by Richard L. Rubenstein (April 2009)
I don't know if the Forensic Linguistics studied by example the suicide and hate notes from the suicide bombers and how the discourse of islamic clerics impacts in the brains , but I think it is a very useful science to prevent and understand the worst in our westren countries.
Third Jihad is above all a Language (Al Qaêda language was studied by a french sociologist, Gilles Kepel, but he is not a linguist) , I expect an article on this topic by a linguist, I would like to understand the textual Jihad and its agenda.
Ted L., a French reader of the NER.
What a good comment. I haven't read Jacques Ellul, but Hugh refers to him from time to time.
I've often thought about how the Christians who persecuted Jews might actually have been persecuting the decendents of the Apostles or even of the Master's own human family - his brothers and sisters, and cousins, the decendents of John the Baptist's family. How horrifying and insane it all was..and is.
As regards the first part of this essay: it should be noted that two notable Christians of the twentieth century, the devout Anglican James Parkes (author of a ruthlessly honest analysis of antisemitism in the history of Christendom, 'The Conflict of the Church and the Synagogue') and Jacques Ellul, French Reformed maverick and gadfly (and friend and mentor of Bat Yeor) seemed to find no contradiction whatever between being convinced and serious Christian believers, and honestly and indeed passionately supporting the right of the Jews to live as a sovereign nation in and on traditional Jewish land.
I commend to all who can read French Ellul's two books that bear upon Israel - 'Un Chretien Pour Israel' and 'Ce Dieu Injuste? - theologie chretienne pour le peuple d'Israel'.
A significant part of the former, and the whole of the latter, is devoted to expounding, for the benefit of his fellow Christians, a genuinely philojudaic form of the Christian faith, true to the scriptures that Christians acknowledge as authoritative, scriptures that can in fact be shown neither to command nor to permit any of the follies, cruelties, acts of political oppression and vile slanders that antisemitic 'christians' have practised against Jews.
Indeed, even the cry of the Jerusalem crowd at the Passion - 'his blood be upon us and our children' - that antisemites have delighted to use as a 'proof text' for the accursedness of Jews, can in fact with much greater consistency and more psychological power be read in exactly the opposite manner, if one sees in the scene an echo of the sacrifice that sealed the covenant at Sinai and therefore sees that the very moment that appears to be one of rejection, is one of acceptance...just as at Sinai, the blood of the sacrifice (in a divine irony not of cursing but of grace) is sprinkled upon the people, not for their death, but for their life. His blood is upon them...and as Ellul points out, throughout the NT, to be covered with the blood of Yeshua, is...to live! NEVER does that blood cause death or cursing!
It is Ellul's view of the subject that shapes my own understanding of the relationship between Jews and Christians. He has no truck with everlasting curses, or condemnation to dispossession and exile, or replacement theology, none of which have any real basis in the texts; and he has no truck, either, with the standard caricature of evangelicalism either...that evangelical Zionists, Christian Zionists, 'only' support Israel as a means to an apocalyptic end.
I must add that as a convinced Christian, my instinctive response to a Jewish person - whose living presence reminds me of my Lord - is gratitude and awe. "Hail, Israel, bearer of G-d; blessed are you among peoples, and blessed is the Word that you bear".
Indeed, all Christians - since they do worship Jesus the Jew, as son of God - would do well to take as their guide a passage in one of the letters of John, which remarks acerbly, 'If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother, whom he hath seen, how can he love God, whom he hath not seen".
Applying this to Christians, vis a vis Jews, one arrives at this formula: " if I say I love Jesus (who is a Jew) as Son of God, while hating my Jewish neighbour, I am a liar; for if I love not the Jew before me, whom I do see, how can I be said to love Jesus the Jew whom I have not seen?"
If more Christians thought along those lines, much grief, folly and wickedness might be avoided.