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Prejudice Against Palin:

Even though studies consistently show that conservative evangelical Christians are no more likely to be anti-Semitic than others (the ADL, for example, notes based on years of study that neither religion nor political ideology drive anti-Semitism, and here notes more specifically that "ADL polls on anti-Semitism in America show no greater inclination of Evangelical Christians to harbor hateful views of Jews than other groups in American society"), many American Jews, especially liberal, secular American Jews, have a disturbing tendency to suspect all evangelical Christians of being hostile to Jews.

Sarah Palin is only the latest example. Innuendos linking her to anti-Semitism have circulated based on the flimsiest of evidence--so far, that in 1999, as mayor of Wasilla she wore a Pat Buchanan button when he visited town (though she explicitly disclaimed support for him at the time, and indeed supported Steve Forbes that cycle), and that a church she attends had a guest speaker from Jews for Jesus, who delivered a (in my opinion) mildly offensive sermon suggesting that Jews get "judged" by God for not accepting Jesus. So here's a reality check:

Larry Tallman, an Alaska businessman who lives only nine miles from Sarah Palin's hometown of Wasilla, recalls the first time he met the governor — a moment he calls not only surprising but "illuminating."

The meeting took place eight years ago at the groundbreaking of a small, now-defunct Conservative synagogue in Wasilla, where Palin was mayor at the time. Members of the congregation had placed an ad in a local newspaper inviting residents to attend the event, Tallman said, "and to my surprise, the mayor showed up with her daughter, Piper," then only a few weeks old.

"She thanked us for doing what we were doing," said Tallman, a resident of Alaska's Mat-Su Valley, which includes both Wasilla and his own town of Palmer. She also told the crowd that "it was good for everyone to have a place to worship their God, whichever God that may be," he said, paraphrasing Palin's remarks.

Yeah, I'm sure she's ironing the white sheets as we speak.

UPDATE: "Vice presidential pick Sarah Palin says she doesn't share the views of a Jews for Jesus leader who in a speech at her church suggested that violence against Israelis resulted from God's judgment against Jews who have failed to embrace Jesus."

DavidBernstein (mail):
BTW, I don't take the paraphrase of remarks 8 years ago too literally, but technically Jews and Christians worship the same god...
9.4.2008 11:23pm
Duncan Frissell (mail):
It's too bad that too many Jews consider liberalism a better religion for Jews than Judaism.
9.4.2008 11:29pm
smitty1e:
@DavidBernstein
Why, pray tell, is the Nazarene addressed as 'rabbi', in the Gospels?
9.4.2008 11:29pm
anon22 (mail):
Rarely does DB outright lie in his hackishness,







[Editor: You write this, but then you don't identify a lie. The report quite clearly states that years of research show that neither religion nor politcal ideology drive anti-Semitism. Intolerance does, and you're assuming a one-to-one correlation between intolerance and conservative evangelicals which is not supported by the study we both cite.]
9.4.2008 11:30pm
Ari (mail) (www):
"BTW, I don't take the paraphrase of remarks 8 years ago too literally, but technically Jews and Christians worship the same god..."

Why do you assume that she was addressing only Jews? The statement stands on its own as a morally upstanding one; she just happened to utter it in a synagogue.
9.4.2008 11:30pm
Duncan Frissell (mail):
But there are no Jews in Alaska. Didn't they name the capital Jew-No?
9.4.2008 11:31pm
Pizza Snob:
Anon22, I hope you're kidding.
9.4.2008 11:35pm
FlimFlamSam:
I'm an evangelical Christian and am very "pro-Jew" (I guess that's a term).
9.4.2008 11:36pm
taney71:
I'm Jewish (non-practicing) but I really don't understand why so many Jews are liberals. Guess they have to vote Democrat to go to Temple (something I don't do).
9.4.2008 11:39pm
anon22 (mail):
So is Hagee, but he is sure that the Jews are going to burn in Hell. his representative came to speak in our synagogue and said as much. Basically, paraphrasing, he said that we disagree fundamentally about this so let's not even talk about it, but working together we have some common goals. He made it clear that he was anti-semitic, but that his support for Israel was as strong as anyone so why let that bother you.
9.4.2008 11:40pm
tsotha:
The wacky left seems to alternate between thinking Evangelicals are anti-semitic and thinking Evangelicals are pro-Jew and pro-Israel because it will hasten the end times. While you could probably find anecdotal evidence to support both views (somewhere), one gets the impression these people don't come into contact with many actual Evangelicals.
9.4.2008 11:40pm
Dave Hardy (mail) (www):
My limited experience with evangelicals is that they are quite pro-jewish and strongly pro-Israel. Had a friend ask me, before an intro to a evangelical head of a gun group, whether he was anti-semitic. I responded that, if so, he was the only anti-semite I'd ever heard of who had a desk full of pamphlets in Hebrew. I don't know that he could read it, but that seemed a reasonable assumption.
9.4.2008 11:40pm
anon22 (mail):
I block quoted straight from the report indicating that evangelical Christians are more likely to be anit-semitic.

