Global, Identity, Politics, Religion

Our Good Friends the Evangelicals

“The Air Force team was appointed to investigate the religious climate at the 4,300-student [Air Force Academy] in Colorado Springs, Colo., after hearing complaints that evangelical Christians wield so much influence at the school that anti-Semitism and other forms of religious harassment have become pervasive.”
“Mikey Weinstein, an academy graduate and a lawyer in Albuquerque, said that his son Curtis – a sophomore at the academy – had been called a “filthy Jew.”

Full story here and here

40 thoughts on “Our Good Friends the Evangelicals

  1. This story is definitely sad. The military world seems like such a bubble, it’s totally believable that people would turn on each other like this.
    But I was also disappointed with the post’s title, “Our Good Friends the Evangelicals,” implying that all evangelicals are somehow to blame. We (as in everyone) really need to get above the name-calling and prejudice.

  2. I still don’t understand why people are so suprised by this. The evangelical movements, despite thier attempts to appear friendly, aren’t really. They are more interested in converting us and supporting Israel for thier own religious reasons.

  3. The Evangelicals are not our good friends. They are selfishly concerned with their own issues (as we may be with ours).
    The reality is that we (Jewish people, or as you might say the Jewish right) share many common interests with them, and Christians in general. They for the most part are overwhelmingly supportive of a safe and secure Israel, and they contribute greatly to the economy through tourism, Bonds and outright contributions. There are many social items the Jewish right and Christians are together on, there is this Judeo-Christian code of ethics.
    So we genrally get along with them and appreciate their support despite it being self-serving.
    Their does seem to be some sytematic Evangelical leanings at this academy, but that doesnt necessarily represent the tactics of the entire religion.
    And if an Evangelical calls you a filthy Jew, knock his teeth out.

  4. Merliner,
    What exactly is a “Judeo-Christian code of ethics”? I can understand a Christian ethical tradition and a Jewish ethical tradition, but how do you morph the two, especially given the core beliefs of either religious tradition? For example, the Gospel verse “None shall enter the kingdom of heaven but through me,” compared with the Prophetic verse “The righteous of all nations have a share in the world to come” appear fundamentally at odds.
    Further, Evangelical Christians arguably take proselytization as an obligation of their faith, which enters some sticky terrain in the area of the establishment clause when dealing with taxpayer supported institutions like the Air Force Academy.

  5. Judeo-Christian ethics is a coomn term used to describe values shared by Jews and Christiand derived from the Torah a.k.a. Old Testament.
    Obviously this isn’t a thorogh system, Jews determine Jewish law/ethics on the Rabbinical interpreation of the Torah (Talmud, Halacha) Christian rely primarily on Bilical text.
    Nevertheless there is an element of Ethics that are shared, the Thou Shall Not Kill etc.
    In regards to the Air Force Academy, despite the panel’s review that didn’t show any misdeeds, there most certainly is an Evangelical leaning and that is wrong, especially if it is the catalyst of several anti-semetic inceidents.

  6. What if an evangelical website posted an article titled (tongue in cheek), “Our Good Friends, the Jews.” The title alone would be incendiary. Stating “the Jews” as if we are a monolithic group is bigoted enough to piss us off. We should be more considerate of a group, even when some members of the group behave like animals.

  7. Merliner: “Nevertheless there is an element of Ethics that are shared, the Thou Shall Not Kill etc.”
    So, mistranslating “lo tirtzach” is the essence of “Judeo-Christian code of ethics.” But seriously….
    I admit to a real concern that a broad acceptance of the “Judeo-Christian” hyphenation eventually erodes the particularity of its less popular Jewish half. If it’s simply a matter of mutual Sinaitic respect, then why not similarly promote a “Judeo-Muslim” code of ethics as well (indeed, there would seem even more common substance there than between Jewish and Christian ethical traditions — ie, Midrash-Hadith)?
    Beyond its use as even a conceptual shorthand, conflating a post-messianic faith with Jewish ethical traditions seems impetuous, and maybe even a bit socially opportunistic for a minority community. The phrase should fall out of use.

