Church Quiz

July 31, 2016

I’m working on a short quiz or questionnaire that you can use to ascertain your church’s belief with regard to Christian Zionism. You can publish your results here, even anonymously, to let others know how your church rates.

In the meantime, you can click here and find out if you are a true “Christian” or a “Christian Zionist.”

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Millions Of Lovable, Corrupted Christians Believe Zionist Doctrine

February 8, 2016

Source: WHTT

We always welcome challenges here at We Hold These Truths. In this dynamic, 23 minute program, we address an email sent to Chuck Carlson from “Miss Vicky.” Chuck starts his reply: “No, Miss Vicki, I do not want to “see millions of Jews killed during the Second Coming, as you wrote to us.  But, I am more worried about you because it appears that you believe the false doctrine you quoted me, and, more than likely, you spread it.  Your doctrine is called Christian Zionism, and, it causes millions to see Jesus as a
destroyer of Jews unless they are converted to Jesus first. Let’s talk about it as two followers of Christ, trying to correctly follow Him.” Read more.


Christians Prepped for Wars on ISIS

December 10, 2014
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By Charles E. Carlson [Chuck Carlson gives further insights on this article in our podcast:  Missionary Preps Mainline Christians for War on Islam]

Christians in mainline churches are now being targeted by guest speakers from several outside sources that have the effect of promoting new wars on Islamic states, currently, the mysterious ISIS. The most self-serving among these messengers are professing missionaries to Muslim controlled countries, including Pakistan and the African state of Sudan.   Among those propagandized and targeted for donations are traditional Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians, Evangelical Covenant, and Churches of Christ congregations.

Israel lobbies, Including AIPAC, are also organizing Rabbis from local Jewish synagogues to solicit invitations to speak in local Christian churches to tell Israel’s side of its several attacks on, and occupation of Gaza.

Perhaps, most inexplicable is an effort to bend the mainline Christian churches toward Israel by a benevolent organization that provides mainline pastors with costly, free junkets to Israel, with no strings attached.  Almost every hour of these tours is said to be smoothly controlled by the Israel Military, which presents its agenda.

For over two decades, Christian Zionist occultists like Pat Robertson, the late Jerry Falwell and John Hagee’s Christians United For Israel [founded in 2006], have systematically targeted dispensational teaching churches with anti-Muslim propaganda in the guise of loving Israel. The largest is the Southern Baptist Convention.  It, plus the Pentecostal and Assembly of God movements and Independent mega-churches, have become the Israel-first cult’s largest supporters.  All these Zionist friendly churches have in common the belief that, “the Political State of Israel is the fulfillment of Old Testament prophesy,” which invariably leads to the support of US wars against Islamic states, including Iraq, Afghanistan and now the undefined state of ISIS.  Mainline churches, in contrast, believe and teach that Jesus is the fulfillment of the Old Testament and that God’s plan does not involve politics or real estate.  Zionists, including John Hagee, have been all but locked out of the doors of the mainline churches on account of this giant chasm in theology.

Lately, touring Mail-order missionaries have learned to avoid the phraseology that marks them as dispensational, such as remarks about a coming rapture, battle of Armageddon, and end of the world theology.  They are increasingly penetrating mainline churches where they raise money for themselves, while painting Islam as a vicious enemy of Christianity. Some traditional churches, spurred by publicized Muslim brutality by ISIS, and hoping to learn what is going on in the Middle East, are beginning to accept both self-promoting Missionaries and Jewish speakers into churches.  Congregations are subjected to exaggerated, war incitement, and Muslim vilification, in high-powered fund-raising presentations.  Muslims are  painted to be brutal slave owners holding Christians.  Unwittingly, mainline church leaders, by listening to them, are playing into the hands of American business and military factions that benefit and prosper from each successive war.  Jesus called his followers to be “peacemakers,” to love one’s neighbor, even our enemies. These principles are being sublimated to self-serving, hatred of Islam in some church presentations.

VOM-COC-20141123-08a

A case in point is Pastor Mujahid El Masih, who says he lives in Aurora, Colorado and states he is associated with the $40 million Voice of the Martyrs, and was an invited guest for two performances at a Colorado, Church of Christ on Sunday, Nov 23, 2014.  He set the tone of mistrust and hatred of Muslims by announcing he was compelled to appear under an alias, and did not allow a video recording (only the audio and his PowerPoint presentation [2]).  He suggested that he is a man marked by Islam.  In his private session, which the church did not record, but which this writer did, Masih told a story of spotting an Imam from a mosque in Colorado, while flying home. He said he feared and prayed that his plane would not be blown up. The suggestion was, clearly, that this Muslim congregation leader was, possibly, a potential suicide bomber.

