There's nothing like a blog-post about Israel to bring the loons out of the woodwork. So when Dr. Philip Blosser (aka. Pertinacious Papist) circulated a video demonstrating UCLA college students' appalling ignorance about Israel, it came as no suprise that his comments box would be infested by a troll.All-too-often certain anti-semitic rad-trads, animated by the discovery that bad things are said about Jesus in the Talmud (a loose conglomeration of commentary on everything under the sun), assume that this gives them warrant for tarring all Jews as Christ-killers and sworn enemies of the Church -- which makes about as much sense as holding all white Americans responsible for the slave trade or holding all Germans responsible for Naziism, or holding all Italians responsible for Nero's execution of the Apostles Peter and Paul in ancient Rome. What they don't seem to know is that even these passages of the Talmud are strongly contested within the Jewish community.
Perhaps most appalling is the whole attitude that says 'let's dredge up the worst possible thing this or that Jew might have said about Christianity' and toss it into an internet conversation to stir the pot, as though it were a real argument. The poster's intent speaks for itself.
Another claim of the combox interloper calling for clarification is the 'Christians had it better under Saddam' statement. While we have called attention to the present plight of Chaldean Catholics in Iraq (see our post, "In Memoriam: Massacre of Chaldean Catholics in Iraq," Musings, November 21, 2010), we are also well-aware that those Catholics Iraqis who have lived or still live in Iraq are well-aware of the sufferings -- the torture, the rapes, the murders, the assassinations, the secret police under the previous administration -- on which the relative safety and security they enjoyed were sadly predicated. For an observer to smugly suggest that 'Christians had it better under Saddam' is akin to suggesting that the Germans might have "had it good" during the early days of the Third Reich. Such "observations" ultimately get us nowhere, but perhaps distract us from the real question: who are the oppressors and persecutors now?
The aforementioned Fringe Watch post does a thorough job of analyzing and debunking these common sorts of misconceptions. Topical headings of the post include: 1) Jesus in the Talmud; 2) Muslims or Jews - which are more hospitable to Christians? 3) What does it mean that Christians "had it better under Saddam Hussein?" Well worth the read.