  8. Isaac,
    Without defending the evengelicals, I want to point out that the left routinely calls for Israel’s destruction either by claiming it has no right to exist or that it does have the right to exist only if it cleanses itself of its Jewish character and reforms as a bi-national state. These are not people I can call my friends.
    Perhaps you think Noam Chomsky and Susan Blackwell are evengelicals (and in a way they are). But they are actually leftists. Ask them if they consider themselves friends of Israel. I think their answer is pretty obvious.

  9. We should understand that there is a degree of political oppornunism in the wake of these circumstances….
    (Washington Post, June 21) – The House was debating a Democratic amendment to the annual defense-appropriations bill that would have required the Air Force Academy to develop a plan for preventing “coercive and abusive religious proselytizing at the United States Air Force Academy.”
    [Indiana Rep. John] Hostettler, speaking against the amendment, asserted that “the long war on Christianity in America continues today on the floor of the House of Representatives” and “continues unabated with aid and comfort to those who would eradicate any vestige of our Christian heritage being supplied by the usual suspects, the Democrats.
    “Like a moth to a flame, Democrats can’t help themselves when it comes to denigrating and demonizing Christians.”
    Hostettler was compelled to withdraw his “moth-to-flame” comment, but the amendment was defeated.

  10. Merliner: I see no reason why a judeo-christian code of ethics could be said to be any more real than a judeo-islamic code of ethics, or an abrahamic code of ethics. Islam and Judaism are way closer than Christianity and Judaism. I find the common usage of the word judeo-christian to be a way for Christianity to impose itself upon Judaism as if we were their collective little brother or something.
    Yisrael: When jews say evangelicals in the way said here it is different than if they said “our good friends the jews”. First of all because evangelical is a specific movement within the religion. While making such generalizations may not be accurate, it is different. Now, for them to say “our good friends, the Zionists, or the Israelis” would be more akin to what was said here about them. While I know that Noam Chomsky and Martin Buber would fall under the broad umbrella of Zionism, I understand that they mean right-wing political zionism and people like Sharon or AIPAC they say things like that, and I’ll let it slide. Perhaps the biggest difference is that they are a much larger and more powerful group that has never in history been the object of oppression at the hands of Jewish power. For us to call them “our good friends, the evangelicals” is like black people making fun of white people. But for them to do the same to us would be like white people cracking jokes about black people.
    and ultimately, what’s going to happen once their vision has been fulfilled and we’ve played our role? we all return to israel? we annihilate the palestinians? we take all the land? and then what happens when the messiah don’t come? we’re screwed.

  11. The Tuna: “Perhaps you think Noam Chomsky and Susan Blackwell are evengelicals (and in a way they are). But they are actually leftists.”
    But they are not every leftist, as leftist is usually reduced in lazy shorthand to include everything from bomb throwing communists to Democratic legislators. In fact, I would challenge thei idea that the anti-Zionist left is anything more than pathetically marginal.
    Meanwhile, there are distinct flaws in your equation. Evangelical Christianity arguably holds proselytization as an article of faith (if one doesn’t proselytize, would that make one a “leftist Evangelical”?). The “left,” whatever that means this week, hardly reveals any consistently coherent standard. So, if every liberal, progressive, union worker, conservationist, feminist and Democrat must bear the burden of Chomsky’s ravings, why should right wingers not be held similarly responsible for the ravings of Hostetler, Grover Norquist, Bob Novak, Paul Findley, etc.?

