Israel versus Jews

According to family lore, my great-aunt and great-uncle were living in Romania in 1942.
They were 12 and 14 years old at the time. It was the old country, so the house was full with extended family.
One afternoon my great-aunt and great-uncle came home from school to find the house was empty. My relatives were Jews. They were all grabbed by the Nazis and sent to a death camp.

What followed was a saga of two adolescent refugees, without money or family, trying to smuggle themselves out of WWII Europe while being hunted by the SS.
But that's a story for another time.
I only told you this because I'm about to criticize Israel, and far too many people equate criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism.

The Jewish people were oppressed for nearly 2,000 years.
Besides being the scapegoat for every plague and misfortune that befell their neighbors, they were kicked out of almost every nation in Europe at some point in the middle ages.
By being oppressed, Jews in Europe began identifying with socialism and the politics of oppressed groups. In fact, the words Jewishness and socialism were practically redundant until recently.

Where the Jews found refuge was in muslim nations. For example, around 150,000 Jews lived in Baghdad at the end of WWII, and they had been living there for over nine centuries.
My point is that most of the oppression experienced by Jews, until very recently, has been at the hands of fundamentalist Christians, not muslims. Which makes the current alliance between the state of Israel and right-wing American Christians to be bizarre, and dangerous to Jews all over the world.

Quite possibly the most bizarre political relationship in America is Jews and Evangelicals.

For the most part, despite Evangelicals’ support for the Jewish state and desire to embrace the Jewish people, their affection has often largely gone unrequited. In fact, only one-third of American Jews view Christian Zionists in a favorable light. This harsh reality, however, has not deterred Evangelicals from trying to befriend the Jewish people both at home and in Israel. According to a recent Pew poll, 69 percent of Evangelicals view American Jews positively, while 64 percent of American Jews view Evangelicals with skepticism or even negativity. In fact, Jewish Americans trail only atheists in their coolness toward Evangelicals.

U.S. Jews even rate muslims higher than Evangelicals.
The reason for this is based on both history (i.e. it was usually fundamentalist Christians that massacred Jews) and for the disturbing reason that Evangelicals support Israel.
evangelicals.jpg

Netanyahu and Sheldon Adelson were instrumental in creating this Israel/right-wing alliance, and it goes beyond just religion.

Netanyahu broke away from the traditionally statist Israeli right to support economic policies that lined up with those of U.S. economic neoliberals. He shares a major supporter — Adelson — with many top U.S. Republicans, and he has cultivated personal relationships with U.S. Republican leaders.

When Republicans now look to Israel, they see in Netanyahu a leader cut from a similar ideological cloth to many of their own representatives — not just in terms of foreign policy beliefs but also in economic positions, one who shares a Republican skepticism of the welfare state and embraces free markets. A 2015 poll found that Republicans ranked Netanyahu alongside Ronald Reagan as the “national or world leader you admire most.”

The creation of Israel changed everything.
Today Israeli Jews and American Jews have little in common.

A poll for the American Jewish Committee in June found that while 77 percent of Israeli Jews approve of Trump’s handling of the U.S.-Israeli relationship, only 34 percent of American Jews approve. Although Trump is popular in Israel, only 26 percent of American Jews approve of him. Most Jews feel less secure in the United States than they did a year ago...The AJC poll was done a month before Israel passed a law to give Jews more rights than other citizens, betraying the country’s 70-year democratic tradition.

“We are the stunned witnesses of new alliances between Israel, Orthodox factions of Judaism throughout the world, and the new global populism in which ethnocentrism and even racism hold an undeniable place,” Hebrew University of Jerusalem sociologist Eva Illouz wrote in an article appearing this week on Yom Kippur in Israel’s Haaretz newspaper titled “The State of Israel vs. the Jewish people.

While fundamentalist Christians and the U.S. government give Israel unconditional support, U.S. Jews are much more skeptical.

At the same time, many American Jews express reservations about Israel’s approach to the peace process. Just 38% say the Israeli government is making a sincere effort to establish peace with the Palestinians. And just 17% of American Jews think the continued building of settlements in the West Bank is helpful to Israel’s security; 44% say that settlement construction hurts Israel’s own security interests.

U.S. Jews are not down with the knee-jerk accusation of anti-Semitism every time someone criticizes Israel, nor do they believe that Israel should be an important issue in American politics today.
The biggest division between U.S. Jews and Israeli Jews is on the subject of democracy in Israel.

Bolstering this result is Americans’ views on the Jewishness and democracy of Israel: If the two-state solution were no longer possible, 64 percent of Americans would choose the democracy of Israel, even if it meant that Israel would cease to be a politically Jewish state, over the Jewishness of Israel, if the latter meant that Palestinians would not be fully equal.

Interestingly, a recent poll shows that 72% of the Israeli public feels their government disrespects US Jews.

I support the existence of Israel for one reason and one reason alone: Christians can't be trusted around Jews. Sooner or later some of them will eventually try to kill all the Jews.

The tying together of the idea of Jews and Israel is dangerous to Jews around the world.
The right-wing, reactionary, apartheid government in Israel, that is bent on ethnically cleansing the region of Palestinians, is the opposite of the history of the Jews and is an offense to the memory of every Jew that has suffered oppression.
Of any group of people in the world, Jews should be the very last people oppressing others. It's inexcusable.
More importantly, it puts Jews living overseas in danger to racist backlash and terrorism.
Israeli Jews are being selfish and short-sighted by disregarding this danger.

