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
Parent


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
Parent




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




WWW Talk To Action


Whither the Christian Right in the Democratic Party?
You don't have to be a Hillary hater (and I'm not) to recognize that Clinton and other Democratic Party leaders have had long and......
By Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Bishop Robert Finn Resigns Leadership of St. Joseph-Kansas City Diocese
Bishop Robert W. Finn, the Opus Dei Bishop who was convicted by a Missouri court for failing to report suspected child abuse by a......
By Frank Cocozzelli (5 comments)
Two Overlooked Indiana Outcomes that Could Haunt the Christian Right
I think there are two underreported features of the fallout from Indiana that we should make sure do not get lost in the hoo......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Terms, Definitions & Glossaries for Writing about the Religious Right
One of the challenges in writing about the Religious Right and what to do about it is the matter of terms and definitions. That's......
By Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
President Obama Can Help Stop Religious Discrimination
Barry Lynn, the longtime executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, recently posted an important essay at Huffington Post. In......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Marriage Matters: Thoughts On The Recent Unpleasantness In Indiana
Last week I taped an interview with Sister Maureen Fielder, host of "Interfaith Voices," a popular radio program exploring religious issues that is carried......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
The Campaign Against Pro-LGBTQ Denominations
The recent endorsement of marriage equality by the Presbyterian Church (USA) seemed like a good moment to discuss the campaign to divide and conquer......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Upcoming Conference: From Abortion Rights to Social Justice
The 29th annual conference From Abortion Rights to Social Justice: Building the Movement for Reproductive Freedom will be held from April 10-12 at Hampshire......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Why Is Bishop Robert Finn Still In Power?
As I reported in September 2014, Bishop Robert Finn, head of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri has been under Vatican investigation to......
By Frank Cocozzelli (2 comments)
Thus It Was Prophesied in 2012: Ted Cruz Will Be VP, Or a Supreme Court Justice
This is a transcript, of pastor Larry Huch and Rafael Cruz, father of U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, from an appearance Rafael Cruz made at......
By Bruce Wilson (1 comment)
Crusin with Cruz
Ted Cruz threw his hat into the ring, announcing his bid for President in the worship center at Jerry Falwell's University last night.  Mother......
By wilkyjr (4 comments)
Ted Cruz: Born From The Heart of the Dominionist Christian Right
[welcome, Thom Hartmann Show fans, here is a short introduction to my past coverage on Ted Cruz and the dominionist Christian right] Did you......
By Bruce Wilson (1 comment)
Coming Soon to Utah: An International Festival of Bigotry
An international network of some of the world's most vitriolic Religious Right activists and self-proclaimed orthodox religious leaders is holding its ninth global conference......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Bumpy Lane: Religious Right Operative Seeks To Build (Another) Church-Based Political Machine
Here's what the country doesn't need right now: another zealot aiming to mobilize right-wing pastors to become a force in electoral politics.Yet that's what......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
Team Jeb Bush's Liaison to Religious Right Is Hardcore Culture Warrior
In 2008, Senator John McCain's campaign recognized that he needed to shore up his credentials with the Religious Right, which was skeptical about his......
By Bill Berkowitz (3 comments)

Anti-Sharia Fever in Texas: This is How It Starts
The mayor of a mid-size Texan city has emerged in recent months as the newest face of Islamophobia. Aligning herself with extremists hostile to Islam, Mayor Beth Van Duyne of Irving, Texas has helped......
JSanford (0 comments)
Evangelicals Seduced By Ayn Rand Worship Crypto-Satanism, Suggest Scholars
[update: also see my closely related stories, "Crypto-Cultists" and "Cranks": The Video Paul Ryan Hoped Would Go Away, and The Paul Ryan/Ayn Rand/Satanism Connection Made Simple] "I give people Ayn Rand with trappings" -......
Bruce Wilson (10 comments)
Ted Cruz Anointed By Pastor Who Says Jesus Opposed Minimum Wage, and Constitution Based on the Bible
In the video below, from a July 19-20th, 2013 pastor's rally at a Marriott Hotel in Des Moines, Iowa, Tea Party potentate Ted Cruz is blessed by religious right leader David Barton, who claims......
Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
Galt and God: Ayn Randians and Christian Rightists Expand Ties
Ayn Rand's followers find themselves sharing a lot of common ground with the Christian Right these days. The Tea Party, with its stress on righteous liberty and a robust form of capitalism, has been......
JSanford (3 comments)
Witchhunts in Africa and the U.S.A.
Nigerian human rights activist Leo Igwe has recently written at least two blog posts about how some African Pentecostal churches are sending missionaries to Europe and the U.S.A. in an attempt to "re-evangelize the......
Diane Vera (1 comment)
Charles Taze Russell and John Hagee
No doubt exists that Texas mega-church Pastor John Hagee would be loathe to be associated with the theology of Pastor C.T. Russell (wrongly credited with founding the Jehovah's Witnesses) but their theological orbits, while......
COinMS (0 comments)
A death among the common people ... imagination.
Or maybe my title would better fit as “Laws, Books, where to find, and the people who trust them.”What a society we've become!The wise ones tell us over and over how the more things......
Arthur Ruger (0 comments)
Deconstructing the Dominionists, Part VI
This is part 6 of a series by guest front pager Mahanoy, originally dated November 15, 2007 which I had to delete and repost for technical reasons. It is referred to in this post,......
Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Republican infighting in Mississippi
After a bruising GOP runoff election for U.S. Senator, current MS Senator Thad Cochran has retained his position and will face Travis Childers (Democrat) in the next senate election. The MS GOP is fractured......
COinMS (3 comments)
America's Most Convenient Bank® refuses to serve Christians
Representatives of a well known faith-based charitable organization were refused a New Jersey bank’s notarization service by an atheist employee. After inquiring about the nature of the non-profit organization and the documents requiring......
Jody Lane (5 comments)
John Benefiel takes credit for GOP takeover of Oklahoma
Many of you know that Oklahoma has turned an unrecognizable shade of red in recent years.  Yesterday, one of the leading members of the New Apostolic Reformation all but declared that he was responsible......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
John Benefiel thinks America is under curse because Egyptians dedicated North America to Baal
You may remember that Rick Perry put together his "Response" prayer rallies with the help of a slew of NAR figures.  One of them was John Benefiel, an Oklahoma City-based "apostle."  He heads up......
Christian Dem in NC (5 comments)
Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Yes, that's right. We have totally lost our religious freedom in Mississippi and it must be restored by our legislators. ......
COinMS (2 comments)
Bill Gothard accused of harassing women and failing to report child abuse
Surprised no one's mentioned this, but one of the longest-standing leaders of the religious right is in a world of trouble.  Bill Gothard has been active in the fundie movement for over half......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
Eugene Delgaudio may lose his day job as Virginia county supervisor
Surprised no one's noticed this, but one of the nation's most virulent homophobes is in a fight to keep his day job.  Eugene Delgaudio is best known as the head of Public Advocate......
Christian Dem in NC (1 comment)

More Diaries...




All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.