  12. can’t weigh in on the “virtues” of the american left or right right now
    but read this and weep, holler, gag or wanna knock out a sharp evangelical tooth:
    these folks are centered where? but colorado springs, of course!
    50 plus cases of evangelical hooliganism at the academy … mostly just your standard home field bullshit …. in this case perpetrated by the lowest of the already questionable.
    please do read the harper’s piece.
    – mason

  13. Zionista,
    I confess that I’m not really clear on your point here, but I’ll try to address what I think you are saying.
    If you are saying that there is no such thing as a “left” because there are so many different kinds of leftists, then that would certainly be news to many people who identify themselves with the left and have clear and cogent political positions. The fact that you can’t identify what those positions are is your problem, not theirs.
    I was addressing the point Isaac made above claiming that Israel’s real friends are on the left. I don’t believe this is true. But I’m open to some good examples. Give me some names and I’ll stand corrected. Show me that Israel’s real friends are on the left. Believe me, I’d rather be wrong.
    The names I used are people strongly associated with the left. Bill Clinton, although a Democrat, is really not a leftist. He’s a conservative. He may toe the line on a few liberal issues, but he’s not a leftist. Ralph Nader is a leftist. Many of my leftist friends voted for him in 2000. Many more would have if they didn’t think a third-party vote was a wasted vote. Nader is not a friend of Israel.
    So who are these leftist friends of Israel? I want to know. I really do. ‘Cause I don’t see ’em out there.

  14. The Tuna:
    I never said that Chomsky would consider himself a friend of “the state of Israel”. I said he is a Zionist, and that he was before it was as popular as it is today. I wouldn’t consider myself a friend of any state either. I just don’t see why I should be bound to stand by any arbitrary form of governance. Now, as far as it goes with the left calling for Israel’s destruction, I would say that this is a very recent phenomenon that is more the result of orientalism on the part of uneducated liberals who want to stand with the most radical segment of whatever group they see as most oppressed at the moment. If Israel were to once again live up to what used to be considered Jewish values, stand by what it stood by in the diaspora, it would once agin find itself well received on the left. The left is largely with the Jews, it’s Israel that abandoned the other two. Jewish interests in the diaspora are secularism, democracy, universalism, civil rights… about which the left agrees with us. But it is these very values that are being challenged by the Israeli state today. (The PA is by NO MEANS any better, but worse.)
    Right-wing support of Jews has been rare in history and presently only takes the form of paternalistic, holocaust-guilt-ridden policies that really are acting to distance Israel from any chance of peace with its neighbors (this policy started back in the british days as divide and conquer, Israel was used to beat Nasser, protect the canal…). Handing Israelis guns and pushing them into battle and passively saying they support Israel does not constitute a real frienship with the Jewish people on the part of the Right. Those who stand for what we stand for, and who do not wish to distance us from the rest of the Middle East can be found on the Left, and they are our friends. That’s why the overwhelming majority of American Jews voted for Kerry, and have always voted Democratic. The Right is setting Israel up to be a scape-goat to draw attention away from the USA after the neocons have invaded and raped every Muslim country… Just wait and see, their interests are Christianity in gov, nationalism, militarism, the desecration of civil rights, and aliyah… hmm.. wonder why? they don’t want us here; we don’t even vote for them, let alone agree with them.
    And oh yeah, where do neo-Nazis fit on the right-left spectrum? Far Right. Know any Jewish neo-nazis? thought not. No any Jewish anarchists, communists or socialists? hmmm… we invented it!

  15. Where neo-Nazis fit on the right-left spectrum makes no difference in this debate. You associate all things good and wholesome with the left and all things manipulative, sleazy and depraved with the right. I think both are fucked.
    But while you admit the left is leading the charge against Israel – often to the point of anti-Semitism – your solution is for Israel to change. That’s like blaming blacks for racism.
    I don’t know where you get your ideas about what the Jewish people stand for but secularism and universalism aint it. At least if you listen to anyone other the Reform movement.
    A friend of Israel would say that terrorism directed against civilians cannot be part of any peace process and that terror groups must be dismantled before any negotiations would begin. Show me the left wing leaders willing to say that. They don’t exist.

  16. The Tuna: “I was addressing the point Isaac made above claiming that Israel’s real friends are on the left. I don’t believe this is true.”
    Then your argument is with Isaac. But along the way, you had made the point that “the left routinely calls for Israel’s destruction…,” mentioning Chomsky and Susan Blackwell. I fail to see how Chomsky becomes the king of the left, and Susan Blackwell has been on a lonely crusade (pardon the expression) since the AUT rejected her plans for an academic boycott of Israel. I could be just as broadly sweeping (and wrong) to assert that the right routinely calls for the destruction of Israel, and cite the opinions and statements of Paul Findley or David Duke.
    Surely, the left is rather broadly defined and that was my counterpoint. Much too broadly defined to issue sweeping assertions Israel is even at the forefront across the agenda of the leftward end of the political spectrum.

