But you are the one defending him.
** It appears we have reached the nadir of Christian contempt for and mistreatment of the Jewish people. However, we haven’t. Pride of place must be accorded Johann Eck, Luther’s formidable Catholic opponent at Leipzig (1519), at Worms (1521), and at Augsburg (1530). Eck’s anti-Semitic toxicity, said Heiko Oberman (a Renaissance and Reformation scholar without peer in his day), outstripped anything the Reformers wrote “in crudity, spleen, and slander.”
Eck upheld the mediaeval blood-myth concerning the Jewish people, and Eck fulminated against Luther since Luther denied the blood-myth.
The blood-myth had many features, three of which we shall mention today.
Jewish people murdered Christian children in order to extract the children’s blood for use as an ingredient in matzo, the unleavened bread Jews ate at Passover.
Jews worked ‘black magic’, hexing the Eucharistic elements so that blood and wine, so far from Christic, were now Satanic.
Jewish males menstruated. No one had ever seen it, but millions believed it anyway.
This lattermost feature of the blood-myth is crucial, for it pronounced Jews to be more than unbelieving, more than Christ-killers, more than murderers; Jews were nothing less than monstrous. After all, a male that menstruates isn’t human; it’s monstrous. Jews, in short, are sub-human monsters.
Eck upheld this notion; he faulted Luther because Luther didn’t – at that time.
 At last we have arrived at Luther. He is deemed the bete noire where a Christian approach to the Jewish people is concerned. (Already, however, we have found many who were no better, and some who were far worse.)
Luther penned six anti-Judaistic tracts, haunted as he was by the Jewish presence in Europe and its intractability.
Intractability? Luther had assumed that Jewish people were held off embracing Jesus Christ and entering the church on account of ethical and institutional abuses in the latter. As soon as these abuses were remedied, Luther assumed, Jews would flock to the church. Jews, however, were no more attracted to the church of the Reformation than they had been to the church of Rome. Puzzled at first, Luther eventually became hostile.
The difference in attitude can be seen readily in two major tracts he wrote twenty years apart, That Jesus Christ was Born a Jew (1523) and On the Jews and Their Lies (1543). In 1523 Luther wrote, “If the apostles who were also Jews had dealt with us Gentiles as we Gentiles have dealt with Jews, no Christians would ever have emerged from among the Gentiles.” Johann Eck, Luther’s formidable opponent, riposted, “…right now there is this superficially learned children’s preacher [Luther] with a hoof of the golden calf in his flank, who presumes to defend the bloodthirsty Jews, saying it is not true and not plausible that they murder Christian children….”**