The Light Shineth in Darkness by -Udo Schaefer- 10 Para

footnote: Unlike the Qur'an the Bible does not contain any directions about the treatment of the followers of other revealed religions. With the exception of Judaism which according to Christian understanding is part of the story of the Salvation of Man, all non-Christian religions were looked upon as human usurpation until the twentieth century. The Protestant theologian Karl Barth describes them as "religions of deceit". This attitude affected the way Christians treated members of these religions, especially followers of Judaism and Islam. The Muslims, by their claim to be in possession of a post-Christian revelation, were a particular provocation to Christians. The Jews, who had bloodily persecuted the new Christian community, were themselves persecuted once Christianity became the state religion, on account of their having rejected and killed Christ. Until the nineteenth century it was hardly possible to live as a Muslim under Christian rule and openly profess Islam. With the reconquest of Spain by the Catholics at the end of the fifteenth century Islam was driven out of Spain root and branch. (160:4)

footnote: The persecutions of the Jews from the early Middle Ages until the twentieth century were in no wise attacks from individuals but actions which had their root in the teachings of the Church. St. Justin in the "Dialogue with the Jew Tryphon" calls the Jews terrible people, spiritually ill, idolaters, cunning and sly, unjust, lacking in reason, hard-hearted and devoid of understanding. He maintains that they fornicate, that they are completely wicked, that their wickedness goes beyond all bounds, that all the water of the sea would not suffice to purify them; that they incite other peoples against the Christians and are not only guilty of the wrong which they themselves commit "but also of that done by all other men". St. Cyprian taught the Christians to say the Lord's Prayer against the Jews: "When he says 'Father', the Christian should remember that the Jews do not have God, but the devil as their father". The Father of the Church St. Chrysostom accused the Jews of robbery and stealing, called the synagogue a brothel, a den of cut-throats, a refuge for vile animals, and described the Jews as "pigs and goats". During the whole of the Middle Ages the Jews were suppressed by order of the synods. At the end of the sixth century in Merovengian Franconia, even compulsory baptism, mass deportations and burning down of synagogues became normal. The sixth synod of Toledo ordered in 638 that all Jews living in Spain should be baptized. The Archbishop Agobart of Lyon (d.840), a Catholic saint, already anticipated the ill-famed Nazi slogan "do not buy at any Jew's". The seventeenth synod of Toledo declared in 694 that, because of the abuse of Christ's blood, all Jews were slaves. Their possessions were confiscated, and their children taken away from them as soon as they were seven years old. (161:1)

footnote: In Germany the persecutions of the Jews began with the crusades. "What use is it to seek out the enemies of Christianity in far-away regions, when the blasphemous Jews, who are far worse than the Saracens, are allowed in our midst to abuse Christ and the sacraments", the crusaders argued. Over the centuries it came to banishments, bloody persecutions and burnings alive. (161:2)

footnote: Legal history shows what the Christians thought of non-Christians. The lawyer Doepler posed the question: "When a Christian has sexual intercourse with a Jewess or a Jew with a Christian woman, whether this is also to be considered an act of sodomy and is therefore to be punished by death? He was of the opinion that although the case was different (in nature), the act was still to be looked upon as sodomy. The Dutch scholars De Damhouder and Wielant, too, put the intimate association with Turks, Saracens and Jews on a par with that of dogs or of a dead woman, an act which was punished by the death of the Christian partner as well. (161:3)

footnote: This was the fruit of century-long defamations by the Fathers of the Church and Popes against the Jews who were not willing to be converted. Pope Leo the Great had called them "abominable and detestable", Pope Stephen "dogs", and Innocent III in 1205 called them "slaves accused in the eyes of God". (162:1)