  17. The Tuna: “A friend of Israel would say that terrorism directed against civilians cannot be part of any peace process and that terror groups must be dismantled before any negotiations would begin. Show me the left wing leaders willing to say that. They don’t exist.”
    Would Joschka Fischer be left enough for you?

  18. Actually, my point with the Nazis is that in the most extreme cases the left is much better for Jews than the right throughout history. I don’t see the left as the best, and the ideal on all thhings. I am very Left and libertarian on most issues.
    Again I think it is important to draw the distinction between Israel and Jews. I do not consider criticism of Israeli policy to be anti-Semitic. Therefore I hold that Israel must change policy in response to criticism of the occupation. I DO NOT think that Jews should change in response to anti-Semitism. That’s why I think that the values held by the Bundists and early Zionists must be revived even in a post-WWII world, and not let Hitler’s antisemitism change our values. I would not blame blacks for racism. However, I would blame the Congolese government for serious policy failures (hypothetical).
    Jews most definitely stand for universalism, starting with the noahide laws… and secularism was all Jews could hope for in presecular europe (Dreyfus’s allies for example). Even if it were only the reform movement, which it isn’t, that would be a significant number of America’s and even the world’s Jews, and would still be a strong indication of where Jewish values stand. Jewish involvement on the American (and European) Left has a long history, and it makes sense, the right was nationalistic (Jews were out), religious (the Jews were out) and militaristic (the Jews were really out). I could draw upon more traditional Jewish values such as the Torah’s statements that all the nations will recognize God’s name, and the like, to show Jewish universalism. However, a good deal of what is Jewish is defined by Jews and their history. Jewish diaspora history made the Jews natural allies of the universalists and secularists. Now I don’t know where you are, but in MidWest America, that’s mainstream Jewish stuff, nothing radical at all.
    A friend of the Israeli state would seek to preserve that state. I don’t want a friend who has an institution’s interests at heart, but the Jewish people’s interests. If that state is violating what Jews stand for (the orthodox could say halachah, I can say what you clearly see as left bs) and is endangering the Jewish people, including its soldiers by bad policy decisions, a good friend of the people would push to put a stop to the injustice.
    I don’t know of any mainstream, and few radical leftists who don’t condemn terrorism. Show me a few mainstream leftists who fully condone terrorism. There are rightists that see it as God’s will and extremists who advocate it as well on the right. Now, I don’t know how a terrorist network can be suddenly dismantled in any meaningful way. Suppressing a movement like that would likely make it more popular (like the Kaiser’s failed attempts to outlaw the SPD). I would say that Israel has a duty to make justice and peace regardless of what some other group is doing, their actions do not exempt us from moral obligation. I would say the same to the others as well. However, I am a Jew, I tell Jews what we should do, Arabs can tell the Palestinians what they should do. Pragmatically I think allowing Hamas to enter politics as its own party will serve to moderate it, and that it is in Israel’s interests to facilitate in this moderation. What’s more, it is the Palestinian’s right to elect whomever they chose. And I hope you’ll remember the Irgun and Begin when considering terrorism. A friend of Israel would condemn that. And Sabra and Shatila. And home demolitions… It’s not antisemitic to criticize these horrible actions. Such criticism is something a friend of Israel is obligated to do, and Jews are obligated to accept such criticism and diversity of thought even if they disagree with it, without calling it racist or attacking the critic.
    The reason the left may pay a little too much attention to Israel is that many of the left’s leaders are Jews, and this is what they know, and feel. Jews committed to social justice and peace advocate action to change Israel’s policies and may have done so a little too well. Chomsky for example is Jewish and even Zionist. He is the world’s most frequently referenced author, and is huge on the left, especially in europe. I wouldn’t blame him for demanding justice from his own people, I’m proud of him for doing it.
    John Kerry, Joe Biden, Dennis Kuccinnich, Howard Dean, Michael Lerner, Arthur Waskow, Arik Ascherman, Tariq Ali… all condemn terrorism and are left-wing.

