Rapture Ready: The Unauthorized Christians United for Israel Tour
Max Blumenthal printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Fri Jul 27, 2007 at 02:28:48 AM EST
I have never witnessed any spectacle as politically extreme, outrageous, or bizarre as the one Christians United for Israel produced last week in Washington. See it for yourself below the fold:
On July 16, I attended Christians United for Israel's annual Washington-Israel Summit. Founded by San Antonio-based megachurch pastor John Hagee, CUFI has added the grassroots muscle of the Christian right to the already potent Israel lobby. Hagee and his minions have forged close ties with the Bush White House and members of Congress from Sen. Joseph Lieberman to Sen. John McCain. In its call for a unilateral military attack on Iran and the expansion of Israeli territory, CUFI has found unwavering encouragement from traditional pro-Israel groups like AIPAC and elements of the Israeli government.

But CUFI has an ulterior agenda: its support for Israel derives from the belief of Hagee and his flock that Jesus will return to Jerusalem after the battle of Armageddon and cleanse the earth of evil. In the end, all the non-believers - Jews, Muslims, Hindus, mainline Christians, etc. - must convert or suffer the torture of eternal damnation. Over a dozen CUFI members eagerly revealed to me their excitement at the prospect of Armageddon occurring tomorrow. Among the rapture ready was Republican Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. None of this seemed to matter to Lieberman, who delivered a long sermon hailing Hagee as nothing less than a modern-day Moses. Lieberman went on to describe Hagee's flock as "even greater than the multitude Moses led out of Egypt."

Throughout CUFI's Israel Summit, videographer Thomas Shomaker and I were hounded by PR agents seeking to prevent us from interviewing attendees about the End Times. The conference, we were told, was about "one message" - evangelical Christians supporting Israel. We were instructed to only interview CUFI leaders capable of sticking to the talking point that their support for Israel has, as Hagee declared, "nothing to do with the End Times." But I was forbidden from asking Hagee about statements he made in his book, "Jerusalem Countdown," that appeared to blame Jews for their own persecution. After doing just that during a press conference, I was removed from the conference by off-duty DC cops summoned by members of Hagee's family.

I have covered the Christian right intensely for over four years. During this time, I attended dozens of Christian right conferences, regularly monitored movement publications and radio shows, and interviewed scores of its key leaders. I have never witnessed any spectacle as politically extreme, outrageous, or bizarre as the one Christians United for Israel produced last week in Washington.

I was escorted by armed guards out of the Christian Identity convention in Springfield, MO. Max, this should be played in every Mainline church in America. Thanks for being there. This is a complete and utter disgrace. As a Christian, I am embarrassed. As an American, I am outraged.
Shalom, Rev. Dr. John C. Dorhauer "Time makes ancient good uncouth; we must onward still and upward who would keep abreast of truth." from Lowell, "The Present Crisis"
by John Dorhauer on Fri Jul 27, 2007 at 06:30:44 AM EST

Author of THE FAMILY: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power (Harper, May 20)
by Jeff Sharlet on Fri Jul 27, 2007 at 08:19:04 PM EST

Max-this is scary, yet excellent.

by khughes1963 on Sat Jul 28, 2007 at 10:06:45 AM EST

I have a number of Jewish friends who are leaders in the JNF and other moderate Israeli support groups. They don't seem to understand that in accepting support from groups like CUFI, they are accepting help from forces with cruel and ungodly motives.

I doubt that sending this link will do any good, but I'm going to try.

by RevRuthUCC on Sun Jul 29, 2007 at 11:45:08 PM EST

I hope too, that this gets widely viewed.

Hear that John Stewart of The Daily Show?

by Frederick Clarkson on Sat Jul 28, 2007 at 12:53:08 PM EST

How can anyone be surprised when a Muslim says we are in a "holy war." Mix this summit with Bush's use of the word "crusade," and we are adding plenty of fuel to the fire. I wouldn't be surprised if terrorist organizations use this video for recruitment. Also, I am amazed that any Christian could look so forward to Christ's return. How could any decent person look forward to the eternal torture of the majority of mankind? I personally would not be able to enjoy paradise if I knew others were suffering. http://www.lifewithoutfaith.com

by BrotherRichard on Mon Jul 30, 2007 at 01:54:00 AM EST

Well...so much for the Gospel of Peace...

If I were an Israeli, I'd be very wary of such overtures by CUFI.  Number one: even if an invasion of Iran was "successful" and Israel's borders were expanded, it wouldn't stop some angry Muslims from paying me a visit.  And number two: would I want my nation to be beholden to another nation and to a religious group that has been at odds with mine for centuries?

Scary stuff folks.  Peace

by Dangerous Christian on Thu Aug 02, 2007 at 12:16:21 AM EST

why must be terrorists out there? when this whole country will be live in peacefull or is this just a curse?

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by evelynjroberts on Thu Mar 10, 2011 at 01:56:45 PM EST

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