Masih told his spellbinding story of persecution as a non-Muslim in Pakistan, 13 1/2  years ago, when he was about 25. He claims to be a naturalized US Citizen, and calls himself “Pastor.” According to his own  2013, Mission Report on his own Faith Covenant International, [1] he has started “almost 300 new churches throughout Pakistan”…and “36 families (averaging 6-7 members each) were freed from slavery in the brick factories.”  The report further claims, presumably during 2013, “12,845, made a decision for Jesus Christ to be their savior…2397 were baptized…9011 experienced physical healing.” Masih’s claim of faith healing is found in his literature, but is clearly a Pentecostal belief that Masih did not mention at the Colorado, Church of Christ. [2]

The  congregation where Masih appeared is primarily a mainline, traditional one. Speakers there do not preach about, or wait for a future “rapture,” nor speak of end of the world prophesy and its beliefs, nor do not teach that its pastors and elders have power to heal sick people, though they assert that Jesus and some apostles did.  In broad general theology, traditional churches teach that Jesus is already here, and that they are required to take His words seriously and attempt to follow them here and now, which leads to active missions.

Clearly, Masih’s focus was on building his mailing list and raising money, which he wrapped around his repeated and bombastic professions of his faith. Pastor Masih claims to have told his story to some 500 churches, making him a very busy fellow.  He leveled denunciations at Muslims in general, and he attacked local Denver Muslims specifically.  He preached to the assembly in typical Pentecostal style, soliciting “Amen” after many of his most controversial statements.  He claimed Jesus personally called him to service in a “loud voice” with instructions, “just as he did to Paul in the New Testament.” At the sermon end, Masih solicited a donation and the church helped by taking a special collection for him. Each one present was faced with a decision: should he write a check to Pastor Masih, or does one dare to doubt his story, which is truly miraculous, if true.

A friend asked me later if it is possible to verify Mujahid El Masih’s story.  Masih operates his mission ten thousand miles away in a place where few have contacts, nor speak the language.  How does one verify that he has 300 churches operating in Pakistan and 50 in India, or if one gives $1500.00, as he requested, is there really a family of six or seven brick-making slaves who will, in fact, be freed?

There is no practical way to know if any such charity as his exists in Pakistan.  Charity watch organizations only report financial data from federal tax filings, and do not authenticate on-the-ground mission activities.  Charity Navigator, does not list Masih’s Faith Covenant International, but it does keep track of Voice of Martyrs.  

There is but one way to test Masih’s mission for truthfulness, and that is by examining his words.  Is he telling the truth about the little things?  Pastor Mujahid El Masih fails the truth test.  Several statements he made about US Muslims and the Qur’an are provably false, or outrageous and flagrant exaggerations. Pastor Masih runs to hyperbole, as do many mail-order missionaries. The more dangerous Muslims can be made to look, the more exciting their missions become. Let us look at a few bold statements Masih made about two verses he claimed to be from the Qur’an that were displayed on the screen in Arabic, which he translated to English.  The passages he displayed were titled Surah 9:29 and  Surah 98:6, both from the Qur’an.  Masih spoke, translating as follows: “the Qur’an promises those who die in Jihad will be rewarded with 72 virgins for wives in paradise.” 

However, in this author’s Arabic and English Qur’an, as well as, in the searchable, online Noble Qur’an, neither of the displayed Arabic text say anything about jihad, Paradise or “72 virgins.”  Furthermore,  a search of the online Qur’an brings up a few sites that mention “virgins” but none remotely like the context Mr. Masih quoted as a reward for killing.  It would seem he simply depended on no one present being able to read Arabic and he told us what he wanted the Arabic text to read. [3]

Masih’s next statement, alleged to be on the screen in Arabic was: “Murder the Christians and Jews and keep them in (unintelligible)…Christians and Jews are animals.”

But nothing close to this is found in the English version of either Qur’an texts displayed on the screen.   Surah 9: 29: comes closest, translated to English, reads: Fight against those who: (1) believe not in Allah, (2) nor in the Last Day, (3) nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger (4) and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth (i.e. Islam) among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.”

This  may not sound like religious freedom to us, but it is a far cry from ordering Muslims today to “Murder the Christians and Jews.”   At best, Pastor Masih grossly exaggerated.