  19. I wasn’t talking about a friend of Israel in the sense of a military ally. Someone who pushes Jews to the frontlines, gives them some guns and passively lends moral support to “their state” is not a friend of the Jewish people. Jews in the USA want separation of church and state, and for the most part progressive policies out of their gov (usa). Someone who does this is A friend of the Jews. Now a friend of Israel in the sense of someone who cares about the people who live there and wants peace for them with their neighbors would be the left. The right may be good for Sharon because the conflict is good for his popularity and power, and the weapons sales are good for US businesses, but perpetual war and global alienation are not good for Israel. Those who work for peace are working for Israel. Even those who support confederalism or binationalism in the long run are better friends of the Jews than those who want war. It is in the USA’s strtegic interests to have wars simmering around the globe for scapegoats, resource grabs, excuses for future intervention, and weapons money (sidenote: USA exports more landmines than any other country). I seriously fear we are just a pawn in the right’s game or evangelical’s end-times fantasies. Why now? Right-wing loves the Jews all of a sudden. BS

  20. While the comments seemed to have veered off the main story, I’ll bring us back to the issue at heart here:
    This has been an ongoing issue for sometime. I started writing about it last December. For those that want to take a look at some other (and some inside) viepoints, take a look here, here, and here. (links are from oldest to newest)
    While this is a serious problem that needs to be (and is being) worked on, it is by no means representative of the general leadership in the U.S. Armed Forces.

  21. The next time you hear some idiot talk about this being a country founded on Christianity, cite some facts from this website:
    As to the Military being anti-semetic, all I can say is that, in my own personal experience, a couple Jews surrounded by many christians in an organization run almost entirely by christians almost never come out without feeling some kind of discrimination. I was the only Jew in my elementary school and kids would shout Heil Hitler as I walked by many times. In college I’ve been called filthy Jew more times than I can count. It was almost always brushed off by those who said those things as “Just a joke, you know me, I didn’t mean anything by it,” or someother b.s. cop-out like that. My guess is that the same excuse was often given by those who made the remarks at the academy. The fact that there’s antisemetism in the military shouldn’t come as a shock. You fight this crap with knowledge (few things feel as good as making everyone see idiots for what they are), name-calling does little to nothing.

  22. Marvelous your last two posts Isaac!
    Jewish Jarhead! thanks for your perspective.
    The evangelical thing is obviously a creeping pernicious thing. They’ve personally saved the united states’ president (if you’ll excuse the pun) ‘for christ’s sake! Things like this are powerful signs to hooligans wherever they are.
    – mason

  23. In his, “A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America” [1787-1788], John Adams wrote:
    “The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or in America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses.
    “. . . Thirteen governments [of the original states] thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, and which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favor of the rights of mankind.”
    Sorry if it’s seems off point, I just like the quote.

  24. Locofoco, while being the Jewish minority has it’s disadvantages, the military is quite different from an elementary school (and most other organizations).
    If someone yelled, “heil hitler” at a Jewish service member, I can assure you that he would be swiftly and severely punished (dock in pay, confined to barracks, reduction in rank, etc.). There *is* anti-semitism in the military, just like there is anti-semitism just about everywhere, but the military puts a very high value on teamwork. Bigotry and discrimination work completely counterproductive to this goal. We do it more for practical reasons that moral ones. When you might have to charge a machine-gun or send someone through a minefield, you have to trust your peers 100% whether black, white, Jewish, Muslim, or Chinese.
    In my opinion, the service academies are a bit detached from “military reality”. They provide a great education and superior training, but they are mostly run by cadets (who aren’t in the military yet) and they don’t face the same challenges faced in the operating forces. This can create a kind of “fraternity mentality” where things like this can get out of hand. I have no intimate knowledge of the AFA issue, but I would guess that this is one of the main causes. Again, I have to stress that this incident is not representative of the military in general.

