Evolving Thoughts

Well, we have established that the subhuman thesis is not of Darwinian origins, and made a start on showing that the eugenics thesis isn’t either (more to come later), but while we’re all waiting, Daily Kos has an interesting article by a former history teacher on the Christian attitude to Jews, going back Chrystostom, Augustine and Gregory I, between the 4th and 6th centuries CE.

Of course, he also quotes the execrable writings of Luther, which I mentioned, and the behaviour of the First Crusade in 1096 in which 10,000 Jews were murdered for religious reasons.There were also an indeterminate number of Jews (and Muslims) slaughtered at Jerusalem by those knights of Christ, such that the blood reached up to their knees.

The Lateran council in 1215 required that Jews wear distinctive badges (not, I don’t think, yellow stars – but Richard Lionheart had already required that) to mark them out as non-Christians. The Magna Carta specifically mentions Jews as being not able to collect debts from widows. The Jews were tortured by the cities of Strasbourg, Berne and Zofingen in Switzerland in 1348/9 for causing the Black Death. In Berne, the mob stabbed or drowned them. Strasbourg burned them.

What the article doesn’t mention is that the first broad pogroms against Jews began in Richard Lionheart’s England, under King John’s regency, in 1190. John then arrested all wealthy Jews and demanded a ransom for their release, going so far as to pull out the molars of those who refused until they paid, one day per tooth.

Nor does it mention this, under Edward I

In 1290, Edward I sent secret orders to the sheriff that all Jews, with their wives, children and chattels, were, on pain of death, to quit the realm by 1 November, the feast of All Saints. The sheriff was to ensure that they suffered no injury, harm, damage or grievance in their departure. The penalty for any Jew who remained behind after that was death. In October (a month before the deadline) 16,000 had left for France and Belgium. Many did not arrive – (some were tricked by a ships captain, into leaving the ship when it ran aground in the Thames Estuary. They were then left to drown with the rising tide.)

Before the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, all most [see comments] progroms against Jews were done by Christian nations or institutions, and the justifications were always religious, not biological or based on some notion of fitness or selection.

[Don't believe me? See this timeline of Christian persecution of Jews.]

Comments

  1. #1 Greco
    August 30, 2006

    Of course, he also quotes the execrable writings of Luther, which I mentioned, and the behaviour of the First Crusade in 1096 in which 10,000 Jews were murdered for religious reasons.

    Just wait, and someone will come here to say that wasn’t real religion. And that no Scotsman puts sugar on his porridge.

  2. #2 Rienk
    August 30, 2006

    Just wait, and someone will come here to say that wasn’t real religion. And that no Scotsman puts sugar on his porridge.

    “But they were not True Christians(tm)”, right?

  3. #3 Robert P.
    August 31, 2006

    “Before the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, all progroms against Jews were done by Christian nations or institutions…”

    Umm, that’s not true at all – there were anti-jewish pogroms in Muslim countries long before the Ottomans. Your own link gives some examples (check out Granada 1066).

  4. #4 John Wilkins
    September 1, 2006

    I stand corrected. I will change it to “most”…

  5. #5 John M.
    September 1, 2006

    With all that ‘natural selection’ in their brief history, little wonder Jews are so smart.

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