Baptist Leaders Condemn Anti-Semitism and Deadly Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting

Leaders of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, the Southern Baptist Convention and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship condemned anti-Semitism and expressed grief over the loss of life in a Pittsburgh synagogue shooting.

Accused shooter Robert Bowers entered the Tree of Life Synagogue and shouted, “All Jews must die,” before opening fire, killing 11 worshippers, officials reported. Police arrested Bowers, who had posted anti-Semitic rhetoric on social media, and federal prosecutors filed hate crime charges against him.

‘Words of hate’ remain in public discourse
Ferrell Foster, director of ethics and justice with the Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission, wrote in a personal blog he had been reading a novel when he learned about the shooting at the Pittsburgh synagogue. In the novel, a character talked about Hitler and the countless people who “helped” him carry out the Holocaust by acts of complicity.

“Hitler provided the words, the passion, the motive for hate. Six million deaths followed,” Foster wrote. “But evil still roams about seeking whom it might consume. Words of hate still spill into public discourse. Such words kill spirits, and such words sometimes lead to the killing of living persons.

“Again, we weep,” he continued. “We think it cannot happen again. It can. It, the possibility for hate, is inside all of us. May we all suppress the little Hitler inside us that wants to escape, that wants to despise, hate and even hurt those who are different and are a perceived threat.”

The “way of hate and ridicule” is not the way of Jesus, Foster wrote, noting with irony that the Holocaust “arose among a ‘Christian’ people.”

“Beware of ‘Christian’ nations. Seek Jesus people,” Foster wrote. “It is those people who seek to follow Christ who bring life and love to their neighbors.”

David Hardage, executive director of the BGCT, tweeted: “Thank you for joining our Texas Baptist family in praying for the families (and Jewish Community) of those who were killed & wounded in the attack on the synagogue in Pittsburgh.”

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SOURCE: Baptist Standard, Ken Camp