Holocaust Memorial Day 2016

This year, the world again remembers the Holocaust of the Twentieth Century while the wicked specter of a Twenty-First Century Holocaust haunts our modern world in the form of ISIS and those ideologues of a similar mindset who seek to rain misery, torment and destruction upon the innocent and those residing in the civilized world.

How wonderful it would be if the world could speak of the Holocaust in the past tense, remembering the many victims of Nazi atrocities and grateful that America and her allies put an end to such a nightmare, so that none of the descendants of those participants in the Second World War would ever have to hear or see such things in news reports or from survivor testimonies.

Yet, the reality is that the lessons of the Holocaust have not been learned. News reports and survivor testimonies do demonstrate in vivid language that the spirit of the Holocaust lives on, but in new form, equally evil as its dishonored forbearer. The civilized world is presented with the evidence of this modern tragedy each time a survivor of ISIS retells their story, be it the sexual enslavement of women and children to fund ISIS, the murder of Christians and other religious minorities in areas under the black flag of ISIS or the destruction of the artifacts of a pre-Islamic Arabia, in an attempt to “purify” the world of anything that does not fit the ISIS definition of Islam or their plans for a worldwide caliphate.

The question needs to be asked, “Is the civilized world listening to the cries of the victims, or are the civilized nations of Earth turning a blind eye and deaf ear to the voluminous evidence of evil act upon evil act brought to us by those brave survivors of ISIS violence willing to tell their stories?” There were those who did not believe the stories in the 1930’s about the Nazi persecution of Jews in the areas they occupied and the lack of initial action by those future Allied nations seemed to exacerbate the problem. The conclusion of the war brought into clear focus the horrific price of inaction. Is the modern world any more willing to accept the evidence before them of ISIS brutality than were their Twentieth Century predecessors in considering the evidence about the Nazis? Has the mantra “Never Again” about the Holocaust slowly been warped by an increasingly secular world into a state of ignorance and indifference?
I do not have the answers to these questions, but the Chaplains may point the Rio Family to the Biblical passage Ezekiel 33:6 as a reminder about the Holocaust, ISIS and the bitter fruit of inaction:

“ But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand”.


William E. Plants
Chaplaincy Coordinator

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