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What do Christian Zionists think about Jews? The evolving theology has influenced policy towards Israel

Israel Solidarity Rally. (Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty

Israel Solidarity Rally. (Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty


December 4, 2023   5 mins

When Jerry Seinfeld took his family to an “anti-terror fantasy camp” in the West Bank in 2018 to “play war games with the IDF”, the backlash was swift and impassioned. Intrigued, the following year, I travelled to the controversial Gush Etzion settlement myself. There, like Seinfeld, I took up pretend rifles alongside a bunch of American tourists, while a square-jawed former IDF commander took us through a series of drills designed to teach us “how to fight terrorists”.

Halfway through, our commander paused to ask why a bunch of Americans had come to Israel to shoot things — after all, we can go shooting any time we like. Everybody laughed. For the tourists, the fantasy of the camp had nothing to do with firing a weapon or even taking down a “terrorist”; it was about imagining being a part of a state permanently engaged in a cosmic struggle. My brothers-in-cardboard-arms were not American Jews, but a group of Christian Zionists, who saw themselves as being on a spiritual march towards victory that at some point would end in Israel.

Recent polling from the University of Maryland found that American evangelical Christians largely account for the positive GOP’s regard for Israel; without them, Republican attitudes on the subject look a lot like the rest of America’s. Following October 7, the Ethics and Religion Liberty Commission, an arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, represented those views in a statement signed by over 2,000 church leaders which declared that they “fully support Israel’s right and duty to defend itself against further attack”.

American evangelicals have a long and complicated history towards the Jewish people; one which changed significantly with the formation of the state of Israel in 1948. This was the fulfilment of a well-understood prophecy about the End of Days, which holds that the modern nation of Israel had to be created, and had to prosper, in order for Jesus to return.

This prophetic worldview explicitly meant taking over the Palestinian territories. Destroying the Dome of the Rock, where the Al-Aqsa mosque sits today, would allow Jews to rebuild the Temple Mount, which “the lawless one” — often understood as the Antichrist — would according to the prophecy, enter and proclaim himself God. This, in turn, will lead God to reveal himself and destroy the false prophet.

The prophecy of the End Times is variously interpreted and hotly debated, but essentially it says that that Jesus will return to take Christians into heaven by means of a rapture, before ruling over Earth in a seven-year tribulation. According to this belief system, only Christians will be saved.

So where does this leave the Jews? I asked Daniel G. Hummel, a historian of American religion and foreign relations. He points to the intervention of the evangelical Christian theologian G. Douglas Young, who in 1956 founded the American Institute of Holy Land Studies, now known as Jerusalem University College. For Young’s Jewish neighbours, the evangelical conception of the End Times was a “really horrible situation”, Hummel explains. To get around this, Young came up with the idea of a “second rapture”, which would occur exactly halfway through the seven years of tribulation, and would “let all the Jews escape what was coming, which is called the Great Tribulation — where the really, really bad stuff happens”.

Young was, at the time, a fairly marginal figure, both theologically and politically, but his early work in finding common cause with the fledgling Jewish state laid the foundation for the evolving theology of Christian Zionism — which has ultimately shaped US foreign policy towards Israel. The relatively new concept of a Judeo-Christian heritage became useful in the Cold War. Godless communists had already taken over Russia and China — and Arab nationalists seemed sympathetic to them. Israel came to be seen as a bulwark against an encroaching red wave. Prior to 1945, evangelicals had by and large not voted, seeing themselves as above worldly politics. As patriotic Americans, evangelical leaders began to take a keen interest in foreign policy in light of the communist threat.

But Christian Zionism and antisemitism were not mutually exclusive. In leaked tapes from a 1972 conversation between leading evangelist Billy Graham and Richard Nixon, Graham told the President: “Not all the Jews, but a lot of the Jews are great friends of mine, they swarm around me and are friendly to me because they know that I’m friendly with Israel. But they don’t know how I really feel about what they are doing to this country. And I have no power, no way to handle them, but I would stand up if under proper circumstances.”

