A stupa is a Buddhist holy structure, many of which were erected in past centuries at the expense and for the greater glory of wealthy Buddhists seeking to secure for themselves a place that, in Western (non-Buddhist) parlance could be called “a place in Heaven.” The famous Plain of Bagan of Myanmar contains dozens of these structures, celebrated by Buddhists and non-Buddhists (tourists) alike for various reasons. Most of them were erected by Buddhists gaining not only rewards in Heaven (Buddhists believe in reincarnation) but, one might presume, from among their co-religionists in the present, earthly life.
Such, I submit, may be discerned in the proliferation in American academia of what I cynically brand “advocacy professorships,” all funded through “donations” deductible from incomes subject to the onerous United States income tax (maximum rate over 39 percent lately, and subject at all times to the vicissitudes of political winds). Those of us with incomes below $470,000 per year may have to relegate such considerations to the realm of imagination, attainable only by a mathematical process known as extrapolation. I’ll do it for you (us): “donate” $1 million, and get $390,000 lopped off your tax bill for the year, courtesy of Uncle Sam and his nephews at the state and city levels. Talk about leverage—and all of it courtesy of your fellow taxpayers who can’t afford to make such lucrative donations.
Judaism has long been a somewhat threadbare religion for the piously inclined, lacking as it does saints and even the Savior that adorns other religions of the book such as Christianity and Islam. Accordingly, Jews seeking ways to demonstrate their devotion to their coreligionists have seized upon the Holocaust as a surrogate religion, much in the way Peter Novick explained (p. 200) in his 2000 The Holocaust in American Life. Having thus become sacralized, the Holocaust then, like other dogmas, required “schools” of divinity such as adorn other cults and religions and imbue their respective mythologies with the trappings of scholarly legitimacy. And the endowment of professorships at institutions of higher learning affords the opportunity to emblazon the chair with the name(s) of the benefactors as, for example, the Norman and Irma Braman Professor of Holocaust Studies at the (taxpayer-funded) University of Florida. Yes, historians, not unlike journalists, politicians and public-relations consultants are indeed bought and sold by those who can afford to have their preferred messages put about by high priests clothed in academic legitimacy.
Unlike the temples of the Bagan Plain, Holocaust professorships aren’t physically observable; much less are they concentrated in one sacred place to be captured in a panorama by the lens of a camera placed atop a nearby hilltop. But they do, like the temples, number in the hundreds, if not the thousands, and if somehow placed all together in a tableau, they would indeed constitute a wondrous sight, just as do all those temples in Myanmar.
They would attest to the power, not only of the drive for the approbation of one’s coreligionists, but of the benefit of many millions (billions?) in tax deductions and of the force of irresistible calumny against a uniquely damned sector of today’s humanity, the Germans.
If made of the stone and timber of Bagan’s temples, these monuments to lucrative iniquity might endure for ages to be marveled at, if not fully understood, by generations untold in the future. But they aren’t made of stone; they’re made of money and a privilege of tax-exemption running forward into the future without visible limit. But money and tax exemptions do have limits, even if they aren’t visible to those of us whose existence from day to day in fact depends (or suffers) vitally upon them. They will crumble to dust, or even be destroyed like the ancient statues of the Buddha in the Bamiyan Valley of Afghanistan at the hands of the Taliban or if not, then ultimately by the ravages of time itself.
Will the teachings of the Worldwide Holocaust Faculty survive their practitioners of the present day, or the endowments that presently fund their chairs? The purported teachings of the Buddha survive today, but only among those who choose to believe them and live by them. It is nowhere a crime to deny those teachings, as it is today a crime in much of the world to deny the sacred teachings of the Elect of the Holocaust.
Perhaps that—the freedom to deny—is all that we may hope for, even as the history departments of our institutions of higher learning are more and more sold off to those who purchase them as indentured servants to their own preferred renditions of history. Even that would be a great leap forward for civil rights.
But aside from the attendant abridgements of freedom of expression, Holocaust professorships are a great deal more pernicious than stupas. Unlike a mute building, they inculcate future generations of young people with profoundly false understandings of history, of Jews, and of Germans. They perpetuate a myth that not only paints Germans and their descendants for all time in the ineradicable stain of guilt, but further perpetuate fraud-ridden and unjustified reparations both to putative “Holocaust victims” and to the rogue theocracy in the Middle East that purports to be the Jews’ own exclusive safe harbor. Finally, supposed prevention of “future Holocausts” continually fuels not only exoneration of incessant aggression on the part of Israel, but repeated calls to war, always directed to the United States.
The real tragedies of the alleged Holocaust may yet lie in mankind’s parlous future. And just like last time, the non-Jewish victims will outnumber the Jewish ones by far more than ten-to-one.
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|Title:||Holocaust Professorships as Stupas, Laying Up Treasures in Hell|
|First posted on CODOH:||July 27, 2017, 11:42 a.m.|