The People to Whom It was Sent

“The golden rule should govern us in dealing with those whom we call unbelievers, with heathen, and with all who do not accept our religious views. The Jews are with us as a perpetual lesson to teach us modesty and civility. The religion we profess is not self-evident. It did not convince the people to whom it was sent. We have no claim to take it for granted that we are all right, and they are all wrong. And, therefore, in the midst of all the triumphs of Christianity, it is well that the stately synagogue should lift its walls by the side of the aspiring cathedral, a perpetual reminder that there are many mansions in the Father’s earthly house as well as in the heavenly one; that civilized humanity, longer in time and broader in space than any historical form of belief, is mightier than any one institution or organization it includes… Recognizing the fact that I was born to a birthright of national and social prejudices against ‘the chosen people’ — chosen as the object of contumely and abuse by the rest of the world, — I pictured my own inherited feelings of aversion in all their intensity, and the strain of thought under the influence of which those prejudices gave way to a more human, a more truly Christian feeling of brotherhood.” (Oliver Wendell Holmes sr., Over the Teacups, 1890)