A year after Graham aired his feelings about “swarming” Jews, and probably for political expediency, he made it clear that his followers needed to leave Jews out of their efforts to convert people. The move was hugely controversial among evangelicals at the time, but laid the groundwork for strong relations between them and Israel: by the Eighties, up-and-coming Israeli politicians, including Benjamin Netanyahu, were attending prayer breakfasts.

The rationale behind good Israeli-American relations evolved after the fall of the Berlin Wall. By the Nineties, where once the state had been a bulwark against communism, it was now seen as critical in countering radical Islam. Israel, with all of its walls and borders, knew all about fighting Jihad — a project that became all the more urgent in America after 9/11, with all its prophetic implications. And by this time, the evangelical “Moral Majority”, now firmly steeped in Christian Zionism, was a much-discussed part of the Republican voting coalition.

In 2006, Texas preacher John Hagee, who hails from the Pentecostal-Charismatic tradition, founded the powerful lobby group Christians United for Israel (CUFI), which today claims over 10 million members. Even prior to the current conflict, he delivered ecstatic sermons prophesying a “thrilling” apocalyptic future, where Christians are raptured before an attack on Israel by Iran and Russia, and the Apocalypse begins. It is a reference to a highly contested passage described in Ezekiel, where God will make his presence known against foreign invaders through a series of natural disasters, leading to the destruction of the Biblical lands. “What you do to Israel, god will do to you,” Christians United for Israel warned Hamas after October 7. “Joy will come because he who watches over Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps.”

It was these Christian Zionists who Donald Trump was courting when he moved the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in 2018. In an official statement, he called it “a long-overdue step to advance the peace process and to work towards a lasting agreement”. But when speaking off the cuff, Trump revealed a more cunning political calculation. “That’s for the evangelicals,” he told a Wisconsin rally in 2020, before marvelling that “the evangelicals are more excited by that than Jewish people”. As one pastor explained at the time, the re-establishment of Israel’s political boundaries “kick-starts the end times into motion”.

But it’s important to understand that Christian Zionism is a spectrum, says Walker Robins, a scholar of the phenomenon; for most evangelicals, it means that “the priority is to stand with the Jewish people”. Others, however, “really do traffic in somewhat classical, antisemitic tropes”, which are not always easily detectable. Thinking back to my visit to the IDF fantasy camp, the intense philosemitism of the Christian Zionists there was unsettling. The American leader told us that “every Jew is a miracle”, and as such, that we were witnessing “miracles all over the nation of Israel”.

Historically, Jews have all too often been portrayed as less than human; today’s Christian Zionists superhumanise them, which may be an improvement on the past, but is still antisemitic. According to certain schools of evangelical thought, Jews must be protected as critical infrastructure on the road to fulfilling prophecy. As Robins has pointed out, in this conception, “Jewish people are around for a specific purpose”, but are in themselves expendable instruments: a literal means to the End.


Elle Hardy is a freelance journalist who’s reported from North Korea and the former Soviet Union. She is the author of Beyond Belief: How Pentecostal Christianity Is Taking Over the World.

ellehardy

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Ardath Blauvelt
Ardath Blauvelt
7 months ago

I am no evangelical, to say the least. My loyalty to Jews, besides plain old admiration for an incredibly bright, creative, intrepid people, is a personal conviction that if the West does not protect them and their space on earth, we are not enlightened at all.

Our respect for individual life and our effort to defeat tyranny in all its forms springs from our common Judeo roots. Turning our back on Jews and Israel really denies our own raison d’etre; who, then, really are we? More to the point, what have we become?

It would seem that autonomy is out and global autocracy is in. Everyone must bow to internationalism, under the UN, the WEF, WHO, et al. No national identities, religions, cultures may prevail. No loyalties outside of the global power centers. There can be no God = higher power.

The persecution of the Jews is, and always has been, the persecution of a non conformist people. A people determined to exist. Abandon them, and we abandon all we claim to be. It’s an existential thing. It’s the survival of western civilization.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
7 months ago

I 100% agree with you.

