Can anyone have a reasonable discussion with white Evangelicals who voted for Trump and who offer no-matter-what-or-who-they-kill unwavering support for the state of Israel?
The answer is no.
For those who like me grew up in pro-Zionist versions of Christianity — “Oh my dear isn’t it wonderful the Jews are returning to Israel! Another proof of the truth of the Bible and the approach of the Rapture!” as my mother used to say — we begin with a knee-jerk bias.
I remember my parents rejoicing over the Israeli victory in the 1967 war as if it were an American victory. It was a clear case of GOOD triumphing over EVIL. We KNEW which side God was on. It was an updated new exciting Bible story taking place in OUR TIME!
“Israel is God’s chosen nation,” as Mom said, and “Why do you think Hitler wanted to kill Jews?” Because “Without the Jews God’s plan fails!” and even, “That’s why there was a holocaust: To force Jews home so Jesus can come back!”
The story of Israel is the story of America. No Evangelical says this but they know they can’t condemn the behavior of Israel without condemning our own. I’ve never met a pro-Israel Evangelical who has spent time listening to the voices of Palestinians. That includes Palestinian Christians. American Evangelicals don’t even want to hear of such people. They’re Arabs and brown! What’s Christian about that?!
Good white people take a land that already has people living there. Sound familiar? Call this the Trump/Roy Moore Syndrome! Trump can’t complain too loudly about Moore’s assaulting teens since the world is full of women who say the same of Trump. And Israel is part of the colonial club of white expansion we Americans now lead.
The Balfour Declaration “giving” Jews the land was a ploy by the British against the Turks in WWI. The British didn’t care about those damned Arabs (“Wogs”) or the Jews. They were just using everyone.
Christian Zionists will be quick to say anyone is anti-Semitic for expressing even the slightest critique of modern Israel. But noting that — for instance — Colonial powers were serving their own ends helping settlers in the early 20th C., or that illegal Israeli settlements today … are indeed illegal, is no more “anti-Israeli” let alone “anti-Semitic” than noting that slavery was evil or that you believe Trump is a serial woman abuser and criminal predator, or criticizing American drone warfare… is “anti-American.”
Thus, calling on Israel to repent of evil is not anti-Semitic– it’s actually the epitome of the “biblical” and Jewish scriptures, in the same way that calling on Republican evangelicals to repent of supporting the thug Trump is biblical. Blind support is never biblical but always geared to power not truth. But most white evangelicals are Christian Zionists who never critique Israel … with a twist I’ll address in a moment.
For instance the white evangelical Trumped leadership helped to push Trump to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Palestinians or international law be dammed. “What President Trump is doing is one of the most courageous political things that’s been done in Washington in a long time,” leading “Christian” Zionist John Hagee said.
Hagee is the senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, and said this to Pat Robertson’s CBN News in reaction to Trump recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
“President Trump, when I spoke to him in the White House about this several weeks ago, he said this very emphatically. He said, ‘Other presidents have failed you, but I will not disappoint the Christian community in this issue. I will stand with Israel, and we will at some point in time, move the embassy,'” Hagee added. “… I told him that God measures everything in modules of 50 years,” Hagee explained. “And I said, this is a principle that’s carried out in Leviticus, the 25th chapter!”
“I said, ‘If you look at 1917, it was a Jubilee Year, and the Balfour Amendment came, and then in 50 years, it was 1967, and Jerusalem was reconnected to Israel.'”
“World history can be summed up in one sentence. The nations that blessed Israel were blessed of God, and the nations that cursed Israel were cursed of God,” Hagee said.
Just as deep-pocketed donors to the Republican party had a huge impact on the hastily-written tax reform bill that’s now being reconciled in Congress, they have put direct pressure on the US president to change US policy in Israel. So to do evangelical white voters line up with the big money on this issue.
For Trump, the status of Jerusalem was always less a diplomatic dilemma than a political imperative to keep Evangelicals and Zionist cranks with money happy.
Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam Ochsorn, the largest individual Republican donors in 2016, who coughed up $83 million lead the extremist Zionist pack. Adelson failed to back Trump initially in the Republican race, but made an abrupt about-face during the primary, earning the couple a seat at Trump’s inauguration after Trump promised he’d let Adelson dictate conditions on Middle East “policy.” Trump made the same promise to evangelical leaders.
Moving the US embassy to Jerusalem has long been one of the Adelson’s goals—one that is particularly important for Ochsorn, who was born in British-ruled Palestine. These goals converge – for very different reasons (the “twist” I spoke of) – with Trump’s bedrock white evangelical shills.