footnote: The Reformation did not bring about any change either, Luther, who believed the Jews to be "worse than a sow" was a raving antisemite who used a language which Julius Streicher's "Stuermer" (a notorious Nazi agitation-paper of anti-semitic character) drew from: "These Jews are such a desperate, utterly wicked and corrupted and bedeviled sort that for these last 1,400 years they have been and still are our torment, pestilence and all our misfortune. 'Suma" they are proper devils". "Here in Wittenberg in our parish church there is a sow carved in stone; under it lie young piglets and Jews, which are sucking; behind the sow stands a rabbi who lifts up the right leg of a sow and with his left hand pulls the tail over himself, he bends down and with eagerness looks under the tail of the sow into the Talmud as if he wanted to read and observe something exact and important... The Germans say of a person who, for no apparent reason, pretends great intelligence: where did he get it from? To talk bluntly, from the backside of a sow". In his essay, "About the Jews and their lies", he wrote: "I want to give a piece of sincere advice. First that their synagogues be set on fire... Second that their houses be pulled down and destroyed, too... Third that all their prayer-booklets be taken away from them... Fourth that their rabbis be forbidden to teach any more at the risk of losing their life. Fifth that freedom of movement and the right to go out in the streets be completely removed from the Jews... Sixth that they be forbidden to practice usury and that all ready money and valuables in gold and silver be taken away from them... Seventh that the young, strong Jews and Jewesses be given axes, picks, shovels and spindles in the hand and be made to earn their bread by the sweat of their noses... But if we fear that they could do us some harm if they have to work and serve us... let us get back from them what they have extorted from us by usury and then drive them out of the land for ever". These are the words of one of the men who had a lasting influence on the way of thinking and the character of the Germans. "What Hitler did, Luther had recommended" is Karl Jasper's opinion. (see book "Light Shineth in Darkness" for list of references). (162:2)

footnote: The persecutions of the Jews by Christians lasted until the nineteenth century and continued in Russia until the twentieth century. Equality of rights in the state came into being only under the influence of the Enlightenment. The Christian anti-semitism of the Middle Ages which had its root in Christian theology was followed in the nineteenth century by the racially-founded philosophy that, in the recent past, with the annihilation of six million Jews, has demonstrated that it is an explosive force which has outlived centuries. (162:3)

footnote: Even during the persecutions of the Jews under Hitler, Protestant Churches in Germany renounced their baptized Jewish members. On 17 December 1941 the bishops and presidents of the Synods of Saxony, Mecklenburg, Schleswig-Holstein, Anhalt, Thueringen and Luebeck published a declaration in which, with reference to Martin Luther, they defined the Jews as the "born enemies of the world and of the empire" and demanded the strictest measures to be taken against them: "Christian baptism will change nothing of the racial character, the national membership and biological nature of the Jew. A German Protestant church has the duty to look after and promote the religious life of fellow Germans. Christians of the Jewish race have no place and no right in it. This is why the undersigned Protestant churches and church leaders have cleared every community of Jewish Christians". (162:4)

As we draw nearer the period of decadence in Islam we find complaints being raised about the treatment of Christians and Jews. In the first few centuries restrictions such as the interdiction against the ringing of church bells or the building of churches higher than the mosque, etc. were temporary occurrences under narrow-minded rulers such as 'Umar Ii or the 'Abbasid Caliph al-Mutawakkil, a "repulsive bigot, who knew well how to reconcile a wine-bibbing drunkard's life, immoderate sensuality and the encouraging of obscene literature with dogmatic orthodoxy". As proselytism and religious hatred began to emerge in Islam, the cause of oppression was mostly to be found in acts of violence by minor governors who, on account of the weakness of the central government, were not punished for their crimes. In connection with this, Becker's statement "that Christian influence was the first to call forth opposition against Christianity" is interesting. Becker is of the opinion that intolerance towards believers of other religions had never been so great in the Christian world as at that time, and that Christianity taught this attitude to Islam. This opinion is shared by the outstanding Islamic scholar Leone Caetani who wrote: "In the initial period the Arabs were not fanatical, but associated in an almost brotherly manner with their Christian Semitic cousins; but, however, after these had rapidly become Muslims too, they brought into the new religion that implacability, that blind hostility against the Byzantine faith in which they had previously left Eastern Christianity to languish." (163:1)

footnote: Tolerance is the fruit of Enlightenment so reviled by the Church. Erhard put the question first in 1604: 'an diversae religiones in bene constituta republica tolerandae. In 1602 the jurist Burckhardt in his work 'De Autonomia' has answered in the negative the question whether "the freedom to choose among the different religions and faiths... should be granted and allowed by the Christian authorities". It was only when the Peace of Westphalia was signed that the various Christian confessions were equally tolerated. Frederick the Great, who was the first monarch to abolish torture from the very beginning of his reign and who, for his act alone, has earned the title "the Great", is the first authoritative representative of a policy of tolerance. From him comes the famous marginal note: "All religions must be tolerated and the state must only watch that none of them injures the other for, in this matter, each one must find salvation in his own way." In his treatise.. he writes: "False religious zeal is a tyrant that depopulates the provinces; tolerance is a loving mother who cares for them and promotes their prosperity." Tolerance has gradually been enforced since 1848. (163:2)

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