Is Silence Golden?

by Joseph Carr

I am often reminded of the TV commercial in which a Jewish diamond cutter is shown sitting at his workbench about to split a magnificent 100-carat, blue-white stone. With the knife edge firmly placed against the $1,000,000 rock, he swings his hammer and - wham! - a rough diamond worth a fortune shatters into a pile of industrial diamond dust worth about ten bucks.

The Jewish man slowly takes off his yarmulke and, looking very forlorn, laments: "Oy Vey! Am I gonna get hollered at."

I don't smash prized diamonds, but sometimes my writing does hammer equally prized prejudices, errors, and bigotries. There have been times recently that I have said - as I stripped copy off the word processor - "Oy Vey! Am I gonna get hollered at when this is published."

Since 1968 1 have published 57 books, more than 300 magazine articles, and several monographs, tracts, and booklets. My first two Christian books were published within a few months of each other early in 1985. 1 received more mail during that time than I had from all my other writings combined.

The Twisted Cross is about the occultic New Age religion of Adolf Hitler, while Christian Heroes of the Holocaust: The Righteous Gentiles is about the pathetically few Gentile Christians who helped Jews during the Holocaust. What a storm these books have unleashed!

Meeting Hatred Face to Face

The first personal assaults over these books occurred only a few weeks after The Twisted Cross was published.

During the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) Convention, my publisher gave away hundreds of books in hopes of gaining author interviews and book reviews from the broadcasters attending the convention. On the second day, a cold, steely-eyed gent bellied up to our table and asked me for ". . . that Hitler book." After telling him I was the author, I read his name tag and realized he was one of America's leading anti-Semites - a vile man who is widely known among Jew-haters.

Looking into the bigot's face was chilling for he reminded me of SS- Reichsfuehrer Heinrich Himmler - Hitler's SS chief. If I believed in reincarnation, then I would have thought this fellow was ol' "Reichs Heini" himself. In fact, his hairstyle, mustache, and pince-nez glasses were close enough to Himmler's to suggest that it was an intentionally affected image.

"Reichs Heini II" listened to my nervous description of the book, read the blurb on the back cover, and then venomously hissed, "The Fuehrer was a Christian!"

Another fellow came by the booth and contested my identification of Hitler's victims as "Jews." This man is a radio evangelist with a following in the East and South. He argued that the Holocaust never happened and pressed some of his tracts "proving" his assertions into my unwilling hands. With his lips tightly pursed, jaw set tight, and eyes narrowed into hostile slits, he nonetheless almost shouted at me, "The Holocaust is a hoax! And the people who call themselves 'Jews' today are counterfeits!"

My protests that he was wrong caused him to shake his fist at me! His face became contorted, his eyes blazed with hatred, and he practically snarled, "The Jews are the 'Seed of the Serpent,' and you're doing the Devil's work by supporting them."

At one time, such statements about the Jewish people, especially coming from a professing Christian, would have shocked and outraged me. "Don't you know your Bible?" I would have shouted. "Where did you get such stupid ideas?"

But I didn't question the shaking fist because, after years of research, I knew the source of his hatred and the deception that fosters it. Christian Anti-Semitism.

About eight years ago I heard about Stan Rittenhouse's book, For Fear of the Jews, through a critical review in an issue of Israel, My Glory magazine. The article indicated that the book was distributed through The Exhorters Foundation in Vienna, Virginia. I ordered a copy of For Fear of the Jews and read it. There was little in Rittenhouse's book that appeared new to me, it was the same old Nazi world Jewish conspiracy, anti-Israel rubbish that has been disseminated for generations. Unfortunately, Rittenhouse claimed to be a "fundamentalist" Christian.

During the summer of 1984, a plain, brown mailing envelope arrived by U.S. Postal Service at my home. It contained an anti-Semitic newspaper named The CDL Report from the so-called "Christian Defense League" and a booklist from some related group called the "Sons of Liberty." The letter accompanying the material indicated that Stan Rittenhouse told them I might be interested in their material; apparently, Rittenhouse shared his mailing list with them.

