Thursday, January 18, 2007

The pope and the Holocaust deniers

The pope and the Holocaust deniers

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach - Tuesday, 16 January, 2007

Saddam Hussein's execution reminded us that some crimes are so heinous
no society can tolerate them, and that when you murder more than one
million people, even traditional opponents of the death penalty might
just applaud when you hang.

It is a lesson the Catholic Church would do well to contemplate. Last
week, the church broke ranks with nearly every moral voice and came out
publicly against Saddam's execution. But if that were not enough, Pope
Benedict XVI granted a private audience to a delegation of Iranian
officials, led by Iranian Foreign Minister Manoucher Mottaki, whose
ministry sponsored the recent Holocaust denial conference in Teheran.

The pope is the foremost spiritual leader on earth. It shocks every
moral sensibility that he would choose to legitimize a wretch like this.
More troubling yet, the pope conveyed warm greetings to Iranian
president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad through the delegation.

Warm greetings? Ahmadinejad is calling virtually every week for Israel's
annihilation. Does the pope have anything to share with this man aside
from his contempt? One would hope that a pope who witnessed the
Holocaust and the destruction of the Jewish people would practice extra
caution before hanging out with those who wish to renew Hitler's efforts.

LET'S NOT finesse this. Ahmadinejad is an international abomination who
can lay strong claim to being the single most hate-filled man alive.
Surely the pope can find more worthy recipients of his time and

Pope John Paul II was a man of great courage who helped to challenge and
defeat communism. Yet even he made the repeated mistake of legitimizing
terrorists, repeatedly meeting with Yasser Arafat. But if one might
excuse those meetings on the grounds that other world leaders did the
same, the pope's actions at the time of Arafat's death were jarring and
incomprehensible. He praised Arafat as "a leader of great charisma who
loved his people and sought to lead them toward national independence.
May God welcome in His mercy the soul of the illustrious deceased and
give peace to the Holy Land."

Did anyone seriously believe that God was going to welcome this
baby-killer into heaven rather than placing him in hell? Why would
virtuous and righteous men like John Paul and Benedict make such
outrageous mistakes?

The Catholic Church seems to spend a great deal of time upholding its
standards of sexual morality, like condemning gay unions and
contraception, and comparably little time condemning the tyrants and
dictators who slaughter the children whose lives the church declares to
be holy. So why the omission?

It bespeaks an unfortunate and continuing pattern on behalf of our
Christian brethren to refuse to hate evil. Many of my Christian brothers
and sisters mistakenly believe that God forbids hatred. They quote
Jesus' teaching to turn the other cheek and his admonishment to love
your enemies as proof that we dare never hate.

AS A radio host, I am called by many evangelical Christians who say that
in God's eyes we are all sinners, and thus from a heavenly perspective
Osama bin Laden and the average housewife from Kansas are equal. Bin
Laden must indeed face justice for his crimes, but we dare not hate him
seeing that Jesus still loves him.

But this is a travesty of Jesus' teachings. It would make this great
Hebrew personality into someone who had contempt for his victims as he
extended love to their murderers. Jesus advocated turning the other
cheek to petty slights and affronts to honor, not to mass graves and
torture chambers.

Likewise, while Jesus taught that we ought to love our own enemies, this
did not apply to God's enemies. Our enemies are people who take our
parking spot or who are our rivals for a promotion at work. God's
enemies are those who slaughter his children.

Let not any Christian think that Jesus' sympathy was for anyone other
than the oppressed and the poor. True, the Bible commands us to "love
our neighbor as ourselves," but the man who kills children is not our
neighbor. Having cast off the image of God, he has lost his divine spark
and is condemned to eternal oblivion, from which not even a belief in
salvation will rescue him.

He who murders God's children has been lost to God forever and has
abandoned all entitlement to love, earning eternal derision in its stead.

AMID MY deep and abiding respect for the Christian faith, I state
unequivocally that to love the terrorist who flies a civilian plane into
a civilian building, or a white supremacist who drags a black man three
miles while tied to the back of a car is not just inane, it is deeply
sinful. To send warm greetings to an Iranian president who has just
hosted a former head of the KKK is an affront to blacks throughout the
world just as much as it is to Jews.

To love evil is itself evil, and constitutes a passive form of complicity.

We are all known by the company we keep. If Ahmadinejad of Iran called
for the extermination of all the world's Catholics, the pope might think
twice before meeting his representatives. He ought to accord the same
respect to his Jewish brethren.

The writer is host of The Learning Channel's television program "Shalom
in the Home," whose second season begins on January 21. He is currently
writing a book on the necessity of hating evil (


Shalom Shmuel,

If you truly understood and believed that the Roman Catholic Cult is foreign to Christianity in every sense of the word, the Babylonian Mystery religion dressed in papal drag, you wouldn't be so shocked about the "lapses" of the sorcerer-popes, in the spirit of Balaam, meeting or greeting those who are intent on Israel's destruction. After all, they are Roman wolves in sheep's clothing whose evil eye is on Jerusalem and who covet the Temple Mount.

The vipers in the Vatican cannot be trusted.

I say this as a Christian Zionist, not as a Jew or other non-believer.

For Zion's sake,
David Ben-Ariel

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