Smearing the Church Ex Cathedra

Glenn Reynolds argues that the Catholic Church "has consistently taken the side of Palestinians, and Arab Muslims generally, against Israel and Jews, to the point where I can't really believe any excuses that it's not about antisemitism."

That's quite an accusation. I have three questions for the man who made it:

1. When, in the current pope's reign, has the Catholic Church taken a stand "against Jews"? Not against Israel -- against Jews qua Jews.

2. Do you really believe that hatred of Jews is the only reason one might regularly criticize Israeli policy? Do you think it impossible for someone to argue against Israel's behavior in -- forgive the phrase -- good faith?

3. Elsewhere in the post, you say that your comments are "aimed at the Vatican, not at catholics [sic] in general." If it is possible to criticize the Vatican in harsh terms without engaging in anti-Catholic bigotry, shouldn't it be possible to criticize Israel in harsh terms without engaging in anti-Semitic bigotry? Especially since Catholic doctrine pretty much requires one to venerate the Vatican, while it's perfectly possible to be a Jew without feeling any loyalty to Israel?

I should add that Glenn has one other piece of evidence for his charge: A cardinal has been photographed with Yasser Arafat. Got that? A church leader posed with a political opponent of a state run by Jews, therefore his church is anti-Semitic. I'd insert a remark here about Roy Cohn, but someone might take it the wrong way.

Update: Glenn has replied to this in the comments section, which also contains my response. He's also posted a somewhat longer reply on his own site. I don't feel the need to respond to that one, but if you'd like to read it yourself, it's here.

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  • et||

    One entry found for anti-Semitism.
    Main Entry: an�ti-Sem�i�tism
    Pronunciation: "an-ti-'se-m&-"ti-z&m, "an-"tI-
    Function: noun
    Date: 1882
    : hostility toward or discrimination against Jews as a religious, ethnic, or racial group

    http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?va=anti-Semitic

  • ||

    No contradiction. Look in the Merriam-Webster online version and see it for yourself. And I would add that if Semite is defined as both Arabs and Jews, an Anti-Semite could be against both. To say otherwise is ludicrous.

  • ||

    My feeling is that Glenn Reynolds has become a little power-drunk and full of himself.

    You must not have gotten the memo: Blogs are going to replace real journalism, etc etc. Golly, who wouldn't be smug?!

  • Jesse Walker||

    It's the language that's ludicrous, Steve. "Anti-Semitism" has a particular historic meaning that does not match the historic meaning of "Semite." There's a long explanation for this, but here's the short version: The word "anti-Semite" was coined by people who didn't know what they were talking about, but it entered the popular lexicon nonetheless.

    All of which, I repeat, is beside the point...

  • Glenn Reynolds||

    I posted a long reply here, but it seems to have been eaten. Here's a shorter version.

    Jesse accuses me of unfairness, but his characterization of my post leaves out some important points:

    1. Most of the post is composed of unhappy email from Catholics who think that their church is acting anti-semitic.

    2. The photograph isn't just of Arafat in the company of Cardinal Etchegaray, but of the two with triumphantly upraised joined hands.

    3. The context was one in which Israel was blamed for the seizure of the Church of the Nativity by Palestinian terrorists.

    As a professional journalist and upholder of high standards, Jesse no doubt made these omissions out of a spirit of fairness and professionalism.

  • ||

    Context is always important, which Glenn subtly supplied through a Guardian news link (the piece on the Church of the Nativity is much more interesting and telling than the anti-semitism claims).

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,2763,708712,00.html

    Here's the quote that kicked my teeth in from the Guardian story:

    Pounding his fist angrily on the table, [Arafat] called Israelis "terrorists, Nazis and racists" and accused them of wilfully damaging the shrine.

    Israel Government = Nazism? And it's a wonder they can't get along.

  • ||

    OK. I'm going to take one more run at this for the logic-impaired. while I STIPULATED the COMMON meaning of "anti-semitism", by DEFINITION, an anti-semite may be against any of the defined semitic groups. That is, if I am against Arabs, since they are defined as a Semite group, I could, rightfully be called "anti-semite". This is AGAIN, for those who don't read the WHOLE post, based on the Merriam-Webster online dictionary definition. If you're too lazy or stupid to go look for yourself, flame away.

  • Jesse Walker||

    A quick response to Glenn:

    1. Most of the updates to the post consist of unhappy e-mails from Catholics who think their church is being anti-Semitic. Either way, it's irrelevent, since none of them contributes any new reasons to believe that the Church is guilty as charged. (There is a very interesting e-mail in the batch from a Coptic Christian, but of course the Copts haven't had anything to do with Rome for over a thousand years. I assume Glenn knows this.)

    2. I linked to the photo, so I can't be accused of "leaving out" those "triumphantly upraised joined hands." If I didn't mention them outright, it's because I don't see why they're supposed to be a sign of bigotry.

    3. I'm not sure what that "context" has to do with anti-Semitism.

    In short, your first objection is inaccurate, the second wasn't an omission, and none of them have anything to do with the arguments I raised. Who exactly is being unfair here?

  • Christopher Rake||

    What a silly digression about the meaning of the term anti-Semite. Its meaning is well understood and commonly accepted in the real world as meaning the bigoted, unreasoned hatred of Jews. The only people who take issue with that are those who wish to confuse the issue by claiming that Arabs can't have bigoted,unreasoned hatred of Jews because hey, that would mean they hate themselves! What nonsense.

  • julian||

    This is a little too silly to have gotten this much commentary, but the same Merriam-Webster online dictionary that includes Arabs in its definition of "Semite" does /not/ include Arabs in its definition of the groups opposed by "anti-Semites." So if Merriam-Webster is the arbiter, Steve is mistaken: counterintuitive though it may be "anti-Semite" does not mean someone who is hostile to Semites.

  • Turtle||

    The only people who I've ever heard make the argument that "anti-semite" can mean being against Arabs too were true "anti-semites" in the accepted definition of the word.

    I hate the word "anti-semite" for just this reason. Ok, for those who think that it doesn't apply to Jews and only Jews, give me another word to use in its place.

  • ||

    Steve,

    Enough! What are you arguing about? The word "Anti-semitic" has, for more than a century, refered to bias against Jews. When someone says "anti-semitic", no one is confused about the meaning. That being said, sure, the word "semitic" can also refer to arabs (actually, even THAT is a misnomer because "semitic" was initially a linguistic term, and referred to a group of languages, not people, but I'm not going to join you in the battle over semantics). So, if you like, you can argue that if you're "anti" all "semites", then you are, perforce, against Arabs. Congratulations. What a lovely little linguistic pas de deux. But what's your point?

    If it makes you happy, you go right a head thinking that generations of english-speakers have been misusing the word "anti-semitic", then you go right ahead. But this kvetching about terminology is meaningless. Glenn is criticizing the Catholic Church for being biased against Jews. Most people would use the word "anti-semitic" to describe that. You, apparently, would prefer something more precise. "Anti-Jew?"

    Fine. The Catholic Church is Anti-Jew.

    Happy?

  • Mark||

    Arafat and the Palestinians have as their goal the elimination of the state of Israel. That photo is pretty damning of the Catholic Church, if you ask me.

  • JJ||

    If it's damning, then it's damning because it shows them to be soft on terrorism, not because it shows them to be anti-Semites.

    Incidentally, people who say "the Palestinians" (all of them) want to destroy Israel should look in the mirror before they tell other people that they're bigots.

  • ||

    So if I'm not an anti-semite by the definition of being only anti-Jew does that make me anti-arab? Or if I am anti-Arab does that make me pro-Semite? Or can I be pro-Arab and pro-Semite at the same time. Or anti-Arab and anti-Semite at the same time? Or are the two diametrically apposed?

  • Justin Raimondo||

    Glenn Reynolds joins the Christian fundamentalist component of the War Party in spreading anti-Catholicism -- gee, what a surprise. He and Andy "Muscle Glutes" Sullivan have been smearing anybody who opposes this war as an "anti-Semite" for months. According to the latter, protestors routinely hand out copies of the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" at antiwar rallies. And, naturally, anyone who points out the obvious --that this war serves Israeli interests, but not American interests -- is similarly smeared.

    With this accusation, Reynolds has gone completely over the edge and surrendered whatever (small) claim he had to credibility as a commentator, albeit a self-avowed amateur. This is something that not even the frothy-mouthed James Taranto would stoop to -- and that's saying a lot!

  • ||

    >>Incidentally, people who say "the Palestinians" (all of them) want to destroy Israel should look in the mirror before they tell other people that they're bigots

  • Roger L. Simon||

    Let's make something clear about that picture Reynolds posted. Cardinal Etchegerary and Arafat are holding hands. These are two THIEVES who ripoff their own people! In fact you could call this a GANGLAND PHOTO. Anti-Semitism, horrific as it is, is the least of it. Over-stated, you say? No way. The recent Forbes sets Arafat's personal fortune at three hundred million bucks. Where did he get that? Saving the Palestinian people? Fighting for statehood? My ass! That's the last thing he wants--then someone might start snooping into his fortune which anyone with an IQ in triple digits knows was stolen from donations to his own people. And as for the Cardinal, the less said about the church and their poor the better. And then there's the pederasty affair. How disgusting it all is. These people deserve each other and the owner of this blog, whoever he is, is a either a fool or a liar.