What is Surah 98:6?  Iis generally about spiritual death, punishment and rewards from God, (the Arab word for God being “Allah.”) Para (6) reads in English in the searchable Noble Quran: “Those who disbelieve among the people of the book and among the polytheists will be in hellfire to dwell there for aye, for they are the worst of creatures.”Para:7 those who have faith and do righteous deeds they are the best of creature.”  [3]

Thus, the Qur’an says non-believers will go to hell, much as many Christians claim.  These verses are reminiscent of the sheep and goats parable in Matthew 25 of our own New Testament. But it does not say Christians are to be “murdered” as Pastor Masih claimed.

Masih’s written appeal for cash for “slave redemptions” is all too familiar and has been in the past shown to be a major fraud in Sudan at the very time when Mujahid El Masih says he was first associated with Voice of Martyrs 13 1/2 years ago.  The story of the slave repatriation was enormously profitable for certain missions and churches and was first exposed  in our own 1999 edition, Missionaries, Mercenaries, Missiles and Money. [4]

Masih made several aggressive and dubious statements about local Muslims in his pre-sermon, closed session with the Colorado Church of Christ bible study group. Pastor Masih’s website is named For Love Of Muslims, and he repeatedly proclaims how much he loves Muslims, while interspersing statements about Islam, which included each of the following:

*Masih stated that the Parker, Colorado Mosque (the largest mosque in Denver) “operates a Al-Qaeda cell within”.

Since Al-Qaeda is on the official FBI Terrorist organization list, and Masih says he is a US citizen, he should be obligated to report it to the FBI, if true.  The FBI maintains a website soliciting tips about terrorism.  If the mosque does not have such a cell, his public statement is un-Christ-like, and probably slanderous and legally actionable.

*Masih asserted decisively that: Mohamed was a “pedophile” because he “married his 2nd wife when she was six years old.” He suggests modern Muslims are trained to think this is OK, thus making them a danger to children. Masih simply states the prophet of a billion Muslims is a sex criminal based on an ugly and indecent assumption.

*Masih stated that President Obama is a Muslim (has “seven Muslims on his personal staff, with himself that makes eight”). This politically charged, and reckless statement has been a common, never supported, internet rumor for years.

*Masih stated the Ohio election (did not say which one) used flip software to steal votes, suggesting President Obama was elected by fraud. Does Masih have hard and fast proof, or is this a reckless statement he thought would be politically popular in a Church of Christ?

*Masih warned those present not to trust “your Muslim friends, they will cut your throat when they get power.” I ask, what would Jesus say to this?

*Masih stated, the “Qur’an says Jesus will come back to kill the Jews.” He did not say where one can find this statement, and It turns out not to be in the Qur’an. A search of the online Quran for “kill Jews” or “kill Christians” or the like is not found.

Conclusion:

“Pastor” Masih’s message about his own mission, while possible, is not believable because his statements about himself and Islam are laced with many untruths.  Masih’s statements about Muslims, whom he claims to love,  are similar to John Hagee’s, of Christians United for Israel, who has been filmed praying for war and calling for a preemptive bombing of Iran. [5]  The one difference is that Masih’s pitch for money omits any significant mention of Israel, either positive or negative.  Hagee delivers a similar message but he lauds Israel in every other sentence.  Hagee tailors his message to evangelical, dispensational Protestant churches that put Israel on the throne next to Jesus.  Hagee accepts “Christian Zionist” as a label.  Masih has tailored his message to mainline churches who are not particularly partial to Israel from any misapplied scriptural belief, and probably would not allow Hagee in the parking lot.  If Christ followers would observe Jesus’ admonition to love others as we love ourselves, they would enjoy more peace of mind and probably would want to make a Muslim a friend.

Part II will discuss:  Jewish Rabbi’s speech to Christ followers and its impact on peace as well as on the captive people in Gaza.

Notes:

[1] For Love of Muslims Report  http://fortheloveofmuslims.org/2014/04/2013-annual-mission-report/

[2] Masih lecture:  http://whtt.podbean.com/mf/web/pwihmb/El-Masih-VOM-Sermon-20141123.mp4

[3] Searchable Quran, Noble: http://www.noblequran.com/translation/

[4] “Missionaries, Mercenaries, Missiles & Money:  The Untold Story of the War on the Children of Sudan,” Charles E. Carlson: http://whtt.org/missionaries-mercenaries-missiles-money/  and see, “Revisiting Sudan:  Missionaries, Mercenaries, Missiles & Money”:  http://whtt.org/revisiting-sudan-missionaries-mercenaries-missiles-money/

