Wednesday, Apr 25, 2018
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The Christian evangelists mix politics with religion

An interesting phenomenon is afoot in this country. Two historic adversaries have joined hands to undermine the legitimate rights of a third group, even though their individual reasons for doing so are not the same.

The American Christian evangelists are helping the state of Israel to perpetuate its occupation on Palestinian land and to continue its chokehold of the Palestinian people. For them the second coming of Jesus Christ would only happen after the entire land of Palestine has been restored to Jews. Once that happens and a new temple is built in Jerusalem the Messiah will return to preside over the great battle of Armageddon to be fought between the evil and the righteous. At that time according to Biblical prophecy, two-thirds of Jews will be killed in that battle and the remaining will either accept Christ as messiah or be damned. It is only then that Jesus would begin his 1,000-year reign in this world.

To achieve that goal and to hurry the process along, the Christian evangelists are not only forcing our government to continue unqualified support of Israel but are also encouraging American Jews to move to Palestine and live in the Holy Land. Recently they paid $5,000 each to a group of 400 American Jews to help them with their move. Most of them will end up living in subsidized housing built on Palestinian land in the West Bank.

Do the Jewish people really believe in this prophecy? For if they do, then they negate the very reasons for the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. And if they do not believe in this prophecy, then why are they so eager for the support of Christian fundamentalists? And doesn't the prophecy, if it ever comes to pass, spell their annihilation at the hands of Christian fundamentalists?

The answer is rather simple. Both groups are working to achieve their respective goals. In the case of Christian fundamentalists it is the establishment of the kingdom of God and in the case of Zionists it is the establishment of a Greater Israel in all of Palestine. Since the end time will come, if at all, somewhere in a remote future, why not take advantage of the support the evangelists offer now and worry about the annihilation part later, even though the mere thought of it must be distasteful to many Jews and non-Christians alike. Mixing religion with politics creates not only a volatile mix; it also makes strange bedfellows.

The roots of this bizarre alchemy between the Zionists and the Christian fundamentalists go back to 1978 when the right wing Likud government of Menachem Begin made the far-reaching decision to woo the American Christian fundamentalist evangelists to support the state of Israel on religious grounds. Since then the American evangelists have established a Christian embassy in Jerusalem and have been actively supporting Israeli policies in the occupied territories.

To the delight of Christian evangelists and to the dismay of many Americans, some of our political leaders also believe in the prophecy. The fundamentalists got their boost with the election of Ronald Reagan to the White House. Hal Lindsay, the author of 1970 best-seller The Late Great Planet Earth, a book about the prophecy and “end time” theology, served as the Middle East adviser to the Pentagon as well as to the Israeli government. James Watt, the Interior Secretary and Caspar Weinberger, the Defense Secretary also believed in the “end time” scenario.

These facts raise some disturbing questions. Does our leaders' belief in a Biblical passage play any part in our biased policy in the Middle East?

It may well be that our present policy is dictated by more immediate concern about the next presidential election rather than to help expedite end time theology. Certainly the lessons of his father's defeat for re-election are not lost on our current President.

The net result however seems to point in the same direction.

The Christian fundamentalist evangelists and our government are helping Israel to continue to populate Palestinian land with Jewish settlers to help the Zionists realize their dream of an Eretz (Greater) Israel. If the Palestinians are disenfranchised and made homeless in the process, then it must be the will of God.

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