  • Glenn Reynolds||

    Well, Jesse, you've got Justin on your side!

  • ||

    Your tinfoil is getting loose again Justin.

    Incidentaly, can I have the $25 back that I sent to Anti-War.com last year? Talk about a fucking waste.

  • Bennie the Beanie||

    All this hating makes me sad!

  • julian||

    Back to the actual issue: it seems that the context of the photo is rather important. From what I gather from a little bit of web searching, the Cardinal was sent to try and negotiate an end to the Church of the Nativity standoff, and met with both Arafat and Israeli leaders. At least one press release reports that a "tentative deal" had been reached when he left Israel. Now, however you feel about Arafat, it sure seems like a triumphant joining of hands might be a natural enough thing to do following what looked like a resolution to a situation that had already left several people dead. If that's when it was taken, maybe one shouldn't read too much into the photo.

  • Jesse Walker||

    Anon Poster: I agree that Mark could have meant "the collective Palestinian political leadership (besides Arafat) and not the collective individuals of Palestinian nationality." But there are reasons why one does not ascribe Israel's behavior or intentions to "the Jews," and I think it would be wise to keep the same reasons in mind when tempted to opine about "the Palestinians."

    Thanks also to Julian for making what should have been an obvious point.

  • Justin Raimondo||

    Yes, Glenn, and on your side you've got all those Catholic-hating rednecks who give money to nutball fundamentalist preachers, like this one:

    "January 29 [1999]
    Knoxville, TN - "What Is The Pope Doing In America?" pastor Dr. Bob Bevington of Knoxville Baptist Tabernacle asked
    cryptically in a paid advertisement in the Knoxville News-Sentinel. The Pope "represents enormous wealth and power,"
    Pastor Bevington warned. "This publicity bolsters his church's interests," and "he is here to promote Roman Catholicism."
    Bevington then went on to deride Catholic teachings on Limbo and Purgatory, the primacy of the Pope, veneration of Mary and
    the saints, confession, and priestly celibacy. Two weeks later, in another ad responding to letters critical of this one, Bevington
    invoked his freedom of speech. He did not explain, however, why his ministry of evangelization required him to attack the
    Catholic Church rather than espouse the merits of his own denomination."

    Source: Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights

    http://www.catholicleague.org/1999report/miscellaneous1999.html

    Are Glenn Reynolds and "Dr." Bob really the same person?

  • ||

    I think the Catholic Church is wrong to take the position it has in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and in the war on terrorism. I'm not exactly sure why they have done so, and I'm not sure it really matters.

    "Anti-semitism," like "racism," has become a volatile and almost meaningless accusation. It would be more useful to make specific, descriptive comments about the Church's actions, rather than to engage in righteously indignant name-calling.

  • Sax||

    A Justin Raimondo states "the obvious --that this war serves Israeli interests, but not American interests -- " as if this is a fact. I don't know how it benefits Israel (except in general terms, as it will many nations), but I know it will benefit the USA in many ways. Gas prices will go down, stock market will go up, one tyrant less in the world, funds to terrorists will be reduced ... I am not saying whether ALL of the above are good reasons to go to war.

    What are Raimondo's reasons for his statement?
    Just curious.

    Jesse, I am not a semite, so I can't speak about anti-semitism with first hand knowledge. But I am more interested in your views on the war to kick out Saddam and the war on terrorists, etc. Are you for it, or against it?

  • Mark||

    >

    Perhaps I exaggerated, but only a little bit:

    "In a recent poll, a majority of Palestinians said their goal was the elimination Israel, while only 43 percent support a Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza. The same polls showed that between 60 percent and more than 70 percent of Palestinians support suicide bombings."

    http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?ID=1743

  • pduggie||

    AFAIK, no statment about jews has been made "ex-cathedra" which if it were the case would be considered infallible.

    Only two ex-cathedra staements have ever been made: the bodily assumption of Mary into heaven, and the immaculate conception [of Mary] (which means Mary had no original sin, not that Jesus has none, or that Jesus was virgin borne, which it is often confused with)

  • Jesse Walker||

    Sax:

    I'm opposed to war with Iraq. I'm in favor, broadly speaking, of fighting terrorists (which does not mean, of course, that I support everything that's been done in the name of fighting terrorists). And, for whatever it's worth, I am a Semite. Not the Arab kind.

  • Justin Raimondo||

    Sax:

    Check out what Arnaud de Borchgrave has to say about the matter:

    http://washtimes.com/commentary/20030214-98615336.htm

    And then get back to me....

  • Franklin||

    The Catholic Church is merely taking the side of the oppressed, of its fellow Catholics, and of people who are saddled with both shitty leadership and a colonial power that uses collective punishments against a civilian population. The Pope is against war, terrorism, and state terrorism and tries to protect Christians wherever they may be. I do not see a problem with this. Catholics meet with Ariel Sharon's leadership and no one accuses them of being "anti-Palestinian".

    The simple fact of the matter when you really get down to it is that Catholic priests (including mine) are on the ground in the West Bank and are horrified by what goes on there. They report to Rome and Rome acts accordingly. The same thing happened in Central America and Eastern Europe, when possible.

    For someone like Glenn Reynolds, a justifier of ethnic cleansing and a denier of Palestinian suffering, this is an outrage. To a sane man who knows the facts, this is normal. My priest spent 3 months in the West Bank and the things he saw would chill you to the bone. OF course now someone will write "well I was in Tel Aviv and the things I saw were just as bad." Did I say they weren't??? That is not the point. The point is that there is a huge moral catastrophe happening in the West Bank, where Catholics work and live, and the Church is taking a stand.

  • BD||

    Glenn's mode of argument is "you've got x on your side, x is evil, so you must be either a dupe or evil yourself." He has deployed this argument for months to try to smear the antiwar movement. That he's got Christian Fundamentalists who support the war because they think it heralds the rise of Israel and, therefore, the second coming... or anti-Arab bigots... doesn't seem to faze him.

    What's wrong with Justin Raimondo, Glenn, that one should be sorry to have him on one's side?

  • ||

    Wow, I don't know who Justim Raimondo is, but hey let's not let up on the ad hominen arguments and linking your opponent to people that he never asked to be associated with. As for the Cardinal with Arafat, would a photograph of a Cardinal with Hitler be excused because Hitler is a head of state?

  • Roger L. Simon||

    Franklin says the Catholic Church is "taking the side of the oppressed." Gimme a break. The Catholic Church, like most religious organizations, is a nothing more than a political mafia. If the Catholic Church were even faintly serious about helping the world's oppressed, they could sell one of those many Raphael's in the Vatican and feed all the starving people in Ehtiopia for a year. Franklin, we are not idiots. We know the true interest of the church -- it's own power.

  • ||

    I give up. You have clearly missed my point. Holy s*** this was a waste of time.

  • Eve Tushnet||

    I thought the whole "anything a pope/cardinal does that I despise is a statement on behalf of The Catholic Church and a reason to leave or despise said church" thing was settled back with Alexander VI? This seems to be, at MOST, an iteration of that question. The Church doesn't claim that her leaders are free from sin, let alone free from bad prudential judgments about whether there's any point in castigating terrorists who won't listen as much as you castigate Israeli political leaders who might listen.* For example.
    Eve

    *PS: I am NOT saying that this is _definitely_ why Catholic leaders today tend to be more sympathetic to the Palestinian side than the Israeli. One possible other reason, for example, is the presence of Palestinian and other Arab Christians; I don't think that makes the Palestinians right, but I can see how it could color Catholic sympathies. Yet another possible reason is bureaucratic European elitist anti-Semitism (or anti-Jew sentiment if you REALLY feel like haggling). I personally suspect some combination of all three (Yasser won't listen/extra sympathy for Arab Christians/elitist anti-Semitism) in different proportions for different people; but I'm not sure how I would know, really.

  • ||

    Cool... a cross-blog FLAMEWAR!

  • Kamil B. Zogby, Jr.||

    Vatican contempt for jews is a historical fact, whether this particular pope is guilty of it or not, and I think he is. The current pope's silence, or empty statements backed up by no concrete initiatives, on Israeli civilian deaths over the past 30 months is deafening!

  • Jim Babka||

    I am deeply saddened by this entire discussion. The Pope sees suffering and wants to stop it, then gets called anti-Semitic. The Pope tries to balance the scales by reaffirming the Church's teaching that war is truly only a last resort, and he gets called a collaborator. The Pope sends his representative to try to resolve a humanitarian situation in one of his own churches, and when that representative meets with the guy most able to do anything about the problem and poses for a photo, the entire Church is painted as against Israel.

    Give me a break. This is "gotcha" journalism at its worst. Didn't Sadat and Begin clench hands after the Camp David agreement? Doesn't that make Begin an appeaser of the Arabs and one who would forget 35 years of bloodshed and all the lost Israeli lives? Of course it doesn't. They shook hands because they had reached an agreement. What a natural, human thing to do. Etchegerary does the same kind of thing, and people's brains leave their bodies while their emotions post flaming anti-Catholic spew.