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When the Jews kick start the end times, if there are Jews who do not accept Jesus, they too will go to hell However, last time I read, this made the Evangelicals feel a bit guilty, so the notion began that God would not send the Jews to hell, but put them in their own separate version of Heaven from the what the true Christians would occupy.

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Pricknick's picture

@MrWebster
they'd all get their rapture and leave the rest of us alone.

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Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

@Pricknick
The Bible says there will be 144,000 raptures.
There are 2.2 Billion Christians.
A lot of people are going to be disappointed.

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Hawkfish's picture

@gjohnsit

Says that is the number from Israel:

Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel.

The non-Israelis are uncountable:

After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb

Not that I subscribe to the (typically batshit and ahistorical) evangelical reading of a piece of political rhetoric (the number of the beast is a coded reference to Nero) but that’s the source.

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We can’t save the world by playing by the rules, because the rules have to be changed.
- Greta Thunberg

Alligator Ed's picture

of Nürmberg laws. Like the DNC and hangers-on, the pro-Israeli fervor, bordering on mindless fanaticism, is harmful not only to democracy in Israel but harm to any who believe in what should be universal support for human rights, regardless of ethnicity, religion, or other signal traits which are used to "target" others to be scapegoated. The blindness of supporting Bibi's Israel is akin to supporting Afrikaaner Apartheid.

I support the existence of Israel for one reason and one reason alone: Christians can't be trusted around Jews. Sooner or later they will eventually try to kill all the Jews.

The tying together of the idea of Jews and Israel is dangerous to Jews around the world.
The right-wing, reactionary, apartheid government in Israel, that is bent on ethnically cleansing the region of Palestinians, is the opposite of the history of the Jews and is an offense to the memory of every Jew that has suffered oppression.
Of any group of people in the world, Jews should be the very last people oppressing others. It's inexcusable.
More importantly, it puts Jews living overseas in danger to racist backlash and terrorism.
Israeli Jews are being selfish and short-sighted by disregarding this danger.

As you correctly discern, the arbitrary elevation of any people, religion, ethnicity etc above all others is a recipe for disaster. The pot is slowly boiling.

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Outsourcing Is Treason's picture

@Alligator Ed

The blindness of supporting Bibi's Israel is akin to supporting Afrikaaner Apartheid.

The South Africa analogy falls apart under the vast amount of evidence that the Jews are the indigenous people of the Land of Israel. For example, the Jews speak and dream in the ancient language of the Dead Sea Scrolls (Hebrew) and the Arabs do not.

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"Please clap." -- Jeb Bush

thanatokephaloides's picture

@Outsourcing Is Treason

The blindness of supporting Bibi's Israel is akin to supporting Afrikaaner Apartheid.

The South Africa analogy falls apart under the vast amount of evidence that the Jews are the indigenous people of the Land of Israel. For example, the Jews speak and dream in the ancient language of the Dead Sea Scrolls (Hebrew) and the Arabs do not.

Actually, it doesn't. No one has the right to legislate Apartheid, indigenous or not. Bibi's actions are, among other things, directly opposed to the Law of Moses:

Thou shalt not abhor an Edomite; for he is thy brother: thou shalt not abhor an Egyptian; because thou wast a stranger in his land.

-- Jewish Scriptures, Deuteronomy 23:7 (KJV) source

Just because the Jews are Israelites doesn't mean it's Bibi's Israel that they want to live in!

Wink

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"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

@Outsourcing Is Treason
For sake of argument lets accept your statement that Jews are the only indigenous people of Israel, and are thus the only ones to live in Israel. By that argument, almost everybody on this site should be kicked out of the US.

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arendt's picture

@Outsourcing Is Treason

The South Africa analogy falls apart under the vast amount of evidence that the Jews are the indigenous people of the Land of Israel. For example, the Jews speak and dream in the ancient language of the Dead Sea Scrolls (Hebrew) and the Arabs do not.

The Jews are a polyglot assembly of people from all over the world. The Ashkenazi Jews originated in Kazakhstan. Many Jews are converted European Christians or American Christians. Tell me, is Ivanka Trump a member of the Jewish "race"? What hogwash.

The Jews were booted out of Israel by the Romans 2,000 years ago. The Palestinians have been living there for the last 2,000 years. If we start rearranging the map on the basis of claims that ar 2,000 years out of date, we will never stop fighting.

The racism that is spouted to defend the nonsense that there is any such thing as a race is disgusting. It denies everything geneticists have learned in the last fifty years.

the Jews speak and dream in the ancient language of the Dead Sea Scrolls (Hebrew) and the Arabs do not.

As for the nonsense that what language one speaks or reads determines anything at all about one's genetics, it is not worth rebutting. Utter trash.

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Pricknick's picture

@arendt

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Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

@arendt Jews, could be a race.

I thought that explained their vulnerability to certain genetic diseases and their higher than normal IQs.

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dfarrah

dervish's picture

@Outsourcing Is Treason Jews are an indigenous people of Israel, not the indigenous people. Others were there too, as the Torah states clearly, and they're still there today.

Few outside of Israel speak of "Arabs". What the hell is an "Arab"? It's as if we lumped together everyone in the world who spoke English, and called them "English". The people you are talking about are extremely diverse, they're Khaleeji, Phoenecian, Filisteen, Berber, Egyptian and much more.

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"Obama promised transparency, but Assange is the one who brought it."

@dervish system (1,2,3, etc) is Arabic.

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dfarrah

dervish's picture

@dfarrah but you miss the point, predictably.

Speaking collectively of "Arabs" is a tell, and only fanatical Israelis and their apologists and hangers-on do that.

