Jesus and World Affairs
June 23, 2002
by Bruce Walker
Recently Abraham Foxman, of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), who had long tended to blame the Holocaust on the inherent weaknesses of Christian Theology, made a vital concession: America, largely because of its serious Christianity, had been an historic defender of Jews.
Understanding the significance of this requires a deeper examination of the viewpoint of liberal Jews toward America in particular and Christendom in general. Christians, expressly because of their faith, risked their lives and the lives of their families by the thousands to save Jews during the Holocaust. Righteous Gentiles have been generously appreciated by post-Holocaust Jews, but Righteous Gentiles acting out of Christian piety have been the glaring exception.
So the remarkable story of The Hiding Place, in which the ten Boom family entreated by the Nazis to stop helping Jews, because the Nazis had no quarrel at all with this good Dutch family and in which every member of this Dutch Christian family, except Corrie ten Boom, died in concentration camps, is overlooked by the United States Holocaust Memorial because Christian martyrdom for Jews in Nazi Europe is "politically incorrect."
So Count Folke Bernadotte, a deeply religious Swedish aristocrat who saved 30,000 Jews during the Holocaust and worked to preserve peace in the Middle East for the same reason, was assassinated by the Stern gang in Israel. Although most Jews were horrified by this act of Jewish terrorism toward an incredibly noble man, Bernadotte, whose actions were explicitly the consequence of his Christianity, has never been accorded the same notice and status as Raoul Wallenberg or Oscar Schindler, whose theology was safely muddled.
George Washingtons remarkable letter to the Jews of Newport gets much less play that the statements of presumed Deists like Jefferson and Madison, although seldom has a political document in human history stately more clearly friendship and protection of Jews. Why? George Washington throughout his life made faith in Christ the centerpiece of his policy and his politics.
The Holocaust, quite understandably, caused Jews throughout the world to recoil in horror. Twelve million innocent souls, half of them Jewish, died in ways which the modern world simply cannot comprehend. Lashing out at Nazism, the author of this great crime, was obvious but also meaningless: who was defending Hitler and Himmler in 1960?
Blaming the Soviets, whose aid was indispensable in Nazi success, was "politically incorrect." Although Soviet denial of God, like Nazi denial of God, was an essential prerequisite to deeds so vile that they can only be undertaken based upon an assurance that no judge of man exists, modern Ashkenazi Jews, particularly German Ashkenazi Jews, were largely agnostic sophisticates for whom Marxism held an alluring cachet.
Just as these German Jews actively fought the immigration of the poor, persecuted and pious Jews from Poland, Lithuania, and the Soviet Empire because these Ostjuden kept Shabbat and read Torah, the atheistic socialist paradise of the Soviet Union was manifestly superior to western democracies like England, Scotland and Norway, which had no separation of Church and State, and which built a civilization upon the teachings of Jesus. Religion - Christianity or Judaism - was superstitious and dangerous nonsense to many nominal Jews and Christians in Twentieth Century Europe.
How quickly liberals overlook inconvenient history! The speeches of Churchill make continual reference to saving "Christian civilization" from Nazism. The Founding Fathers were virtually all ethical monotheists (the liberal Jewish term for "religious") and all but three of these hundred or so men were serious Christians to boot. Even the three "outcasts" - Franklin, Jefferson and Madison - make it abundantly clear that in their vast, objective, even critical studies of Christianity, they have never found anything comparably good.
As the odious disease of anti-Semitism spreads across the Middle East and through the salons of the sophisticates of increasingly pagan Europe, other critical facts about the Second World War are beginning to emerge. As any thoughtful Christian will readily admit, being a Christian does not mean being good. It does not make one immune from very bad deeds.
So nominal Christians within Nazi Germany committed war crimes despite their religion. The Nazi war on Christianity was fierce, and unlike the fascists, the Nazis never considered anything but the destruction of Christianity as the "Final Solution to the Christian Question" which would come after the "Final Solution to the Jewish Question" just as that horrible crime was itself preceded by almost four year by the "Final Solution to the Gipsy Question," a holocaust that actually began before the Second World War started.