Anton van der Merwe
Anton van der Merwe
7 months ago

Sadly one common ‘identity’ increasingly popular within and outside the west is to be anti-western, viewing it as the source of all the ills in the world, past and present.
This is obviously nonsense as the western enlightenment has objectively delivered remarkable prosperity to the entire world. But intellectuals have managed to turn this on its head.
Nevertheless, long experience with antisemitism has shown that it is easy to get the masses to demonise a minority even when the latter makes huge positive contributions which benefit every one.

Warren Francisco
Warren Francisco
7 months ago

I agree and would simply add that the enlightenment was a double-edged sword. How did intellectuals manage to turn it on its head? By using the other side of the sword to cut the tie that connected us all to our spiritual heritage. The “Judeo” part is as important as the Greco-Roman.

Nathan Sapio
Nathan Sapio
7 months ago

Wow +100 up votes. That was a better point than the article.

james elliott
james elliott
6 months ago
Reply to  Nathan Sapio

Odd that the comment now has only 65 upvotes..

Alan Gore
Alan Gore
7 months ago

My position too. Now that the Jews have been blindsided by the sudden emergence of explicit anti-semitism on the left, global events may accomplish what Barry Goldwater could not in the Sixties – bring Jews into the Republican Party.

james elliott
james elliott
6 months ago

100%.

Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
7 months ago

The more I look into standard Christian theology, being Jewish, the more I struggle to find something with which I’m not already familiar. It really is two sides of the same coin.

Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
7 months ago
Reply to  Samuel Ross

Addendum: and I find that both religions are admirable and provide solace and vibrancy for the human spirit. No one ever was inspired by a chemistry textbook or improved his behavior by reading a really excellent work on meteorology.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
7 months ago
Reply to  Samuel Ross

The Classical World, the world of Greece & Rome is far more inspirational and vibrant than the dreary world of Semitic monotheism in all its various forms.

Shrunken Genepool
Shrunken Genepool
7 months ago

You clearly no nothing about the classical world

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
7 months ago

Do you may I ask?

Well SG five hours have elapsed since your profound remark, and my reply, so where is your answer?

Last edited 7 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Steve Murray
Steve Murray
7 months ago
Reply to  Samuel Ross

No need to read anything for inspiration: just open your eyes. Having recourse to the views of others to gain “vibrancy for the human spirit” is fine, except they got their vibrancy from somewhere too, and it wasn’t through reading.

Tony Price
Tony Price
7 months ago
Reply to  Samuel Ross

I’m glad that you get ‘solace and vibrancy’ from religion. Just a shame that so many people get a yearning for death and destruction from their religions (Jewish, Christian, Islam and no doubt many more) since the ‘good’ ones will go to heaven and the non-believers (in their particular brand of fantasy) go to hell – thus death, for other people anyway, is good.

T Bone
T Bone
7 months ago
Reply to  Tony Price

What is the historical track record of countries governed by State Atheism? Is it peace and prosperity?

Tony Price
Tony Price
7 months ago
Reply to  T Bone

Well, that makes killing in the name of religion OK then!

Nathan Sapio
Nathan Sapio
7 months ago
Reply to  Tony Price

Who in the West is yearning for death?

Rafi Stern
Rafi Stern
7 months ago
Reply to  Nathan Sapio

What Jew or Christian yearns for death?

Tony Price
Tony Price
7 months ago
Reply to  Rafi Stern

There seem to be assorted calls from Israel (and some from the USA) for the destruction of the Palestinian inhabitants of Gaza, all of them. And plenty of deaths dealt out by Christians over the last 2,000 years – the Crusaders in the ‘Holy Land’ were very keen to kill as many ‘non believers’ as they could, and in another example, of many, the Pope’s followers to massacre the Cathars.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
7 months ago
Reply to  Tony Price

The Crusaders wanted to capture Jerusalem because the Seljuk Turks stopped Christian visiting in about 950 AD. In those days only the rich were ransomed, others were killed or in the ME enslaved.
Without Christianity life would have been more brutal. The barbarians religions ( Huns for example )were basically warrior ones; might was right.