In order to investigate this obviously anti-Semitic group, I ordered a number of their books and back issues of the newspaper. Again, it was the same old anti-Semitic rubbish; they weren't even clever enough to invent new material.

I also received (apparently from the same group) a newspaper named 77te Christian Vanguard. The masthead of that newspaper indicated that it is the "Official Publication of the New Christian Crusade Church" of Metairie, Louisiana. Again, the same old anti- Semitic claptrap.

Finally, Christian Defense League sent me a copy of a form letter to their supporters indicating they are planning to set up a Washington, DC lobbying group to be called the America First Lobby. Can you imagine the implications of a band of anti-Semites lobbying Congress in the name of "Christian patriotism?"

A common ploy used by these groups is to deny the Holocaust ever happened; claim that the 6,000,000 dead Jews did not really exist, and preach that the State of Israel is some kind of satanic creation (despite biblical prophecy!) that furthers the interests of some mysterious international World Zionist Conspiracy. Of course, The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion are high on their list of proofs.

There are also many people out there offering spurious theories about the Jewish people. Some claim that one race or another - who were the ancestors of the people we call Jews today - invaded ancient Israel and usurped the place of the biblical Jews. Others claim that the present day Jews are the bastard sons of Eve and Satan through Cain and that the real Jews (usually "Aryan" white men) were descendants of Abel. Again, the "real" Jews were somehow displaced by the evil "pseudo-Jews."

Still another myth claims that modem Jewry are not Semitic descendents of the biblical Jews but rather are descended from the Khazars who ruled southern Russia from the fifth to twelfth centuries A.D. The Khazars converted to Judaism in 740 A.D., and that supposedly permitted them to usurp the place of the Jews.

Will there never be an end to such foolishness? The history of the Jewish people is well known and traceable - so why the great mystery? Make no mistake about it, the Jewish people we know today are the direct descendents of the Jewish people of the Bible - God's chosen people.

Getting Shot At!

I expected the anti-Semites to crawl out of the woodwork in response to my books. But what surprised me most was the number of Catholic haters who attacked me. People almost routinely come to me bearing supposed "proof" that Pope Pius XII "owned" or controlled Adolf Hitler. They usually give me the same old printed rubbish, the same poorly reproduced photographs, and the same vile anti-Catholic comic books. (I have quite a pile now, so no more please.)

When I counter their arguments with a dose of confirmable historical facts, these " Christian" Pharisees explode, shake their fist at me, and shout that I am some sort of Jesuit sympathizer or Fellow Traveler. Somehow I doubt that the haters of either the Jews or the Catholics are driven by the Holy Spirit.

During that same National Religious Broadcasters Convention, I stopped by a booth manned by several nuns who publish Catholic Sunday school curricula. One of the sisters showed me a box behind her counter that must have contained 300 anti-Catholic comic books.

"How did you get all those?" I asked. Before she could explain, a pastor came up to the booth, handed the nun a comic book, and said: "'Sister, I'm a Protestant, and I have a lot of problems with Catholic teachings, but I'm ashamed and embarrassed that a 'Protestant' puts out this rubbish!"

The nun took the comic book that we recognized as the one being passed out to convention-goers by a certain group.

"That's how I get most of my comic books," the nun told me with a smile. "I intend to use them to start the woodburning stove back at the convent." I

It made me feel better to know that most Protestants are decent folks who do not promote hate and the literature that fuels it.

Still, I pondered the power of the written word and how as Christians we can use it to spread evil or oppose it. When a writer opposes evil, he can expect heat. But, I must admit, I was shocked by the searing intensity of the blasts that were coming my way.

These issues were much on my mind when I later traveled to Chicago for the Christian Writer's International conference. There I met journalist Dan Wooding.

Dan, who now works for Brother Andrews Open Doors News Service was once a Fleet Street (England) reporter writing show business pieces (much to the dismay of his missionary parents). A fellow Christian journalist had challenged Dan to stop writing "show business junk" and "go to Uganda to get shot at." Dan accepted the challenge and wound up in Entebbe writing about the persecution of the Church under Idi Amin. He now specializes in covering the Church in those areas of the world where believers suffer and die.

