Many thinkers have noted that the “historic role of the Jews” as it appears in the Christian tradition, both on a theological and a general cultural level (usually with anti-Semitic overtones), reflects—often in a distorted fashion, it is true—beliefs of the Jews themselves about their own destiny. One central example is the doctrine of the chosenness of Israel. Whether to slough off this dogma has been a moot religious question among Jewish theologians in recent times. Both Orthodoxy and Reform accept the belief today in one form or another; readers of COMMENTARY will recall recent articles by Rabbi Leo S. Baeck (“Why Jews in the World?”—June 1947) and by Will Herberg (“Assimilation in Militant Dress”—July 1947) which presume a historic Jewish destiny in a special relation to the Divine. Among those rejecting divine chosenness are the Reconstructionists, most secular Jewish nationalists, and, of course, most Jews of naturalist tenor with some notable exceptions. The wisdom of continuing to assert the doctrine—at least in the form usually used these days—may well be subject to review in terms of some of the contentions raised here by Irving Kristol.
The stigma: “Anyone who is not instinctively disgusted by the Synagogue is unworthy of a dog’s respect.” So wrote Léon Bloy in 1905 in his book, Le Salut par les Juifs—“Salvation Through the Jews,” a title taken from Christ’s words in the gospel of Saint John: Salus ex Judaeis est. A strange sentiment for a book so titled, and one suspects the presence of the spirit of irony. Yet close reading fails to disclose any irony, and serves only to convince the reader that Bloy intended to express both these sentiments with the utmost seriousness. How could he?
In her volume of autobiography, We Have Been Friends Together, Raïssa Maritain has a long and interesting discussion of Bloy, this disgusted, lonely, poverty-stricken, exalted prophet of Catholicism. “Pilgrim of the Absolute” he called himself, while a contemporary described him as a “cathedral gargoyle who pours down the waters of heaven on the good and on the evil.” He is a striking figure, a man of deep feeling, a brilliant rhetorician, a near-saint. Certainly, much can be forgiven him, including ill-tempered statements like the one above; they might be regarded as unclean froth on the surface of a vigorous and profound ocean of religious feeling.
Such a case for forgiveness is presented by Mme. Maritain. Since she herself was born a Jewess, and holds what are known as “liberal” views on the subject of human rights, her pleading is genuine and not open to suspicion. She points out that this simple soul (and he was simple for all that he was profound) had a “medieval horror” of the Jews as a deicide people, and that “he expressed this detestation in terms that were sometimes inadmissible.” On the other hand, he attacked in unequivocal words the cheap racist anti-Semitism that was then becoming voluble, and even, in later years, modified his invective so as not to be linked in any way with these latter. To clinch her defense, there are all the wonderfully flattering things that Léon Bloy did say about the Jews. Salvation through the Jews—he meant it, passionately.
Still, after having done justice to Bloy, there remains the problem—the problem of the place of the Jew in the Christian religion that could provoke such a bewildering duality of emotion; for Bloy’s opinions are, in startling clarity, Christian opinions. The Graeco-Roman world disliked the Jews: they were stiff-necked, proud, barbaric, stubborn—almost, a sovereign might say, rebellious. It was an imperial dislike, and certainly no Roman ever had the idea of salvation arising from these people. It was left for the Christians to do that.
What is the Christian conception of the Jew? Jacques Maritain, in his book on anti-Semitism, defines the position of the Jew as follows: “Between Israel and the world, as between the Church and the world, there is a supra-human relation. . . . The bond which unifies Israel is not simply the bond of flesh and blood, or that of an ethico-historical community; it is a sacred and supra-historical bond, of promise and yearning. . . . But since the day when it stumbled, because its leaders chose the world, it is bound, prisoner and victim of the world which it loves, but of which it is not, shall not be, and can never be.” (Maritain’s italics.)
There is then a mystery about the Jew as there is a mystery about the Apostolic Church. Just as the Church can never be exhaustively defined by a secular vocabulary, so the Jew cannot be explained as, say, the Moslem, the Hindu, or even the Christian can be explained. His being cannot be circumscribed within the area of natural man. He bears a stigma, a theological stigma, that perforce makes him more than human. Or is it less? Or both?
Bloy, in denouncing the scribbling of some contemporary Jew-baiters, wrote: “Formerly the Jews were detested, they were gladly massacred, but they were not scorned as a race. On the contrary, they were respected and feared, and the Church. prayed for them.” (Bloy’s italics.)
