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Court Preacher Adolf Stöcker Introduces Antisemitism to the Christian Social Workers’ Party (September 19, 1879)

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In fact, I see modern Jewry as a great danger to German national life. [By “modern Jewry”] I do not mean the religion of the Orthodox or the enlightenment of the Reformers. As for the Orthodox with their ossification of the law, their Old Testament without temple, priests, sacrifices, or messiah, they hold no attraction for the children of the nineteenth century and pose no dangers. In its deepest core it is a dead religious form, a lower stage of revelation, a spirit that has outlived itself and, although still worthy of honor, has been invalidated by Christianity. It has no more truth for the present. Reform Judaism has even less religious significance. It is neither Judaism nor Christianity but a shabby little survival of the Age of Enlightenment. [ . . . ] Both types [of Judaism] boast that the Jews are the bearers of the highest religious and moral ideas for the world and humanity and that the mission of Judaism now and for all the future consists of holding fast to these ideas, developing them further, and disseminating them. The Jewish press of the Right and Left is united in this. The incense emanating from the synagogues of both schools simply intoxicates the senses. [ . . . ]

S. Meyer, editor of the Jewish Press, writes: “Indisputably, the lofty ideals upon which rests the moral order of the world and the intellectual content of modern culture and civilization which form the foundation of true brotherhood, all arise from Judaism.” “Everything good in the Gospels is not new, but rather derives from Judaism. And everything new in them is not good.”

In the same vein writes Dr. Adler: “The religion of Israel is the eternal, unchanging truth. Christianity and Islam are the preliminary stages which the truth must ascend before the whole truth becomes accessible.” And the Reform rabbi Nascher joins in the chorus: “Israel's mission and gift is to be the lighthouse on humanity's sea of thought. It is called upon, like the stars, to shine upon the totality of its fellow-men,” or so preaches the vain man to his vain congregation. [ . . . ]

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