The Silence That Is Surreal

Sometimes it seems, in this increasingly relativistic-amorphous global cultural vacuum that is evolving right before our very eyes, that one must “get slightly surreal” in order to make a point and get it across. And so it is that I bring a long-running, Cathedral.NaziFlagpopular and critically acclaimed British science fiction television series to bear on the discussion pertaining to the dire need for the world–particularly the Christian world–to take up the cause of remembering and memorializing the Holocaust.

I am calmly determined to raise this issue of moral and spiritual gravity for as long as it takes to change the attitude of denial that exists within the church in this regard, and yet, am admittedly, at times, stunned by the staggering depth and breadth of indifference demonstrated by the church–particularly the Protestant and Evangelical communities–concerning this intimate moral responsibility to the Jewish people as well as to the rest of the watching world. If the church does not respond now to the fact of its deafening Silence during the Shoah, during which it cast aside the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth with regard to “the other”–such as “love your neighbor” and the righteousness of the Good Samaritan–then why should the non-Christian person regard its message of the good news of salvation as being legitimately represented?

There is something about the very nature of hypocrisy that forces its own form of silence on whatever it comes into contact with. Like any human dictator, it is itself an autocratic ruler over all who submit to it.

Doctor_Who_-_Current_TitlecardHence, a blog post about the inherently different TV show known as “Doctor Who.”

According to the Wikipedia account: “Doctor Who is a British science fiction television programme produced by the BBC.  The programme depicts the adventures of a Time Lord—a time travelling, humanoid alien known as the Doctor. He explores the universe in his ‘TARDIS’, sentient, time-travelling space ship. Its exterior appears as a blue British police box, a common sight in Britain in 1963, when the series first aired. Along with a succession of companions, the Doctor faces a variety of foes while working to save civilisations, help ordinary people, and right wrongs.”

I am not a dedicated, full-time watcher of the show, but am intrigued by its premise, finding its elongated, expansive setting of time-space-travel a good environment from which to ponder the overarching view of life on this planet. And beyond. The appearance of a particular, and peculiar, race of villains in the show seems to somehow resemble, in a metaphoric way, an approximation of my experience of the grave condition of Holocaust Avoidance Syndrome as it plays out in the early second decade of the 21st century. This race of villains on the show is known simply as the “Silence,” a species of aliens able to edit from a human’s mind any memory of ever having seen, heard or encountered by them as soon as the humans are no longer able to see them. From the BBC America website:

“The Silence have been on Earth since the dawn of time, manipulating mankind’s development for their own purposes. But if you’ve seen them before then you wouldn’t remember—they control humans by post-hypnotic suggestion and once you stop looking at a Silent you forget it ever existed. That’s if you survive the encounter, for a Silent may decide to destroy you by absorbing electrical power from whatever is nearby.”[1]

This strikes me as an apt metaphor expressing the symptoms of Holocaust Avoidance Syndrome here on Earth as I experience them.DrWho.TARDIS2
According to the Bible, from a Judeo-Christian point of view, the Enemy and his minions have also been on the Earth for quite some time, manipulating mankind for their own purpose. You rarely see them and if you experience their affect you hardly know it at first, as if they do indeed control us by way of post-hypnotic suggestion–this supernatural phenomenon being commonly referred to as “temptation” (see C.S. Lewis’ “The Screwtape Letters” for more creative insight on the subject of temptation). And, once you have been influenced by such supra-natural suggestion, you often go on with your life as if the incident had never occurred. Like the “Silent” of “Doctor Who-vian” fame, or infamy, the minions of Hell can eventually destroy you by way of the power of temptation, which is always nearby, being an ever-present commodity in this fallen world.
facebook-holocaust-deniers-3How then, to identify and confront this ongoing Silence?
The Silence that is being amplified as our precious survivors grow older?
The Silence that grows as school districts are muted by a growing plethora of social and pedagogic obstacles?
The Silence that is being gradually amplified by the legitimization of Holocaust Denial on college campuses as a form of revisionistic “freedom of speech?”
The Silence that is triumphant within certain elements of the world where state-sponsored curriculum and mass media outlets teach and promote Holocaust Denial as pseudo-academic revisionist propaganda?
That, alas, is one of the most profound and critical questions of our time.
And beyond.
“And that is why I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men or women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must – at that moment – become the center of the universe.The discussion of the nature of silence is significant to the condition that we, as human beings, find ourselves in at this moment in history.”
~ Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor, Nobel laureate [2]

[2] Elie Wiesel’s Acceptance Speech, on the occasion of the award of the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, December 10, 1986.