Goebbels described himself a “Christian.” Hitler, born Catholic, declared the Holocaust as serving God’s will. Torquemada ordered Jews and Catholic converts tortured and burned at the stake. Are Christians today justified declaring them not Christian, their actions not serving their declared religion? DaveM:
My comment about characterization was [directed at] John’s highlighting hatemongering by Goebbels and other Nazis. From my perspective, I would rather see them labeled as Anti-Christs rather than Christians.”
DT: The problem, Dave, is that we cannot just pick and choose identity for others according to personal preference. That has been a recurrent issue on the blog, that most Christian readers, identifying with your protest, would exclude this or that individual or population for not behaving in what is according to personal standard a “Christian” manner. In the meantime, as in the present case, those you would exclude believe(d) themselves acting not only in accord with their religion, but in defense of it. John’s examples regarding Goebbels as one example and Hitler proclaiming on numerous occasions in private and public that, “by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.” Since most post-Holocaust dismiss Hitler as “insane” it is easy to attribute any motive imaginable to such utterances (this was not his only reference to being Christian, to serving God). Still, he was born Catholic, attended Catholic schools as a child and apparently to paid his tithe until the end.
Then there was the commandant of Auschwitz. He was described as a loving father and husband, a pious Christian who raised his children firmly in the tradition. A “gentle” person who would play the violin to unwind from a trying day at work! And Luther himself, by his own words and actions encouraged the murder Jews, burning of their books, encouraged their “churches” be razed. And this he wrote almost exactly 400 years before Auschwitz murdered its last Jew.
Over the nearly two thousand years before Auschwitz the population of Jews in the west was reduced from approximately one in ten to a tiny fraction of one percent! Mass murder of Jews in Christendom began long before the Holocaust. Too easy, DaveM, to simply excommunicate ex post facto all such murderers as having acted outside Christian “norms” when they believed they were acting according to God’s will, serving Him by their actions. Catholic and Protestant leaders, religious and lay; simple townspeople during the Middle Ages who rounded up and burned Jewish fellow townspeople; Inquisitors torturing and burning Jews and even generations-later converts referred to as Marranos (“pigs”); Crusaders demanding “accept the cross or die!” Were all these eliminated because today deemed “anti-Christ” who would remain to birth the two+ billion Christians alive today?
The point, Dave, is not to revile the crimes and criminals (that’s just too easy) but to seek understanding, accept that a problem inspiring such behavior exists and work to change it. That, were I Christian, is what I would do. But as Christendom’s victim my focus is to educate my fellow Jews to the problem, the Jewish Problem and its inevitable “solution” it means for us.