Updated: November 23, 2013, 3:57 PM
An essay published Wednesday on the website of the Harvard Ichthus, a campus “journal of Christian thought,” argued “the Jews were marked out for destruction when they killed Jesus.”
Entitled “Why us?,” the essay was identified as having been written by “aJew” and said all the suffering the Jewish people have faced since the destruction of Jerusalem’s Second Temple in approximately 70 A.D. came from God and was “just.”
“We, the Jews, rejected God and hung Him up on a cross to die, and thus we richly deserved all of the punishments that were heaped on our heads over the last 2000 years,” the essay said.
The anonymous writer went on to argue Jews can rid themselves of this “curse” by being baptized as Christians.
“Although such is the severity of God, the kindness of God is wonderful (Rom 11:22): in that me, a Jew, a children of Jews, and an utter sinner, can repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, and the curse on me is forgotten,” said the essay. “Rather than being at war with God (having killed Him), I have peace with God through Jesus Christ.”
In an email to TPM Friday, Ichthus Editor-in-Chief Aaron Gyde said the essay was published on the Ichthus’ blog, which does “not have significant editorial oversight.” The Ichthus is student run, but it has faculty advisors.
According to Gyde, who is a Harvard student, the essay’s author “decided to publish anonymously due to some concerns about personal attacks” and that when the site’s editors read the post “we decided to take it down and had the author revise it before putting it up again.”
“Upon further reflection, we have decided that the tone of the piece still requires additional improvements. We have taken it down for further editing and will be republishing it in the future along with an editor’s note,” Gyde said. “We firmly believe in editorial freedom and giving our authors the right to publish their thoughts even when we may disagree with them, but we also want to acknowledge that the viewpoint currently represented in the article does not represent the view of the staff or the editorial board.”
Late Friday, the entire Ichthus website was unavailable, though it was accessible earlier in the day. A cached version of the “Why us?” essay can be read here.
(h/t Dylan Matthews)
Update: On Saturday, Gyde published a note on the Ichthus website apologizing for the essay.