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"Obama promised transparency, but Assange is the one who brought it."

@dervish
There it no 'tell.'

I thought I was sharing an interesting tidbit.

I did a science project in grade school in which I reported where our numbering system came from. I don't recall much detail other than doing it. I believe our alphabet also Arabic derived.

If you find that me pointing that is insulting, or the fact that my language isn't as perfect as you desire, then that is your own problem.

Oh gee, here is a link that references Arabic numbers. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabic_numerals

Maybe you need to clean up the entire WWW from any such references if you find them so offensive.

Also,the fact that I can't always pinpoint to the exact family or lineage or geographical area from which something sprang has nothing to do with your preconceived notions of what constitutes racism.

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dfarrah

Bollox Ref's picture

reminded me of something.

The fascist Iron Guard of Romania.

Thanks for the post, as always.

Sorry. Rather a random comment. Just thinking about WWII, Germany/Romania, oil fields, Romanian fascism, Stalingrad, collapse of the Romanian kingdom..... etc.

(Edited)

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Gëzuar!!
from a reasonably stable genius.

I have to say, I don't take kindly to laws, or even arrangements, which say or arrange that I have to buy this product and I can't have that other one which I might prefer.

I also don't take kindly to censorship and to having people assume that I have no faculty of critical intelligence and therefore can't be allowed to read certain authors deemed "anti-Semitic". I used to get angry, hyped up responses online because I dared, dared to refer to the late Edward Said--whom BTW, I rarely agreed with, but I like his writing. I have been accused of not only being anti-Semitic but of even sending out anti-Semitic anonymous hate email because I dared to disagree with certain persons online. For the record, I don't do anonymous, I tell people to their faces what I think of them. Fortunately, a hermitlike existence suits me. I once asked a young lady online to please understand that I reserved the right to choose my own reading and her response was No, because... the Nazis. Huh?

So. gjohnsit, I very much like and appreciate your writing on this site and am grateful for the work you do keeping it going. But, I am also kind of beyond being sensitive and understanding about all the various tribalisms that infest DKos and other sites. I will repeat that my personal view is that religion deserves a decent level of respect, while the governments and policies of ANY nation can be criticized. The nation is not the religion and the religion is not the nation.

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Nastarana

Pricknick's picture

@Nastarana
I can relate to much of what you wrote.
On the other hand, none of them deserve my respect. None.

religion deserves a decent level of respect

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Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

@Pricknick

Moreover, religion is a choice. You are free (if you are fortunate to live in a country that allows freedom of religion or freedom from religion) to be religious or not. So you are free to avoid religious persecution if you choose. Or free to take on persecution and oppression if you desire.

If there was a state religion in the US that required belief in a particular religion or suffer serious consequences, the choice would be up to me whether or not believing in that religion was worth the consequences.

It is not discrimination like racial or gender discrimination.

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@Nastarana

I have been accused of not only being anti-Semitic but of even sending out anti-Semitic anonymous hate email because I dared to disagree with certain persons online

I'm a "self-hating Jew". Or so I've been called.
[note: I'm more Irish than Jewish, and I look Irish]

As for anti-BDS laws, they are obviously unconstitutional and they won't stand up in any court.
It's offensive that the states are even passing those laws.
Notice how anti-BDS laws are largely in strong evangelical states, plus NY/NJ.
anti-bds.jpeg

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Pricknick's picture

@gjohnsit
give me a link to that map. There's something interesting about it.

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Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

GreatLakeSailor's picture

@Pricknick

https://palestinelegal.org/righttoboycott

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Compensated Spokes Model for Big Poor & Big Peace.

Pricknick's picture

@GreatLakeSailor
But the color coding is different.
Am I missing something?

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Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

@Pricknick
On a different but unrelated note

Though hardly “progressive,” Harris – much like another 2020 hopeful, Elizabeth Warren – has sought to cast herself as such in recent years in an effort to unite a fractured Democratic party by publicly catering to progressives while also privately catering to special interests, including the Israel lobby.

In this two-part series, MintPress News will examine how Harris is set to emulate much of Hillary Clinton’s failed 2016 campaign — particularly the distinction between her “private” and “public” positions — while using identity politics to her advantage. This has already begun, with Harris having courted past Hillary campaign staffers and millionaire donors alike. In addition, top establishment liberals like Joy Ann Reid of MSNBC and Clinton advisor Neera Tanden are claiming that legitimate criticism of, and a lack of enthusiasm for, a Harris presidential run on the part of progressives stem from “racism” and “sexism” among left-leaning Americans — reviving the Clinton campaign’s “Bernie bros” narrative that characterizes Bernie Sanders-supporting progressive voters as “all-white” and “all-male.”

One of the clearest examples of Harris’ practice of courting special interests in private while painting a different picture in public is her position on the Israel/Palestine conflict. While Harris once, in 2012 while serving as California’s attorney general, stood up to Israeli government pressure to persecute activists working with the pro-Palestinian rights movement Boycott, Divest, Sanctions (BDS), she made a concerted effort to court pro-Israel interests as she began to pursue her higher political ambitions, namely when she kicked off her 2016 campaign for the Senate.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@gjohnsit

and Gabbard.

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Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

GreatLakeSailor's picture

@Pricknick

map seems to be up to date.

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Compensated Spokes Model for Big Poor & Big Peace.