Being Jewish has not proven any more effective in preventing monsters born Jewish from acting contrary to the powerful moral heritage of Judaism. The role of Jews in establishing the Soviet Empire and presiding over the mass murder of millions of innocent Ukrainians, Russians, White Russians, and other peoples of this Marxist prison house of nations has long been known.
The zealous support of Mussolini by atheist Italian Jews has only recently received much attention, and the Orwellian blending of fascism with national socialism (despite the fact that the two groups murdered one another on the streets of Vienna and despite the role Mussolini long played in stopping Hitlers aggression), has provided a common garbage dump for all "Fascist" regimes.
What has come to light this year with a groundbreaking, mainstream book is the extent to which Jews actually served in Nazi military forces during the Second World War. The well-documented book by Byron Mark Riggs, Hitlers Jewish Soldiers, University of Kansas Press 2002, establishes that about 150,000 Jews served in the Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, and Wehrmacht fighting against Churchill and his RAF and for the triumphant of Nazi Germany.
While it has long been known that Nazi war criminal Field Marshal Milch, operational head of the Luftwaffe, was half-Jewish, the number of pure Jews and Mischlinge (those with significant Jewish blood) who fought for Hitler is simply dumbfounding. These included generals, admirals, and even Nazi Party officials.
These Jewish Nazis also fought bravely against the British and Americans during the Second World War. During the Battle of Britain, for example, a Jewish Luftwaffe pilot would engage in a dogfight with a Christian RAF pilot. These Jewish pilots, soldiers, sailors, and officers fought bravely and well against predominately Christian democracies, but it is vital to add that these men with Jewish blood in Germany often had very few options and that demonstrating their loyalty to the Reich was a way to protect themselves and their loved ones from Nazi anti-Semitism.
Some of Hitlers Jewish soldiers, however, were in full agreement with the general policies of Hitler and asked for the "ruthless expulsion" of Ostjuden refugees back to nations where they were enslaved and despised. Like those Jews who joyfully embraced fascism and communism, these particular Jews would - and did - embrace national socialism, including its racist components, as long as German Jews were not the racial scapegoats.
People who happened to be members of one of those two great religions most hostile to the Holocaust, the Gulag, and aggressive war seem equally susceptible to descent into moral darkness. How can Christians and Jews participate in horrible crimes against humanity? Only by a rejection of faith, which is not cured by the instillation of secular ethical nobility in the homes of religiously indifferent "modern" Christian and Jewish families.
Israel is not just the only truly viable democracy in the Middle East, but it is a vigorous, argumentative, and serious democracy (all of which is very good). Benjamin Netanyahu pointed out a few months ago that the door to door search for terrorists reflected a Jewish reverence for all human life, and that the easy approach would have been indiscriminate bombing. Very true.
Which brings us Christians and Jews back to Jesus. Jews need not feel threatened by this. Christians have many diverse opinions and views on Jesus and His meaning in theology and life. Modern Christianity, in one sense, is true "multi-culturalism." Enjoined by Jesus to love all mankind and to look first for the beam in our eye, Christendom truly Christian - as in those diverse groups of intensely serious Christians who created America - is the most tolerant place in the universe.
Christianity also tries to convert the world to this transcendent viewpoint of peace. Even those people who we might not call formally "Christian" - like Albert Schweitzer and Benjamin Franklin - propound the most marvelous moral outlooks on life, which draw inspiration from Jesus and which find no parallel in any other being in human history.
What a friend all Jews and all Christians have in Jesus! Whether or not one accepts the divinity of Jesus or accepts Jesus as the Messiah or as a prophet (and Jesus is viewed as having a divinely inspired role by several minor religions which do not fall within either traditionally Christianity or rabbinical Judaism), the message of Jesus has been carried across the world and influenced men and women for the better throughout the common era.
India now recently stood on the brink of nuclear war with Pakistan, but India has refrained from the sort of imperialism that many other Asian powers have sought. Only two people in the history of this enormous and diverse nation have been so universally acclaimed as to be granted state funerals: Mohandas Gandhi, who expressed deep admiration for Jesus, and Mother Teresa, who dedicated her whole life to Jesus.
