The Collegeville Institute Condemns Rise in Antisemitism A Statement from Dr. Jacqueline BussieFebruary 15, 2022 By Collegeville Institute Leave a Comment “The Collegeville Institute for Ecumenical and Cultural Research, rooted in Christian tradition, brings together people of diverse backgrounds and perspectives to foster the world’s healing through the power of religious ideas, insight, and practices.” -The Collegeville Institute Mission Statement As an organization, the Collegeville Institute strives to build bridges between people of diverse religious traditions and practices. Accordingly, when we see blatant acts of hate against our Jewish siblings, or against our siblings of any religious or non-religious identity, we must speak out and rise up in solidarity. This is an essential way we practice our mission to foster the world’s healing. In recent days we have become increasingly concerned about casual references to the Holocaust and Naziism that appear across the cultural landscape with increasing and alarming frequency, including: A U.S. Representative from Georgia repeatedly draws on Nazi imagery to describe vaccine mandates, comparing vaccine supporters to “vaccine Nazis” and warning them about “brown shirts” appearing at their door. Another U.S. Representative from Illinois tells a rally of Moms for America that “Hitler was right on one thing,” as she praised a strategy of organizing young people. In her public opposition to state mask and vaccine mandates, she compares Illinois’ Jewish governor to “Hitler.” In Kansas, a man wears a Star of David to a rally protesting vaccine mandates, suggesting they are a form of state persecution. We name these as instances of antisemitism. To use the Holocaust as a trope or metaphor diminishes the horror of what happened in the Nazi death camps and desecrates the memory of the 6 million Jews who died there. Casual reference to the Holocaust trivializes its horror in the minds of a public that is increasingly and dangerously ignorant of what happened there. In addition, we place these instances of antisemitism alongside more overt instances of religious violence against Jews, like the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville VA (2017), the shootings at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh (2018) and the Chabad of Poway (2019), and the hostage standoff at Beth Israel in Texas in 2022. Together, these incidents, among many, prompt Jewish leaders to post security guards in the parking lots and metal detectors at the doors of synagogues and religious schools. We refuse to stand by in silence while our Jewish siblings gather in fear. And finally, as an institute rooted in the Christian tradition, we want to outspokenly condemn the Christian nationalism that fuels many of these attacks against Jewish people as a perversion of the Gospel, which is a message of justice, dignity, and love for all people. To our Jewish siblings, we see you, we hear you, and we care. In solidarity, Jacqueline Bussie Executive Director, on behalf of the Collegeville Institute Like this post? Subscribe to have new posts sent to you by email the same day they are posted.