Damian Thompson on French anti-Semitism

An interesting column.  Here’s an excerpt:

 

Before I read Hussey, I knew that French anti-Semitism, nurtured by Dreyfus and Vichy, was alive and well: it still flavours French traditionalist Catholicism and the Front National. I also knew that attacks on synagogues and cemeteries are predominantly the work of young males of north African descent (something the EU has tried to conceal).

The French Intifada joins the dots between the two. You might think that, given the gruesome racism of French Algeria, the Arab gangs of the banlieues (squalid housing estates encircling Paris and other cities) would despise no one more than the nominally Christian descendents of their colonial oppressors.

Wrong. It’s French Jews they really hate. Worse, Jew-hatred isn’t confined to gangs. Hussey spells this out in uncompromising language that you don’t expect from a contributor to the BBC and Guardian, which shy away from exposing non-white racism.

 

I find a whiff of anti-Semitism on both the right and the left.   On the left it’s an alignment with the boycott and divestment campaign against Israel for being an “apartheid state.”

 

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8 Responses to Damian Thompson on French anti-Semitism

  1. Pingback: Damian Thompson on French anti-Semitism | Catholic Canada

  2. Victor Bonno says:

    The difference between us Traditional Catholics and those Muslims is that we want to Save the Jew, they want to destroy them for one reason or another.

    What makes us look similar is our outrageous temerity to say to that Jew “YOU ARE WRONG, JESUS IS GOD, AND YOU MUST CONVERT FROM YOUR ERROR.”

    Ergo, the “Rabbinic Judaism” is wrong, as it is a rupture from the religion of Abraham, and Jesus Christ. The Jews must be saved from this error.

    Since when was it wrong to proclaim what is true?

    Non-traditionalist are cowardly, maybe because they are atheists at heart, or don’t care, or are ignorant. So they are either silent or they make asinine excuse that everyone can go to heaven, without having to recognize Jesus Christ as savior and supreme sovereign of heaven and earth.

    When a priest himself says that one does not have to recognize Jesus Christ as savior, it literally makes me sick to my stomach and leave the church.

    • Rev22:17 says:

      Victor,

      You wrote: What makes us look similar is our outrageous temerity to say to that Jew “YOU ARE WRONG, JESUS IS GOD, AND YOU MUST CONVERT FROM YOUR ERROR.”

      This is more nuanced than you suppose. Unlike any other religion, Judaism finds its roots in scriptures that we know as divine revelation and thus worships the one true God of Judeo-Christian faith. Thus, in embracing Jesus as the Messiah, a Jew does NOT renounce anything of Judaism, but rather finds its completion and fulfillment.

      You wrote: Ergo, the “Rabbinic Judaism” is wrong, as it is a rupture from the religion of Abraham, and Jesus Christ. The Jews must be saved from this error.

      Perhaps, but Christianity very much grew out of the rabbinical tradition of Judaism. Indeed, in the gospels, Jesus is routinely addressed as “Rabbi” (literally, “Teacher”) and is constantly teaching in synagogues — which only someone recognized as a Rabbi would have been permitted to do. Note that rabbinical Judaism existed in parallel with the temple as the place of sacrifice until the destruction of the temple in 70 AD.

      You wrote: Since when was it wrong to proclaim what is true?

      In principle, it’s not.

      But is your goal to be right, or is your goal to win converts to Christian faith?

      This is a case in which we must speak the truth with true compassion for the plight of those to whom we speak it. Many Jews who convert to Christian faith are completely disowned and excommunicated by their families. It is not uncommon for the family to hold a funeral and bury an empty coffin, or a coffin containing whatever artifacts the convert might have left behind, and to expunge all memory of the individual — and in many families, it is no secret that this is what will happen to any member who embraces Jesus as his or her lord and savior. The result is that a confrontational approach does NOT win converts. Rather, it takes compassion that’s willing to welcome the individual as a member of our Christian family and to become the support network that his or her natural family ceases to be.