[5] See “John Hagee With Benny Hinn:  Praying for War in the Name of Jesus” and Christian Zionism:  The Tragedy & The Turning, Part I – http://whtt.org/christian-zionism/

Chuck Carlson gives further insights on this article in our podcast:  Missionary Preps Mainline Christians for War on Islam


Churches That Support Racism, Wars, Ethnic Cleansing, Assassinations

February 6, 2013

apocalypse.jpgIs your church a Christian church or a “Christian Zionist” church? If your church leaders agree with the following quotations, then you are attending a Christian Zionist church which supports racism, wars, ethnic cleansing, assassinations, etc. If your church leaders disagree with the following quotations, then you are attending a truly Christian church, following the example of Jesus Christ Himself.

1. “[E]very act taken by Israel is orchestrated by God…” Rev. Dr. Jerry Falwell

2. “There is no such thing as a Palestinian.” Rev. Malcolm Hedding

3. “Whoever sits in the confines of Washington, and suggests to the people of Israel that they have to give up more land in exchange for peace, that’s an obscenity.” Gary Bauer

4. “Israel is a pro-Western, democratic nation committed to the ideals of free speech and press…,” Hal Lindsey

5. “I would (run for President) if I believed that that is the right thing to do for Israel.” Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin

6. “Ethiopia will be one of the ungodly nations that go against Israel…” President Ronald Reagan

7. “[A] land called Palestine is a hoax!” Dave Hunt

8. “Shame on the Presbyterian church [for wanting divestment]…Israel has given Christians everything they have…” Rev. Dr. Charles McVety

9. “Israel is America’s closest and most trusted ally.” Pastor John Hagee

10. “When God comes to judge the nations, he will judge them on their response to the regathering of Israel.” Derek Prince

11. “[I]f he thinks we’re trying to assassinate him [president of Venezuela], I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it.”    Rev. Pat Robertson

12. “[A]s a nation we have been blessed because of our relationship with Israel, and if we reject Israel, then there is a curse that comes into play.” US Congresswoman Michele Bachmann

13. Former supermodel Kathy Ireland, as a born-again Christian Zionist,“has an unwavering belief in the righteousness of [Israel’s] actions.” Jerusalem Post newspaper

14. “Only one nation, Israel, stands between…terrorist aggression and the complete decline of the United States as a  democratic world power…” Mike Evans


Christmas gift for your Christian Zionist pastor

September 24, 2012

This Christmas, plan to give your pastor this book. You will either educate him or her, or you’ll be excommunicated.


Why Do Christians Enjoy A Good Fight?

January 1, 2012

Christians enjoy a good fight. They always have. Remember the “Thirty Years War” (1618-48)? We laugh and mock those Catholics and Protestants who fought open military wars against each other, wiping out 75% of “some areas of Europe.”

Nothing has changed in hundreds of years; Christians today still enjoy a good fight. Charles Carlson tells why “Zionist Christians” fight wars and ignore the Prince of Peace. READ MORE.


Christian Zionist Rev. John Hagee: How To Be Blessed or Cursed

February 7, 2011
HAS AMERICA BEEN “BLESSED” OR “CURSED” BY ITS SUPPORT OF ISRAEL? GENESIS 12:3 AND CHRISTIAN ZIONIST LEADER JOHN HAGEE–PART 1


By Richard Edmondson

In his book In Defense of Israel, Christian Zionist minister John Hagee asserts that those who provide aid, comfort, or support to Israel may expect to receive divine blessings in return. Central to his thesis is Genesis 12:3 in which God tells the patriarch Abraham, “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse.”

Comments Hagee:

It is an undeniable fact that the man or nation that has blessed Israel has been blessed of God, and to the man or nation that cursed Israel the judgment of God came in spades. (1)

Intro

In the past four decades U.S. aid to Israel has averaged over $2.6 billion per year, according to a report compiled by the Congressional Research Service. In 2007, the Bush Administration announced it would increase the level of military assistance by $6 billion over the following decade. Built into that agreement are incremental increases expected to reach $3 billion by fiscal year 2012. In December 2009, President Obama signed on to the Bush agreement, and if left in place by succeeding administrations, the aid package will eventually result in a cumulative total of $30 billion going to Israel over the entire ten years. According to the web site If Americans Knew, our country is now estimated handing over to this small, Middle Eastern state a phenomenal $7 million per day.

