All in the Family featured the curmudgeonly Archie Bunker. Archie was television’s most famous grouch, blunt, blustering, straightforward and untouched by the PC crowd. He was the archetype of the conservative male. Michael desprately tried to reeducate him, but he persisted in his breviloquence.



Looking back at the last 40 years, we realize: ARCHIE WAS RIGHT!

4/22/2014

Gut Wrenching

Twenty four years or so ago, I stood on a railway station platform in the Netherlands.  It was a beautiful day.  We had scheduled an afternoon to visit a Dutch concentration camp.  As our little group was waiting for the tram to take us to the camp, we collectively chickened out.  It wasn't a matter of being afraid to go.  We weren't  hesitant due to any failing of courage or moral fortitude.  It wasn't even our first camp.

That more than anything was probably the real reason we got back on the train and headed to our next stop.  It wasn't our first camp, and we still remembered what it felt like getting the gates locked on us at Dachau.  You see Dachau is a large museum these days.  One of the techniques they use when it is getting close to closing time is to lock up the different sections of the grounds and then the staff guides the visitors out.  We got locked in the crematorium section by the ovens.  The staff probably took all of 15 to 20 minutes to get to us and escort us out, but it seemed like eternity standing in the drizzle. 

I can't explain why I felt a sort of soul deadening hopelessness that day.  The staff was just doing their job of crowd control.  Yet standing on the bridge looking out those locked gates filled me with sadness.  I hadn't talked to any of my friends about that feeling.  Yet when it came time to go to another camp, none of us wanted to.

I'm not a Jew.  I don't even like gin.  I've known several Jews that I've had business relationships with over the years and liked them very much.  I can't imagine what kinds of emotions a camp would stir up for them.  Which is why I found this vid interesting.
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10 comments:

  1. Susan7:08 PM

    Do you remember what God said to Cain about his brother's blood crying out to him from the ground where he fell after Cain struck him in a fit of jealous rage? Abel's blood on the very ground cried out to God in agony.

    I wonder if your reluctance was due in some part to the souls of the murdered in the camp you had visited.

    I don't believe in ghosts, but I would probably be affected by all the death and misery that one man caused others.

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  2. ...all the death and misery that one man caused others.

    One man? This crime was committed by tens of thousands and was knowingly assisted by millions. It is too easy to cast Hitler as Jesus taking the sins of the world on himself. He wasn't that important. The "Ordinary German" still bears the weight of his own sin.

    Personally, I am highly offended by this use of Christian imagery in an obvious marketing film. The actual historical role of Christians and Christianity in the Holocaust is rich and worth telling on it's own merits. The historical person and acts of Jesus and the Apostles are rich and worth telling in their own merits. Mixing the two is stupid propaganda that demeans both.

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  3. Susan9:40 AM

    Professor, the point I made evidently sailed right over your head in favor of jumping on what you did instead.

    I was not even referring to Hitler.

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  4. Sorry, I got interrupted during my last comment. I did not want to come off as rude.

    I really wasn't meaning "one man" in the literal sense. It was more like one man in the looser meaning of one man representing a whole lot of people.

    I am aware that Hitler had lots of help. But he still was very involved in most of it, and it would not have happened without his approval.

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  5. I am sorry you disagree, but a lot of what is happening today can be traced back to what happened in the OT. Like Sarah's impatience for a child led to Abraham fathering Ismael. If that had never happened, we would not have the current ME conflict going on right now because they would not exist.

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  6. Susan,

    I've thought about the day we visited the camp and the day a week or so latter when none of us wanted to go to another one, several times over the years.

    I had to go back a ways to find it, but
    This is a link
    to a picture of me about 1hr before I went to Dachau. Our little group was feeling pretty good after the all beer breakfast. I was instantly sober when we went through the gates. The mood instantly changed for everyone else too. There was joking and smiles and then everyone went quite.

    It was a very draining day just walking through the museum displays. Even after all this time I still remember the emotional impact. I can't quantify it. I don't believe in ghosts in the sense that our culture does, so I don't think that was it. I guess I don't have an explanation.