      You wrote: Non-traditionalist are cowardly, maybe because they are atheists at heart, or don’t care, or are ignorant. So they are either silent or they make asinine excuse that everyone can go to heaven, without having to recognize Jesus Christ as savior and supreme sovereign of heaven and earth.

      Rather, real ignorance is painting everybody who is not a Traditionalist with such a broad brush. I challenge you to find a post in which I have either fallen silent or in any way suggested “that everyone can go to heaven, without having to recognize Jesus Christ as savior and supreme sovereign of heaven and earth” because such is far from my core belief.

      The issue here is not one of denying the truth. Rather, the issue here is one of building bridges so that people can come to Christian faith rather than building walls and barriers that prevent them from coming to Christian faith.

      Norm.

      • Victor Bonno says:

        I would have thought you a traditionalist, or do you espouse the modernist heresy? You are a modernist, or you are not. It is important that modernism never gain any apologia because it undermines and consistency in Magisterial teaching and sows disunity. Those faithful to the old, old things shouldn’t be punished!

        The heart of the Hebraic religion, even stretching to Adam and Noah, was the practice of sacrifice for the atonement of sins. There can be no forgiveness without the shedding of blood- all cultures knew this in some way or another, though imperfect- from Aztec human sacrifices to the pagan Olympic sacrifices. The Orthodox and Catholic Churches still practice this, at least in accordance to the practice of Melchizedek; Protestants, Muslims, and Jews no longer do this, albeit in a central and manner of import.

        Regarding the Jews, Jesus Christ did not say that he came to bring peace, but the sword; you cannot win Heaven unless you do violence to yourself, a violence which often brings changes in your outlook. Take for example someone enslaved by his vices or consumed by his passions- the lack of violence in setting forth towards their salvation will only be a practice in futility; habitual sins usually return, and this becomes an impulse and sets off a pattern that will be hard to break- unless there is violence, a sort of painful shock to how we usually regard our sinful selves.

        So for the Jewish convert, what is the pain of the loss of one’s family compared to the loss of Heaven? I know many stories of the opposite happening. A devout couple’s child goes away to find herself in the world, and after some time, loneliness sets in; the child professes to be an atheist, and the couple eventually follows suit, comfortable in their child’s unbelief, if not proud of it. Is it love to let your child be in danger of Hell and to do nothing about it? What will you say to the Lord once asked why you did not do all you could to save the people you love?

        We can’t deny that the Lord loved the Jews, but do you think those who said “This teaching is hard, who can accept it?” are enjoying the beatific vision? Or that no one was ever torn from their families because they loved Jesus so much, that they were willing to let that happen to them for His sake? Having a coffin with your effigy buried by your family is one thing- what about those early Jews who were honor-killed for their conversion? They are heroes, they are saints in heaven. Indeed, only heroes go to Heaven; cowards go to Hell with Judas, Caiaphas, and the whole gang of Jews who actually saw Jesus and rejected Him. Those Jews even saw miracles and they did not believe in the end! The finest men and women from the Jewish faith who converted were those who were unafraid, and were bold and heroic in their conversion. Saint Paul comes to mind. St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, and Edith Stein come to mind. They are HEROES. We can’t let what they’ve gone through be in vain.

        We must confront, Norm. We can’t run off and hide behind nice words, because our words only become that- nice. There’s no weight, not authority. If we ever needed an advice on how to evangelize, let us take the Lord’s example of how to proclaim him. His compassion did not let the sinners remain sinners, or the errant remain in error. His compassion demanded love for Him, and He rightly deserves all our love.

      • Rev22:17 says:

        Victor,

        You wrote: I would have thought you a traditionalist, or do you espouse the modernist heresy? You are a modernist, or you are not. It is important that modernism never gain any apologia because it undermines and consistency in Magisterial teaching and sows disunity. Those faithful to the old, old things shouldn’t be punished!

