Update on Martin Luther’s thoughts

Since the 1980s, some Lutheran church bodies have formally denounced and dissociated themselves from Luther’s discriminatory writings on the Jews. So what discrimatory remarks did Martin Luther write on the Jews? This! (Source: Wikipedia)

In the first ten sections of the treatise, Luther expounds, at considerable length, upon his views concerning Jews and Judaism and how these compare against Christians and Christianity. Following this exposition, Section XI of the treatise advises Christians to carry out seven remedial actions. These are

  1. for Jewish synagogues and schools to be burned to the ground, and the remnants buried out of sight;
  2. for houses owned by Jews to be likewise razed, and the owners made to live in agricultural outbuildings;
  3. for their religious writings to be taken away;
  4. for rabbis to be forbidden to preach, and to be executed if they do;
  5. for safe conduct on the roads to be abolished for Jews;
  6. for usury to be prohibited, and for all silver and gold to be removed and “put aside for safekeeping”; and
  7. for the Jewish population to be put to work as agricultural slave labor.

It’s interesting to see that religions are evolving to be more relevant to today’s context. While it does seem like a nice thing to do, sometimes I feel it’s more like religions have to act this way or they may die out. Increasing the emphasis of living in a society is about tolerance and religions are turning to less aggressive stances.

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