Burying a Swastika

We have written in this space a number of times about neo-Nazis and their fellow travelers who dispense hatred for the Jewish people with a passion reminiscent of their mustachioed champion, Adolf Hitler. That these people exist at all is a chilling reminder of the pervasive anti-Semitism that has tracked Israel and the Jewish people across the centuries.

But every once in a while the stranglehold of manic animosity toward the sons of Jacob is broken, and when this happens it is a story worth repeating.

Parade magazine (Sept. 15, 1991) documented the account of one neo-Nazi who broke out of the Satanic circle and found a completely new life.

David Waughtal of Phoenix, Arizona, was an 18-year-old with few friends and smoldering resentments. His request for a newspaper published by a man he’d heard on a talk show brought a flood of brochures into his house. Before long, David was hooked by the neo-Nazis and began associating with them and Christian Identity types, who soon taught him how to refine resentments into acts of defamation against Jews.

Within a space of two weeks, he made telephone calls to 40 Jewish households with a message announcing the intention to “finish the job Hitler did.” Fearing arrest after being questioned by police about the calls, Waughtal fled to Oregon, where he resumed his activities as a neo-Nazi.

Sobered by being arrested in Oregon, David began a search for reality, a search that started by finding in the Bible a message completely contrary to what neo-Nazis and Christian Identity “Christians” had taught him. “I started to realize,” he said, “that I had been lied to and realized that I had to accept Christ as my Savior.” It took six to eight months for this young man to come full circle and trust Christ as his Savior, but he did, and today David Waughtal is making speeches on behalf of the Anti-Defamation League and preparing for the Christian ministry.

David’s experience graphically demonstrates what the power of the Word of God and true conversion to Christ can accomplish, even in the lives of Saul of Tarsus and like rebels who relish defying God and decimating the Chosen People.

Furthermore, the story documents the stark difference between some who call themselves Christians and those who are truly Christians. The common Jewish perception that Christians have been tormentors of their people historically can be tempered by the realization that the engrafted love of Christ does not create monsters. On the contrary, it births men and women who are responsive to God and His Word and lovers of those loved by their Father in Heaven.

At this season of the year, Jews and Christians alike can be profoundly grateful that the Jew who entered time nearly two thousand years ago in a stable in Bethlehem of Judea can cause the David Waughtals of this world to bury their swastikas.

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