        I probably don’t fit neatly into any of your boxes. I strive to be theologically orthodox and faithful to the doctrine articulated by the magisterium, rejecting both the heresies of the Society of St. Pius X, which have permeated many groups of Traditionalist Catholics, and the heresies of liberalism. I also have no desire whatsoever to revert to the Tridentine form of the liturgy: when celebrated properly, the current ordinary form of the Roman Rite is prime filet mignon that far surpasses disgusting “fast food” hamburger, on which I totally gag, that’s served up in far too many parishes. I also tend to advocate pastoral practices that work and that challenge people to deeper understanding of and immersion in our faith, consistent with the direction of the magisterium.

        And yes, I draw considerable ire from both extremes, though it seems to come mostly from a few hard core Traditionalists in this forum.

        You wrote: The Orthodox and Catholic Churches still practice [sacrifice], at least in accordance to the practice of Melchizedek….

        It’s actually a bit more nuanced than that. The “sacrifice of the mass” is the death of Jesus on Calvary, remembered and made present (the technical term is anamnesis in Greek or ZKRN in Hebrew, neither of which has a real equivalent in English) in the anaphora (also called the eucharistic prayer) and in eucharistic elements that become his body and blood, the fruit of the sacrifice. We do not slaughter Jesus all over again. Note that the slaughter is the essence of a sacrifice.

        You wrote: Regarding the Jews, Jesus Christ did not say that he came to bring peace, but the sword; you cannot win Heaven unless you do violence to yourself, a violence which often brings changes in your outlook. Take for example someone enslaved by his vices or consumed by his passions- the lack of violence in setting forth towards their salvation will only be a practice in futility; habitual sins usually return, and this becomes an impulse and sets off a pattern that will be hard to break- unless there is violence, a sort of painful shock to how we usually regard our sinful selves.

        Rather, it is the vices and habitual sin that constitute real violence to self, even if one does not recognize them as such. Weaning one’s self from such practices may seem painful, but so is surgery to remove a cancer from the body — and both ultimately bring healing.

        You wrote: So for the Jewish convert, what is the pain of the loss of one’s family compared to the loss of Heaven?

        I’m not disputing this. Rather, I’m simply suggesting that it’s more effective to present it in a manner that’s compassionate than in a manner that’s confrontational and combative. A person who perceives you to be an enemy rather than a friend is not going to hear the gospel from you.

        You wrote: Indeed, only heroes go to Heaven; cowards go to Hell with Judas, Caiaphas, and the whole gang of Jews who actually saw Jesus and rejected Him.

        Be careful. Nowhere has the magisterium ever said, infallibly or otherwise, that Judas, Caiaphas, or anybody else involved in the crucifixion of Jesus is in Hell. We don’t know, and cannot know, that repentance did not happen in their dying moments.

        You wrote: We must confront, Norm.

        Really?

        How well does that approach work?

        How many of the Jews you have confronted, and how many of them have come to Christian faith because of your confrontation?

        For better or worse, conversions are where the proverbial rubber meets the road when it comes to evangelism.

        Norm.

  3. Victor Bonno says:

    So you -are- a modernist. You even use the language of the enemy: “Liberal” or “Conservative” never existed until the Enlightenment. It’s probably not your fault, either- whatever institute at which you have studied the matters of the Church may have already been corrupted by older, more subtle assassins of orthodoxy. Whatever passes for “conservatism” now would have been “liberal” in those days. This heresy is another matter, but what I do know is that it is the destiny of heresies to wither and fade away, only to be forgotten and reformulated in some other manner by people who think they discovered something new.

    If I say the truth, then it will defend itself, all we have to do is try to get it out there as plain as possible, regardless how offended people get. Yet we have to struggle because the offense people perceive has nothing to do with the clarity of Truth, and everything to do with the insistence to not change. So ultimately, Truth can be obscured and cannot defend itself when it is not known. The Truth is Truth, and we need to cut through the Gordian Knot of psychological baggage, philosophical constructs, rationalizations, coping mechanisms, and all these other things that makes the Truth, well, relative and obscured, ever difficult to grasp.

