Sunday, October 08, 2006

Why Jews Are Hated

Hitler said, "Conscience is a Jewish invention. There is no such thing as truth; one must distrust mind and conscience.... The tablets of Sinai have lost their validity." And he was right when he said that conscience is a Jewish invention. It is generally recognized by scholars that the notion of events or actions as right or wrong, sinful or not, comes from the Jews and their belief in a monotheistic god.

This belief in one God was indeed also a revolutionary and radical concept in the world. Not only for the concept of singularity but also because of the personal nature of this god. Up to the moment when a tribal man from Mesopotamia introduced this concept, pagan gods were impersonal beings that did not care too much about their relationships with their worshipers. As long as the worshiper pleased the god the god didn't care. In fact, pagan gods did not care too much about how their worshipers behaved toward other people either. And the gods themselves were not kind or loving to others.

In early or primitive civilizations up to the more advanced Roman Empire pagan societies saw forgiveness, kindness, mercy, and a forgiving heart as weaknesses. Since the defining moment of God’s identity ("I am") at Sinai, our Western consciences became more aware of right and wrong. And the nurturing and development of a good conscience became not only a hallmark of Jewish ethics but also a key notion in Christianity, a religious movement which came from Judaism.

If you are Hitler and you want to do things that you know will shock and offend conscience, then the logical thing to do is destroy conscience. Once the Jews were dead Hitler could do no wrong, because the people with whom the idea of right and wrong originated would all be dead, and so their ideas. The first thing German Christians joining the SS went through was a thorough indoctrination into the new German paganism. When the SS extermination groups were sent to Russia they were asked to leave their consciences behind, in fact, to pay no attention to conscience.

But it is not only Nazism that felt impeded by conscience. Since the advent of the social sciences and the “psychologization” of everything, conscience is also under direct attack, and so it is with any notion of guilt, conscience's trigger mechanism. A recent issue of MS magazine collected thousands of signatures of women who have had abortions. A quote in the article from one of the signatories, “I wanted to do something bigger with myself — I didn’t want to be stopped by anything,” is amazingly similar to one in an autobiography of a former member of the SS who said basically the same thing about joining that organization.

The God of the Jews introduced not only the concept of conscience and guilt but the basis of love for all that is created. This personal god was not only just a deity but a parent. And the basis for all debt to him was a personal debt. Although guided by laws, morality was more than just ethics and a set of rules and laws. The debt was a covenantal relationship. The personal relationship itself became the basis for morality, in fact, it became morality itself. Loyalty, fidelity became the underpinning of law, and social commonweal. 

Jews are hated because they represent a sting in our conscience. This is the basis for the new post-modern anti-Semitism. The absolute certainty of a God that is faithful is not one that is welcome today.


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