There is, perhaps, nothing more toxic than evil ideas that find their roots in religious -- or anti-religious -- soil.
I'm currently reading Leni Yahil's book, The Holocaust: The Fate of European Jewry, which describes, among other horrifying things, how early Hitler's anti-Semitic views were clear and in public. It's a reminder to all of us to pay attention to -- and expose in public -- hateful ideas being disseminated from whatever source. We ignore destructive ideas at our own peril.
Here are a few words from a letter Hitler wrote in 1919, well over a decade before he rose to power in Germany -- words that led the swastika symbol to become a flag of malevolence, while the Star of David has stood for a strong and courageous people:
"Everything that makes the people strive for greater things, be it religion, socialism or democracy, merely serves the Jew as a means to the satisfaction of his greed and thirst for power. . .
"Racial antisemitism. . .must lead to a systematic and legal struggle against, and eradication of, what privileges the Jews enjoy over other foreigners living among us. It final objective, however, just be the total removal of all Jews from our midst."
The result, as we all know, was the Holocaust. We're all capable of evil. Which is why we must not be silent about ideas that lead to death.
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