On November 9, Dr. Michael Brown responded to a post of mine on his podcast. Here is the link:
His response starts at 16:30 and lasts a little under 10 minutes.
Dr. Michael Brown is a very intelligent man. His Biblical scholarship is first rate. I also admire him for exposing Rabbi Tovia Singer as a liar and a charlatan. I’ve probably read a dozen of Dr. Brown’s books. I’ve learned so much from reading what he has written on the Bible. Church history on the other hand is not an area that he excels in. He responded to my October 31 post where I said that the Catholic Church and Martin Luther bear zero responsibility for the holocaust. Keep in mind, I’m only defending the Catholic Church and one Protestant. No one else. Dr. Brown didn’t seem to get that as he was quoting 20th Century Protestant scholars who said Jesus was an Aryan and Nazi Biblical scholars. Obviously I don’t endorse that kind of stupidity, nor do I say they didn’t have a hand in the holocaust.
Dr. Brown levelled two kinds of attacks at me. Some were specific and some were vague. While the specific ones are easy to respond to, the vague ones are kind of annoying. If someone gives me an event, I can give the historical context since I know Church history very well. Dr. Brown talks at about 18:00 how there were centuries where Jews fled to Muslim countries from Catholic countries. Dr. Brown doesn’t say from what Catholic Country to what Muslim country. He doesn’t say which Jews in what year. I can’t respond to these vague accusations. I find it cowardly to be honest.
Dr. Brown talks about all of the policies used against the Jews save extermination were already used in prior centuries in Christian lands. Well, I said that the Catholic Church and Luther weren’t responsible for the holocaust. The holocaust is extermination. Yes, the Church did put Jews in ghettos. Pope Paul IV put the Roman Jews into the ghetto in 1555. If you read the Papal Bull that he issued, it was clear that they were causing trouble in the city. It wasn’t because they were Jews and they simply didn’t believe in Jesus. The historical context never gets spoken about. Yes, things like this were done, but remember, this is not extermination. If you want to blame the Catholic Church for putting Jews in a ghetto in certain cases or depriving them of jobs, that’s not the holocaust, nor does it lay fertile soil for it. The holocaust is a very specific crime which the Catholic Church and Luther bear zero responsibility.
Dr. Brown then says to read all these books. He recommends Raul Hilberg, Edward Flannery and others. I don’t read books like those. I go to primary sources because historians have a tendency to spin things. I think Dr. Brown has been snowed by these scholars.
At 19:00 Dr. Brown says what led to the holocaust was centuries of European anti-semitism, both Catholic and Protestant. He then said that without this, there would be no fertile soil for the holocaust. He then says that this is a historical fact. No, it’s not a fact. It’s a complete distortion of history. I’m going to be looking through the examples that Dr. Brown brings up and we’re going to see that the Church had always been the best friend of the Jews when secular rulers wanted to deprive them of their rights. I will say categorically right now, that the holocaust happened because Europe ceased to be Christian. With a powerful Church, the Jews were protected. Let me just give you one example that Dr. Brown didn’t bring up. I will deal with his specific objections in my next post but here is an example that proves my point that the holocaust happened because a lack of Catholicism, not centuries of supposed Catholic anti-Semitism.
Was Germany more religious in the 11th Century or the 20th Century? I’m sure all people including Dr. Brown will admit that Germany was more religious in the 11th Century. At the end of the 11th Century, Pope Urban II called the first Crusade at Clermont in France. Some Crusaders then went to attack Jewish communities in the cities of the Rhineland. These were cities like Spier, Trier, Mainz, Worms and others. It should be pointed out that Pope Urban II never commanded the Crusaders to do this. Five accounts of the speech exist. I’ve read all five accounts and in none of them does he command people to kill Jews in Europe. It’s all about going to the Holy Land.
However, in these German cities, local Church officials did everything they could to protect the Jews in their city. Jewish accounts exist describing these heroic efforts. Let me give one example. The book The First Crusade is a compilation of primary sources on the crusades compiled by Edward Peters. There is a Jewish Chronicler from Mainz who wrote the following:
When Bishop John heard, he came with a large force and helped the [Jewish] community wholeheartedly and brought them indoors and saved them from their [the crusaders’ and burghers’] hands. He seized some of the burghers and “cut off their hands.” He was a pious one among the nations. Indeed God brought about well-being and salvation through him.
This is on page 114 of that book. The Catholic Bishop is protecting the Jews from attacks from these vandals and murderers. Peters has other examples as well of similar things. In the 11th Century, Europe was Christian and protected it’s innocent Jewish populations. In the 20th Century, Europe was no longer Christian and therefore didn’t protect it’s Jewish population. The holocaust happened because Europe abandoned Christianity. The whole charge of centuries of European anti-Semitism leading to the holocaust is groundless.
In my next post, I will respond to Dr. Brown’s other charges. I’m especially eager to respond to the blood libel charge as Brown seems to have bought into all of the lies promoted by people like Rabbi Michael Skobac and others.
Here is a video of Dr. Brown that I like. In this video he exposes the lies of Rabbi Tovia Singer.