During the writer's conference, Dan related to me how he once confronted another talented writer, a man well known for his work but whose writing is shallow.

"Although he is commercially successful," Dan said, "he has little impact on the world. After all, who really needs to know all Twelve Ways to Reuse Air Sickness Bags?"

I knew Dan was telling me, in a round-about way, to write about significant subjects. "If you've got to slave over a word processor," he said, "then at least write about something worthwhile!"

He was right - time and talent are simply too precious to waste on trivia.

Seeing 20/20

After I appeared on a television talk show, one man wrote and made a thinly veiled threat regarding my "kosher throat" (and I'm not even Jewish!). Another man wrote to call me a "Jew-loving ... (expletive deleted)." Taking a cue from Rev. Frank Eiklor of Shalom Radio, I wrote the man back: "Sir, you are only half correct - my parents were married."

My appearance on Marlin Maddoux's live radio broadcast, "Point of View," resulted in nearly 200 letters. About 20 percent either made anti-Semitic claims or asked questions that indicated they have been listening to such claims. The bulk of those letters came from the American heartland where thousands of farmers and others have been suckered into a vile antiSemitic hatred by the so-called "Christian Identity" movement (Neo-Nazis).

While I was in Portland, Oregon to appear on the "Gary Randall Program," the show host held a party for me at the home where I was lodged. Gary told me "Don't worry...."

I quickly thought, There's something to worry about? "Security at the studio is pretty good," he said in passing. At that, I nervously asked him, "Why does it have to be so good?" "A few weeks ago, the station showed the Raoul Wallenberg docudrama. After the show went off the air, a rifle bullet crashed through the station's plate glass window," Gary told me. "That's when we hired a bodyguard to sit in the audience during the show."

For several weeks thereafter, it perplexed me why they felt an armed guard was needed. Then, on August 15,1985 the ABC-TV "20/20" show ran Geraldo Riverds investigative piece titled "Seeds of Hatred." Rivera exposed the venomous Jew-hatred currently running amuck in the Midwest and throughout the USA. He also pointed out the religious nature of this "Christian" Neo-Nazism. called "Christian Identity."

When I heard people saying they were going to kill "evil, Zionist Jews" in the name of Christ, I recalled how my books had been received and felt a little like a Christian Scientist with appendicitis.

Frank Eiklor of Shalom Radio has fought anti-Semitism for almost a decade and comes under attack regularly. An associate of Frank, who is now himself on the frontline in Ethiopia with World Vision, told me, "Frank doesn't think his ministry is effective unless he gets at least one death threat a week."

The morning after the "20/20" broadcast, I stopped in the office of a Jewish colleague at my secular job and asked him if he'd seen the show. He replied that he had and politely listened to my shocked statements on the content of the program. He looked at me with a polite, sad, knowing but slightly condescending expression and said, "Those Neo-Nazis may surprise you, Joe, but we Jews have known what Christians are really like for centuries." That is why I won't waste my time on "Air Sickness Bag" stories.

Low-Grade Fevers in the Church Not everyone should go to Uganda or Kansas to get shot at, but I am challenging you to break out of your warm "fortress church" and make a significant contribution. There are, after all, important issues in your own neighborhood. All aspects of our culture involve critical issues, some of which affect the very basis of our religious freedoms and moral fiber.

A hand-lettered sign in my seventh grade home room proclaimed, "Silence Is Golden!" That slogan made sense to a harried teacher, but is it valid for the Church?

Isaiah 21 admonishes us to place a watchman on the wall. Interpreted in modem terms this advice could mean informing ourselves about the dangerous trends and critical issues in our culture and then speaking out on them where appropriate. After all, of what use is a silent watchman on the wall?

As Christians, we are faced with many tremendous challenges today: Secular Humanism, Liberal Theology, the New Age movement, and the Neo-Nazi "Christian Identity" movement. Anti-Semitism is also once again raising its ugly head. All of these movements are threats to the Church of the 1990s.

