Falwell's "Gracious Correction" emphatic : No, Jews Can't Get Into Heaven
Bruce Wilson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 09:47:15 AM EST
Now, the hullaballoo surrounding James Dobson recent condemnation of "Spongebob Squarepants" had elements of high comedy and led to the following explanation by Dobson for his antagonism towards the beloved children's cartoon character representing a small talking sea sponge :

Dear Friends:

If you had told me a month ago that I'd be devoting my February letter to a cartoon character named SpongeBob SquarePants, I'd have said you were crazy. Nevertheless, by now you probably know that I have been linked to that famous talking sponge by hundreds of media outlets, from the New York Times to "MSNBC" to "Saturday Night Live." The story of how this situation unfolded is somewhat complicated, but it must be told..... ( source : Focus On The Family website )

By comparison, Jerry Falwell's latest unfortunate ejaculation, on "The Conservative Voice" website, has none of the absurdist elements implicit in the "Dobson vs. Spongebob" affair.. Jerry Falwell did not excoriate a random, beloved cartoon character - no, he delivered a forceful rebuttal to a recent Jerusalem Post story suggesting Falwell believed that Jews could enter heaven, and -  unless Mr. Falwell qualifies his theological beliefs to insert some sort of special purgatory, limbo, or other such holding tank or parking lot for those deserving souls who somehow lack the special pass for entry into heaven, the logical implication is that all Jews who have not converted to Christianity will go to hell.

[ Fallwell's statement ] Earlier today, reports began circulating across the globe that I have recently stated that Jews can go to heaven without being converted to Jesus Christ. This is categorically untrue.....

In this age of political correctness and diversity, the traditional evangelical belief that salvation is available only through faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ is often portrayed as closed-minded and bigoted. ( source )

Despite token attempts to present the American Christian right as somehow part of a broader religious movement - Falwell's statement is consistent with a wider pattern described by Talk To Action writer Esther Kaplan :

Never mind that Christian right leaders such as Jerry Falwell have called Jews "spiritually blind and desperately in need of their Messiah and Savior"; that the Southern Baptist Convention has made the conversion of Jews a special mission; and that much Christian right support for Israel is based on End Times scenarios in which Jews must return to Israel to expedite the second coming of Christ. There's just one catch: Once that glorious event occurs, Jews who don't convert will burn in hell for all eternity. As Craig Unger vividly illustrates in his article in the December issue of Vanity Fair, in which he recounts his travels to the Holy Land with best-selling apocalyptic novelist Tim LaHaye, if you peel back Christian right support for Israel, you find a Jewish death wish. ( source )

Rising religious supremacist tendencies on the Christian right have lately alarmed American Jewish leaders such as Abe Foxman who - as described in The Forward - sounded an alarm at a November 2005 Anti Defamation League national conference :

In a speech last week at the ADL's national conference in New York, Abraham Foxman blasted several conservative organizations, including Focus on the Family, The American Family Association and the Family Research Council. He declared that such groups "had built infrastructures throughout the country... intend[ing] to 'Christianize' all aspects of American life, from the halls of government to the libraries, to the movies, to recording studios, to the playing fields and locker rooms of professional, collegiate and amateur sports, from the military to SpongeBob SquarePants."

"Today we face a better financed, more sophisticated, coordinated, unified, energized and organized coalition of groups in opposition to our policy positions on church-state separation than ever before," Foxman stated. "Their goal is to implement their Christian worldview. To Christianize America. To save us!"

Foxman said the conservative effort was "not an assault" on Jews as a community, but he warned that Jews "may become... its major victims." ( source )

Indeed, Christian right groups have indicated that their support for Israel is err.... a bit qualified and motivated by something less than goodwill.  Max Blumenthal, in a piece entitled "Did Tim LaHaye Just Call Israelis "Not-To-Be-Trusted Yids?" characterizes a recent statement by Tom Minnery of Focus on the Family, apparently directed at Jews, as a "gangland-style threat" and highlights tone of a piece, by Stan Goodenough, recently featured on Tim Lahaye's website:

[ Goodenough ] "But do you know what, Jews of Israel - and those Jews still in exile who so fervently support this way? You may think that in so acquiescing, you are setting a glowing example to the nations of the world.

