Anti-Christian-Anti-Semitism

On January 6, supporters of then President Donald Trump stormed the United States Capitol Building. Hundreds, perhaps thousands were involved; doubtless, embracing manifold reasons for the assault. Still, a primary aim was to protest the outcome of the presidential election and to halt the congressional tally of the votes of the Electoral College.

Continuing to contemplate this uprising, I focus on the varied symbols borne by the rioters. Wooden crosses. Flags, among them, the American Stars and Stripes, the Confederate battle banner, and the campaign standard, Trump 2020. A noose dangling from a scaffold. T-shirts, one bearing the reference to the World War II Nazi concentration site Camp Auschwitz. Taken together, these signs, for me, represent a virulent and violent mélange of Christian nationalism with distinct under (over?) tones of a civic anti-Semitic religion.

Anti-Semitism, as a formal term, was coined in the latter 19th century. However, the roots of prejudice and bigotry toward Jews, particularly by Christians, can be traced to the latter 1st century following the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple by the Roman Empire in 70 C.E. In a word, anti-Semitism is a centuries-old scourge.

From my soul’s depth, I am anti-anti-Semitism. As a Christian, I am especially anti-Christian-anti-Semitism.

Many years ago, I heard an address on the Jewish roots of Christianity. The lecturer, a profoundly passionate and compassionate scholar, spoke with rapture about the germination and growth of the Christian Church in and out of fertile Hebraic soil.

She closed her remarks with a statement of historic and spiritual connectedness,[1] which, as a seed, was planted in the ground of my consciousness: “All Christians are adopted Jews. Without Judaism, there is no Christianity. Christian anti-Semitism, therefore, is grammatically oxymoronic and, worse, spiritually and morally a most egregious example of amnesia.”

I said then and ever since hath said: Amen.

© 2021 PRA

[1] And political correctness. By this (interpreting the word political, as derived from its root, the Greek polis, city, as descriptive of a body of people bonded together by the common interest of law-abiding, self-sustaining existence), I mean that her words, for me, embrace the deepest and timeless truths about human relationships.

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