Alister Cameron // Blogologist

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Martin Luther’s hatred of Jews… I’m shocked.

I have never really researched Luther all that closely, but at the very least he is always promoted as a key father of the Reformation, etc. He make a hero of him in many way, and one would thing with good reason. Justification by faith, Sola Scritura and all that.

But what I was horrified to discover is that he was (at the end of his life, would you believe) an out and out anti-semitist. A really ugly one, at that.

This is from a Wikipedia article on the subject:

In On the Jews and Their Lies, written in 1543 three years before his death, Luther recommends that Jews be deprived of money, civil rights, religious teaching, and education, and that they be forced to labor on the land, or else be expelled from Germany and possibly killed.

He refers to Jews as “a brood of vipers and children of the devil” (from Matthew 12:34), “miserable, blind, and senseless”, “truly stupid fools”, “thieves and robbers”, “lazy rogues”, “daily murderers”, and “vermin”, likens them to “gangrene”, and recommends that Jewish synagogues and schools be burned, their homes razed and destroyed, their writings confiscated, their rabbis forbidden to teach, their travel restricted, that lending money be outlawed for them, and that they be forced to earn their wages in farming.
Luther advised “[i]f we wish to wash our hands of the Jews’ blasphemy and not share in their guilt, we have to part company with them. They must be driven from our country” and “we must drive them out like mad dogs.”

Man, I’m speechless.

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