At the Intersection of Faith and Culture

At the Intersection of Faith and Culture


Thoughts on the Charge of “Anti-Semitism”

posted by Jack Kerwick

A while ago, I received an email from a Jewish reader charging me with “anti-Semitism.”  Since, being a mere Christian, I lack those unique insights into the dark recesses of the Gentile psyche with which Jews are apparently gifted, I can only speculate as to what it was I said that compelled my critic to arrive at his verdict concerning my feelings. 

Since my article had nothing at all to do with Judaism, I suspect that it was my proclivity for the name “Old Testament” to describe the better part of the Christian Bible that revealed my “anti-Semitism.”  The reader was clear and to the point: “The correct term,” he insisted, “is the Hebrew Bible.”  To make sure that his diagnosis of my “anti-Semitism” wasn’t lost upon me, he concluded his perceptive analysis by telling me to send my regards to “your good friend, Mel Gibson.” 

This episode got me to thinking about “anti-Semitism.” 

First of all, like “racism,” “sexism,” “homophobia,” and every other transgression in the catalogue of “Politically Correct” sins, “anti-Semitism” is a term mired in ambiguity.  In fact, it may very well even be meaningless.  After all, when someone like myself, a Christian with the audacity to actually refer to the first part of my tradition’s Sacred Scriptures as the “Old Testament,” is branded with the same pejorative term as are the architects of the Holocaust, it should be obvious to anyone with the slightest familiarity with either rudimentary logic or moral sensibility that this is a term that, at a minimum, warrants inspection.   

Second, if, for argument’s sake, we are just going to accept that the “anti-Semite” is one who dislikes Jews, what is supposed to follow from this?  Three observations are here in order.

(1) Feelings are not action-specifying.  Hatred and love, indifference and partiality, anger and calm, belief in a group’s superiority and belief in that group’s inferiority can all lead to one and the same kinds of action.  The Humanitarian no less (and usually more often) than the misanthrope has resorted to murder and genocide.

(2) Feelings are irrelevant to whether the propositions from which they arise are true or not.  For example, for as ridiculous as I believe it is, let us just assume for the moment that Mel Gibson hated with every fiber of his being every Jew who rejects Christ.  Whether his depiction of the passion of Christ is historically or Biblically accurate, or whether it is an aesthetic masterpiece, or even whether it inspires or reinforces an animus toward Jews are questions that can and should be addressed independently of whether he personally dislikes Jews. 

(3) The charge of “anti-Semitism,” like the charge that one is “racist,” if it should be a part of a conversation at all, should be at its beginning.  As it currently stands, it is a conversation-stopper.  That one dislikes this person or group invites an inquiry into the reasons behind the feelings that one has.  Outside of these Politically Correct thought crimes, we seem to instinctively know this.  If you invite me to a party at so-and-so’s house and I refuse on account that I dislike that person, chances are your curiosity will be piqued as to why I feel as I do.  If we are close enough to one another, you may even indulge your curiosity by questioning me.  And when it comes to the issue of the animus that members of non-white groups have toward whites, the search for “root causes” is given top priority.

There is another thought that this allegation of “anti-Semitism” provoked in me.  While I would no more think to deny that Christians have committed violence against Jews than I would think to deny that Jews have committed violence against Christians, and while I am the first to admit that both Jews and Christians have been known to be all too forgetful of Christianity’s origins, the fact of the matter is that the Christian is the last person to be confused with one who hates all things Jewish. The reason for this is obvious: it is the Christian alone who regards a Jew as his God.  Far from deifying a Jew and accepting their Sacred Scriptures as one’s own, one would think that a person who truly hated Jews and Judaism would, quite literally, demonize them. 

Finally, the ease and frequency with which Christians are branded as “anti-Semites” leads me to conclude two things about the charge.  First, given its proven capacity to ruin reputations and professional lives, it is a weapon wielded to intimidate and suppress.  Second, it is for the most part a smokescreen intended to disguise what fundamentally amounts to the anti-Christian hostilities of the anti-“anti-Semite.” 

It is my hope that in the future, those Christians who find themselves on the receiving end of this allegation bear in mind these considerations, and those Jews (and others) who are disposed to launch this smear think twice about them before doing so.

Jack Kerwick, Ph.D.     



  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment elayne

    one more time (why was the original posting of this not approved?)

    Argument #2 is utterly specious.

