Hail: An Easter reminder of Christian anti-Semitism | iRADIO

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As a Christian holiday, Easter has been accompanied by a number of non-Christian customs for centuries. Some, such as pom poms or painted eggs, probably have their origins in ancient fertility cults and are relatively innocent compared to other pagan rituals that accompanied them. Today they have only the nature of folk entertainment. However, there were also non-Christian customs that were introduced by the Christians themselves and which were far from innocent.



Prague
6:30 am March 31, 2024

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Jesus | Photo: Jonathan Dick | Source: Unsplash, OSFS | License Unsplash, ©

My mother remembered the celebration of Easter in her childhood in a small village in the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands, and she was ashamed of it all her later life. She told how she walked in a procession with her peers with rattles and clappers and sang a song, the words of which I don’t even want to repeat, because in crude terms she accused the Jews of murdering Jesus Christ.

Daniel Kroupa: Easter reminder about Christian anti-Semitism

Hail-An-Easter-reminder-of-Christian-ant

It was most likely a manifestation of popular anti-Semitism that did not stem from church teaching, even if the Roman Catholic Church was not entirely blameless. At least by not interfering with the priests who spread it.

At the official level, the Jewish origin of the baptized was not an obstacle to occupying high ranks. After all, Olomouc Archbishop Theodor Khon, a respected expert in the field of canon law, also had such an origin.

Who really killed Jesus

However, the popular belief that the Jews killed Jesus Christ is still widespread in certain circles and is still abused by some people to incite anti-Semitism.

It is factually inaccurate to say the least. Not the Jews as a nation, but the Jewish Sanhedrin – the Sanhedrin found Jesus guilty of claiming to be the messiah or son of God, which they considered a capital crime.

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However, only the Roman prefect Pontius Pilate could sentence him to death. However, he first tried to avoid the judgment and as a friendly gesture sent Jesus to Herod, under whose administration this Galilean fell. But Herod did not find anything about Jesus that required his judgment and therefore returned him to Pilate, who had to make a decision.

The charge of impersonating the messiah brought before him by the representatives of the Sanhedrin did not convince him that he should be punished by death, and he wanted to have the accused flogged and released.

It was only the argument of the accusers that he himself would be considered an enemy of the emperor because he did not punish the man who pretended to be the king, that caused Jesus to condemn him. Otherwise, he himself would be at risk of legal trouble.

The sins of the church

In short, Jesus was condemned to death, not by the Jews, but by the Romans, on the basis of a political and not a religious crime. He was condemned unjustly, because he did not speak of the kingdom of this world, but of the kingdom of God, which even Pilate did not consider criminal.

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However, he gave in to the pressure of the present crowd and washed his hands after the verdict as a sign that he was not responsible for the death of the innocent. However, a person cannot be cleansed of his actions so easily.

I recall these well-known circumstances in order to show from what foolish ignorance the blaming of the Jewish people for the death of Jesus was, and unfortunately still is, based.

This Christian anti-Semitism has committed so many crimes in history that the Church will have to confess them for centuries. And from this dark underbelly grows the current aversion to Jews, no matter how sophisticated the intellectual garb it appears.

The author is a philosopher and educator

Daniel Kroupa

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