I haven’t been able to forget about the blundering John Kasich fiasco. You know the one when he tried to lecture Jewish yeshiva students about the Bible. If you don’t know what I’m talking about then read and watch this. Be prepared to laugh and to cringe.
I got a big kick out of it at first. You know, “the blood above the lamppost” quote is hard to top. Literally. But the more I thought about what he did, the more it made me mad and sad.
I’m aware that this blogpost will in no way compare to what Uriel Heilman had to say about Kasich’s blunder. The Ix-nay Esus-Jay is such pure genius that I wonder why I even bother to consider myself a writer. But, alas, I find myself at the keyboard anyway.
Maybe my boldness to address this issue is because Passover is approaching. And ever since I found out, via studying history, what Jews have endured during the weeks when Passover and Easter collide on the calendar, I feel a certain sadness this time of year.
Before studying history a few years ago, and discovery how horribly, terribly Christians have tormented, tortured, and murdered Jews over the centuries, I had no idea that had happened. And trust me when I say, there are many, many non-Jews, especially Christians, who fall in the same category. They are very naïve and ignorant when it comes to the darkness of Church history.
I’m not exaggerating when I say that many Christians are naïve and ignorant about the history of their own faith. They’ve never considered nor desired to know much about the past of their faith. Heck, if you were to tell these type of people that “Jesus was a Jew,” they would look at you blankly for a few moments while the wheels started spinning in their heads, trying to put two and two together. Like I said, trust me, I know. I was one of those.
So this blogpost is not directed at those types of non-Jews/Christians. Nor is directed toward the hung-the-moon, salt-of-the-earth, nicest-people-in-the-world-bar-none type of non-Jews/Christians. Trust me again when I say, I know tons of those kind of people.
Nope. This is directed towards the arrogant, I-know-more-than-the-blind-Jews type of non-Jews/Christians. Trust me again. You know who you are. And if you’re not sure who you are, and you are mad by the time you finish reading this blogpost, that is, if you even decide to finish reading it, then, yes, you are one of those. Don’t be one of those, anymore. It’s ugly. It’s sad. And it is so beneath you.
Whether he intended to or not, Kasich stunk with a stench that has clung to Christians for millennia. He simply considered himself above the Jews. And here’s the elephant in the room. The reason we all know he considered himself better and above the Jews, but the reason no one rarely comes out and just says, is that Kasich believes in Jesus and the young men he was addressing do not. Therefore, according to that equation in Kasich’s mind, and in millions of other Christians’ minds, Kasich whether consciously or sub-consciously considered himself superior to those Jews.
There I said it. No lightening bolt came down and rendered my computer keyboard useless. So I’m still writing. And hopefully, you are still reading.
I know those types of Christians like I used to know a little part of myself. That corner in their heart and mind is just like the corner I used to have. What I don’t know is how big their corner is. Mine was really, really small. Miniscule. But still there. And in that corner was the reasoning that explained the Holocaust, and every other moment of suffering that the Jews had endured and are even enduring now. They did not know Jesus. And that led to carte blanche suffering. Yes, I cringe to write that. And cringe that I used to believe it. Believed that every second of misery the Jews had endured was somehow justified by that “fact.” It was deserved, but hey to at least sound “Christian” about it, the tagline was always added “but at least it will lead them back to Christ.”
My intent is not to start a theological discussion. And though it is presumptuous to think that I might have people actually reading this, just in case I do and said people have the urge to write a comment to set me in my theological place, just know this, I rarely read comments after I post an article in a public forum. Sorry. I just don’t. One time when I was lucky enough to garner about 500 comments after I posted an article, I read about ten. I’m sure that means something about my psyche, but oh well, we’ll save my diagnosis for another time.
Back to the Jews and their “failure” to believe in Jesus. Look, I will at least throw one theological argument out there. One. In the Gospels when a Jew came to ask Jesus how one could gain eternal life, Jesus gave a very short, all-inclusive answer. He said to keep the Torah. So according to Jesus’ math, Jew + Torah = Eternal Life. Yes, yes, I know Paul came along and had lots of other teachings. But look, if Paul trumps Jesus in your book, then technically you are a Paulstian and not a Christian, so this blogpost isn’t really to you anyway. So no worries.
In all seriousness, I’m trying to be a little lighthearted about a very serious subject. And from the bottom of my heart, I want to apologize and say to any Jews who might be reading this, “I am so sorry for the untold misery that beliefs like the one that I used to have in a dark corner of my heart led to so much suffering. And I am sorry that you still have to endure being looked down upon, especially by Christians.” There really is no irony greater than a Christian looking down on a Jew.
You Jews are so amazing in a gazillion ways. And I consider myself one of the luckiest people on the earth to have met so many of you. I have so much admiration for you, and besides loving you, I just really, really like you.
One of the Jews I’ve had the privilege to know is a Jewish cowboy/Torah teacher who used to lead tour groups to Israel. Most of his clients were Christians. Before leaving on trips, he would tell his group, “You are going to meet Jews in Israel who have more righteousness in their little pinkie than you do in your entire life.” He didn’t always get a positive reaction. Whether they would say anything out loud or not, their chests would puff up and they would disagree that there could even be that kind of remote possibility. Some of his clients would even threaten to not go on the tour. Of course, when it was too late to get a refund they would go. And sure enough, when they met those Jews, there pride would 100% deflate. Theology met real life, and real life revealed the truth.
I will end by telling you what my daughter told me after meeting and getting to know Jews. She said, “Mom, after seeing their lives, I will never believe any of them are going to hell. No matter what anyone ever tries to tell me.” Smart girl. Much smarter than all the John Kasichs of the world.