Prof. Reza Aslan on Islamic terrorism. Although he is a MSM favorite (even CFR writer) he makes a valid point.
Please Support the OCLA Petition in Defence of Arthur Topham by RadicalPress.com
Dear OCLA Supporter,
Please take a moment to read and consider signing OCLA’s petition in defence of the civil rights of Arthur Topham, a BC man who is currently being prosecuted under a “Hate Propaganda” section of Canada’s Criminal Code. The petition is online at the following link: http://www.change.org/p/hon-suzanne-anton-attorney-general-of-bc-jag-minister-gov-bc-ca-hon-suzanne-anton-retract-your-consent-for-the-criminal-proceedings-against-mr-arthur-topham?utm_source=guides&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=petition_created
OCLA has the position that sections 318 to 320 of the Criminal Code should be repealed. These sections allow egregious violations of the civil rights of liberty, just process, and freedom of expression. Under these provisions, a person can be jailed without the Crown being required to prove any actual harm to a single identified individual.
Mr. Topham was arrested in front of his spouse, detained, subjected to a home-invasive seizure, and faces jail time if convicted, for expressing his highly unpopular views.
OCLA’s public statement on this matter is available at: http://ocla.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/OCLA-statement-re-Arthur-Topham.pdf
Please read OCLA’s letter to the BC Attorney General asking her to withdraw her consent for this prosecution, which is available at: http://ocla.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/2014-09-24-Letter-OCLA-to-AG-of-BC.pdf
“I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” – Voltaire
[MW note: If you've never read this book, read it now. You'll then understand why the Holy Land bombs Palestinians out of existence, all with the prayers and blessing of so-called Christian Zionists.]
Source: The Controversy of Zion by Douglas Reed
The Man from Galilee (chapter 10)
When Jesus was born the vibrant expectation that a marvellous being was about to appear was general among the Judeans. They longed for such proof that Jehovah intended to keep the Covenant with his chosen people, and the scribes, reacting to the pressure of this popular longing, gradually had introduced into the scriptures the idea of the anointed one, the Messiah, who would come to fulfill his bargain.
The Targams, the rabbinical commentaries on the Law, said: “How beautiful he is, the Messiah king who shall arise from the house of Judah. He will gird up his loins and advance to do battle with his enemies and many kings shall be slain.”
This passage shows what the Judeans had been led to expect. They awaited a militant, avenging Messiah (in the tradition of “all the firstborn of Egypt” and the destruction of Babylon) who would break Judah’s enemies “with a rod of iron” and “dash them in pieces like a potter’s vase”; who would bring them empire of this world and the literal fulfilment of the tribal Law; for this was what generations of Pharisees and Levites had foretold.
The idea of a lowly Messiah who would say “love your enemies” and be “despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows” was not present in the public mind at all and would have been “despised and rejected,” had any called attention to these words of Isaiah (which only gained significance after Jesus had lived and died).
Yet the being who appeared, though he was lowly and taught love, apparently claimed to be this Messiah and was by many so acclaimed!
In few words he swept aside the entire mass of racial politics, which the ruling sect had heaped on the earlier, moral law, and like an excavator revealed again what had been buried. The Pharisees at once recognized a most dangerous “prophet and dreamer of dreams.”
The fact that he found so large a following among the Judeans shows that, even if the mass of the people wanted a militant, nationalist Messiah who would liberate them from the Romans, many among them must subconsciously have realised that their true captivity was of the spirit and of the Pharisees, more than of the Romans. Nevertheless, the mass responded mechanically to the Pharisaic politicians’ charge that the man was a blasphemer and bogus Messiah.
By this response they bequeathed to all future generations of Jews a tormenting doubt, no less insistent because it must not be uttered (for the name Jesus may not even be mentioned in a pious Jewish home): Did the Messiah appear, only to be rejected by the Jews, and if so, what is their future, under The Law?
What manner of man was this? Another paradox in the story of Zion is that in our generation Christian divines and theologians often insist that “Jesus was a Jew,” whereas the Judaist elders refuse to allow this (those Zionist rabbis who occasionally tell political or “interfaith” audiences that Jesus was a Jew are not
true exceptions to this rule; they would not make the statement among Jews and seek to produce an effect among their non-Jewish listeners, for political reasons).
