What are the root causes of anti semitism in Enlightened Western world ?

Rodger

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,249
US
The fact that the ranks and file of Nazi Germany was nominally Christian does not support what you claim. It is the top leaders, not he rank and file that determined Nazi policies and direction. Since most of Germany was nominally Christian, the Nazi allowed Christianity to exist as a useful tool of the state, but I s combining of all the churches under one state organization shows the Nazi were not religiously committed and if you read the anti-semitic works of he Nazi, it was racially motivated, not religiously based. The Jews wee killed because they were an inferior religion. Even converted Jews were targeted, just having Jewish ancestry was enough to condemn someone. The Nazis would have been happier if the religion of most Germans was the pagan worship.of.Odin, but they worked with what they had.

Nazis were able to exploit existing prejudices, but their motivations were different from the religiously based anti-semitism of the past. The racially based anti-semitism is rather new, only showing up in the last century or two.
This sort of parallels some of my thinking. While there might have been a visceral hatred of Jews among many of the common folk based upon the Church's teachings, it is hard to imagine many of them would have desired the Holocaust. Certainly they weren't capable of perpetrating one.
 
Oct 2018
705
Adelaide south Australia
"there were even some unease at his Jewishness"

Indeed. Certain Christians today still need to engage in some heavy duty cognitive dissonance to accommodate their antisemitism and putative Christian faith . Must be interesting inside the head of a member of the KKK. Or not, possibly nothing much going on in there anyway.

As aside: I read thee following as an opinion offered by a rabbi: If you strip back the gospels until you are left with the only two things which seem authentically from Jesus, you are left with the Lords Prayer and the sermon on the mount. Neither are antithetical to Judaism.

Not only was Jesus Jewish , so was the faith Jesus founded,** until Paul Of Tarsus tuck his oar in. The name "Christian" for the followers of Jesus was coined, I thin by emperor Theodorus in the 4th century.

** in the early days, a person HAD to be a practising Jew to join. Notwithstanding what Jesus says in Matthew (22 2,3) about obeying the law, Paul abolished all Jewish ritual, and admitted Gentiles. The early church was especially popular with slaves and women.
 
Last edited:
Dec 2011
1,271
The fact that the ranks and file of Nazi Germany was nominally Christian does not support what you claim. It is the top leaders, not he rank and file that determined Nazi policies and direction. Since most of Germany was nominally Christian, the Nazi allowed Christianity to exist as a useful tool of the state, but I s combining of all the churches under one state organization shows the Nazi were not religiously committed and if you read the anti-semitic works of he Nazi, it was racially motivated, not religiously based. The Jews wee killed because they were an inferior religion. Even converted Jews were targeted, just having Jewish ancestry was enough to condemn someone. The Nazis would have been happier if the religion of most Germans was the pagan worship.of.Odin, but they worked with what they had.

Nazis were able to exploit existing prejudices, but their motivations were different from the religiously based anti-semitism of the past. The racially based anti-semitism is rather new, only showing up in the last century or two.
You are arguing against a point I have never made. I was strictly targeting the arguments that a) "the Nazis were not religious, at all" and b) that "Nazis used religion as an alibi". This simply isn't true, as I showed in some detail. For clarification, I am not arguing that:
1) Nazi ideology was based on religion
2) Nazi texts showed a particular penchant for religiously motivated antisemitism (see my remark about Mein Kampf)
3) Nazis were committed to religious antisemitism

I would, however, agree with the following statement:
The Nazi leadership's antisemitism from the late 1920s onward was not at all motivated by Christian antisemitism.
 
Dec 2011
1,271
" had to be persuaded by direct recourse to Christian doctrine "
that sound to me like a classic cover
the third Reich accused the Jews of being morally corrupt , eroding the "national spirit " ( whatever that is) and being agent of bolchevism
no good Nazi would have worried about Christ , there were even some unease at his Jewishness
this gave rise to spurious theories about him being the natural son of a German legionary
the Christ killer argument was good for the country yokels who never had seen a jew
Well, if it sounds to you like that, you might want to take a look into the relevant literature. I have already given you a reference.
 

Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
6,866
You are arguing against a point I have never made. I was strictly targeting the arguments that a) "the Nazis were not religious, at all" and b) that "Nazis used religion as an alibi". This simply isn't true, as I showed in some detail. For clarification, I am not arguing that:
1) Nazi ideology was based on religion
Nazi ideology was not based on Christian religion. They were more interested in pagan religion. You are quite wrong if you insist that Nazi ideology was based on Christisnity, simply because most of them were nominally Christian or of a Christian background.

2) Nazi texts showed a particular penchant for religiously motivated antisemitism (see my remark about Mein Kampf)
No, they don't. The Nazi show a racially motivated antsemitism, not religious one. He proof of this is that even if a Jew covered to Christianity, he would still suffer penalties and discrimination. If the Nazi anti-Semitism was religiously based, then all Jews needed to do was to convert to escape, but that is not the case. The Nuremberg Race Laws identified some one as a Jew regardless of the religion of the person.

Now, the Nazis might have occasionally pandered to those who held religious anti-Semitism by a remark here or there, since those people hated Jews too, but their actions as shown in the Nuremberg Laws show race, not religion, was the primary factorm

3) Nazis were committed to religious antisemitism

I would, however, agree with the following statement:
The Nazi leadership's antisemitism from the late 1920s onward was not at all motivated by Christian antisemitism.
It was a the leader of that determined Nazi views, not the rank and file. The actions of the Nazis is based on what motivated the leaders, it was the leaders that came up with the Final Solution, not the rank and file.

And a difference must be made between people who were committed Nasi and people who were just members of the Nazi party. Holding certain positions required a membership, and being a member was good for business. Out of a population of Germany that was around 65 million, only 8.5 million were members of the Nazi party (Nazi Party - Wikipedia). The vast majority of Germans in Nazi Germany were not Nazi.
 
Dec 2011
1,271
Dear Bart, as with your first response, you do not seem to have read what I have posted. This time, I even underscored the "NOT". Therefore, I agree with most of what you stated, just a few things:

Now, the Nazis might have occasionally pandered to those who held religious anti-Semitism by a remark here or there, since those people hated Jews too, but their actions as shown in the Nuremberg Laws show race, not religion, was the primary factorm
The Nazis didn't "occasionally pander to those who held religious anti-Semitism", they were a) quite frank about where their antisemitism came from, as indicated by, again, "Mein Kampf", for example, and b) established an entire organization that explicitly argued the case for the Nazis by making recourse to the Christian doctrine. The last "pandering" of Hitler has been dated to a 1928 speech, if I recall that correctly. More accurately, what the Nazis did was "their thing", in general, and then they also left some room for Christian followers to establish their own structures. Thus, it is wrong to state that "the Nazis used Christianity as an alibi" and that "the Nazis weren't religious, at all" as there was a sizable portion of religious (Christian) Nazis around at the time. [You didn't do this, but this is the context for my contributions] If the statements had been: "the highest echelon of Nazis wasn't (Christian) religious, at all, from the 1920s onward", and "the Nazis used Christianity to 'recruit' believing Christians", I would entirely agree.

The reason why this is important is not only that there had been a very successful campaign by the Church and Christians in postwar Germany obfuscating the role Christian Nazis played during the Third Reich, it is also important because many people believe that Christian antisemitism itself has nothing to do with modern antisemitism. This is not the case, especially, like I already noted, as some of the most prominent antisemitic figures in the German speaking of the late 19th and early 20th century were Christians.
 
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Aug 2015
5
Colorado
The original reason why the Jews are discriminated against at the least, and savaged at the worst is not because they were the "Christ killers". It is because they did not recognize Jesus as the messiah. Their very existence is an affront to the Christian religion.
 
Oct 2018
705
Adelaide south Australia
The original reason why the Jews are discriminated against at the least, and savaged at the worst is not because they were the "Christ killers". It is because they did not recognize Jesus as the messiah. Their very existence is an affront to the Christian religion.

Oh? I've never heard that argument, although it's true Jews reject Jesus as the Messiah. There's actually a pretty good reason; Jesus simply did not exhibit the description or actions of the expected messiah. (The Mashiach)

I grew up devout Catholic and was pretty familiar with Church doctrine as well as some of theology behind Catholic doctrine.I've never heard that 'affront' claim before. I do remember Pope John Paul 11 'absolving' the Jews of fault in the death of Jesus. Of course, I maybe simply wrong. Could you perhaps provide a few sources for your claim?
 

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