But in addition to this direct aid, U.S. leaders continue to provide “indirect assistance” in a variety of forms, often to the detriment of the United States, including diplomatic cover at the U.N. In November of last year, for instance, the House of Representatives passed a resolution condemning the Goldstone Report, which had found the Jewish state complicit in war crimes, while just last month, in his speech before the U.N General Assembly, President Obama vowed “unshakeable opposition” to any efforts to “chip away at Israel’s legitimacy.” Given the magnitude of all this kindness and bounty, America should be positively rolling in blessings, but our support for Israel has brought us wars and terrorist attacks; the wars in turn have resulted in unprecedented budget deficits; and the deficits have contributed to a major economic crisis, leaving a record number of Americans now living below the poverty line.

The collapse of the housing market and the hemorrhaging of American prosperity, coupled with mounting war casualties, bad as these things may be, aren’t the only things to be considered, however. The current year, 2010, gave rise to an environmental catastrophe of staggering proportions off the Gulf Coast of the United States, the full effects of which may have yet to be seen. The BP oil spill triggered widespread wildlife die-offs, along with an upsurge in mental and physical health problems for area residents, while additionally raising questions about BP- government collusion in the violation of the constitutional rights of American citizens .

Though all of the above factors would naturally be deemed pertinent, an honest evaluation of Hagee’s theology—should one be performed—needs to do more than simply weigh the matter of “blessings” or “curses,” as the case may be. Ideally it would equally be carried out within the context of the historical research of Shlomo Sand. In his book, The Invention of the Jewish People, Sand builds a strong case that the majority of those who today call themselves Jews are descended not from the biblical Jews, but rather trace back to the medieval-era Khazars. Located in what is today southern Russia, Khazaria arose in the fourth century ce, grew into a powerful kingdom, and at one stage in its history—probably between the mid eighth to mid ninth centuries—adopted Judaism as its religion. Russian and European Jews by and large are descended from its inhabitants, says Sand. But the Israeli writer doesn’t leave it at that. If the world’s 14 million Jews come largely from the Khazars, then where, he asks, might we look for the original direct descendants of Abraham? The possible answer to that is an historical irony so consummate it could only have been turned upon the aged wheel of Chronos. Sand cites scholarly evidence pointing to the conclusion that today’s Palestinians, rather than being infinity’s latecomers, are quite possibly in fact descended from they who remained on the land after the destruction of the Temple in 70 ce—in other words, the original Judeans.

It would be prudent for the followers of Hagee and other Christian Zionist leaders to ponder these matters, and perhaps start to consider as well the possibility that in aiding and abetting Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, America, rather than drawing down God’s blessings, may in reality be on the receiving end of his curses.

America Then and Now

The first American president to give support to Israel was Harry S. Truman, who extended official recognition just eleven minutes after the Jewish state was proclaimed on May 14, 1948, doing so over the public opposition of his own secretary of state, George C. Marshall.

Above left:  In gratitude for his timely recognition of the state of Israel, Harry Truman was presented with a Menorah by Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and Abba Eban, Israel’s ambassador to the U.S. Above right: Gen. George C. Marshall, Truman’s secretary of state, who opposed extending recognition to Israel

But Truman was followed by Eisenhower, who pressured Israel to withdraw from the Sinai Peninsula, the Egyptian territory it had invaded in 1956 along with Britain and France; after Eisenhower came Kennedy, who demanded the Israelis allow inspections of their nuclear facility at Dimona, advising in a letter to then-Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol that, “this government’s commitment to and support of Israel could be seriously jeopardized if it should be thought that we were unable to obtain reliable information on a subject as vital to peace as the question of Israel’s effort in the nuclear field.” That communication from Kennedy was delivered to Eshkol on July 5, 1963. Four months and seventeen days later, JFK was assassinated.
The era of America’s unqualified support, for seemingly anything and everything Israel does, commenced under Kennedy’s successor, Lyndon Johnson. This became most glaringly apparent in 1967, when Israel bombed and torpedoed the USS Liberty in what is now known to have been a deliberate attack . The response of the Johnson administration was to orchestrate a cover-up that absolved Israel of any wrongdoing, establishing a pattern of U.S. subservience that has continued on through the years—to the point where we now see U.S. politicians, including our current president, presenting themselves at AIPAC conferences and breaking “all records for obsequiousness and fawning,” in the words of the Israeli writer Uri Avneri.

Given, then, that 1967 and the attack on the Liberty (2) was such a watershed point in the power dynamic developing between the two countries, it would be relevant to ask how the ensuing years have treated America, and whether or not life for the average American over this period has improved or worsened. While we can certainly point to advances in areas like medicine or computers and internet technology as life-enhancing enrichments, there are a number of key areas, such as wealth disparity or the erosion of constitutionally protected freedoms, where conditions in America have changed decidedly for the worse.

