Monday, June 24, 2013

The Pope and Anti-Semitism

Deacon Kandra reports ...

Pope Francis says due to “our common roots” with the Jewish people, “a Christian cannot be anti-Semitic!”

Now, I know we've tussled about this before, dear readers.  And I'm well aware that none of you is "anti-semitic", and you don't "hate Jews", but Jews are the problem and who can say what is a Jew anyway and how dare I defend the enemies of Christ and the Jews killed Kennedy and the Jews elected Obama and the Jews are hiding under our beds and the Jews ...

Well, due to our common roots (not to mention the universal commandment to love one another), a Christian cannot be anti-Semitic.

Exclamation point.

Read the Pope's full text here.

9 comments:

James Jordan said...

Yes, well so long as Christianity is defined by the book of Romans, that fact is that Christians will be anti-semitic. If God really gave the Law just as a trick, then who cares about the Jews? The book of Romans--not written by Paul and neither was Galatians in my estimation--teaches that God gave the Law only to show that the Law cannot be kept. What a cruel Joke he played on the Jews then, as Rabbi Tovia Singer points out in one of his videos on Outreach Judaism. "He gave us a Torah that we couldn't keep?" And finally, ultimately, God gave them this Torah they couldn't keep so he could says "Haha! You couldn't keep it! Now you have to convert to Christianity OR BURN IN HELL FOREVER!" So long as that's Christian dogma, Christians will be anti-semites no matter how much they protest that they aren't.

Now if Paul has said "Not all flesh shall be justified by the Law" (Which is literally what he DID say in Romans 3 but its been mistranslated as "No flesh shall be justified by the Law") and if all those anti-semitic interpretations hadn't been added to Romans 3-4 to rob that statement of its force, then Christians would believe what is said in Romans 2 that "The doers of the Law shall be justified" and would believe that Jews are justified by the Law and Christians by the Gospel, and all the animosity would melt away. But some jackass monks decided to fill up the Pauline epistles with antisemitism and so Christianity will never escape the trap.

Joey Higgins said...

He gave us a Torah that we couldn't keep

How is that any different than giving rules/law that He knew we would break (e.g. original sin, 10 commandments)? I'm not sure that argument works.

The answer is (and maybe it's over simplified because it is so simple and I'm missing something): the Jews could have kept the Torah if they followed the law, but they did not or could not; surely, they would not.

And here, I believe you are using antisemitic in a different way than the Pope/Kevin is using the term. Even if the theology is "against" Jews in the sense that it believes they cannot be saved with their law, it doesn't mean that Christians should hate Jews anymore than say, active homosexuals - which is not at all.

James Jordan said...

"How is that any different than giving rules/law that He knew we would break (e.g. original sin, 10 commandments)?"

This is the essential problem with Paulinism. It pretends the commandments are there only to condemn those who break them rather than to enlighten those who keep them. Read the Psalms where David praises the Law, a lamp unto his feet and so on. The purpose of the Law is to instruct more than to condemn. Paulinism refuses to recognize that function of the Law, even though it is the primary one.

Kevin O'Brien said...

James Jordan, you know nothing of Romans. You have not read it clearly. You make me wonder if you're read it at all.

It is certainly by Paul. If Romans is not by Paul, nothing is. You can tell that in translation, for goodness sake. What Romans says about the Law is much more nuanced and profound than your superficial explication of it. You do Paul, the Law and this great epistle a true disservice by misinterpreting it as badly as you do.

You also apparently know what the Church teaches about the Jews. Read the Catechism, and you'll find out that it's not what you claim here.

And try this out - http://siministries.org/?s=romans&submit=Search . Listen to the podcasts on Romans by an actual scholar of the Bible.

It will help.

James Jordan said...

"It is certainly by Paul. If Romans is not by Paul, nothing is."

Honestly, nothing is. Its clear that many different writers who couldn't get their stories straight wrote the Pauline epistles, and if you can't see that its you who hasn't read them. Now, of course, if you read them like a jigsaw puzzle or a bunch of disjointed fortune cookies (as you probably do) you might never notice the problems. But if you read them from beginning to end over and over as I have done, then there is no way you will be able to maintain a belief that they were written by the same man or even that Romans itself was written by just one author.

James Jordan said...

"You also apparently know what the Church teaches about the Jews. Read the Catechism, and you'll find out that it's not what you claim here."

Its not a question of what the post-Vatican II Roman Catholic church decided less than 20 years ago, but what it has historically taught and how that is grounded in the Pauline espitles, especially Romans and Galatians, and the fact that the Protestants still believe this. Not to mention that the next council will probably overturn the brand new position of the RCC that the Mosaic covenant is still salvific for the Jews. Ultimately Christianity will remain antisemitic so long as it retains the Paulina.

Kevin O'Brien said...

James, the position of the Church is NOT that the Mosaic covenant is still salvific for the Jews. Please read the Catechism and please read Paul more closely. He is far from anti-semitic. "For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race ..." Rom. 9:3 and following.

Again, read the Catechism and read Paul more closely.

James Jordan said...

""For I could wish...but I won't" -- That counts for what exactly? I could wish lots of stuff that I'm not going to wish too. I'm sure lots of racists could wish they weren't -- in fact they all could.

Kevin O'Brien said...

For implying that St. Paul is a racist and that the Body of Christ is racist, you are banned from commenting on this blog. Plus you're an idiot.

Of course, that's an ad hominem and I'm uncharitable and I need to go to confession and you should pray for me.

But you're an idiot all the same. And a spiteful one.

What's worse, readers? An anti-semite or one who twists good will and charity into accusations of anti-semitism?