    Someplace here I have pictures that my wife's grandfather took when he was in the army in WWII. His group liberated a camp and he took photo's that we have. One day I will get around to posting them.

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  7. Hale,

    I see your point about the offensiveness of the message. I intentionally didn't say how I feel about the vid, because I'm conflicted about it.

    On one hand its a powerful vid with a high degree of emotional impact. It was produced by a group of Jews, for a Jewish audience. As a bit of marketing it rates highly because of the potential impact on the target market.

    One the other hand, the connection between Jesus and the gas chambers is tenuous. Jesus assumed death in the vid rescues no one and is only represented as part of a greater tragedy. Granted you can go to the website and get more information, which is what they want you to do, but I'm not convinced that the vid will generate that traffic.

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  8. Susan7:37 PM

    I don't think it is ghosts either but when so much horrific death occurs in one place, I really think that it leaves a spiritual scar on the landscape. Not ghosts in the traditional sense, but you can feel it in your soul when you are a decent respecter of life.
    You know that passage where Jesus tells the apostles that if the people did not cheer his arrival in Jerusalem, then the rocks and the earth would cry out praise. Well have you ever noticed how absolutely quiet the earth is when you are out in a field somewhere and there is a foot or so of snow on the ground?

    It is like God puts a muffler on the earth it is so quiet. You can actually hear the silence. During the Spring, it's like I can actually hear the earth crying out in praise to God when I walk through our field. Maybe I am just more sensitive to such things, but I can really tell the difference. The reaction of your group to the camp was totally understandable Res. At least to me.

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  9. I understand what you are saying. There is a connection that we enjoy with creation. Because of this, and other reasons, I believe that it is possible that Adam and Eve enjoyed access to more than four dimensions of reality. I expect that part of the science of the new heaven and new earth will be a restoration to 5 or more dimensions of existence.

    Consider if you will, that God established time keeping as the marking of the passage of heavenly bodies. There was no death when He did that. There was no end to our life. We (man) had a beginning but no expectation of an ending to our existence. Adam and Eve enjoyed communion every day with God. They experienced Him in a way that no human has since. The only person to come as close to Him as they did was Moses. God told Moses that he was unable to bear a closer connection ie seeing God. Adam didn't have that problem. People like to describe this purely theologically as a spiritual consequence of sin. I agree that is part of it, but I can't help but think there is a part of this that is rooted in a physical dimension.

    I also think that when Adam and Eve discovered that they were naked, it wasn't a matter of not having cloths. I think what happened is that they no longer were "shining". We only have the example of Moses coming off the mountain "shining" to look to. They lost something physical when they sinned. I think it may be more than the glow they had when God was around.

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  10. FWIW, The passage you reference is found in Luke 19:40. I think Jesus is saying something very literal. There is a prophecy found in Daniel 9:25. I know lots of churches teach this verse as having to do with the millennial kingdom. I don't believe that.

    In Daniel 9 the EXACT day that the Messiah would be proclaimed to the city of Jerusalem is foretold. It is a mathematical prophecy that can be calculated to the day. The old calendar system was based on a 360 day year. The term "week" is an idiom for 7 weeks of years. 69 weeks of years calculates to 173,880 days from the commandment to restore the streets and walls of Jerusalem.

    In other words the bible spells out to the exact day when the Messiah the King would be declared to the city of Jerusalem over 300 years before it happened. Incidentally this happened before Passover. Traditionally this day is called Palm Sunday in the modern church.

    Jesus seems to hold the Jews responsible for knowing this date. In Luke 19:44 Jesus passes judgment on and damns Jerusalem for not "knowing the day of their visitation".

    God told the Jews on what day the Messiah the King would proclaimed to them in Jerusalem. He told them to the exact day. The only time Jesus allows the crowds to proclaim Him king and accepts their praises is on one day. Jesus even accepts praise and worship in the temple on this day. Check out the Mathew account.

    When Jesus says if He stops the crowds from proclaiming Him king that the very stones will cry out, He isn't saying something vague or figurative. He is stating a fact. Had the crowds not proclaimed Him King, the rocks would have sung His praises and declared to Jerusalem His identity.

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