Kelly Madden
Kelly Madden
7 months ago

Yet another bigoted, ignorant screed from someone whose ant-Evangelical bona fides are well-documented here. I was raised among what Hardy calls “Christian Zionists” and have an MDiv from a school with faculty who could be described thus. Here’s a sampling of her errors.
I’ve never even heard of this notion of a “second rapture” until now.There are thousands of protestant denominations in America. So it’s deeply stupid to make sweeping generalizations about Christianity in America, or even Evangelicalism. There are more than 200 denominations of Baptist alone. Billy Graham represented just one of those.

But no one in the Billy Graham organization would accept the notion that he or they ever stopped working for the evangelization of Jews. They were not to be targeted, or “proselytized”—no coercion. But Jews need Jesus as much as anyone else, and I can personally attest to our efforts to share the gospel with them, in winsome ways. (And of regret at my failures to do so without offense.)

“It was these Christian Zionists who Donald Trump was courting when he moved the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in 2018.” Well, his daughter and son-in-law are Jews. That also might have something to do with it.

“[T]oday’s Christian Zionists superhumanise them, which may be an improvement on the past, but is still antisemitic.” Evangelicals hold Jews and Israel in high regard. But that’s actually “antisemitic.” Yeah right. (Our God is a Jew.)
As a kid, I was raised hearing from the pulpit that the promise to Abraham was applicable to Israel today: “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse.”
I now think that’s too far. But Evangelicals remain a friend of Jews and Israel, and yes we do harbor a deep hope and prayer that one day we will all be united under Jesus’ name.

Last edited 7 months ago by Kelly Madden
Alison Wren
Alison Wren
7 months ago
Reply to  Kelly Madden

Just a query, are you saying Trumps daughter is Jewish?? Does that mean her mother was as Jewish identity passes through the maternal line?? If not, was she a Jewish convert (as I understand it that’s very hard to do)or ????

Marianne Kornbluh
Marianne Kornbluh
7 months ago
Reply to  Alison Wren

She converted to reform Judaism (which is easy).

Howard S.
Howard S.
7 months ago

Not true. She was converted by Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, an Orthodox rabbi.

Howard S.
Howard S.
7 months ago
Reply to  Alison Wren

Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, was converted to Judaism by an orthodox rabbi after a year of study, lifestyle changes, and finally, immersion in a mikvah, a ritual bath. It was not a Reform or Conservative “chicken soup” conversion. Under the most stringent Jewish law, an Orthodox conversion makes her as Jewish as anyone born of a Jewish mother, and her children will be considered full Jews from birth.

David McKee
David McKee
7 months ago

Speaking as an evangelical Christian, I can safely say that the Christian Zionists are a bunch of lunatics. If they are in any position to influence American policy, then that makes them dangerous lunatics.

They treat the Bible like a crystal ball or a set of Tarot cards. That’s their theological error, and it’s a pretty major one.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
7 months ago
Reply to  David McKee

This article does appear to suggest they simply make it up as they go along

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
7 months ago
Reply to  David McKee

A lot of it stems from the fact that the Jews have been around for over 3000 years despite numerous attempts to exterminate or banish them. The Egyptians, the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Romans etc. all these great empires have crumbled into ruin while the Jews live on. To many it appears that they are guided by a divine destiny. Moreover, the Book of Revelations places Jerusalem at the center of spiritual warfare and during a time when both Christians and Jews are ridiculed, mocked, and persecuted for their beliefs.

Doug Damoth
Doug Damoth
7 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Another thing Jews — at least Orthodox ones — have to offer is a system for surviving as a group in a hostile environment (you can’t even open MS Bing search as I did a couple weeks ago without getting an article stuffed in your face with 10 reasons the New and Old Testaments are bad). It’s a skill that Christians, aka “deplorables” like Jews, who are so foolish as to believe in God, now need to learn. Hint #1 from the Ortho community: control where your kids go to school. Yeshivas have been an essential feature of keeping the religious community going for the past couple thousand years after the Romans did their second round of ethnic cleansing in Israel and wiped out any remnant of the Jewish state. But that’s when the last main yeshivas finally moved to Babylon.

Kelly Madden
Kelly Madden
7 months ago
Reply to  David McKee

Speaking as an evangelical Christian, I can safely say you don’t know what you are talking about.

Not that there aren’t lunatics in those ranks.

