Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The rise of anti-semitism in the "New Age"


Curious painting, I'm sorry I do not know the artist. For me it represents Judaisim's history since the death of Christ. Well not really from then; the first Christians were Jews. Later on in history it all began, ebbing and flowing, until it embedded in the gentile unconscious - the determination to kill the so-called "Christ killers" - if not kill, then to marginalize and persecute.

Mel Gibson's outburst pretty much betrayed the perennial prejuduice laying dormant in many Christians, especially the very traditionalist, fundamentalist, Eastern European descendant element in Catholicism. (Although it's alive and flourishing amongst Hispanic and and Irish cultures as well.) When Dukakis was running for President of the U.S. I was talking to a Dominican nun, answering her question, "Who will you vote for?" I said I was thinking about Dukakis and she said, "You know his wife is a Jewess, don't you?" She was an older Irish immigrant and out of respect I never said what I was thinking, which would have been, "What difference does that make?"

Why are Jews so mistrusted? They possess a culture, a "sticking together" not unlike Italians, Mexicans, or the clannish Irish. What's the deal? They are not all rich, does anyone think for a minute Gibson's arresting officer was rich - on a policeman's salary yet? (It turned out he was Jewish.)

In our Store I have been told we are "Jews" because our prices are high, which they are not! (I'm going to write about "spiritual gluttony" in one of my upcoming posts - just because a person over-spends doesn't mean we are too expensive.) However there has to be a mark-up in retail; it pays for shipping fees, import fees, employee's salaries and benefits, not to mention electricity and equipment and the insurance needed to run a business.

Amongst conservative, traditionalist Catholics, let me tell you, there is an anti-semitic vein. A comment I received on another post said that this person did not "hate the Jewish people" but she said she hated the Jewish religion - how she made that distinction I'll never know, it contradicts the teaching of the Catholic Church. (See "Dominus Jesu".) I might better accept hating the secular nation of Israel for inflicting such damge upon innocent civilians in Lebanon, but never hating the Jewish people or their religion, especially since Christ came to fulfill the tenets of their faith and create the new Israel in the Church. As a Christian, the only thing one may hate is sin.

Disturbed when a contemplative nun began telling me about the Jewish conspiracy to take over the world, (those Jewish Masonic bankers, rooted in the myth traced back to the bogus "Protocols of Zion") she also told me that the Jews themselves were responsible for the Holocaust. Scandalized, I asked a very knowledgeable priest about it and he said she was correct - in part, because the Jews controlled the entertainment industry and the good Germans were scandalized at the perversion and decadent culture they were feeding them. In that sense, he felt they brought it upon themselves. I was taken aback.

Because there has been a disproportionate number of people of Jewish extraction calling the shots in media today does that warrant mass extermination? It just does not make sense to me. Everyone blames the Jews.

I think because of the war between Israel and Hezbollah there is a new , re-cycled ant-semitism emerging, that I am branding, "New Age Anti-Semitism". It's more prevalent than you think. In Rome neo-Fascists have been spray painting swastikas on Jewish businesses - that stuff spreads.

Gerald, from The Cafeteria is Closed has some good stuff related to this topic - thank you Gerald for your excellent blog.

I don't really think it's about Mel anymore.

(An autobiographical note: Before my conversion I investigated Judaism, convinced it was the true faith. In my studies I became aware of how Christianity was the actual fullfilment of the law and the prophets - which I understood in Jesus Christ. It has been said by some relatives that we have Jewish blood, I thrilled to that thought. I left my pursuit of Judaism,which helped me value my Christian roots, peripheral as my Judaic studies may have been, I eventually came home to the Roman Catholic Church. I can never understand how Christians cannot understand that they are grafted onto the family tree of Judaism, co-heirs with Christ. Do they never read the epistles of St. Paul?)

9 comments:

  1. just me9:34 PM

    The Blessed Mother was Jewish. St. Joseph was Jewish. Jesus was Jewish!
    I will never understand antisemitism either. I watch "Schindler's list" and I cry like a baby. I just finished reading "Martyr of Brotherly Love" the story of Fr. Engelmar, a german priest inprisoned in Dachau. The suffering from the Holocaust is unimaginable.

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  2. Anonymous11:35 PM

    "Mel Gibson's outburst pretty much betrayed the perennial prejuduice laying dormant in many Christians, especially the very traditionalist, ..."

    Mel Gibson's actions are just that, his actions and speak nothing about anyone else except himself. I find this comment insulting and offensive. Anti-semitic means to be against them as a race. To be against Judaism is perfectly fine and not against the teachings of the Church. To be FOR Judaism and to encourage Jews to remain in it is a denial of Jesus Christ come in the flesh.

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  3. Anonymous6:57 AM

    I wonder if when John Paul II visited synagogues and the wailing wall in Jerusalem, he was in fact demonstrating his contempt for Judaism. Or when Benedict XVI visited the Roman synagogue recently, he was doing so to proclaim that he was against Judaism. Was Pius XII telling Rome's chief Rabbi, who later became a Catholic, that he hated the Jewish religion but loved him as a person?

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  4. Respect for another's religious beliefs sincerely held is good. For a Catholic to desire and pray and work for a person to embrace the fullness of faith is better. To live in accord with the teachings of the Church and sanctify one's life through prayer and penance, while exercising oneself in charity is perfect, and one of the best forms of evangelization. To derrogate another's faith and to be "against" a certain religion because of one's convictions of the true Catholic faith should not comprise a hatred of the people who practise their religion. Ridicule and insult would never attract anyone to the Church.

    Perhaps more deeply, if one is humble and in charity, one must be in awe of the merciful love and providence of God, who alone knows the heart and the circumstances that keep a soul from embracing the Catholic faith.

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  5. Anonymous8:41 AM

    should not comprise a hatred of the people who practise their religion.

    Exactly. You get my point I see.
    Thank you.

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  6. Anonymous9:02 AM

    I love how your comment Terry Nelson seems to imply that anyone who holds what the annonymous said is not a person of prayer. I suppose Jesus, with his whip of cords was mean too eh?

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  7. Since my first comment was so rudely deleted. (: JK, TN. I'll just say that the private actions of certain Popes are not binding on the universal Church. Otherwise we'd be bound to some pretty scandalous acts considering the behavior of some previous Popes, JP II included.

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  8. Thanks for the thoughtful post. I too have noticed a rise in Anti-Semitism, and have shared with a friend who was baffled about the Catholic Church's official position and this unsettling turn of events.

    I was drawn to the painting. It depicts Isaiah referring to Israel as the Suffering Servant in a number of verses in Isaiah 44-49.

    -Chaya, Jewish

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  9. Chaya - thanks for commenting. God bless.

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