Every so often, I find that I have nagging questions in my mind that I just have to answer. Otherwise they’ll continue to bug me and nag at me until I find an answer that makes sense to me. I’m having one of those days again today.
This all started a little bit ago when I was watching a new TV series called Hunters starring Logan Lerman, Al Pacino and others. It’s a fictional series set in 1977 New York, and features Jewish “Nazi hunters” who hunt down undercover Nazis that escaped to the United States after World War II. The show itself is really cool so far! Love the action and pacing. Plus Al Pacino is an absolute badass in his role as the head Nazi hunter.
But once I allowed my mind to wander a little bit, I began to ask myself one question: Why are the Jewish people so hated by the rest of the world? They’ve been the most persecuted group or nation in the history of the world and it’s not even close. From constant oppression by several ruling classes thousands of years ago, to the Holocaust in World War II, to the issues between Israel and Palestine today, Jews have seemingly dealt with trouble since their beginning, simply because they are who they are.
But that still didn’t make sense to me. Why would people hate a group for no reason other than for their mere existence? But I started reading articles to get a different perspective and try to get to the bottom of things. This one really seemed to open my eyes.
I agree with the article in that the Jews are hated and persecuted for one major reason: The world hates God and having to live morally. The world doesn’t like having to answer to anyone. God first spoke to the Hebrews, the forerunners of the Jewish people, about how to live a moral life that pleases God through the Ten Commandments delivered to Moses on Mount Sinai. After that, God came down to earth in the form of Jesus Christ to actively show humanity how we should live.
How did humanity react? In both cases, these messages of living a life that was pleasing to God were ridiculed, hated, and rejected by many. The Jews were persecuted for their message, and Jesus was crucified for His, with many Christians being persecuted for it throughout the centuries as well. The persecution of people of both faiths is ongoing to this day.
What about hate for other groups?
After examining my own thoughts on why humanity reacts so negatively to both Jewish and Christian messages, I had another thought: Why does the world hate other minorities? I let my mind go. The persecuted minorities I think of are the LGBTQ community, and the black and brown communities. While I think society has come a long way in being accepting and understanding toward these communities, there is always room to grow and learn.
My arrival at the second reason why there are persecuted minorities, isn’t from any kind of research or reading, but rather from my own personal experience: People fear, ridicule, or hate what they do not understand. I do not understand why humanity has a tendency to do this. But many people fear or hate ways of thinking different from their own. And they also fear, ridicule, or downright hate people different from them.
I do not know how we will fix either of the above problems. We certainly cannot legislate away human hatred or evil. That’s a problem we have to look into the mirror to fix. It’s a human heart problem. I suppose the closest humanity can come to fixing either issue, is to study them as if you were in the shoes of the persecuted minority, or perhaps engaging in a constructive, educational conversation with someone who identifies as a member of any of these communities, and try to gain their perspective on things. For learning is a lifelong process. And if we aren’t learning, broadening our minds, and pushing ourselves beyond what we already know, what are we doing?