It is rather ironic but true. There are those that believe the only way America can be safe is by flexing its military muscle all the time. I can’t believe that’s true. But how do you prove it? One thing is clear, the US maintains lots of military bases so to maintain the “Peace”.
But why is there so much emphasis on war, and involving a country that claims to be a democracy in so many faraway foreign entanglements? One thing we are learning from Ukraine, Palestine, and the recent attack on Yemen – is that many in the West, the so-called Christian World, are closing ranks, politically, and even financially!
In trying to brainstorm this article, any inspiration was sought, as to how religion has nothing to do with selecting peace seeking political leaders, and more often than not it is just the opposite. It is not really appropriate to generalize, but it is hard not to, considering that for the vast majority of its history, the US has been at war with someone or with itself.
Why are evangelical Christians so pro-Israeli and anti-Palestinian?
Different congregations and members may have varying opinions on matters of war and peace, and there is most definitely a big disconnect between prayers for peace and support for war among certain religious communities. What then is the nexus to political processes, who votes for which politicians?
The short answer as explained by Palestinian human rights activist Jonathan Kuttab, is that Christian Zionism impacts US policy in the Middle East, and as we have discussed, not in a positive way, and even in coalitions that have intervened in the Middle East, Onward Christian Soldiers, for the most part.
In the evangelical Christian worldview, the 1948 creation of Israel was a fulfillment of Biblical prophecy and the Palestinians are either “non-existent” or “the enemies of God because they are the enemies of the State of Israel”, explains Jonathan Kuttab.
In short, the believers of this interpretation of Holy Scripture do not care about international law or [the impact] of a catastrophic war in the region. “They say, ‘Bring it on. That’s the End Times. That’s the Second Coming. That’s wonderful.’’
Given that at least 30 percent of Americans, roughly one in three, hold these beliefs, what is the impact on US policy on Palestine and Israel? It is as if the State of Israel is “the harbinger of the 2nd Coming of Christ and that somehow that Christians are supposed to support this State of Israel”, AKA, the Jewish State, and if not, then the believer is to be on the side of evil—and not in keeping with “G-d’s plan for the World!”
It is fortunate that not all Christian Zionists hold this same belief, but what they do believe is that it is the end times, and the gathering of Jews and devout Christians for the world that is to come. Therefore, anyone who is against the Jews, whom they interpret as exclusively the modern-day Israelis, is an enemy, morally wrong, or deceived by Satan, and they will use the bible to support their blind faith that Jews are on the right side.
In addition, they will curse who those who will curse the offspring of Abraham and bless those that will bless the seed of the Jewish people, so they too will be “blessed by supporting God’s Chosen people”.
Naturally, this attitude is the stuff of fairy tales, and blind faith. Nonetheless, it is the driving force for political action and taking sides in conflicts over land that has nothing to do with modern day religious beliefs, Political Action Committees, PACs, and the source of a lion’s share of campaign contributions.
It is hard to accept, especially from a Jewish perspective, that if you don’t bless or support Netanyahu or the actions of the Israeli army, as supported blindly by the political leadership of the US, both present and past, Trump and Biden, then you are not doing Godly work.
It is as if, at least for evangelical Christians, that the ongoing conflict must be perceived in Holy War terms in order to be close to God and to find grace and salvation! As for politicians, it is survival, as to be against Israel, regardless of what is morally right or wrong, you won’t get elected. It is as simple as that!
Christians United for Israel
Some Americans are really making supporting Israel a cottage industry, with Christians United for Israel, and its calls to “Support Israel right now as she fights the barbarians at her gates and receive an Israel Lives bracelet.”
Christians United for Israel, is a proponent of U.S. aid and unconditional support for Israel, It claims that it is a major ally of Israeli conservatives who reject any “land for peace” formula in dealing with the Palestinians.
I can’t make this stuff up, … it is clear that supporting Israel brings in the bucks for various support groups, and how much is actually used for Israel is an open question.
As supporters of Israel, we must fight back against the lies about Israel!
We must follow the example of today’s Israeli warriors and the ancient Lions of Judah. The enemies of Israel may try to shake us, but we shall never be moved!
On their website you can watch videos and read articles that the hard line: i.e., Short-term cease-fire will only prolong Palestinian and Israeli suffering; Hamas Supporters on US College Campuses, and by Funding Lebanese Armed Forces, America Funds Terrorism.
These titles are only a sample of the rabid anti-Palestinian, Arab and Middle Eastern information found on a purportedly peace-loving site, in direct opposition to what Christianity is supposed to be all about, and one would assume when you see Christian in the name of their organization they should at least act in something resembling a Christian manner.
But their reputation precedes them, as covered in various media outlets, as one headline reads, “Inside the Most Insanely Pro-Israel Meeting You Could Ever Attend … The Christians United for Israel wants nothing less than total victory.”
It is interesting to read what “Christians United for Israel” (CUFI) is all about; at least, by what it claims itself to be: “an American pro-Israel advocacy organization that focuses on mobilizing and engaging Christian support for the State of Israel. It was founded in 2006 by Pastor John Hagee, an evangelical Christian leader.
John Hagee is considered by others as a “BIG fat fake and fraud that he is. He is a liar and a deceiver who preaches the false prosperity gospel in order to con people into giving his ministry millions of dollars.” He has made millions from milking his flock for all he can get, and in the name of the House of Israel.
Finding Easy Marks
Raising money for Israel is a popular way to find “easy marks”, and there are other such groups, Christiansin Defense of Israel. There have even been some arrests, according to the Times of Israel, as to where all the money goes, and as the saying goes, “a fool and his money is soon departed”, so too for some of the Christian groups; that blindly support Israel.
The answer to why American Christians act as they do lies in part in the Scofield “bible” that was developed in the 19th century and financed by early Zionists. Interestingly, this modern interpretation of scripture is diametrically opposed to the oldest Christian traditions, especially of the Orthodox Church, which was founded by the Jews who followed Christ, and is decidedly Middle Eastern in nature.
Part of the problem is the American desire to constantly “reinterpret” the Bible to suit “modern reality” resulting in the adoption of the aforementioned Scofield Bible, published in 1909 with support and financing from the early Zionist movement.
This has caused the idea of a Zionist Israel to be a history twisting item of religious fervor amongst Americans, combined with their ideas of ”American exceptionalism”, this has resulted in a complete twisting of Christian ideals, and dovetails with the Balfour declaration in a very disturbing way.
Nexus between Religion and Politics
The problem in the US is that many of its versions of Christianity and Judaism are completely tied to the idea of “America” and not God’s will. Religion and politics are also too closely linked, and not in a good way!
I suppose part of the reason is because Jews lived in the area during biblical times, they have some claimed “rights” to the land. However, both Jews and Palestinians are all descended from Abraham. But there is no love in this brotherhood. Palestinians were living there when the Israeli state was created by the UN in 1948.
Although one account I heard that justified creating an Israeli state was because they had no “home” to go to and that’s why Hitler was successful and annihilating so many Jewish people -because they had no place to go to; however, this ignores the fact that Jewish communities existed worldwide at the time, and the small matter that making one people stateless, to give another a home is of dubious morality and legality, to say the least.
Will we be saying the same thing about the Palestinians in a hundred years that Netanyahu was only able to kill so many because they had no “home” to go to?
Think about it.
Seth Ferris, investigative journalist and political scientist, expert on Middle Eastern affairs, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.