    It's exactly this kind of thinking that causes people to harden their hearts and prevents peace. God help us all.

  • Andrew||

    The reason the Church (my Church) is critical of Israel is because Israel, alone, is in a position to lead the governments of the Middle East toward piece. God knows the rest of the temporary governments in the Mideast are kleptocracies and worse.

    The Church is many, many things - it is not ignorant regarding the affairs of man - and it knows who the bad guys are in the Middle East.

    Glenn's pointing out some bad stuff about the Catholic Church -- but to suggest he's some fellow who sees Papist plots and reads Jack Chick pamphlets is just silly.

  • Gary||

    Steve's silly semantic 'semetic' soliloquy...say THAT five times fast.

  • ||

    Is it just me, or does Raimondo just freakin' ooze jealousy towards Glenn?

    Sickening.

  • Bill Herbert||

    "What's wrong with Justin Raimondo, Glenn, that one should be sorry to have him on one's side?"

    Dude, if you have to ask ...

  • Jaws||

    I think antiwar.com and instapundit.com are both popular sites. I don't think jealousy is a factor here.

  • John McG||


    If the Catholic Church were even faintly serious about helping the world's oppressed, they could sell one of those many Raphael's in the Vatican and feed all the starving people in Ehtiopia for a year. Franklin, we are not idiots. We know the true interest of the church -- it's own power.


    Have you ever met a Catholic? Beause you don't seem to have the faintest idea what we're about, your potestations of your lack of idiocy to the contrary.

    The reason the Church maintains the art collections is that people experience God through these works of art, and it is thus in the Church's interest to kepp and preserve them.

    And even if you don't beleive that, how does keepiong them "preserve it's[sic] own power?" It doesn't.

  • ||

    Andrew, OK, I'll bite. *How* could Israel single-handedly bring peace to the Middle East, other than putting down arms and letting themselves to be driven to the sea. (Note: Any respose that includes the word "settlements" should also include a citation of any Palestinian leader anywhere at any time stating that they see the two-state solution as anything but a middle step in a one-state solution.)

    Linguistic quibblers: When anyone mentions homophobia, do you jump up to point out it has nothing to do with irrational fear of twins and matching sets?

  • RiShawn Biddle||

    I just read Reynolds' original post and this jumped out at me:

    "SOME READERS HAVE CHALLENGED my statement below about increasing anti-semitism from the Vatican. But the Vatican has consistently taken the side of Palestinians, and Arab Muslims generally, against Israel and Jews, to the point where I can't really believe any excuses that it's not about antisemitism."

    Now Reynolds wants to accuse Walker of "misleading" readers, but Reynolds essentially accuses the Vatican of anti-semitism merely on the basis that the Church has issues with Israel's handling of the Palestinian matter. I'm no fan of the church, but even I have to take umbrage at Reynold's smear--and it is one. Based on what he's saying, Jesse is an anti-Semite because he's not exactly a fan of Israel's treatment of the Palestinians (and if I'm correct, Jesse's half-Jewish, so that accusation would be a real joke). On those grounds, I should also be called an anti-Semite as well, since I think what Israel does is akin to what Southerners did to Blacks during the Jim Crow era.

    But let's take this further: Based on Reynolds' own criticisms, he should be called an anti-Papist in the tradition of the Know-Nothings of the Mid-1800s. Now that would be silly. But so is Reynolds' smear and claim that Walker's characterization of it is "misleading."

  • ||

    Israel could create peace by creating an honest border based on the armistace lines of 1968, and helping to build up a prosperous neighboring state for the Palestinians, many of whom were dispossesed when Israel was created. Instead there has been a consisten pattern of trying to destroy the Palestinians as a people, something that started with the original Zionists. Until this thread of Zionism (which regards the inhabitants of Palestine as 'below' the new residents) is defeated, there will never be peace.

    Now there are so many passionate arguments you can make that Palestinians current situation is of their own making, yadda yadda yadda. But the reality is that Israel is a strong, rich, and vibrant nation that could for a relatively small investment create a friendly neighboring country consisting of the people whose lives were torn away from them (for many reasons) in order to let Israel live. Instead, the path of destruction and greed has been taken which creates inifintely more problems and lessens Israel's chances for long-term survival. No arms need to be laid down other than those used to expand Israel's borders. In fact, real defensive positions could be taken which would ensure Israel's survival, rather than the endless war against a civilian population. Economic assistance and the permission of international institutions to help create the borders, worker control system, etc. would go much further than a constant civilian and military presence on the West Bank.

    It's either that or the path of total war (eradication) and I think we all know what kinds of people use those kinds of solutions.

  • ||

    Is Glenn Reynolds a fundamentalist? I certainly hope so, that would explain the irrationality of his anti-semitic arguments.

  • ||

    Is Bob Farrell a fundamentalist? I certainly hope so, that would explain the irrationality of his anti-anti-semitic arguments.

  • ||

    Frank,

    Should Israel be creating this prosperous Palestinian state WHILE Palestinians are having so much fun killing Israelis? Why should Jews be holier than Jesus "turn the other cheeck" Christ? The vast majority of Palestinians see the 1967 border as a brief stop of the way to the 1948 border. That's their right, but you are going to have to give a better incentive than that for Israelis to go along with it.

  • Yehudit||

    "The simple fact of the matter when you really get down to it is that Catholic priests (including mine) are on the ground in the West Bank and are horrified by what goes on there. "

    When one of them gets horrified by women, children, and old people being blown up while grocery shopiing or riding the bus, with nails embedded in their organs for the rest of their lives if they live - let me know.

    Is you priest friend horrified by the fact that half the Palestinians killede by the intifada are killed by other Palesitnians as collaborators?

  • Yehudit||

    Frank Rosen, either you are delusional, living in an alternate universe, or you have not read a single newspaper for the past 5 years.

  • RiShawn Biddle||

    "Is you priest friend horrified by the fact that half the Palestinians killede by the intifada are killed by other Palesitnians as collaborators?"

    I'm horrified that anyone's taking sides in this period. The Israelis have practiced a form of Jim Crow for years. The government--aided and abetted by its citizenry--has not only discriminated against Palestinians, it has even treated the Arabs who lived in Israel proper pre-1948 as second-class citizens. The Palestinians, on the other hand, are driven not only by oppression, but by anti-semitic desire to rid the earth of all jews. In short, neither side has any moral standing. For anyone to say otherwise is ignoring reality.

  • Andrew||

    To the person that... well, bit:

    Israel -cannot- single handedly bring peace to the Middle East and I do -not- suggest it should lay down its arms, but for all of Israel's faults, it is the one that can lead the Middle East toward peace.

    I'm not suggesting Israel do much differently than it is doing right now, but if there's a country with some moral high ground in the Middle East, it's Israel.

    I'm merely suggesting that if Israel gets lectured by the Vatican it is only because it's the only government in the Middle East who will listen.

  • Eric E Coe||

    "strong, rich, and vibrant nation that could for a relatively small investment create a friendly neighboring country" - wrong. This is the mistake, based on liberal western thinking (and the false presumption that everyone else thinks the same way and values the same things), that continues to get made concerning this issue. Nothing that the Israelis could give will save them from continued attack. Every time they have tried or offered to give more, the attacks have increased. And this is beacuse the Israelis are not dealing with a peoples steeped in Western liberal thinking, in the best sense of the term, with it's live-and-let-live, share-and-share-alike attitude. Instead they face the barbaric Arabic honor/shame culture, where a gift is either an admission of weakness, or an insult. And lying is simply good strategy. And these people cling tightly to the poision dream of destroying Israel, sweeping it into the sea, as was promised.

    When all the state actors (like Iraq) who prop up these delusions, with words of support and money for the families of homicide bombers, are removed from the scene (one way or another) and the "Palestinians" are forced to give up their bloody dreams, then maybe the situation can change for the better. Maybe.

    Otherwise, it will have to be a matter of a very high wall that no-one crosses - a complete seperation. The cost to the Israeli economy would be high (but they are already paying it anyway, now). The "Palestinians" on the other hand, would have to learn to do something enconomically productive on their own, or leave the territory. Their choice.

  • tom b||

    Bring back Steve! Semite is of course also the abbreviation for SEMI-Totally-Effulgent. I think we can all agree that this throws the common meaning of anti-semite so far overboard that it ends up back in the boat.

    I love how the anti-war.organ-grinders always favor rhetorical nuclear annihilation in their argumentation. I think we can all further agree it would be a happy, peaceful world if their kind hearts and cool heads were in charge.

    I think Ben Hecht made the point first that anti-semite was a too squishy formulation and that jew-hater should be the real term of art. By taking the word Jew out of the term for jew hatred, Jews were already taking a step back in the battle.

    Euphemizing it is a kind of word magical way of denying it, fuzzying up the reality--there's a similar but not identical objection to "homophobia" as medicalized euphemism for hatred and disgust of gays. (I forget if Hecht or someone else made the ancillary point about the substitution of the word JewISH for the simpler--but radioactive through base rhetorical usage--JEW, in polite conversation. Bring back Ben!)

