Bono on the Song, Jesus Christ

Bono on the Song, Jesus Christ September 30, 2010

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  • Vermont Crank

    British newspapers reported last week that in 2008, an AIDS charity championed by rock god Bono of the band U2 took in the equivalent of $15.5 million from wealthy donors, but distributed only $68,900 to three charities. Executives and employee salaries topped $6.8 million at an average of more than $68,000.

  • MJAndrew

    Did the AIDS charity ask for donations from the sick and the old in the name of Jesus Christ? If not, then the story you mention may be interesting, but it is not relevant to anything that Bono was talking about in this video.

  • David Nickol

    Vermont Crank:

    It seems that ONE is basically a kind of international lobbying group, funded by donors who are also on the board of directors. It does not collect money and distribute it to charities or do on-the-ground charitable work itself.

    Here is a statement from a spokesperson for ONE:

    . . . ONE does not fundraise from the general public, we do not receive any government funding and we do not deliver development projects on the ground.

    We are funded almost entirely by a handful of philanthropists on our board of directors to raise awareness and pressure political leaders to fight extreme poverty through smart and effective policies and programs, like the Global Fund to fight Aids, TB and Malaria, which is saving 4,000 lives a day.

    The whole point of ONE is to combat extreme poverty by raising awareness and changing government policy – it has never been to directly fund charity projects in developing countries, work which is done well by other NGOs. ONE was created by philanthropists to tackle the structural policy issues such as debt, trade, and access to health care and other resources which make it hard to break out of extreme poverty.

    ONE has nearly 120 staff in the US, UK, Germany, Brussels, France, Nigeria and South Africa whose job it is to fight for funding for effective programs like the Global Fund and the US global Aids program PEPFAR. . . .

    Go here for the rest.

  • Nice video, Henry. Love that line about the preachers and the bankers; and, of course, it was us chanting in the crowd “Crucify Him….His blood be upon us and our children.”

  • JH

    I thought it was an interesting take, though of course, there is the other side to the story, found in The Grand Inquisitor, which I think complements this song.

  • Craig

    Fine song and message.
    I am always find it very distracting, however, when Christian lyrics are put to an already well-known song. With this one, I couldn’t shake Shane MacGowan’s rendition of “Jesse James” (a combination of names which some may consider, um, less than edifying for the faithful) and had a hard time taking it seriously. But maybe Guthrie’s intention was that listeners be aware of this appropriation/substitution which recasts Jesus as a folk hero. Who knows.

  • Vermont Crank

    The singer admitted last week to being “stung” by accusations of hypocrisy for moving part of U2’s business out of Ireland to take advantage of lower tax rates, while urging first-world governments, including Ireland, to increase aid to combat poverty.

    Bono is the rich man and the Irish poor are Lazarus.

    Rock Stars are idolised even though they are world-class hypocrites but the real news story wil be when they write songs and speak about their own UnChristian actions.

    I’m waiting for the Rock Opera, “Mea Culpa.”

    Ought I hold my breath?

    John Henry. Unless you are a Jew and speaking collectively for them, “we” were not yelling; “And the whole people answering, said: His blood be upon us and our children.”

    That was The Jews. It is in all the Bibles 🙂

  • David Nickol

    . . . . and, of course, it was us chanting in the crowd “Crucify Him….His blood be upon us and our children.”

    John Henry,

    I don’t think that is what Matthew meant when he wrote, “And the whole people said in reply, “His blood be upon us and upon our children” (27:25). All of my commentaries point the verse does not say “the crowd” but “the whole people,” and that this refers to the Nation of Israel.”

    John 1:11: “He came to what was his own, but his own people did not accept him. ” His own people were the Israelites.

    Of course the official Catholic position is that this is not to be taken as applying to all the Jews of the time and/or the Jews of today.

    I take Bono and Guthrie to be saying not that we all “laid Jesus in his grave,” but that the rich did — the bankers and the (corrupt) preachers.

    When Jesus came to town all the working folks around
    Believed what he did say
    Well the bankers and the preachers
    They nailed him on a cross
    For they layed Jesus Christ in his grave

    The working folks are the good guys. The rich folks are the bad guys.

