A Catholic archbishop in Brazil minimized the Holocaust and declared that Jews dominate the world media.The other night, I went out to see the incredible Bob Wiseman perform. I'd been a bit of a fan of his music for some time, but I'd never seen him live before. Turns out he was nothing short of amazing. I could go on for hours about his show, but this is not the place. There was one song of his, however, that I will talk about. It's called "How Round the Earth" and these are the lyrics:
Dadeus Grings, the archbishop of Porto Alegre, declared that "more Catholics than Jews have died in the Holocaust, but this is not usually told because Jews own the world's propaganda."
. . . .
"It's not the first time Mr. Grings refers to the Holocaust in a twisted way," said Henry Chmelnitsky, president of the Rio Grande do Sul Jewish Federation. "Fewer Jews died in World War II because there were and there still are fewer Jews in the world. Proportionally, the extermination minimized by the archbishop meant the slaughter of most of a people that was already small. By reproducing stereotypes created by the Nazis, Grings positions himself on the wrong side of history."
Grings is the second Catholic bishop in recent months to publicly minimize the Holocaust.
I was 12 years oldI was pretty upset about this song, and I'd venture to say that it's fate this news story came out so quickly after I'd heard it for the first time, because I really want to say something: fuck antisemitism. Seriously, fuck it. Saying "Jews control the media", aside from being a stupid fucking thing to say, makes violent idiots think they can go out and stab little Jewish kids while they're walking home from soccer practice. My mom's dad is Jewish (a fact I discovered on the way to my first Passover when I was seven). He's unbelievably lapsed, of course, or I imagine he wouldn't have allowed his children to be raised Catholic, but he loves his gefilte fish and still speaks some Hebrew and likes to call my sister and me "meshugganas." So, you know, he's culturally Jewish (kind of like how I'm culturally Catholic).
I was walking home
From a soccer game
He was an older kid
I seen him cross the street
He pulled a knife out on me
I said I got no money
He said I don't believe that's true
I know your last name
I know the house you live
Everyone knows that you're a Jew
He stabbed me in the arm
He punched me in the face
He tripped me as I tried to run
The cars drove by
His girlfriend was laughing
Finally they let me crawl away
My father said 'what happened?'
I told him nothing happened at all
'Cause he knew my last name
He knew the house where I lived
I never ever felt so small
Now it's been years since then
Ice Cube's got a new record out
I read about his press conference
He talked about history
About the Jewish conspiracy
And it occurred to me to say
Ice Cube, I live at 848 oak street
You should come over and have tea
I'll show you my bank account
I'll show you the car i drive
And then maybe you'll decide
The earth isn't flat
I never got a sense from him of a fear of antisemitism, which is probably because the man is fearless. But this fear is something I've seen in every other Jewish person I've ever known. In high school, my friend Lisa would pretend not to be Jewish around the Muslim kids because she was afraid of what they'd say (personally, I think that as all this took place in the wake of September 11th, I would have been more afraid to be the Muslim kids. Some asshole burnt down their mosque. Fuck that shit too). My friend David told me that when he first went to college, he was militantly Jewish and would wear t-shirts to that effect, but his mother would beg him not to because she was afraid somebody would do something to him.
I can't imagine living with that kind of fear, which is so culturally ingrained from centuries of antisemitism. In this day and age, do we really want to continue that bullshit? I mean, haven't we learned anything from South Park? Eric Cartman is the (hilarious) embodiment of cartoon evil. Don't people realize that diatribes about the "Jewish conspiracy" just make them sound like him? Do you really want to sound like Eric Cartman, Archbishop Grings? WTF is with the Brazilian Catholic Church?
The Catholic Church may have fucked up the Holocaust, but in 1965, Pope Paul VI made it very clear that "in her rejection of every persecution against any man, the Church, mindful of the patrimony she shares with the Jews and moved not by political reasons but by the Gospel's spiritual love, decries hatred, persecutions, displays of anti-Semitism, directed against Jews at any time and by anyone." So your position, Archbishop Asshole is inherently un-Catholic, and inherently un-Christlike.
Jesus said, "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them" (Matthew 5:17). Christ himself never, ever preached violence against the Jews. He took issue with a corrupt church body, much like he would probably take issue with much of the Christian church of today. He did not, however, preach hatred against his own people because, well, they were his own people. Antisemitism has no place in Christianity. Hate in general has no place in Christianity. Get your head out of your ass, Archbishop. WTFWJD?