Apparently, someone accused me of anti-Semitism the other day. I say apparently because they accused me to a third party who repeated it to a fourth party who passed it on to me forbidding me to mention it to the third party, who had not told them who the second party was (although I have a fair idea). This is both more and less annoying because among my many faults anti-Semitism (or racism of any sort) is not numbered. Even the logismoi seem to avoid me on this one. But then I suspect racism has nothing to do with it. I expect the allegation arises from a rebuke which I delivered to someone (a Catholic) for celebrating the Sabbath with Jewish rites on a Friday evening. I realise this sort of thing is very popular nowadays but it is objectively gravely sinful and, however invincible (or not) the ignorance of the person involved, one is obliged to pass this fact on if it happens in one’s very presence or share in the sin and the scandal. How this could be construed as anti-Semitism I do not know. If I had told a Catholic to stop praying towards Mecca would that make me anti-Arab? If I expressed the hope and desire that all Hindus come to faith in Jesus Christ and be saved would that make me anti-Indian? There seems to have arisen an idea that if one does not approve of the activities of the State of Israel or hold that the Old Law is salvific one is anti-Semitic. This is absurd. In fact, it is worse than that because in the second instance it is heretical (see: the Council of Florence) and in the first case proximate to heresy (because the curse and blessing upon those who curse and bless Israel applies to the Church, the true Israel of God, not to the Levantine polity founded in the 1940s). In most circles in Britain my rather unformed views on the rights and wrongs of the activities of the State of Israel would probably be too favorable to the Israelis for social acceptability.
But where do these two errors come from? I suspect the one about the State of Israel comes from evangelical Christians who don’t know what to do with lots of material in the Old Testament the typological transference of which to the era of salvation assumes a vast and unified visible Church. The idea of applying these passages to the children of Abraham after the flesh has arisen because of the War and the sudden social unacceptability of negativity of any kind toward the Jews (and the real or perceived role now played by the State of Israel in US foreign policy). The idea that the rites of the Old Law are neither dead (for the fleshly descendants of Abraham) nor deadly (for the spiritual descendants of Abraham) comes from Modernism. Modernists hold that Faith is not ‘the ascent of the intellect moved by the will under grace, on account of the authority of God revealing, to truth received through the senses from an external source’ but is rather ‘a non-conceptual religious sentiment emerging from the sub-conscious under the influence of a will trained to morality’ and that consequently explicit faith in Jesus Christ is not after all necessary for the salvation of men in command of reason. As Judaism is the least false false religion it constitutes a test case for Modernism. If the Old Law does not save then Modernism is false. A fortiori the Old Law cannot be deadly. Thus the enacting of the former Rites becomes a kind of sacramentum of Modernism. Of course the other huge motive is guilt. In proportion as one arises from a region and a descent that played no part in the abominations of the Third Reich one feels that much less the temptation to pseudo-atoning theological extravagances on behalf of its victims. The whole idea is of course misconceived, one does not show charity to the infidel by sitting in one’s house inventing theological novelties that attribute salvation to him. One shows charity to the infidel by preaching the Gospel.