I Have a Question

     Thomas Blatt escaped from a Nazi concentration camp when he was 16. He died last week at 88. His parents and 10-year-old brother were murdered on arrival at Sobibor in 1943.
     Thomas, ordered to sort through dead people’s clothing, saw his mother’s dresses. That’s how he learned she was dead.
     So said The New York Times obituary Monday. The Associated Press quoted Blatt’s friend Alan Heath, of Warsaw: “Despite what had happened to his family,” Mr. Heath said, “he constantly repeated that one should not hate, and he certainly bore no malice toward Germans – and urged others to do the same.”
     I could recite more stories of forgiveness from concentration camps, but I think this one suffices.
     Here is my question.
     If Thomas Blatt, who suffered in his own flesh, could be so wise and forgiving, why is it that 10 people who are running for president of the United States – people who have never suffered anything remotely comparable to Blatt, but have been immeasurably blessed, by accident of birth, by inheritance, by geography, by our Founding Fathers, by God Himself -Why do these people compare our president to the Nazis?
     As though the presumed sins of our president and theirs are unforgivable?
     Why do Republicans hate?
     Or pretend to hate?
     And urge millions of people to hate?
     And how, or why, in God’s name, can they do this while presuming to run as Christians?
     Jesus said: “When thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward.
     “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret … But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.” (Matthew 6:5-8.)
     Here I could rest my case. But I won’t.
     Vain repetitions?
     Health care for poor people compared to the Nazis?
     Is the Republican Party insane?
     Will they do anything – pander to anyone with money – for what? For more power and more money?
     Do the Republican presidential candidates honestly believe that what they are doing is different from what the Ayatollah of Iran preaches, or the Taliban?
     What would Jesus think?
     I do not excuse the “mainstream media” for this. The New York Times consistently presents Paul Ryan as the Republican Party’s “intellectual.”
     A guy who can’t add and subtract?
     Does no one – including The New York Times – remember what hate speech has led to since it killed Socrates, Jesus, slew millions under the Roman Empire, the Spanish Inquisition, the Nazis, and is killing someone, probably a woman, as you read this, under our “allies” and our enemies in the Middle East?
     Listen, folks: Reality is not a bland medium between insanities.
     Reality exists.
     Reality is radical that way.
     Hate speech has fomented the murders of millions of innocent people, just for the way they thought, or were presumed to think. For thousands of years.
     It’s still happening today, all over the world.
     If Paul Ryan, or anyone in the Republican Party, including their presidential candidate, whoever that benighted person turns out to be, had the most elemental knowledge of history, they would know this.
     But you don’t hear it from them.
     We just hear them stirring up hate.
     Jesus said: “They have their reward.”
     And who shall reap the whirlwind?

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