“Gladly massacred”—“respected”—“feared.” We begin to see the outlines of the stigma.
One more witness, Ernest Renan: “Several times we have called attention to the curious circumstance that the Jews . . . harbour in their bosom two extremes, the struggle between good and evil. . . . The best of all men have been Jews and the most wicked of all men also have been Jews.”
He is high up to the heavens, and he is low to the very depths of hell, but never does the Jew stand with two feet upon earth.
Cursed and divine: Many writers have presented the case of the “demonic” Jew as a product of the Western (i.e., Christian) unconscious. Those who read Joshua Trachtenberg’s The Devil and the Jews will find ample source material. Medieval Europe saw the Jew as an ally of the Devil, a sly, subhuman, evil creature who incited Christian man, tempted him, damned him. He, the Jew, was at the root of evil, temporal and spiritual, and was attacked as such. He was more than the bystanding scapegoat, the victim of all thwarted desires. He was assumed to be at the source of the frustration itself.
It does not need an expert in pyschoanalysis to see that the Devil himself was an ambivalent symbol. He was the imaginative projection of unlawful lust and unsanctioned desire at the same time that the guilt of experiencing these desires was transferred to him, so that it could be fought and chastised at a distance. The Jew, as an ally of the Devil (when he was not that gentleman himself), was a convenient target for the guilty unconscious of the mass of men. Like the Devil, he was unremittingly pursued. The popular belief in the excessive sensuality of the Jews, and those crude medieval drawings of the Devil with his enormous testicles, drawings that aroused gasps of thrilled horror—surely there can be no misunderstanding this. The medieval Christian in pillaging the Jews was purifying himself conveniently and at no expense. On the contrary, his wages were glory and righteousness.
So far, so good. We have here one insight into the perennial sources of anti-Semitism. For, though the Devil may have disappeared from the scene, the psychic mechanism has not changed significantly since the Middle Ages. But it is only half the story. Trachtenberg refers to the moral and dogmatic scruples expressed by the Church against anti-Semitic excesses, and deplores the lack of control of these scruples over the lower clergy and the masses. But might it not be that the beliefs behind these very scruples were themselves at the root of Jew-hatred? The belief that the Jew was in league with the Devil has been investigated ably, but what has not been emphasized enough is the hatred of the Jew that arises from the belief that he is in league with God.
In what sense is the Jew in league with God, that is, the Christian God? That sense is expressly defined in the apologetic literature of the Church. The Jews are witnesses of the Incarnation and Crucifixion, and that is their function until the end of time. They bear living testimony to the truths of Church doctrine. As witnesses, they are doomed to inhabit the earth for eternity, until the day of the Resurrection, when they will be converted to the true faith. Their historical dispersion is the price they pay for this guarantee of deathlessness. The Wandering Jew is the complete symbol: the homeless, ever-living witness to the advent of Christ on earth.
Let us quote Bloy again: “The thought of the Church in every age has been that holiness is inherent in this exceptional, unique and indispensable people who are protected by God, preserved as the apple of his eye in the midst of destruction of so many peoples, for the accomplishment of his ulterior designs.”
The Jews, then, do not appear on the historical stage in the same way as ordinary men. They are not born to it, have no natural right to it. They are allowed—nay, enjoined—to settle on the fringe because they are related to the producer, though they are not at all on good terms with him. They exist on divine sufferance, and in their own suffering. The rest of the cast have their suspicions, and their resentment. No one likes to be spied upon, even by agents of the supernatural, of God himself. Especially of God himself. They mutter to themselves and one bright voice calls out:
Kill them all; God knows his own.
Death of a god: The Jew is holy and divine. He is also sacrificial in season.
The excuse for persecuting the Jew is the charge of deicide, a charge levelled against him once every year in the Catholic ceremony on Good Friday. But, obviously, this cannot be taken seriously, except in the most trifling technical way. The Jews who participated in the crucifixion must have acted under divine guidance (God is omniscient and omnipotent) as a proxy for Man—all men. Christendom must bear the guilt of this act along with the Jews. But Christendom also bears its own special guilt: that of continually desiring the crucifixion and death of its God.
