(Photo: Courtesy of Harvard University)
A Harvard University student Christian journal has apologized for publishing an anonymous essay online that states that Jews were to blame for killing Jesus and so consequently were the cause of their own persecution since the death of Christ.
In the essay published last week by The Harvard Ichthus entitled "Why Us?" the author stated "We, the Jews, collectively rejected God and hung Him up on a cross to die, and thus we deserved the punishments that were heaped on our heads over the last 2000 years."
Aaron Gyde, the journal's editor-in-chief, apologized for "inadequate editorial oversight in the publishing and re-publishing of this blog post."
"As editors of this online blog, we take seriously the responsibility of being a good steward of our platform and being true to our mission. In the zeal to protect editorial freedom for each of our contributors, we failed to take into account the broader impact of doing so in this way," Gyde wrote in a statement on the website.
Gyde also wrote that he believed that essay had undermined the publication's larger mission.
"Our blogs are intended to be areas of thoughtful dialogue. This particular piece has led to increasing misunderstanding and disinformation about the author's views, the Ichthus, and Christianity," he continued. "We do acknowledge that many of the claims of Christianity are offensive to those who do not believe it, but we think that much of the offense that has resulted from this article is not the offense of the gospel of Jesus Christ. And for that we apologize."
Gyde also apologized "for publishing offensive content on our blog," and while he defended the author's intent as one that was not meant to "communicate animosity, but concern and a sincere desire to communicate the necessity of salvation through Jesus Christ alone," he added that the author in "targeting this message at a particular group of people as though they are uniquely responsible misconstrues the generally accepted teaching of the Christian church, as well as the intentions of the author."
After an initial wave of criticism, the essay was originally removed from the site last week before an edited version of the article was reposted on Nov. 22, this time with a clarification from the author that he hoped the story would "warn my beloved Jewish friends and family of the judgment that lies ahead."
The story was taken down permanently later that day.
According to its website, The Harvard Ichthus "is an ecumenical, inter-denominational Christian publication," which serves to bring together voices from anyone who accepts the Nicene Creed.
"We will be a space where Christians of all traditions and backgrounds can come together to think critically about their faith and engage God with their minds. Make no mistake, though: We are fully and unapologetically concerned with the lordship of Jesus Christ and its implications for our lives and world."