...All the killers were Christian."


#1

I thought that would get your attention. Now to place this in context.

The partial quote is from Elie Wiessel when he was interviewed regarding the Holocaust, he said, “All the Jews were victims and all the killers were Christian.” At one level this is true. At another level it is false. Yet, we must understand both levels in order to find truth and peace. Whenever I show the film to my Comparative Religion class that includes this quote it takes the Christians in the room by surprise and nearly takes their breath away. It has a similar effect upon me even though I’ve heard it many times. He is correct in the sense that a somewhat Christian culture produced the impetus and even the tolerance for such barbarity. He is wrong in the sense that no devout Christian would ever tolerate such behavior if they had the power to stop it. We know that the Church successfully protected hundreds of thousands of Jews during this horrific period of history.

But the issue is very much real today. To what extent are Christians culpable for the moral filth distributed throughout the world and the murders of babies that occur regularly in nominally Christian countries? To what extent are Muslims culpable to the murder and butchery done in the name of Islam against millions of people over their entire history? These questions must be seriously confronted if both truth and peace have a chance.

Here is what I wrote on another forum on a related issues. I think it’s appropos.

"I haven’t noticed that the Pro-gay agenda is hurting anyone economically. I think the AFA’s approach is wrong headed. We haven’t lived in a Christian country for several decades and the argument could be made that we never have. One of the reasons devout Muslims give for their hatred or at least distaste of American culture is that they identify our exportation of moral filth with Christianity. One of the reasons we have hatred or distaste toward Islam is our indentification of murder with Islam. There is just enough truth in both misperceptions to make everyone suspicious.

In any event we live in a world that does not respect the things of God in general though they know the things of God because nature teaches it to them. St. Paul knew that a long time ago. This knowledge has been reiterated many times over the centuries. Some come to Christ because they see the truths of God in nature and desire to serve God. Some reject God because they see God clearly but reject Him. Hasn’t it always been so?

Ford will not suffer for their anti-God, pro-homosexual stands any more than most corporations in America which have taken similar stands. That does not make their stand right and ours wrong. It simply means that they have their reward. We will someday have ours."

CDL


#2

There are “Christians” who are called such merely as a label or part of a cultural identity, and then there are Christians who consciously follow the teachings of Christ. It’s necessary to make the distinction.


#3

This is something I debate with anyone who points to Christianity in cases where supposed ‘Christians’ enact violence or aggression on others, and attempt to blame Christianity for promoting world tensions through violence - and it really comes down to common sense - this is a ploy by society to label Christianity something it is not. Christianity is not a club that you join, in its very essence it is a path of life you accept, so you can not just ‘become Christian’ like you would a member of a club, and then spread murder and violence, because you would essentially be doing things that counter Christian belief and teaching. When you choose to become Christian, you are only labeled a Christian according to how you follow Christian teaching. Being Christian isn’t about how you associate yourself to others or actions in the world, it is about how you live your life the way Christ has showed us. So naturally, when you run into instances of ‘Christian’s’ spreading their message through hate, it is only an attempt to hijack Christianity to spread their own beliefs, it is not TRULY Christian.

Its like calling a dog a cat… no matter how much you want to believe that a dog is a cat, a cat is a cat, and you can tell by the way it looks and the things it does. In the same way, if you live your life as a Christian the way the Gospels teach us, you will never be confused for the dog.

So how Christian is someone like David Koresh, or Jim Jones, or the KKK or any of the other lunatics that have sprung up in society? I say not at all… they can call themselves Christian, and they can believe they are teaching the true Christian message, but you do not judge Christianity based on its ‘followers’, because anyone can SAY they are Christian. You judge Christianity on the Gospels - and when you see someone living the life that the Gopels make clear, YOU KNOW you are dealing with a TRUE Christian.

Peace


#4

Exoflare,

Yes, I noted that. It is also what Muslims say. So how do we move from that to truth and peace?

CDL


#5

Guidedheart,

How do Muslims wish to be judged, I wonder?

CDL


#6

Eli Wiessel lived through and wrote about (Night) a horror.
It is my understanding from his writings that he lost all faith.
That said;
We make a terrible error when we disassociate humanity from a group.
To say ALL the victims of the Holocaust were Jews and
ALL the Killers were Christian is to oversimplify, dehumanize and ignore the historical facts.
The bottom line is Christian is as Christian does. Period.
A true Christian is not known by what church he attends but in how he follows the footsteps of Christ in his daily life.
Just as an aside, to be a Nazi party menber, one swore an oath to Hitler - and to renounce any and all faiths or loyaltys to any other than Hitler.


#7

Thats a good question :slight_smile: If my knowledge of Islam was broader I may be able to answer that one myself, but unfortunately I am not quite there.

Peace


#8

Well, we all err to some extent, and we’re all somewhat responsible for contributing to the current environment. To what extent “we” as Christians are responsible really does depend on the individual Christian you are referring to… but at the same time it is pointless to judge individual people (this does not mean you must avoid pointing out evil where it exists!).

Anyway I don’t know how valid a question it is to begin with. The very idea of Christian values themselves contributing to the evil in our society is nothing more than the product of wishful thinking from those who actively hate Christianity. Since they don’t want to take responsibility for their own actions, they need a scapegoat to take the attention off of them. What better a target than that very value system which uncovers and reveals their flaws?

For the OP: What does it have to do with Muslims, though?