  25. This conversation has wondered about since I last posted, but I have a few things to add to the discussion.
    1. While the Evangelical movement has a set of defined core ideals, it is not a monolithic movement. And not everyone that would refer to themselves as evangelical would necessary be considered by others as Evangelical.
    2. The discussion of Left/Right is very strange. I frankly don’t believe either side is a ‘friend’ of Israel. Both sides, as with any situation, are looking for what they see as their best interest. The thing that is the strangest about this is that there are people on each side who will fully support Israel, and people on both sides who see no need to support Israel.
    3. Anti-semetism has been around nearly as long as we have as a ‘people.’ It will likely be around until moshiach comes. Part of it is that we do not see ourselves, as a group, the way other groups see themselves. We believe we are divinely special, and while this is not, in and of itself, different, the way we live our lives is different than the way our neighbors live their lives. We, even those who are less religious, still often see ourselves as Jews living in a non-Jewish enviroment.
    4. If we analyse the issues at play from a non-idealogical position, as opposed to allowing our political positions to color our positions, I think that we are responsible for ourselves and neither side gives a rats back-end about us if we can’t further their political agenda.

  26. I think that the belief that Jewish exceptionalism is exceptional is false. What religion isn’t exceptionalistic? And nations like the USA for example can also be exceptionalistic. We hold ourselves to higher standards, as we should. All groups should hold themselves to higher standards than they hold others (at least partially because their standards are their own).
    Jewish interests in the diaspora coincide with the left far more than they coincide with the right. Israel is fairly well supported by both wings in American politics, but only in a superficial sense. What appears to someone else as right-left ideological banter, may be seen by others as an issue of wrong-right. For me a party line is ideological, but an opinion, a belief about what is right or wrong is conscience, which should not be banished from discussions. I know that my vision of right-wrong clashes with the visions held by others.
    Ultimately, the arguement about whether the right or left has Jewish interests more at heart may come down to simple arithmatic, which side has more Jews on it? The left does and has for many years.

  27. “Ultimately, the arguement about whether the right or left has Jewish interests more at heart may come down to simple arithmatic, which side has more Jews on it? The left does and has for many years.”
    Really. Does that mean that if in the future enough Jews turn rightward such that right-wing Jews outnumber left, you’ll join the Republican Jewish Coalition? (By all means…)

  28. “Ultimately, the arguement about whether the right or left has Jewish interests more at heart may come down to simple arithmatic, which side has more Jews on it? The left does and has for many years.”
    There are just so many reason why this is wrong. It presupposes that you can get such numbers, first off. It presupposes like those unforgivable free market rants that everybody is terribly well informed. And then there’s the question of what “left” means, a question inevitably determined in part nowadays by the problem of whether a racist conquering army-state can be allowed to exist if it has enough racist conquering behind its founding. It’s just so…sloppy. Don’t get us wrong, like a lot of half-baked stuff we see here we love the sentiment behind it, and it is certainly true that Jews always see to have a strong majority going toward precisely that part of nominal Democrat membership that is not leftist (but because Dumbocrats have specifically Jewish interests at heart in a way Rethugs don’t?), but it’s indefensible.
    *********************** ********************
    If anyone’s interested and it hasn’t already come up, America’s finest monthly magazine, Harper’s, did a special issue on evangelicals and that area like a month ago. It turns out that one of the biggest and most influential “megachurches” was deliberately planted in Colorado Springs specifically to exploit the nearby Air Force Academy. One of the most interesting things is the clubbiness of the NuChristians, who are essentially wannabe yuppies and always warning the writer to stay away from the bad part of town where all the good ethnic food is.