We must not think that Christian anti-Semitic groups are merely a lunatic fringe that can be safely tolerated until they go away. That was the position taken by the minority of German Christians who were not Nazis during the 1920s and 1930s, and you see what good it did them. It is necessary that the Christian churches be aware of the evil they are permitting if they allow Christian anti-Semitism to exist in their congregations without checking it.

Unfortunately, even Christians who are not overt anti-Semites frequently harbor a mild anti-Semitism that acts like a low-grade fever in the Church body. That form of anti-Semitism is even more hideous because it sets an attitude that will easily succumb to more virulent forms of the disease.

We need to stop using the word "'Jew" as a prerogative; we should not talk about "Jewing down" someone's price; we should not make assumptions regarding Jews or Jewishness; we must guard against telling "Jewish jokes."

I recall one young Christian who tried for a period of many months to get a Jewish friend to come to church with him. On the Sunday when the Jewish friend finally relented and came to church with the Christian, a speaker from a missions board was guest preacher. He told a simple-minded Jewish joke from the pulpit.

That Jewish man knew what he would find in Christian churches, and that missionary proved to him that his beliefs were correct! Never before or since had a Jewish joke been told in that pulpit, at least in the three years I attended that church. Only on the day when a Jewish guest was in the Sunday service did such a thing happen.

Satan has a perfect sense of timing, and uses the most righteous among us in his work. I hope that the Jewish friend of the young Christian will forgive us.

Surely telling Jewish jokes and using the word "Jew" as a prerogative fall under the category of "doubtful things." Anti-Semitism is a recurrent cancer in the Church body that must be eradicated.

Jews - Rich and Power Hungry?

Anti-Semites routinely charge that Jews control the wealth of the country and, thereby, control the economy and politics as well. Even non-anti-Semites and some Christians accept this generally held belief, making it easy for them to think there might be something to the "world Jewish conspiracy" myths.

The magazine of the American Board of Missions to the Jews (ABMJ), The Chosen People, for March 1985 discussed the question of anti-Semitism. In an article titled, "Even Your Best Jewish Friends Won't Tell You," they gave us a few facts regarding the Jews and wealth.

First, believe it or not, only a few Jews are wealthy. A study done in New York City, with one of the largest and most varied Jewish populations in the United States, found that 20 percent of the Jewish people lived below what the U.S. Government considers "lower income level," and 15 percent were at or below the official poverty level. I suspect from this statistic that a disinterested, objective study will show approximately the same distribution of wealth throughout the Jewish population as among the Gentile.

Second, Jews do not run American business! In fact, the proportion of Jewish top corporate officers is so low compared with their percentage of the population that I suspect Jews have a legitimate complaint under discrimination laws! In fact, the Episcopalians and Presbyterians are most abundantly represented. The Chosen People magazine used the word "overrepresented," while Jews (and Baptists and Catholics) are under-represented.

The article cited a study that showed, of the fifty-six major American companies that could be controlled by only 5 to 10 percent of their stockholders, only three have any substantial number of Jewish stockholders.

Third, the claim that a cabal of Jewish interests controls the media to benefit a supposed Jewish conspiracy is pure rubbish. Although it is true there are a lot of Jewish people in the media, and in responsible positions, one need only look at how "favorably" the media treats the nation of Israel. The distortions and half-truths that stream forth from the "boob tube" daily is proof that the supposedly Jewish media doesnt favor Israel in any conceivable way. If "the Jews" control the media, then how come they cannot keep their employees from slandering the world's only Jewish state?

It's clear the anti-Semitic assertions that the Jews either control, or seek to control, the world are pure rubbish. These claims simply stand on the edge of a logical chasm that is too broad for the healthy mind to leap.

Could It Happen Here?

During the Holocaust many millions lost their lives because of Christian silence. Could Christian silence bring on a Holocaust in this country? I know a lot of Jewish people who fear that it could happen here - in the United States of America.

A Jewish woman told me that her grandmother advocates keeping $2,000 in cash and some gold coins in the house all the time in order to finance a flight to Canada or Mexico when Americans start killing Jews. Extreme? I would hope so, but maybe not.