    Our lives are rotten and death is the ultimate reality of this world. Most of our lives are filled with suffering, but because the Lord loves us, he offers a way out of this miserable situation of our fallen nature and allows us moments of brief comfort. If we say this to people, they will deny their own sinfulness and so admit the blindness to sin and therefore their blindness to repentance. They would rather maximize their own comfort and this includes insistence that they have no problems, there is nothing to be fixed, and ultimately, God, ergo his Church, is totally unnecessary.

    The Lord was offensive and hard to believe even after having seen by the very own eyes of the Jews who were with him, so he says “Blessed are those who take no offense in me” and “Blessed are those who believe but do not see.” Yet he never tried to be coy or politically correct about what he said. Political Correctness was certainly inspired by the devil, because it prevents us to let our “Yes” be “Yes” and our “No” be “No.” Yet we constantly engage in this strange indirectness that will get us nowhere.

    What are we to expect from speaking the truth, easy evangelization? Don’t look for easy evangelization, Norm, because it doesn’t exist, and it will never exist, if people can reject Jesus to His face. People will already be offended because you say something that runs contrary to preconceptions and expectations that came from all sorts of constructs, from Jesus being a conquering earthly king to Jesus being an inoffensive milquetoast woman with a beard. I’m sorry, but those people were wrong.

    But if people believe I am already wrong because the truth I speak is disagreeable to them, what have I to lose? They’ve already made their mind! It is telling, however, that it is the Holy Spirit that converts, but what is the role of the Christian who was born to participate in the work of our Lord? The Christian unites himself to his God and so undertakes that task he undertook.

    I speak with Jews regularly at a kosher Chinese restaurant, yes, that’s a thing, and when I tell them that Jesus Christ is the Messiah, they scoff. I tell them Isiah foretold His coming, they accuse not me but our Church of having intentionally distorting it, and imply that I am a foolish person for believing what I believe. I have found out that the alternative route was to merely “Be smart with each other” as conversations never end or really convince anyone to anything- they become strange ways of showing off things no one cares about but the speaker. Being pleasant won’t convince anyone, because it is another way of doing nothing, of avoiding what cannot be avoided. It is sad when compassion becomes a coward’s way of evangelizing. True compassion instructs the ignorant, and while you, Norm, may be moved to instruct this ignorant man, I have been telling Jews what they need but do not like to hear. Whether they accept it or not is up to them and how well they receive the Holy Spirit.

    So I said to them that they must convert to the religion of Christ, which is a continuation of the religion of Abraham, or they will not have eternal life and will be damned. Where are the sacrifices in Modern Judaism? Their priesthood atrophies, and their Temple lies desolate, devoid of any sign of the old Covenant.

    They treat me like I’m crazy, I shake the dust off my feet, and consider myself to have done what I could. It certainly was better than affirming that it is good to be in error, because that is in contradiction with what God wants, and what the Church has, namely the fullness of truth. Moreover, I would feel like an utter hypocrite to believe what I believe and consider it the best thing, but tell others that what they believe is fine too, even if I know and not just feel, that what they believe is wrong or is inferior. Why should I be happy that the Jews do not offer sacrifice to God any longer? Why would Catholic prelates defend the Jews and their false worship of the true God, while they treat Catholic traditionalists the way they should treat the Jews? Why should I be happy that a Protestant has less Sacraments than us? You must profess the superiority of the Catholic faith without any reserve, or admit your lack of faith. There can be no half-measures when your soul is on the line. Are we fine to argue like barristers about the legalistic conditions into which a soul can skirt what the Fathers of the Church wrote and handed down, so that they can go to Heaven? We are making gray when there is plain black and white.

    Jesus is the Son of God, and Muhammad is incomparable to The Christ, who truly died and rose from the dead on the third day and it was not a mirage; Jews must convert or they will perish, as the Lord Himself warned.

