Jonathan A. Greenblatt, for TIME, reports:
The (((echo))) symbol, typically consisting of two or more pairs of parentheses used around someone’s name to signify that the person is Jewish, is not entirely new. It was created during a 2014 anti-Semitic podcast. But anti-Semites have been using it with increasing frequency to target journalists thought to be Jewish. This could come in a retweet or a reply, typically accompanied with nasty comments and even serious threats. Its use became so widespread that the Anti-Defamation League, of which I’m the CEO, officially categorized it as a hate symbol.
One of the effects of the internet has been to provide an outlet for people to express their darker thoughts, so it should surprise no one to find it used as a tool for anti-Semitism. As terrible as it is that Jews should be singled out this way, it’s actually appropriate that anti-Semitism should be symbolized by an echo symbol.
Anti-Semitism has a long history, echoing from one generation to another. Sadly, the Bible tells us this hatred will continue until the coming of Messiah. That’s when Jesus will put an abrupt end to the worldwide persecution of the Jewish people. Then he will separate the “sheep” from the “goats,” the sheep being those who will act in faith, feeding and sheltering God’s chosen people, and the goats being those who will (((echo))) the anti-Semitism passed on to them from previous generations.
“He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. "Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in” (Matthew 25:33-35).
In the wake of the senseless massacre of human life in Paris, I have heard a familiar refrain. A lot of people seem to be of the opinion that religion is the problem. They tell us that if we just do away with religion, wars would cease. They tout the John Lennon philosophy, made popular in the song "Imagine."
But what those who hold this opinion have failed to take into account is that the 20th century was the bloodiest century in the history of mankind, and that the atrocities of that century were committed by anti-religious movements, led by men like Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Lenin, Chiang Kai-shek, Hideki Tojo, and Pol Pot. These men were not religiously motivated, yet they ruthlessly slaughtered millions of people:
Joseph Stalin - 42,672,000
Mao Zedong (Tse-tung) - 37,828,000
Adolf Hitler - 20,946,000
Chiang Kai-shek - 10,214,000
Vladimir Lenin - 4,017,000
Hideki Tojo - 3,990,000
Pol Pot - 2,397,000
This wasn't that long ago. How have we forgotten so quickly?
Philip and Axelrod's three-volume ENCYCLOPEDIA OF WARS chronicles some 1,763 wars that have been fought in the course of human history. The authors only categorize 123 of these wars as being religiously motivated, with 66 of these 123 being waged in the name of Islam.
That means that ALL RELIGIONS COMBINED – minus Islam – have caused only 3.23% OF ALL WARS!!!!!!
Instead of blaming religion as the common denominator of war, it would make more sense to focus on the common denominator between Islamic Jihadists and men like Mao, Stalin and Hitler, etc., WHICH WOULD BE HATE! Throughout history, hateful men have waged war. Some perpetrated their hateful actions in the name of religion, others did not. Nevertheless, it is hate, not religion, that is the common denominator.
Conversely, let us not forget the countless millions who have been inspired by religion to love and serve humanity. While jihadists are blowing people up, Christians and other religiously motivated people are working in leper colonies in third-world-countries, feeding starving children in the mountains of Peru, providing warm beds to the homeless in countless shelters the world over.
Jesus said, "By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another," thus providing us with a common denominator by which to judge true religion (John 13:35).
The cross is a picture of violence, yet the key to peace;
A picture of suffering, yet the key to healing;
A picture of death, yet the key to life;
A picture of utter weakness, yet the key to power;
A picture of capital punishment, yet the key to mercy and forgiveness;
A picture of vicious hatred, yet the key to love;
A picture of supreme shame, yet the Christian’s supreme boast.
By David Watson
God is the consummate artist, and His greatest masterpiece is the cross of Christ. To fully appreciate His artistry, one must understand the complexity of the portrait. It is both passive and active.
In the passive, God allows man to play out his murderous intentions. In the active, Christ willingly gives His life for the sins of the human race.
In just one frame, the most vile act of violence, hatred and shame becomes the scene for the most profound expression of love, mercy and forgiveness. From the Divine Master’s palette, with an economy of strokes, we have both a portrait of man’s hatred for God and of God’s love for man.
It is the cross of Christ, and it is horrifically beautiful.
Mitchell Dillon, founder of Illustration Exchange
"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God" (1 Corinthians 1:18).