[EDITOR: NO, you did not.]
9.4.2008 11:41pm
Kazinski:
Well yeah its the same god, but what if they put in a Buddhist temple in down the street? It is a generic statement by the a Mayor welcoming any well behaved religion into the community, she was not only welcoming Jews or that specific congregation; she was welcoming everyone.
9.4.2008 11:42pm
anon22 (mail):
Since the report does not report evangelical Christians as a separate category, then the fact that this is not a deciding factor means nothing because the information does not exist. On the other hand evangelical Christians are more likely to hold all of those intolerant views. Convenient that you remove the proof of your lies.

[EDITOR: That's the second time, after a warning, that you falsely accused me of lying. Banned.]
9.4.2008 11:43pm
neurodoc:
There may be little or no credible evidence to link Palin to antisemitism. And the apprehensions about her on the part of some Jews may all owe to general suspicions about the intentions of evangelical Christians, especially those advocating the teaching of "creationism" in public schools; strong visceral abreactions to Jews for Jesus; dissonant cultural notes; and the like. The counterevidence you have adduced to answer a weak or nonexistant case, though, that is that as mayor she showed up at the groundbreaking for a synagogue in her small town and offered her well wishes, is singularly unimpressive.
9.4.2008 11:43pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
Hagee and his people assumedly think, consistent with age-old Christian doctrine, that ALL non-Christians, and perhaps all non-Christians that don't share their particular theology, are going to Hell. To call that "anti-Semitism" is absurd, given that the same view would apply to atheists, Muslims, Hindus, Catholics, and so forth.
9.4.2008 11:43pm
advisory opinion:
Copied straight from the report: "In all three ADL surveys, the regression analysis concluded that religion is not a driver of anti-Semitic propensities in the United States."

anon22, why are you lying about Bernstein "lying"?
9.4.2008 11:45pm
byomtov (mail):
technically Jews and Christians worship the same god

Excuse me, David? When was the last time you prayed in the name of Jesus, or talked about the Holy Trinity, etc.

No. Jews and Christians do not worship "the same god." I'd argue that the statement itself is meaningless. Do Jews and Muslims worship "the same god?" what about Muslims and Christians? Even among monotheistic religions conceptions of god differ. No problem. They are all surely wrong.

But spare us the feelgood ecumenicalism. It's unnecessary.
9.4.2008 11:45pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
The counterevidence you have adduced to answer a weak or nonexistant case, though, that is that as mayor she showed up at the groundbreaking for a synagogue in her small town and offered her well wishes, is singularly unimpressive.
Okay, I'll bite. How often do anti-Semites show up spontaneously, without specific invitation, at synagogue groundbreakings to offer their well wishes? Meanwhile how many evangelicals who are not anti-Semitic have sat through Jews for Jesus sermons? I'd venture to say the answer to the former is "virtually none", and the answer to the latter is "millions."
9.4.2008 11:47pm
Jon Roland (mail) (www):
Some indication is that Palin has a small Israeli flag displayed in her governor's office. See Ralph Z. Hallow's article.

I caution against crediting anything coming from the ADL or their operatives. They may have started as an organization seeking to protect the rights of Jews, but they have been taken over by less noble figures, who now seem mainly devoted to scaring their donors into contributing more money, by magnifying opr fabricating threats to them, often in ways that are deceptive, irresponsible, asnd defamatory.

The key to Palin's beliefs is revealed in her frequent use of the phrase, "with a servant's heart", taken from Mark 10:44: "whosoever would be first among you, shall be servant of all." It is a theme that crosses all denominations, as one can find by doing a web search on the phrase.
9.4.2008 11:47pm
Hoosier:
I don't know any Evangelicals who are anti-semitic. I know a number who are anti-Catholic.