@gjohnsit I do hope you are right. I have yet to hear of any court challenges being brought. Other than Dr. Bonner's soaps, which I have used and like--he sources ingredients from Israeli and Palestinian organic farmers--I have no idea what products do come from Israel. At my level of miniscule spending, I doubt BDS would affect me either way, but the anti laws are setting a frightening precedent.

If anti BDS is allowed to stand, what is to prevent some other group from saying, OK, all you working class walking ATM machines out there, we want a monopoly on, say, fresh fruit and veges, so your home garden is proof that you are a bigot? And that button you sewed on your shirt, don't you know that the lady at the cleaners needs that $5. and so what if that means two separate trips to the cleaners you privileged jerk you.

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Nastarana

GreatLakeSailor's picture

@Nastarana @Nastarana

Anti-BDS Laws Challenged as Unconstitutional After Speech Pathologist Loses Job at Texas School for Refusing to Sign Pro-Israel Pledge
https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/12/17/anti-bds-laws-challenged-un...

Edit: also check out: https://electronicintifada.net/search/site/bds%20laws

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Compensated Spokes Model for Big Poor & Big Peace.

snoopydawg's picture

@Nastarana

This is a good point.

If anti BDS is allowed to stand, what is to prevent some other group from saying, OK, all you working class walking ATM machines out there, we want a monopoly on, say, fresh fruit and veges, so your home garden is proof that you are a bigot

The anti BDS legislation has trouble written all over it. Yours is just one example of where it can go.

The EBs had an article about how some Christian adoption agency got permission from Trump to not let children go to Jewish, LGBT and other non Protestant people. This has mission creep all over it too. But isn't that just a tad hypocritical? On one hand you have no boycotting of Israel's products and on the other your have discrimination against Jews and other groups.

Love the point you made in your first comment about criticizing the country not the people.

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

Pluto's Republic's picture

@snoopydawg

...and the US foreign policy of economic sanctions and collective punishment against nations with ideologies and cultures that the US disapproves of?

Jews, regardless of their various racial dilutions, were permanent migrants or immigrants among the indigenous peoples who had evolved for 100,000 years in Northern Europe. The Jews were clannish, tribal, often nomadic; they were a cultural enigma with a strange language and customs, who would not assimilate or intermarry. Century after century, they maintained what appeared to be a strict apartness and otherness, as if gentiles were trayf and unclean. That's a very dangerous set-up. The social discord that naturally arose brought them sorrows and reinforced those divisions, resentments, and suspicions.

The xenophobic trends among Americans and their resentment over multiculturalism and immigration around them, seems made of the same stuff. Americans, ironically, are immigrants themselves, non-indigenous to the land they occupy with a increasingly fragile identity in the face of diversity. Nationalism just doesn't fill that psychological void, anymore. Scarcity and economic adversity — in any case — naturally exacerbate such tensions.

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The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
– Albert Camus
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Nastarana

Cheers!

picard_0.jpg

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Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Nastarana

Cheers!

picard_0.jpg

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Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

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Nastarana

@Nastarana

the capitalists say it isn't. Judaism, Christianity, Islam - it all should die. Ignorant and greedy capitalists transcend all race, ethnicity, gender, and creed, and they should all die too.

The more money we give to Israel, the more wars we fight for Israel and pay for with our children and treasure, the more innocent people they slaughter, the more they interfere with our country, the more I don't give a shit whether the Jewish state of Israel lives or dies.

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"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

A bit off base. I am always a bit confused about Jewish history and religion as I am not Jewish so I certainly should not expect you to have Protestant history and religion down pat.

Here is my background. I am white. I was raised Southern Baptist (definitely Evangelical) until the 7th grade, when my parents rejected the Baptist denomination and became Presbyterian. Presbyterians along with Lutherans and Episcopalians are the most liberal Protestants and tend to be the better educated. Most members of these three denominations, being fairly liberal, would not be considered to be Evangelicals or identify as Evangelicals. The people in these three denominations most likely to identify as Evangelical would be pretty much restricted to the south and not in the rest of the country.

People raised in these three denominations are most likely to become atheists or agnostics if they decide to reject formal religion. I became atheist at the age of 20 even though I went to a Presbyterian college and got my BA there. These three liberal protestant denominations are dying out.

Methodists, the second largest Protestant denomination after Baptists, are mixed bag of Evangelicals and non-Evangelicals. Again the South is where they congregate (pun intended) the most.

About 61% of Blacks identify as being Protestant Evangelical which is a far higher percentage than whites.

Only about 19% of Catholics identify as Evangelical.

When Jews are concerned about Evangelicals, my impression is that they are concerned about White Anglo-Saxon Protestants (WASPS) and not any of the remaining people mentioned above who identify as Christian. And if WASPS are the people Jews are concerned about and not the conservative non-Protestant, non-white Christians, then they have a few things wrong.

First. Protestants didn't exist at all till Martin Luther. According to Wikipedia it took until 1738 before the Protestant Evangelical movement began. So Evangelicals are not to blame for the persecution and oppression of Jews prior to that time. Any persecution of the Jews by Christians before then was by non-Protestants.

Second. Protestantism did not succeed very well in Europe. The Americas were populated by Protestants who were persecuted and oppressed in Europe and who came here to escape persecution and oppression. Most of the oppression of Jews by Christians has been by European Christians not by American ones. So to blame evangelical Protestants for Jewish persecution in Europe even after the 1700's is still blaming the wrong people.

Third. Evangelical Christians are a small percentage of Christians. Evangelicals may only number 90 - 100 million Americans, including Black Evangelicals. Catholics still outnumber Protestants world wide about 2 to 1.

