Most don't stop and think how 'Words' can become weapons of Persecution. Evil starts in the heart of men and then it is communicated out through 'Words.' Throughout history there are examples where persecution was preceded by bias, bigotry and hatred communicated through words. As sentiments spread and fear is perceived the stage is set for those who are influenced by Satan and conditions soon deteriorate to the point that persecution is justified.
One of the best examples is from the writings of Martin Luther (1483-1546). Luther wrote a book called, "On the Jews and Their Lies" in the year 1543. A wonderful article by Jim Walker called, Martin Luther's dirty little book: On the Jews and their lies--A precursor to Nazism spells out in vivid detail of the writing on the Jews by Martin Luther how it influenced the German people some 400 years later to act upon that information. Luther's writings were praised by the Nazis and the atrocities prepetrated against them had their start in the 'Words' of Martin Luther...almost to a tea.
Walker tells us:
"In Mein Kampf, Hitler listed Martin Luther as one of the greatest reformers. And similar to Luther in the 1500s, Hitler spoke against the Jews. The Nazi plan to create a German Reich Church laid its bases on the "Spirit of Dr. Martin Luther." The first physical violence against the Jews came on November 9-10 on Kristallnacht (Crystal Night) where the Nazis killed Jews, shattered glass windows, and destroyed hundreds of synagogues, just as Luther had proposed [in 'Jew and Their Lies']. In Daniel Johah Goldhagen's book, Hitler's Willing Executioners, he writes:
"One leading Protestant churchman, Bishop Martin Sasse published a compendium of Martin Luther's antisemitic vitriol shortly after Kristallnacht's orgy of anti-Jewish violence. In the foreword to the volume, he applauded the burning of the synagogues and the coincidence of the day: 'On November 10, 1938, on Luther's birthday, the synagogues are burning in Germany.' The German people, he urged, ought to heed these words 'of the greatest antisemite of his time, the warner of his people against the Jews.'"
No apologist can claim that Martin Luther bore his anti-Jewishness out of youthful naivete', uneducation, or out of unfounded Christianity. On the contrary, Luther in his youth expressed a great optimism about Jewish conversion to Christianity. But in his later years, Luther began to realize that the Jews would not convert to his wishes. His anti-Jewishness grew slowly over time. His logic came not from science or reason, but rather from Scripture and his Faith. His "On the Jews and Their Lies" shows remarkable study into the Bible and fanatical biblical reasoning. Luther, at age 60 wrote this dangerous "little" book at the prime of his maturity, and in full knowledge in support of his beliefs and Christianity.
This is a lesson of history that all should take heed of. And that is to beware of the power of words and even if they would not act on their own words they should realize that others may use them later to justify evil towards another. Bearing false witness throughout history has had horrific consequences and shows how evil is spawn.