The Middle Ages reveled in inordinately long and detailed descriptions of the sufferings of Christ on the cross. Trachtenberg remarks: “One cannot escape the impression that an abysmal guilt feeling drove Christendom to remurder Jesus, the personification of its uneasy conscience . . . and to seek release by projecting its guilt upon the Jews.” Thus the hatred of the decicide Jews is a sublimation of an instinct toward deicide, a castigation of it.
It is also more. It is an ill-disguised attack upon Christ and Christianity, not merely a sublimation, but also a genuine satisfaction of the desire to kill God. When the Jews are persecuted for having killed Christ, they are also being persecuted for sustaining his memory. For, and we tend to forget this, the blood of Christ was Jewish blood, and conversely, Jewish blood is the blood of Christ. In killing the Jew, the Christian is committing the long desired, the abhorred, deicide.
Léon Bloy: “The Blood shed upon the Cross for the redemption of humankind, as well as that which each day is shed invisibly in the Chalice of the Sacrament of the Altar, is naturally and supernaturally Jewish blood—the immense river of Hebrew blood whose source is in Abraham and whose mouth is the Five Wounds of Christ.”
“Kill them all; God knows his own.” Can any Christian hear this without shuddering at the naked blasphemy?
The Bible says that the Jews will exist until the end of time. What a burden, and what a temptation—what a provocation—to give the lie to the Holy Book by exterminating them beforehand! With that, who knows what other sacred, irksome sanctions might be annulled? Even original sin perhaps, and man’s dolorous existence on earth. What vistas of freedom! Will they never die off?
Pope Innocent III saw the danger, and warned: “The Jews are the living witnesses of the truth of Christianity. The Christian must not exterminate the Jews, for by so doing he would himself lose the knowledge of the law.”
Words like these, however, only added fuel to the fire by assuring the Jew-killers that their wildest hopes were well founded. To abrogate the law, to see God dead once and for all, and to have men’s secret lusts dance unrestrainedly under the open sky. . . . Will the Jews never die off?
The Jews, too, believe that they are holy and elect, the chosen people. Not as Christian dogma would have them believe it, but after their own fashion, holding fast to some sense of a special election and destiny, and in one way or another to the promise of the Messiah, or a Messianic age, when peace and justice will at last come to them and to the world. The Jews, too, believe by their own religion that they are eternal. The influence of these two dogmas, Christian and Jewish, has its effect upon the rebellious Christian. His revolt is doomed to failure before it has begun, and he comes to recognize this. But this knowledge only goads him on to more desperate measures. To humiliate, to mock, to slaughter, only to find your victim impassive upon a pedestal of persecution, unshakeable—it is enough to drive the best family man into a frenzy of despair.
The burden of guilt: With the years, and the centuries, the burden of guilt grows heavier and heavier. For the guilt is cumulative, from generation to generation. The sins of anti-Semitism are like a snowball, rolling downhill, gathering weight and speed. Its path is irreversible, the damage unatoneable.
To use another metaphor: the original murder leaves behind black and dirty traces that point an accusing finger. They must be erased—which means a further series of murders, and these, in turn, leave new traces. The accusation becomes ever more oppressive. All that can be hoped for is a convulsive miracle of elimination, the destruction of all clues and witnesses without exception.
The anti-Semite is doubly guilty: he is guilty of the Passion of Christ and he is guilty of the Passion of Israel.
A German anti-Semite, Hans Blueher, writing under the Weimar Republic, complained naively: “One of the greatest political assets of the Kingdom of Judah, which accompanies the curse on its blood, is its general capacity to draw a host-nation under the shadow of the curse. This it does by provoking a pogrom and thus bringing guilt upon the hosts.”
That, presumably, is what some people mean when they complain of the Machiavellian ethic of a Jew.
Sit in the darkness of the movie house with a Christian audience when pictures of concentration camps are shown upon the screen. There is a silence, a silence that whispers. “Ugh! How horrible!” And then the bent, scrawny, smiling survivors are shown, and the silence whispers: “Are they then truly eternal? It cannot be, for the world’s burden of guilt would be too intolerable. Will they never die off?”
Even as they ask, they know the answer. No, they will never die off. In one of his letters, Rainer Maria Rilke wrote: “These people are fruitful even in their eradication.” The popular mind amends this to: fruitful because of their eradication. It combines the belief in Jewish unnaturalness with the belief in Jewish sensuality. It is a lascivious thought, as must be any that links, contrary to all law and tradition, the sensual with the non-natural.
