Could Support for LGBTQ Rights Disrupt the Coalition of Jews and Evangelical Christian Zionists?
Bill Berkowitz printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Sat May 02, 2015 at 02:39:34 AM EST
Some might say that the relationship between the conservative US Jewish community and Evangelicals is inviolable, with support for Israel being the cement that forever binds the two. However, a number of controversial social issues could threaten to alter a relationship that has historically been replete with awkward, and not so secret Christian objectives.
"Conservative Jews who make common cause with Christian Zionists are overlooking an inconvenient truth: Despite all of their talk about their love for Israel, religious right zealots are motivated primarily by a goofy end-of-the-world scenario cribbed from the mad scribbling of Hal Lindsey, Tim LaHaye and other 'End Times' prophets," Rob Boston, Director of Communications for Americans United for Separation of Church and State, told me in an email.

"In this scenario," Boston added, "Israel needs to do certain things so that the Apocalypse can be ushered in and the Book of Revelation will come to pass. Jews, in this vision of things, are merely cannon fodder who either convert to Christianity or get burned to a crisp in the final battle when Jesus confronts the Antichrist. I'm not seeing a lot of love and respect for the Jewish faith here."

Putting aside End Times prophesies and the issue of whether Christian Zionists actually support Israel and Israelis by being hand maidens to Benjamin Netanyahu, it may be something as unlikely as same-sex marriage that will rupture the Jewish-Evangelical Christian relationship.

A majority of Jews -- except for the most Orthodox -- profoundly disagree with evangelical Christians about LGBTQ social justice issues. According to the Pew Research Center, more than 8 in 10 Jews says that LGBTQ rights should be guaranteed by society. Evangelicals have the decidedly opposite point of view, although younger Evangelicals appear to be more tolerant of same-sex marriage than their older counterparts.

As the US Supreme Court held hearings on same-sex marriage earlier this week - it will render its decision in late-June - numerous Christian Right groups were actively petitioning the court to rule against same-sex marriage.

Jewish Leaders Protest Giving Award to Anti-Gay Pastor

Last week, several prominent Jewish leaders protested the decision by the Atlanta-based chapter of the Jewish National Fund to give its Tree of Life award to mega-church pastor Charles Stanley.

Apparently hoping to avoid further controversy, Stanley turned down the award.

This relatively minor kerfuffle may be indicative of how social issues could affect the relationship between Jews and Evangelicals.

Charles Stanley, senior pastor of First Baptist Church Atlanta and the former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, was being honored "for his long support of the state of Israel," Christianity Today's Heidi Hall recently reported. However, "a number of local rabbis and other Jewish leaders ... protested the decision," because of anti-gay statements that Stanley had made in the past.

Opposing homosexuality is part of Stanley's Biblical worldview. Stanley has said that homosexual sex is immoral, and in 1986, he claimed that AIDS was a sign of God's judgment. Back in the mid-eighties that wasn't an unusual statement from Evangelical pastors.

"Those views are `incompatible with Jewish ethics and values,' said the Southern Jewish Resource Network for Gender and Sexual Diversity, in a letter protesting the decision to honor Stanley."

"Some proclaim they are living a gay lifestyle, but nothing is happy or gay about the destructive behavior of homosexuality," Stanley wrote in his 2007 book, Landmines in the Path of a Believer. "Anything that opposes the principles written in God's Word leads to one ending -- the end Solomon mentioned, a place of extreme emptiness where wind and sorrow breach the soul. Ultimately it ends in a place of extreme emotional sorrow and separation from God."

Although several Atlanta-area rabbis said they would not attend the event, and others asked the JNF to withdraw the award, the organization refused. Adam Brill, a JNF national spokesperson, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that, "Our honoree represents one of the largest Christian communities in the South which has always supported the Jewish people in times of peace and conflict."

Charles Stanley has been a consistent supporter of Israel over the years. "I think about one the most disastrous decisions we're going to make and you mark it down: When we turn back on Israel we will not his escape the judgment of God. We will not," he said in 2010.

The Stanley dust-up was one example of distinct differences between the majority of Jews and Christian evangelicals over such issues as LGBTQ, abortion, school prayer, sex education, proselytizing Jews, climate change, and the continued preference Jews have for voting for Democratic Party candidates.