This public assertion, “Jesus was a Jew,” is always used in our century for political purposes. It is often employed to quell objections to the Zionist influence in international politics or to the Zionist invasion of Palestine, the suggestion being that, as Jesus was a Jew, none ought to object to anything purporting to be done in the name of Jews. The irrelevance is obvious, but mobs are moved by such phrases, and the paradoxical result, once again, is that a statement, most offensive to literal Jews, is most frequently made by non-Jewish politicians and ecclesiastics who seek Jewish favour.
The English abbreviation, “Jew,” is recent and does not correspond to anything denoted by the Aramaic, Greek or Roman terms for “Judahite” or “Judean,” which were in use during the lifetime of Jesus. In fact, the English noun “Jew” cannot be defined (so that dictionaries, which are scrupulously careful about all other words, are reduced to such obvious absurdities as “A person of Hebrew race”); and the Zionist state has no legal definition of the term (which is natural, because the Torah, which is the Law, exacts pure Judahite descent, and a person of this lineage is hardly to be found in the entire world). Read more…
Both Eric Cantor and Michele Bachmann have extreme religious views. In Cantor’s Zionism God expressly desires a piece of land in Middle East be ruled and occupied by Jews. Bachmann’s Dominionism asserts that Christians should play a special role in the American Republic. However, the major news outlets have treated their religous beliefs very differently. While it is open season on Bachmann, Cantor’s Zionism is off limits. In a bizarre marriage of extremism, Zionism and Dominionism are joined at the hip; one never speaking a word against the other. But which one is truly dangerous for America?
David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker, and Jann Wenner, editor of Rolling Stone, have a problem with Michele Bachmann’s religion. Two recent articles by both magazines focused almost exclusively on her religious convictions, which, in the words of Matt Taibi make Mrs. Bachmann “batshit crazy. Not medically crazy, not talking-to-herself-on-the-subway crazy, but grandiose crazy, late-stage Kim Jong-Il crazy”.
Recent American history has for the most part avoided deep discussions regarding the “validity” of personal religious beliefs in politics. This is no longer the case and a can of worms has been opened by The New York Times, The New Yorker, Newsweek and Rolling Stone that will have implications for all the political forces in Washington, not just the Christian right.
Taibbi’s piece came out first, and he painted her in very Taibbiesque colors as a politically shrewd religious fanatic. The copycat hatchet job in The New Yorker came off as boring and tactless with far too much cringe factor. Ryan Lizza’s 8,500 word piece began with the shocking revelation that the middle aged Bachmann is careful not to be photographed in casual clothes.
The New Yorker of years gone by could have summed up Michele Bachman’s religious beliefs with a terse sentence describing how God spoke to her and told her to become a tax attorney for the IRS: enough said. The remaining 8,450 words could have been spent on William James or the origins of Lutheran communities in Texas.
The bottom line on both pieces is that Michele Bachmann is dangerous because she actually believes in her religion, and that will not do for Mr. Remnick and Mr. Wenner; they would much prefer she became a Unitarian. Both are convinced that we cannot actually have people really believing this stuff running for president.
The New York Times editor, Bill Keller, jumped on the bandwagon with his editorial: “I care a lot if a candidate is going to be a Trojan horse for a sect that believes it has divine instructions on how we should be governed..”
Newsweek/The Daily Beast was not to be outdone with their double whammy Newsweek cover of the crazed Bachmann and Michelle Goldberg’s article explaining how Bachman and Texas governor Perry are dominionists and dangers to the Republic. “..the GOP is now poised to nominate someone who will mount an all-out assault on (the separation of church and state). We need to take their beliefs seriously, because they certainly do.” According to Goldberg these overtly Christian candidates are on the fringe because they believe a country that is 90% Christian should be governed by Christians and be culturally biased toward Christianity.
It’s clear that our mass media is not thrilled about Michele Bachman’s religion. But to what extent is Michele Bachmann’s religion really dangerous? Has it started any wars or cost the taxpayer anything? Is it guiding our foreign policy or alienating the United States from large swaths of the world?