But your generalization, about a diverse swath of people, is deeply ignorant.

David McKee
David McKee
7 months ago
Reply to  Kelly Madden

You mean there are _sane_ Christian Zionists? Ooh – do tell.

Rafi Stern
Rafi Stern
7 months ago

A factual correction:

Destroying the Dome of the Rock, where the Al-Aqsa mosque sits today, would allow Jews to rebuild the Temple Mount

The Dome of the Rock is a shrine built over the rock at the center of the Temple Mount which was once at the center of the Jewish Temple, and which Muslims hold was the where some 500 years later, Mohamed took off to heaven on his magical horse.
The Al-Aqsa Mosque is the mosque on the Southern edge of the Temple Mount.
The Temple Mount is known in Arabic as the Haram-al-Sharif although in recent years it has been asserted that the whole area is somehow now the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
7 months ago
Reply to  Rafi Stern

AVE TITUS IMPERATOR!

Warren Francisco
Warren Francisco
7 months ago

I’ll admit that your comment is funny, but when are you going to mature away from being a s**t-stirrer to being a positive contributor? Your comment below about the US is simply silly immaturity. I have hope you’ll experience a personal evolution.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
7 months ago

Against all the tenets of international law the USA has illegally invaded and stationed two ‘cohorts’*of troops in Syria. The legitimate government was not even consulted.
Such behaviour is that of a ROGUE STATE and completely reprehensible for the so called ‘Leader of the Free World’.

However perhaps you approve of such illegality? If so please explain if you can.

(* About 1,000 men.)

Last edited 7 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Warren Francisco
Warren Francisco
7 months ago

Well now. To use one of my favorite Britishisms, Syria is a sticky wicket. Is Assad worthy of the epithet “legitimate”? I take the label “Leader of the free world” very seriously but maybe you agree that it fell into our laps by dint of manifest destiny mixed with historical happenstance. Who determines international legality? The UN? They are a bad joke. The US will stand on its own as a bastion of liberality and goodwill no matter what the weak-kneed global order has to say about it. If we need a couple of bases in Syria to keep psychopathic states like Russia and Iran in line then so be it. Do you not agree that we have a presence there to do just that?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
7 months ago

The USA has lost all credibility by illegally invading and occupying part of Syria, and thus qualifies for the epitaph of Rogue State.

As to the rest of your ‘justification’ it sounds very like Herr Hitler when he justified marching into the Rhineland, Sudetenland, Austria, Poland etc,

ps. “Is Assad worthy of the epithet “legitimate”?

Is Jo Biden worthy of the epithet “legitimate “. NO!

Last edited 7 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Warren Francisco
Warren Francisco
7 months ago

Biden won the election. Pretty simple.
Maybe you’ve heard of Godwin’s law? Inevitably the online discussion devolves into accusations of Nazism. I thought you were better than that.
Would you prefer to live in a world in which China and Russia were in charge? If so, what will you do when the precious freedom to express yourself online is snatched away?

Doug Damoth
Doug Damoth
7 months ago

Here here! Well said, old chap.

Caradog Wiliams
Caradog Wiliams
7 months ago

Religion is something that I discuss every day because my wife is religious and I’m not. We end by ‘agreeing’ that I don’t have any problem with religion (let us say, people having a faith) as long as they don’t try to convert or persuade me. I have a real issue with religion when someone quotes the bible (or Koran) at me, trying to prove something with their emphasis on particular words. Anybody could pick a book and choose a quote to justify their actions and this is where many wars have started.
These over-the-top evangelists are potentially very, very dangerous – especially when unscrupulous politicians (that is, all politicians) try to buy their votes.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
7 months ago

Your last paragraph says it all, particularly in that Rogue State sometimes referred as the USA.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
7 months ago

Surely much of the trouble caused by the US globally started when it began to abandon its Christian foundations?

Mark Phillips
Mark Phillips
7 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

I think it was more that they believe that they are chosen to lead the world. Gott Mit Uns!

