Skip to comments.Catholic Church asks Tom Daschle to stop calling himself a Catholic
Posted on 04/17/2003 9:36:31 AM PDT by SB00
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I'll be damned aye!
I'm not sure why my statement is false in attribution, TQ, since I attributed to no one.
In point of fact, I think my statement is accurate - the majority of the world's Jewish population lived in Catholic Europe before the 1930s and they were very prosperous and successful in a way they were not in Orthodox Russia or Protestant Scandinavia or England.
The Jewish communities of Catholic Poland, Hungary, Vienna and France were particularly numerous - and the incredible beauty and vast extent of Jewish cultural treasures in those lands, even after the devastation of the Holocaust, are still a breathtaking testament to their communal devotion and industry.
But I have a few problems with your post.
You approach is similar to measuring the number of dead people in a morgue by medical bill and concluding that there are only few bodies there.
I never said that the Rhineland pogroms were small - as a percentage of the Rhineland Jewish communities the pogroms were enormous. One of the reasons why the Nazis had to search so far afield for their victims was the fact that there were barely a quarter million Jews living in Weimar Germany - why? Because the Rhineland pogroms, eleven hundred years before, had all but eliminated Germany's Jewish community.
The inquisition could burn a person at the stake for something esoteric as the shape of the Earth, but not for murdering hundreds of Jews --- never once was such thing recorded.
Point of fact: no one was ever burned at the stake for a theory of the earth's shape by Church authority. It is a common belief - but if you look for example at the very first article of St. Thomas Aquinas' Summa (surely, you'll agree, the quintessential document of the Catholic Middle Ages) he assumes in the course of a proof that the world is round.
As for the Inquisition executing people for secular crimes like the murder of citizens, it never happened. No Inquisition court ever sentenced anyone for the murder of Christians either. The Inquisition was a court of canon law. It would be like taking California family court to task for not charging Scott Peterson for the murder of his wife and son. Clearly California criminal court is the venue for such a crime.
it is your argument that is beyond contempt: the Jews were striving because they happen to have physically lived there. So do people in prison. And not all Jews lived in Europe -- only those who remained alive.
The Jews were not "imprisoned" in Europe. Jewish communities chose to live in countries such as France - if the Christian Huguenots could leave France en masse due to persecution, French Jews certainly could have as well. But they chose not to. The Jewish people were certainly imprisoned in Russia's Pale of Settlement by law - but no such legal structure existed in Western Europe.
They indeed strived in Spain: not until XVIII-XIX century did the Jews have centers of learning even comparable to those that they had in Muslim Spain.
I think most observers would argue that Muslim Spain was the most cosmopolitan and lenient Muslim society that existed before this century. How many Jews lived in Turkey, the heart of the Muslim empire, at that time? I can tell you that many Jews (like the great Rashi) lived in the heart of the Catholic power at that time.
If you want to jump to modern history, as late as before WWII, Baghdad was 40% Jewish. No capital of a European country has ever even come close.
The Jewish population of Baghdad before WWII was approximately 150,000. According to the Jewish Virtual Library online, Baghdad was 20% Jewish at the zenith of the Jewish community's strength there.
The Jewish populations of Vienna and Budapest in 1939, the two former capital cities of the Catholic Habsburg empire, were approximately 200,000 apiece, or as high as 12%. Within 300 miles around these cities another 3 million Jews lived. The Jewish community made up 12% of these capitals, and a significant percentage of the surrounding countryside. Jews in prewar Iraq were confined to the ghettoes of Baghdad and were therefore especially concentrated. Jews in prewar Austria were not confined to those two cities.
Among them is that Holocaust happened. Among them is also the fact that the Inquisition persecuted the Jews. For many, and apparently not for you, the degree of self-evidence of these two facts is similar.
The entire point of the Holocaust was to persecute and murder Jews. That was the sum and substance of the ideology that drove it.
The whole point of the Spanish Inquisition was to punish those perceived as collaborators with the Muslim occupation of Andalusia.
The Inquisition used religion and religious violence for political ends and, evilly, many Jews were scapegoated and killed by it. But the point of the Inquisition was not to eradicate Jewish blood from the Spanish gene pool.
Your larger point: namely that I am sick and tired of people equating being a loyal Catholic with being an anti-Semite and that my weariness with this constant slander sometimes pushes me over the edge of civility is true.
I hope you and yours had a peaceful Pesach and I hope that the recent action in Iraq and the increasing pressure on Syria will make the Jewish community worldwide safer from persecution.
It should be quite easy for you to point to one medieval Catholic theologian who wrote a treatise endorsing this position or to specify some historical incident where a Catholic was declared a saint and martyr for murdering Jews.
What do you think my agenda is??
Doing my small part to try to make the world a better place? Relaying my personal experience with Catholicism to as many people as possible to try and help them avoid the unnecessary pain of them or someone they love being entangled with Catholicism.
My wife's family traces their history through the Spanish Inquisition. It happened. Jewish families we forced to become Catholic (or suffer the consequences)
In more recent times, I have seen my brother-in-law's children disowned by their Catholic grandparents because they were not baptized Catholic.
I want as few people as possible to have to suffer the great harm that can and has come to people over the years when their paths cross with Catholicism.