I was scrolling down one of my Facebook accounts today, and saw that a Christian religious leader I casually know had reposted an article from a College President of a Christian College .Well, he use to be President of a couple Christian colleges and as far as I know he still serves in that capacity although I haven’t seen him in a few years. The point being, he too is a Christian leader and educator.
I rarely open up these long posts but this time I did and was stunned by what I read. To boil down what this guy said, he made the case that Christians in the USA were now being treated as Jews were in the early days of Nazi Germany. At the center of his argument was the Chick-fila uproar and the shooting at the Family Research Council this week. He even discussed whether resistance should be passive or violent and kept coming back to how Christians and their businesses are being restricted the same way Jews were in Nazi Germany.
It is hard for me to describe how mind-numbing offensive I found this theory. Oddly though, I have heard rumblings along this line from a couple other sources here lately. This tactic of painting the opposition as Nazi’s and ‘we’ as persecuted I find appalling. In a country that is overwhelmingly Christian, and the most actively religious in the developed world, to suggest that somehow Christians are targeted like Jews under the Nazis destroys all credibility.
I responded with a terse comment saying this supposedly educated person needed to take a course on WWII because he clearly didn’t understand the nature of the times back then. I also pointed out that there is nothing even close to the racial laws passed in Germany in those days in this country. In fact, despite our faults, we do manage to maintain a relative hold on our freedom of religion and racial equality. Sure work needs to be done, but we are a long way away from State persecution. I also said I didn’t know of any Jews who wouldn’t be offended by the tone of this theory that ‘Christians are the new Jews’.
Well, you could feel people online start to pause. The ‘likes’ on the article stopped coming. The guy who reposted it asked if I understood how it really began in Nazi Germany and that maybe I didn’t understand how the Holocaust really came about. Trust me when I say that my two University minors in this area and the research I’ve done for work know enough to know that Christians in the USA don’t come close to being treated the way Jews were in Germany of the 1930’s. Here was my response to that comment that maybe I just didn’t understand:
Well if you want to go straight back to the beginning, it pretty much started with a bunch of Christians who thought it was ok to isolate and persecute Jews because they were different from them. I don’t know of a single Jew who wouldn’t be offended to the core by this posting. It was drivel. Since Holocaust related topics is one of the areas I work in, I have read him. I can assure you, you have absolutely nothing resembling the racial laws of Germany in this country. The fact ppl could show up and support Chick fila proves that. In the Germany of the 30’s, that would’ve been illegal (in using your Christians are the new Jews theory here). And I wouldn’t have the audacity to take one shooting out of the literally thousands that occur in this country every year and try to use it to show how I was being persecuted. I wonder what the Muslims that belong to the Mosque that was burned down in your city a couple weeks ago have to say about this Christians are the new Jews theory? And I wonder what religion the person who lit that building up belonged to?
At this point, comments on the post stopped but someone did have the guts to like my response. Being it was all Christians reading this, I thought someone liking it was gutsy. The guy who did the repost sent me a DM said he didn’t understand why Jews would be offended by this and so I tried, best you can do on Facebook, to explain how dangerous it is to bend history so you can paint your opponents as Nazi’s. This only leads to hatred, fear, and eventually a violent lashing out. I do believe the guy who did the reposting had actually never thought of these things in this context.
It is a sad commentary that there is even such a thing as ‘Christians are the new Jews’ theory being passed around out there. It is a sign of the fear that has been planted in people and the total breakdown in civil discourse that has occurred in this country especially in religious circles. It is also a sign our education system isn’t working. Holocaust is rarely touched upon in schools here. I actually had a University grad ask me once if Schindler’s List was real and I have shown that movie to at least 7 people I know of who were stunned by it because they didn’t have a clue what had occurred. If I can think of a good book to send this one guy who did the reposting, I’m going too. Maybe I will toss in a copy of Schindler’s List as well.