    But it occurs to me that anti-semitism squishes in another direction. Its softens the concept in both ways, it makes it easier to MAKE the charge too, because it is packed in cotton. I think Glenn would have hesitated to call the RC Church jew-haters even though that is that is the clear inference of his charge of anti-semitism (Sorry Steve!)

    Don't know if the church as an institution is hates Jews ( I know they despise and slander gays as an institution, so they're certainly capable of group hatred). I would tend to think any individual who held Yassir's hand high and smiled for the cameras while doing it, in the midst of a mass murder campaign against Jews in Israel probably doesn't like them much though.

  • ||

    (An aside from the remainder of the thread, but responsive to the last point made.) Tom B: For someone interested in precise language, you certainly are surprisingly loose in your use of "slander" and "despise." Can you give any examples of such slander?

  • ||

    Most Jews retain their fears and criticisms of other religions, its like a mania they have.

  • J. Michael Krause||

    tom b, I think the term 'anti-Semitism' is proper because it means so much more than a general comtempt by one group of people for another group of people. It's almost a cult in itself, which, over the past two millenia, has developed its own sort of morbid theology, its own rituals, and so forth. And the idea is that its something so deeply ingrained in Western society that people can display anti-Semitism without even knowing it, and certainly without being out-and-out Jew-haters.

  • tom b||

    Well, it appears to be a request from god so I better answer. Google GAY POPE CATHOLIC HOMOSEXUALITY for all the examples you could ever need. But I'll pick just one high ranked response from the query, from the week after the Pope's celebrated condemnation of World Pride, Rome's gay pride event. This selection even neglects to mention the pope's money quote from the day as he spoke from the balcony over St Peter's Square and as Italian gays and their friends celebrated across town, namely that homosexuality is a "grave depravity".

    From the Guardian, July 2000 (Here--http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,342660,00.html)
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    On Sunday, the Holy Father launched his fiercest attack on gays, insisting that the World Pride festival in Rome was "an offence to the Christian values" of the city. Homosexuality, he maintained, is "objectively disordered" and "contrary to natural law".

    Last year, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), the church's sinister enforcement agency, forbade a priest and a nun from ministering to gays in the United States, after they refused to sign a statement testifying that "homosexual acts are always objectively evil". Gays, the Vatican believes, bring their misfortunes upon themselves. "When civil legislation is introduced to protect behaviour to which no one has any conceivable right," the CDF asserts, "neither the church nor society at large should be surprised when . . . violent reactions increase." Gay rights campaigners maintain that between 150 and 200 gay men are murdered in Italy every year.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Feel free to ignore the Guardian's editorializing.
    Just focus on the reporting and the words quoted.

  • ||

    A small linguistic quibble -- the word "anti-semitic" means opposition to both jews and arabs.

  • Jesse Walker||

    Actually, it doesn't -- the word has always referred simply to bigotry against Jews, even if Arabs are Semites as well. At any rate, that's beside the point; if the Church really were to return to its anti-Jewish past, I can't imagine why it would matter whether "anti-Semite" is the technically accurate term for what would be happening.

  • Yehudit||

    "Most Jews retain their fears and criticisms of other religions, its like a mania they have."

    Right. That's why so many prominent American Buddhists are Jews. That's why all righteous gentiles have a share in the world to come, unlike, say, Islam or Christianity, where you have to be one of the saved to get into heaven.

    And of course, no other religion - for instance, Islam or Christianity - has a fear and criticism of other religions, hmmm? It's just this peculiarly Jewish thing?

    And this Jewish "mania" couldn't possibly have anything to do with centuries of discrimination, expulsion, massacres, and attempted genocide by other religions, could it?

  • ||

    Jesse: while the common usage of "anti-semite" generally refers to Jews, the Merriam-Webster dictionary includes both Arabs and "Hebrews" in the definition of "Semite". The poster is correct.

  • ||

    We're witnessing the Al Sharptonization of anti-Semitism. The identity politics victimology adopted by magazines like The New Republic, and now Mr. Reynolds, towards any criticism of Israel and its policies would be universally condemned if its was being employed on behalf of African Americans.

    By the way, this Pope issued a statement ex cathedra that Jews are not to be targetted for conversion, because their religion puts them in covenant with God, a status heretofore only granted to Christians, and even then not to all sects. That's some anti-semitism.

  • Madog||

    Looks like all those anti-semites don't realize how many people they're really bigotted against.

  • ||

    Steve: Not to beat a dead horse, but the poster isn't correct. The definitions of "Semite" and "anti-Semite" don't mirror each other.

  • ||

    My feeling is that Glenn Reynolds has become a little power-drunk and full of himself. Clearly, being critical of Israel and being anti-Semetic are not the same thing.
    That said, as a Catholic, it is difficult to not be ashamed of the Catholic churches' position in WW II. I don't think this behavior was motivated as much by anti-Semitism as political expediency, but it was nonetheless completely sickening.

  • ||

    Steve, you contradict yourself. Since "the common usage of "anti-semite" generally refers to Jews," as you yourself say, Mr. Walker is correct and the anonymous poster is wrong, despite the technical accuracy of Arabs being fellow Semites, which Mr. Walker acknowledges. And if we DID take antisemitism to mean bigotry towards both Jews and Arabs, Mr. Reynolds's statement would simply make no sense whatsoever!

    Pointing out that antisemitism technically *could* refer to Arabs when we all know it's referencing Jews is an exercise for precocious 11 years olds.

    And citing antisemitism as a cause for siding with Palestinians without any other evidence is an exercise for over-eager and intellectually dishonest partisans.

  • ||

    An Attempt to Reply to the "Why Doesn't the Vatican Sell Its Art Treasures" Argument?

    OK. Let's suppose that the Vatican sells a Raphael work to Bill Gates for $10 million and then gives the money to Ethiopian famine relief. Well, why didn't Gates eliminate the Vatican middleman and give the 10 million directly to the Ethiopians? Also, once Gates has the painting, is he morally allowed to keep it, or should he in turn sell it in order to provide more money for the poor?
    Mr. Simon's argument is only morally cogent if he believes that all art museums and wealthy private collectors should sell their treasures and give the proceeds to famine relief. Even if he believes that the Church should be held to a higher standard than private collectors, that hardly justifies talk of "Gangland."
    Indeed, why doesn't Mr. Simon sell his own house and car and give the proceeds and the rest of his bank account to famine relief? Every little bit helps.

  • ||

    tom b, I can understand that "love the sinner, hate the sin" seems like silly straw-splitting, but let me ask you this. Have you ever done anything that you recognize was morally wrong? Something you felt ashamed of afterwards? Assuming the answer, do you now hate yourself? Once again assuming the answer, the dilemma has just been solved. I have done things I wouldn't advertise, but I don't hate myself. In fact, it's because I love myself and find myself valuable that I am ashamed that I am someone who would commit such acts. My four year old daughter does things that are wrong and will continue to do so for the rest of her life, but I'll never stop loving her, even while I rebuke her for what she's done.

    Regarding the CDF statement, It's not entirely clear what is meant, but the most obvious interpretation would be similar to one that says that if I walk through Central Park at night waving around $50 bills, I shouldn't be surprised at what happens, and neither should anyone else. If that is what they mean, then I would think it a highly dubious statement, but not necessarily hateful. Maybe they mean something else, and maybe the intent really is hateful, but isolated as it is from context, it's hardly clear what the statement means.

  • Kevin Carson||

    Re: Jim N. versus Tom B. on the "separating the sinner from the sin" thing:

    No, Tom, the distinction is not necessarily just a copout or escape hatch. Many people who believe homosexual behavior is a sin view it as a relatively minor one. For instance, C.S. Lewis considered the buggery that took place in the English public schools to be one of the most human things going on there, compared to the brutalization and toadying the system was based on. Sins of the flesh, he pointed out, were much less significant than sins of the spirit like pride and hatred. It's quite possible to believe that someone is committing a sin in regard to homosexual behavior, without it outweighing a decent character overall.

    Personally, I never understood those who were so outraged by homosexuality that they felt driven to go out "queer stomping": isn't viewing someone that kind of dehumanized light, not to mention committing a brutal murder, just a little bit more serious a sin than getting your bum punched?

    I say these things as an agnostic on the whole issue.

  • ||

    Steve,

    In case you or anyone's still reading this, I can understand your distinction about sin vs. sinner, at least up to a point, and I can sympathize with your frustration with people who don't seem to make any effort to understand it.

    But I think two points need to be made. One is that homosexual behavior is very different from lying, cheating and stealing in that l, c and s cause harm to others by breaking implicit or explcit contracts. Can you make a similar argument for *why* homosexuality is wrong? And at the risk of treading on thin ice by relying on second hand info, doesn't the section of the Bible that condemns homosexual behavior also condemn other behaviors that modern Christians rarely have a problem with?