  • David Nickol

    Vermont Crank:

    I have always found this amusing: “Sarojini Naidu once told Gandhi that he did not know how much it cost the country to keep him in poverty. Apparently Gandhi knew, and he too the remark in good humour.”

    Bono is in an impossible position being an international rock star and an advocate for the poor and disadvantaged. It is difficult or impossible to be fully both at the same time, but his effectiveness as an advocate depends very much on his status as a star.

    Of course there are people who claim the pope should sell all the treasures of the Vatican and use them to take care of the sick and the poor. I think almost everyone dismisses that out of hand.

    I confess there is something about Bono that makes me want to find fault with him . . . or maybe there is something about me that makes me want to find fault with Bono. I think it is a case where “metacognition” — thinking about ones own thinking — should be applied.

  • Rodak

    “We” is everybody other than “Him.” If not, the religion is a scam.

  • David Nickol

    “We” is everybody other than “Him.” If not, the religion is a scam.


    As I have already argued, I think Vermont Crank — whom I think I fundamentally disagree with on every other matter — is correct about Matthew 27:25. It might be argued in some sense that we are all responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus, but that is definitely not what Matthew was saying in this verse.

    The New American Bible says:

    The whole people: Matthew sees in those who speak these words the entire people (Greek laos) of Israel. His blood . . . and upon our children: cf Jeremiah 26:15. The responsibility for Jesus’ death is accepted by the nation that was God’s special possession (Exodus 19:5), his own people (Hosea 2:23), and they thereby lose that high privilege; see Matthew 21:43 and the note on that verse. The controversy between Matthew’s church and Pharisaic Judaism about which was the true people of God is reflected here. As the Second Vatican Council has pointed out, guilt for Jesus’ death is not attributable to all the Jews of his time or to any Jews of later times.

    Also, I don’t think it is correct to interpret “Jesus died for our sins” to mean that we killed him or wanted him killed.

  • Vermont Crank

    Bono is in an impossible position being an international rock star and an advocate for the poor and disadvantaged.

    No he isn’t. But he did take actions to avoid taxes. He is sort of the rock version of the liberal John Kerry and his yacht.

    Of course there are people who claim the pope should sell all the treasures of the Vatican and use them to take care of the sick and the poor.

    Those are not the Pope’s possessions. What Bono has is.

    Hey, maybe if the Pope moved the Vatican to the Isle of Man…

  • Vermont Crank

    Catena Aurea on Matthew 25:27 –

    JEROME; Pilate took water in accordance with that, I will wash my hands in innocency, in a manner testifying and saying, I indeed have sought to deliver this innocent man, but since a tumult is rising, and the charge of treason to Caesar is urged against me, I am innocent of the blood of this just man. The judge then who is thus compelled to give sentence against the Lord, does not convict the accused, but the accusers, pronouncing innocent Him who is to be crucified. See you to it, as though he had said, I am the law’s minister, it is your voice that has shed this blood. Then answered all the people and said, His blood be on us and on our children. This imprecation rests at the present day upon the Jews, the Lord’s blood is not removed from them.

    CHRYS. Observe here the infatuation of the Jews; their headlong haste, and destructive passions will not let them see what they ought to see, and they curse themselves, saying, His blood be upon us, and even entail the curse upon their children. Yet a merciful God did not ratify this sentence, but accepted such of them and of their children as repented; for Paul was of them, and many thousands of those who in Jerusalem believed.

    Matthew was not writing about Eskimoes, Algonquins, Irish, Spanish, Brasilians, Japanese or Norwegians. He was writing about Jews living in the City of Deicide.

  • David Nickol

    This imprecation rests at the present day upon the Jews, the Lord’s blood is not removed from them.

    Vermont Crank,

    I agree completely that “the whole people” refers to the nation of Israel. However, the above sentence is the opposite of official Catholic teaching.

    From Nostra Aetate: “True, the Jewish authorities and those who followed their lead pressed for the death of Christ; still, what happened in His passion cannot be charged against all the Jews, without distinction, then alive, nor against the Jews of today.”

