Wednesday, June 07, 2006

He really can't understand that?

Richard Cohen's column in The Washington Post
Tuesday was ostensibly about the Pope's recent visit to Auschwitz, but was really about Richard Cohen's most frequent and favorite topic--himself. I guess the point of the column was that Cohen can't believe in God after the Holocaust, and that's fine and a legitimate view I suppose. But what caught my eye were these two sentences:

I know Holocaust survivors who are religious. I don't understand it.I know others who feel that Auschwitz is proof that there is no God. I understand that.

Like I said, I can understand the second two sentences written above. But I'm having a hard time understanding how Richard Cohen can't understand why a Holocaust survivor might believe in God or be religious. Maybe a survivor feels that despite all the horrible things that happened to him and his family, the fact that he survived is proof that there is a God. Or maybe a survivor feels that God allowed her to survive so she could tell thousands of others about what she saw, saved her so that she could sound the alarm of "Never again" whenever Jews, or any other minority, is threatened. Or maybe the couple I interviewed a few years ago, who met in a concentration camp, somehow found each other a year after the war, and have been married more than 55 years, might still be religious. Out of such a horrible time, something wonderful was created.

I'm not saying Richard Cohen should believe in God because of this--he can believe in whatever he wants. But he can't understand why someone might still be religious even after the Holocaust? Come on, Richard, open your mind. You may not approve, but I think you're smart enough to understand.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Mark said...

I remember some assignment we had to do back in Hebrew school a lifetime ago. You had to argue for a)the existence of god, and then b) against the existence. In almost every case, we just used the Holocaust as an example of why there wasn't one. Either way, I agree Cohen's favortie topic is usually himself...

6/10/06, 1:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, Mark, almost be definition, Cohen's stance/argument is juvenile (the point of view of a child in school)?

6/12/06, 10:01 AM  

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