With the Christian Identity movement preaching a message that amounts to racial holy war and elimination of the Jews, it is more than possible that Jews are in danger in "Christian America."

Could it happen here? You better believe it can! After all, Germany was one of the leading civilized nations of the twentieth century; it "couldn't happen" there, either - but it did!

What can you do? First, become informed about Naziism, Nazi religion, Christians Identity, the New Age movement, and anti- Semitism in general. Shalom Radio and its founder Rev. Frank Eiklor have been fighting anti-Semitism for almost a decade. Frank broadcasts daily on ten or twelve stations nationwide and offers a newsletter and tapes on anti-Semitism.

You can also work to get the Jew-haters off the air. Some of these preachers of hatred broadcast their vile message over the radio - even on Christian stations. Let the advertisers who buy time on those stations know you are boycotting them because evil hatred is being broadcast on their dollar.

You might also contact the Christian programmers who buy time on that station and tell them your complaints. Let them know that your support for their ministry will be discontinued unless they either change stations or convince the station manager to stop airing programs that promote hate and violence.

Finally, if you hear a Neo-Nazi (or anyone else) threaten violence against the Jews, Catholics, blacks, or any other group, then complain to the FCC (1919 M Street NW, Washington, DC, 20037) - surely it's illegal to threaten physical violence on the airwaves!

You should challenge anti-Semites in your own church or circle of friends. God is not amused over either "Christian" anti-Semites or those who tolerate them (see Genesis 12:3). That is why challenging the Jew-haters is absolutely essential - it is not optional.

While Scripture encourages us to fellowship with nonbelievers in hopes of winning them to Christ, it also requires us to break fellowship with believers who fall into sin and refuse to repent. If there are Neo-Nazis in your church, then the only course open is the Matthew 18 process. Those people must be required to either repent or leave. Again, no other option exists.

To paraphrase a famous quotation: "The only thing needed for evil to triumph is for decent people to say nothing."

Tearing a Hole in the Night

Confronting Christian anti-Semites, New Age Jew-haters, and Neo- Nazi pseudo-Christians can be uncomfortable; it can even be dangerous. Sure, these people are tough, but fear must not stop us from speaking out against their hatred and violence.

To quote Rev. Frank Eiklor of Shalom Radio: "Silence isn't always golden, sometimes it's just plain yellow."

Christian silence in this matter will send the wrong message to non- believers, especially Jews. It will also set the stage for eventual success of the Christian Identity movement, as it did for Nazi success in Germany 50 years ago.

The righteous Gentiles, like Corrie ten Boom and her family, who aided Jews during the Holocaust were not previously heroes - almost all of them were very ordinary people like you and me. But they tore a hole in the Nazi night by their simple actions.

The Israeli government operates the Yad Vashern memorial on a hillside in Jerusalem to honor the murdered six million of the Holocaust. On the same site is the Avenue of the Righteous. There Carob trees are planted in honor of individual righteous Gentiles who helped the Jews escape Nazi terror and paid for it with their own lives. One account regarding the selection of the Carob tree says that "its fruit is sweet and nutritious, but its tough, leathery leaves do not wilt in a hot, dry hostile desert environment."

What is needed in the Church today are people who will not wilt in a hostile environment! With an anti-Semitic darkness settling over our country, I am calling you to tear a hole in the Neo-Nazi night.

If the watchman on the wall is silent, if he fails to cry out when danger approaches, then no one will hear his laments when barbarous hordes pour through the city gates.

To paraphrase anti-Nazi pastor Martin Neimoller: "First the Nazis came for the Jews, but I wasn't Jewish so I remained silent. Then they came for the Communists, but I wasn't a Communist so I didn't speak up. Then they came for the trade unionists, but I wasn't a trade unionist so I remained silent. Then they came for the Roman Catholics, but I was a Protestant so I said nothing ... then they came for the Protestant clergy, and there was no one left to speak out."

Is silence golden? No, sometimes it's blood red.