Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Frank Schaeffer on Christian fundamentalism in the US and Jews

Former Christian Right leader Frank Schaeffer has written a post at his self-named blog that gives a very helpful look at the view that conservative American Protestants (he uses the common American term "Evangelical" to describe that group) commonly take of Jews (Jews and Evangelicals 11/253/2010).

It's a good brief explanation of how those who identify with the Christian Right can hold very old-fashioned anti-Jewish religious ideas - and downright anti-Semitic ones - and still see themselves as friends of Israel and of what they see as "Jews-Born-That-Way-Who-Stayed-That-Way" (Schaeffer's term describing the Christian Right outlook). This is a very large part of the ideological package that leads the Republican Party base to oppose any peace settlement in the Israel-Palestine dispute. American Jews, by contrast, favor such a settlement. In the most common fundamentalist Christian views of the End Times, "the Jews" have a role to play, mainly by being slaughtered in great numbers in a big war. Schaefer writes, referring to his conservative Protestant mother:

Mom often said that the "miraculous return of the Jews to Israel is just one more thing that proves the Bible is true." That would not have happened if the Jews hadn't killed Jesus, been exiled, suffered the Holocaust -- "just what was needed to turn Zionism into a mainstream movement in order to fulfill prophecy" as Dad noted -- and returned to Israel, in order to pave the way for the return of Christ.

The Jews may have thought their return to Palestine was all about them. Of course Us Real Christians knew better, it was all about Us.
"Us" in this case being conservative Protestant Christians.

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