The Adelsons had a private dinner at the White House on October 2, where they pushed Trump on relocating the embassy, the New York Times reported.
Faced with disappointing evangelical and pro-Israel fanatics (who always put Israel’s interests ahead of America’s) like Adelson, or alarming allies and those brown hated, mistrusted Arab leaders- while jeopardizing his own “peace initiative” that is nothing more than giving Jared a job in Trump’s nepotistic regime, Trump sided with his key supporters… and their money.
Enter the “Values” voters led by Tony Perkins and his ilk. “In the meetings I was in [with Trump], it was clearly communicated that evangelicals and Bible-believing Christians see a special relationship with Israel,” said Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, king of the “Family Values” lobby.
“Of all the possible theological dog-whistles to his evangelical base, this is the biggest. Trump is reminding them that he is carrying out God’s will to these Last Days,” said Tony Perkins approvingly.
OKAY, so now for the “twist.”
Evangelicals have say that their support for Trump is based on the belief that God can use the unlikeliest of men to enact His will. But how did conservative American Christians become invested in such a fine point of Middle East policy as whether the U.S. Embassy is in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem? The two issues are tied together. A big reason—other than abortion—evangelicals support Trump blindly is that he’s doing the “right thing” about Israel.
For instance recognizing Jerusalem, for Trump’s evangelical supporters is a key step in the progression of events leading to the second coming of Jesus. Call this “Left Behind” diplomacy. The series was co-authored by a culture warrior Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, an old friend of mine from my evangelical-leader days some 30 – 40 years ago.
Here’s where it gets very twisted: Don’t forget what Zionist evangelicals believe about Jews’ eventual fate. They say they love Israel — as a way station to Jesus’ return — but most of the Jews who live there will be killed by the returning Jesus and… burn in hell. So Jesus needs them now because he, like God, is a slave to fulfilling his prophecy – but then he can discard these useful Jews. (Interesting question for your evangelical friends to mess with their heads: “Is God in charge or are his prophecies in charge- sort of like the Kings of Persia who couldn’t change their own laws once enacted?” (See the book of Ester!)
When Jesus comes back (according to evangelical biblical theology) only 144,000 Jews will be saved. The rest are to be killed for rejecting the Messiah.
Put it this way whatever else Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam Ochsorn are figuring on doing after they help set the stage for Jesus’ return it probably isn’t becoming Christian evangelists. But according to evangelical theology that’s what they have to do, or die and burn with the rest of those “un-saved” Jews.
“Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel” (Revelation 7:4), nothing in the passage leads to interpreting the 144,000 as anything but a literal number of Jews—12,000 taken from every tribe of the “sons of Israel.”
These Jews are “sealed,” which means they’ve got the special protection of God from all of the divine judgments and from the Antichrist in order to perform their mission during the tribulation period (see Revelation 6:17, in which people will wonder who can stand from the “wrath to come”).
The tribulation period is a future seven-year period of time all good evangelicals are longing for in which God will enact divine judgment against Jews (like Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam Ochsorn), Muslims, gays, liberals, women who had abortions, Hillary Clinton, and others who reject Him and/or the Republican Party, and will complete His “plan of salvation” for the nation of Israel- in other words liquidate it.
All of this is according to God’s revelation to the prophet Daniel (Daniel 9:24–27). The 144,000 Jews are a sort of “first fruits” (Revelation 14:4) of a redeemed Israel which has been previously prophesied (Zechariah 12:10; Romans 11:25–27), and their mission seems to be to evangelize the post-rapture world and proclaim the gospel during the tribulation period. In other words Jesus will kill all Jews who don’t join a last improved Jews-For-Jesus.
As a result of these good saved Jews-For-Jesus ministry, millions—“a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language” (Revelation 7:9)—will come to faith in Christ…
…Just what Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam Ochsorn’s money is buying for them and other members of AIPAC, according to their evangelical Zionist allies.
The final evangelical “solution” for Jews like Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam Ochsorn, is strikingly similar to Hitler’s.
Or as born-again-alleged pedophile and huge fan of Israel, Roy Moore, put it, as he campaigned for the Senate in one of his many attacks on billionaire liberal George Soros, who is Jewish and a regular target of far-right selectively anti-Semite conservatives: “No matter how much money he’s got, he’s still going to the same place that all people who don’t recognize God and morality and accept his salvation [from Jesus] are going. And that’s not a good place!”