Righteously Suspicious of Christian Zionism

The glue that appears to hold this odd coupling together is Christian Zionism. Over the years, Christian Zionists have professed their "support" and love for Israel. They provide financial support for Israeli organizations, lead regular tours of the country, and lobby US legislators on its behalf.

Pastor John Hagee, the San Antonio, Texas-based proprietor over the John Hagee Ministries, a multi-million dollar media empire, founded Christians United for Israel (CUFI) in 2006. In less than a decade CUFI has become the largest American pro-Israel organization.

But as Heidi Hall pointed out, "Evangelicals have ... stronger feelings toward Israel than American Jews. The vast majority (82 percent) of white evangelicals believe God gave the land of Israel to the Jewish people--a view only 40 percent of American Jews share. (One key factor is the number of Jews who don't believe in God, says Pew. But it's not the only factor: only 55 percent of theistic Jews agree that Israel was given to the Jewish people by God.)"

In a recent New York Times opinion piece, William N. Eskridge Jr., a professor at Yale Law School and the author of "Dishonorable Passions: Sodomy Law in America, 1861-2003," wrote that should the Supreme Court rule favorably regarding same-sex marriage, "Some congregations will double down, not only reaffirming their understanding of traditional marriage but denouncing gay people even more fervently."

Some of the most stanch Christian Zionist leaders dwell deep inside the anti-same-sex marriage camp. Should they "double down" and/or "denounce[e] gay people even more fervently," it is possible that more Jewish leaders will stand up and take notice. If that happens, where the odd-couple relationship of fundamental Christians and some pro-Israel Jewish groups will go is anybody's guess.

It also mean rendering extinct some one's language, ethnic identity and religion. The Christian Zionists are after pure Judaism. To replace it with the bastardized hybrid of Christian Zionism. Something that those who follow it either don't think about it, don't understand it or just simply sure they right and doing so will "save" the Jews.

It is nice to see there is some dissension in the ranks, even if it is small.

by Nightgaunt on Sun May 03, 2015 at 04:40:33 PM EST

WWW Talk To Action

Cognitive Dissonance & Dominionism Denial
There is new research on why people are averse to hearing or learning about the views of ideological opponents. Based on evaluation of five......
By Frederick Clarkson (324 comments)
Will the Air Force Do Anything To Rein In Its Dynamic Duo of Gay-Bashing, Misogynistic Bloggers?
"I always get nervous when I see female pastors/chaplains. Here is why everyone should as well: "First, women are not called to be pastors,......
By Chris Rodda (165 comments)
The Legacy of Big Oil
The media is ablaze with the upcoming publication of David Grann's book, Killers of the Flower Moon. The shocking non fiction account of the......
By wilkyjr (96 comments)
Gimme That Old Time Dominionism Denial
Over the years, I have written a great deal here and in other venues about the explicitly theocratic movement called dominionism -- which has......
By Frederick Clarkson (91 comments)
History Advisor to Members of Congress Completely Twists Jefferson's Words to Support Muslim Ban
Pseudo-historian David Barton, best known for his misquoting of our country's founders to promote the notion that America was founded as a Christian nation,......
By Chris Rodda (95 comments)
"Christian Fighter Pilot" Calls First Lesbian Air Force Academy Commandant a Liar
In a new post on his "Christian Fighter Pilot" blog titled "BGen Kristin Goodwin and the USAFA Honor Code," Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan......
By Chris Rodda (121 comments)
Catholic Right Leader Unapologetic about Call for 'Death to Liberal Professors' -- UPDATED
Today, Donald Trump appointed C-FAM Executive Vice President Lisa Correnti to the US Delegation To UN Commission On Status Of Women. (C-FAM is a......
By Frederick Clarkson (100 comments)
Controlling Information
     Yesterday I listened to Russ Limbaugh.  Rush advised listeners it would be best that they not listen to CNN,MSNBC, ABC, CBS and......
By wilkyjr (72 comments)
Is Bannon Fifth-Columning the Pope?
In December 2016 I wrote about how White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who likes to flash his Catholic credentials when it comes to......
By Frank Cocozzelli (222 comments)
Ross Douthat's Hackery on the Seemingly Incongruous Alliance of Bannon & Burke
Conservative Catholic writer Ross Douthat has dissembled again. This time, in a February 15, 2017 New York Times op-ed titled The Trump Era's Catholic......
By Frank Cocozzelli (53 comments)
`So-Called Patriots' Attack The Rule Of Law
Every so often, right-wing commentator Pat Buchanan lurches out of the far-right fever swamp where he has resided for the past 50 years to......
By Rob Boston (145 comments)
Bad Faith from Focus on the Family
Here is one from the archives, Feb 12, 2011, that serves as a reminder of how deeply disingenuous people can be. Appeals to seek......
By Frederick Clarkson (173 comments)
The Legacy of George Wallace
"One need not accept any of those views to agree that they had appealed to real concerns of real people, not to mindless, unreasoning......
By wilkyjr (49 comments)
Betsy DeVos's Mudsill View of Public Education
My Talk to Action colleague Rachel Tabachnick has been doing yeoman's work in explaining Betsy DeVos's long-term strategy for decimating universal public education. If......
By Frank Cocozzelli (52 comments)
Prince and DeVos Families at Intersection of Radical Free Market Privatizers and Religious Right
This post from 2011 surfaces important information about President-Elect Trump's nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. -- FC Erik Prince, Brother of Betsy......
By Rachel Tabachnick (205 comments)