  • Vermont Crank

    It wasn’t at the time the commentary was written; of course

  • Gerald Naus

    The notion of collective/ancestral guilt was rejected by Jesus, think of the story of the blind man, he rejected that his parents were to blame. The hostility towards other Jews – bear in mind, early followers of Jesus were Jews – stems for ensuing conflict and banishment from synagogues. In addition, the friendly portrait of Pontius Pilatus reflects an attempt to “cozy up” to the Imperium, an effort that paid off eventually. The hatred towards Jews throughout Christendom’s history – with no scorn for the Romans ho actually killed him – is absurd. It’d make more sense to forever blame Romans – but with the Church becoming Roman that finger would have pointed right back. Collective blame/guilt is immoral – “the Jews” is a bad start to any sentence. Only “The Jew” is worse. (a common way of talking not that long ago – used for nations as well – “the Frenchman” etc).

    Jesus himself said “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” – this certainly applies to Romans and Jews involved in the trial and execution.

    As far As Bono is concerned, He used to be in some Evangelical group
    called Shalom. His parents were Catholic and Anglican. Now he seems to
    be Christian in somewhat abstract manner.

  • Gerald Naus

    Henry, since we’re at it, this from Jewish Buddhist Leonard Cohen:
    And Jesus was a sailor
    When he walked upon the water
    And he spent a long time watching
    From his lonely wooden tower
    And when he knew for certain
    Only drowning men could see him
    He said “All men will be sailors then
    Until the sea shall free them”
    But he himself was broken
    Long before the sky would open
    Forsaken, almost human
    He sank beneath your wisdom like a stone

    And lapsed Catholic Bruce Springsteen:
    Jesus was an only son
    As he walked up Calvary Hill
    His mother Mary walking beside him
    In the path where his blood spilled
    Jesus was an only son
    In the hills of Nazareth
    As he lay reading the Psalms of David
    At his mother’s feet

    A mother prays, “Sleep tight, my child, sleep well
    For I’ll be at your side
    That no shadow, no darkness, no tolling bell,
    Shall pierce your dreams this night.”

    In the garden at Gethsemane
    He prayed for the life he’d never live,
    He beseeched his Heavenly Father to remove
    The cup of death from his lips

    Now there’s a loss that can never be replaced,
    A destination that can never be reached,
    A light you’ll never find in another’s face,
    A sea whose distance cannot be breached

    Well Jesus kissed his mother’s hands
    Whispered, “Mother, still your tears,
    For remember the soul of the universe
    Willed a world and it appeared.”

  • D. Nickol,

    I apologize for being clear. As I thought would be obvious in this forum, I was referring to the Catholic liturgies during the Triduum in which the congregation takes on the parts of the crowd in demanding Christ’s crucifixion, and the succeeding lines. Whether Matthew intended that interpretation is irrelevant to the point I was making. First, because Scripture is generally not most profitably read with only the intention of the original human author in mind. There is an extensive tradition in the Church of reading passages with multiple layers of meaning that could not have been intended by the author – witness for instance many of the Early Church Father’s meditations on Scripture. The modern habit of insisting that the intention of the original human author is a sine qua non for valid theological reflection is simply that.

    Moreover, the theological point – attested to by countless saints over the centuries – is that we all are complicit in Christ’s death insofar as we have all sinned. See, for instance, St. Alphonsus Ligori’s famous meditations on the Stations of the cross:

    Consider, that Jesus, after having been scourged and crowned with thorns, was unjustly condemned by Pilate to die on the cross. My adorable Jesus, it was not Pilate, no, it was my sins, that condemned Thee to die.

    And certainly Catholics believe that we all receive His blood which is shared with us throughout the generations. I am not making any ground-breaking claims. These are all common-place and traditional elements of Catholic piety and theological reflection.

  • Ha. The first sentence should (of course) read: I apologize for being unclear.

  • I thought the Church had repented of its institutional anti-Semitism. I stand corrected.

  • Gerald Naus

    Rodak, it’s a strange phenomenon indeed. Some people forget Jesus and all of his early followers were Jews. Through a catholic lens, those people were converts. Yet in the Spain of the Inquisition “conversos” still weren’t trusted. So is it ethnic or religious ? If it’s ethnic, such Christians hate their own deity. Nazis understood it properly – referring to the Christian “Jew God.” it’s safe to say that anyone harping on “the Jews” killing Jesus hates Jews. Even that doesn’t make sense because a Christian basically needs Jesus’ death so in a way even an anti-Semite should conclude that “they” did him a “favor.”