But they will learn, in good time . . .
9.4.2008 11:47pm
anon22 (mail):
Look, a regression analysis conducted on survey data that has no category for evangelical Christians, but lumps them in a broader category is meaningless. The survey data that shows that intolerant views directly ascribed to evangelical Christians is related to anti-semitism means much more. I excerpted that part directly which DB chose to remove.
9.4.2008 11:48pm
FlimFlamSam:
Mr. Bernstein,

I think it's fair to say that a lot of religions make exclusivity claims, and it's not "anti-anything."

Even so, a lot of evangelical Christians and a lot of Hagee followers would likely agree with Jewish redemption doctrine based on Revelation. Not to get too deep in theology, but most evangelicals do believe that Jews are God's chosen people, and most of us also believe God meant what He said in that regard.

And beyond all that, good Christians really can't be anti-anything even if they want to be. "Love your neighbor as yourself."
9.4.2008 11:48pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
Byom, the rabbis my yeshivas taught me that while there has historically been some controversy about Catholics and their trinitarianism, basically Jews accept the idea that the Christian god and the Jewish god is the same god.
9.4.2008 11:48pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
"I block quoted straight from the report indicating that evangelical Christians are more likely to be anit-semitic. Convenient that you removed the quote."
The block quote you provided said no such thing. If you persist in blatantly lying, I'm going to delete your comments. YOU, not the report, ascribe the relevant views to evangelical Christians.
9.4.2008 11:50pm
therut:
Maybe liberal secular Jews do not like these Christians cause they are not liberal or secular. The secular liberals in general do not like people of faith including Jews who actually belive in God. Nothing really hard to understand.
9.4.2008 11:50pm
fullerene:
The study doesn't show any of the underlying data on religion. I am not sure what its conclusion that "religion" is irrelevant is based upon.

Having lived in an around evangelicals all my life, I would say that their opinions of Jews have changed. What was once an ignorant contempt driven by a lack of education has now changed over to an odd reverence. This seems to correspond with evangelicals' increased political activity and higher educational attainment. I suspect that much of the suspicions Jews have of evangelicals dates back to the earlier period.
9.4.2008 11:52pm
Elliot123 (mail):
"No. Jews and Christians do not worship "the same god." I'd argue that the statement itself is meaningless. Do Jews and Muslims worship "the same god?" what about Muslims and Christians? Even among monotheistic religions conceptions of god differ. No problem. They are all surely wrong."

How can monotheists possibly worship different gods?
9.4.2008 11:53pm
anon22 (mail):
http://people-press.org/report/?pageid=757 (from Pew)

"White evangelical Protestants (42%) and black Protestants (36%) are more likely to feel that AIDS is God's punishment than are white mainline Protestants (20%), white Catholics (18%) and the non-religious (14%). Still, moralistic interpretations of the AIDS disease have dropped among all groups about equally."
9.4.2008 11:54pm
FlimFlamSam:
anon22,

What the hell does your last post have to do with Christians getting along with Jews?
9.4.2008 11:56pm
Kazinski:
I'll identify Bernstein's lie:

I'm sure she's ironing the white sheets as we speak.

I wonder what it is that brings out the B(ernstein)DS so quickly in these threads? But in this case it also seems to have Christian(ist) Derangement Syndrome mixed in.

Why can't those who think we should all get along, get along with everyone else?
9.5.2008 12:01am
great unknown (mail):
Finally, DB has invoked the Palin Doctrine [let the other guys trip over each other attacking you and then demonstrate what idiots they are]. Instead of banning anon22, he let him post the "smoking block quote." To paraphrase FlimFlamSam, anon22 has thereby demonstrated precisely why DB called him a liar. I would have been kinder and assumed him to be intellectually challenged.
9.5.2008 12:02am
Hoosier:
"Do Jews and Muslims worship "the same god?" what about Muslims and Christians?"