  29. I wouldn’t vote for the Republicans regardless of how many Jews might someday vote for them. I would vote for whomever I thought was the best canidate, not who’s best for the Jews. I was simply stating that perhaps the Jews as a collective would be able to indicate which side it is that they agree most with, and it’s clearly democrats over republicans, 7-3 or so. If you won’t count democrats as left, then we can’t count republicans as right. So then we’re back to right-left extremists beyond the fold of either party, and there are more Jews and Jewish supporters on the far left than the far right. We got Trotsky, Marx, Chomsky on far left, but are there such Jewish figures in Nazism? Christian Evangelism?…
    I don’t think that leftists or democrats have to have Jewish interests at heart, but that the left’s ideals if applied, are more favorable to us than the right’s. With Jews, still largely in the diaspora, ultra-nationalism or conservative religio-politics by their nature do not serve us well. We are not fully co-nationals in an ethnic sense, were not in the linguistic sense in history until more recent years, we are not co-religionists who stand to gain from particularist relgio-political movements. In the diaspora we gain from secularism in gov, cultural pluralism and universalism rather than nationalism. These have been hallmarks of the left. While Solidarity member college student “radicals” may be anti-Semitic on an individual basis, the ideals of the left help us, and many of the leaders on the left are either Jews and/or vocal opponents of racism (including anti-Semitism) and chauvinistic ethnic nationalisms.

  30. I was born and raised in Texas. I have always been surrounded by Baptists. Some time in the 70s they started to be called “saved” or “born again”. Whatever…I never had problems with them.
    As an adult though, many of them feel obligated to “testify” to you. As long as you explain to them, resepctfuly that you will NEVER believe in JC than you are fine..they move on. I have never been called a slur.
    One time I was at a water park…some little Mexican boys were making Heil Hitler hand gestures…talking baout Jews…I listened for a while..and then I lit into them. Those little boys were shaking in their swimsuits! But I told them that Jews are really nice, just like me…they said they were really saying how Hitler was wrong…really! I did not even go there on the fact that they are mexicans, whom most consider in Texas the lowest culture. ( Not me…I love their food!)
    My best pal is an Evangelical…she always prays for me to find “the lord”…ok…go ahead…I can take all the prayers I get!
    And Evans only care about Israel as it is in there end game plan

  31. Elaine: “And Evans only care about Israel as it is in there end game plan”
    Right. And that’s precisely the trouble. Because an Israeli government that is serious about withdrawing from the territories is seen as a threat to the “game plan.” And that is exactly where the Evangelical Christianity is fundamentally at odds with the Zionist idea of Jewish national self-determination. Ultimately, it’s attempt to impose the Gospels upon Israeli political decision-making, and many on the American political right are opportunistic enough to humor it.

  32. Well, that’s shocking – people who support a foreign country with their money, influence and votes want some say in how said foreign country runs its affairs. Yes, in an ideal world, Israel could take the assistance and then tell its benefactors (Evangelicals, the American government, maybe non-Israeli Jews, in some opinions) to shut up. In the real world, it’s not gonna happen. If Israel, or any person or country, wants assistance, they have to weigh the costs with the benefits. Israel has decided (correctly, I believe) to accept Evangelical assistance. It would be nice if Israel was a huge superpower, wasn’t surrounded by enemies and didn’t need anyone’s help. But that’s not how it is.
    Opportunistic? Realistic.

