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View Diary: Ralph's Gift (380 comments)

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  •  Jews and Israel as opposed to Jewish people (none)
    This whole fascination-obsession that some evangelical Christians, most notably on the Christian White (Blacks don't seem nearly as interested, tho some are to a lesser extent), have for "the Jews" and Israel has always struck me as strange. On TBN, I've actually seen Jewish prayer shawls being given as "prayer gifts" (translation....a gift you get for pledging $$$$S). Tho I'm not Jewish, I was actually offended by what I saw as taking what someone holds sacred and using it in a context that it was clearly NOT intended. I wondered, and eventually asked people who believe this, "if Jews are so great, why aren't you Jewish? What does all this have to do w/ you as Christians?"

    Although I've heard plenty, this fascination usually came across as a mish-mash of a belief in a particular understanding of "Revelations" and some sort of need to be in touch w/ Jesus' Jewishness (Jesus, if I understand correctly, never let renounced being a Jew).

    Well I asked some of my family and people I know who share these ideas about it and from their mixed answers I came away w/ something like this...."the Jews are the timeclock for the return of Jesus. That they are constantly disobident to God and have been given chance after's their fate to be the spark that sets off the return of Jesus and the Rapture." I may have not gotten all the details straight, but this was the impression I was left w/.

    I have often wondered why Jewish people, especially in America, have been so eager to court these people simply because they support Israel? After all the centuries of anti-semitism in Christendom, why all of a sudden would they do a 180? While they are not anti-semites by the traditional standards, pogoms or the Holocaust, they HARDLY are interested in the Jewish people as human beings or their welfare, at least IMHO. It just seems as if Jews/Israel are some petri dish for their doctrines.

    To date, it SEEMS that people in Israel (as opposed to the US), haven't allowed themselves to dragged into bed w/ these people.....wisely so, IMHO. I just wonder if American Jews have simply chosen to take their support of Israel w/o looking into why they support it?

    •  Christian fundamentalists and Jews (none)
      There are a lot of American Christian fundamentalists who are doing things like raising money to send American Jews to Israel.  Not, as some might think, to get them out of the country, but because they believe all the Jews coming together in their own nation is a necessary step toward the End Times.  Hence they are bitterly opposed to the idea of a Palestinian state; that would be a step backward, in their view.  A lot of people think Bush is coddling Ariel Sharon to court the Jewish vote, but I think he's doing it for his base, the Christian fundamentalists.  

      I sometimes read Ha'aretz, and they seem to see the problems inherent in accepting aid from Christian fundamentalists.  But it's a leftwing paper, at least by Israeli standards.  I gather many Israeli groups welcome American funds, regardless of the reason they are being donated.  

      The oddest "contribution" I've heard about is a Texas tycoon who has invested millions in an attempt to breed all-red cows.  They believe pure red cows are necessary to consecrate the Temple Mount and rebuild a Jewish temple there.  

      If they actually try that, I fear they will succeed in their goal of touching off Armageddon...  

      "We share half our genes with the banana. This is a fact more evident in some of my acquaintances than others." - Robert Mays

      by randym77 on Sat Nov 06, 2004 at 07:17:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Strange bedfellows. (none)
      "I have often wondered why Jewish people, especially in America, have been so eager to court these people simply because they support Israel?"

      It's really only the right-wing Israeli and American Jews who have been courting the American Rapture crowd, with the goal of putting pressure on American administrations from within to support their policies in Israel.  They're not idiots.  They know why the Rapturites "love" them and while they may see them as revolting and anti-semitic, they are willing to take their support if it helps them accomplish what they feel is necessary.  You know, the whole "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" thing.

      It's also a matter of how much Israelis have been increasingly isolated in the world.  Israel has few friends left (not that it had very many to begin with) and a great many Jews in Israel and abroad are deeply conflicted about the Palestinian situation.  Before the first intifada and the escalation of violence with the Palestinians, Jews in America were, by and large, proud to be supporters of Israel.  

      Israeli society has changed a lot in the last 30 years.  It used to be a fiercely secular state comprised of Jews who trained themselves to be tough and felt that they couldn't trust anyone else. (With good reason.)  Now you have a huge Orthodox population that sees things through the same biblical world-view (without the whole Christ is the messiah thing, of course) as the fundamentalist Christian crowd.  And that is scary.  

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