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My apologies – once again …

Reader comment on item: On Islam and Islamism
in response to reader comment: I believe I have a sound reason for being 'Touchy"

Submitted by Oliver (United States), Oct 17, 2009 at 22:33

I was born and raised a Catholic in a small New England town where there were no Blacks to speak of and very few Jews although there was a synagogue in town. I remember there being an 'attitude' toward the Jews – that they were 'different' in some way and not 'trustworthy' for some reason – but I don't recall ever having the sense of any 'hatred' being directed toward them. There was a certain family of Jews that my family did 'business' with – they too kept pretty much to themselves – they sold antiques from a storefront and other 'things' door-to-door – sort of like the Fuller Brush Man – if you get my meaning.

When it came time for me to 'get a job' while finishing High School – I approached this family for a reference to a relative of theirs who owned a grocery store 'chain'. With their help I got the job and worked for the company for five years until my 'number' came up in the Viet Nam War Draft Lottery. I enlisted in the Navy and that is when my 'education' regarding Blacks and Jews and 'other minorities' really began. I was at a loss when confronted by the built-in animosities these people had towards ME before they had even met me.

There were always more Blacks than Jews in the units that I was assigned to and while I did make a few friends among the Blacks, I can't say I was ever able to call a Jew my friend – but not from lack of effort. In July of 1972 I 'found' my LORD and Savior and was immediately constrained to share my new found faith – I found I had many 'brothers' among the Blacks, but of course among the Jews it was a different story. I recall once when I was sharing with a group of shipmates, one of them asked – 'What about the Jews' – without thinking I blurted out – 'But for the Jews, Messiah would not have come' – I don't know how 'true' that statement is but having made it I found myself searching 'my' scriptures (the NT) for what a Christian's attitude ought to be toward the Jews. I found that my Savior is himself a Jew (humanly speaking) and that his primary focus, during his time of ministry, was toward the Jews. My Savior wept over Jerusalem (and its population) – my Savior loves the Jews – I can do no less.

All I want is to offer a hand of friendship and to have it accepted.


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