Harvard Student Journal Blog Post Says Jews Deserved Holocaust, Other ‘Punishments’ for Killing Jesus

A student journal of Christian thought at Harvard University is apologizing for a blog post published last week saying Jewish people “brought suffering upon themselves for killing Jesus” and can be free of such suffering by converting to Christianity.

Days after it first appeared online, editors of The Harvard Ichthus have also removed the anonymous post from its website. Editors cite its “offensive views,” stating “many of the claims of Christianity are offensive to those who do not believe it, but we think that much of the offense that has resulted from this article is not the offense of the gospel of Jesus Christ.” Got that?

Penned by “an anonymous Jewish convert to Christianity,” the post lays the blame for the Holocaust, suicide bombings in Israel and many other contemporary and historical atrocities endured by the Jews on their predecessors — specifically the role the writer says they had in hanging Jesus on the cross two millennia ago.

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According to the writer:

“Jews have long been wondering. If we are God’s chosen people, why did the Babylonians destroy the First Temple? Why did the Romans destroy the Second Temple? Why did the Holocaust happen? Modern Israel is not the ‘land flowing with milk and honey’ that God promised. Israel is still in misery; suicide bombings and regional trouble keeps many sleeping well at night. Why would such catastrophes fall on God’s chosen people? … We, the Jews, rejected God and hung Him up on a cross to die, and thus we richly deserved all of the punishments that were heaped on our heads over the last 2,000 years.”

The journal’s top editor says the blog portion of the website (carrying the name The Fish Tank) operates without “significant editorial oversight.” It exists instead as “a place where authors often tease out ideas and post meditations that are not yet fully formed.”

As The Boston Globe confirms, this particular unformed meditation — declaring the death of Jesus as the sole work of the Jews — has been “a staple of anti-Semitic rhetoric for centuries, despite being repudiated by religious leaders, including Pope Benedict XVI in 2011.”

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In its note of apology to readers, the Ichthus says all charges of anti-Semitism are misguided. Calling the controversy “a growing experience for all involved,” the editorial board contends:

“The writer [of the post] holds nothing but love for his heritage and feels very deeply for the welfare of the Jewish people. The blog was not intended to communicate animosity, but concern and a sincere desire to communicate the necessity of salvation through Jesus Christ alone. While the Ichthus does not take any official position besides the Nicene Creed, Christianity has long taught that everyone is responsible for the death of Jesus Christ insofar as we have all sinned — all people at all times everywhere; Jew and Gentile alike — and that we all must repent and accept him as our Lord and Savior. Targeting this message at a particular group of people as though they are uniquely responsible misconstrues the generally accepted teaching of the Christian church, as well as the intentions of the author.”

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