Published by Charleston Voice, 3.20.12
Subversive evangelist "preachers" had a lot to do with subverting America - North and South - in goading the North to invade the South. "Parson" Brownlow was perhaps the best known. These were the Whigs, a creation of Alexander Hamilton, and the predecessor to the Republican Party. A short clip follows the immediate article. The effects of their pro-war, anti-Christian evangelism are still in motion today.
Links to reports and documents cited in this report immediately follow it.
Christian Zionists -- Christian evangelicals who avow support of Israel based on a belief in Biblical end-times scenarios -- are whipping their followers into a fervor in favor of an attack on Iran. In a related development, conservative commentators like former House Speaker Newt Gingrich have been beating the drum for a US attack on Iran, characterizing the current conflict in Lebanon as the start of “World War Three."
What is Christian Zionism?
by Rabbi Haim Dov Beliak, JewsOnFirst, July 31, 2006
Christian Zionism is a movement within Protestant fundamentalism that understands the modern state of Israel as the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy and thus deserving of political, financial, and religious support. Christian Zionists believe that when all Jews are gathered in Israel, Jesus will reappear; there are varying "end times" scenarios for what follows. (For more, please see the Institute for the Study of Christian Zionism.)
Christian Zionism is an extreme modern apocalyptic movement that shares with Nazi philosophy the paranoid idea that Jews and Judaism are the central actors in the world. Both movements seek the eventual dismantling of the Jewish people and Jewish faith - Nazism by death and Christian Zionism by conversion to Christianity of a remnant of Jews, who will finally learn their "lesson" from the death of most of the Jewish people at Armageddon (Ir Megiddo); then the "left-behind" remnant is expected to commit apostasy by converting to Jesus worship.
All the Christian Zionists' expressions of love and friendship (for example, Pat Robertson saying "We love the Jewish people") -- all their farm aid (including red heifers to use in revived temple sacrifices) and help for Russian Jews to immigrate to Israel -- are preparations for genocide by remote control.
Rabbi Barry Block of Temple Beth El, located in Christians United for Israel leader John Hagee's home town of San Antonio, writes for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that "[Hagee] and his group’s partners hew to a theology that mainstream Americans of every faith reject and often abhor. Even as they speak to large congregations, Hagee and his ilk are repudiated by tens of millions of Christians, including evangelicals, and for good reason. The group’s advocacy for Israel will harm everything we hold dear, as Israel and the Jewish people are tarnished by association."
Christian Zionism entirely ignores Jewish/Zionist aspirations for normalcy. Zionism was to be a new start for Judaism and the Jewish people living enlightened lives in peace. Instead Christian Zionism encourages the Israeli government and the US Jewish organizational leadership on a path toward enmity with the Palestinians and disrespect for Islam. In his book End of Days: Fundamentalism and the Struggle for the Temple Mount, Gershom Gorenberg pointed to the triad of Christian, Muslim, and Jewish fundamentalisms goading and threatening each other.
Many Jews are puzzled by Hagee's Christian Zionism. Many do not understand how it differs from altruistic support of Israel. Nonetheless, they welcome it and its blandishments of friendship in the face of so much opposition to Israel.
Most of what has been written about Christian Zionism by Jews (for example, Yechiel Eckstein's The Journey Home, and CUFI Executive Director David Brog's Standing with Israel: Why Christians support the Jewish state,) is also not helpful because it projects a romantic version of Zionism that assumes maximum claims for land and barely nods to pragmatic political considerations. Virtually the entire pantheon of Zionist thinkers from Theodore Herzl to David Grossman and Amos Elon saw peace with Arab neighbors as the culmination of the Zionist dream, not as an impossibility.
That peace demanded compromise in resolving disputes, not preparation for endless wars and "end-times" scenarios.
Religious right groups typically support aggressive foreign policies because of their identification with the Republican Party and their interest in missionizing where the US intervenes. But CUFI, which recently brought 3,500 citizen-lobbyists to Washington, is advocating confrontation with Iran based on "cherry-picked" Biblical interpretations.