Fourth. Getting Protestants to agree on anything is like herding cats. Every denomination does its own thing. Unlike Catholics, who have the Papacy to ride herd over the flock, nothing like that happens with Protestants. There is lots of dissension in every denomination, and there is usually great dissension between denominations. This lack of order and refusal to concede to authority comes from the Protestant belief that every person should decide his religious beliefs for himself and not be forced into a particular dogma by religious authorities.

I definitely think that Jews are justifiably skeptical of white Evangelical protestants because of politics. Jews don't seem to have this same skepticism of Blacks even when 61% of American Blacks identify as Evangelical. Of course 90% of Blacks identify as Democrats, when probably less than 40% of Protestant whites do.

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evangelicalism

https://web.archive.org/web/20160121011336/http://www.gallup.com/poll/20...

http://www.wheaton.edu/ISAE/Defining-Evangelicalism/How-Many-Are-There

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TheOtherMaven's picture

@davidgmillsatty

Heading toward the afterlife, a group of (fill in the name of intellectually-oriented denomination here) come to a fork in the road. A sign pointing straight ahead says "Heaven"; one pointing off to the side says "Discussion about Heaven". All of the (fill in the blank)s turn aside for the discussion. Biggrin

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There is no justice. There can be no peace.

@TheOtherMaven That sounds about right.

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@davidgmillsatty

It is all detrimental to the development of the human intellect. It is also the root of most things evil and certainly the root of all evil done "in the name of jesus".

My guess is more Catholics give up religion earlier than any of the other cults. As I see it, there is no such thing as an evangelical Catholic.

Evangelical Catholic (catholic is the noun with evangelical modifying) can refer variously to: Evangelical Protestants who consider themselves to be Catholic in the sense that they identify with the historic Christian Church.

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"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

@dkmich

Since there are twice as many Catholics as Protestants it should be true that more Catholics give up religion than Protestants. Worldwide I think Catholicism is doing better than Protestants. I think Catholicism will likely be the last form of religion to die out.

Which brings up a pet peeve of mine. Why does organized religion of any kind think it has a right to exist?

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dervish's picture

@davidgmillsatty it never has before. You underestimate the power of magic.

Religion may change and adapt to circumstances, but it will be with us for as long as there are humans.

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"Obama promised transparency, but Assange is the one who brought it."

Pluto's Republic's picture

@dervish

It is part of our sentience. It was supposed to mature and transform into enlightenment, it was supposed to evolve. But the first industrial revolution overwhelmed us at least a century too soon, in my view. We were on the threshold of group consciousness. A new mysticism had just begun and an intuitive "knowing" was starting to emerge, but the tsunami of industry rolled over us and washed all that important refinement away. We were left with our old, mind-boggling superstitions and fears. Religion adapted to industry, and there rose the for-profit leaders who were preaching the noise that was in their caged, unevolved minds.

Good gawd. They started praying in schools and in congress, not to the collective convergence but to the noise in their own heads. They should stop praying on government property and in the public square. It's just making things worse.

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The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
– Albert Camus

@Pluto's Republic

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The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

dervish's picture

@Pluto's Republic but I'd modify it further in that most people won't ever get it, in any age or at any time. The pretty distractions or hard-wired biases are too much for most.

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"Obama promised transparency, but Assange is the one who brought it."

Pluto's Republic's picture

@dervish

...but I'd modify it further in that most people won't ever get it, in any age or at any time. The pretty distractions or hard-wired biases are too much for most.

...since we're in the end game. I still sense we were close to full consciousness, but from the outside we appear to be an increasingly vile, earth-eating bacteria, breeding mindlessly while killing our host. The self-annihilation was probably hard-wired, too, long since triggered by some dumbass move. No need to leave a record. We didn't learn anything.

This sentient species will blink out, reabsorbed as compost. One must assume this sort of dead-end happens constantly across the universe. One curious thing, though. The genius race, the Chinese, know exactly the prognosis. Yet they are working furiously beyond our understanding, toward something big and very intelligent. The oldest civilization on the planet and never brain damaged by religion.

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2 users have voted.

The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
– Albert Camus

@TheOtherMaven is that a party arrive in Heaven and the angel says over there are the Catholics. Shhh. They think no one else is here.

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4 users have voted.

Nastarana

boriscleto's picture

@davidgmillsatty @davidgmillsatty It's a sect based out of Floriduh (in Orlando...). It's only been around since 1981 (Raygun fans no doubt) but they claim more than 600 congregations and 145,000 members.

The EPC began as a result of prayer meetings in 1980 and 1981 by pastors and elders increasingly alienated by liberalism in the "northern" branch of Presbyterianism (the United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., a predecessor of the Presbyterian Church USA). Two cases served as important catalysts in their separation: the Kenyon Case of 1975 and the Kaseman Case of 1981.

I remember seeing one in Baltimore when I visited my father...

I was raised a Presbyterian by a fallen Catholic, so it was inevitable that I ended up Atheist...I do remember someone leaving our church to go the the church across the road, at the time it was an Assembly of God...it isn't affiliated with AoG anymore but they are building a big addition for indoctrinating children into the cult...

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" In the beginning, the universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry, and is generally considered to have been a bad move. -- Douglas Adams, The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy "

@boriscleto

Like I said, if there are Evangelical Presbyterians, they would be in the south. I don't keep up with Presbyterians or any religions. Are the southern Lutherans and Episcopalians turning to the Evangelical dark side too?

