Thursday, February 23, 2006

Christians United for Israel? Jesus Wouldn't Have Joined.

I guess I could make up something more stupid, less humane, and less Christian, than this. But why? John Hagee (John Hagee Ministies), Jerry Falwell of "Moral Majority" fame, Benny Hinn (flamboyant, even bizarre televangelist), Gary Bauer (President of American Values), and Steve Strang (owner of the Charisma magazine empire), have with others joined forces to create yet another pseudo-christian nationalistic front supporting Israel. The group, "Christians United," claims to represent 30 million Americans. I hope not.

Look, I'm not anti-Israel. I support Israel's right to exist, and I hope the new government of Palestine also sorts that issue out. I think they will. But I also believe the fundamentalist / charismatic nexus that supports Zionism -- no matter how henious the crimes Israel commits against her neighbors -- is diseased.

What is the disease?

Nationalism. And here, I'm not talking primarily about Israel but rather America. Note the logo of Christians United, which includes two hands meeting over an American flag and an Israeli flag. The unspoken assumptions embedded in that logo speak volumes. America as the new Israel is certainly a central theme in much of the Christian Right's worldview. It only makes sense for those confusing "American values" with Christian values to also confuse Israel's values with Christian values.

Until we root this nationalism out of our churches we can expect a humanity-denying Zionism to continue to infiltrate them as well. And we can pretend a baffled ignorance when reviled and hated by many in the Middle East for our amazing, and lethal, arrogance.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's so pitifully obvious to anyone with any discernment who has checked out all the info about yourself on the net that you're either bisexual or you're into some kind of kinky role reversal with your wife.
"BE SURE YOUR SIN WILL FIND YOU OUT."

Jon Trott said...

Thank you for the amusing post. "Have fun storming the castle!"

Koelpien said...

Found it interesting. I emailed them this short note, and will wait to see if they reply... Here's what I wrote:

"Will CUFI also try to hold Israel accountable for the shameful treatment of our Christian brothers who happen to Palestinians? There are many areas in which Israel falls short of the Judeo-Christian standards that Jesus practiced.

thanks,

Greg"

Koelpien said...

To the first poster: Your attacks have SO much more credibility when posted anonymously. Perhaps in quoting scripture, you should look to Matthew 7:1-2 instead of Numbers 32:23.

chris said...

Man Jon. I'm jealous. I was much more ruthless toward John Hagee on MY blog and Anonymous didn't call me a kinki role reversing bi. Its not fair. What's a guy got to do to get wackos posting to his blog!?! It seems you've so flustered this Christian Zionist that he has to don an imagination and wax vitriolic about your sex life!

Jon Trott said...

Hehehehe... and what would HE know about my sex life, anyway... what does that say about HIS?! Inquiring minds want to... no, no, they don't.

Jon Trott said...

Thank you, Koelpien, for both your comments. And thank you for sending the group an email; good to let them know they aren't representing all of us.

Anonymous said...

Jon,

I'm glad for your analysis of the logo of that organization. This overpowering presence of nationalism has been troubling me for quite some time. The church my mother attended when I was in high school was very conservative religously, but maintained a staunchly apolitical stance. This was something I appreciated at the time, and a philosophy which I can agree with wholeheartedly. The position of the pastor at that time was that Christianity was uninterested in national interests, that they frequently conflicted, and that the actions which were of benefit to the state were often actions which were antithetical to the pacifistic socially-just moral philosophy of Jesus. Historically, there are more than enough examples of what happens when people mix religion and nationalism, and it has yet to turn out well for anyone in the end.

In any case, my feelings on the subject are best explained by asking the question: "Who would Jesus bomb?" If a person answers in the emphatic "No one!" then we're probably on the same page.

KD

Koelpien said...

Hi, Jon,

Just to update you (and whomever) I have NOT heard back from those guys. Why can't some people [coughdobsoncough] ever reply to letters or emails that question the scope of their ministries? Don't they want to turn skeptics into supporters?

Koelpien

Jon Trott said...

KD, your post is thoughtful. "Who would Jesus bomb" is a great question. But I confess ambiguity in my own views. I am what I'd call a "functional pacifist," that is, I basically think a non-violent response is correct about 99% of the time. But I have to leave room for a "just war" somewhere in my thinking. It is an overused analogy, but if my wife were being attacked by a rapist and/or murderer, I would intervene with maximal force. What would Jesus do in the same situation? I have no idea, honestly! ON another level, the whole WWJD thing seems suspect to me. I'd rather see WWJHMD (What would Jesus have me do?) than ask a question I'm not sure I can answer meaningfully...

Jon Trott said...

kolpien,

re Dobson, I'm afraid that he has fallen prey to the same disease political action groups of all stripes regularly fall into; shrill will fill the till. That is, why be moderate in making comments when an extremist position will militate and activate your core supporters more effectively? Sigh... so to answer your question, I don't think these folks are interested in skeptics anymore than NOW or Planned Parenthood is interested in winning over progressive-thinking pro-lifers.... it do annoy one!