CUFI's founder, Rev. John Hagee, is leading this push for aggressive US action, purportedly based on Biblical principles. Hagee heads the Cornerstone megachurch in San Antonio and a big evangelical television operation. He founded CUFI in February and packed its leadership with luminaries of the religious right.
A Christian lobby for Israel
Hagee established CUFI as a Christian congressional lobby in support of Israel, modeled on the pro-Israel congressional lobby AIPAC (the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee), according to news reports. (However, for unknown reasons, he disclaims similarity in an opinion article for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA).)
While AIPAC generally supports current Israeli government policy, Hagee and CUFI board members, including Rev. Jerry Falwell, make clear that they do not support Israeli withdrawal from occupied territories, based on their Biblical interpretations. (For more on Christian Zionism.)
Hagee has been promoting war with Iran since February. His book on the subject, Jerusalem Countdown: A warning to the world, has sold 700,000 copies, the Wall Street Journal reports. Speakers at CUFI's July 18th kickoff banquet hurled imprecations at Iran.
Esther and Iran
Sarah Posner, who reports on Hagee for the American Prospect, writes that, "[b]ased on his end-times prophecy, a supposed love of the Jewish people and the state of Israel, and false claims that Iran is just months away from a viable nuclear weapon, Hagee maintains that confrontation with Iran is necessary to fulfill God’s plan for the future of the world."
In June, Posner considered the impact of heartland Christocrats fired up against Iran:
While pundits and politicians in Washington debate the merits of confrontation with Tehran, Hagee and other evangelical leaders plan to activate hundreds of congregations across the country -- many of which boast tens of thousands of members -- to flood congressional inboxes with e-mails at the touch of a button. The message from the heartland, beyond the ken of elites who cannot quite imagine such a decision, will be to strike Iran before it is too late.In an April email to CUFI supporters, Hagee used the story of Esther to mobilize his followers against Iran.
Esther went before the king when Israel was in a time of crisis because the Hitler of the Old Testament (Haman) planned to exterminate the Jews. Mordecai said to Esther, "For if you remain completely silent at this time...you and your father's house will perish."
CUFI is exactly in the position of Esther. Israel is in a time of crisis.The Bible's book of Esther is generally understood to be drama – not a prophetic book. By assigning to CUFI a role as a modern-day Queen Esther, positioned to influence government action (Esther 4:14), Hagee has staked out rather ambitious territory.
A 21st Century Hitler (the president of Iran) has put in place a plan to exterminate the Jews with nuclear warfare. If we remain completely silent at this time...God's punishment will come to us also.
Jewish commentators do not normally attribute such "ouiji board" interpretations to Bible verses. Indeed, Jewish commentators interpret the book of Esther as calling for more responsibility on the part of Jews for their fate. Some commentators suggest that the book may be a sly letter from the Jewish Diaspora claiming that people in the Babylonian Exile (circa 500 B.C.E.) do not need to return to Israel since they were an important "lobby" that saved the Jewish people.
Jewish leaders welcome CUFI
Many Jewish leaders welcome the support for Israel offered by Hagee and other Christian Zionists. The Israeli ambassador to the U.S. spoke at the July 18th CUFI banquet.
The next day, the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington, the National Jewish Democratic Council, the Republic Jewish Coalition, the American Jewish Committee and the Israel Project sponsored a rally with Hagee near the White House, according to the JTA. Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich, Rep. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Rep. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.), Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) spoke at the rally.
For the most part, Jewish leaders dismiss the evangelical Christian commitment to proselytizing when it comes to Hagee and his CUFI associates. Some believe that Israel's present situation is so dire that they pay scant attention to the Christian Zionists' end-times motives. And Hagee has gone out of his way to put them at ease about the proselytizing.
He (Hagee) has met several times with Jewish organizational leaders and assured them that CUFI will not seek to convert Jews to Christianity. Before this month's CUFI meeting, Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, hosted a briefing with Hagee, according to the JTA, and said he was assured there would be no proselytizing. "There’s a stipulation that everyone has to sign on to who’s attending," Hoenlein said. "There’s not missionizing and proselytizing for anyone. We don’t have to be skeptical about everything, sometimes good things do happen." Finish reading @Source
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