    John XXIII., who personally saved countless Jews, approached a rabbi by saying “I am Joseph (Giuseppe Roncalli being his name) your
    brother.” It seems that many a staunch Catholic identifies more with Pius IX. who had a Jewish boy kidnapped and raised him Catholic.

  • David Nickol

    I am not making any ground-breaking claims. These are all common-place and traditional elements of Catholic piety and theological reflection.

    John Henry,

    I think I owe you an apology for responding to your statement, made in one “mode,” with a statement of my own in a very different “mode.” (I can’t think of exactly the right word, so “mode” will have to do.) You were speaking in terms of “traditional elements of Catholic piety and theological reflection,” and I was speaking in terms of the literal meaning of a phrase in the Gospels. I assume we can agree that in beginning to understand and interpret the Gospels, the first step is to understand the literal meaning of the words and the evangelists’ intended meanings of each particular passage. But certainly from a Catholic point of view, that is only the beginning.

  • David Nickol

    I thought the Church had repented of its institutional anti-Semitism. I stand corrected.

    Rodak, it’s a strange phenomenon indeed.

    Rodak and Gerald,

    The Catholic Church has, of course, renounced anti-Semitism, but that does not mean that difficult passages in the Gospels have vanished or can be easily explained away. When Matthew wrote “And the whole people said in reply, ‘His blood be upon us and upon our children,'” he evidently meant “the Jewish people” or “the Nation of Israel.” That needs to be dealt with. When John says “He came to what was his own, but his own people did not accept him” I don’t see any other way to interpret it other than Jesus came to the Jews and the Jews did not accept him. All of Christianity is built on the premise that Jesus was the Jewish Messiah and the Jews failed to recognize him and still do.

    Some people forget Jesus and all of his early followers were Jews.

    This is true. To hear some people talk, not only was Jesus a Catholic, but his first-century followers went to Sunday Mass, had weddings presided over by priests, went to confession, and so on.

    However, one might point out that Luther, Henry VIII, and other major figures in the Protestant Reformation were Catholics, and yet their followers did not see anything strange in turning against Catholicism. Several things that I have read suggest that it might make more sense to characterize what we might call anti-Semitism in the Gospels as anti-Judaism. Jesus and the apostles, although they were Jews themselves, did begin a movement that broke away from Judaism.

    Regarding the passage in Matthew, I have come across what appears to be an increasingly accepted interpretation that Matthew’s “all the people” referred to the Jews who opposed Jesus, and the curse they brought upon themselves was not to be forever branded as “Christ killers,” but rather the destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D., which was, for Matthew, an event that had already taken place. In other words, the curse was upon them and their children, literally, not them and their descendants for the rest of time.

  • D. Nickol,

    We are in agreement. Thanks for the characteristically thoughtful and irenic response.

  • Vermont Crank

    The Catholic Church has, of course, renounced anti-Semitism,

    Prove it.

    Because The Catholic Church never was antisemtiic it never renounced it any more than The Catholic Church renounced bestiality.

  • David Nickol

    Because The Catholic Church never was antisemtiic . . . .

    Oh, no. Never!

    From Gigot, Francis. “Judaism.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 8. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. 4 Oct. 2010 .

    Church legislation against Jewish holding of Christian slaves can be easily understood: as members of Christ, the children of the Church should evidently not be subjected to the power of His enemies, and thereby incur a special danger for their faith; but more particularly, as stated by a recent Jewish writer:

    “There was good reason for the solicitude of the Church and for its desire to prevent Jews from retaining Christian slaves in their houses. The Talmud and all later Jewish codes forbade a Jew from retaining in his home a slave who was uncircumcised” (Abrahams, “Jewish Life in the Middle Ages”).

    The obligation of wearing a distinguishing badge was of course obnoxious to the Jews. At the same time, Church authorities deemed its injunction necessary to prevent effectively moral offences between Jews and Christian women. The decrees forbidding the Jews from appearing in public at Eastertide may be justified on the ground that some of them mocked at the Christian processions at that time; those against baptized Jews retaining distinctly Jewish customs find their ready explanation in the necessity for the Church to maintain the purity of the Faith in its members, while those forbidding the Jews from molesting converts to Christianity are no less naturally explained by the desire of doing away with a manifest obstacle to future conversions.

