Unleash your inner Anti-Semite.

Because nothing says hate like “I want to spend eternity with you in heaven.”

This year’s Al Sharpton Unsubstantiated Allegation award goes to Abraham H. Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League. In his article Latin Mass Cause of Concern, Foxman betrays just how little he knows of Judaism and – if it’s possible – even greater ignorance of Catholicism.
He begins with the bald assertion that anti-Semitism is resurgent in the world. This comes as a complete surprise to me. I’ve hardly ever experienced any anti-Semitism of either the ancient or the resurgent variety. I did manage, however, to finagle an extra 10% off a recent purchase, which is about as satisfying as a lox and cream cheese bagel. O.K., I’m exaggerating; there’s actually nothing quite as satisfying as a lox and cream cheese bagel. So sue me!
Foxman also decries the Church’s “2,000-year history of anti-Semitism.” Imagine the surprise of Peter, Paul, and the other Jew-boy apostles who got a real chuckle out of that one. Especially when they recollect their days together in Jerusalem – or as Jesse Jackson calls it, Hymietown.
With Vatican II apparently serving as the basis for his expectations, Foxman is disappointed that the Church fails to fully embrace the poorly reasoned ruminations of a selectively-observant Jew. But negotiation and consensus is not how the Church that Christ instituted operates.
As a Jew, Foxman might be vaguely familiar with this principle: it’s called the Ten Commandments, not the top ten tips for interfaith dialogue. At the end of his little rant, he hopes that the Church’s teachings are not “written in stone” which of course they are (as are the Ten Commandments to which Foxman unintentionally referred).
Foxman likes to use terms like “destructive doctrine,” “theological revolution,” “retrograde forces,” and “old church prejudices and teachings.” But his hands-down favorite is “conceptual,” used unimmaculately as an adjective for “revolution,” “underpinnings,” “breakthrough,” and “basis.”
Several things really get under Foxman’s yarmulke. He thinks the Church is responsible for the charge of “deicide” against the Jews that executed the Messiah. News flash for Foxman: that is the judgment that the Jews pronounced on themselves (a well known principle in Jewish jurisprudence). He also doesn’t like the “destructive doctrine” or “the notion that Christianity supersedes Judaism as the true religion.”
Three things get me about this one. First, he creates a term (“supersessionism”), uses it a pejorative, and then ascribes its origin to the Church. Second, Foxman implies that Judaism is the “true religion,” thereby relegating every other religion to the status of false. Just how intolerant can this guy get?
Third, Christianity doesn’t just supersede Judaism, it completes it. I – for one – enjoy the status of Completed Jew. Foxman tacitly admits the truth of this fulfillment since he, as the arbiter of all things Jewish, no longer offers animal sacrifices.
So I criticize Foxman’s lack of scholarship and the fact that he seems to hate rational thought, which speaks to his intellect and possibly to his integrity. But I also invite him to be Complete, which addresses the state of his soul. Hey, Abraham, come out of the darkness into His marvelous light. It’s great over here! So what’s not to like?
But what really gets Foxman’s Bermuda shorts in a bunch is not his dubious, revisionist history, but the fact that a centuries old prayer is being revitalized. His big beef is the fact that the Vatican didn’t adopt ex cathedra his “strong objections” to the faithful praying for the conversion of Jews. He also doesn’t like the “tone” of the prayer. Want some cheese with that whine, Foxman? Exactly why would he strongly object – in substance or in tone – to someone, anyone, everyone praying that the Jews as a people get to spend eternity in heaven? If anyone is antisemitic here, it sounds to me like it’s Foxman.
Does he also “strongly object” to the actions of St. Maximilian Kolbe, the Franciscan who hid thousands of Jews in Poland and was later executed after volunteering to die in the place of another prisoner at Auschwitz? Does he “strongly object” to the historical fact that Pope Pius XII worked so closely with Rabbi Israel Zolli to save Jews from persecution during the Nazi regime.
One little footnote for Foxman, the friendship established between the rabbi and the Pope during the wartime years led eventually to the decision by Rabbi Zolli to convert to Catholicism. When he was baptized, Zolli took the name “Eugenio,” in honor of Pope Pius, who was born Eugenio Pacelli. It is unclear exactly what impact the 2000 years of prayer for the conversion of Jews had in Zolli’s decision to convert.
Foxman stresses ad nauseum the importance of “interfaith programs.” But he misses the importance of praying for and living out the concern for those who are tap-dancing on the rim of an active volcano.
Foxman doesn’t mind Catholics, as long as they are of the liberal, feministic, contracepting, effeminate, pro-abortion, and unevangelistic variety. In his world, all others are “retrograde forces within the church” who need to be silenced with the unsupported (and unsupportable) accusation of not liking Jews.
It is not the direct goal of the Church to reconcile Catholics and Jews. That will happen, of course, but only after the Church’s mission of reconciling sinners to a holy God is successful. Thankfully a Jewish Messiah makes all that possible.

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