According to Benedict XVI they do. Good enough for me.
9.5.2008 12:07am
none_ (mail):
im jewish. my objection to most evangelical christian politicians doesn't have anything to do with anti-semitism, per se. for example, i sincerely believe that george bush, for instance, has no animosity toward jews. and though i know nothing about palin, i have no reason to think she has any animosity toward jews.

but that doesn't mean that theyre not willing to use the gears of govt to promote their own religion. teaching creationism in schools is the best example. another is posting the ten commandments in courthouses. all of that combines to create an environment hostile to minority religions.
9.5.2008 12:13am
Phelps (mail) (www):
As someone from a Pentecostal background, the various branches tend to view the Hebrews with something more akin to awe and respect than fear or derision. "The Chosen People" is not sarcasm to them, and it's a common belief that to cross Israel is to cross God. Anti-semitism is damn near satanism to those types. (And not "damn near" for some -- they consider it to be a form of Satanism.)
9.5.2008 12:13am
byomtov (mail):
How can monotheists possibly worship different gods?

Easy. Suppose my god tells me it's a sin to eat pork, and yours says he doesn't care what you eat. Are these the same?

Suppose your god says Jesus is your savior, and mine never mentions Jesus, but says I have to wait a while yet for the Messiah. Are these the same?

I'm no theologian, and I'm sure I'm wildly oversimplifying, but I see no reason why all monotheisms must logically worship the same god.
9.5.2008 12:13am
josh bornstein (mail) (www):
Geez Duncan,
You plagarized my "jew-no" joke, almost verbatim, from a few days ago. [I hope it was inadvertent, and not a subtle way of showing up what blogs will be like, if Biden gets elected VP.] :-)
9.5.2008 12:14am
PLR:
I was raised until age 18 in the Assemblies of God, headquartered a few hours from my current home, and I did have some firsthand experience with that denomination's view of the Jewish faith.

Disclaimer: My experience was anecdotal, and I did not survey all, or at least a representative sample of, other charismatic protestant churches to ask them what they thought of Jews. Nor can I attest that the church I attended was representative of the Assemblies of God generally.

And I guess I'd better leave it that. Enjoy the discussion.
9.5.2008 12:16am
David Schraub (mail) (www):
I feel like talking about God's "judgment" of Jews for not accepting Jesus in the context of Jews getting killed in terrorist attacks is more than "mildly" anti-Semitic. I'm skeptical, Professor, that you would be so generous if this was an Imam saying that the deaths of Jews in Jerusalem was the "judgment of Allah" -- or, for that matter, if it was a radical left Christian pastor calling divine justice for the evils of the occupation.
9.5.2008 12:24am
Sean O'Hara (mail) (www):
I've read at least one article saying that when the synagogue in Juneau got a new rabbi, she went down to personally greet him.
9.5.2008 12:26am
DangerMouse:
many American Jews, especially liberal, secular American Jews, have a disturbing tendency to suspect all evangelical Christians of being hostile to Jews.

Liberals, whether Jewish or not, are bigoted towards evangelical Christians. That's no surprise. Liberals hate Christians because liberalism has its roots in materialist Marxism, which has hated Christianity since it first knew of it.
9.5.2008 12:27am
FlimFlamSam:
none_,

How is wanting to teach Creationism an affront to the Jewish faith? Y'all have Genesis in your Bibles too...
9.5.2008 12:28am
David M. Nieporent (www):
I feel like talking about God's "judgment" of Jews for not accepting Jesus in the context of Jews getting killed in terrorist attacks is more than "mildly" anti-Semitic. I'm skeptical, Professor, that you would be so generous if this was an Imam saying that the deaths of Jews in Jerusalem was the "judgment of Allah" -- or, for that matter, if it was a radical left Christian pastor calling divine justice for the evils of the occupation.
What if it were a Satmar saying that it was punishment for establishing the state of Israel?
9.5.2008 12:32am
Pitman (mail) (www):
Speaking as a religious Jew, it is not that I think there is an anti-Semite lurking behind every evangelical, it is just that I find it offensive that they cannot accept me as a Jew. Despite all of the smiles, support of Israel, etc., by many evangelical laity and leaders, many of them are still actively supporting the conversion of Jews. If you are quoting the ADL, see this statement by them regarding the Southern Baptist Convention. Every few years the ADL puts out a similar statement b/c the Southern Baptists keep trying to convert Jews. The irony of history is that theologically speaking, the Catholic Church is more accepting of Jews and Judaism than any other Christian denomination. Pope John Paul II made it explicitly clear that the Catholic Church does not want to convert the Jews. I know that for many the acceptance of Christ is a requirement for salvation, but I would also hope that they recognize that many non-Christians find that offensive, and if Jews were going around telling Christians that they must convert to Judaism in order to be fully accepted by God, I would hopefully be one of the first to condemn them. While I admit that I am not planning to vote for McCain-Palin, and Palin's pick as VP is irrelevant to me, she does belong to a church whose pastor has supported Jews for Jesus, and has brought one of their leaders to speak to his church. She is free to believe whatever she wants and I have no fear of anti-Semites making their way down from Alaska, but I don't think that the demand to respect someone else's religious beliefs and not to see them as "incomplete" or in need of fixing is unreasonable.
9.5.2008 12:32am
therut:
DangerMouse-----has it right.
9.5.2008 12:34am
Rod Blaine (mail):
> ... some Jews... general suspicions about the intentions of evangelical Christians, especially those advocating the teaching of "creationism" in public schools...'