#9

Just thinking about this briefly, I will say one other thing - Christianity is often seen in a negative light in the West because we are dealing with a secular media source more cases than not - The secular media is quick to jump on a story of another ‘Christian’ in a sexual abuse scandal, or even to the extremes of another ‘Christian’ cult that goes off the deep end, and it ends up skewing the Christian perspective severely - there isn’t an formidable opponent in the media industry to broadcast true Christian teaching , morals or action in society - we may here about it hear and there, but its not at the rate that the negatives are blown out of porportion - so its easy in this country to view Christians as all the things we are fed to believe about them.

From what I understand in Islamic countries, the media source is STRICTLY Muslim - there is no alternative view there, and in cases where politics becomes mixed with religion, that can pose a situation where religion is being used as the vehicle to teach political views - and so we see an explosion of hatred for West, and just like in our country where we see a distaste for Christianity from the secular world, in Islam the masses are being moved by the only thing they are being fed, and in turn we in the West are seeing this and getting a skewed perspective of the distate for the West.

So we are both really dealing with the same problem. Those who are true to their faith, are not the ones in the public eye teaching what is right, we are the ones constantly doing damage control for those who use the position of media power to skew truth.

What is ironic, is we are being pitted against each other through sources within our own nations, ,and yet we keep blaming each other - this is why solidarity between those who uphold the truth is important, because without it our voice will not be strong enough to overcome the false understandings about our faiths.

This is how I see it anyway, but I have alot to learn about the subject so this is strictly opinion.

Peace


#10

He has stated recently that he did not lose all faith, but that he is/was angry with God. You can’t be angry with someone you don’t believe in.


#11

Just a couple of things.

Elie Wiesel did not say all the victims of the holocaust were jewish. He said all the victims of the “jewish holocaust” were jewish. Here’s the quote (I’m assuming it is the same one referred to in the OP).

‘All the killers were Christian. The Nazi system was the consequence of a movement of ideas and followed a strict logic; it did not arise in a void but had its roots deep in a tradition that prophesied it, prepared for it, and brought it to maturity. That tradition was inseparable from the past of Christian, civilized Europe.’

As an aside, Wiesel writes that before they were to be deported to the camps, the Wiesel’s christian maid offered to hide his family in her hut in the mountains. But the Weisel’s did not want to leave their community.


#12

From the Jewish virtual library:

A turning point in Wiesel’s life came in 1954 when Wiesel interviewed the Catholic writer Fancois Mauriac. During the interview, everything Mauriac said seemed to relate to Jesus. Finally, Wiesel burst out that while Christians love to talk about the suffering of Jesus, “…ten years ago, not very far from here, I knew Jewish children every one of whom suffered a thousand times more, six million times more, than Christ on the cross. And we don’t speak about them.” Wiesel ran from the room, but Mauriac followed him, asked Wiesel about his experiences and advised him to write them down.

In the 1970s, he protested against South African apartheid. In 1980, he delivered food to starving Cambodians. In 1986, he received the Nobel Peace Prize as “a messenger to mankind,” and “a human being dedicated to humanity.” He explained his actions by saying the whole world knew what was happening in the concentration camps, but did nothing. “That is why I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation.”

He has also recenlty spoken out against the tragedy in Darfur.


#13

Is there more than one Holocaust? I thought the holocaust encompassed all the killings that the Nazi’s did.


#14

originally posted byValke2
He has stated recently that he did not lose all faith, but that he is/was angry with God. You can’t be angry with someone you don’t believe in.

Now, THAT is very true! Hopefully he will find peace while still here on earth.
Still, to say, “All the killers were Christian” is not true.
If he will name me a Nazi “Christian” and I will consider the statement. But there weren’t any because to be a Nazi and to be a Christian are mutually exclusive.


#15

I thought so, also. That is why the quote is causing me confusion. Not everyone who died in the Holocaust was Jewish. Anyone who didn’t fit in the Nazi’s idea of a perfect society was killed, including the handicapped and gypsies.


#16

He was addressing his response to the reason for the Shoah against the Jews. He never implied that others weren’t killed. That would be nonsense.


#17

That would be news to Saint Kolbe , St Edith Stein and the 6 million Christians killed at the death camps.


#18

So were all the rescuers. Just a thought.


#19

NOtice that he did not say all the victims were jews.


#20

An excellent post :smiley:

IMO, much of the problem comes from this: that Christian faith &, membership of society have been identified. This is a very old problem, with roots in parts of the OT.

And I think it has had disastrous effects on Christian faith & conduct. So while I agree with almost all your post, I’d be less enthusiastic about agreeing with your sig line :slight_smile:

Part of the problem. I think, is that Christianity began as an eschatological sect within Judaism - & then had to adapt to living in the world for the indefinite future. I believe this had long distance effects upon its character: a sect/faith that is “at home” in the world, will adapt more easily to being Top Religion (when the day for that comes), than one which retains a lively sense of expectancy of the end.

A faith that is Top Religion is better able to kick other folk around than one that lack the means to. Which means that when faith & citizenship became identical - Catholic Church only, in a Catholic state, from 380+ - events in Dachau were not as unlikely as if the Church had remained a persecuted powerless minority.

I don’t think confessional states are a good thing - the Kingship of God is not of this world. Because the Kgship of Christ is different in kind from that of the OT kings: making it a political entity within history corrupts it.

IMO ##


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