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@davidgmillsatty Probably should not bother trying to explain Protestantism. I grew up in a Swedish-Lutheran parsonage. My father, in the spirit of ecumenicalism, sent his children to a Mennonite-run elementary school. Did you know that Lutes and Mennonites have different versions of the 10 commandments? Mennonites were the first Christian denomination to take a stand against human slavery in 1534—they have also been practicing pacifists since then. Because they still believe in "spreading the gospel" including missionary work, they could be called evangelicals. But few would confuse them with Jerry Falwell. My father was a theological fundamentalist and served for years on a missions board, but the Swedish Lutheran Synod declared that fundamentalism was a "theological error" only five years after he graduated from seminary so he was always on the outs with the big-time Lutheran establishment.

What I learned from this confusion is that whiles Protestants tend to hold strong theological opinions, they are mostly irrelevant to anything remotely important. I became a bottom-line thinker on religion—don't tell me what you claim to believe because it is very unlikely you understand it yourself. The only thing I want to know about your religion is, "are you a good neighbor? are you honest? are you pro-scientific inquiry as in—discovering the laws of nature is the same thing as discovering the laws of god."

I can personally attest to the fact that Mennonites are incredible neighbors. But we Lutes are pretty good too. My parents were politically progressive-good New Deal Democrats. They voted for Henry Wallace in 1948. Mother's father was a county-level organizer for the Farmer-Labor Party and helped organize several Co-ops including the one that became Land o'Lakes. My father had a sermon called, "Jesus was the first cooperator" and joined every co-op that would let him in. Mother had me read Dag Hammarskjöld's "Markings" when I was a junior in high school.

Meanwhile, back in Scandinavia, the Lutes became part of the governments. While none of them have been perfect over the years, they have been remarkably uncorrupt. Seriously, outside of the Nordics, who has done it better? Sweden has not been in a war since 1814—incredible considering we are talking about Vikings here. Norway is the only country not thoroughly corrupted by oil. They are incredibly educated and all have achieved universal literacy.

Of course, there is a special subgroup of Nordic Lutes—the preacher's kids. Think Ingmar Bergman. I do, often. Or the Danish founder of the folk school movement—Bishop Grundtvig https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N._F._S._Grundtvig.

So to those who claim the religion is just organized ignorance, name one other social movement with the track record of the Lutes in Scandinavia. ONE

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Climate change is a scientific, engineering, and economic problem. It is NOT a political problem so ignore the politicians.

divineorder's picture

Have read this on comparative attitudes when we recently saw jb's Jewish college prof uncle. He tends toward neocon solutions.

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A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

One is judged by one's friends and one's enemies. Right now, the "friends" of Netanyahu's Israel are the worst sort of opportunists, nihilists, and paid mercenaries. I, too, say that as a grandchild of the Holocaust, which is one of many. We are all G-d's Chosen.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@leveymg

apparently think Bibi's Israel is just spiffy.

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Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

OzoneTom's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal
By supporting and providing training for neo-nazi forces in the Ukraine.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@OzoneTom

Given that they do the same for our racist cops, I shouldn't be surprised.

But still...Jesus!

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2 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

But as a Christian, I am amazed at this: "I support the existence of Israel for one reason and one reason alone: Christians can't be trusted around Jews. Sooner or later they will eventually try to kill all the Jews."

Who do you think has been funding Israel and spilling blood for Israel? I find it amazing that a largely Christian nation (or any country of any religion, for that matter) is used to support what I perceive to be a tiny country of racists and bigots. I find it amazing that any tiny country can have as much sway over a much larger country, so much so that the tiny country is trying to take away constitutional rights of the persons inhabiting the larger country and has the larger country's military at its beck and call.

Do you have any idea of the cost of this support in dollars and blood?

And you believe Christians want to kill Jews. Wow.

For the people bashing religions, keep in mind that war is usually for economic reasons, regardless of the propaganda used to promote the wars.

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dfarrah

@dfarrah It is a bit odd. Especially with respect to Protestants who were persecuted and oppressed in Europe and fled Europe for that reason.

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@dfarrah

And you believe Christians want to kill Jews. Wow.

Not now. Probably not for a long time.
But historically, yes. That is the trend. I'm looking at the long 2,000 year historical arc.
Sorry for not explaining myself better.

Right now, it's muslims that want to kill Jews, but historically that is the exception.

As for fundamentalist Christians, they fully support Jews and Israel, but for a very disturbing reason. A crazy reason in fact.
And someone that only likes you because they think you will bring End Of Days, is someone that will turn on you on a dime if the situation demanded it.

For the people bashing religions, keep in mind that war is usually for economic reasons, regardless of the propaganda used to promote the wars.

True. Even the Crusades were partly/largely about grabbing wealth.
At the same time, wars require demonization of enemies. Since I mentioned the Crusades, consider that the first Crusade was supposed to be all about defeating the muslims. Yet the first victims of the Crusades were the Jews. That wasn't by the Catholic Church's plan.
Side note, when Jerusalem fell to the Crusaders the Jews were fighting alongside the Muslims and were slaughtered with them.

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dervish's picture

@gjohnsit in fact I know of none that have anything against the religion at all. Israel's another story, but even that could be fairly easily fixed with a good faith settlement of the Palestinian Question.

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6 users have voted.

"Obama promised transparency, but Assange is the one who brought it."

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@gjohnsit

And someone that only likes you because they think you will bring End Of Days, is someone that will turn on you on a dime if the situation demanded it.

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9 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

@dfarrah Christians have been killing Jews for over a thousand years. The Inquisition was not a war, it was the Church hunting down, torturing, and killing Jews. Which is why I find the current discussion about Jews, Christians and Muslims quite irritating.

