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Comments for entry Interfaith Dialogue
I think interfaith dialogue is extremely important. Yes, there are Jews who think Christians are "assholes", and when you look at how many Christians treated Jews over the centuries that is understandable. There are also many Christians who think the Jews are "assholes". And of course there are many Jews and Christians who think the Muslims are "assholes" and vice versa. Ha! I can't believe I'm talking about such a serious subject using the word "asshole". I must really be an "asshole" for doing this. By the way, who came up with that word anyway?
When I was a kid my mother had a little plaque in the house that read, "Indian prayer - Oh great spirit grant that I may not criticize another until I have walked a mile in his shoes." Now I don't know if the Native Americans were truly the ones who first said that, but the point is a good one. A Christian can never know what it is like to grow up Jewish, and vice versa. But by talking and explaining, we can at least try to understand each other.
I'll tell you a true story. When I was in my first year of college in Boston, one day I was doing my laundry in the basement of my dorm, when in walked in a very large guy with blond hair and blue eyes. He was a vocal major, and he came down to do his laundry too. As we were waiting for the clothes to dry he and I got into a conversation about religion. He was a born again Christian and wanted to share his faith with me. I told him that it was nice that he found something to believe in but that I was raised Jewish and we don't believe in Jesus. He apparently had never talked to a Jew before and became quite animated in explaining how Jesus died for me, etc. Finally I said to him, "My mother always taught me that it doesn't really matter what you believe, as long as you are a good person."
Suddenly he grabbed me by the throat and threw me down on a table. I thought he must be joking and I said, "Scott, very funny. Now please let go of my neck." But he didn't let go. He just stared at me with those cold blue eyes. I said, "Scott, enough! Let go!" He just kept staring as if he was in a daze. Then it hit me! He was an anti-Semite and he was going to kill me! All of a sudden a window opened in my mind. I remembered all the stories I heard when I was a kid about Jews getting killed in Poland and Russia where my great grandparents used to live before they fled to come to America. Instantly I realized that it was now happening to me and if don't do something fast I am going to be a statistic. I knew he was too big for me to fight, so I came up with the idea of sticking my fingers into his eyes as hard as I could. And I was about to do it...when, as if he read my mind...he let go, turned around and left the room.
Now, if you don't think I thought that Christian was an "asshole" you have to be nuts! And I felt a lot of anger and even hatred against many Christians after that. But as time passed I realized that most Christians are not like that. And many are really good people. But to this day I know that the stories in the New Testament that make the Jews look bad continually breed new generations of Scott's. And that is why I personally feel it necessary to point out to Christians that there are some very deep problems with that book. It not only led to the Spanish Inquisition, the pogroms, and the Holocaust...it also led to Scott, and me almost getting killed in the basement of my college dorm because I had the gaul to say, "All that matters is that you be a good person". And I have never forgot what it felt like on that table.
Author: Von Cello Eintrag from 28.03.2008
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