Hmm, yes, I can see why practising, devout Jews might want to prevent teaching of the Book of Genesis in public schools.

Usually, when the secular or Christian Left attack the Christian Right, it's customary to throw in a dig that "These people are too hung up on the OLD Testament. Hey, guys, isn't that superseded by what JESUS taught? Nothing about abortion or homosexuality, but lots about the poor, about not stoning women caught in adultery, and about 'Judge not, lest ye be judged'?! Huh", but for some reason I can't really picture Abe Foxman taking this line.
9.5.2008 12:35am
AKD:

So is Hagee, but he is sure that the Jews are going to burn in Hell. his representative came to speak in our synagogue and said as much. Basically, paraphrasing, he said that we disagree fundamentally about this so let's not even talk about it, but working together we have some common goals. He made it clear that he was anti-semitic, but that his support for Israel was as strong as anyone so why let that bother you.



Poor anon22. He probably didn't even realize that by listening to Hagee's representative speak, he instantly became an anti-semite, along with everyone else in the synagogue.
9.5.2008 12:36am
David Warner:
"Jews and Christians do not worship 'the same god.'"

Nearly all Christians would disagree with that statement. More than a few Jews would not, some out of annoyance (perhaps justified) with said Christians.

Some liberals (in the broadest sense, including libertarians) forget that there wouldn't be liberal values without the Jews, Christians, and, it can be argued, medieval Islam.
9.5.2008 12:38am
DavidBernstein (mail):
David S: I read the entire speech, including the offending passage, and I'd say it was mildly offensive, and not "anti-Semitic" at all. The preacher said that there is no peace in Jerusalem since Jesus came because the Jews rejected Jesus. He gave the example you noted as a recent "judgment." To be anti-Semitic, he would then have said, "the Jews get what they deserve because they are so evil, and all hail God for giving it to them." Instead, he asks for money so he can persuade the Jews to accept Jesus, so they will no longer be judged, and adds that all of us who don't do God's will are judged. I find this offensive, but given that it's just someone's theology, and he doesn't say anything bad about Jews, or suggest that he hates Jews, I don't find it very offensive or "anti-Semitic." Indeed, one hears haredi rabbis saying very similar things all the time, except substitute "following the mitzvot" for "accepting Jesus."

Of course, even if I agreed that the speech was "anti-Semitic," I would hardly attribute the fact that a visiting preacher made one such remark in one speech (and, if you read the speech, he made the remark in a very convoluted and almost incoherent way, probably because the idea is so stupid that he didn't want to come right out and say it) in her church, as telling us anything about Palin.
9.5.2008 12:39am
TruthInAdvertising:
"Liberals hate Christians because liberalism has its roots in materialist Marxism, which has hated Christianity since it first knew of it."

Rubbish. Do I disagree with some of the attitudes and policies pushed by evangelicals? Absolutely. Do I hate those people? No. For all of the braying by some conservatives about the virtue of the individual and their hated for identity politics, they seem to have no problem playing that game when it suits them.
9.5.2008 12:40am
one of many:
Easy. Suppose my god tells me it's a sin to eat pork, and yours says he doesn't care what you eat. Are these the same?

Suppose your god says Jesus is your savior, and mine never mentions Jesus, but says I have to wait a while yet for the Messiah. Are these the same?