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@boriscleto @Mickt

But those Christians weren't Protestants. That is my point. Evangelicals are Protestants and more particularly, WASPS. Protestants were the victims of the same Christians in Europe that the Jews were.

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@davidgmillsatty

Protestants were the victims of the same Christians in Europe that the Jews were.

Granted the Protestants victimized the Catholics and visa versa.
I don't recall the Jews victimizing anyone until the last 60 years or so.

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@gjohnsit fighting that occurred, the Jews didn't kill anyone in defense of themselves? I find it odd that in all of history, you don't see much about this group fighting back. (not that I've read all of history)

I usually thought the Jews got the wrong end of the stick in part because they were such a small group inside larger groups.

And you say that the Jews didn't victimize anyone, yet one can read historical accounts of the resentment against Jews and their economic practices.

Usually there is some truth in stereotypes, which is why stereotypes exist to begin with.

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2 users have voted.

dfarrah

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@dfarrah

There were massive amounts of what we would now call "income inequality" in the Middle Ages, including some severe poverty.

They had a fairly fixed and authoritarian class structure, buttressed by certain unfortunate religious beliefs.

Obviously, under these conditions, there must be a certain amount of resentment of the rich. If you're hungry and your children die of every illness, or of malnutrition itself, and over the hill next door there's people who have every available comfort, whose children don't die nearly as often, and who believe (and noise abroad) that God himself has ordained they should have these privileges, somebody, somewhere is going to get mad at some point.

Therefore, it's always a good idea for aristocrats--and sometimes, depending on the time and place, the most successful and wealthy merchants--to have what I call a storm drain.

A storm drain is a place to direct the excess rage of the populace when it's built up to a dangerous level. It's not precisely a scapegoat, because the relative guilt or innocence of the person or people taking the fall is not an issue. But basically, you find a convenient target that will concentrate the people's rage in a specific direction, so that they will forget about the other 90% of the people they were angry at in the first place. It's bad for the target, but great for the elites as a whole.

Welcome to the historical stage, medieval Jews. Do we have a role for you.

Now of course, not all the Jews were elites, not all were wealthy. And that's just an additional bonus for the powerful. If you're lucky, you won't just make the populace forget about all the other powerful people who are using the storm drain to evade the people's anger. If you're lucky, you'll transform the conversation entirely. Instead of talking about the wealthy or the aristocracy, you'll be talking about God, religion, devils who sacrifice their own children, the enemies of our Savior. Presto! What was a class conflict has become a religious conflict, with one side clearly marked as Bad and the other clearly marked as Good.

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4 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal
The Bible prohibits lending money at interest, so Christian Europe before the 15th Century had almost no banking system.

The Jewish religion doesn't prohibit lending at interest.

So when a monarch wanted to go to war he often approached the Jews for a loan.

When the monarch couldn't or wouldn't pay the loan back, he would stir up an anti-Semitic mob and they would go burn the Jews that he owed money to.

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Another might be that these were the __________ who financed the king's war that caused the deaths of many of their kin, friends and fellow citizens. Siding with the one-percent or financing the one-percent has consequences.

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@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal very close to scenarios that I've imagined in trying to imagine human interactions way back when.

I should just shut up and find old, old texts preserved somewhere to figure it out.

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dfarrah

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@dfarrah

My guesses are mostly based on facts, but they're guesses nonetheless.

So we can guess together, I guess. Smile

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Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

@dfarrah
I've been rather careless with my words.

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dervish's picture

@dfarrah over at StormFront. Have fun.

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"Obama promised transparency, but Assange is the one who brought it."

@dervish facts, not propaganda.

But like I said upthread, I should just shut up and try to find some very old documents to research.

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dfarrah

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@dfarrah

I don't want you to shut up, dfarrah.

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Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@gjohnsit

for at least the first hundred years or so of that conflict. And actually, they were to blame for creating the Reformation, arguably; if they had been willing to clean house to any significant degree, there might not have been any such thing as Protestantism. They couldn't stand to be questioned. They wouldn't give up any of the power, money, and unquestioned supremacy they had come to enjoy. So they ended up with insurrection, poor things.

And I say this as somebody who really has a serious problem with much of Protestantism; Calvin, Edwards and Mather can all fuck off as far as I'm concerned, as can Oliver Cromwell.

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5 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal that the Catholics started the violence, it was originally directed at Catholic heretics, and a lot of other groups ended up being targeted and suffered as the violence spread.

(not that what I read is correct)

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dfarrah

@davidgmillsatty @davidgmillsatty

But those Christians weren't Protestants.

Martin Luther was a Nazi before Nazis existed. His book titled "On the Jews and their Lies" argued for the burning of Jewish houses and synagogues among other gems (you can wikipedia it if you want, though the title says it all really). In short, the Crusades were hardly the only source of Christian hostility to Judaism.

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@sny

He began the Protestant Reformation. But he really didn't have that much to do with its development. He was a Catholic.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@sny

Or even all genocidal anti-Semites Nazis?

Doesn't extending "Nazism" back in time 1,000 years or so present some problems?

Is there a problem with simply calling it anti-Semitism and discussing the facts of the various attempts at genocide? It's not like the word "Nazi" is needed to show that these people committed atrocities.

These days, I feel like historical specificity is my shield and buckler. Which is not to say that comparisons can't be drawn, but I feel they should be drawn carefully, because collapsing certain distinctions, wildly over-emphasizing other distinctions, and erasing still others has become a key way of purveying orc mischief into public discourse.