Keller from the The New York Times opens the floodgates for asking tough questions about our political leadership’s religious beliefs:
“This year’s Republican primary season offers us an important opportunity to confront our scruples about the privacy of faith in public life — and to get over them. We have an unusually large number of candidates, including putative front-runners, who belong to churches that are mysterious or suspect to many Americans.”
Eric Cantor is not running for President but he is the House Majority Leader and third most powerful person in the House of Representatives. In a recent meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Cantor’s office made the following statement: “Eric stressed that the new Republican majority will serve as a check on the Administration and what has been, up until this point, one party rule in Washington.” The official statement goes on to say that “that the Republican majority understands the special relationship between Israel and the United States, and that the security of each nation is reliant upon the other.”
This statement is remarkably dangerous, and possibly treasonous. Mr. Cantor is basically telling the world that his office will serve as a check on the President on behalf of Israel. The second part of the statement is ludicrous. How is the United States reliant on Israel for its security? It’s a perfect example of how endlessly repeating a piece of rhetoric somehow makes it true.
Is Mr. Cantor convinced that the United State’s strategic geopolitical interests are intertwined with Isreal’s because of his religious beliefs or did he come to that conclusion through sound strategic thinking?
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had a tough chat with Netanyahu following Joe Biden’s humiliation in Israel, when, unbeknownst to him, the Israelis announced new settlements in Jerusalem during his visit. Later, the administration made a statement that said the “relationship” between the United States and Israel depended on the pace of negotiations with the Palestinians. An infuriated Senator Chuck Schumer, the third ranking Democrat in the Senate, made this statement.
“That is terrible,” Schumer said today. “That is the dagger because the relationship is much deeper than the disagreements on negotiations, and most Americans—Democrat, Republican, Jew, non-Jew–would feel that. So I called up Rahm Emanuel and I called up the White House and I said, ‘If you don’t retract that statement you are going to hear me publicly blast you on this,'” Schumer said.
Mr. Schumer is willing to take the side of Israel over the Presidential administration of his own party because of his allegiance to Israel. What is the relationship with Israel doing for the United States? Is Mr. Schumer’s support of Israel directly related to his religious beliefs and the religious beliefs of many of his constituents?
AIPAC is sending 20% of Congress to Israel this summer. According the The Washington Post
“A record 81 House members, about a fifth of the chamber, are spending a week in Israel this month, courtesy of a foundation set up by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a pro-Israel lobby.”
Considering Congress’s brilliant performance this summer with the debt limit, do they have nothing better to do then spend 10 days being lobbied by the Israeli government? Are they there because Israel supplies us with oil or because of someone’s religious beliefs?
Michele Goldberg of Newsweek/The Daily Beast said we must take Michele Bachmann’s and Governor Perry’s “beliefs seriously, because they certainly do”. But will Perry and Bachmann get us into a regional war because of their beliefs?
The Arab Spring has invigorated the democratic aspirations of all peoples of the Middle East and its logical last act will be the West Bank and Gaza. Egpyt’s religious fundamentalism is no longer under the firm hand of the American supported Mubarak. Syria’s Assad is desperately holding on to power against the Sunni majority and is certainly capable of making a diversionary attack on Israel to maintain his control. Finally, when the millions of disenfranchised Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza and refugee camps in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan rise up, Israel could very well face a a battle on several fronts. Should the United States commit itself to a multi-front war against practically the entire Middle East because of Eric Cantor’s and Chuck Schumer’s religion?
This September the United Nations will be voting on whether it should recognize Palestinian statehood. This measure will pass the general assembly by an overwhelming majority but it will be vetoed by the The United States in the Security Council, enraging Muslims across the world and causing lasting anti-Americanism. Geo-politically it’s a losing position, yet the United States will sacrifice it’s own well being for that of Israel. This is a clear example of how religion effects politics, yet Mr. Remnick, Mr. Wenner, Ms. Goldberg and The New York Times will not question the religious beliefs of Mr. Cantor and Mr. Schumer.
September 11 and Iraq
During the tenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks little will be heard on why we were attacked. Were we attacked because of Michele Bachmann’s religion?
Robert Frisk of The Independent addresses this directly.
