Tomorrow January 27th is holocaust Remembrance Day.
It has been 75 years since the end of World War II. With that in mind the Jan. 6 Capitol Hill attack became the latest reminder of how Nazi ideas still endure and multiply. Hate and evil runs through each of us and that was ever so plain when the Nazi perpetrators were shown to be average German citizens that chose to do evil and kill so many men, women, and children.
Back on January 6th we have on Capitol Hill pictures of a man wearing a sweatshirt that said, “Camp Auschwitz” and “work brings freedom.” This is an anti-Semitic reference to the Nazi concentration camps/ extermination centers where over 1 million Jewish people died or were murdered during the Holocaust.
The fact that a President (now former President) would lie to the American people, while lying to himself and at the same time disregarding the basic premise of American democracy, which is a peaceful transfer of power reminds us how close we are to Fascism and Dictatorship. What we see then is that hate has never left our country. Hate has flourished underground, propagated by the internet, and then has reemerged when someone at the top allows it and encourages it.
When Trump announced and encouraged hate groups by saying there were good people on both sides, he gave a tacit blessing to their cause. That in turn also encourages those people to come to D.C. and attempt an insurrection.
Today there are several groups that keep reconstituting themselves through the Nazi Party in America. White supremacy continues to mean that Blacks and Jews do not know their place, so they need to be put in their place. This has been going on since 1945, sometimes more intense, sometimes less intense. But you can draw the line right back there and connect the dots to where we find ourselves today.
Our political leaders must speak out against it. Sadly for the past several decades, very few political leaders spoke out against it mainly because racism and anti-Semitism does not win you votes. With no value at the voting booth the morality of theses hate groups becomes irrelevant, until it’s not. American politicians have had opportunities when they could change the way the world works, and they have failed every single time because we failed to confront white supremacy, racism, and anti-Semitism.
There was a chance after the Civil War, and we failed as we did after World War II. And we have a chance again, right now, after everything that has happened. None of this Hate is going to change unless we confront our own sorted history and confront it right now the present.
During the time of the Holocaust, very few people or groups, came to the aid of the Jews. Christians in Germany and elsewhere have received harsh criticism for their apathy, considering how Christianity advocates morality and compassion for all. Most churches did not directly support Hitler and their decision to do nothing does not release them from guilt. It was possible if a strong determined group had actively opposed Hitler, they may have had a chance to defeat his regime. In the end the church was scared into passivity. While the church did nothing, Hitler manipulated Christian doctrines and the Church to serve his anti-Jewish policies.
Today in America an Authoritarian President has pushed us closer to the normalizing of hate, white-supremacy, Nazi ideals, and anti-Semitism. Once again, the Body of Christ has an opportunity to change the narrative. What will we do? Will we do what Christ would do or will we become apathetic and watch the atrocities begin?