Respect for Others? or Political Correctness?
The term "political correctness" as used by Conservatives and Republicans has often puzzled me: what exactly do they mean by it? After reading Chip Berlin's piece here-- I thought about what he explained......
MTOLincoln (217 comments)
What I'm feeling now is fear.  I swear that it seems my nightmares are coming true with this new "president".  I'm also frustrated because so many people are not connecting all the dots! I've......
ArchaeoBob (83 comments)
"America - love it or LEAVE!"
I've been hearing that and similar sentiments fairly frequently in the last few days - far FAR more often than ever before.  Hearing about "consequences for burning the flag (actions) from Trump is chilling!......
ArchaeoBob (160 comments)
"Faked!" Meme
Keep your eyes and ears open for a possible move to try to discredit the people openly opposing Trump and the bigots, especially people who have experienced terrorism from the "Right"  (Christian Terrorism is......
ArchaeoBob (140 comments)
More aggressive proselytizing
My wife told me today of an experience she had this last week, where she was proselytized by a McDonald's employee while in the store. ......
ArchaeoBob (137 comments)
See if you recognize names on this list
This comes from the local newspaper, which was conservative before and took a hard right turn after it was sold. Hint: Sarah Palin's name is on it!  (It's also connected to Trump.) ......
ArchaeoBob (129 comments)
Unions: A Labor Day Discussion
This is a revision of an article which I posted on my personal board and also on Dailykos. I had an interesting discussion on a discussion board concerning Unions. I tried to piece it......
Xulon (139 comments)
Extremely obnoxious protesters at WitchsFest NYC: connected to NAR?
In July of this year, some extremely loud, obnoxious Christian-identified protesters showed up at WitchsFest, an annual Pagan street fair here in NYC.  Here's an account of the protest by Pagan writer Heather Greene......
Diane Vera (121 comments)
Capitalism and the Attack on the Imago Dei
I joined this site today, having been linked here by Crooksandliars' Blog Roundup. I thought I'd put up something I put up previously on my Wordpress blog and also at the DailyKos. As will......
Xulon (172 comments)
History of attitudes towards poverty and the churches.
Jesus is said to have stated that "The Poor will always be with you" and some Christians have used that to refuse to try to help the poor, because "they will always be with......
ArchaeoBob (134 comments)
Alternate economy medical treatment
Dogemperor wrote several times about the alternate economy structure that dominionists have built.  Well, it's actually made the news.  Pretty good article, although it doesn't get into how bad people could be (have been)......
ArchaeoBob (71 comments)
Evidence violence is more common than believed
Think I've been making things up about experiencing Christian Terrorism or exaggerating, or that it was an isolated incident?  I suggest you read this article (linked below in body), which is about our great......
ArchaeoBob (185 comments)
Central Florida Sheriff Preached Sermon in Uniform
If anyone has been following the craziness in Polk County Florida, they know that some really strange and troubling things have happened here.  We've had multiple separation of church and state lawsuits going at......
ArchaeoBob (73 comments)
Demon Mammon?
An anthropologist from outer space might be forgiven for concluding that the god of this world is Mammon. (Or, rather, The Market, as depicted by John McMurtry in his book The Cancer Stage of......
daerie (103 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 (100 comments)

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.