Warren Francisco
Warren Francisco
7 months ago
Reply to  Mark Phillips

Remember the scene in the movie Stalingrad where the German chaplain reminds the troops that their belt buckles say Gott Mit Uns? The grunt looks down and studies his buckle and says, “Huh, I never noticed that.” That better encapsulates the current American moment 😀

Warren Francisco
Warren Francisco
7 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

What trouble has the US caused globally? You mean our last minute crushing of the German empire in 1917? Britain and France couldn’t do it on their own. You mean our miraculous overwhelming defeat of world-wide Japanese imperialism and German ethno-nationalism? The entire free world threw their backs into that fight and would have folded without the US jumping in. The result has been nearly a century of prosperity around the globe because of our economic magnanimity. Go ahead and list all of the tin-pot dictators we either slaughtered or supported over the last few decades. All in the name of enforcing a prosperity that wouldn’t otherwise exist without the foundation of our Christian ethic.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
7 months ago

He may mean the myriad of genocidal smash and grab raids you conducted against the indigenous American people in the 19th century and that you now attempt to dignify as ‘Indian Wars’. The result was you virtually exterminated them, thus rivalling the Holocaust as a Global atrocity.

Or perhaps he means the unprovoked war of expansion you launched against chaotic Mexico in the 1840’s.

Then again he may mean the completely choreographed war against somewhat enfeebled Spain in order to grab the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Cuba etc. “Remember the Maine” indeed!

Or perhaps the totally contrived and utterly bogus “Day of Infamy”, and the attack on Pearl Harbour.

For myself I would throw in 9/12 as you chaps call it. Surely a bunch of A-Rabs didn’t pull that off?

On the plus side, yes you certainly helped finish off the Kaiser and Imperial German, but let’s face most of the ‘heavy lifting ‘ or killing had already happened.
And yes you provided the gold to win WWII whist the Soviets provided the blood.

“Make America great again”! An uphill struggle I’m sorry to say.

Warren Francisco
Warren Francisco
7 months ago

The first time I ever heard “make America great again” I thought, ‘America is already great.’ I’m not a Trumpist. I’m a Western traditionalist.
The Soviets did not fight Japan, and without the blood, sweat and tears of the entire free world along with American logistic genius, you’d be typing in Fractur.
What unhinged conspiracy do you believe about the Pearl Harbor attack? What is “9/12”? No Americans say that. Do you think someone other than Saudi nationals flew planes into the twin towers?
Ask some Philipinos what they think about benefiting from US economic policy. I know many who now live in the US and love it.
Do you think Mexico had a right to the US southwest? Do the Navajo people (who I live next to)? They used to attack, pillage and slaughter their neighbors. They were incessantly attacked by their neighbors, the Apache. You’ll have to disabuse yourself of naive notions of human history in order to see clearly “the long arc of … justice”.
I didn’t conduct a genocidal smash and grab any more than you participated in the conquest of Britain alongside Hengist and Horsa.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
7 months ago

Impressed that you’ve heard of Hengist and Horsa, not many have these days!

In the Darwinian world of “survival of the fittest”, of course those ‘Indians’ and Mexicans had to go. However it could have been done with a little more finesse. For example when we captured Washington DC on the 24th August 1814 we spared the civil population. We did NOT rape or sodomise everything in sight nor flay people (women) alive a la ‘Wounded Knee’.

As to Pearl Harbour you provoked the idiotic Japs , and they ‘fell for it’. After all you wanted to ‘conquer’ China, and didn’t want any pesky Japs or for that matter Brits in the way.

Aha! 9/12 wasn’t that the day the ‘third’ building mysteriously collapsed? No matter some Saudi morons indeed flew the planes, but who was was the ‘brains’ behind this Op? As the late Marcus Tullius Cicero would have said Cui Bono”- Who benefits? Well Israel obviously, so it’s “Mossad wot done it,” as we say over here.

No you personally didn’t conduct any “ genocidal smash & grab raids”, but for myself it’s not quite so clear cut, but no matter I have no remorse.

In conclusion the US must try harder, you know the rules, so don’t let the side down! We are depending on you, there is NOBODY else.

