Saturday, April 10, 2004


Christopher Manion has insightful thoughts on the Jewish response to Mel Gibson's 'The Passion'. Calling on Catholic theology, he thinks a lot of it has to do with the modern Jewish ideology of The Holocaust, which results in projecting their own attitudes on Christians:
I first tripped over the problem as a member of the Religion Department of Boston University about a dozen years ago. I was the faculty advisor to the student pro-life group. On the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the student newspaper published my letter regarding the "holocaust of 30 million unborn children" since 1973. A colleague of Elie Wiesel, who had the office next to mine (but whom I had never met) in the theology building, then wrote a response. The gentleman reprimanded me for using the term "Holocaust" to refer to anything other than the six million Jews who died in Nazi death camps.

The student newspaper then kindly printed my response to the gentleman, in which I pointed out what was obvious to me – that commemorating the murder of thirty million helpless unborn innocents in no way diminishes the suffering or the dignity of six million innocent Jews murdered in Nazi prison camps. All those helpless, innocent murder victims are dear to Our Lord in His infinite love. But it was clear that my neighbor didn’t see it that way.

Neither does Abe Foxman, the head of the ADL – the Anti-Defamation League. After the death of New York Cardinal John O’Connor, Archbishop of New York, Mr. Foxman talked to the New York Observer about his relationship with Cardinal O’Connor over the years: "That was a relationship that took a while," said Mr. Foxman. "When Cardinal O’Connor first came, he compared abortion to the Holocaust. But, you know, he learned."

I often saw Cardinal O’Connor in action, and I’m not sure he "learned" all that much from Mr. Foxman after all. But, in Mr. Foxman’s view, the Holocaust is apparently both a cherished, proprietary symbol and a theory of history. Both must be tenaciously protected – by Mr. Foxman.

I think Manion actually may be onto something here. His fresh approach is worth a look.

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