    It is clear that you have had very little contact with people in the arts.

    An artist is their work. Invite a painter or sculptor over to discuss/ interpret their work, and they will wind up talking about themselves. In the film world, their counterpart is the auteur, which is the capacity in which Gibson served for the movie “Passion of the Christ.”

    This project was not undertaken by him as a studio commission nor because he needed the money, but as a genuine labor of love. All the choices in to be made in bringing this film to the screen were his, reflecting his vision, values and priorities.

    There are any number of dramatic renderings of the Passion Narrative which Gibson might have selected as the basis for his screenplay, but the one he went with was that of the anti-Semitic hallucinations of a distraught German nun. Not a surprising choice for the devoted son of a Holocaust-denying father -you did know that about his background, didn’t you?

    In vino veritas: the deep-seated anti-Semitism of Gibson which permeated this film was subsequently corroborated in his infamous Malibu DUI incident.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment J.J,

    TOPIC:: Ayn Rand as patron saint

    The blog host’s response to reader postings is a gift that keeps on giving.

    His knowledge of Church doctrine is as inadequate as his grasp of Scripture.

    “Patron Saint” does not/not mean founder or inventor. It signifies, in contemporary advertising lingo, BRAND NAME SPOKESMAN.

    E.g., there was no Internet in the 7th century. Yet in the 20th century, the name of the 7th centuty scholar Isidor of Seville, who was known for his encyclopedic knowledge, was once submitted
    to become Patron Saint of the Internet- not Al Gore!

    So patron saint is a correct designation for Ayn Rand’s connection to libertarian neoliberalism.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Herb A.

    The religious claim is that the Bible is the Eternal Word of God. As such, as Eternal, It is applicable to all times and all places.

    Yet you say that “As a matter of fact, the Bible does not… specify a preferred economic or even political system at all. ”

    So, if I understand this correctly, you assert that the Bible is irrelevant to this most important aspect of human life, that God has nothing to say to people about how best to earn a livelihood or how to organize a moral society.

    Which means that the Bible is not really Eternal.

    The technical term for this view is HERESY.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment adam g.

    1. why have you not responsed to Arvind’s post?
    ANSWER his questions!

    2.you say “that Jews are fully culpable for the “anti-Semitism” that allegedly pervades the New Testament,. This is actually accurate, for, if you want to get so historically precise, the first Christians considered themselves Jews, and the New Testament is just a compendium of multiple sources, virtually EVERY ONE of which was written by self-avowed Jews..”
    a. Wrong! LOL! The last time I looked, the Gospel of Luke was contained in the NT, and its author was a GENTILE. LOL!
    b. Rabbi Hirsch has already provided a more expansive rebuttal: “It was a by-then Gentile Church who decided what “Jewish” materials were to included in the NT canon, and edited them accordingly. By that time, the Sadducees were gone and the Pharisees were the competition. Wary of its relationship with Roman authorities, it saw fit to shift the blame for Jesus’ death -by the Roman means of crucixion, at the hands of the official Roman authorities!- to the “Jews” (which by that time meant the Church’s rivals, the rabbis, who were the successors of the Pharisees).
    As to the “Jewishness” of those sources, not everthing done and said by one group of Jews means it is true for all, and speaks for all. Example: When it comes to America’s Revolutionary Way, are the views of Colonial Army General – and hero of the pivotal battle of Saratoga!- Benedict Arnold on this matter as authentically “American” as those of George Washington? ”
    In other words, by the Kerwick standard, it would be “un-American” to call Arnold a
    traitor!

  • http://www.jackkerwick.com Jack Kerwick

    Interesting remarks Eric.

    First of all, you are correct that the Old Testament is indeed part of the Christian Bible (but be careful in describing it as such, it could render you subject to the charge of “anti-Semitism). But you still didn’t address what I said. My point wasn’t to crticize the actions of the ancient Jews (“Israelites”); my point was to remind my contemporaries, Jews and non-Jews alike, that before they presume to to call attention to the speck in their Christian neighbors’ collective eye, they should see to it about removing the boulder from their own. In short, Jews, just like every other group of people on this planet, have acted violently toward others. Whether this violence was commanded by God and, thus, just, is another question.

    Second, your insinuation that the ancient Jews were Christians is anachronistic at best. It is only at the risk of corrupting language that we refer to them as such.