In 2009, the income gap between the richest and poorest Americans grew to its widest ever on record, according to recently released Census figures. The top-earning 20 percent of Americans received 49.4 percent of all income generated nationally. That figure compares to just 3.4 percent earned by the 46.3 million Americans (approximately 1 in 7 of the population) who live below the poverty level. Doing the math, this makes for an income disparity ratio between the richest and poorest income earners of 14.5 to 1. The Census report went on to compare that ratio to previous years. In 2008 it had stood at 13.6 to 1, but 42 years ago in 1968—one year after the bombing of the USS Liberty—it rested at just 7.69 to 1. In other words, since 1968, the income gap between rich and poor has nearly doubled.

The same period has seen a roughly comparable rise in the power of the Israeli lobby. The aforementioned report by the Congressional Research Service informs us that up until 1968, U.S. aid to Israel had been “modest,” consisting mostly of loans. But starting in 1968 it took off.

U.S. government assistance to Israel began in 1949 with a $100 million Export-Import Bank Loan. For the next two decades, U.S. aid to Israel was modest and was far less than in later years. Although the United States provided moderate amounts of economic aid (mostly loans), Israel’s main early patron was France, which provided Israel with advanced military equipment and technology. In 1962, Israel purchased its first advanced weapons system from the United States (Hawk antiaircraft missiles). In 1968, a year after Israel’s victory in the Six Day War in June 1967, the Johnson Administration, with strong support from Congress, approved the sale of Phantom aircraft to Israel, establishing the precedent for U.S. support for what later came to be referred to as Israel’s qualitative military edge over its neighbors.(3)

The report, perhaps not surprisingly, makes no mention of the attack on the Liberty, asserting instead that the increased aid was “supported by broad U.S. public opinion,” a true enough statement given that the Liberty assault, which even included Israeli gunfire upon American lifeboats, received little attention in the U.S. media—and despite the killing of 34 Americans and wounding of 174 others, American tax dollars to Israel began to flow in buckets.

Again from the Congressional Research report:

In 1971, the United States provided Israel with military loans of $545 million, up from $30 million in 1970. Also in 1971, Congress first designated a specific amount of aid for Israel in legislation (an “earmark”). Economic assistance changed from project aid, such as support for agricultural development work, to a Commodity Import Program (CIP) for the purchase of U.S. goods…Israel became the largest recipient of U.S. foreign assistance in 1974. From 1971 to the present, U.S. aid to Israel has averaged $2.6 billion per year, two-thirds of which has been military assistance. (4)

Just because the increase in aid to Israel…and the increase in income inequality… both occurred over the same time period, it does not necessarily follow that a “scientific” correlation between the two can be established. What is undeniable, however, is that American presidents and Congress members have done more than simply set our lopsided foreign policy; the very same people, so carefully vetted by AIPAC and other Zionist lobbying organizations for their fealty to Israel, have also molded our domestic programs and policies. It is also undeniable that the economic disparities created by these policies are very real and continue to the present moment. In April of this year, Businessinsider.com published what it referred to as “15 mind-blowing facts about wealth and inequality in America.” The information is presented in a series of 15 graphic charts that can be found here, but among the findings are:

  • The richest 1 percent of the population now controls 33.8 percent of the nation’s wealth
  • The next wealthiest segment of society, those who fall into the 90-99 percentile range, hold an additional 37.7 percent of the  wealth, making for a staggering 71.5 percent of the nation’s wealth in the hands of just 10 percent of the population
  • By contrast, the bottom 50 percent of the population possesses only 2.5 percent of the wealth (5)

But economic disparity isn’t the only unpleasant change to come about over the past four decades. The same span of years has seen the passage of draconian laws and damaging Supreme Court decisions that have eroded the constitutional freedoms of the American people. These would include the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 , a measure which provided for physical and electronic surveillance to be carried out without oversight from a standard court of law, instead setting up a special FISA Court to hold secret, ex parte meetings for purpose of considering requests for surveillance warrants. In 1996 came the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, limiting circumstances under which a writ of habeas corpus could be filed, followed by the Patriot Act in 2001, under which law enforcement agencies were given greater powers to monitor telephone, email, medical, financial and other records of private citizens. The trying of “enemy combatants” in special military courts was provided for under the Military Commissions Act of 2006 , further eroding habeas corpus rights of individuals, including American citizens, while the following year, 2007, saw passage of the Protect America Act , which amended the FISA Act of 1978, allowing for even greater government surveillance powers. The list could go on. Even the scant protections offered by the secret FISA Court went out the window when former President George W. Bush signed an executive order authorizing the National Security Agency to conduct surveillance of certain phone calls without obtaining warrants, while the Obama Administration, following in the path of its predecessor, has favored granting immunity to AT&T and other telecommunications companies against lawsuits filed over the affair.