But as far as these nations are concerned, the last thing they will want to do is emulate you. All you are doing is proving them right in their long-held belief that you are illegitimate, land grabbing, not-to-be-trusted Yids. And, as far as the Muslim world is concerned, your actions only confirm their view of you as a dhimmi nation, fit only to be ruled over by, and subdued under, Islam." ( source )

Will American Jewish leaders move towards more forceful denunciations of such tendencies on the Christian right ? And if so, will those translate into reduced Jewish support for the GOP ?

Some - such as the ADL's Abe Foxman - have indeed woken up to smell this coffee. That's good, because it's foul stuff, acrid and tarry coffee reduced down to a thick sludge from far, far too long left simmering on a stove that some would call hate.




Display:
"Dr" John Hagee (what's with pastors who use honorary degrees with their name, anyway?) has also made denials about the same thing. Hagee is a long time supporter of Israel, makes a big thing of the fact that he's met every Prime Minister over the past twenty years and just recently founded an organization called "Christians United For Israel" (CUFI).

Last night I tuned into TBN (via the Internet) just to see what they were up to these days, and lo and behold, what I see on the screen is a confluence of the above story and my previous diary about TBN's movie making son, Matthew Crouch.

Matthew Crouch, Hagee, and a couple of Jewish guests (at least one was a Rabbi) were there to discuss (surprise, surprise) the upcoming movie "One Night with the King", the story of Esther from the OT.

So you got the incongruous picture of John Hagee, after just having to publicly reaffirm that all "unsaved" Jews are going to Hell, sharing stories about the meaning of Purim (a Jewish holiday stemming from events in the book of Esther) with those very same (supposedly) Hell-bound Jews.  

Of course, this happens all the time with Hagee, Falwell, TBN, et al.  The fate of Israel is tied in with their "End Times" laden theology and really all their rabid support of Israel is little to do with concern over the eternal fate of the Jews, but all to do with their personal involvement of the ushering in of the Second Coming which, if what the Bible says is true, would not be a good day for the Jewish nation, to put it mildly!

by tacitus on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 11:47:55 AM EST

About the relatively scant attention mainstream media pays to such statements.

At one level I want more condemnation.....

But on the other hand, too much attention paid to such behavior sometimes just encourages it.

by Bruce Wilson on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 12:48:28 PM EST
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That Rabbi wasn't Lapin, was he ? Lapin has made quite a career as a token Jew for the Christian right.

by Bruce Wilson on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 05:19:02 PM EST
Parent
...couldn't tell you - I didn't see any name during the interview.  If you really want to find out I believe I was watching the "Praise the Lord" program from last night (Monday) and TBN archives that show on their web site. The Esther piece was in the last half-hour of the show.

by tacitus on Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 07:44:59 PM EST
Parent
I would, but I don't watch TV !  ( by choice )

by Bruce Wilson on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 08:42:05 AM EST
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So does this mean that Abraham, etc. aren't there Jerry?  If so, who was it Jesus met on the mountain again?  And wasn't Jesus a Jew?  Did Jesus make it to heaven then Jerry?

Typical fundamentalist thinking.  Always better than everyone else. Was the word ubermenschen that the Nazis used?

by nofundy on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 11:08:23 AM EST

untermenschen (with the umlauts)

Bruce,

Check out my friends web site and documentary video:
http://www.vitalvisuals.com/
All about the role of the church in Nazi Germany. And questions about how some churches in the US may be headed the same direction.

by nofundy on Wed Mar 15, 2006 at 11:48:25 AM EST
Parent




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