You've compared the 1990s and the 1930s. What do you mean by that?
In the 1930s, Franklin Delano Roosevelt met with his political advisers, his military planners. He was told that America might have to go to war, and if it does have to go to war, it needs to support Stalin in Russia, Mussolini in Italy, and King Saud in the Arabian Peninsula. And they also told him that all three of those were bigots, that they were Jew haters. And that in order for him to get their support, he must not show any favoritism to the Jews--so for eight years, FDR completely hardened his heart to the Jewish question. He sent the St. Louis ship back to Germany with 925 passengers on board. They tried to land four times--he wouldn't allow Jews into America. He passed anti-immigration acts. Adolph Eichmann held negotiations for a deal called Blood for Trucks, in which they were going to barter a million Jews for 20,000 trucks--and FDR said no. It got so bad that the Allied pilots were begging to allow them to bomb railroad tracks in Germany because they saw the Jews going to Auschwitz--and he wouldn't even allow them to bomb because he wanted to keep appeasing the anti-Semites who were supporting him. [For an opposing view, click here.]
We did that in the 1990s. We appeased bigots who called Jews "monkeys" and "pigs" and cut their heads off for being Jews--like Daniel Pearl who was killed in Pakistan and Nicholas Berg who was beheaded in Iraq. We refused to acknowledge a terrorist as a terrorist. They were considered revolutionaries, freedom fighters. While the Jews were being blown up, we forgot that in the 1930s they first started killing Jews--then they killed Christians in the 1940s.
During World War II, we found out that the same Hitler who despised Jews turned and vented his spleen on Christians. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was the champion who understood that Christians were being slaughtered only because they were standing up for righteousness.
Is there an analogue to today?
We have a battle that can only be won by the church, because the church has moral clarity. When we tolerate 100 million fundamentalists intimidating us and threatening us and using oil to do it, then we face a dilemma. We got into this crisis because of America's foreign policy with Saudi Arabia, like we did before World War II. We have appeased a bigoted regime, a racist regime. We got into this crisis because we refuse to acknowledge racism or bigotry as something that's lethal that can kill you. And we got into this crisis because we refused to acknowledge that this is a religious war-that the 100 million Islamic fundamentalists are religious.
My mother's grandfather was burned to death in his synagogue in Minsk Russia. The Russian Orthodox Church members boarded it up and burned the whole congregation alive and wrote "Christ-killers" on the walls as they burned it to death. Her aunts and uncles were burned to death in Auschwitz and called "Christ-killers" during that period of time. My mother survived and moved to America, but as a child, I pushed her grocery cart to the grocery store. Catholics and others would drive by in their cars and throw rocks at me and my mother, calling her a "kike" a "Jew witch," a "Christ-killer."
This was in the 1950s in Massachusetts. I was beat up for being a Jew. I was told as a little child, "You murdered Christ." I heard that over and over, by Christians who were anti-Semites.
My father would go get drunk every Friday night at the Twilight Café, and he'd come home and beat up my mother and accuse her of being a whore. She'd wear sunglasses a lot because she'd have black eyes. And then he'd go to church Sunday and sing "Amazing Grace." And haul us to church. And beat us with extension chords if we didn't have devotions. Now six of my brothers and sisters will not enter a church because of this. My mother hardened her heart to the Gospel of Jesus Christ because of this.
One night, my father had strangled me and left me for dead in my dried vomit. I was eleven years old. Later that week, I woke up and heard my mother crying. I stood at the top of the stairs, and I desperately wanted to help her and didn't know what to do. I was afraid, I was a skinny little kid, and I was scared he would kill me for sure because he almost did. I heard him say, "You are a whore, and that bastard upstairs is the reason I'm beating you." I realized that my poor mother was suffering because of me. That he believed I was illegitimate, that my mother had an affair and that I was illegitimate--so not only was I despised and rejected by my father, but my mother was suffering horribly because of me. I ran into my room crying. I did not believe in Jesus Christ. As a matter of fact, I despised his name.