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Martin Luther: Definitely Not a Jew - The Protestant Reformation and Anti-Semitism
Tablet Magazine ^ | October 31, 2017 | Verónica Zaragovia

Posted on 08/11/2018 11:26:52 AM PDT by CondoleezzaProtege

On Oct. 31, 1517, Luther nailed a copy of his 95 Theses to the wooden doors of the Castle Church in Wittenberg. In his theses, Luther criticized the pope and Catholic Church practices like the selling of indulgences for redemption.

But Luther wrote more than just the 95 Theses. He’s also the author of a corpus of virulent anti-Jewish writings. Over the next 30 years, as Protestantism took root, Luther evolved from being tolerant of Jews, hopeful they could become good Christians, to being disgusted with them. He described Jews as blasphemous, contaminators and murderers who should be expelled by Protestant authorities.

In the book The Jews and Their Lies, Martin Luther writes that the Jews are a serpent’s brood, and one should burn down their synagogues and destroy them…”

Others ask whether this is an anachronistic reading of history. Luther certainly was not the only one of his time to bash Jews. Plus, Luther also attacked Turks, Islam, and the papacy.

“This is precisely the opportunity to ask those kinds of questions,” said Dean Bell, professor of history at Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership in Chicago.

Luther didn’t start off writing so spitefully of Jews. In 1523 he wrote the essay “That Jesus Christ Was Born a Jew,” hopeful that Jews would see the ties between the Old Testament and Jesus’ doctrines...

About 20 years later, though, he had lost sympathy. “Even now they cannot give up their inane raving boast that they are the chosen people of God, after they have been dispersed and rejected for 1,500 years!”

In 2015, the German Protestant Church expressed official guilt over Luther’s Jew hate.

(Excerpt) Read more at tabletmag.com ...


TOPICS: History; Religion
KEYWORDS: antisemitism; christendom; christianity; germany; jewish; luther; martinluther; protestant; reformation
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When confronted about this question, some people pull the "mental illness" card. That Martin Luther was not rational when he made these statements. Given Germany's trajectory in the modern age, I don't think that explanation will suffice. The sins of the Catholic church are constantly touted in discourse, but Germany was the leading Protestant country in Europe. And so, the dark side of the Reformation needs some serious examination - especially in relation to the Holocaust and its intellectual origins -- which took root long before the 20th Century.

“The horror at such historical and theological aberrations and the awareness of our share of guilt in the continued suffering of Jews give rise to a special responsibility to resist and oppose all forms of enmity and inhumanity towards Jews today." - 2015 Statement of The German Protestant Church

1 posted on 08/11/2018 11:26:52 AM PDT by CondoleezzaProtege
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To: CondoleezzaProtege

Was he wrong about selling indulgences? About the corruption of the church? Henry Ford was also an anti-Semite yet one of his vehicles sits in my driveway, although I cannot drive it anymore. We can separate the man from the movement.


2 posted on 08/11/2018 11:32:36 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (You cannot invade the mainland US. There'd be a rifle behind every blade of grass.)
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To: CondoleezzaProtege

He probably based his hatred on fake news of his day.


3 posted on 08/11/2018 11:36:34 AM PDT by buffyt (So donÂ’t unborn babies also have the Spark of Divinity????????)
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To: CondoleezzaProtege

>>And so, the dark side of the Reformation needs some serious examination

And what is the result of your serious examination?


4 posted on 08/11/2018 11:37:47 AM PDT by Bryanw92 (Asking a pro athlete for political advice is like asking a cavalry horse for tactical advice.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

ML thought that, after he ‘purified’ the Church, Jews would see the error of their ways and sign up en masse. When they didn’t, he threw a tantrum. He certainly had many valid points about Church corruption, and those points did ultimately lead to internal reform at the Council of Trent. At the same time, his writings show that he was not a saintly person. He definitely had a mean, vulgar streak.


5 posted on 08/11/2018 11:41:21 AM PDT by irishjuggler
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To: irishjuggler
What kind of meat did Martin Luther eat on Friday?

Nun.

6 posted on 08/11/2018 11:52:42 AM PDT by fhayek
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To: CondoleezzaProtege

There is no excusing Luther’s hateful anti-Jewish pamphlet. That never figured in Lutheran or Protestant thought. It was actually something that was censored and not widely published until the Nazis discovered it. Then it was hailed as how a “German Christian” should think. The left paints Naziism as some sort of hyper Christianity. Actually, Naziism was a weird mixture of socialism, nationalism, paganism and racism, with a lot of pseudo-scientific nonsense thrown in.


