"Pro Israel" Christian Leader Blames Jews For The Holocaust
other perspectives on and Christian Zionism and CUFI:
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 a necessary precondition for the "Rapture" that will lift Christians, but not Jews, bodily into Heaven to enjoy physical immortality amidst paradise.
Over the past year, frequent and generally favorable media coverage of a new US national political lobbying group, "Christians United For Israel", and its outspoken founder Texas megachurch pastor John Hagee has helped cement Hagee's brand recognition as a steadfast friend to Israel and has cast a favorable light on his new CUFI lobbying group that is designed to flex the political muscles of tens of millions of American evangelicals, ostensibly on Israel's behalf.
In a January 2007 conference call with Jewish bloggers, John Hagee explained that he and his fellow CUFI members were working to "organize every congressional district where every church in that district that is an evangelical church can be known to us so that if at a point in time someone in Congress or the US Senate proves to be hostile to Israel that we can lend our strength to retire them from public office."
Since CUFI's founding in early 2006, John Hagee has been barnstorming the American Jewish community through feel-good events entitled "A Night To Honor Israel" which have helped win the confidence of American Jews and swelled the roles of volunteers pledged to travel to Washington DC for CUFI organized lobbying events. In apparent recognition of the new lobbying group's growing electoral power, The White House has granted CUFI considerable access and and top GOP leaders such as John McCain and House GOP Minority Whip Roy Blunt have met personally with Pastor John Hagee in recent weeks.
Few media reports, however, have paid attention to jarring contradictions between CUFI's public face and public statements and writings of its founder John Hagee and CUFI's top executive members.
Text from the Christians United For Israel website home page depicts the goals of the organization: CUFI seeks peace and a strong Israel, is committed to Israel's defense, and "blesses" Jews:
"The Bible commands us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6), to speak out for Zion's sake (Isaiah 62:1) to be watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem (Isaiah 62:6) and to bless the Jewish people (Genesis 12:3). These and so many other verses of the Bible have one overriding message - as Christians we have a Biblical obligation to defend Israel and the Jewish people in their time of need."
But On July 19, 2006, at a CUFI's Washington DC inaugural event, with GOP Party head Ken Mehlman and US GOP Senators Sam Brownback, Rick Santorum, Kay Bailey-Hutchinson and John Cornyn in attendance ( President George W. Bush sent recorded greetings to the event ) , Pastor John Hagee declared :
"The United States must join Israel in a pre-emptive military strike against Iran to fulfill God's plan for both Israel and the West... a biblically prophesied end-time confrontation with Iran, which will lead to the Rapture, Tribulation [...] and [the] Second Coming of Christ."
[7-4-2011 - update and correction: the text, above, is a misquote incorrectly attributed to John Hagee--who has publicly declared (CUFI Washington D.C. summit 2007) that "It is time for America to consider a military preemptive strike against Iran to prevent a nuclear holocaust in Israel and a nuclear attack in America" but has not directly stated that this will bring about the end-time scenario Hagee predicts. For an extended discussion of this misquote, see Christians United For Israel Lashes Out (Anatomy of a Misquote) For an extensive collection of sourced John Hagee quotes here at Talk To Action - see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
Hagee subsequently wrote, in a Charisma Magazine editorial entitled "The Coming Holy War", that the preemptive attack he advocates should be carried out with nuclear weapons.
In short, Hagee's new lobby -far from promoting any sort of peace- appears to be devoted to promoting war and conflict in the Middle East. Hagee called the 2006 summer Israeli bombing and invasion of Southern Lebannon a "miracle of God" and Hagee, along with CUFI's executive board members, have repeatedly publicly vilified Islam and Muslims.
Similarly, Hagee speaks of the need to "bless" Jews but has written that Jews suffer under a historic, divine curse which is their own fault.
In his 2006 book "Jerusalem Countdown" that has sold over 1.1 million copies so far, Pastor John Hagee writes that Jews themselves are responsible for antisemitism, for their own persecution, and for the Holocaust itself :
"It was the disobedience and rebellion of the Jews, God's chosen people, to their covenantal responsibility to serve only the one true God, Jehovah, that gave rise to the opposition and persecution that they experienced beginning in Canaan and continuing to this very day....The Holocaust also was part divine mechanism, suggests Hagee in his book, God's way of forcing Jews to move to Israel, where most of them, Hagee thinks, will soon be killed in the apocalyptic war his lobbying group seems to be formed in part to encourage but where Hagee seems to feel they properly belong, as a necessary, magical human precondition that must be in place before the Rapture, that will grant Christians physical immortality in Heaven:
The Prophet Jeremiah... paints a vivid picture of the human agents God intended to use to bring the Jewish people back to Israel:
In "Jerusalem Countdown" one can find echoes of many of the themes that been at the core of historical antisemitism. IN the book, Hagee repeatedly states that Jews are "spiritually blind" - echoing the age-old charge that Jews are materialistic - and in an a September 18, 2006 WHYY "Fresh Air" interview with Terry Gross, Hagee seemed to blame Jews for the death of Jesus:
Zechariah says in the 14th chapter `and when they, the Jewish people, see him whom they have pierced' -and the word pierced there actually refers to his rib and side-`when they see him whom they have pierced, they will weep as one weeps for his only son for a period of one week.