    My second point addresses my "at least up to a point" qualifier. And that is, isn't there at least some degree of implicit condemnation for the sinner any time you condemn his sin? Committing acts considered to be bad generally elicits some sort of retribution against the perpetuator, whether by the law or some other authority. Perhaps the saintly minded might hold out hope for the sinner's soul and withhold condemnation out of an awareness that we are all sinners, but isn't that somewhat academic to a certain degree? Even as a non-Christian, I believe that a certain degree of understanding should ideally accompany any condemnation of wrong doing. But I certainly don't mind a murderer feeling bad about himself and thinking that there's something intrinsically bad about himself for having committed such a crime. Now, I wouldn't want committers of small offenses to think badly of themselves, so I guess that the graver the offense, the less your distinction would seem realistic. But getting back to homosexuality, and to wrap up a post that may not even get read, perhaps, if you try, you can understand why encouraging a homosexual to think, "It's not that I'm bad myself, it's my behavior, my giving into my lust, that's an abomination to God almighty," seems like a parody of compassion!

    Well, that's what I think....

  • ||

    tom b

    The statements that can be summed up as "homosexuality is bad" are hardly good examples. If I said that it is bad to use cocaine, any claim that I despise and slander cocaine users would hardly be plausible. The similarity between the two is greater than it seems at first glance, since someone who believes that acts which are likely to harm the health of the participant can be considered immoral could use this to decry both cocaine use and homosexual acts. It is possible to disapprove of certain behaviors without despising and slandering those who engage in them. You know, love the sinner and hate the sin.

    Regarding the "violent reactions" stuff, the article (I didn't read the whole thing, just what you put up) seems to be suggesting that the church encourages violent attacks on gays. I would think that even a full-blown religious bigot (not saying you're one) would have trouble believing that. I certainly do.

    Maybe the church has said things about homosexuals which are, in fact, hateful. There certainly are some self-righteous assholes within the church who have. I just think these were pretty poor examples.

  • Dave R||

    Jim N:

    The statements that can be summed up as "homosexuality is bad" are hardly good examples. If I said that it is bad to use cocaine, any claim that I despise and slander cocaine users would hardly be plausible. The similarity between the two is greater than it seems at first glance, since someone who believes that acts which are likely to harm the health of the participant can be considered immoral could use this to decry both cocaine use and homosexual acts.

    By that silly criterion of morality, being a police officer, or a firefighter, or a mountain climber or a missionary in Columbia are also immoral, since they are also likely to "harm the health of the participant." And it is not clear that homosexuality is more likely to "harm the health of the participant" than heterosexuality, anyway.

    It is possible to disapprove of certain behaviors without despising and slandering those who engage in them. You know, love the sinner and hate the sin.

    When the behavior in question is the harmless natural expression of the person's most heartfelt desires for love and fulfillment, no, that is not possible, and your sin/sinner distinction is meaningless. Expecting gay people to spend their lives completely devoid of the physical intimacy that most people find necessary to happiness and fulfillment is not in any sense "loving." It is cruel and debased.

  • loud mouths||

    http://www.cnn.com/WORLD/9801/22/cuba.pope/pope.cuba.t1.jpg

    The Vatican must be anti-semetic.

    Reynolds would do well to brush up on the history of the Catholic Poles that were killed during the Holocaust.

    But then again the "Pianist" maybe a picture he might like; tone deaf towards the atrocities commited towards the Catholic Poles and clergy.

    His timelines on the so-called anti-semitic behaviour of the Church is being investigated with the release of the documents about the "Holocaust Pope." Too bad, the lie about the Church made by the Church haters won't make it past page one.

  • a libertarian||

    Here is some perspective since someone asked for proof. Meryl Yourish has some.

    http://www.yourish.com/archives/2003/mar2-8_2003.html#2003030304

    Dealing with Palestinians/Israelis inconsistently? Glorifying Nazis? Halfheartedly condemning the holocaust? Nope. No anti-semitism to see here. Move along.

    Since the Catholic church is at the top still a european institution, it doesn't seem to be much of a stretch to call it anti-semitic. In fact that would imply that it was anti-semitic. THIS DOESN'T MAKE CATHOLICS ANTI-SEMITIC. But that the church is is hardly arguable.

  • Jesse Walker||

    I'm delighted that my comments have moved you all to attempt solving both the conflicts of the Middle East and the enduring questions of sin and human fallibility. As long as we're drifting, can I put in two requests?

    1. Could we stop making jokes about tinfoil hats? It got old long ago.

    2. Could we drop the "nothing to see here, move along" bit too? It's not as bad as the tinfoil hats, but it's getting there.

    Yours,

    The Clich� Police

  • Dave R||

    For almost all of its 2000-year history, the Catholic Church has been openly and aggressively anti-semitic. The standard Catholic liturgy included a call for prayers for the "perfidious Jews" until the 1960s.

  • tom b||

    Well, Jim N, you're deaf to it then. No kinder way to put it. The whole sinner from the sin thing is an escape hatch as big as St Peter's Square. Homosexuality and homosexual acts are a "grave depravity" but homosexuals as people aren't condemned, right? Their acts are "objectively evil" but really they're OK. I'm sure we can all think of countless examples in our own life of people we publicly denounce as depraved and evil actors but who we cherish in our private hearts. You can call this the unrealized Christian ideal and I can respect it as that, but don't expect my respect for the bigoted substrate of the revealed doctrine that categorizes homosexuality as a sin per se.


    But you've at least got an argument there. The statement from the CDF which describes attacks on gays as the "unsurprising" outcome of attempts to protect gays with civil legislation they have "no conceivable right to expect" is about as hateful an argument as you can craft. Like I said, ignore the Guardian spin, the CDF's words don't have enough rotation on their own. If you don't see this argument as the EXACT parallel to all arguments excusing attacks on women, blacks, jews etc etc who provoked the attacks by not knowing their place, overreaching and underdressing, then you need to turn your rationalization filter down. Way down.

    The catholic church is hardly alone in this among religious faiths, it's no worse than most and better than several, but its institutional beliefs are the subject of this discussion, so my point was made in regard to them.

  • Craig||

    The differences between Bill Gates and the Catholic Church are legion, but chief amongst them in this case is that Bill Gates does not claim that his wealth is "held in trust for the poor"; nor is his garnering of wealth based in part upon affirmations that said wealth would be used for the benefit of the poor; nor was his organization founded based on teachings that denigrate conspicuous wealthiness and advocate instead simple living and charity.

    It is entirely consistent to expect the Church not to maintain gold-domed cathedrals and multi-million dollar art collections when the money could be used for the poor, and not expect Bill Gates to do the same. Money given to Gates was not given on the assumption that it would be used for charity.

    Does the Church have excuses for justifying the comparatively luxurious life of Cardinals, the gold domes, the art collections... certainly. That doesn't make them any more valid than the protestations of TV evangelists.

  • ||

    After the last beating I trook, do I really want to join this particular fray again?

    Yeah, I'm a masochist.

    Regarding Homosexuality and the church (I'm gonna here about this). According to most Christian faiths, homosexuality is a sin. So is lying, cheating and stealing. So is adultery, covetousness, perjury.....you get my drift. The sin can be condemned without condemning the sinner. Have sinners been condemned in the past? Sure. Do "Christians" condemn them in the present? Sure. Is it a sin to do so? Probably, since our example is supposed to be Jesus Christ. He never condemned sinners. Only the self-righteous who condemned others. Kinda like those condemning homosexuals.....and those who condemn the condemners.

  • ||

    Bduggie,

    Yeah, you're right. When the Pope made the statement that Jews do not need to be converted because they are already in covenant with God, it was not an ex cathedra statement. It was a doctrine of faith, which is held to be infallible.

    It's still a pretty damn good piece of evidence that Glenn's claim of papal antisemitism is off the mark. There probably are some top people in the Church who dislike Jews. After all, a lot of these people are Europeans with very traditional social mores. But 1) that's their problem, not the Church's problem, and 2) the Holy Father has pretty well proven that he is not one of them.

  • ||

    tom b,

    My aunt is a leading linguist and I think she would disagree with your claim that the term antisemitism is squishy on the grounds that it's human nature to adapt to our language. In other words, we understand words to mean what they mean whatever their origin or components. Since we know what antisemitism is, there's no need to change the word to make it more graphic sounding. If we were to adopt Jew-hating instead, it would might be more incindiary to start off with (I would guess antisemitism was originally coined to sound scholarly and officious), but eventually it would sound the same.

    This is what's happening with homophobia, although there's likely still a few homophobes around who would object and claim that there's nothing irrational or hysterical to their animus towards homosexuals, but eventually such an objection would seem silly, if it doesn't already. At the risk of contradicting myself, I do generally prefer to say homosexual bigotry myself, since I think that's a more specific and less politically tainted term. But then maybe that's also why I don't think we need to adopt "Jew-hating" instead of antisemitism--I don't think we improve anything with discourse that sounds like we're spitting through our teeth. I'd say if you want to do that, join a punk rock band as lead singer and make it sound like you know you're hysterical but then how can you help it in such a world as this??

  • ||

    Yehudiot why don't you just admit that you're of "your kind" and everyone else is of "another kind" and be done with it? What is the point of making 'rational' arguments when in the end all you care about it is "your kind." This is the kind if thinking that has led us to this point. There are no kinds. We are all created equal, and all people want the same things in life. You say that creating peace is not possible, well that is true because the kind of peace you want is one-sided, and that will never, ever work.