    It was for the laudable reason of protecting social morality and securing the maintenance of the Christian Faith, that canonical decrees were framed and repeatedly enforced against free and constant intercourse between Christians and Jews, against, for instance, bathing, living, etc., with Jews. To some extent, likewise, these were the reasons for the institution of the Ghetto or confinement of the Jews to a special quarter, for the prohibition of the Jews from exercising medicine, or other professions. The inhibition of intermarriage between Jews and Christians, which is yet in vigour, is clearly justified by reason of the obvious danger for the faith of the Christian party and for the spiritual welfare of the children born of such alliances. With regard to the special legislation against printing, circulating, etc., the Talmud, there was the particular grievance that the Talmud contained at the time scurrilous attacks upon Jesus and the Christians (cf. Pick, “The Personality of Jesus in the Talmud” in the “Monist”, Jan., 1910), and the permanent reason that

    “that extraordinary compilation, with much that is grave and noble, contains also so many puerilities, immoral precepts, and anti-social maxims, that Christian courts may well have deemed it right to resort to stringent measures to prevent Christians from being seduced into adhesion to a system so preposterous” (Catholic Dictionary, 484).

  • Vermont Crank

    Mr. Nickoll. Of course the Catholic Church is anti-Jew. It is not suicidal. And one only has to read the Gospel of the Catholic Jew St John to see that.

    The Catholic Church is not antisemitic and that is easily illustrated by the reality that St John was a Jew.

    (So was Jesus it is rumored).

    But, any Jew who converted to the true Faith, Catholicism, did not have to wear such clothing which means that the problem with The Jews is not one of race but of their rejection of Jesus.

    Don’t let the label antisemitic fool or scare you as it does so many others.

    As Joe Sobran wisely observed: Not long ago the only label more lethal to one’s reputation was that of child molester, but, as many men of the cloth are now discovering, there is this difference: a child molester may hope for a second chance.

    There is also another difference. We have a pretty clear idea what child molestation is. Nobody really knows what “anti-Semitism” is. My old boss Bill Buckley wrote an entire book called In Search of Anti- Semitism without bothering to define anti- Semitism.

    At the time I thought this was an oversight. I was wrong. The word would lose its utility if it were defined. As I observed in my own small contribution to the book, an anti-Semite used to mean a man who hated Jews. Now it means a man who is hated by Jews.

    • No, the Church is not anti-Jew. If it were, it would be anti-Christ, who is, as you said, a Jew.

  • David Nickol

    But, any Jew who converted to the true Faith, Catholicism, did not have to wear such clothing which means that the problem with The Jews is not one of race but of their rejection of Jesus.

    Vermont Crank,

    Read up on the conversos.

  • David Nickol

    It is hard for me to see how denying the existence of anti-Semitism doesn’t make one an anti-Semite.

  • Vermont Crank

    Mr. Karlson. A Jew is defined not by race or ethnicity but by his rejection of Jesus.

    As far as I know, Jesus did not reject Himself as The Messiah 🙂

    Yours is a popular confusion. You conflate race and religion.

    A Jew is one who rejects Jesus the Christ.

    Apocalypse (written by the Catholic Jew, John) I know thy tribulation and thy poverty, but thou art rich: and thou art blasphemed by them that say they are Jews and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.

    A Jew who accepts Jesus becomes a Christian and ceases being a Jew.

    Jacob Neusner: “….Jews who practice Christianity cease to be a part of the ethnic Jewish community, while those (Jews) who practice Buddhism remain within.”

    The Case of Brother Daniel

    The impetus for conversion clause was 1962 Supreme Court case of Rufeisen v. Ministry of the Interior. Oswald Rufeisen was born Jewish, belonged to the Zionist youth movement and persecuted as a Jew during the Nazi era. During the war, he was able to obtain a certificate as a German Christian and worked as a translator for the Nazis. Rufeisen used his access to vital information in order to warn Jews of specific German plans. He even supplied the Jews within his reach with arms. Once discovered, Rufeisen was imprisoned yet managed to escape and took refuge in a convent where he converted to Catholicism. Not one to shy from battle, Rufeisen joined the Russian partisans. After the war Rufeisen became a member of the Carmelite order and was ordained as a priest, taking the name Brother Daniel.

