In The News

Trump’s on board with antisemitism act. Why is Roger Marshall still against it?

Antisemitism is surging nationwide in big cities, on college campuses and in Kansas, too. Ten years after the Overland Park Jewish center shootings, Jewish students at the University of Kansas are facing harassment and intimidation, and officials report incidents of antisemitism across greater Kansas City with more frequency than ever recorded.
We know it when we see it, because we’ve defined antisemitism. Despite a majority of states having done so, efforts to apply the exact same standard at the national level are stalled in Washington.
Today, acts of hatred against Jews in Kansas and elsewhere are often committed in plain sight under the guise of free speech. Having adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism in 2022, Kansans can determine when unlawful acts are motivated by antisemitism. After all, you cannot defeat what you are unable to define.
Across the country, members of both political parties recognize the need to act, and the U.S. Senate is presently considering the Antisemitism Awareness Act or AAA, which the Republican-led House has already passed by a wide margin. It defines antisemitism nationally in the same way we’ve done so in Kansas using the IHRA definition.
Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Lankford called the IHRA definition of antisemitism “a helpful tool to train law enforcement and inform educators about how to identify and combat antisemitism.” GOP Rep. Mike Lawler of New York stated: “The question for the Senate is simple: Will you stand up to the radicals spouting antisemitism and calling for a genocide of the Israeli and Jewish people?”
Yet some members of Congress, including Kansas’ very own Sen. Roger Marshall, are claiming that the AAA is anti-Christian and would prevent the false teaching that the Jewish people are responsible for Jesus’ death.
Marshall has it precisely backwards. What are anti-Christian is antisemitism and teachings contrary to Scripture.
The Bible is clear in its assertion that God loves all his children and refutes the claim that Jews were or are responsible for Christ’s death. Scripture plainly states Jesus gave his life willingly: “This Jesus (was) delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God.”
Any believer who attempts to hold mere mortals “responsible” for the death of Christ undermines the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus.
Of course, the wild claims that the AAA is anti-Christian aren’t new. President Donald Trump heard them in 2019 — and wisely dismissed them — when he adopted the IHRA definition in his Executive Order On Combating Anti-Semitism.
Trump was right. The critics have been proven wrong. And now is the time to effectively make his executive order into law, just as we’ve done in Kansas.
The AAA does not criminalize speech. It does not criminalize the Bible. It simply empowers leaders to understand antisemitism when they see it. Language is power. We cannot address rising hatred against Jews in America unless we have an established description of it — and we cannot allow officials outside Kansas to deny the existence of deep pockets of antisemitism on their campuses and in their communities.
Trump led the way. Kansas followed suit. Now it is time for the nation to speak with one voice to declare that when it comes to antisemitism, we’ll call it as we see it, because only then can we fight back against hatred. Sen. Marshall should champion the opportunity to show that Kansas’ approach has proven a blueprint for the nation and join his colleagues to make this bill into law.

As seen on The Kansas City Star