Last edited 7 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Warren Francisco
Warren Francisco
7 months ago

I agree with that last part, but the world is full of righteous allies too.
In all seriousness, this is your best yet. I just had to pick my jaw up off the floor. I feel like I’ve contacted a whip-smart penpal from across the pond who has a wacky yet thought provoking weltanschauung.
I’ve read extensively on Wounded Knee and don’t recall anything about US soldiers flaying anyone. Indiscriminately killing, yes. It is unfortunate that the frontier settlers learned so well from their Indian counterparts how to ingeniously torture enemies for extended periods of time. You wouldn’t have wanted to be handed over to the women of any tribe if you were captured in battle.
My grandfather was stationed in China after fighting through Peleliu and Okinawa with the 1st Marines. He wasn’t there to conquer anyone. They were treated by the Chinese like the liberators that they were.
Building 7 went down in flames on 9-11 a few hours after the towers. There is absolutely nothing I can say to otherwise convince a confirmed conspiracist who also believes that the Jews were behind the attacks. Do you really think Mossad was in cahoots with Al Qaeda and Bin Laden? Just typing this nonsense makes my heart heavy.
If you have no remorse then I hope that you’ve learned your lesson and are repentant of your sins ;D

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
7 months ago

I would not exactly call Salvador Allende and Mohammad Mosaddegh tin-pot dictators

Warren Francisco
Warren Francisco
7 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

The post-Mosaddegh Islamist uprising was as unfortunate as the post-Saddam Hussein rise of ISIS. Chalk that one up as an unforeseen debacle. I’ve read a great deal recently about the Chilean people’s preference for Pinochet over Allende. I would have agreed with you over that one previously because the coverage as always is overwhelmingly leftist. But I hope that along with me you’ll see the light.

R Wright
R Wright
7 months ago

I’m glad this weird phenomenon is getting more focus. The slavish devotion American Christians have for Israeli national interests has always fascinated me so it is nice to see some cogent explanations as to why.

Warren Francisco
Warren Francisco
7 months ago
Reply to  R Wright

Maybe you are British? Correct me if I’m wrong. My (American) devotion to the modern state of Israel is not “slavish”. It is informed by the best parts of the entire Western tradition, including both religion and enlightenment. Europe should pull its head out of its own a** and learn a thing or two from us or you will continue to sow your own doom.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
7 months ago

Unfortunately you diminish your argument by being so coarse. Please leave out the profanity, if you possibly can, and people will take you seriously.

Warren Francisco
Warren Francisco
7 months ago

You might be right, but talk about the pot calling the kettle black! 😀 I like your roguish comments, even if I see them as misinformed, and I appreciate communicating with you, but your style is coarse even if you don’t use curse words. I subscribe to the Mark Twain school of discourse: Tell it like it is and use colorful language.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
7 months ago

Colourful.

Warren Francisco
Warren Francisco
7 months ago

Mark Twain school, remember? It’s colorful.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
7 months ago

MT didn’t go to Oxford.

Doug Damoth
Doug Damoth
7 months ago

.

Last edited 7 months ago by Doug Damoth
Russell Sharpe
Russell Sharpe
7 months ago

“Recent polling from the University of Maryland found that American evangelical Christians largely account for the positive GOP’s regard for Israel; without them, Republican attitudes on the subject look a lot like the rest of America’s. Following October 7, the Ethics and Religion Liberty Commission, an arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, represented those views in a statement signed by over 2,000 church leaders which declared that they “fully support Israel’s right and duty to defend itself against further attack”.”
I may be wrong, but I take it that the author is intending to convey that the Ethics and Religion Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention is broadly representative of the views, not of “the rest of America” but of “American evangelical Christians” only. In which case the implication seems to be that “the rest of America” in general does not “fully support Israel’s right and duty to defend itself against further attack”. Is that an implication the author intended to be drawn?
BTW The use of the term “America” as a synonym for the USA Is irksome, even for those of us who are not citizens of an American state other than the USA. Ditto mutatis mutandis “American”. An Australian should know better.

Last edited 7 months ago by Russell Sharpe
Warren Francisco
Warren Francisco
7 months ago
Reply to  Russell Sharpe

In the category of “best words in the English language” America is right up there with Arcadia and Atlantis 🙂 As a citizen of the USA I have no problem with being labelled American.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
7 months ago

Then you should seek professional help while there is still time.

