Friday, February 29, 2008

John Hagee and the Pro-Israel Right

Its kind of a running joke among myself and my Jewish friends that the pro-Israel wing of the republican party really just wants Israel around so that when the messiah comes they will all be slaughtered according to what is written in the bible. I mean, I know that people actually think this, but it is so far-fetched and ridiculous that I have trouble comprehending this belief.

But I know I am wrong, and that people really do think this way, but sometimes the bald ridiculousness of it kind of rears up and smacks you in the face. That happened to me this morning, trolling through the blogosphere, when I found this article, saying,
John Hagee, deemed one of the 20 most influential evangelical leaders in America, is an increasingly powerful, fast rising star on the Christian right who has built his career on aggressive support for the Israeli hard political right. In early 2006, Texas pastor John Hagee founded the new, ostensibly "pro-Israel" national lobbying group "Christians United For Israel". But John Hagee's writings, in his latest book, might lead some to doubt Mr. Hagee's love for Jews. In "Jerusalem Countdown: A Prelude To war" Hagee has stated that Jews brought the Holocaust upon themselves by rebelling against God and that the Holocaust was God's way of forcing Jews to move to Israel where, Hagee predicts according to his interpretation of Biblical scripture, they will be mostly killed in the apocalyptic Mideast conflict Hagee's new lobbying group seems to be working to provoke and which John Hagee believes to be anecessary precondition for the "Rapture" that will lift Christians, but not Jews, bodily into Heaven to enjoy physical immortality amidst paradise.
Really? One of the most influential Christian leaders in America boldly states that Israel simply exists to be destroyed in the glorification of fundamentalist Christians and its okay? How could this man possibly be mistaken as pro-israel? I know, I know, if you look at his ministry website it looks very pro-Israel, so it must be true.

I know politics make strange bedfellows, and that for some the ends justify the means, but I cannot see how support for a Jewish state based on the idea that all Jews should eventually burn in hell is actually Pro-Israel. That is like saying that the American Beef Council is pro-livestock ... completely ridiculous. This is a virulent anti-semitism that is on par with any other we have seen, yet somehow it is okay because it is supported by this mans interpretation of the Bible. How is that interpretation different from an Islamic leader claiming Jihad is supported by his understanding of the Koran?

Update: How is this man even popular? Are we so self-hating that someone who basically blames Hurricane Katrina on the people of New Orleans' behavior can gain support based entirely on fear and anger? I mean, I seem idiotically naive for even asking these questions ... of course this sort of thing plays, it is hugely successful and has been part of mainstream American politics for years now. At this point, separation Church and State, at least the republican arm of it, is non-existent, as political leaders and candidates pander to these people, seek there endorsements and declare their beliefs in these truly abhorrent ideas ...

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