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Whoopi Goldberg got it very wrong.

However, there was a hint of truth in her recent statement about the Holocaust.

Without question, her error was what everyone noticed and condemned. The Holocaust was not about racism but man’s inhumanity to man, she said. One must wonder how anyone with even an elementary knowledge of history could be unaware that the Final Solution of the Third Reich was about racial purity. German blood had to be unadulterated, thus, “impure” people had to be exterminated, which included not only the Jews but gypsies and the handicapped. Off to the gas chambers and furnaces they went.

Her use of “Man’s inhumanity to man” has the ring of truth about it, but it does not enlighten us. It is a bland, broad statement which includes everything evil done to and by people. So, it’s a true statement to which we would all say, “Yes. People treat others inhumanely. But we first learned that on the playground, didn’t we?” Thus, it simply leaves us there, thoughtful but perhaps despairing.

The source of the statement is in the seventh stanza of Robert Burns’ 1784 poem, Man Was Made to Mourn: A Dirge.

Many and sharp the numerous ills

Inwoven with our frame;

More pointed still, we make ourselves

Regret, remorse and shame;

And man, whose heaven-erected face

The smiles of love adorn,

Man’s inhumanity to man,

Makes countless thousands mourn.

How shall we end this inhumanity to man that causes our mourning?

Change him.

And, oh, how we have tried. We have discovered, painfully, that education, tremendous amounts of money, and even proper upbringing do not bring us to our desired goal. However, because our nations have been swallowed by humanism and rejected the Lord God, we keep trying. Perhaps you have heard this lately: “We have to do better.” Yes, of course, we can, despite decades of failures. All politicians are on board. Just some more money, please. That will make it look like I’m doing something. It is sure to get better.

Except it never does. We may give others a foot up, but the inherent nature of people does not and cannot change with the efforts of man alone.

So, Whoopi’s claim that the Holocaust was not due to racism was ludicrously ignorant, but her statement about inhumanity was true. Racism falls under its broad scope. But so does every sin imaginable against people.

The answer to solving Burns’—and our—inhumanity and consequential mourning, is Jesus. This is the life-changing God we steadfastly ignore. However, He does not offer answers for which governments and organizations can take credit. What He does is hard to quantify, impossible to map, and about which we cannot write voluminous factual reports.  

All He offers is a newly created man or woman, and He is the only one with the capacity to do that. However, we are too well-educated and evolved to accept that. Ashley Cleveland sang years ago, “If you don’t believe in Jesus, you’re just an educated fool.” Hard words to some, perhaps, but no harsher than what God Himself said centuries ago:

“The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds; there is none who does good” (Psalm 14:1).1

But foolish, corrupt individuals will keep trying to end man’s inhumanity to man. They will do so until human institutions cease. It is then, when faced with the irrevocable results of their foolishness, that they will see that all their efforts brought absolutely nothing of eternal worth. Only the Lord God Almighty can do that.

1Scripture quotation is from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (2016). Crossway Bibles.

Gif courtesy Bing images.

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