  33. “I don’t think that leftists or democrats have to have Jewish interests at heart, but that the left’s ideals if applied, are more favorable to us than the right’s. With Jews, still largely in the diaspora, ultra-nationalism or conservative religio-politics by their nature do not serve us well. We are not fully co-nationals in an ethnic sense, were not in the linguistic sense in history until more recent years, we are not co-religionists who stand to gain from particularist relgio-political movements. In the diaspora we gain from secularism in gov, cultural pluralism and universalism rather than nationalism. These have been hallmarks of the left. ”
    I have lots of problems with this analysis, but mainly:
    1) It implies that the last 200 years of Western political life has been divided between the Right and the Left, and that these are the sole choices. Not so; there has also been an Anglo-American (capital-C) Center, best represented by the version of the Enlightenment promoted by America’s Founding Fathers. The Center contains aspects of both Left and Right, but is distinct. Relating to today’s scene, the debate in America is not between Left and Right; it’s a dispute between left-leaning Centrists (known as liberals) and right-leaning Centrists (known as conservatives). The vast majority of Americans fit into the Centrist spectrum. So it’s a mistake to assume that today’s conservatives are identical to the historical Right.
    2) Europe and the USA are not the same. Continental Europe has struggled over the last 200 years between Left and Right politics. (Look at France’s instability; for a country that considers itself the cutting edge of civilization, its politics have been an embarassment. And do I need to mention Germany?) The USA has been stable because it hasn’t fallen into the false choice trap of Left or Right.
    3) Times change. While I agree that it’s important to be aware of the roots of any political philosophy and to understand its history, we also have to acknowledge that political positions are constantly changing. In the most relevant example here, look at today’s American conservatives. Prior to WWII, the American right was often anti-Semitic, isolationist, and not very friendly toward business interests. In the 1950’s, William Buckley and others fashioned a new platform, aggresively shunning anti-Semites, endorsing a worldwide fight against Communism, and adopting a favorable attitude toward economic progress and expansion. Some of the new conservatism’s positions were similar to the pre-war version’s, but much was taken from other political positions. (For a taste of the old right, see Pat Buchanan, and see how much he hates current conservatism.) The conservatism that exists today and exercises power today in America is far different than the historical American right, let alone the European right, and must be analyzed in its own (sorry!) right.

  34. Isn’t it pretty clear that Jews, when separated from their religion, tend to go off the deep end? Because so much of Judaism is of a “help your fellow man” nature, that system (when divorced from a belief system that requires acknowledgment that G-d is the ultimate authority, and that a whole code of proper behavior is established in the Torah) can go astray and lead the “cultural adherents” into historical dead ends like communism. I don’t think it is any coincidence that Jews were way disproportionately commys, their humanism out weighed their good sense to see where communism had inevitably led. In the same manner, those Jews who essentially support the Palestinians against Israel (by supportiing disinvestment, a “one state” solution, etc.) have again let a sense of universalism and humanism overcome their sound judgment of the human condition. Obviously, plenty of exceptions to the above, but on the whole pius jews, while incredibly charitable, have a realistic view of the Palestinians, radicals, and others who wish them ill; and Jews who have most strayed from religion are the most anti-Jewish anti Israeli (with many exceptions).

  35. “Obviously, plenty of exceptions to the above, but on the whole pius jews, while incredibly charitable, have a realistic view of the Palestinians, radicals, and others who wish them ill; and Jews who have most strayed from religion are the most anti-Jewish anti Israeli (with many exceptions).”
    Is there not also the possibility that some (many?) “pius [sic] jews” have chauvinistic attitudes towards non-Jews, including Palestinians, which can lead them to insufficiently concerned about the unethical abuse/killing of non-Jews? It seems plausible to suppose that some “justifications” for violence (e.g. claims of “necessary security measures”) can be, at least in part, rationalizations for chauvinism/racism.

  36. Isn’t it pretty clear that Jews, when separated from their religion, tend to go off the deep end?
    Strike that, reverse it, replacing “separated from” with “too taken with”.

  37. I’ve never really understood how Jewish people feel about Europeans, particularly the Germans. When you consider the deep trauma that your culture endured, I wonder if the basis for your anti-Arab/Muslim feelings (for those of you who have them) is founded on displaced aggression or anger. It’s interesting, I remember watching interviews of the people who participated in the famous prison experiment at Stanford. They were interviewed in pairs (a prisoner and a guard) years after the experiment and you could turn down the volume and literally tell who was the guard — the one sitting up straight and leaning slightly over the other, with a sort of air of bravado. Some how this captures for me the Jew’s posture relative to the German’s. Maybe someone on this forum can share what there honest feelings are about the Northern Europeans.
    Also, I have a deep curiosity about how Jews feel about American Indians. In some ways it seems that Jews can relate, as both were forced off their land (although Jews not as recently as the Indians were) and both were victims of genocide. However, I am not sure if anyone is in favor of restoring land back to the Indians. And then you have to wonder what Jews feel about Palestinians, who also were forced off of their land after inhabiting it for 1200 years, only to have it claimed by people who were essentially of Northern European descent.

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