Could be the same. If my god says that Jesus is the Messiah you're still waiting for, and pork is OK now that the messiah has come although no red meat on fridays, and while we're at it you can worship on the first of the week if you want, then we have the same god, we just have received messages from the same god. While 2 monotheisms might have different gods, 2 people might worship the same god differently. If monotheisms which worship differently must worship different gods then the god of Adam is not the god of Abraham is not the god of Moses and so on.
9.5.2008 12:42am
Rod Blaine (mail):
Well, Catholics worship the same God but disagree over whether He supported the Iraq war, for example.

re "The irony of history is that theologically speaking, the Catholic Church is more accepting of Jews and Judaism than any other Christian denomination. Pope John Paul II made it explicitly clear that the Catholic Church does not want to convert the Jews."

Can you cite a source for this? I think you may be confusing Catholicism with Dispensationalism.
9.5.2008 12:42am
Kazinski:
Pitman,
Why do you think Jews should receive special treatment? Evangelicals are trying to convert Buddhists, Catholics, Muslims, and even atheists like me. And it wouldn't surprise me if the Baptists weren't poaching on the Methodists and Pentecostals, and vice versa too.

Since this isn't a legal opinion I'll quote Wikipedia:

Evangelism is the Christian practice of proselytization.
9.5.2008 12:43am
Houston Lawyer:
The Ten Commandments were set down by the Jewish God, so I always laugh at those who believe that posting them is somehow antisemitic.

Christians, Muslims and Jews all worship their conception of the same God. They all recognize the God of Abraham and Moses.
9.5.2008 12:43am
advisory opinion:
anon22 needs to take a logic class.

If P (one is anti-Semitic) then Q (one is twice as likely to believe that AIDs is God's retribution). This is basically what the ADL reports.

It does NOT follow that Q, therefore P (one is twice as likely to believe that AIDs is God's retribution, therefore one is anti-Semitic).

You are moronically affirming the consequent.
9.5.2008 12:43am
EH (mail):
therut:
The secular liberals in general do not like people of faith including Jews who actually belive in God.


DangerMouse:
Liberals hate Christians


Impressive alignment, you guys ever in marching band? How about something to back up your assertions here? I'm gonna guess "no."
9.5.2008 12:44am
Cold Warrior:
I can never understand why people of one faith get upset when people of a different faith imply that their faith is the true faith. If I thought people of any faith were just as likely to go to heaven, I imagine I'd choose the easiest religion ...

... I do think there is something else that's more than a bit disturbing about some evangelical Christian support for Jews (actually, not support for Jews; support for Israel). It's the notion that their support for Israel is based on Book of Revelation prophecy: the Jews must return to the Promised Land because that is a necessary precursor to all that end of days stuff. So they're not loving Israel because Israel is good, and because the Jews are deserving of it as a homeland, etc., etc. They are loving it as a means to their own end. In fact, I find that very disturbing ...
9.5.2008 12:51am
DavidBernstein (mail):
Cold, we've had threads on this subject in the past, and it seems that at most 10% of evangelical Christians who support Israel do so for the reason you elaborate, though if you read the Jewish media (as I do), you can be forgiven for thinking it's more like 99%.
9.5.2008 12:54am
advisory opinion:

The survey data that shows that intolerant views directly ascribed to evangelical Christians is related to anti-semitism means much more. I excerpted that part directly which DB chose to remove.
Except it means nothing, as I've demonstrated above. Yours is fallacious reasoning, and an elementary fallacy at that.

The "inference" -- basically you putting two and two together (ADL and Pew) and failing -- is laughably inept reasoning. Even assuming it were correct (which it isn't), Bernstein's restatement of the ADL's (hypothetically mistaken) conclusions wouldn't qualify as a "lie."
9.5.2008 12:59am
Christopher Cooke (mail):
Many evangelicals, including Hagee, think that we are approaching the end of the world--the End Times-- and that is why they are rabidly pro-Israel. They think that the final battle will take place in Israel, against the muslims and other non-Christians, and that the jewish people will essentially be converted to Christianity, finally. So, they are not anti-Semitic, they just think that those who don't convert will burn in Hell, including those jews who do not accept Christ. Palin's church seems to be part of this strain of evangelicals.