    Third, assume for argument’s sake that your identification of the ancient Israelites or Jews with Christians is sound. If Christians are fully culpable in the slaughters of which Jews are culpable, then since Jews and Christians are one, Jews are fully culpable for the “anti-Semitism” that allegedly pervades the New Testament,. This is actually accurate, for, if you want to get so historically precise, the first Christians considered themselves Jews, and the New Testament is just a compendium of multiple sources, virtually every one of which was written by self-avowed Jews,

  • http://www.jackkerwick.com Jack Kerwick

    What did I say that was hypocritical?

    Also, why do you assume that I think Jesus was a “libertarian and that neoliberal capitalism is Christianity’s preferred modality for organizing economic life?”
    I never said or even remotely suggested any such thing. As a matter of fact, I think those, like yourself, who insist on characterizing Jesus as either a “libertarian,” “capitalist,” or “socialist” are modally confused. Not only are these contemporary terms, they are terms that belong, for the most part, to an economic mode–not a religious or moral one.

    So, what I say is not “contradicted” by the Biblical record. As a matter of fact, the Bible does not, contrary to what many on the right and left would have us believe, specify a preferred economic or even political system at all.

    As for Ayn Rand, she is most certainly not “the patron saint” of the free market (“capitalism”). Rand was a thinker from the last half of the twentieth century. The free market has existed for centuries and centuries.

    I neither bow to Rand nor, for that matter, think much about her one way or the other.

    Look at what I say; don’t assume that because I am a conservative, I must think such and such.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment erasmus IV

    re your August 19, 9:27 posting

    as regards your observation that “you leftists are continually insisting upon the unambiguous separation between “Church” and “State.” Interesting, isn’t it, that whenever you think you can strengthen your agenda by way of enlisting religion in its service, you don’t hesitate to do so.”

    What wanton hypocrisy!!
    The issue is not separation of Church and State, but the preposterous – if not blasphemous- conservative contention that Jesus was a libertarian and that neoliberal capitalism is Christianity’s preferred modality for organizing economic life-
    A view that is contradicted by the evidence of the Biblical record.
    Jesus was about morality and goodness.
    Libertarian free-market capitalism is about creature comforts and personal ambition.
    Its “patron saint” is Ayn Rand, a Christianity-hating, abortion-loving atheist.
    And yet, like other conservatives, you bow to her rather than Jesus as your intellectual icon.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Arvind

    Why do you ask if I am a Christian? Are you?

    Might it be because I do not have an Anglo-sounding name?

    I am originally from India, where there are numerous Christian communities, both Protestant and Catholic, going back hundreds of years.

    Why the presumably racist response to my name? The influence of Jared Taylor, perhaps?

    One more thing, Dr. Kerwick: Are you a creationist, like so many other conservatives? In other words, do you believe that Adam and Eve rode dinosaurs in the Garden of Eden?

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment elayne

    Argument #2 is utterly specious.

    It is clear that you have had very little contact with people in the arts.

    An artist is their work. Invite a painter or sculptor over to discuss/ interpret their work, and they will wind up talking about themselves. In the film world, their counterpart is the auteur, which is the capacity in which Gibson served for the movie “Passion of the Christ.”

    This project was not undertaken by him as a studio commission nor because he needed the money, but as a genuine labor of love. All the choices to be made in bringing this film to the screen were his, reflecting his vision, values and priorities.

    There are any number of dramatic renderings of the Passion Narrative which Gibson might have selected as the basis for his screenplay, but the one he went with was that of the anti-Semitic hallucinations of a distraught German nun. Not a surprising choice for the devoted son of a Holocaust-denying father -you did know that about his background, didn’t you?

    In vino veritas: the deep-seated anti-Semitism of Gibson which permeated this film was subsequently corroborated in his infamous Malibu DUI incident.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment spelling champ

    As Ronald Reagan might say, There you go again.

    You write “perorgative.” The word is spelled PREROgative.

    Have you not heard of spell check?
    Get with it.

    Why are you so sloppy? You need a copy editor, badly!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Eric B. Teesel

    Are you serious? Or is it that you are a Marcionite?

    When you say “If you go back further and read the Old Testament (Hebrew Scriptures) you will be treated to several stories within which Jews, presumably under the command of God, slaughtered every man, woman, and child who were their Gentile neighbors.”

