Summary of the Source
The article “Christian Anti-Semitism: Past History, Present Challenges: Reﬂections in Light of Mel Gibson’s the Passion of the Christ” by Pawlikowski focuses on the problem of anti-Semitism among Christians in modern society (2). The biblical account, especially in the New Testament, explains the birth, activities, and death of Jesus Christ. In these accounts, it is clear that Jesus was not only rejected by his people, Jews, but they also betrayed him. The death and crucifixion of Jesus are largely blamed on Jewish high priests. As such, a section of Christians developed hatred towards those who they believed to have crucified their savior (Ter-Matevosyan 107). However, biblical teachings, and specifically the recent Holy Catholic documents show that the church does not support anti-Semitism sentiments among its faithful. The Christian society now believes that “harboring racist thoughts and entertaining racist attitudes is a sin” (1). The bible teaches about forgiveness. While on the cross, just before he died, Jesus forgave his persecutors. As such, Christians have no basis for embracing hatred towards them.
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Evaluation of the Source
Anti-Semitism had been very strong in Eastern Europe, especially among Christians who found it difficult to forgive the betrayal of Jewish high priests who planned the death of Jesus. “It must be emphasized that the main storyline presented Jesus as having been relentlessly pursued by an evil cabal of Jews headed by the high priest Caiphas who finally blackmailed a weak-kneed Pilate into putting Jesus to death” (3). The story of Jesus has become very popular in the global society as many people embrace Christianity. The problem has always been that the more the story becomes popular, the more Jews find themselves on the defensive. The fact that Christianity is almost non-existence among Jews despite Jesus being a Jew only confirms the narrative presented in the story. It becomes easy for Christians and sympathizers of the story of Jesus to hate Jews. However, this article takes a new approach to the issue based on biblical teachings.
One of the greatest teachings in the New Testament based on the works of Jesus is the art of forgiveness. Christians believe that Jesus came to wash away our sins. He died for sinners so that they can go to heaven where they will be granted eternal life. After being betrayed by his people, he ensured that he pronounced his forgiveness just before he died. Despite the pain and emotional torture that he went through, he was true to his word of forgiving others. Disciples of Jesus spread the word of Jesus, and forgiveness was one of their main messages. However, it is strange that Christians, especially those in Eastern Europe, found it difficult to forgive Jews. This article argues that it is hypocritical for one to claim that he is she is a Christian and still harbor anti-Semitism thought. First, Jesus taught his followers to forgive those who trespass against them (Giorgos et al. 24). He demonstrated that while he was on the cross and about to die. All Christians are expected to do the same.
Relationship to Other Sources
The source takes a unique approach to the issue of anti-Semitism in modern society. While the source by Shaw focuses on socio-economic factors related to anti-Semitism, this source focuses on the religious aspects (184). It tries to explain why Christians should not have hatred towards Jews because Jesus told them to embrace forgiveness. Their faith and beliefs should be enough for them to embrace Jews.
Possible Use of the Source
This source will be very important in the argumentative essay in explaining the possible source of anti-Semitism from a religious angle. It also explains how this problem can be addressed from the same approach of belief and cultural practices. Using this source, it is possible to explain to Christians that their faith discourages them from harboring hatred towards Jews or others who may not have the same belief as them.
Giorgos, Antoniou, et al. “Collective Victimhood and Social Prejudice: A Post-Holocaust Theory of anti-Semitism.” Working Paper, vol. 10, no. 1, 2015, pp. 1-36.
Pawlikowski, John. “Christian Anti-Semitism: Past History, Present Challenges: Reﬂections in Light of Mel Gibson’s the Passion of the Christ.” Journal of Religion & Film, vol. 8, no 1, 2016, pp. 1-15.
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Shaw, Martin. “Book Review: Genocide as Social Practice: Reorganizing Society under the Nazis and Argentina’s Military Juntas.” Genocide Studies and Prevention: An International Journal, vol. 9, no. 3, 2016, pp. 183-187.
Ter-Matevosyan, Vahram. “Book Review: Justifying Genocide: Germany and the Armenians from Bismarck to Hitler.” Genocide Studies and Prevention: An International Journal, vol. 11, no. 2, 2017, pp. 106-108.