This grudging, salacious admission of the futility of their revolt does not quiet the Christian rebel. He must gird up his loins to try again. For as long as the Jew is before him, with his theological stigma, his unnatural accusing presence, the blasphemer cannot have peace.
The unspoken virtue: There are decent people; probably, under favorable circumstances, they form a majority. These people are civilized; that is, they have a more secure control over their desires, are more sensitive to the consequences of their actions. They partake of the nihilistic, sinful urge of their fellow men, but they never permit it to flower dangerously. Unless, of course, they are unduly provoked. There is always this “unless.” “There is a limit to patience—that’s going too far—” and so on their apologies run when civilization and decency go by the board and they leap into sacrilege. This is not to say that the leap necessarily takes place. But neither does it say that it necessarily does not.
This decency may be described as the Christian virtue of not being anti-Semitic. As a virtue, it is a good thing. But, also as a virtue, it has a lamentable tendency to offer itself for defilement.
We see this virtue in all its strength and weakness in England today. The British are a tolerant, human, and generous people. Their historical record with regard to the question of anti-Semitism is comparatively good. But, at present, they are undergoing a trial of temptation. Their soldiers in Palestine (never mind why they are there!) are being attacked by Jewish terrorists. Naturally, there is resentment and anger at this; that is perfectly human. What is not so pleasant is the form that this resentment takes.
In all organs of opinion and among all classes of people, there is pride in the “forbearance” shown by British troops in Palestine. What this means—and it comes out bluntly in ordinary conversation—is the restraint the British have displayed in not behaving as the Nazis did, or the Cossacks in pre-Revolutionary Russia. There is never any question of treating dissident Arabs, or Burmese, or Malayans in such a fashion. It is recognized tacitly that where the Jews are concerned, a special latitude of humanity (or inhumanity, rather) exists. Those who do not take advantage of this full latitude demonstrate “forbearance” and may pat themselves upon the back. The average Briton, proud of his tolerance and democratic institutions, when he reads of the Palestine terrorists, clenches his teeth and murmurs to himself: “They had better watch out.” He is not thinking here of an ordinary opponent upon whom he will turn. He means, watch out for anti-Semitism. His self-control is admirable and all that sort of thing, but there are limits—understand?—and beyond those limits lie the ghetto, the pogrom, the concentration camp. Those punishments are linked peculiarly to the Jews. It is the way a Christian, when out of patience, reproves them.
In other words, the British are very much worried that they may be pushed into the horror of anti-Semitism. Let us pray that this special virtue, too, will be possessed of that famous British bull-dog tenacity, and will not snap under the strain.
The secret behind the man: Contemporaneously with Léon Bloy lived another great French Catholic—Charles Péguy. The similarities between the two men are striking. Both were poor, proud, sensitive, brilliant; both were outside the mainstream of 20th century thought, and both were scorned because of it. Bloy, possibly, was the “saintlier” of the two, for Péguy had the faculty of getting involved in political and personal squabbles. On the other hand, Péguy was a truly great poet whose full stature is only beginning to be recognized.
Péguy, too, wrote about the Jews. There are some critics who say that his discussion of Israel in Notre Jeunesse (“Our Youth”) is the finest ever written. He was what is called pro-Semitic, and in Péguy’s case this is something of an understatement. Personal events had gone into the formation of this attitude: his activity in the Dreyfus affair, his intense friendship with Bernard Lazare, his poignant, frustrated romance with a Jewish girl. Along with this went a heart whose capacity for love was only equalled by its capacity for contempt. Once Péguy had discovered what he thought to be the truth, he refused to equivocate or compromise. The very scent of anti-Semitism would send him into a rage. In 1912, he broke off his friendship with Georges Sorel because the latter would not support Péguy’s efforts to obtain the Prix Goncourt for Julien Benda, a Jew.
For Péguy, the Jews were the carnal voice and temporal body of the Godhead. He wrote of Bernard Lazare: “There was not a trace of feeling, not a thought, not a shade of emotion that was not drawn and ordered by an order fifty centuries old . . .; a whole race and a whole world on his bowed shoulders; . . . and a heart consumed by fire, the fire of his race, consumed by the fire of his people; the fiery heart, the ardent mind, and the burning coal on the prophetic lips.”