    The Old Testament is part of the Christian canon. The Church declares itself the NEW ISRAEL, heirs to the OLD Israel from Abraham through Daniel.

    Therefore, the legacy of the Israelites- NOT Jews, there are no such people until the Book of Esther!- is the legacy of Christianity. Israelite history, with its ups and downs, is canonical Church history. As such, Christians are fully culpable in whatever slaughter you ascribe to the “Jews” of the Old Testament.

    Unless you sever the Old Testament from the New Testament, as Marcion did.

    Which makes you a heretic, as he was.

  • http://www.jackkerwick.com Jack Kerwick

    This is socialistic drivel. Neither you nor this author (who is he, anyhow?) understand either early Christianity or socialism. I have said all that needs to be said on this issue. If you choose not to accept it, that is your perorgative.

  • http://www.jackkerwick.com Jack Kerwick

    Not that I feel I owe you any explanation, Arvin, but my account of your second point is listed in my reply to “Spelling Champ.”

    As for your first point, I will not dignify it with a response. If you read my response to Hirsch, then you know why I questioned his claim to be a rabbi.

    Finally, why is it that you take the time to compose this lengthy post, but refuse to engage the substance of any of my arguments? Instead you focus on tangential comments that I make in response to others, comments the context of which is apparently lost upon you.

    You quote Jesus. Are you a Christian, sir?

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment arvin

    Dr. Kerwick:

    Regrettably, there is some merit to the issue which Rabbi Hirsch raises with regard to the matter of your intellectual integrity.

    1. Scripture: “And why beholdest thou the MOTE that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the MOTE out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? ( Matthew 7:3-4 )

    You refused to call him ‘rabbi’ because his means of expression did not conform to your expectations of how a “rabbi” should write online.

    What rabbinical college, sir, appointed you decisor as to what constitutes proper clerical deportment?

    2. Scripture: “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone.” Jn 8:7

    On your Borzellieri blog thread you reamed a poster for (mis)spelling the first name of Rep. Bachmann as Michelle (vice the correct “Michele”, with only one ‘l’.) At the very same time, in your Mark Levin essay, you make the very same error in spelling!

    Prima facie, does this not constitute hypocrisy? Or at least, the existence of a double-standard? Which, in my understanding, is a characteristic suggesting a deficiency in the area of intellectual integrity.

    Sir, do you have a credible alternative explanation for your actions?

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment erasmus III

    Wrong, Kerwick. “voluntary,” my foot.

    More from the Greg Paul piece, esp. Acts 5:

    ….There were no needy persons among them. From time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.”

    Now folks, that’s outright socialism of the type described millennia later by Marx – who likely got the general idea from the gospels.

    The pro-capitalist Christians who are aware of these passages wave them away even though it is the ONLY explicit description of Christian economics in the Bible.

    To get just how central collectivism is to Christian canon, consider that the Bible contains the first description of socialism in history. Anti-socialist Christians also claim that the Biblical version was voluntary. Aside from it being obvious that the biblical version of God was not the anti-socialist Christian capitalists commonly proclaim he was, some dark passages in Acts indicate how deeply pro-socialist the New Testament deity is. CHAPTER 5 details how when a church member fails to turn over all his property to the church “he fell down and died,” when his wife later did the same “she fell down… and died… Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.”

    Dear readers, does this not sound like a form of terror-enforced-communism imposed by a God who thinks that Christians who fail to join the collective are worthy of death? Not only is socialism a Christian invention, so is its extreme communistic variant. The claim by many Christians that Christ hates socialism is untrue, while no explicit description of capitalism is found in the Bible – not surprising because it had not yet evolved.

  • http://www.jackkerwick.com Jack Kerwick

    And yes, Erasmus, I stick by my original assertion: no one has come close to refuting me on this point, or on any others. This is not self-righteousnes, and it is not arrogance. I am not saying that no one can; I don’t pretend to be infallible here. I invite disagreement, and I would actually like it for someone to just engage one of my arguments. My point is that thus far, all I have received are insults.

  • http://www.jackkerwick.com Jack Kerwick

    The Jubilee was about relieving financial burden–not “leveling the playing field,” “closing the income gap,” or promoting a condition of material equality across the board. These socialistic catchphrases are contemporary pieces of claptrap that socialists, many of whom don’t even believe in God, much less Christ, seek to impose upon the Biblical text.

