First Crusade


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first crusade Roots of AntiSemitism




After learning about the Holocaust, I’ve asked myself many times how this could have happened.  Why would anyone believe it’s acceptable to massacre an entire people?  This is my reasoning for writing my paper on how Christian theology influenced anti-Semitism.  Much of the Holocaust appears to have it’s beginning with Christian theology.  I will begin my paper with the early writings of Christians and continue chronologically until after World War II.
The Apostle Paul was one the first people to criticize the Jewish people. At first, he tried to explain to the Christians not to adopt a superior attitude towards the Jews.
IF THE PART OF THE DOUGH OFFERED AS FIRST FRUITS IS HOLY, THEN THE WHOLE BRANCH IS HOLY; AND IF THE ROOT IS HOLY, THEN THE BRANCHES ARE ALSO HOLY…DO NOT BOAST OVER THE BRANCHES.  IF YOU DO BOAST, REMEMBER THAT IT IS NOT YOU THAT SUPPORT THE ROOT, BUT THE ROOT SUPPORTS YOU.
At one point this appeared to be Paul’s feeling towards the Jews and the Christians.  His sentiment appeared to change, according to Christian suppressionists.  In the text Romans, many of Paul’s statements were misinterpreted by those Christians to make themselves appear more superior to the Jewish people.
…INCLUDING US WHOM HE HAS CALLED, NOT FROM THE JEWS ONLY BUT ALSO FROM THE GENTILES?  AS INDEED HE SAYS IN HOSEA, "THOSE WHO WERE NOT MY PEOPLE I WILL CALL ‘MY PEOPLE,’ AND HER WHO WAS NOT BELOVED I WILL CALL ‘BELOVED.’"  "AND IN THE VERY PLACE WHERE IT WAS SAID TO THEM, ‘YOU ARE NOT MY PEOPLE,’ THERE THEY SHALL BE CALLED CHILDREN OF THE LIVING GOD,"
…GENTILES, WHO DID NOT STRIVE FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS, HAVE ATTAINED IT, THAT IS, RIGHTEOUSNESS THROUGH FAITH; BUT ISRAEL, WHO DID STRIVE FOR THE RIGHTEOUSNESS THAT IS BASED ON THE LAW, DID NOT SUCCEED IN FULFILLING THAT LAW… [ROMANS 9]
 "In proclaiming his Christian message Paul stressed that the Jewish nation had been rejected by God, and the new Covenant had superseded the old," said David Cohn-Sherbok, in his book The Crucified Jew.  "In these ways the New Testament laid the foundations for later Christian hostility to the Jewish nation…and served as the basis for the early Church’s vilification of the Jews." (Cohn-Sherbok)
Another early Christian writing which may have encouraged Jewish hatred is the Gospels of John.  Scholars believe John wanted to gain favor with the Roman Hierarchy.  Therefore, he emphasized the Jewish involvement in the death of Christ and minimized the Roman role.  "The Gospel of John contains some of the most hostile anti-Jewish statement in the Christian scriptures.  So sharp is the contrast in that gospel between Jesus’ exhortations to his followers to love one another and the hostile references to the Jews…John is ‘a gospel of Christian love and Jew hatred.’" (Charlesworth)
Some examples of John’s apparent sentiments towards the Jewish people include the following.
…THE JEWS REPLIED…[JOHN 18:31]
…MY FOLLOWERS WOULD BE FIGHTING TO KEEP ME FROM BEING HANDED OVER TO THE JEWS…  
…HE WENT OUT TO THE JEWS AGAIN…[JOHN 18:38]
…THE JEWS ANSWERED HIM, "WE HAVE A LAW, AND ACCORDING TO THAT LAW HE OUGHT TO DIE BECAUSE HE HAS CLAIMED TO BE THE SON OF GOD." [JOHN 19:7]
…THE JEWS CRIED OUT, "IF YOU RELEASE THIS MAN, YOU ARE NO FRIEND OF THE EMPEROR…"  
…HE SAID TO THE JEWS, "HERE IS YOUR KING!"  THEY CRIED OUT, "AWAY WITH HIM!  AWAY WITH HIM!  CRUCIFY HIM!…"[JOHN 19:14]
Many scholars believe the Jews and Christians were still worshipping together around the middle of the first century.  They discussed and acknowledged their differences, like a family fight.  Yet, towards the end of the first century their relationships deteriorated.  After the destruction of the second Temple in 70 CE, the Gentiles appeared to break away from the Jews.  Jewish leaders who remained faithful to the Mosaic Law, began excommunicating Christian Jews under Nero’s leadership, ending decades of relatively peaceful coexistence and shared worship. (Hauer)
The presumed superiority of Christianity started to influence Christian teachings.  The ‘Letters of Barnabas’ (late first century or early second) repeatedly proclaims this belief:  I found many passages in his letter regarding superiority.
"…HEAPING UP YOUR SINS AND SAYING THAT THE COVENANT IS BOTH THEIRS AND OUR.  IT IS OURS:  BUT IN THIS WAY DID THEY ... more

