“The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But under the name of ‘liberalism’ they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a Socialist nation, without knowing how it happened.”

Socialist Party presidential candidate Norman Thomas


Monday, November 05, 2007

The Christian/Jew debate

So we ended last week with a discussion, peripherially associated with Ann Coulter's column, about whether the American conservatives' support of the "state" of Israel is based on biblical self-centeredness, a dislike/distrust of Muslims, actual reverence toward the Jews, or some of each. Obstinate reader and TRR fav, capt. america, directed me to a couple of articles, decidedly left though they were, regarding this very topic. The gist of them was basically that American Christians' support for Jews was analagous to supporting your favorite character in your favorite story. To Christians in America, Jews are the good guys in their favorite story....the story of the second coming of Jesus. I can't say that's wrong. I think it's probably more right than any of the other reasons we Christians claim.

That being said, so what? What difference does it make to the Jews in Israel why we conservatives support their existance as a State, as long as the aid money keeps flowing and the advanced military hardware is made available, but not to the Arabs? I don't seriously think they care as long as they know we will help them defend against Arab aggression.

Now to the more touchy point of Zionist expansion in the region of the West Bank, Gaza, Golan Heights, and Jerusalem. The Arabs who today call themselves "Palestinians" did not "own" the land on which Israel now sits. Jews inhabited and governed that land, historically known as Judea for the last 3,300 years or so, 2000 years before the rise of Islam. Around 2000 years ago, the Romans conquered Jerusalem resulting in the Diaspora in which the Jews were expelled from Judea and fled to various other countries. More recently, say the past 200 years or so, the Jews and Arabs lived in Judea peacefully prior to the official establishment of the Israeli state on Nov 29, 1947. Only then did the other Arab states get upset. All the Arabs who fled prior to the 1948 war became the refugees that now call themselves "Palestinians", thought they are indistinguishable from other Arabs in terms of language, culture, religion, etc.

I know what the argument will be before you make it so let me address it to save us all some time.

"But Ed" you whine, "America, and numerous other countries, were invented too, just like Palestine. If the Palestinians have to give their land back to Israel, shouldn't the U.S. give it's land back to the Indians and Mexicans from whom it was seized? Just because there is no language or culture called Palestinian, does that mean that those people who lived on the land for the last 1300 years, calling themselves Palestinians and speaking Arabic, do not qualify as a nationality? By that logic, Americans don't qualify as a nationality because we don't speak "American", we speak English as in England."

Weak points all. Look, nobody is trying to eradicate completely Americans from the map(except the radical Muslims and we're taking care of that). North America was a vast wilderness when we got here. There was no Indian sovereign nation, with a government, trade partners, diplomatic relations etc. And the U.S. didn't kick the Mexicans out of Mexico, we won some land fair and square in a war. By the way, Israel is the only nation that has ever voluntarily given land back that it won in a war. No Arab nation ever did that. The point is that Israel was a nation over 3000 years ago. The Diaspora happened, followed by hundreds of years of nomadic existence, and finally the holocaust. But for the holocaust, the establishment of Israel might not have happened still. The Jews are unique in their history and attempts to draw analagies with other countries will fail.

Quote from Charles Krauthammer - The Weekly Standard, May 11, 1998

"Israel is the very embodiment of Jewish continuity: It is the only nation on earth that inhabits the same land, bears the same name, speaks the same language, and worships the same God that it did 3,000 years ago. You dig the soil and you find pottery from Davidic times, coins from Bar Kokhba, and 2,000-year-old scrolls written in a script remarkably like the one that today advertises ice cream at the corner candy store."


I won't deny that biblical relevance played a significant role in Israel's return to her original land, clearly it did. It plays a strong role in our support, financial and military, of her today.

Think about this, if the Arabs were to lay down their arms, there would be no more violence in the middle east. If Israel laid down her weapons, Israel would cease to exist the next day. That's the difference between Israel and any other nation with which you can try to draw similarities.

23 comments:

capt. America said...

"Yes capt., I think you're kidding, or just delerious. The reason Christians (the religious right) support the protection of the State of Israel by the U.S. is because #1 like you said, for the second coming to take place, there must be a state of Israel. and #2 the bible states unequivocally that "those who bless Israel will be blessed, and those who curse Israel will be cursed". It's that simple.

Where in the bible does it say Christians will triumph over Jews in an epic battle?

So based on your bizarre assertions, in the last days there will be another mass killing of Jews at the hands of Christians, simply because they are Jews....I mean if your comparison to the Final Solution holds any water?