  • ||

    The Myth & Reality of "Anti-Semitism"! Get real people. The Entire Bible Describes the Abomination.

    Excerpt from the book "The Day of Warth."

    If the discussing the criminal characteristics and behavior of the Jews is anti-Semitic, as the Zionists claim, then the most anti-Semitic book on earth is the Bible itself. If we gather together all the curses which the churches pronounced upon the Jews, the narratives about them in world literature such as Shakespeare and Dickens, and asked all the poets of the Arab world to put together a compendium of defamatory poetry against them, if we gathered all that together in one volume, it would not equal or even close to what is found in the Old Testament. The problem is that most Jews do not read it, let alone the fundamentalist Christian madmen who love Israel. Even many of the Arabs and other peoples of the world know nothing about it.

    The entire Old Testament -not only Daniel- describes the identity of the abomination in a space of many chapters, using every possible means of expression and exposition such as: parable, metaphor and allegory, in both great elaboration, and brevity.

    As for the reprehensible attributes ascribed to them in the Bible, they are innumerable. They include every blameworthy behavior without exception. However, there is one attribute that is repeated like a refrain in every book of the Bible, much to the reader's astonishment. His astonishment only increases because of the fact that this attribute should be the last one used to describe a people who claim to be God's chosen based on this same book. This attribute is uncleanness or impurity. It is an uncleanness comprised of blood, barbarity and violence, accompanied by excuse-making and boasting, an uncleanness of the essence, which nothing can purify.

    � 'For though you wash yourself with lye, and use much soap, yet your iniquity is marked before Me', says the Lord God. 'How can you say, �I am not polluted?� '� (Jeremiah 2:22,23)

    �Jerusalem has sinned gravely, therefore she has become vile (niydah meaning filthy, impure)�. (Lamentations 1:8)

    �You have polluted the land with your harlotry and wickedness.� (Jeremiah 3:2)

    She commits adultery �under every green tree,� not with one person but many, she even commits adultery with �every stone and tree.� (Jeremiah 3:9)

    �In your filthiness is lewdness. Because I have cleansed you, and you were not cleansed, you will not be cleansed of your filthiness anymore, till I have caused My fury to rest upon you.� (Ezekial 24:13)

    �Then I saw that for all the causes for which backsliding Israel had committed adultery, I had put her away and given her a certificate of divorce.� (3:8)

    The cause of this punishment is clearly repeated:

    �The earth [or the land] is also defiled under its inhabitants, because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore the curse has devoured the earth.� (Isaiah 24:5,6)

    These curse are recorded in Deuteronomy:

    �But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you:

    �Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the country. Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. Cursed shall be the fruit of your body and the produce of your land, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks. Cursed shall you be when you come in, and cursed shall you be when you go out.

    �The Lord will send on you cursing, confusion, and rebuke in all that you set your hand to do, until you are destroyed and until you perish quickly, because of the wickedness of your doings in which you have forsaken Me.�

    For twenty-four paragraphs the curses continue in unequalled terms, then he concludes by saying:

    �All these curses shall come upon you and pursue you and overtake you, until you are destroyed, because you did not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which He commanded you. And they shall be upon you for a sign and a wonder, and on your descendents forever.� (28:15-46)

    Just as this uncleanness is combined with a curse, so too is shame:

    �As the thief is ashamed when he is found out, so is the house of Israel ashamed; they and their princes, and their priests, and their prophets.� (Jeremiah 2:26)

    This uncleanness of Israel comes from above as well as from below. Isaiah says:

    �I dwell in the midst of a people with unclean lips.� (6:5)

    Even after their death and casting out from the Holy Land, uncleanness still clings to them, as Amos says:

    �Your wife shall be a harlot in the city; your sons and daughters shall fall by the sword; your land shall be divided by survey line; you shall die in a defiled land; and Israel shall surely be led away captive from his own land.� (7:17)

    Certainly they have surpassed most nations in history in abomination, lewdness, and oppression:

    �The punishment of the iniquity of the daughter of my people [Jerusalem] is greater than the punishment of the sin of Sodom, which was overthrown in a moment, with no hand to help her!� (Lamentations 4:6)

    �Neither your sister Sodom nor her daughters have done as you and your daughters have done.� (Ezekial 16:48)

    One of the worst sins is barbarity and bloodthirstiness, for that reason, Ezekial asks his Lord:

    �Will you destroy all the remnant of the Israel in pouring out Your fury on Jerusalem?�

    (Notice that he says 'the remnant of Israel)

    And His Lord replies:

    �The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great, and the land is full of bloodshed, and the city is full of perversity.� (9:8,9)

    In the Lamentations of Jeremiah, the barbarity and chaos of Zionism is depicted, as if he was describing the contemporary intifadha:

    �Because of the sins of her prophets and the iniquities of her priests, who shed in her midst the blood of the just. They wandered blind in the streets; they have defiled themselves with blood, so that no one would touch their garments. They cried out to them, 'Go away, unclean! Go away, go away, do not touch us!'� (4:13-15)

    Now listen to this phrase:

    �Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard change his spots? Then may you also do good who are accustomed to evil�Therefore, I will uncover your skirts over your face, that your shame may appear. I have seen your adulteries, and your lustful neighings, the lewdness of your harlotry, your abominations on the hills in the fields. Woe to you, O Jerusalem! Will you still not be made clean?� (Jeremiah 13:22,26,27)

    It becomes commonplace to address them as does Isaiah:

    �You sons of the sorceress, you offspring of the adulterer and the harlot! Whom do you ridicule? Against whom do you make a wide mouth and stick out the tongue? Are you not the children of transgression, offspring of falsehood?� (57:3,4)

    According to Hosea, the Lord said:

    �I have seen a horrible thing in the house of Israel: There is the harlotry of Ephraim; Israel is defiled.� (6:10)

    In respect of our and our reader's time, and out of fear of the censor's scissors, we will not go overboard in enumerating these defilements and abominations, and we will suffice with Ezekial's description of the crimes of Jerusalem:

    � Moreover, the word of the Lord came to me, saying: 'Now son of man, will you judge, will you judge the bloody city? Yes, show her all her abominations! Then say, �Thus says the Lord God: 'The city sheds blood in her own midst, that her time may come; and she makes idols within herself to defile herself. You have become guilty by the blood which you have shed, and have defiled yourself with the idols which you have made. You have caused your days to draw near, and have come to the end of your years; therefore I have made you a reproach to the nations, and a mockery to all countries. Those near and those far from you will mock you as infamous and full of tumult. Look, the princes of Israel; each one has used his power to shed blood in you. In you they have made light of father and mother; in your midst they have oppressed the stranger; in you they have mistreated the fatherless and the widow. You have despised My holy things and profaned My Sabbaths, In you are men who slander to cause bloodshed; in you are those are those who eat on the mountains; in your midst they commit lewdness. In you men uncover their fathers' nakedness; in you they violate women who are set apart during their impurity. One commits abomination with his neighbor's wife; another lewdly defiles his daughter-in-law; and another in you violates his sister, his father's daughter. In you they take bribes to shed blood; you take usury and increase; you have made profit from your neighbors by extortion, and have forgotten Me,' says the Lord God.�

    �Behold, therefore, I beat My fists at the dishonest profit which you have made, and at the bloodshed which has been in your midst. Can your heart endure, or can your hands remain strong, in the days when I shall deal with you? I, the Lord, have spoken, and will do it. I will scatter you among the nations, disperse you throughout the countries, and remove your filthiness completely from you. You shall defile yourself in the sight of the nations; then you shall know that I am the Lord.�'�

    �The word of the Lord came to me, saying, 'Son of man, the house of Israel has become dross to Me; they are all bronze, tin, iron, and lead, in the midst of a furnace; they have become dross from silver. Therefore thus says the Lord God: �Because you have all become dross, therefore behold, I will gather you in the midst of Jerusalem. As men gather silver, bronze, iron, lead, and tin into the midst of a furnace, to blow fire on it, to melt it; so I will gather you in My anger and in My fury, and I will leave you there and melt you. Yes, I will gather you and blow on you with the fire of My wrath, and you shall be melted in its midst. As silver is melted in the midst of a furnace, so shall you be melted in its midst; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have poured out My fury on you.�'�

    �And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 'Son of man, say to her: �You are a land that is not cleansed or rained on in the day of indignation. The conspiracy of her prophets in her midst is like a roaring lion tearing the prey; they have devoured people; they have taken treasure and precious things, they have made many widows in her midst. Her priest have violated My law and profaned My holy things; they have not distinguished between the holy and unholy, nor have they made known the difference between the unclean and the clean; and they have hidden their eyes from My Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them. Her princes in her midst are like wolves tearing the prey, to shed blood, to destroy people, and to get dishonest gain. Her prophets plastered them with untempered mortar, seeing false visions, and divining lies for them, saying, 'Thus says the Lord God,' when the Lord had not spoken. The people of the land have used oppressions, committed robbery, and mistreated the poor and needy; and they wrongfully oppress the stranger.�'� (Ezekial 22: 1-29)

    Yes, they have used oppression against he people of the land, and pilfered their security, their comfort, their land, and their farms. Shall we continue with Ezekial's detailing of the abominations of the abomination of desolation, or should we move on to discuss their punishment?

