Orthodox, I was raised in an ultra-Orthodox community, and I attended ultra-Orthodox schools. Jewish factions disagree with each other; all religions have factions that disagree with each other. But the kind of hatred he is describing does not exist.

          I’ve read Michael’s posts where he quotes confirmed and unapologetic anti-Semites to support his statements, like David Duke. He has, therefore, no credibility and no standing to lecture about anti-Semitism.

      • LarryB says:

        Here is a link for you
        http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Duke
        I can see why you would highly respect his opinion. Not

        • The methodology of Pave the Way Foundation relating to the historical record of Pope Pius XII has been subject to harsh criticism from scholars and long-established Jewish organizations. Professor Dwork, Rose Professor of Holocaust History and Director of the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University, said Mr. Krupp’s research was “amateurish, worse than amateurish — risible.” and that “He may be well-meaning, but his lack of experience in international affairs and historical research makes Mr. Krupp highly vulnerable to being manipulated by factions inside the Vatican.[20] John T. Pawlikowski, Catholic priest and founding member of the board of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and a professor of social ethics at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, said the Vatican was “discrediting itself by associating itself with this kind of questionable scholarship.”[20] Eric Greenberg, director of Interfaith Policy at the New York-based Anti-Defamation League asserted “Whether he [Gary Krupp] understands it or not, he is waging a campaign of misinformation…He’s been given out-of-context documents and is coming to overblown conclusions about Pius XII’s personal involvement and that is a disservice to historians and to the historical truth.”[15] Rabbi Joseph Potasnik of the New York Board of Rabbis, who was once a supporter, resigned from the board of directors of Pave the Way and commented “Many of us are very troubled by the stance Mr. Krupp has taken…Thus far there’s only been a superficial examination (of Pius XII). Given the seriousness of the subject, we need to be much more deliberate and have as much historical factual information.”[15] Pave the Ways claims of finding new documents that exonerate Pius XII are by disputed John Pawlikowski, professor of ethics at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, who argues that Krupp’s evidence has already been studied by experts and that “We know that Pius did some things that were good, but they tended to come rather late, they were mostly behind the scenes and were relatively minor gestures.” The Anti-Defamation League asked Holocaust historian Paul O’Shea to examine other material published by Pave the Way and ADL concluded that “materials presented by Pave the Way Foundation are part of a campaign of misinformation by some Pius apologists who use selective church documents and issue unsubstantiated conclusions about Pius XII.[24] O’Shea commented on the claims made by Pave the Way “To use the Campagna files to suggest that Pope Pius XII was active in attempting to rescue Jews is to demand something that historical record cannot sustain,”[25]

          In 2011 Pave the way published claims that a new document they had recently uncovered showed that Pius XII had been pressurised by the allies not to make a radio broadcast that would save the lives of Hungarian Jews. Eric J. Greenberg points out that contrary to the claims made by Pave the Way “the 1944 cable is an old, well-known document, and by itself does not make the case for Pope Pius” and that “You can’t distribute or release an out-of-context letter or document and make a global claim for it. This is an example of Pave the Way’s campaign of misinformation that makes a disservice to Catholic and Jewish scholars,”[26] O’Shea, of the Australian Institute of Holocaust and Genocide Studies also asserts that “Pave the Way” are masters at creating a media flurry. They are not trained historians. They believe that by creating a deluge of paper with information that is favorable to their perception of Pius XII, they can create a new reality about the wartime pope,”[26] Gabriel Wilensky asserts that the Pave the Way expert Michael Hesemann presents “findings of documents in a misleading way” by implying that the Catholic Church had always been opposed to the Nazi Party.” and evidences this with reference to the Concordat signed by the Vatican and Nazi Germany in 1933[27]

          http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pave_the_Way_Foundation

    • Shomer says:

      Sorry, if you’ld know more about catholicism you would have admitted that an excommunication is a punitive action at first. But since you are excluded from the eucharist you are damned in all eternity.

      • LarryB says:

        Shomer, you seemed to miss the last 3 sentences, also, since when does not going to communion damn you for eternity? I have my Vatican web site up here and cannot find it.

        • LarryB says:

          so divorced people cannot go to heaven?

          • Shomer says:

            LarryB wrote: so divorced people cannot go to heaven?

            Exactly this was the problem of the latest synod, where the pope discussed the matter with his cardinals and bishops. And not only divorced people cannot go to heaven. There are three counter indications to Eucharist and salvation: divorce, homosexuality and contraception – contraception, no joke!

            In east Switzerland a bishop gave out the decree that People with these “sins” should cross their arms during the eucharist in order to show the priest that they have committed one of these “sins” and that they are not worthy to receive the baked deity, the host. Thus you can go to mass and to hell likewise according to Roman Catholic teaching.

            It was only in the early 50ies of last century when the pope issued a new decree: Mary was caught up into heaven as a virgin. The date was the 15th August. If you don’t believe it today, you will definitely be damned, too. If you didn’t believe it before, you were not damned, because it was not a doctrine then. This is just a brief background information about the church that Hitler belongs to to the very day, more than 70 years after the Shoa. Question regarding the theme of this thread: Why did the Church not excommunicate Hitler so far or distance herself from this criminal? As soon as we can sort out this, I think, we all will know that without christianity there would not have been a Shoa.

        • LarryB says:

          Your not catholic?

        • LarryB says:

          Shower
          I was married in the Catholic Church. The priest would not give me a piece of paper stating that, because I refused to go to classes for a year, but he did marry us. 27 years ago. And I am still married to the same person. My point, You cannot go by what a priest or bushop here or there says or does, they have some lee-way in what they do. I will look it up, but I’m not sure belief in Mary is required. I Am no longer catholic or Christian, and I am not defending the christian faith.

        • LarryB says:

          Sorry Shomer, my iPad prints text as it sees fit.

  10. Dina says:

    Hi Michael,

    What yeshiva did you attend? Just curious…

  11. LarryB says:

    Do you have a you tube page?

  12. Dina says:

    Thanks for answering, Michael. I attended Bnos Chava in Har Nof, Jerusalem.

  13. For the Information of the audience
    I blocked Michael Korn from commenting on this blog and I erased his comments. He revealed his true colors in many ways but I will just point out one of them. he demanded that I provide a source for my statement that Hitler continued to give tithes to the Catholic Church until he died (the source is Robert’s book – Holy Hatred) but he himself freely speaks of the opinions of “most Jews” and about what they are thinking – things that can never be verified.

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