More recently we have seen the Supreme Court decision in Wilner vs. National Security Agency in which the court overruled the release of information concerning surveillance carried out against 23 attorneys representing prisoners at Guantanamo, while just last month in Minneapolis and Chicago FBI agents raided the homes of antiwar activists. The raids were carried out on September 24—just one day after Obama made his speech at the UN vowing “unshakeable opposition” to any efforts to “chip away at Israel’s legitimacy.” Agents went through personal belongings, carrying off items such as computers, books, papers, and phones. Most of the activists seemed to have organized, or at least attended, protests at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul in 2008, while at least two were long-time Palestine solidarity activists. The raids prompted Antiwar.com contributor Paul Craig Roberts to write a column entitled“It is official: the US is a police state.” Under current law, even the activities of nonviolent activists may be equated with providing “material support of terrorism,” says Roberts, who adds: “America, as people of my generation knew it, no longer exists.”

The inescapable truth of Roberts’ observation is probably nowhere more apparent than in attitudes toward torture. A poll taken by the Pew Research Center in April 2009 found that nearly half of all Americans think torture is either often (15%) or sometimes (34%) justified. This compares to those who responded that torture could rarely (22%) or never (25%) be justified. (6) Such numbers would have been unthinkable in the JFK years. Yet even more striking is a separate Pew study, entitled “The Religious Dimensions of the Torture Debate,” that examined views on torture held by a) white evangelical protestants, b) white non-Hispanic Catholics, c) white mainline Protestants, and, d) the “religiously unaffiliated.” (The study did not look at views on torture held by American Jews, which may or may not reveal a bias on Pew’s part). Among the findings: 62 percent of group a, the white evangelical protestants, held that torture can often (18%) or sometimes (44%) be justified, compared to those who said it could rarely (17%) or never (16%) be justified. Support for torture was second highest among white Catholics (19% often, 32% sometimes, 27% rarely, and 20% never), followed by mainline Protestants (15% often, 31% sometimes, 22% rarely, and 31% never), and lastly the unaffiliated group (15% often, 25% sometimes, 29% rarely, and 26% never). (7)

The vanished America once known by Roberts’ generation is evident in other ways as well. It was the year 2004 that news broke of U.S. soldiers using torture against prisoners, giving rise to what Pew referred to as “the torture debate.” But it wasn’t until last year we discovered—by means of a leaked International Committee of the Red Cross report—that American doctors had rendered assistance in the torture sessions. The role of the doctors seems to have been to keep the prisoners alive at least long enough to extract information, a facilitation that was described as “a gross breach of medical ethics.” Much of this took place at the Guantanamo prison camp in Cuba.

Prisons have also become an issue here at home. Not surprisingly (given passage of the draconian slate of legislation outlined above) the years 1967 to the present have seen a dramatic increase in numbers of Americans incarcerated. The U.S. now holds the dubious distinction of topping all other countries on earth in numbers of people it imprisons. According to a study released in June by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, we not only have the highest national percentage of population incarcerated, but the highest ever recorded even in our own history.

In 2008, over 2.3 million Americans were in prison or jail, and one of every 48 working-age men was behind bars. These rates are not just far above those of the rest of the world, they are also substantially higher than our own long-standing historical experience. (8)

The study found that from 1880 to 1970 incarceration rates in America ranged roughly between 100 and 200 per 100,000 of population. But with the year 1980 a steep rise began to be seen, the prison and jail population growing much more rapidly than the overall population. In 1980, the incarceration rate stood at about 220 per 100,000. By 1990 the figure had grown to 458 per 100,000, and in 2000 had reached 683 per 100,000. In 2008, the latest year for which figures are available, the number was 753 per 100,000, the highest rate in the world—higher than Russia and Rwanda, which ranked second and third respectively, and more than three times higher than any other western democracy.

