Members of Westboro Baptist Church demonstrated in front of Jewish institutions in New York, including Temple Shearith Israel, and the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan, on August 11, 2009. Church members held up signs that read "God hates Jews". They planned to continue their hate-fest in front of the Jewish Historical Society and the Drishna Institute.
August 9, 2009, the United Church of Canada began discussion of joining the anti-Israel boycott. The boycott, begun by opponents of Israel, does not target those persons and companies that support Israeli governmental policies. It is a boycott of all Israeli products- an attempt to cut off the entire country. In some circles, the boycott includes all Jewish-owned businesses, even those who have no ties to Israel. We've seen that policy before, haven't we?
Some Christians shrug reports of Christian Antisemitism with, "They aren't true Christians." With that, I somewhat agree. Antisemitism contradicts the teachings of Jesus. Some Christians have an almost triumphant reaction. "See, I told you Tribulation is a-comin'!" Those people are scary. But most Christians I meet have a fatalistic response: Persecution is inevitable. They feel sad, but helpless. So they try not to think about it.
Manhattan's JCC Executive Director Rabbi Joy Levitt was quoted by The Jerusalem Post to say, "Our best and only response is to conduct business as usual."
But there is more we can do. It is not enough for Christians to say, "I don't hate Jews." We must pro-actively show our solidarity.
In anti-boycott, I make it a point to buy at least one Israeli product per week. It isn't hard. It isn't costly. I simply go to the ethnic food aisle of my local grocery store, or wherever kosher foods are stocked. I look for Israeli produced items that I would normally buy anyway: cookies, jelly, whatever, and I pick one up. Then I do the rest of my shopping. My one package of tea crackers won't make much difference. But that one item, combined with products that others like you, who are actively against hate, put into your shopping carts, makes an impact.
I teach Sunday School. When I teach, I educate children about the Jewish roots of our Christian faith. Last week, a little girl asked why we talk so much about "Jewish stuff" in our class. I explained to her that we were learning about Jesus, and Jesus is Jewish. Thankfully, my church supports truth and love, so there is no issue. If people misunderstand you, or they don't like it, use the opportunity to educate your brothers and sisters in Christ.
Write a blog. Send an e-mail. Tell a friend. Get down on your knees and implore the God of heaven to intervene.
Christianity teaches that a time of "Jacob's trouble" is coming. We call it the Great Tribulation, a time of distress such as the world has never known (Matthew 6:21). I believe the Bible. I also refuse to passively allow the oppression of God's people. Some say that God has predetermined tribulation, and nothing can be done about it. I believe that it may very well be that God has predetermined to allow tribulation only when His people stop praying, stop trying, stop caring.
Not on my watch.
Copyright 2011, Kathryn A. Frazier.
Kathryn lives with her husband and children in Tampa, Florida. It's hot there. And swampy. With gators. She's really brave. PreciousHolidays@yahoo.com
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