Dude....do you hear yourself?

I think you've been to too many country revivals, listened to too many hysterical fundie preachers, handled to too many snakes, been bitten too many times, and the neurotoxins are affecting your thinking."



?

ed said...

A "?" isn't exactly the well-reasoned point I was hoping for but, whatever?

Kevin said...

Ed I thought you made excellent points. I have yet to hear a real reason why we should aid the Arabs. They have given us nothing but trouble. Why can't we be allies with Israel, because we are being unfair to the Palestinians? How are we being unfair to the Palestinians? They haven't done anything worthwhile in their relatively short history of existence. They have nothing to offer us that we would gladly give up our alliance with Israel for. I don't really see why people have problem with that.

capt. America said...

Be a man, Ed.

Was I kidding? Delirious? Is my assertions bizarre? Have I been bitten by snakes too many times?

Or was I simply right and you don't have the guts to admit it?

capt. America said...

The issue was not Arabs, but these post:

Mine:
What's really interesting is why conservatives are the Jews' biggest supporters.

It's simply because The Second Coming, according to the bible, despends on the Jews returning to the homeland.

And then, according to the Evangelical Christians? There will be a battle (of course), and the Christians will triumph (of course).

And the Jews? Most of them will be wiped out by the Christians. The few survivors will convert.

In other words - the real Final Solution.

Think I'm kidding?


Ed:
Yes capt., I think you're kidding, or just delerious. The reason Christians (the religious right) support the protection of the State of Israel by the U.S. is because #1 like you said, for the second coming to take place, there must be a state of Israel. and #2 the bible states unequivocally that "those who bless Israel will be blessed, and those who curse Israel will be cursed". It's that simple.

Where in the bible does it say Christians will triumph over Jews in an epic battle?

So based on your bizarre assertions, in the last days there will be another mass killing of Jews at the hands of Christians, simply because they are Jews....I mean if your comparison to the Final Solution holds any water?

Dude....do you hear yourself?

I think you've been to too many country revivals, listened to too many hysterical fundie preachers, handled to too many snakes, been bitten too many times, and the neurotoxins are affecting your thinking.



I noticed that you, for once, didn't comment, Kevin - until now, after spin doctor Ed tried to change the subject.

ed said...

capt. america,

My argument wasn't with your assertion that Christians view Jews as characters in their favorite drama...The Second Coming, and their support is undeniably linked to that. I agree that it's true and neither I nor the Jews have a problem with it. My bone to pick with you is the idea that Christians will slaughter most of the Jews in the Final Solution. Where does that come from?

I just consulted a good friend across the hall who is Jewish and very historically astute. According to him, this is the age of the Gentile and antisemitism will rise across the world and forces will be alligned against Israel. In Israel's darkest hour is when the Messiah will return through the gates of Jerusalem and they will have no choice but to acknowledge him as their savior. Is this the scenario about which you refer as The Final Solution

Why don't you be a man and argue a rational point rather than against myth and hysteria?

Kevin said...

Capt, I was simply introducing the idea that America supports Israel because Israel actually has a right to be on the Holy Land, whereas the Palestinians don't. Israel had a nation on that land for thousands of years, before they were wrongfully kicked off. And no comparison to Native Americans can be made because the Native Americans simply inhabited this country, they didn't govern it. By that comparison, we shouldn't destroy rain forests, because the native animals live there. The reason why Christians support Jews is for two main reasons. One: The Jews governed the Holy Land long before the Islamic faith existed. Two: The Christian Faith would not be the Christian Faith without the Jews. Neither one of those points can be refuted. In essence the Jewish faith is the foundation and history of the entire Western Civilized Modern World. Give me a good reason not to support the Jews.

capt. America said...

"Is this the scenario about which you refer as The Final Solution?"

Yes. As you very well understood.


From Zeek.net, a Jewish journal of thought and culture:

Later, in 1909, Cyrus Scofield published the Scofield Reference Bible, which became the Bible of the fundamentalist movement and the central text to which Christian Zionists have since referred. Scofield’s crystallization of what has been called “End Times Prophesy” emphasized the necessity of a Jewish return to the Holy Land (especially Jerusalem), the destruction of Islamic holy sites on the Temple Mount (Haram al-Sharif), the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem, the imminent battle of Armageddon, and the mass conversion of the surviving Jews to the Christian faith.

