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Home News Did Congress Just ‘CRIMINALIZE’ Christianity?!

Did Congress Just ‘CRIMINALIZE’ Christianity?!

Did Congress Just ‘CRIMINALIZE’ Christianity?!

(—A number of Republican lawmakers and political pundits have raised fears that a contentious new law may make portions of the New Testament illegal.

For example, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) stated on Wednesday that she voted against the Antisemitism Awareness Act of 2023 because it “could convict Christians of antisemitism for believing the Gospel that says Jesus was handed over to Herod to be crucified by the Jews.”

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and pundits Charlie Kirk and Tucker Carlson expressed the same concern.

True, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of “antisemitism”—which holds that modern antisemitism consists of the following—is used in the bill.

“Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis.”

Does the measure, then, make specific passages of the New Testament illegal, or at the very least, make Christians think that they might break the law?

Relatively not, in the opinion of the bill’s co-sponsor, Rep. Mike Lawler (R-N.Y.).

“Those pushing that nonsense are truly idiotic and irrational. The bill does not criminalize Christianity — I’m Catholic. It’s [sic] gives contemporary examples of potential antisemitism,” Lawler said. “Calling all Jews Christ killers is a form of antisemitism. Believing in the gospel is not.”

Rep. Jared Moskowitz (D-Fla.) repeated the remarks made by his Republican colleague in a CNN interview.

“I want Christians to be able to practice however Christians deem that they need to, and we’re not interested in messing with the gospel nor does this language do that,” Moskowitz, a co-sponsor of the bill, explained.

Historical truth be told, Jesus was not killed by the Jews, which is a collective term for all Jews.

In actuality, at the time of Jesus’ murder, Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor, was the only one with the power to order an execution and send Roman soldiers to carry it out in Jerusalem.

Furthermore, Jesus died at the hands of Romans, not Jews, because he was crucified rather than stoned. One type of Roman execution that was not permitted by the Torah was the crucifixion.

It is realistic to state that both Romans and Jews ultimately had a part in Jesus’ killing since it is true that a tiny group of influential Jewish leaders plotted to have Jesus assassinated.

However, asserting that “the Jews killed Jesus” begs the crucial question of which Jews? Jewish people made up most of the early Christian generations, including Jesus and his disciples. Were those Jews involved somehow? Most likely not.

The Apostle Paul does, in fact, make reference to “Jews who killed the Lord Jesus” in his epistle to the Thessalonians. However, since Paul was a Pharisaic Jew in the first place, it is improbable that he was taking a broad swipe at all Jews.

Paul was most likely alluding to the fervent Jewish opponents of his own time, who either persecuted the early followers of Jesus who were not Jews or forced upon them Torah observances that Paul felt were beyond the capabilities or even the rights of gentile followers.

Indeed, throughout history, Christians have frequently been the main aggressors against Jews, and the idea that “the Jews killed Jesus” has been exploited to support antisemitism.

However, neither the bill’s penal provisions nor its prohibition of Christianity or any aspect of the New Testament are established. Thus, in light of the bill’s possible effects on the Bible and Christianity, Christians have nothing to be afraid of.

However, if the bill passes and becomes law, the repercussions for free expression are a more sensible worry.

Do you think Congress is trying to criminalize Christianity?

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