    Of course the Carmelite order was not chosen by chance. Brother Daniel knew that it would eventually allow him to live his life as a Christian monk at the Carmelite monastery in Israel (thereby fulfilling his dream as both a nationally-identified Jew and a religiously-identified Christian.) Yet the Interior Ministry in Israel, while sympathetic to his life story, refused to grant him the status of a Jew and allow him to become a naturalized citizen. In his petitions, brother Daniel declared himself a member of the Jewish nation, by birth, history and self-consciousness.

    Eventually, in 1962 his case was taken up by the Israeli Supreme Court. The court, which ruled (not unanimously) in favor of the government, argued that by converting to Christianity and by remaining a Christian, Brother Daniel had broken his historic ties to the Jewish people. Basing their argument on a common usage and understanding of the word “Jew”, the court stated:

    “Insofar as the above-mentioned Law of Return is an Israeli law and not a law in translation, it is common sense to interpret the use of the term Jewish as we, the Jews understand the meaning and substance of the concept Jew. In the light of the usual Jewish significance of the noun Jew, a Jew who has converted to Christianity is not known as Jewish. Therefore, the applicant, despite his many qualities and the sincere love he holds for Jews, which he has proved, cannot define himself as Jewish.”

    In its decision, the Supreme Court also articulated its position vis a vis Jewish law:

    Clearly the term ‘Jew’ as used in the Law of Return (1950) does not have the same meaning as it does in the Rabbinical Court’s Jurisdiction (Marriage and Divorce) Law (1953). The latter is religious in meaning, as prescribed by the laws of Judaism; the former is secular in meaning, in accordance with its ordinary meaning when used in popular language by Jews. (Israeli Supreme Court Decision 76/62, Osvald Rufeisen v. Ministry of the Interior (1962) 14 P.D. 2428).

    However, as stated above, the decision was not unanimous. Justice Haim Cohen dissented, stating: “A Jew is somebody who believes bona fida that he is a Jew”.

    “History is one thing: continuity is another since it implies evolution. The latest and greatest historic change for the Jewish people – the creation of the State – implies an evolution of the people’s values and definitions. The Law of Return itself includes not objective criteria for deciding whom to register as Jewish with all the accompanying rights, so we must assume it intended the criteria to be subjective, namely a declaration in good faith, such as presented by Rufeisen. This is the limit of its mandate; no exclusions can be accepted for they do not exist within the Law itself; religious considerations or affiliations are irrelevant.”

    In the end, brother Daniel was naturalized but his nationality was left blank. He spent the rest of his life in Israel.

    The Jews themselves hold that a man ceases to be a Jew when he accepts Jesus as The Messiah so it is obvious that who is and isn’t a Jew is a matter of religion not race.

    • No, being a Jew is not defined by rejecting Christ. St Edith Stein always saw herself as a Jew, and indeed, her Jewish brothers and sisters saw her death as being because she remained a Jew (despite being a Christian).

  • Vermont Crank

    Mr. Nickol.

    Spain was then ruled by Canon Law which did not apply to Jews.

    With all due respect, I do not think you know what you are talking about.

    The Inquisition was not directed against Jews qua Jews but those who pretended to be Christians for a variety of self-interested reasons.

    Give it a rest with the antisemitic smears.

    Unless you can cite a single statement from a Pope or an Ecumenical Council or a Catechism condemning all semites as evil or chosen for damnation by God you really are only blackening your reputation while The Catholic Church appears totally innocent of your baseless and hateful charges.

  • Vermont Crank

    Mr Karlson. That a Jew ceases to be a Jew when he rejects Jesus is confirmed by the citations I posted.

    It is also very apparent in the Gospel of St John when Jews who accept Jesus fear admitting that because that would get them tossed-out of the Synagogue because they would no longer be considered Jews.

    And Jesus rebuffs the idea of Jews as merely a racial or ethnic idea in John 8.

    Jews who accept Jesus will be called Christians while those who reject Him will be called Jews.