7 posted on 08/11/2018 11:53:30 AM PDT by Wilhelm Tell (True or False? This is not a tag line.)
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To: CondoleezzaProtege
Antisemitism was widespread throughout Europe. The Roman Catholic church was first and foremost in this regard. Luther being a Roman Catholic priest would know this well and no doubt it influenced him. Until lately antisemitism was institutionalized in the Roman Catholic church. Their Good Friday liturgy until very recently was inherently antisemitic. And of course the Spanish Inquistion, which began in 1478, ran continuously until 1834.

Christian history is terribly mottled with mistreatment of the Jews. But of course at one time or other every nonconforming group received some rough treatment from the Roman Catholic church.

The fact that the Holocaust could have been promulgated by those claiming to be Christians still sends shivers up my spine. It's not unlike abortion today, where major Christian denominations not only turn there backs, but even advocate for it. The Roman church is no exception, where the honchos give scant lip service to combating this evil, but allow the the Pelosis, and Tim Kaines and Kennedys to worship and commune freely without fear of rebuke.
 

8 posted on 08/11/2018 12:04:37 PM PDT by Governor Dinwiddie ("Nature, Mr. Allnut, is what we are put in this world to rise above.")
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To: irishjuggler
He definitely had a mean, vulgar streak.

Luther was similar in that to his antithesis - Albrecht of Mainz - but without the latter's misogyny. The Germans of those days were way past "earthy."

9 posted on 08/11/2018 12:07:32 PM PDT by niteowl77
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To: CondoleezzaProtege

Then again, such sentiments were probably not uncommon in the “Christian” Germany and Europe in general of his day.


10 posted on 08/11/2018 12:16:52 PM PDT by Jacob Kell
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To: CondoleezzaProtege

The Nazi Party attracted people who were anti-Christian or indifferent or who vaguely identified with the nationalistic aspects of a cultural Christianity. These were not a “church” type of people who read a lot of theology and the Bible and could arhue the fine points of Reformation theology. And for every Nazi leader you could name who grew up in a Protestant family, you could probably find one who grew up in a Catholic family. And there were allied fascist movements, that were bad but not centered on racism, in Catholic countries.


11 posted on 08/11/2018 12:17:13 PM PDT by Wilhelm Tell (True or False? This is not a tag line.)
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Comment #12 Removed by Moderator

To: CondoleezzaProtege
In 2015, the German Protestant Church expressed official guilt over Luther’s Jew hate.

The German Protestant Church will express guilt over pretty much anything these days. You name it, they'll express guilt. They seem to gleefully wallow in guilt. They're just plain NUTS!

Making up links to what Luther said or wrote 600(!) years ago is just as nuts.

13 posted on 08/11/2018 12:27:18 PM PDT by Moltke (Reasoning with a liberal is like watering a rock in the hope to grow a building.)
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To: Greetings_Puny_Humans

So according to your reading of Talmud (or the Cliff Notes), Luther had good reason for being an anti-semite?


14 posted on 08/11/2018 12:35:37 PM PDT by miss marmelstein
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To: miss marmelstein
So according to your reading of Talmud (or the Cliff Notes), Luther had good reason for being an anti-semite?

Luther had a good reason to hate the Jewish religion. He quoted favorably from Jewish converts in the book. Orthodox Jews typically take any criticism of their religion as proof of insane hatred against all Jews. And they tend to blame their own misbehavior, even when the misbehavior is commanded by their Rabbis in the Talmud, on the paranoia and unexplained anti-semitism of the Gentiles.


15 posted on 08/11/2018 12:41:43 PM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans (I mostly come out at night... mostly.)
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To: Greetings_Puny_Humans

So we’ll write off a major religion (and its people?) because of some fantastical parts of Talmud and a few dunderheads in Israel. Got it.


16 posted on 08/11/2018 12:46:06 PM PDT by miss marmelstein
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To: CondoleezzaProtege

Read the OT. the LORD outdid anything Luther set his pen to. The steadfast love of the LORD is the star of the story of the Jews. GOD was faithful in spite of their endless rebellion.

And He is faithful in spite of ours!


17 posted on 08/11/2018 12:47:40 PM PDT by avenir ("But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine."--Paul to Titus)
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To: CondoleezzaProtege

Veronica Zaragovia : “According to LEGEND, on Oct 31,1517 Luther a copy of his 95 thesis ...”
History much?


18 posted on 08/11/2018 12:53:09 PM PDT by A strike (Academia is almost as racist as Madison Avenue.)
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To: miss marmelstein
So we’ll write off a major religion (and its people?)

lol You're the one reading these criticisms of Judaism and connecting it to the eradication of a people. But if we wrote off Judaism, and even pressed a button that somehow made it cease to exist, this would be a very good thing for Jews.

19 posted on 08/11/2018 12:54:13 PM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans (I mostly come out at night... mostly.)
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To: Greetings_Puny_Humans

Apparently, you are writing them off. Which just goes to confirm some suspicions I have long held here...


20 posted on 08/11/2018 12:56:01 PM PDT by miss marmelstein
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