Whaddaya mean Sungenis isn’t anti-semitic?

I mean he’s not anti-semitic. He’s anti-Judaism. His disagreements are based on a bad understanding of theology, not on some sort of racial theory of semitic inferiority to the Caucasian or Teutonic race. Anti-semitism is a quack mid-19th century attempt to scientize bigotry against Jews with dopey ideas about racial theory. For the 19th Century types who worshiped Science and rejected theism, the basis for their bigotry had to be shifted to a so-called “rational” reason for hating Jews and away from the “mysticism” they rejected. So they seized on “racial theory” and concocted dumb claims that there was just something inferior about Jewish “blood” compared to [insert anti-semites ethnic group] blood.

Bob doesn’t assert anything like this. He asserts that Judaism (the belief system, not the blood) is teaching a number of things it does not teach, such as the approval of raping infants. He also, of course, notes that Jewish history, like Christian history, is littered with polemics against The Other Guys. Duh. And this means what? That ancient Jews were human? Alert the media. (Of course, he neglects, as James Carroll neglects, to also point out that this is not the whole story in Jewish-Christian relations.) And of course, he asserts, rolled in with all this, that the Catholic revelation is superior to the Old Covenant. The Church quite agrees that the revelation of Christ which he entrusted to the Catholic church is the fullness of revelation, but, in Nostra Aetate, repudiates the idea that you have to smear Jews in order to maintain that. Notably, Sungenis’ screed don’t ever seem to take Nostra Aetate into account.

As a Catholic I *of course* believe the revelation of Christ given in the Catholic Church to be the fullness of revelation since I believe Christ is God incarnate and the Church is his Body, the “fulness of him who fills everything in every way” as Ephesians says. What I don’t believe is that it is necessary to calumny Judaism with things it does not teach or believe in order to hold this. Bob’s smear of Judaism is very wrong. But it is a category mistake to call it “anti-semitic”. He gives no evidence of being a racist. He gives plenty of evidence of being ignorantly anti-Jewish on the basis of an extraordinarily bad grasp of Catholic Tradition and particularly ignorant of both Nostra Aetate and of the teaching of the Holy Father with respect to the Jews. His writings are a classic example of mistaking the Shadow Tradition for the Tradition (“Christians have sinned for a long time, therefore sin is part of apostolic Tradition.”) and a strong backhanded endorsement of just why we need a Magisterium to help us distinguish authentic Tradition from the Shadow Tradition.


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