    That is, it is clear that being a Jew is not a matter of race or ethnicity because The Jews themselves tell us one who was born a Jew ceases to be considered a Jew if he converts to Catholicism while a Jew who converts to Buddhism remains a Jew.

    • No, it is not confirmed, as per the example of St Edith Stein (and we could also include the testimonies of many other Jews who became Christian and yet saw themselves as Jews, such as the late Cardinal from Paris). The Jews recognize St Edith as a Jew, and yet she did not reject Christ — far from it.

  • Vermont Crank

    Mr. Karlson. Chesterton observed that a thing can be ignored if it is big enough.

    One such thing is the reality that if a Jew accepts Christ he is no longer considered a Jew by other Jews as that idea is clearly developed in the Gospel of St John.

    Why would Jews who accepted Jesus be cast out of the Synagogue and no longer considered Jews if that were not the case?

    Why would the Catholic Jew, St. John, write about Fear of The Jews if that were not the case?

    Do you think that Fear of The Jews refers to racial or ethnic Jews fearing other racial or ethnic Jews?

    Come on…It is clear that when it comes to matters about Jews the crucial question is not about race or ethnicity but about religion/belief which is why (John 8) Jesus tells the Jews who reject Him that they are not the sons of Abraham but sons of the devil.

    Focusing on race has been condemned by The Catholic Church but that is what you are doing, Mr. Karlson.

    In any event, thanks for the exchange but it is obvious to me that my views of what constitutes Catholicism is so far from the ideas of what constitutes Catholicism at this site that it makes no sense for me to hang around here.

    For those who are interested in seeing documented what I have written are encouraged to read “The Jewish Revolutionary Spirit…” by E. Michael Jones and quit the racialism.

    Jesus-Deniers have led Catholics around by the nose for far too long. It is time to wake-up and smell the incense.

    The Jews revere The Talmud more than The Pentateuch and The Talmud teaches that Jesus is the bastard child of the whore Mary and a Roman soldier and that Jesus is now in Hell submerged in boiling excrement and yet we have, continually, the spectacle of Catholic tripping all over each other in the race to be the first Christian to condemn another for antisemitism.

    This may be helpful to some who remain ignorant that the question of who is or isn’t a Jew is a question about religion not race or ethnicity.,%20Jewish%20Religion:

    I doubt there are 8 men in America who even known that the majority of Jews in Israel are not even semites.

    They are Khazars.

    Oh well, as Abe Lincoln used to say, “Cest la vie”


    • St Paul called himself a Jew, even when he accepted Christ. He didn’t stop being a Jew because of his acceptance of the Christian faith. And, as I pointed out, Jews do not act like you say they do. They accept Jews such as St Edith Stein as being Jews. I am not ignorant of the subject at all, which is why I have consistently pointed out examples which prove your argument to be false. The fact that some people think what you say is true does not prove what you say is true — again, the proof is in what Jews themselves say.

      The Jews see her death as that of a Jew.

  • WJ

    Also, Vermont Crank’s simplification of the status and meaning of the phrase “the Jews” in John is quaint.

  • David Nickol

    Also, Vermont Crank’s simplification of the status and meaning of the phrase “the Jews” in John is quaint.


    I think it is important to note, though, that much of what Vermont Crank says would not have been considered wrong or offensive by Catholics of previous eras. St. Jerome did indeed say

    Then answered all the people and said, His blood be on us and on our children. This imprecation rests at the present day upon the Jews, the Lord’s blood is not removed from them.

    And Thomas Aquinas considered this worthy of being in Catena Aurea.

    Aquinas did say, “[T]he Jews by reason of their fault are sentenced to perpetual servitude and thus the lords of the lands in which they dwell may take things from them as though they were their own . . . . ”

    So it is a vast oversimplification to say that the Church is not, or could not have been, anti-Semitic because Jesus was a Jew. Of course, then you get into the question of what “the Church” is, and arguments that no matter what Jerome, Aquinas, or any other eminent member of the Church said, the Church is an entity that by its own definition of itself cannot teach error, so anything now deemed to be wrong that was said on behalf of the Church was not said by the Church.

    In any case, Jerome and Aquinas by today’s standards look a lot like anti-Semites. And Vermont Crank would fit right in as a faithful Catholic if he travelled back in time a few hundred years.