Warren Francisco
Warren Francisco
7 months ago

Your unrelentingly negative comments give me great pleasure. I’m serious. I take back what I said about having hope for your rehabilitation 😀 I share your razor-sharp pessimism and bleakly ironic bent. It’s just that as an American I can joyfully swim in the stream of life, maybe how you’d have felt if you’d lived 150 years ago, at the height of empire.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
7 months ago

Touché!
For my lot/generation the Empire still lives, and we “joyfully swim” in the stream of nostalgia.
As I am sure you understand we regard the USA as a sort of prodigal son or ‘the one that got away’.

However even I must admit that better the world’s Hegemon be the USA, rather than the Soviets, the Hun, or God forbid the French.

Campbell P
Campbell P
7 months ago

John Hagee and the so- called Christian Right are misguided and politically motivated people who cherry pick biblical verses to support their ridiculous assertions and hugely unchristian political views. They do biblical exegesis by current events and view Palestinians as of no account, even their fellow Palestinian Christians. A large part of the problem is how ignorant they are of history and the facts, not least the devious machinations of US Zionists and their unquestioning support of, ironically, largely secular and atheist Israel. They dismiss State Department, CIA, Red Cross and other reports of the numerous massacres in 1947/8 by Jewish terrorists on innocent Palestinians. Their support of Israel and its policies is shameful and an insult to the God they claim to worship.

Warren Francisco
Warren Francisco
7 months ago
Reply to  Campbell P

I’ll speak for the vast majority of US traditionalists of either party, not Hagee or the “so-called Christian Right”. Do you not support Israel “largely secular and atheist” as it is? Do you not know that all of the Arab states that attacked Israel in ’48 ordered the Arabs to flee so that they could more freely slaughter all the Jews? And have not allowed the refugees that they created to live in their Islamic countries? Are you not aware that Jews were completely expelled from every Muslim dominated country in the entire Middle East/Mediterranean in ’48? Yet there are still Arabs in Israel living prosperous lives at every level of that free and democratic society.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
7 months ago

But surely you can understand the Arab’s point of view?
The Jews were the subject of an appalling atrocity perpetrated by the Hun. Yet the Arabs are told to ‘pay the bill’!

In 1945 the Morgenthau Plan if implemented would have divided up Germany into its components parts. The opportunity should have taken to expel either the populations of Austria or Bavaria* and repopulate with Jews, as a form of very just retribution.

In fact that opportunity as you know was missed, although about 12 million Hun were expelled from the Sudetenland and East Prussian, so it would have been quite feasible.

Unfortunately Zionist nutters preferred the sterile sands of the Judean desert to verdant valleys of Austria.

POSTED AT 18.01. GMT.

(* The two MOST culpable regions of the REICH.)

Last edited 7 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Doug Damoth
Doug Damoth
7 months ago

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Last edited 7 months ago by Doug Damoth
Pip G
Pip G
7 months ago

I am no biblical scholar or eschatologist, but attempt some clarification.
First, the stories about the Apocalypse largely come from the book of Revelation: a notoriously difficult book to interpret, and not accepted into the ‘canon’ until the time of the Council of Trent in 1546. Even basic principles of interpretation suggest it is not all intended to be taken literally.
Secondly, the author is fair in his view of some ‘Christian Evangelicals’, but only some: often those in churches not part of a structure and without trained pastors: it would do my Protestant brothers & sisters a disservice to equate that group with all Evangelicals, let alone all Protestants.
Thirdly, in past centuries Christians treated Jews shamefully. This must be acknowledged while welcoming better relations today. What is certain is that people of any or no faith must recognize Hamas as pure evil.

Nathan Ngumi
Nathan Ngumi
7 months ago

Very interesting piece! Christian Zionism is an intriguing phenomenon!

cynthia callahan
cynthia callahan
7 months ago

Thankfully, Evangelicalism and its end times obsession is a modern invention and not the historical position of the church.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
7 months ago

No. Evangelicalism is 16-18th century, whereas End Times crazies is 19th.