    Also, I am somewhat thankful that no Jew spat on me like how they spit at Christians in Jerusalem. It would be unsanitary to walk around with Jew-phlegm on my clothes. Would it surprise me if they did spit on me? Not at all. Would I spit on a Jew? I would not, because would rather not lower myself to the level of the uncivilized.

    • Rev22:17 says:

      Victor,

      You wrote: So you -are- a modernist. You even use the language of the enemy: “Liberal” or “Conservative” never existed until the Enlightenment.

      So you resort to terms like “modernist” and “traditionalist” that are even more novel, neither having existed before the twentieth century.

      But no, I do not ascribe to the theological heresies properly condemned as “modernism.”

      You wrote: If I say the truth, then it will defend itself, all we have to do is try to get it out there as plain as possible, regardless how offended people get. Yet we have to struggle because the offense people perceive has nothing to do with the clarity of Truth, and everything to do with the insistence to not change. So ultimately, Truth can be obscured and cannot defend itself when it is not known. The Truth is Truth, and we need to cut through the Gordian Knot of psychological baggage, philosophical constructs, rationalizations, coping mechanisms, and all these other things that makes the Truth, well, relative and obscured, ever difficult to grasp.

      For God’s view of this, read the thirteenth chapter of the first epistle to the Corinthians.

      You wrote: I speak with Jews regularly at a kosher Chinese restaurant, yes, that’s a thing, and when I tell them that Jesus Christ is the Messiah, they scoff. I tell them Isiah foretold His coming, they accuse not me but our Church of having intentionally distorting it, and imply that I am a foolish person for believing what I believe.

      And how many of them have actually come to Christ?

      You wrote: I have found out that the alternative route was to merely “Be smart with each other” as conversations never end or really convince anyone to anything- they become strange ways of showing off things no one cares about but the speaker. Being pleasant won’t convince anyone, because it is another way of doing nothing, of avoiding what cannot be avoided. It is sad when compassion becomes a coward’s way of evangelizing. True compassion instructs the ignorant, and while you, Norm, may be moved to instruct this ignorant man, I have been telling Jews what they need but do not like to hear. Whether they accept it or not is up to them and how well they receive the Holy Spirit.

      No, there is another way. If one wishes to win converts, one needs to invest the time to develop a relationship of trust rooted in love so that those whom one wishes to evangelize will listen to the Truth and hear it. Otherwise, one is the “resounding gong” that the apostle describes, achieving nothing — or, worse, alienating people from the faith and thus making the work of a real evangelist that much more difficult. I’m not normally a betting man, but I would wager very good money that Dr. Billy Graham — a Protestant evangelist — has brought many more converts to Christian faith into the Catholic Church than you have!

      You wrote: But if people believe I am already wrong because the truth I speak is disagreeable to them, what have I to lose? They’ve already made their mind! It is telling, however, that it is the Holy Spirit that converts, but what is the role of the Christian who was born to participate in the work of our Lord? The Christian unites himself to his God and so undertakes that task he undertook.

      It’s true that it’s the Holy Spirit who converts, but the Holy Spirit does use believers in the process — but only believers who are fully yielded and acting in complete submission and not believers who go off as “loose canons” thinking that they are somehow doing the work of God while completely detached from the Spirit’s guidance.

      You wrote: Jesus is the Son of God, and Muhammad is incomparable to The Christ, who truly died and rose from the dead on the third day and it was not a mirage; Jews must convert or they will perish, as the Lord Himself warned.

      True, but how is this relevant to the subject at hand, which is evangelization of Jews? I have never met a Jew who believes in Mohammed!

      Norm.

  4. EPMS says:

    If one is willing and able to convert people, I suggest starting with the approximately 50% of those baptised in the Catholic church who cease to practise their religion in adulthood. If time and energy remain, there is the increasingly large percentage of the population who tick off “no religion” on any relevant form. While one should always be willing to witness if members of another faith expresses interest in Christianity,, this is not a fertile field. Focussing missionary zeal in the direction of Jews suggests a separate agenda.

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