The most you can say about Palin is that she was polite and nice to Pat Buchanan, and gave the appearance of supporting him (by wearing his button). But, tolerating Pat Buchanan, who does seem to me to be anti-Israel and partly anti-semitic, seems to be something that the Republican party and loyal Republicans (and the mainstream media) find okay, perhaps because of his long service to many Republican presidents..
9.5.2008 1:05am
DavidBernstein (mail):
CC, last time I had a thread on this, before the VC had comments, literally dozens of evangelicals from various denominations wrote in to say they never heard of this "support Israel because of the end of days" stuff. And the few actual studies I've seen cited state that this is a small minority position.
9.5.2008 1:08am
great unknown (mail):
The issue of creationism vs. Judaism is disturbing. Every Orthodox Jewish school, throughout time (over three thousand years, since the giving of the Ten Commandments) and space has always taught creationism.
The first of the Maimonides Thirteen Princples of Faith declares the belief in creationism. Consider that Maimonides considers anyone rejecting any of these Thirteen Principles automatically a heretic and outside the faith.
As well say that teaching a belief in resurrection or the Messiah conflicts with Judaism. Or that a belief in the divinity of Mary conflicts with Christianity.
9.5.2008 1:08am
neurodoc:
David M. Nieporent: What if it were a Satmar saying that it was punishment for establishing the state of Israel?
Do you see a logical conundrum of some sort in that? If the Satmar, an anti-Zionist Hasidic Jewish sect not known for comity with non-Satmar Jews, say it, then it can't amount to antisemitism? And since some Satmar would have it that the Holocaust was also divine punishment of the Jews, no Jew or non-Jew who maintains that can be charged with antisemitism?
9.5.2008 1:12am
Asher (mail):
Come on, David. Surely as a Jew you know that most of us regard Jews For Jesus as Conmen From Hell. I don't really find the sermon to be so horribly offensive, although I think most Jews would find it so (I mean, he said that Palestinians who drive bulldozers through Israelis are a sign of judgment from Christ), but the mere fact that she sat through a sermon from Mr. Jews For Jesus is bad enough. And her pastor enthusiastically introduced the guy as a godsend, literally ("when God set that date, August 17th, 2008, David Brickner in Wasilla Bible Church—God wanted to say something to us at this time in our congregational life"), and said that Jews For Jesus is "a ministry that is out on the leading edge in a pressing, demanding area of witnessing and evangelism." The pressing, demanding area, of course, of bamboozling Jews into thinking they can embrace Christ and still be Jews. This is just as bad, or worse, as Wright hanging out with Farrakhan. Worse really, because Palin was there and didn't have anything to say about it.
9.5.2008 1:17am
David Schraub (mail) (www):
The Satmar example is, I think, the perfect case for why the sermon is severely problematic even if he didn't bang us over the head with "and it's a great thing that Jews are dying!" The branches of the Jewish community which say that the Jews deserved the Holocaust because they turned from God, or engage in hugfests with ghoulish Iranian leaders, tend to be reviled by the rest of the Jewish community. For good reason.

That this guest preacher remarks on the fatal judgment against Jews with pity rather than glee, and wishes to see it averted via conversion, does not save it from being anti-Semitism in my view. My human rights and dignity, and the love of the divine, are not and ought not be conditioned on my abandoning my Judaism. I have the right to demand them as a Jew, and those who make it an either-or choice are, I think, fundamentally hostile to Jews -- be it expressed in terms of pity or contempt.
9.5.2008 1:20am
neurodoc:
great unknown: Every Orthodox Jewish school...has always taught creationism.
neurodoc: ...advocating the teaching of "creationism" in public schools...
9.5.2008 1:24am
Pitman (mail) (www):

re "The irony of history is that theologically speaking, the Catholic Church is more accepting of Jews and Judaism than any other Christian denomination. Pope John Paul II made it explicitly clear that the Catholic Church does not want to convert the Jews."

Can you cite a source for this? I think you may be confusing Catholicism with Dispensationalism.


I probably could have been a bit more nuanced, but see the following articles here, here and here. I think that it seems that the Catholic Church has reevaluated at least its methods of missionizing in general, and to Jews in particular.


Why do you think Jews should receive special treatment? Evangelicals are trying to convert Buddhists, Catholics, Muslims, and even atheists like me. And it wouldn't surprise me if the Baptists weren't poaching on the Methodists and Pentecostals, and vice versa too.