The 1967 war and the Cold War created a climate in which Christian fundamentalists were particularly receptive to Scofield’s views on Revelations. In the 1970s, his “End Times Prophecy” found an enormous audience thanks to author Hal Lindsey, whose 1970 The Late Great Planet Earth was a New York Times bestseller that sold over 18 million copies in English and 20 million copies in 54 other languages. Lindsey views are clear. “The valley from Galilee to Eilat,” he once declared, “will flow with blood and 144,000 Jews will bow down before Jesus and be saved!” The rest of the Jews, according to Lindsey, are destined to perish in “the mother of all Holocausts.”

Kevin said...

Is that a Holy Text that all Jews accept? Because I think that would need to be a determining factor as to whether or not what Scofield said was truly what according to prophecy will happen, or simply speculation.

capt. America said...

"Because I think that would need to be a determining factor as to whether or not what Scofield said was truly what according to prophecy will happen, or simply speculation."

Feel free to describe the difference, Kev.

You should be familiar with Lew Rockwell...

http://www.lewrockwell.com/north/north188.html

ed said...

capt.,

That interpretation of Revelation mentions the killing of Jews, but not at the hands of Jew-hating Christians specifically. Why not at the hands of Jew-hating Muslims, which is much more likely?

I repeat, according to prophecy, Israel will be attacked and in peril of certain doom. That will be the time Jesus returns and saves them. They will have no choice but to recognize him then.

And yes, like Ann Coulter says, Christians want Jews to convert to Christianity and be "perfected". Not that Christians are perfect, that's not what that means. It means that when you accept Jesus as your savior, you are a "perfected" creature in the eyes of God. Surely you grasp that theological concept?

capt. America said...

Did I ever write "Jew-hating Christians"? No.

Do I think Christians hate the Jews? No.

To Christians, Jews are simply a necessity.

Kevin said...

Christians and Muslims, Jews are a necessity, its the foundation of both of those religions. What are the Qu'ran and the Old Testament? The Torah, essentially. Same stories, just a little bit longer than the Torah.

Ed said...

@capt.,

Did you ever right Jew-hating Christians? No. but you did write this...

And then, according to the Evangelical Christians? There will be a battle (of course), and the Christians will triumph (of course).

And the Jews? Most of them will be wiped out by the Christians. The few survivors will convert.

In other words - the real Final Solution.


Your statement is that Christians believe that it's Christians who will wipe out all but a few Jews in the final days. Whether they're Jew-haters is semantic. It's this statement I have a problem with. Explain it, because I know of no such scenario in evangelical teaching. You are projecting your own secular anti-Christian hostility onto conservative fundies for some reason.

Look, I'll be the first to admit that fundies can be smug and arrogant about their beliefs, but to say they want to exterminate or convert the Jews is outrageous!

Kevin said...

I have a problem with some of the beliefs you are putting out in the open as well. If Christians are to follow the bible, and that no other word than God's can be listened to, then why is it that you keep coming up with all of these radical speculations about the end to the Jews. No where in the bible does it say this will happen. It doesn't say it in the Torah, and it doesn't say it in the Qu'ran. Where are you getting this information?

Bobby T said...

If one reads the book of Revalation, it would be discovered that the epic battle to be fought will be between the forces of God and the Devil. Now unless the Captain is suggesting that the Jews are Satanic (Which I know he isn't), then this argument seems to be going off track. There will be a 2nd coming of Christ. At that time, all Christians (there will be some folks that say it, but don't live it) will be escorted to heaven. The tribulation starts. Plagues and other signs will be made present, giving the remaining non-believers a chance for salvation, and then ultimately, the final battle will break out. The remnant (believers that have come to know the truth) will be saved and ushered into the holy city of Jerusalem and God will then bring all believers together for a joyous and victorious celebration.
Remember to "prepare ye, the way of the Lord"; 'cause the train, it is a coming!

capt. America said...

"Now unless the Captain is suggesting that the Jews are Satanic (Which I know he isn't)"

Thank you.

Kevin said...

Why are you thanking him Capt?

ed said...

If I'm not mistaken, and I rarely am, it was a sarcastic "thank you".

Bobby T said...

Sincereity is not my middle name. Never was never will be. Put me in the category with Hawkeye Pierce. Something said sarcasticly is better than something just said.

capt. america said...

I was just happy bobby is right about my view on Jews.

NB: NOT sarcasm.

ed said...

capt., nobody thought you were anti-semitic, we thought you were anti-Christian.

capt. America said...

As any sensible person I'm anti-religion.

The only good about religion, is that it keep large masses calm. Unfortunately it also does the opposite, as we all know.