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Why 'Christian Hate?'? An introduction to the blog

Places Christians shouldn't go A quick tour of Christian Hate?'s case against Christian Aid

Christians and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict Read all my posts on this topic

Thursday, July 21, 2005

A comment and a response

'Hmmm...I came across your blog a few weeks back.Here's a few of my thoughts:

'Maybe you should read Christian Aid News a little more carefully, or check out the website with a little more vigour. Perhaps you should leave aside your apparent bitterness at the organisation whilst doing that, because I really can't see this 'hate' you say is so obvious in Christian Aid.

'Also I find it interesting that the organisation bothers you this much! You're showing quite a lot of committment to 'critiquing' it's publications etc. They really have got up your nose, but why 'Christian Hate' - I winced when I saw it. Hate is such a strong word and has such depth of feeling behind it, I dunno, its a powerful word and shouldn't be used lightly.

Dear Visitor

Thank you for your comment. Many people have left comments and sent me e-mails expressing their appreciation of this site, but of course it is your perfect right to disagree with them. Maybe you will leave another comment explaining why.

Your remarks leave me uncertain as to whether you think that I am making too much of a meal of this, or whether you think that I haven’t done my homework thoroughly enough. I assure you that I have read the relevant sections of Christian Aid News very thoroughly indeed before writing about them.

Can I point out to you that ‘Christian Hate?’ ends with a question mark? I am not accusing anyone in Christian Aid of hatred – I have no ‘window into men’s souls’ here, and it is for readers of the blog to make their own judgments about what motivates them. What I am doing is warning of a danger, and, yes, I plead guilty to feeling strongly about it.

I am currently reading a book called ‘Neighbors: The Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne, Poland’, by Jan Tomasz Gross. Jedwabne is a small town in Poland. In 1941 it had around 3000 inhabitants of whom roughly half were Catholic Poles and half Jews. A few days after German troops entered the Soviet-occupied half of Poland in which Jedwabne was located, members of the Polish population drove the town’s Jews into the town square, herded them into a nearby barn, and set the barn alight. One man managed to escape from the barn; a dozen or so people had fled from the town and hidden in the surrounding countryside; a few, by a grotesque irony, saved themselves by taking refuge with the German police; seven were hidden by a Polish farmer’s wife for the rest of the war. The remainder of the town’s Jewish population perished. The perpetrators were plainly aware that the German authorities would not object to their action, but the evidence shows overwhelmingly that they were acting on their own initiative, and not on German orders. The town’s Catholic priest turned away the Jews who appealed to him for help, and did nothing.

And the connection with my case against Christian Aid? Elsewhere on the site I quote the following from the International Council of Christians and Jews, “Voicing opposition to Israeli Government policy is not of itself anti-Semitic. But criticism which demonises and de-legitimises the Jewish state alone, often by applying double standards, acts as a contributory factor to antisemitism”.

As I write this I am listening to the latest news from London. You are right to say that hate is a powerful word. It is a basic emotion common to all of us, but when it is clothed in an ideology of grievance and intolerance it is deadly.

I hope you will reflect on this response and perhaps post your reaction to it.


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