    As for the earliest Christian communities, they did insure that possessions were shared in common among their members. These communities were small; they were voluntary; and they were communitiesin the genuine sense of that term. A contemporary “nation-state” like the USA, a country comprised of 300 plus million people who subscribe to a staggering diversity of wildly incompatible worldviews, is hardly a community, for there is no shared vision of a common good. Neither is a state a voluntary association; it is compulsory. And, finally, what is today commonly called “socialism” is a state imposed system that consists in confiscating people’s legitimately acquired property and redistributing it to those who the government deem are entitled to it. This is not Christian, and it isn’t even moral.

    Besides, you leftists are continually insisting upon the unambiguous separation between “Church” and “State.” Interesting, isn’t it, that whenever you think you can strengthen your agenda by way of enlisting religion in its service, you don’t hesitate to do so.

    Try fooling someone else.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment erasmus jr.

    cross-posted from MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

    How did Jesus go from being a socialist in the New Testament to a selfish Ayn Rand anarcho-capitalist in modern-day America? After all, one of the most well-known bible verses is from Mark 10:25: “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

    Sociologist Gregory Paul stated the paradox clearly in an August 12 Washington Post op-ed:

    Many conservative Christians, mostly Protestant but also a number of Catholics, have come to believe and proudly proclaim that the creator of the universe favors free wheeling, deregulated, union busting, minimal taxes especially for wealthy investors, plutocrat-boosting capitalism as the ideal earthly scheme for his human creations. And many of these Christian capitalists are ardent followers of Ayn Rand, who was one of – and many of whose followers are – the most hard-line anti-Christian atheists you can get. Meanwhile many Christians who support the capitalist policies associated with social Darwinistic strenuously denounce Darwin’s evolutionary science because it supposedly leads to, well, social Darwinism!

    But Paul points out that the New Testament primarily promotes what would nowadays be called socialism:

    But to understand just how non-capitalistic Christianity is supposed to be we turn to the first chapter after the gospels, Acts, which describes the events of the early church. Chapters 2 and 4 state that all “the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need … No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had…. There were no needy persons among them. From time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.”

    Now folks, that’s outright socialism of the type described millennia later by Marx – who likely got the general idea from the gospels.

    Paul further notes that “we have Christian creationists like Jay Richards writing books titled ‘Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not the Problem.’ Can a stranger amalgam of opposing opinions be devised?”

    In essence, the modern prosperity theologians who dominate the right wing of the Republican Party are essentially heretics. They’ve grafted on a post-industrial-age emphasis on the acquisition of capital and material goods to the alleged son of God, Jesus, who was himself essentially the father of socialism (as recounted in the bible).

    At the next Republican debate, we would like to see a test of faith. All the candidates should be required to thread a camel through the eye of a needle.

    If they can’t do it, they have to shut up about Jesus, Christianity and the bible.

    Now that would be refreshing.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment erasmus

    what self-righeousness and arrogance! To claim that “No one has even come close to refuting me on this point or, for that matter, any others that I have made. ”

    The overwhelming consensus of scholarly opinion on the proper interpretation of the Jubilee Year & this “liberty bell” passage is the one noted in the POST item. And that is the informed judgment of people who – unlike yourself- actually know Hebrew (and ancient Middle Eastern culture) and have no ideological axe to grind.

    But you are correct: no argument can penetrate a closed mind, which rules by diktat.

    Imagine: on a Catholic website, a blog host – challenging the Pope!- by claiming infallibility for his views.

  • http://www.jackkerwick.com Jack Kerwick

    You don’t think that I have much intellectual integrity? I don’t think that you have much of an intellect. What do you think of that?

    This is the last post of yours of which I will approve. And do you know why? You are a rude, angry, little man who is so filled with hatred for all things Christian that he finds himself incapable of having a civil, intelligent conversation with anyone who dares to divest his ad hominem weapon of choice–the charge of “anti-Semitism”–of its power to destroy human relationships. I really hope that you aren’t representative of the average Jew in America, for I hate to think that Jews generally feel as much animus toward Christians as you have.

    I will tell you what though, and I am serious about this, if you would like to counter the argument that I make in “Thoughts on the Charge of Anti-Semitism,” then write it out, send it to me as an attachment, and I promise you, I will post it right here at this blog. I don’t care how long it is (just don’t make it too, too long) and I will post it as is.