Noble sentiments nobly expressed. It would seem almost perverse to cavil at them. Yet—if only he had described a man instead of a myth incarnate. It is so easy for these noble worlds to be handled by a charlatan, like a glittering coin, until the reverse side turns up. Blueher does just this: “Every Jew,’ irrespective of his intentions or what he thinks are his intentions, is subject to the missionary commands of the Messianic kingdom represented by the reigning Prince of the Diaspora.” And he further remarks the Jewish “organic plastic talent for mimicry. It has something to hide.”
There is no question of relating the two views. One is not responsible for the other. They are absolutely opposed. But opposed as are the two sides of a coin. Both sides are necessary in order to make the coin legal tender. To speak plainly: so long as the Jew is anything but entirely human, so long as he bears the theological stigma, so long as he is in essence mysterious and extra-human, he can be described as the devil (sub-human) as easily as he can be described as something divine (super-human). When the stigma is enforced, the “truths” of anti-Semitism, far more influential than their contraries, are pre-determined, and no anti-defamation campaign can hope to really touch them. Witness Blueher: “Henry Ford’s highly important book on The International Jew is largely valid, though there is not a true word in it.” If the Jew is outside the realm of the human, the human criteria of evidence, logic, and proof are not relevant to judgments concerning him.
The Secularization of the stigma: Since the French Revolution and Napoleon, the stigma has, among the more “advanced” nations, changed its color. With the decline of religion as a force in men’s lives, the Jew is condemned less and less in sacred terms and more and more in profane. The new charge against him is that of “race,” that is, of anti-nationalism. The Jew is, to borrow an epithet beloved of Maurras and Chesterton, a “Bedouin” among nations. His self-imposed task is that of national dissolution. He can belong to religion, family, property, but never to any nation. For Jehovah has promised him the empire of the world, and he cannot be placated with anything less. Today, excessive nationalism seeks and finds an ally in anti-Semitism.
This change, while significant, leaves the original form of the stigma unchanged. The Jew is so easily designated as the stranger within the gates because he is, to begin with, the Stranger par excellence, the Stranger on earth itself. All variant and temporary types of anti-Semitism are fed by the deep subterranean wish that discovers the Jew to be—the Devil, a God, a holy witness, a finger of guilt—anything but a man.
This altered coloration of the stigma coincides with a change in the worldly status and ambitions of Israel itself. The literal advent of the Messiah was pushed into the background by the stirring call to liberty, fraternity, equality. The Jew began to explore the possibility of a tolerable existence in this world; he became excited and agitated at the prospect of the rule of reason and good-will among men, a rule which would relieve his depressed condition. With the echoes of the French Revolution ringing in his ears, the Jew began his dedication to the task of social amelioration. Not all Jews, of course. Many would have nothing less than the Messiah and stayed by their holy books. Others found special reasons for washing their hands of this secular idealism. But the participation of the Jews, with a vigor disproportionate to their numerical influence, in these new movements of the 19th and 20th centuries, has been widely commented upon. So impressed have some observers been that they would have it an essential ingredient of Judaism itself. Jacques Maritain declares that “Israel passionately hopes, waits, yearns for the coming of God on earth, the kingdom of God here below. With an eternal will, a supernatural will, it desires justice in time, in nature, and in the cities of man.” And: “Israel teaches the world to be discontented and restless as long as the world has not God; it stimulates the movement of history.” (Maritain’s italics.)
Here, M. Maritain has seized upon a historical truth and polished it until it shines forth as a theological insight, true for eternity. He might assert that many modem Jewish thinkers have insisted upon this secular mission of Israel; he could even point to certain passages in the Talmud that could conceivably support such an interpretation, though many authorities, I believe, will contend that prior to the Enlightenment and Emancipation, the idea of salvation among the Jews was a distinctively other-worldly idea. However, quarrels of historical interpretation, though relevant, are not the issue. Many religions have diverse and far-reaching claims made in their name without these claims being accepted at face value in the popular ideological market. What is noteworthy and exceptional in this particular case is that the Christian world, Protestant as well as Catholic, should be so willing at the present time to accept such claims, made in behalf of an alien religion, in all their literalness. It was not always so. A medieval or Renaissance theologian would have found M. Maritain’s dialectics incomprehensible if not heretical.