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6 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal
anti-semitism with naziism, and naziism with anti-semitism.

anti-semitism was a notable characteristic of naziism, but it wasn't actually a necessary one. the nazis would still have been a horrible freakshow of civilization gone wrong, and would still have been directly responsible for the spectacular slaughterous paroxysm that was world war II, even if hitler had thought the Jews were the bestest people ever.

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The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@UntimelyRippd

the nazis would still have been a horrible freakshow of civilization gone wrong, and would still have been directly responsible for the spectacular slaughterous paroxysm that was world war II, even if hitler had thought the Jews were the bestest people ever.

Granted that the Jews have more reason than most to grieve that horrible freakshow, and I'd never say otherwise, the idea that the whole problem of Nazism is anti-Semitism has led to people taking a lot of wrong lessons from history. For instance, the idea has arisen that we need to stop another holocaust happening to the Jewish people, rather than thinking that we need to stop another holocaust happening to anybody. If you get this wrong, you end up thinking that a holocaust committed by, or friendly to, the interests of Jewish people must be OK, instead of thinking that any holocaust anywhere is absolutely unacceptable. Actually, you might end up thinking that slaughter done by Jews or their allies couldn't possibly be a holocaust.

Further, our taking the wrong lesson from history means that all fascism would have to do to stay under the radar is tailor its rhetoric. It might also need to form a few key and very visible alliances with some Jewish people and Black people. But once a fascist had established his or her anti-racist bonafides, she or he could commit every atrocity Hitler ever committed with relative impunity.

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1 user has voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal
during one the intifadas when the government officially implemented collective reprisals. that was when they revealed themselves as the heirs to the nazi political tradition. one of those moments when ones hope for humanity took another irrevocable big notch downwards.

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1 user has voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

Pluto's Republic's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

Especially if you use Nazi and Fascist interchangeably.

Fascism came out of no place at all. It was apparently dropped from a UFO at the beginning of the 20th century. It had no documents, no books, no doctrine, no history. It arrived on earth fully formed. It was probably a virus, like influenza.

By the 1930's, every country in the world at some point had a Fascist party.

Then, it went away. Now we just call things that scare us "fascist." Or "Nazi."

There is a theory that it was created by the ruling classes, and implemented by the petty bourgeoisie, as a way to neuter democracy and the alarming trend where commoners wanted to participate in government with votes that were actually counted. Commoners! Sacre Bleu!

I think many words are actually viruses.

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5 users have voted.

The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
– Albert Camus
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Pluto's Republic

I think Mussolini's famous definition of fascism is anachronistic or at least wasn't said by him, but it's a very good description of what we're living under:

"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism, since it is the merger of state and corporate power."

Although I'm not sure whether what we're seeing is a merger or a takeover. It certainly seems like the power of law is less an ally to the power of wealth and more the power of wealth's abused "bitch."

The law is to the elites as a whore is to an abusive, brutal pimp. Good luck trying to get her away from him.

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3 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

ggersh's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal @Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal to whether is was a merger or takeover?
Maybe both?

EDIT: start at the 2:15 mark

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2 users have voted.

trump will be amerika's last president

There is no way in the American political system to vote against the interests of GS, JPM, Citi, ATT, AMZN, MSFT, WM, Alphabet, FB, APPL, Exxon Mobil, Lockheed Martin, UHG or Northrop Grumman.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Pluto's Republic

cells of other systems and pop up when conditions were right. Or ripe.

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1 user has voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

@sny I've wondered about.

Why is almost everything described as Christianity (or any other group) hostility to Judaism? What about the reverse? Or did it just not exist?

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dfarrah

@davidgmillsatty
I had been using fundamentalist Christians and Evangelicals interchangeably, and that was wrong. My apologies.
I've edited my essay to be more accurate.

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Pricknick's picture

@Mickt

Which is why I find the current discussion about Jews, Christians and Muslims quite irritating.

Please go on. Tell me, us, why it is irritating.
Nobody bites anybody here.

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6 users have voted.

Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

arendt's picture

@Mickt

a heretical Catholic sect. The papacy declared a crusade againgt heretics in Southern France, and told Catholic nobles they could keep any loot they could get from their crusade. That crusade produced the infamous massacre at Beziers in 1209, where Simon de Montfort was asked how to tell the heretics from the Catholics and said:

Kill them all. God will know his own.

Not a Jew in site for the start of the Inquistion.

While I agree that it was used centuries later to hunt down Spanish Jews (Marranos), the Inquistion was not started specifically for Jews.

No comment on the discussion. Just trying to keep the historical facts straight.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@arendt

a useful tool for authoritarians, and the Jews were practically a ready-made scapegoat whenever the Inquisition needed one. But no, it wasn't organized to wipe them out. Hell, it wasn't even organized to wipe *my* cultural forebears out, and I think we (pagans) have at least as much reason to have a gripe with the medieval Church as the Jews do.

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10 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

@dfarrah Christians have been killing Jews for over a thousand years. The Inquisition was not a war, it was the Church hunting down, torturing, and killing Jews. Which is why I find the current discussion about Jews, Christians and Muslims quite irritating.

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arendt's picture

@Mickt

It hunted down any heretic. After the Proestant Reformation, it hunted down Protestants and continued to burn them at the stake into the 18th century. And, it hunted down Jews. It was not founded specifically to hunt Jews. The Catholics had been running pogroms for centuries before the Inquistion was created.

I am getting annoyed at the number of people in this thread who get the history wrong.

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