And it happened to Christian people who loved their neighbor as they loved themselves (See Matthew 19:19 of the New Testament).
I wonder if I would be so courageous as the ten Boom family in like circumstances. Lying to the government and running an underground operation at the risk of everyone involved just to end up beaten, starved, or dead.
That is the big question all Christian people must ask themselves.
And here are some more:
Would I stand for such abuses of power over fellow citizens? Would I help a corrupt government in order to keep my family safe even though I know what they are doing is inherently against my beliefs? Or would I work against it as the ten Boom's did?
From the beginning of the story, Corrie demonstrates to the audience the matter-of-fact Christian attitude of her family:
"From the very first I had been baffled by Otto's brusqueness with the old man [Christoffels]. It wasn't anything he did--not in our presence anyway--but what he didn't do. No standing back to let the older man go first, no helping on with a coat, no picking up a dropped tool..." (61). Then, Willem shares his opinion on why Otto is unkind to Christoffels: "The old have no value to the State. They're also harder to train in the new ways of thinking. Germany is systematically teaching disrespect for old age" (61).
The issue here is not only antisemitism, but also ageism.
In case you haven't heard of ageism (I had not heard the term until a year ago--am I totally unexposed or what?), I would like to share the definition as found on dictionary.com:
1.discrimination against persons of a certain age group.
2.a tendency to regard older persons as debilitated, unworthy of attention, or unsuitable for employment.
I am reminded of all the old people jokes embedded into commercials, TV programming, and movies and cringe at it. While none of us are murdering our fellow man because of his appearance or heritage, are we turning our backs on common courtesies and respect for our elders because our society has found a way to make it entertaining or acceptable?
I would like to know what you think about ageism.
What conscious efforts do you make to teach your children that older people are a treasure and not a burden?
Ideas other than just yelling at my son, "Stop talking trash about people older than you!" would be greatly appreciated.