  • http://www.jackkerwick.com Jack Kerwick

    Wow, something from that staple of Biblical scholarship, the Washington Post! You have really nailed me there.

    No one has even come close to refuting me on this point or, for that matter, any others that I have made. With few exceptions, I am discovering that the people posting replies to my articles haven’t a clue as to how to argue; they are even more clueless when it comes to civility.

    I make assertions and then substantiate them. Once more, if you have objections to what I write, then you need to state them and defendthem. Neither you nor anyone else has thus far even tried to do this.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment WashPOST reader

    I checkout out your original item on this subject.
    The following is from the Washington POST,
    proving the correctness of the posters’ views and refuting yours.

    Economic relief from Leviticus, Chapter 25?
    Published: August 10
    Two lines stuck with me after I read Ezra Klein’s Aug. 6 column, “Let’s call it the ‘Great Contraction’ ”: “ ‘Debt de-leveraging takes about seven years. That’s the essence,’ she [economist Carmen Reinhart] says.” And then another quote from Ms. Reinhart summing up the column: “I ultimately think we have to wind up with some form of debt forgiveness.”
    It hit me that what was being described has an uncanny similarity to an economic program, or laws, described in the Hebrew scriptures, Leviticus, Chapter 25. As it says in the notes of my study version, “The laws attempt to prevent economic exploitation by stressing that the ownership of the land is vested in God, rather than human beings.” The program called for a seven-year economic cycle with a “sabbath of complete rest for the land,” in the seventh year, to prevent resource exploitation, and a longer business cycle of “seven weeks of [seven] years,” so that every 50th year there would be wholesale debt forgiveness that would return balance to the economic system.
    Richard L. Sheffield, Columbia

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment rabbi sam hirsch

    You challenge my title? I challenge your intellectual integity! Proof of which is the silly language game you are trying to play.

    It was a by-then Gentile Church who decided what “Jewish” materials were to included in the NT canon, and edited them accordingly. By that time, the Sadducees were gone and the Pharisees were the competition. Wary of its relationship with Roman authorities, it saw fit to shift the blame for Jesus’ death -by the Roman means of crucixion, at the hands of the official Roman authorities!- to the “Jews” (which by that time meant the Church’s rivals, the rabbis, who were the successors of the Pharisees).
    As to the “Jewishness” of those sources, not everthing done and said by one group of Jews means it is true for all, and speaks for all. Example: When it comes to America’s Revolutionary Way, are the views of Colonial Army General – and hero of the pivotal battle of Saratoga!- Benedict Arnold on this matter as authentically “American” as those of George Washington?

    Better luck next time.

    And, as you know by now, I do not fit your (anti-Semitic?) stereotype of the “rabbi” as groveling book worm.

  • http://www.jackkerwick.com Jack Kerwick

    “Rabbi,”

    You provided not an iota of “documentation” concerning my so-called “historical error” on the crucifixion of Jesus. All you did was make a questionable assertion. But an assertion without substantiation is still just an assertion.

    The Sadducees were not the only religious leaders of Jesus’s time. The Sanheddrin was controlled by Pharisees. The New Testament was written almost completely by Jews, sir. If it is filled with “anti-Semitic” lies, then it is Jewswho are responsible for these lies. I, of course, do not think that these are lies at all. But I am only trying to help you to recognize the absurdities to which your reasoning leads.

    Although I do have some training in Biblical studies, I am not, as you rightly point out, a Biblical scholar, but I never pretended to be one. I am, however, familiar with the work of some world class Biblical scholars–Raymond Brown, Luke Timothy Johnson, N.T. Wright–who would not take exception to my remarks. You can easily determine how accurate or not the New Testament is just by going to Amazon and googling “historical New Testament.” The list of books on the subject is virtually endless.

    I am not “question-begging” when I assume the authority of the New Testament. What we call “the New Testament” is not one book; it is a compendium of multiple sources.

    I put the word “Rabbi” in “quotation” marks because I have my doubts as to whether you really are a rabbi. I would expect for a religious leader like yourself to conduct himself more civilly when dealing with someone with whom he disagrees. This is what makes me doubt that you really are who you say you are.

    But in any case, please feel free to drop in here at any time.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment rabbi sam hirsch

    “Dr.” Kerwick: I see you made ZERO attempt to refute my documentation of your historical error regarding assigning culpability for Jesus’ death. After all, Crucifixion was a Roman form of punishment, not a Biblical one (e.g., stoning, beheading, strangling).