“But I’m drawn to Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan whose The Eleventh Day confronts what the West refused to face in the years that followed 9/11. “All the evidence … indicates that Palestine was the factor that united the conspirators – at every level,” they write. One of the organisers of the attack believed it would make Americans concentrate on “the atrocities that America is committing by supporting Israel”. Palestine, the authors state, “was certainly the principal political grievance … driving the young Arabs (who had lived) in Hamburg”.
The motivation for the attacks was “ducked” even by the official 9/11 report, say the authors. The commissioners had disagreed on this “issue” – cliché code word for “problem” – and its two most senior officials, Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, were later to explain: “This was sensitive ground …Commissioners who argued that al-Qa’ida was motivated by a religious ideology – and not by opposition to American policies – rejected mentioning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict… In their view, listing US support for Israel as a root cause of al-Qa’ida’s opposition to the United States indicated that the United States should reassess that policy.” And there you have it.”
The war in Iraq was part of an agenda created by neo-conservatives in the 1990’s. The neo-conservatives aligned themselves with Israel for religious reasons, and they used the events of 9/11 to promote their agenda for a new Middle East. There is no escaping that the neo-conservative agenda was forged in large part do to religious beliefs, beliefs that eventually led to hundreds of thousands of dead civilians, thousands of dead soldiers and millions of refugees, many of whom where Christian.
American support for Israel has no strategic logic, only a religious one. This begs the question, which religion is the true danger to the United States?
Matt Taibbi writes that “Bachmann is a religious zealot whose brain is a raging electrical storm of divine visions and paranoid delusions.” He may be correct, but is she dangerous? Mr. Cantor believes that a family in Miami Beach that can demonstrate its Jewishness has every right to pickup and relocate to a settlement in the West Bank while a Palestinian who was born there, whose parents and grandparents where born there must remain in a refugee camp because he is a member of the wrong religion. This is abhorrent to any American yet Mr. Cantor and Mr. Schumer insist we must support “the relationship”.
Is Michele Bachmann’s Religion a Danger to America?
It most certainly is.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth
One only has to imagine the founder of said religion on a return visit. A thirty-three year old carpenter in the days before power tools with a visceral dislike for money changers could make quite a scene on the Goldman Sach’s trading desk.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.
Would he be hobnobbing at the Council on Foreign Relations and taking AIPAC junkets to Israel or would he be with the disenfranchised in Palestinian refugee camps?
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Would he be brainstorming with the neo-cons to dream up new wars or would he be standing with those that say enough already?
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Would he be in Davos or Jackson Hole conspiring to make billions for bankers and the mega-rich or would he be comforting those out of jobs, out of homes and out of luck?
Mr. Remnick and Mr. Wenner are right to fear Michele Bachman’s religion, because if by some miracle the country actually heard and followed its message, quite of few of our current cultural, political and economic leaders would find themselves in the wrong side of history.
Is Michele Bachmann Authentic?
The founder of Mrs. Bachmann’s religion was never one to beat around the bush. A wealthy, well dressed scribe wanted to follow Jesus, but Jesus would have none of him.
Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.”
Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
The fox is cunning- all men have cunning and to get as far as Mrs. Bachmann has in politics, we can safely assume that the fox can rest in her. The birds of the air are pride and she, like all people, certainly has her share of it. The question is, does the spirit have a place to reside in her as well and this can only be answered by Mrs. Bachmann and the founder of her religion.
The more important question is whether we as a nation have left room for the founder of Michele Bachmann’s religion to rest his head. Mr. Remnick, Mr. Wenner, The New York Times and many others think he has too much room.
We should be so lucky.
The is article was edited by Jim Horky
Posted by Robert Bonomo
- AnonymousSeptember 13, 2011 at 10:19 PMReply
- I am an evangelical Christian (born-again, Bible believing), but Bachmann’s dispensational eschatology (mindless zionism, pro-jewishness) is repellant and recent in the Protestant church (100yrs. or so). In spite of her supposed seriousness vis-a vis Christianity she is not above answering direct questions (especially ones that impinge on her religious world-view) like a slippery political hack.
- RealityZoneSeptember 16, 2011 at 11:37 AMReply
- I cross posted this over to my blog.
If you do not approve, please let me know and I will take it down.