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Dorthy Day


Dorothy Day
It seems that to some people that they give more so society than others, but than there is one woman, who gave her life to society to help others though giving and sharing and helped people through a time of need. Yet there seems to be few there is.
Dorothy Day, patron of the Catholic Worker movement, was born in Brooklyn, on New York, November 8, 1897. After surviving the San Francisco earthquake in 1906, the Day family moved into a tenement flat in Chicago's South Side. It was a big step down in the world made necessary because Dorothys father was out of work. Day's understanding of the shame people feel when they fail in their efforts dated from this time. It was in Chicago that Day began to form positive impressions of Catholicism. Day recalled. when her father was appointed sports editor of a Chicago newspaper, the Day family moved into a comfortable house on the North Side. Here Dorothy began to read books that affected her conscience. Upton Sinclair's novel, The Jungle, inspired Day to take long walks in poor neighborhoods in Chicago's South Side. It was the start of a life-long attraction to areas many people avoid.
Day won a scholarship that brought her to the University of Illinois campus at Urbana in the fall of 1914. However, she was a reluctant scholar. Her reading was chiefly in a radical social direction. She avoided campus social life and insisted on supporting herself rather than living on money from her father.
Dropping out of college two years later, she moved to New York where she found a job as a reporter for The Call, the city's only socialist daily. She covered rallies and demonstrations and interviewed people ranging from butlers to labor organizers and revolutionaries. She next worked for The Masses, a magazine that opposed American involvement in the European war. In September, the Post Office rescinded the magazine's mailing permit. Federal officers seized back issues, manuscripts, subscriber lists and correspondence. Five editors were charged with sedition.
In November 1917 Day went to prison for being one of forty women in front of the White House protesting women's exclusion from the electorate. Arriving at a rural workhouse, the women were roughly handled. The women responded with a hunger strike. Finally they were freed by presidential order. Returning to New York, Day felt that journalism was a meager response to a world at war. In the spring of 1918, she signed up for a nurse's training program in Brooklyn. Her conviction that the social order was unjust changed in no substantial way from her adolescence until her death.
Her religious development was a slower process. As a child, she attended services at an Episcopal Church. As a young journalist in New York, she would sometimes make late night visits to St. Joseph's Catholic Church on Sixth Avenue. The Catholic climate of worship appealed to her. While she knew little about Catholic belief, Catholic spiritual discipline fascinated her. She saw the Catholic Church as the church of the immigrants, the church of the poor. In 1922, while in Chicago working as a reporter, she roomed with three young women who went to Mass every Sunday and holy day and also set aside time each day for prayer. It was clear to her that worship, adoration, thanksgiving, supplication ... were the noblest acts of which we are capable in this life. Her next job was with a newspaper in New Orleans. Living near St. Louis Cathedral, Day often attended evening Benediction services.
Back in New York in 1924, Day bought a beach cottage on Staten Island using money from the sale of movie rights for a novel. She also began a four-year common-law marriage with Forster Batterham, an English botanist she had met through friends in Manhattan. Batterham was an anarchist opposed to marriage and religion. In a world of such cruelty, he found it impossible to believe in a God. By this time Day's belief in God was unshakable. It grieved her that Batterham didn't sense God's presence within the natural world. How can there be no God, she asked, when there are all these beautiful things? His irritation ... more

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