    You are clearly not a Biblical scholar- why do claim to speak as one? Why have you not, humbly, apologized for your mistake in this matter?

    How does it feel to be hoisted on your petard: your apodictic assertion about Jewry’s responsibility for Jesus’ demise was as much “question-begging” as what you accuse me of doing.

    As it is, your defense of Mel Gibson after his well-documented DUI Malibu anti-Semitic meltdown, is prima facie, sufficient documentation of your deep-seated contempt for the Jewish faith, and
    proof of my accusation.

    And what are your grounds for putting the word “Rabbi” in question marks?

  • http://www.jackkerwick.com Jack Kerwick

    You are right “Rabbi,” this is not an original posting. I stole it from—myself! I did indeed write this some months ago, but I had forgotten about posting it here (I write for other places, you know). I decided to rectify that the other day.

    I am a “documented Jew-hating bigot,” huh? Where is the documentation? For that matter, what does this even mean? You see, “Rabbi,” you can’t charge someone with being an “anti-Semite” or a “Jew-hating bigot” because he dared to question the concept of an “anti-Semite” or a “Jew-hating bigot.” This is called question-begging. I am sure hurling these charges against those with whom you disagree comes as naturally to you as breathing; in fact, it would probably be easier for you to give up the latter before you surrendered the former. But if you have problems with what I write, then you need to point out those problems without indulging in “hate speech” and ad hominem attacks.

    Your abusive language may intimidate some Christians, “Rabbi”, but they carry no such weight with me.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment rabbi sam hirsch

    one more thing. This is NOT an original posting of yours- as the date of August 11 date would suggest.

    It seems to ge a rehash of an item which originally ran months ago, which triggered an outpouring of comments, most of which – convincingly refuted the arguments you presented at that time. Why wasn’t that original piece, and the ensuing comments, noted this time around?

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment rabbi sam hirsch

    Cathy is correct, and you are a documented Jew-hating bigot- who probably won’t have the guts to run this posting.

    You claim that
    “The first Christians–who regarded themselves as Jews–were persecuted fiercely, murderously, by other Jews because of they were disciples of Jesus, who the Jewish leadership wanted dead.” Nonsense.
    There is no independent proof for this assertion outside of the
    New Testament, which has proven in numerous respects to be factually inaccurate (like that of the the date of the census causing Joseph’s migration to Bethlehem).
    Secondly, the “Jewish leadeship at the time” were not the Pharisees, but the quisling Sadducees who were under Rome’s thumb. It was Romans who saw a political threat in Jesus, and therefore executed him.

  • http://www.jackkerwick.com Jack Kerwick

    Cathy,

    Jews have never acted violently toward non-Jews? Is this what you contend? If so, you have zero basis in history for your contention. The first Christians–who regarded themselves as Jews–were persecuted fiercely, murderously, by other Jews because of they were disciples of Jesus, who the Jewish leadership wanted dead. If you go back further and read the Old Testament (Hebrew Scriptures) you will be treated to several stories within which Jews, presumably under the command of God, slaughtered every man, woman, and child who were their Gentile neighbors.

    Every group has acted violently toward “the Other” at some time or other. The idea that Jews are exempted from this rule is both wildly false and ridiculous.

  • http://marywrites.vpweb.com Mary

    I still do not understand why some would believe that if you are a Christian that makes you against Jews? I watch Messianic Preachers, acknowledge the Jews were God’s Chosen, and have always been respectful of Jewish people. I didn’t even realize until I was grown that the expression “jewing down”, was bad as it was a common saying where I grew up. But I believe some are always looking to fight with anger in their heart…if you have a good reason to protest, then do it! If now, close your mouth and pray…I am trying to learn that.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment CathyL

    No, I agree. You are an anti-semite. Jews did not historically kill Christians in pograms. Only Christians did that. “Blood libels” are a Christian thing. Burning at the stake are a Christian thing. The Inquisition was a purely Christian thing. There is no equivalent history of Jews murdering Christians. You are an ignorant fool without a balanced view of history. You seem to think of yourself as a victim probably because your position is vulnerable due to its indefensibility. And do not, my friend, explore with non-white why they hate white people. You will get an earful about slavery, lynchings, discrimination and disrespectfulness, which I don’t think you are mature enough to handle.

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