- AnonymousOctober 25, 2011 at 5:42 PMReply
- Clever but incredibly biased. Both are so pro Israel I can see either nuking Iran and bringing on WW3 as “God’s Will” . And to use Christ’s words to defend dominionism is intellectually insulting. To ignore the danger of a government policy dominated by ANY religious philosophy is to ignore the whole purpose of separation of Church and State.
- Robert BonomoOctober 25, 2011 at 5:58 PMReply
- I am not defending dominionism nor Bachmann, I hope I made this clear: for example, “could have summed up Michele Bachman’s religious beliefs with a terse sentence describing how God spoke to her and told her to become a tax attorney for the IRS: enough said”.
Why is it intellectually insulting to use Christ’s words to point out how un-Christian we are? How many dominionists support Israel, the rich, the War in Iraq and the occupation of Palestine? Is that Christian? My point is that the Dominionists, Christian Zionists and the like are far from Christian.
People are afraid to use Christ’s words because they are branded as fundamentalists, not ready for intellectual prime time. Your comments makes my point. So who can quote the Sermon on the Mount? Only Palin and Bachmann? Sad, very sad indeed.
- Ross TaylorJanuary 25, 2013 at 3:14 AMReply
- You have made your content quit clear. There’s no way to mistake your points of interest. I enjoyed this writing very much and I agree with your ideas. Thank you.
Alabama Land Surveyor
The Vigilant Citizen solves the mystery of the Israel Supreme Court: Why its price is secret.
When you study those types of buildings, you quickly realize that the same themes inevitably reappear: illumination, pyramid, ascent, the number 13 or 33 , phallic/yonic symbols, etc. This building has it all and more.
Here is what he says about the trampled cross in the court:
At the center of the parking facilities are pathways shaped like Christian cross. Jerry Golden has mentioned that this cross has been specifically placed to be trampled on by visitors. He is most probably right. In a building where spiritual symbolism reigns supreme, there are effectively little chances that the layout of those pathways haven’t been thoroughly thought out by the architects. In other words, this can’t be just a coincidence. The visitors have to go down the stairs – symbolically “descend” to lower spheres – to reach the cross. As you might have noticed, the importance of the act of ascending and descending in this building is very important. This is not an exception.
Occult secret societies have historically been at odds with the Christian church who repeatedly persecuted and accused them of all sorts of heresies. During the Middle-Ages the Knights Templar (ancestors of Freemasonry) have been accused by the Archbishop of Canterbury of numerous anti-Christian deeds, including “trampling the Cross under foot” during their initiation processes. Are they poking back at Christianity with this symbol?
Applying what we know: Author’s 10 minutes with a Zionist Christian Church leader.
Clearly, Christ followers must make it a personal mission to correct their Zionist leaning pastors and friends since nothing will bring change so fast. The described discussion between this author and Pastor (or Rabbi) Reuben Drubebstadt, a committed Zionist, representing himself as a Messianic Christian, is typical of hundreds of such meetings with pastors and elders outside churches where we have conducted un-welcomed vigils for over a decade. It reveals why it is the members, not the leaders of Zionist churches, who must be dealt with, one by one.
This author met Reuben in front of his tent in the the “Tax Exempt” area of The Peoples Fair, in Denver. His display was adorned with a big Menorah Ministries banner and a large blue and white Israeli flag. Lots of what seemed to be Christian literature was offered to passers by. My friend, Beth, insisted I visit the booth and try to “talk sense” to these people, having herself had a frustrating conflict with a person there earlier. “I don’t know who these people are, but they hate Palestinians,” she said.
Gregarious Reuben greeted me with a smile and a handshake, identifying his Menorah Ministries as a Messianic Christian congregation with a sizable membership that he started some 30 years ago. He told me he accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior, but he is still a Jew as well. Our chat began by confirming what we had in common, and ended in a chasm of difference, not over what Jesus said, but over political Israel and its occupation of Palestine, that Reuben denied is happening.
Writer Cesar Aharon, himself raised Jewish, explained to me, years ago, that Messianic Christian congregations usually consist of a Jewish preacher teaching a congregation who believe themselves to be Christian, but are being trained to become committed to Jewish ritual forms and beliefs. What Reuben told me fits this pattern perfectly. When he says he remains a “Jew” he means a religious Jew, as well as an ethnic one. Is not the term, “Jewish Christian,” a self-contradiction?