    Answer: We must stop here, not because we have forsaken our promised brevity, but out of embarrassment for our reader, and fear of the censor's scissors, because Ezekial goes on to tell us a parable about the abominations of Samaria and Jerusalem as two adulterous women whom he calls 'Oholah' and 'Oholibah,' whose two names are a literal allusion to them. The two stories are appropriate to the articles written in the American press about Jimmy Swaggart and other leaders of Christian Zionism with low moral standards, but they are not suited to our study and we are embarrassed too embarrassed to quote them here. I don't know whether religious Christians permit their boys and girls to such subjects (in the Bible!) or whether they read it alone while watching the type of movies which come on late-night television which are restricted for those under the age of eighteen?

    As for the punishment of Oholah and her sister, there is no harm from quoting it here from Ezekial:

    �For thus says the Lord God: 'Bring up an assembly against them, give them up to trouble and plunder The assembly shall stone them with stones and execute them with their swords; they shall slay their sons and their daughters, and burn their houses with fire. Thus, I will cause lewdness to cease from the land'� (23:46-48)

  • ||

    Alan R wrote:

    To this day, blocks are being bulldozed in the Westbank and fully subsidized settlers filled with people who have the unique right in Israel of not being drafted, are imposing settlements on that captured land. Rush Limbaugh likes to claim that land that is captured in conquest legitimately belong to the agressor. I certainly do not believe that, but if you do, logicaly you should not be in a position of complaint when those who formally held the land capture it back and equally logically you have no legitimate complaint over the means the defenders use to recapture that land and property.


    Zionists �Jewish and Christian- believe that the gathering of the remnant of Israel in the land of Palestine, is the fulfillment of God's promise of reconciliation between Him and His chosen people. For this reason, he gave them victory over the Arabs, and blesses whomever blesses them, and curses whomever curses them.

    The fact is, that the Bible does summon the Jews to reconciliation with the Lord, but by doing what? It is a summons to repentance and to abandon their rejection of Allah and His messengers, to give up worshipping of other besides Allah, to observe Allah's commandments, to care for the poor and orphans, and to be kind to all people.

    This is what we clearly find in most of the books of the Bible, and along with it comes a severe warning to them if they disobey and break the covenant. There is no fundamental connection with this and the prophecies and events of the latter days. Rather, it is a universal summons to repentance and faith, to individuals and groups in all places and times. As for the gathering of the wicked remnant after their expulsion, and their return to the Holy Land so that Allah's wrath may descend upon them, the prophecies concerning it are clear and particular. Because of the innumerable texts, and their explicitness, it is best to simply quote examples without attempting to be all-inclusive. We will begin with those that the Zionists themselves use to support their beliefs:

    Ezekial says:

    �Thus, says the Lord God: 'Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be a king over them all; they shall no longer be two nations, nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again.'� (37:21,22)

    This may be the strongest and clearest evidence for Zionism. Alright, then let's finish what Ezekial has to say, and read the remainder of the paragraph;

    �They shall not defile themselves anymore with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions; but I will deliver them from all their dwelling places in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them. Then they shall be My people, and I will be their God. David My servant shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd; they shall also walk in My judgments and observe My statutes, and do them.� (37:23,24)

    Doubtlessly the mention of 'David' here negates any possibility that it means the modern Zionist state, even Ezekial himself lived after David. Because of this we have every right to say that the text has been tampered with, but the Zionists interpret it as being symbolic of the State of Israel. Let us agree for the sake of argument, and then ask: �Is this a conditional or an unconditional promise? Do they not till our own day reject the prophethood of Jesus. If we grant that the text refers to the laws of the Torah, then where are the Israelis in relation to its observance?

    Let us read what the Old Testament says:

    Deuteronomy!
    028:063 And it shall come to pass, that as the LORD rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the LORD will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it. 028:064 And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone. 028:065 And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest: but the LORD shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind: 028:066 And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life: 028:067 In the morning thou shalt say, Would God it were even! and at even thou shalt say, Would God it were morning! for the fear of thine heart wherewith thou shalt fear, and for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see. 028:068 And the LORD shall bring thee into Egypt again with ships, by the way whereof I spake unto thee, Thou shalt see it no more again: and there ye shall be sold unto your enemies for bondmen and bondwomen, and no man shall buy you.


    As for the Zionist prisoners of war, the Bible describes their fate:

    �And the Lord will take you back to Egypt in ships, by the way of which I said to you, 'You shall never see it again,' And there you shall be offered for sale to your enemies as male and female slaves, but no one will buy you.�

    (Deuteronomy 28:68)

    This is explained by Jeremiah:

    �Behold, I will plead My case against you, because you say, 'I have not sinned.' Why do you gad about so much to change your way? Also you shall be ashamed in Egypt as you were ashamed in Assyria.� (2:35,36)

    �Is Israel a servant? Is he a homeborn slave? Why is he plundered? The young lions roared at him, and growled; they made his land waste; his cities burned, without inhabitant. Also the people of Noph [Egypt] and Tahanhes have broken the crown of your head.� (2:14-16)

    So,those with Armageddon anxiety or believers of the myth of Promised land must read their Bible again. What is claimed using book of Revelation is just a conjecture, but what we read in Deuteronomy chapter 28 is explicit and coherent.

  • Alan R||

    I would like to thank Reason for the limited space they provide us for a forum. I believe we should pay them the curtesy of keeping our statements REASONably pithy lest we drown out the commentary of others. I try to keep from making arguments based upon doctrinal sentiments or statist legal fictions, but instead, in a Murray Rothbard fashion, I am mainly interested in the reality of a given situation. An act of injustice always has at its root an action taken upon an individual.

    The bible itself may or may not justify the reclaiming of Palestine by a particular group of people who at one time inhabited that land, and if the Bible did so, you would have the inconvience of having to argue from the other side. That is why I believe the Bible has little relevancy in making a coherent case one way or the other.

    Let me put it to you this way, my direct paternal ancestor, Eduardo Domingo Ruiz, migrated to the U.S. in 1755 from Spain for political reasons. Did Eduardo's sons have a rightful claim to any holdings of property left in Spain? Yes,it is presumed if but for the fact of their taken, the property would have been willed down to them. The same is true of his grandchildren. However, I am too far removed in geneology to have a rightful claim to the land of a long dead ancestor. Particularly, when that land has been developed by someone else.

    Zionism is a legal fiction that has had unfortunate bloody results in the real world. To be fair, it is by no means the only ideological sentiment to have left the human race the poorer for its articulation.

  • ||

    I find it odd that so much time and energy is expended on the subject of "anti-Semitism" (a curious term in itself, implying as it does that all disagreements between Jews and Gentiles are the fault of the latter).

    Let's put things into some perspective: Jews are roughly 3% of the US population. Israel is a tiny country on the other side of the world.

    Yet from reading and watching the US media, you'd easily get the impression that at least a third of Americans celebrate Hannukah and that Israel is a large country somewhere between Washington DC and New York.

    In reality, this obsession with Israel and "anti-Semitism" only reflects the dominance of Jews in American public life.

    If the US media and political institutions were in the thrall of a powerful and aggressive Tibetian lobby, "anti-Tibetianism" and war with China would probably be the order of the day.

    But they aren't, so let's roll!

  • Marc||

    Actually, the motive for taking a particular view has absolutely no bearing on the validity of the view itself, which is either supported or not supported by evidence.

    Let's say a chemical company says toxic sludge is good for you. It's not enough for the environmentalist to simply point to the company's motives for so saying. Toxic sludge, may, in fact be good for you. Therefore, it's incumbent on the environmentalist to show that it's not.

    By the same token, a hatred of Jews may, in fact, lurk behind a lot of opposition to Israel. But if that opposition is predicated on facts -- rather than blood libels and stereotypes -- yelling "anti-semite" rather than contending with those facts argumentatively, is, above all, an admission of failure. It's an assertion of guilt by association -- in other words, a classic false argument.

    As to the semantics of anti-Semite. Jesse was correct in stressing that usage rather than etymology is what counts. However, there is a point to be made. The term as popularly used and understood manages the neat trick of giving ideology and religious belief a protective cover of ethnicity. It can also be called upon to give notions of cultural supremacy and separatism(every bit as pronounced in Jewish culture as in Anglo-Saxon) the protective cover of religion. In other words, it's a shell game, a one-size fits all ad hominem. Like it's plucky offspring, the ever popular "Anti-American" it is also popular with Reynolds and his sorry-ass ilk.

    Palestinians, the Pope, Justin Raimondo may all, in fact, be entirely motivated by hatred of Jews. If so, than it is not unfathomable that Israeli Jews are motivated entirely by hatred of Palestinians. But we can't know. Best to deal with pesky concrete details like UN resolutions, international law, war crimes and body counts, and leave name-calling in the schoolyard.