In 1948 when Harry Truman extended recognition to Israel, the United States, despite its many flaws (and there indeed were many), was one of the most respected and admired nations in the world. Today, as we have witnessed, it is now possible for a U.S. president to visit a foreign country and have shoes hurled at him in anger—with the thrower of the shoes elevated to the status of international folk hero by consequence. I am not suggesting that Israel is responsible for every single one of America’s problems to arise in the past four decades. We obviously would have faced a variety of troubles and difficulties, such as environmental concerns, either with or without our Israeli entanglement. But how the history of the past 40-plus years would have been different had AIPAC never gained such political clout, and what the country would look like today, are questions that certainly bear careful reflection. Would 911 have happened? Would we now be at war in Iraq and Afghanistan? Where America will find itself in another 40 years if the “special relationship” continues is another aspect to be considered, though here even more extensive speculation would have to be employed.

If, however, our purpose is strictly an appraisal of the “blessings” promised in Christian Zionist theology, then clearly it can be stated we don’t seem to be accumulating many. On the other hand, the “curses” do seem to be mounting up.

Coming in part 2 of this series: a closer look at Genesis 12:3, Shlomo Sand’s The Invention of the Jewish People, and Hagee’s leadership role in the Christian Zionist movement.

1. John Hagee, In Defense of Israel: The Bible’s Mandate for Supporting the Jewish State, FrontLine, 2007, p. 111.

2. Web sites with excellent information on the attack, including timelines of events, are If Americans Knew, The USS Liberty Memorial site , and The USS Liberty Memorial Database and Historic site

3. Jeremy M. Sharp, “U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel,” Congressional Research Service, Sept. 16, 2010, p. 21. Available here

4. Ibid, p. 21-22

5. Gus Lubin, “15 Mind-Blowing Facts About Wealth and Inequality in America,”Business Insider, April 9, 2010

6. “Public Remains Divided Over Use of Torture,” Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, April 23, 2009

7. “The Religious Dimensions of the Torture Debate,” The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, May 7, 2009. The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life is affiliated with the Pew Research Center and describes itself as offering a “neutral venue” for discussions and research on “important aspects of religion and public life in the U.S. and around the world.”

8. John Schmitt, Kris Warner, and Sarika Gupta, “The High Budgetary Cost of Incarceration,” Center for Economic and Policy Research, June 2010. A summary of the report can be found here. A full PDF may be viewed here

See also:

Has America been blessed or cursed by its support of Israel—part 2

Has America been blessed or cursed by its support of Israel—part 3


Udate: I received a response to the above article from a reader, which I will reproduce below. I do not agree with everything he writes, although his comment about Abraham having been a Gentile at the time of the covenant in Genesis is technically correct (since there was no established Jewish religion in that day).

***

Mr. Hagee exemplifies the fruits of the foundational flaws of Protestantism, that heresies take root because of the insidious Protestant concept that every man is his own little Pope. This has, as one may readily observe, resulted in a surfeit of sects with mutually exclusive doctrines while, with a straight face, the proud Protestant squabblers still claim to be, not Pharisaical defectors, but “the Church.”“I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee, and in thee shall all the kindred of the earth be blessed” Genesis 12:3

For those with ears that hear and eyes that see, take note. God made the covenant of Genesis 12:3 when Abram was still a Gentile. God was not speaking to or about Jewish people because there was no Jewish nation—Abram, not yet Abraham, was still a Gentile and God was speaking to Abram alone. St. Paul affirms in Galatians 3:6-8 that God’s covenant with Abram, later Abraham, was made to him as a Gentile:

“As it is written: Abraham believed God, and it was reputed to him unto justice.  Know ye therefore, that they who are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.  And the scripture, foreseeing, that God justifieth the Gentiles by faith, told unto Abraham before: In thee shall all nations be blessed.”

http://www.drbo.org/chapter/55003.htm

St. Paul further elaborates on the justification of and covenant with Abraham before he was a Jew in Romans chapter 4. As recorded in both the Old and New Testaments, God pronounced his judgment that the guilty Israelites, Scribes, and Pharisees had defected from Mosaic Law, rejected their Messiah, crucified Him, and brought upon themselves and their generations not only the temporal punishments God promised in Deuteronomy 28 and Leviticus 26 (and also: Leviticus 18:28; Numbers 14:23; Deuteronomy 4:26-27; 6:18; 7:12; Deuteronomy 30; Ezekiel 13:9; Jeremias 7:15; 29:13-14), but also the judgment of Hell.

Not by giving them the blood of our children or our treasure, but by converting them to the One True Faith, we can properly support “the synagogue of Satan, those who call themselves Jews and are not, but do lie” (Apocalypse 3:9).
In the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts,
Ed Suter

 


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