Reuben stated he believes that all people can be saved through Jesus. But Reuben made it clear, in spite of anything written in the New Testament, that today’s Israel is still “God’s Chosen People,” awaiting Jesus’ return to Jerusalem for the beginning of a “millennial kingdom.” He is an example of a typical, dispensational Zionist, believing in an end times scenario, differing little from Pat Robertson’s or John Hagee’s story. He also believed what the apostle, called Paul, said, as I paraphrased it to him, “there is no Jew nor Greek, no male nor female, no slave nor free, but all are one in Christ Jesus and heirs to the promise to Abraham.” (third chapter, book of Galatians)
Reuben confirmed that he likes what Christian Zionist John Hagee does, but he disagrees with Hagee who says “Jews” need not accept Jesus to be “saved” to eternal life. Rubin teaches that they do, but they are still religious Jews with a Christian veneer.
Our friendly talk broke down to hard debate over who is Israel? I asked Reuben what DNA evidence he, or any of his kin have to link them to ancient Israel, or Abraham the Chaldean, from the place that is now Iraq? I reminded him that the name “Jew” is a modern literary form that does not equate to Abraham or David because the word did not exist then, and that “Israel” borrowed the name from the Christian Bible in 1948.
Reuben did not like this challenge to his adopted ancestry. He believes the European Jews of today are of the same blood line as Abraham. At this, I asked him to let me peak under his little flat cap, so I could see his curly black, Arab hair. He did so with a grin, revealing a bald dome with a fringe of sandy red hair, starting to gray a little. So I reminded him with his red hair and rosy complexion he is a very unlikely looking Chaldean.
I then asked him to show me one line or verse in the New Testament (I carry one) that would allow a follower of Christ (like himself) to take the life of a child, or look the other way when Israel does it to Philistine children.
His answer was secular and had nothing to do with Jesus…something like this: “The Arabs also kill Israelis, Arabs are invaders who came there to take advantage of the good life Israel offers, and they do not belong there. Israel is acting in self-defense, so there is nothing he can do for the Arabs (he avoided calling them Palestinians).”
I pressed Reuben on his profession of following Christ, who said: Blessed are the peacemakers…love your brother, even love your enemy…whoever does good to the least of these does so to me..whoever does ill to the least of my brothers does it to me. How can you believe that, and support Israel too, I asked?
Reuben did not take my offered New Testament, his answer was again totally secular: “Arabs in Gaza fire thousands of missiles and rockets into Israel killing Jews.”
Reuben and most of the Christian Zionist leaders we have met, when challenged with Jesus’ words, forget all about being “born again” and turn to secular arguments based on their own version of the facts. Reuben wants to claim the Philistines are the aggressors. That is his excuse for watching while Israel imprisons and systematically executes them. He calls Palestinians, who have lived in the land longer than their 500-year-old olive trees, “Arabs.” He will not call them Philistines, as the Romans did, because that attaches them to the land 2000 years ago. Reuben’s church literature insists they just arrived in Israel.
The key to confronting Christian Zionists, as we have learned from our own mission at so many of their churches, is to realize Zionists claim to believe scripture is to be used as a shield they can abandon when it does not fit their purpose. One must always invoke Jesus’ simple principles of peace and love of one’s neighbor. This is easy enough to do, but hard to remember when confronting someone like Reuben who has memorized lots of scripture he recites on cue. If one can only remember to stick to Jesus’ words, committed Zionists will eventually resort to playing pretend with secular facts they invent, ducking rather than answering simple questions such as, “Who would Jesus Bomb?”
It is easy to be drawn into a debate over some outrageous factual error one hears and can not resist correcting. I, too, fell into this trap with Reuben. His final illusive response did not address facts about the relative numbers of Israelis and Palestinians killed. It was about the definition of a missile. He named a dictionary that he said defined a “missile” as any object propelled through the air. This was his justification for telling me, and no doubt his congregation, that Israel has been attacked by “thousands of Arab Missiles.” His definition makes a rock a missile, if thrown from a slingshot. My correct response should have been, “never mind the rockets, Where does Jesus give you license to look the other way while Israel kills those who launched the rockets, and, innocent bystanders?