  • Alan R||

    The supporters of Israel in this forum like to point out that those who criticize Israel are being selectively critical and not highlighting such factors as the deaths of politicaly innocent people by the suicide bombers. I too would prefer the Palestinians were more selective in their targets (like the early IRA), however, embedded in the argument they give is a strange moral equivelance -- as if the defender is as equally guilty as the agressor. When we hear of the Israelis raiding refuge camps for terrorists, the term 'refuge camp' gets little notice. Refuge camps, people. Sorrounding Israel on all of its sides, from the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon and Syria are tent cities and shanty towns made up of millions of people from whom the Israelis have stolen land and property. Israel, just like every other state, was born from an act of theft. It is impossible to get a way from that fact. The USA was born from a similar action, however the historical difference is that even to this day no more than 4% of North American land is actually inhabited. That is not so for Palestine, despite the quote from Samual Clemons someone will inevitably tack up in this forum as a rebuttal, Palestine was already inhabited with many developed towns and cities, ranches and farm lands. To this day, blocks are being bulldozed in the Westbank and fully subsidized settlers filled with people who have the unique right in Israel of not being drafted, are imposing settlements on that captured land. Rush Limbaugh likes to claim that land that is captured in conquest legitimately belong to the agressor. I certainly do not believe that, but if you do, logicaly you should not be in a position of complaint when those who formally held the land capture it back and equally logically you have no legitimate complaint over the means the defenders use to recapture that land and property.

  • David Smith||

    David R wrote:
    'For almost all of its 2000-year history, the Catholic Church has been openly and aggressively anti-semitic. The standard Catholic liturgy included a call for prayers for the "perfidious Jews" until the 1960s.'

    The prayer to which you are apparently referring is the Prayer for the Jews from the Good Friday liturgy. It is a prayer for the conversion of the Jews. That's all. Praying for the conversion of the Jews is not anti-Semitic.

  • ||

    In response to the many uneducated opinions and incorrect statements made to the effect that the Catholic Church in general (and Pope Pius XII in particular) was "anti-semitic" at worst and insouciant at best when dealing with the Jews from the late 1930's through World War II, please read: http://www.personal.psu.edu/staff/e/j/ejm1/piusxii.htm

  • Alan R||

    There are those who view any mention of the word Catholic as an opportunity to express there vehemence at the Church's stance on homosexuality. Of course, they seem not to notice that Orthodox Jews and Muslems hold the same positions which happen to come from the same source. I don't understand this mindset that views all politics from the stand point of identity politics and particularly sexual identity politics. How, bloody boring! Like suffering through an episode of Will and Grace (if you haven't noticed they do nothing more than steal material from better sitcoms and put that material in a homosexual context). Political matters and sexuality are naturally of interest seperately from one another but together they generate no heat.

  • Alan R||

    'And this Jewish "mania" couldn't possibly have anything to do with centuries of discrimination, expulsion, massacres, and attempted genocide by other religions, could it?'

    To hate such a large segment of the world, 6 billion or so seems to be such a large target for displaced anger.

    I can distinguish the difference between someone of a Jewish background who has made a positive contrabution to society and one who has done the opposite. I can distinguish between a Jewish banker who has lent his talents to social stabilaty like Ludwig Von Mises in the twenties as opposed to the ultimately socially destructive inflationist like Alan Greenspan.

    I can distinguish between the libertarian Jesse Walker and the statist Christopher Hitchens. No doubt, you could compose a list of one hundred or so famous Jews who have contributed to human civilization in an hour without breaking a sweat. I would have a much harder time with individuals from my own background. Cortez? No, scratch that one.

    What this is leading to is of course is an answer to that smug comment: 'And this Jewish "mania" couldn't possibly have anything to do with centuries of discrimination, expulsion, massacres, and attempted genocide by other religions, could it?'

    Have you read the biographies and autobiographies of Irving Kristol, David Horowitz, Norman Podheretz, or Barry Golwater? What is the most striking aspect of the culture they came from and rebeled against?

    On the comedy series King of Queens last night the quintesentially Jewish comedian Jerry Stiller tells a young Russian, a Russian of all people, that Communism was the best thing that ever happened to them, and they screwed up a workers' paradise. It was very funny, and audicity is Stiller's great talent but I was floored by the remark.

    You would think that Jews would be sensitive to the history of host nations given the number of Jews who comprised subversive elements within those societies. That is a stark comment that can be easily missapropriated by those who wish Jews ill will, so I'll attempt to put some historical context to it.

    Jewish religious doctrines in the late mideival age began to put less emphasis on seeking for a Messiah and metaphysical concerns in general and they started to put emphasis on what we today may call 'social justice.'

    As Malcom Cowely put it, if you lived in America in the thirties and saw what was happening around you and had only the limited resources of your viewpoint at your disposal, becoming a Communist was nothing more than a natural reaction.

    I don't blame Jews for the downfall of American society, that began with Henry Adams Clay. I don't blame them for the subversive ideologies that have framed the twentieth century as the most violent in human history. I am only interested in understanding the people and the historical context involved.

    However, you seem to put all nuance to the side when dealing with the other (in this case the other 6 billion or so people on the planet).

    Incidentally, the media does put far more emphasis on Israel's atrocities compared to Rwanda, China, former allies of Richard Nixon in IndoChina, Cuba, etc. I can understand why Jews feel singled out. It is a point well taken but it does not change the intractability of Israel's problems.

  • ||

    Whether or not one chooses to agree with the Catholic position on homosexuality, one should try to grasp it if one wants to talk about it.

    The idea that suggesting that it's a sin means that it must be punished by the "law or some other authority" just confuses what is moral with what should be legal. To drink one's self into a stupor every night is immoral; to be cold and indifferent towards one's children is immoral -- but neither of them should be illegal.

    The same goes for the contractual argument given above: that homosexuality is not violative of anyone else's rights is why it should be legal. It is no argument whatsoever about whether it is moral.

    The health argument is also beside the point: The Catholic Church has not declared homosexuality a sin because it leads to more colds; it is the health of the soul that is at issue. And remember, it's not really homosexuality that is at issue at all: it's all sex not for procreative purposes and/or not within a marriage. So homosexuals are in the same boat, in the eyes of the CC, as masturbators, sodomizers, unmarried couples who have sex, and married couples who use birth control.

    Does Tom B. want to contend that the CC has "institutional hatred" for all of the above groups? Is he going to go around ranting that the CC is bigoted against people who spank the monkey? Of course not -- it's just that gays are a hot "PC" topic right now, and so no criticism is to be tolerated.

    Just remember, folks, per Christian doctrine, *everyone* is a sinner, so, following Tom's logic, the CC has institutional hatred for us all!

  • NickDanger||

    Whether or not one chooses to agree with the Catholic position on homosexuality, one should try to grasp it if one wants to talk about it.

    The idea that suggesting that it's a sin means that it must be punished by the "law or some other authority" just confuses what is moral with what should be legal. To drink one's self into a stupor every night is immoral; to be cold and indifferent towards one's children is immoral -- but neither of them should be illegal.

    The same goes for the contractual argument given above: that homosexuality is not violative of anyone else's rights is why it should be legal. It is no argument whatsoever about whether it is moral.

    The health argument is also beside the point: The Catholic Church has not declared homosexuality a sin because it leads to more colds; it is the health of the soul that is at issue. And remember, it's not really homosexuality that is at issue at all: it's all sex not for procreative purposes and/or not within a marriage. So homosexuals are in the same boat, in the eyes of the CC, as masturbators, sodomizers, unmarried couples who have sex, and married couples who use birth control.

    Does Tom B. want to contend that the CC has "institutional hatred" for all of the above groups? Is he going to go around ranting that the CC is bigoted against people who spank the monkey? Of course not -- it's just that gays are a hot "PC" topic right now, and so no criticism is to be tolerated.

    Just remember, folks, per Christian doctrine, *everyone* is a sinner, so, following Tom's logic, the CC has institutional hatred for us all!

  • NickDanger||

    Sorry for the double post -- I didn't think the first one went through, and I canceled and hit post again -- but it had.

    I, too, am a sinner, and stand condemned among the "double posters."

  • egipt||

  • egipt||

  • Sahar Christopher||

    EMAIL: nospam@nospampreteen-sex.info
    IP: 213.17.142.2
    URL: http://preteen-sex.info
    DATE: 05/20/2004 01:49:46
    Interesting site, is all true ?

  • Rose Michael||

    EMAIL: nospam@nospampreteen-sex.info
    IP: 210.18.158.254
    URL: http://preteen-sex.info
    DATE: 05/19/2004 11:42:10
    It's a sign of mediocrity when you demonstrate gratitude with moderation.

  • Petersen Dave||

    EMAIL: pamela_woodlake@yahoo.com
    IP: 62.213.67.122
    URL: http://hardcore.sexmuch.com
    DATE: 01/09/2004 03:13:49
    Ethics is not necessarily the handmaiden of theology.

  • Ferguson Sandy||

    EMAIL: krokodilgena1@yahoo.com
    IP: 62.213.67.122
    URL: http://free-penis-enlargement.nonstopsex.org
    DATE: 12/20/2003 04:48:13
    The words of truth are always paradoxical.

  • Dequiroz Jeannemarie||

    EMAIL: krokodilgena1@yahoo.com
    IP: 62.213.67.122
    URL: http://www.penis-pills-secrets.net/
    DATE: 12/09/2003 09:36:31
    Unusual ideas can make enemies.

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