In a July 26, 2006 interview with the San Antonio Times, Hagee has described liberal Jews who do not agree with his political views as "poisoned" :
" I think if I could put a dividing line, the Orthodox and Conservatives who have a Torah appreciation give us wholehearted support. The rest who are not driven by the Word of God have a liberal agenda.
In fact, the wellbeing of Jews themselves appears not to be the centerpiece of John Hagee's foreign policy objectives. Rather, Hagee seems intent on a catastrophic war that will trigger "The Rapture" :
Russia with Arab allies will plot and plan Israel's destruction. That's happening right now. It has been happening for 10 years. Iran's nuclear weapons have been produced with Russian scientists. The Islamic Arabs are using the Roadmap to Peace to get all of the land of Israel they can get. And when Israel finally says, `Enough!' you're going to see the beginning of the implementation of Ezekial's war in 38:39. The critical point is the church is raptured before this war begins. I am telling you that makes this message one of the most thrilling prophetic messages you've ever heard in your life. You could get raptured out of this building before I get through finished preaching. We are that close to the coming of the Son of Man. - Pastor John Hagee, from a September 18, 2006 interview in WHYY's "Fresh Air" with Terry Gross
What John Hagee leaves out of his "thrilling" apocalyptic narrative, is that he believes, subsequent to the "Rapture", that most Jews in Israel, who by definition are not a part of the ones who will get "raptured" to Heaven, will die in the apocalyptic conflict Hagee and his fellow apocalyptic Christian zionists yearn for. IN "Jerusalem Countdown", Hagee does not specify what percentage of world Jewry would be killed in the apocalyptic global conflict he has described as "thrilling", but he gives a general sense. In reference to passages from the Bibles Book Of Isaiah 10:22, 22, Hagee writes :
"Who is this remnant [those who will survive] ?
Many Christian Premillenial Dispensationalists -- the theological persuasion Pastor John Hagee belongs to -- believe that the majority of the Jews currently living in Israel will be killed in the period of warfare that follows the "Rapture," when "believing" Christians ( fundamentalist Christians, that is ) are bodily transported up to safety in heaven. The standard interpretation is that 2/3 or more of Israeli Jews will be slaughtered during this period but that a righteous "remnant", who have realized the error of their ways and converted to Christianity, will survive what Christian Zionists often call the "final Holocaust" or the "second Holocaust." Writings and statements made by CUFI board members Jerry Falwell and George Morrison sum up such views:
Millions of Jews will be slaughtered at this time but a remnant will escape and God will supernaturally hide them for Himself for the last three and a half years of the Tribulation, some feel in the rose-red city of Petra. I don't know how, but God will keep them because the Jews and the Chosen People of God." ( CUFI Executive Board Member Jerry Falwell, in a December 2, 1984 sermon)
When talking to many Jews and Israelis, Hagee seems stress the need to protect Israel and promises his group's unwavering support for what Hagee calls God's historic covenant with Jews to whom, Hagee believes, God gave the historical lands of Israel for perpetuity.
When talking to the Christian Zionists of CUFI, however, Hagee speaks of other matters : the need for an apocalyptic war in the Mideast that will trigger the "Rapture" of fundamentalist Christians into Heaven but also kill, Hagee believes, most Jews now living. That "necessary" war ( necessary to trigger the "Rapture": of Christians, that is ) may even lead, Hagee speculates in "Jerusalem Countdown", to massive nuclear strikes that will destroy America's East and West coasts and kill hundreds of millions and which would amount to, Hagee feels, divine punishment visited, via ICBM, on liberal Americans for insufficient support for the sort of far right, even fringe, Israeli politics Hagee promotes.
Texas Pastor John Hagee, who heads the San Antonio based 20,000 member Cornerstone Church and has founded a growing broadcast empire that projects his sermons around the world is deemed one of the 20th most influential evangelical Christian leaders in America. This is a continuation of a running series on Pastor John Hagee and his new "apocalypse lobby," CUFI. For the last installment, see:
and also these stories:
Max Blumenthal : Israel, the US, and the Christian Right: The Menage a Trois From Hell
More on Apocalyptic Christian Zionism : Pastor John Hagee's beliefs are closely aligned with other Apocalyptic Christian Zionists such as Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, authors of the "Left Behind" book series. Writes author and senior analyst at Political Research Associates, Chip Berlet:When White supremacists post websites demonizing Jews and gay people, they are condemned for the hatemongers they are. When leaders of the armed citizens militias and their allies in the Patriot Movement in the 1990s urged their followers to form anti-government underground cells and battle global cooperation and the United Nations, they were condemned as dangerous guerrillas spreading divisive conspiracy theories. When Timothy LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins write the Left Behind series of novels containing the same type of bigotry, they sell 70 million books and are interviewed by clueless journalists who use a double standard by not confronting LaHaye and Jenkins for spreading hate and conspiracism as well as promoting religious violence as a heroic duty.... This is the demonizing theology, ideology, and action plan being taught to millions of Americans by the LaHaye and Jenkins Left Behind series. We ignore this phenomenon at our own risk.
"Pro Israel" Christian Leader Blames Jews For The Holocaust | 11 comments (11 topical, 0 hidden)
"Pro Israel" Christian Leader Blames Jews For The Holocaust | 11 comments (11 topical, 0 hidden)