Reuben handed me his congregational literature...”send me proof of what you say, and I will look at it,” he said, turning his back on me. His Menorah Ministries‘ literature reveals shocking racism toward the Philistines, and just how far Christian Zionists will go to support Israel. I quote a few lines from his flier entitled, “An Interesting Questionnaire For Palestinian Advocates“, which concluded in part, with this statement: “PALESTINIANS” (are) “GENERIC ARABS COLLECTED FROM ALL OVER–OR THROWN OUT —OF THE ARAB WORLD”, they lack “A GENUINE ETHNIC IDENTITY THAT GIVE THEM THE RIGHT FOR SELF DETERMINATION”… “THEY CREATED A TERRORIST ORGANIZATION, AND CALLED IT THE ‘PALESTINIAN PEOPLE’ AND INSTALLED IT IN GAZA, JUDEA, AND SAMARIA”…”A TERRORIST ORGANIZATION THAT WILL SOMEDAY BE DISMANTLED.
Christian Zionists, including John Hagee, Rod Parsley, and Messianic Christian Reuben Drubebstadt, all deny the humanity of the Philistines. There is no room for Christ’s word of peace in their houses of “worship.” Zionist leaders will be the last to change; they will call for peace only when their churches and synagogues stand empty! But the attendees can change, slowly, one by one, if given a reason. Washington will respond to calls for peace only when Congress members feel the heat coming from the grass root Christ Followers.
Fortunately, an understanding of Israel’s inhumane practices, and to a lesser degree the role of Christian Zionism in it, is gaining support from within mainline Christian churches. A good place to start is to get copies of the Presbyterian Church, USA’s Zionism Unsettled: A Congregational Study Guide. Don’t leave home without them! And, you might start by watching our award winning 32 minute documentary, Christian Zionism, The Tragedy and the Turning, free to download on our website.
On June 20th, delegates of the 1.85 million member Presbyterian Church USA, General Assembly, voted for divestiture of the stock of three giant US companies said to be “profiting from Israel’s occupation of Palestine land.”
The United Methodist Church also voted for divestment. The National Catholic Reporter wrote: “Last month, UMC conferences in New England, Minnesota, the Pacific Northwest and upper New York voted to divest from several occupation-sustaining companies… The four U.S. conferences join five others that have taken similar action, bringing to a total of nine regional bodies that have passed divestment resolutions. The UMC General Conference, the church’s national body, has been issuing statements condemning the Israeli occupation and settlement construction in the Palestinian Territories since the mid-1990s. In 2004, it passed a strongly worded resolution that not only opposed the continued occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, but also “the confiscation of Palestinian lands and water resources, the destruction of Palestinian homes, the continued building of illegal Jewish settlements, and any vision of a ‘Greater Israel’ that includes the Occupied Palestinian Territories and the whole of Jerusalem and its surrounding.”
The National Council of Churches made the first trendsetting action by a major religious group some six years earlier, disclosing the danger within Christian Zionism in a published flier, Why We Should Be Concerned About Christian Zionism. It states four truths about Christian Zionism that should make it unacceptable to followers of Christ:
• It is a movement with negative consequences for Middle East peace.
• It fosters fear and hatred of Muslims and non-western Christians.
• It can lead to the dehumanization of Israelis and Palestinians.
• It is not based on traditional teachings or doctrines of the Church.
The Huffington Post published, “Presbyterians Poised for Historic Vote Against Israel’s Occupation of Palestine,” which reports that the attendees at the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church USA heard Desmond Tutu remind them: “The sustainability of Israel as a homeland for the Jewish people has always been dependent on its ability to deliver justice to the Palestinians.”
What the Episcopal Archbishop of South Africa told the delegates was clearly stated in both the Balfour Declaration and United Nations’ mandate creating a Jewish State, that took the name Israel in 1948.
