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Home arrow Blog arrow November 2007 arrow November 7, 2007

November 7, 2007
WAWA Blog  November 7, 2007: My three favorite Rabbi's are Hillel, Jesus and Michael Lerner. Today's offering is spoken in LOVE to Christian Zionists...





Rabbi Michael Lerner appeared on the Bill Moyers Journal Program (PBS) on October 5th, 2007.

See the video here:

http://files.tikkun.org/current/article.php?story=moyers


The following is excerpted from http://www.tikkun.org/

TIKKUN is Hebrew for heal, mend and transform the world.

"Blessed are the PEACEMAKERS; they shall be called the children of God."-Jesus, Matthew 5:9

Iran, the Christian Zionists, and the American People
Michael Lerner

What [is] particularly striking [is] how explicit and adamant the Christian Zionists were that Israel must refuse to make any deals that would lead to a transfer of land for peace. They were equally clear that the U.S. and Israel need a “preemptive” war with Iran. The Christian Zionists may be the largest element in the Israel Lobby, though they are not Jewish (and in fact, some of them believe that a Middle East nuclear conflagration might be the necessary step to bringing about Jesus’ second coming). According to some informed observers, they represent 20 million Americans (far less than the 50 million they claim, but four times as many as there are Jews in the U.S.).

The Christian Zionists, thus, are an integral and powerful part of the Israel Lobby’s campaign to stop pressuring Israel to swap land for peace and to popularize the notion that war with Iran is desirable and inevitable. This kind of rhetoric is now flowing through the Washington, D.C. news and news analysis/entertainment hub, giving the same clear signals given before the “preemptive” strike on Iraq four years ago.

While Democratic Party leaders in Congress lack the backbone to act, and the leading Democratic Party presidential candidates foresee American troops in Iraq for years to come, the American people are saying, “Get out now.” And despite all the rhetoric about funding cuts “hurting the troops,” a majority of Americans support those funding cuts and have seen through the conservative PR campaign that continues to intimidate Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, and other Congressional leaders.

A Washington Post-ABC News poll revealed just how far their purported Democratic Party leaders are behind the feeling of the American public:
WashingtonPost-ABCNewspoll releasedOctober2,2007;
availableat:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/
wp-srv/politics/polls/postpoll_100107.html.
 


Unfortunately, the same clarity does not exist in regard to the possible airstrikes and war with Iran.

And the Christian Zionists are an effective part of the Israel Lobby, arguing that a strike against Iran is in the best interests of both Israel and the U.S.

In Tikkun’s research, we’ve discovered that there are really three distinct elements energizing the Christian Zionists:

   1. A strong commitment to conservative and ultra-nationalist American politics (so strong, I believe, that if the U.S. were to decide to break with Israel, this part of the Christian Zionist leadership would go along with that and drop its defense of Israeli policies).

   2. Dispensationalist religious commitments that lead many of the Christian Zionists to yearn for a cataclysmic “end of history” eschatological war in the Middle East that will precipitate the second coming of Jesus and the Rapture in which all true Christians will go to heaven and all Jews who have not yet converted to Christianity will burn in hell for eternity.

   3. A widespread understanding among many Christians that atonement and repentance is needed for 1700 years of murder, rape, and oppression of Jews that was frequently generated by the Church (though, of course, the Evangelicals do not recognize that church as their church). In this category are many Christian Zionists who genuinely feel terrible about what has happened to the Jews and genuinely want to help the Jewish people. Their philo-Semitism is real and sincere.

While all Christian Zionists do not hold the dispensationalist worldview, it is very widespread, even among Evangelicals who don’t identify as Christian Zionists. But while they preach this in their churches, when they come to Washington D.C. to advocate for militaristic policies, they often are quiet about their views on the hoped-for conversion of the Jews or the damnation that will follow not just for Jews but for everyone who has not yet accepted Jesus as Christ.

Many Christian Zionists hold all three positions and have never been forced to confront how unloved Jews would feel if they knew that the support they are getting from Christian Zionists was really aimed at their ultimate conversion or burning in hell. But most Jews don’t worry that the second coming of Jesus is at hand, and so they can accept the help of Christian Zionists on Israel issues without concern about ultimate motivations. My personal encounters with them leads me to believe that many of these Christian Zionists might be less enthusiastic about the leadership if they were forced to confront how unloving, how un-Jesus-like, and how offensive to Jews are the first two parts of their worldview. Their conservative leaders invite the most conservative of the Israel Lobby folks to the Christian Zionist con-fabs, and so the only Jews they ever really encounter are those who are appreciative of the blind loyalty to right-wing Israeli policies that the Jewish neocons have been trying to foster throughout the American population.

The task of spiritual progressives is to help dislodge people whose primary motives are in category three from those whose primary motive is an attraction to category one or two. Many of the Christian Zionists in category three have never really heard the views and perspective of the many Israelis and American Jews who believe that the best way to support Israel’s survival and Jewish well-being is to end the Occupation of the West Bank and to build peace and reconciliation between Israel and the Palestinians. But for those in category three who also have some openness to category one and two, the response may be something like that given by people interviewed on the Moyers show: “We’d love to see peace, but we don’t believe that that is achievable until Jesus comes back, so in the meantime we’ll just support the current leadership of the U.S. and Israel and support any militarist policy that they endorse.”

This might remind us of the urgency of our task of popularizing a more loving religious/spiritual vision. Moyers asked: “Where are the voices of spiritual progressives? Why do we only hear the voices of conservative Christians and Israel Lobby Jews?” Our challenge as spiritual progressives is to change this—and that will take hard work on our parts. But, as I insisted to Moyers, history isn’t over and we still have time to weigh in."



IF all goes as planned I will be weighing in at a John Haggee, Christians United for Israel Conference on 11/06/07 and reporting all asap.
 


   
 
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The Paradoxical Commandments
by Dr. Kent M. Keith

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.
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The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
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People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
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Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
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