08 January, 2009

Two steps back...

I was appalled this afternoon when I read the following headline:

Protester Calls for Jews to 'Go Back to the Oven' at Anti-Israel Demonstration

Had this been news reported directly from the Middle East, maybe...just maybe I would have almost expected it. It didn't come from the Middle East, though, it came from the land of tolerance - the US of A! There have been more protests like this elsewhere in the US, but the headline focused on the melee that had taken place in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. What makes today's skirmish unique is that the anti-Semitic rhetoric was taken to a dangerous low with the calls for the extermination of Israel.

Video of this atrocity caught one particular protester say: "Go back to the oven," she shouted, calling for the counter-protesters to die in the manner that the Nazis used to exterminate Jews during the Holocaust. "You need a big oven, that's what you need," she yelled.

What's remarkable about this is that had someone been screaming derogatory threats against a Muslim or homosexual, they would have been arrested for hate speech. It bothers me that tolerance is only tolerable when it doesn't include Israel or Christians.

I'm not condoning the violence currently taking place in Gaza on either side. Innocent people are being killed in the continuation of a battle for land that has been fought over for millenia. I think a more civilized method needs to be discovered. Then again, when people oppose something it usually ends up less than civilized. I wonder...

~ Rob


Amy said...

Indeed! "Go back to the oven" has got to be the most uncivilized thing ever uttered.

Spiritual warfare is alive and well. Tolerance doesn't apply to Jews and Christians because the devil doesn't want it to.

As Christians, how do we respond in love to hate speech against ourselves or Jews, or anyone for that matter? And how can we, as a society, maintain our freedom of speech, but prevent statements like that from being uttered? Or, should we prevent things like that from being said? To what extent do we really value freedom speech - only insofar as we are comfortable?

Rachael Olson said...

That makes me very mad. Especially since I am living in Germany. The Germany are VERY sensitive to comments and threats, and just about anything that involves the Holocaust and WWII. I understand the freedom of speech, and Neo-Nazis are still alive in Germany and are allowed to exist based on freedom of speech and belief, they even are allowed to have a political party. However they have to follow strickt guidelines and expect to be watched by the governement, but they are allowed to exist. Only those who are fanatical or really stupid and don't know and understand the real suffering that people had to go through in the war, would say things like that. I am comfortable to a point with freedom of speech, but when it comes to threatening the lives of other people and then it's not okay anymore. And yes, I have noticed that it's "cool" to say things against Christians and Isreal, but everything else is taboo. How odd. And disturbing.
What is this world coming to? And actually: what have we done wrong to allow this to happen, years ago it would have brought a public uproar, now it's normal? hmmm

Amy said...

With the devil being the current prince of this world, you can continue to expect Jews and Christians to be the accepted targets of hate speech. In fact, I almost feel like it proves that YHWH is the true God. Satan lets other gods and idols remain untouched. We can't speak out against other faiths in this world unless we want to pay a price. Only the truth is continually thwarted because the prince of darkness hates the truth. But we fight on. Christ will be victor some day.