Even more significant than the welcome call for disinvestment, was the move in October, 2012, by some 16 US Mainline denominations, demanding that the US Congress reconsider its some $3.5 Billion annual foreign aid payments to Israel for military aid. This issue now reveals a deep and growing moral chasm between Christian Zionists, sometimes misnamed “evangelicals,” and on the other side, traditional Protestants and Catholics. Mainline Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox groups, with some scattered Jewish support, that have begun to oppose foreign aid to Israel on account of its occupation and brutality over the Palestinians. The resulting letter to Congress was signed by Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) General Assembly Stated Clerk Gradye Parsons, Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; United Methodist Council of Bishops President Rosemarie Wenner; Peg Birk, transitional general secretary of the National Council of Churches; Shan Cretin, general secretary of the American Friends Service Committee; J. Ron Byler, executive director of the Mennonite Central Committee U.S.; and Alexander Patico, North American secretary for the Orthodox Peace Fellowship.
Divestment has much educational value, making many aware of the Israeli occupation of Palestine. It’s largely symbolic and publicity value must be recognized. But.,as a financial penalty to Israel, it falls short, for Israel gets some $3.5 billions in direct aid from the USA. Denominations’ portfolio disinvestments, probably, will not directly effect the cash flow available to Israel’s war machine necessary to maintain the occupation.
Education is the only permanent solution to the problem caused by the century old campaign to sell Zionism to Christian Churches and national bible study groups. Those who long for peace in our time must learn how to recognize it, and persuade their own pastors, Zionist influenced friends, even their own families to oppose it. For this reason, the PCUSA’s Zionism Unsettled: A Congregational Study Guide, wins our vote for potentially the most valuable educational tool. The study guide is a most professional one, a 76-page booklet released on January 21, 2014. It is accurate in vital areas of understanding the Palestinian occupation, and, with an overview of Christian Zionism as a root cause. The PCA announced it thus: “Released to immediate critical acclaim, Zionism Unsettled is aimed to bring about an end to the silence surrounding the impact of Zionism and to encourage open discussions on the topic in church and society. This study guide is a condensed version of a book entitled Zionism and the Quest for Justice in the Holy Land, which will be published in 2014 by Pickwick Publications.” We have also noticed that it has received the most virulent attack from the Israeli Lobby.
We Hold These Truths began uninvited, church visitation programs called Vigils, in late 2002, which have been staged at 100 or more Christian Zionist leaning churches nationwide. The project has challenged and exposed churches with a proclivity toward support of US wars and Palestinian occupation. It has long been our stated position that both peace here and freedom for the Philistines would necessarily have to come from within the traditional, Mainline churches of America.
 Menorah Ministries: http://www.menorah.org/
 “An Interesting Questionaire For Palestinian Advocates,” Yashiko Sagamori, Menorah Ministries: http://www.menorah.org/AN_INTERESTING_QUESTIONNAIRE_FOR_PALESTINIAN_ADVOCATES.html
 Zionism Unsettled: A Congregational Study Guide, Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church, (U.S.A.): http://www.israelpalestinemissionnetwork.org/main/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=256
 Christian Zionism: The Tragedy & The Turning,” We Hold These Truths: http://vimeo.com/59933668
 “Presbyterians to divest stock to protest Israeli policy on Palestinians; 3 companies targeted,” INO.com, 6/21/2014: http://news.ino.com/headlines/?newsid=293298067
 “Methodist conferences divest from companies involved in the Israeli occupation,” National Catholic Reporter, 7/3/2014:http://ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/methodist-conferences-divest-companies-involved-israeli-occupation
 “Why Should We Be Concerned About Christian Zionism,” National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA,” 12/8/2008: Article: http://www.ncccusa.org/news/081202christianzionismbrochure.html Brochure: http://www.ncccusa.org/pdfs/christianzionismbrochure.pdf
 “Presbyterian General Assembly Biennial Meeting: My Message on Israel and Palestine,” Desmond Tutu, Huffington Post, 6/16/2014: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/desmond-tutu/presbyterian-general-assembly_b_5499395.html
 “Religious leaders ask Congress to condition Israel military aid on human rights complieance,” Presbyterian Church (USA), 10/5/2012: http://www.pcusa.org/news/2012/10/5/religious-leaders-ask-congress-condition-israel-mi/
 “Challenging Churches,” We Hold These Truths: http://whtt.org/category/challenging-churches/