Patrick Archbold is co-founder of Creative Minority Report, a Catholic website that puts a refreshing spin on the intersection of religion, culture, and politics. When not writing, Patrick is director of information technology at a large international logistics company in New York.
Remember a while back when some Florida pastor with a bad mustache and worse manners threatened and then ultimately burned a Koran? I am sure you do. It had plenty of two things, media coverage and body count.
There is another story that is likely to have neither of those things, mercifully. The Bible Society in Israel sent some copies of the New Testament to members of the Israeli Knesset with a note that said "We hope the book will help you and illuminate your way.” MK Michael Ben Ari, with better facial hair than the aforementioned Florida Pastor but equally poor manners, made a show of ripping it up in front of the press.
Well then. Mr. Ben Ari suggests his act was some sort of reciprocity over the Inquisition, or something. Yeah, the Inquisition.
“This abominable book (the New Testament) galvanized the murder of millions of Jews during the Inquisition and during auto da fe instances,” Ben Ari said adding that “Sending the book to MK's is a provocation. There is no doubt that this book and all it represents belongs in the garbage can of history.”
Millions of Jews killed in the inquisition? No, not millions, not even close. Yet even one is too many. It seems that those who do not know their history are condemned to make it up.
No doubt, Jews have suffered at the hands of Christians over the centuries and that is certainly reprehensible. Actually, over the centuries almost every group has suffered at the hands of another, that is our lot. Who we see as the bad guy often depends upon who is playing the scary music on cue during the re-telling.
But it seems odd that Mr. Ben Ari would loose his vitriol on Christians in such a rude way at this moment in history for the Jews, as the scary music is playing loudly but we Christians are not in the scene. People in that part of the world sometimes mail things much more offensive to Jews than New Testaments, things that go tick and all. And besides, persecuted Christians are doing most of the dying around the world these days.
To their credit, multiple other member of the Knesset condemned the offensive act.
Ripping up the Word of God is rude for sure, but if Jesus can take it, I suppose we can too.