China has had precisely one truly unifying moral figure, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen. This George Washington of China is the only person who virtually every group in and around China recognized as a great and good man. He is also the only major Chinese leader who was a Christian.
Alexander Solzhenitsyn, whose magnificent prose exposed the depth of Soviet Communist evil in The Gulag Archipelago, a book called by Time Magazine simply as "the most important book of the Twentieth Century" found his inspiration in a slave labor camp conversation to Christianity. Like Mother Teresa, he was a soul trapped in the nightmare lands of communism socialism and who rose above that horror to find light and strength.
Again and again and again and again, Jesus enters the world - whether as an historical man or as God - and brings peace and tolerance and compassion where it simply did not exist before. Most of all, Jesus has inspired the peoples of America, a place specifically intended to be the New Jerusalem.
Those vermin who scurry around subsisting on the garbage of anti-Semitism are not supported by devout Christians, but their dirty work is stopped only by these devout Christians. Although Haman may have been historys first Hitler, there were many, many more. Stalin was planning, before his death, a Marxist campaign against "rootless cosmopolitanism" (which was universally understood to be a vast, probably genocidal, pogrom against the Jews within the grasp of his newly expanded empire).
The notion that Moslems in Spain or Egypt have historically shown great toleration for Jews is also belied by the facts. Berbers in the "Golden Age" of Spain (i.e. Moslem Spain) massacred Jews by the tens of thousands, exceeding in this "civilized" polity the worst excesses of backwards, medieval, western Christendom.
The message of Jesus is one of peace and love: it is, indeed, almost supernaturally "modern" isnt it? Here stands a world filled with hate. Seven nations, at least, have arsenals of thermonuclear weapons and probably several more privately have these arsenals. The future would be hopeless, unless we somehow found the way to love our enemies and to place the Kingdom of God before kingdoms and powers on this speck of spinning dirt within the frozen void of space.
Something within all of us, however, whispers that hope is real and is not a phantom. It is the darkness that is empty, and not the light. Those who have found in that light a man named Jesus will not preach hatred and will not condemn those other children of God. Instead, those who have seen the light - seen the light more surely than I have - will do what Dr. Livingstone did and go into the most remote place in the world to heal and to teach love or will go into the desperate poverty of Calcutta to bring tenderness and compassion.
So Jews and Christians of the world, watch what happens and not what people say. Anyone can call himself a "Christian." Hitler, recall, called himself first a Marxist and then a "National Socialist" and Mussolini called himself philo-Semitic, then philo-Islamic, then anti-Semitic. There are people, however, who live a life based upon the teachings of a carpenter born two thousand years ago in a distant province of Rome. Since people have sincerely followed in the footsteps of that man, a candle has been lit which has proven inextinguishable. Since people have followed that carpenter, the world has been forever changed.
Those who choose not to root themselves in more than toys are children. A rabbi wrote a letter a long time ago to some people in the cosmopolitan city of Corinth and to them he said:
"When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put aside childish things."
Just a few sentences before, in this same letter, he gives one of the most eloquent definitions of love (or charity) that any person has ever written. It is almost as if this learned, stubborn, serious man had found something special with which he knew that all goodness in the world would forever be safe. What a friend we all have in Him who was the inspiration for that rabbi wandering around the Mediterranean, writing letters and speaking to people of love.
Christians have done many bad things in our two thousand years on earth, but without us this imperfect world would have long since descended into an Orwellian nightmare with no promise of redemption. All of us - whatever our faith - should give thanks for that greatest friend mankind has ever known.
Bruce Walker has been a dyed in the wool conservative since, as a sixth grader, he campaigned door to door for Barry Goldwater. Bruce has had almost two hundred published articles have appeared in the Oklahoma Bar Journal, Law & Order, Legal Secretary Today, The Single Parent, Enter Stage Right, Citizen's View, The American Partisan, Port of Call, and several other professional and political periodicals.
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