Sunday, May 31, 2009

Pope Benedict and Holocaust denial

My wife's grandmother is visiting us from out of the country. She recently celebrated her 80th. She is an active, spry and feisty lady.

She is also a survivor.

When we get together we spend much time discussing the Holocaust. Actually, I spend most of the time listening to her life story with utter amazement and fascination and horror and deep deep affection.

And then I turn on the news and hear a Holocaust denier. And I just don't get it. I don't understand. If there is anyone out there who has an explanation that makes the least bit of sense, I want to hear it.

And what gets me even more, is how people who are not deniers accept with tacit understanding those who are deniers. Imagine if the Arab states had denial of Christ's crucafixtion as part of their public cultural educational platform? Imagine the outcry.

I listened to Christian spokespeople today complain that the Israelis were too rough, too petty about the Pope's gaffs and less than perfect sensitivity. Perhaps if it were the Christians in the cattle cars they would feel different. And perhaps if the Vatican were more forceful against Holocaust deniers than we would feel different.

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