But why argue? Is not this vision of Israel as the “communion of mundane hope” a rather flattering one? Perhaps. But, running so close to the ancient stigma, the non-natural historical task of the Jews as a mystic unity, it is a dangerous sort of flattery. If the Jew is of the “communion of mundane hope” he becomes at the same time the object of all wrathful hopelessness. Again we are presented only with the nicer side of the coin. Flip it over, and there is to be read the raucous accusation of “Jew-Bolshevism.”
Divine mission or secular mission—the missionary runs his risks. If the Jew is the “stimulating” and “exasperating” agent of progress, he must bear the brunt of the failures of progress, and failures there are sure to be. With each collapse of government and economic order, men will rum in anger and disillusion from their attempts at betterment. Where is an easier object for this anger than the mythical Jew who started the whole affair? “This Jew, this instigating devil who with his persuasiveness tempts men to improve themselves—away with him and back to the good old days [smartly gilded in imagination]. After all, what was good enough for our fathers, etc., etc.” The fault does not lie in the lack of foresight, the lack of intelligence, the individual’s greed. No, it is transferred to the Jew with his absurd, intolerable, misleading optimism. It is the Jew who is blamed for having led mankind out of the Garden of Eden of the past. He is the Great Deceiver.
This does not mean that the Jew should “play it safe” and abstain from all social movements. Not at all. He has the right and the duty to participate, just as does every citizen, every human being. But when well-meaning lyricists, Christian or Jewish, hold out to him the treasure of his “divine, suffering mission,” he should return the gift with as much haste as is consistent with good manners. Unfortunately, there is never an element of choice. The stigma is gratuitously pinned on to the Jew without any previous inquiries as to his wishes.
The triple anxiety. The Jew, because of his theological stigma, bears the anxieties generated by the Christian religion. Because of the stigma in its secularized form, he bears most acutely the anxieties, the contingencies, of his epoch. Thus the anxieties of both Christian man and secular man descend upon him. It is not surprising, then, that the anxieties of man himself, as a conditioned, limited, imperfect being, should also seek him out. By a supreme analogy, the Jew’s fate is man’s fate, and is seen as such in the world’s eye. The Jew is the eternal embodiment and symbol of man as victim, man suffering, man beaten down by nature and the world. And it is inevitable for a man to hate his own suffering and his fate when he sees it mirrored in the suffering and the fate of another.
Rilke saw this point: “The mobility and nomadism of man’s inner center, its independence . . . this spiritual vagrancy came into the world through the fortunes of the Jews.” (Rilke’s italics). This vagrancy promotes the despair of man who sees his life as a journey toward death and who sees in his death a lifetime’s work. His self-hatred becomes Jew-hatred. The Jew is made over into the looking-glass of humanity. Men warp the glass in every possible way so that their image shall come out over-large and handsome. But it is a perverse glass, perverse as fate itself, and occasionally men see themselves diminish furiously, threaten to disappear. Then they smash the glass.
The final shame? There is a tendency among some Jewish thinkers to accept the stigma and glorify in it. (For example, Will Herberg’s article “From Marxism to Judaism” in the January COMMENTARY.) That is understandable—one does the best with what one has. It is not a solution that will commend itself to those who are not possessed of a martyr complex, and besides (as Harold Rosenberg brilliantly pointed out) it means grafting an essentially foreign ideology on to the body of Jewish religious thought.
It is time, I think, that a distinction is drawn between that concept of the “chosen people” which plays a unique role in Jewish theology—as an affirmation of the loving contract between God and man—and the more modern interpretations that are based, in one form or another, directly or by reaction, upon the stigma of the supra-natural Jew. Judaism is neither a divinely intoxicated form of liberalism nor an intellectual’s masochistic apologia for the historical sufferings and present alienation of the Jews. It is a religion—and a religion of quite ordinary men.
Now, after the efficient massacre of European Jewry, the stigma becomes more and more intolerable. One reason why so many Jews feel a secret pride in the terroristic acts in Palestine (the practical merits and demerits of these acts are something else again) is because they constitute a debasement, a debasement to the human. Is not that, in a way, the final shame?
D. H. Lawrence, a strong anti-Semite in his own right, wrote: “And it will be left for the Jews to utter the final and great death-cry of this epoch: the Christians are not reduced sufficiently.” So they will, if the stigma, in all its variants, is not obliterated. Or is it already, too late, and did the cry pass unheard in the general commotion?