You're right, but I can only speak for myself. I know a rabbi who for a number of summers worked as a chaplain in the Air Force. One thing which he told me was that he was very surprised by the anti-Catholic attitude of some of the Protestant chaplains, many of whom were evangelical. He said that they went out of their way to make him, as a Jew, feel comfortable, but anti-Catholic jokes and derogatory comments were quite common.
9.5.2008 1:44am
great unknown (mail):
My point is: why should a Jew oppose teaching of creationism in public schools when they teach it themselves to their own children? If you believe in something enough to pass it on to your children, you should be in favor of offering it to others.
9.5.2008 1:44am
MQuinn:
DangerMouse:

Liberals, whether Jewish or not, are bigoted towards evangelical Christians. That's no surprise. Liberals hate Christians because liberalism has its roots in materialist Marxism, which has hated Christianity since it first knew of it.

This statement seeks to condemn alleged bigotry, and in so doing levies unsubstantiated, overbroad, hate-filled allegations against liberals; that is, this pronouncement is hypocritical to its core. Perhaps DangerMouse mistakes many liberals' disagreement with the evangelical ideology as hatred.
9.5.2008 1:50am
Asher (mail):
Great Unknown:

It's complicated, but for the most part, the answer to your question is that most Jews aren't Orthodox, and only give so much credence to the story in the first few chapters of Genesis. Views on this vary from "it's a nice legend" to, "well, maybe it kind of worked that way, if we read a creation-story day as a period of millions of years."
9.5.2008 1:53am
Elliot123 (mail):
"Easy. Suppose my god tells me it's a sin to eat pork, and yours says he doesn't care what you eat. Are these the same? "

Same god. Different interpretations and beliefs. I may think the Statue of Liberty contains vending machines. Someone else may think it does not. Same Statue of Liberty. We both believe there is only one Statue of Liberty.

Are there vending machines in the White House? If two people disagree on this, and neither has actually seen the White House, how many White Houses are they dealing with?
9.5.2008 1:55am
Kazinski:
Lighten up David Schraub,

My human rights and dignity, and the love of the divine, are not and ought not be conditioned on my abandoning my Judaism.

Nobody, in this county at least, is advocating kidnapping and deprogramming Jews. All us have to resist unwelcome sales pitches for vinyl windows, alarms systems, and religions. But no one is breaking down our doors and violating our "human rights" in order to deliver those sales pitches. And if they are I'll be the first to support locking them up and throwing away the key.
9.5.2008 2:02am
David Schraub (mail) (www):
I don't disagree that the Jews-for-Jesus folks have the right to tell me that my religion is wrong, and that if I persist in believing it I deserve whatever God throws at me.

But I don't have to like them for it, and I certainly don't have to make-believe that they like Jews qua Jews. They can say it, and I can say their belief system is fundamentally hostile to Jews and Judaism. Easy as pie.
9.5.2008 2:07am
Anon23:
DB: Sign your deletion notes with your name, not "Editor". You make it sound like it's some neutral party censoring the conversation and not someone bending over backwards to excuse anti-semitic association for your chosen candidate/candidate's supporters. Besides if Anon22 is making garbage claims, you should leave them here for us to see. We're not children. Poor form.

[editor: it was the one, not the claims, that was the problem. there's a vast difference between saying "i disagree with your interpretation" and "you're a hack liar." now go back to bed, dear.]
9.5.2008 2:11am
Kazinski:
David Schraub,
I can certainly agree with you there, no one likes having their religion put down, and you certainly have the right to condemn them for their views. The only thing I took issue with was your insinuation that your human rights were being infringed.

One thing that chaps my hide about many of my fellow atheists is their evangelical zeal in putting down other religions, especially Christianity. Denigrating religions other than Scientology, Raelians, and Thugs, is in poor taste.
9.5.2008 2:17am
David Warner:
"well, maybe it kind of worked that way, if we read a creation-story day as a period of millions of years"

Nowhere in the Hebrew does it say the days were consecutive. You can make it work if that's your thing. Still doesn't belong in a state-run high school science class, and there's no chance of it making it there in our lifetimes. Supremes would crush it 18-0.

"Creationism" is a class-based dog whistle that drives a very effective wedge between scientists and those who made modern science possible.
9.5.2008 2:31am
Jon Roland (mail) (www):
Here is a link to Sarah Palin speaking at Wasilla Assembly of God. http://www.netbroadcasting.tv/sarah_palin.html
9.5.2008 2:32am
Kazinski:
I saw this over at Ace of Spades HQ, and Israeli director is making a documentary on Palin, started well before she was selected. From the article:

"She had an Israeli flag, of all the things, mounted on her office wall, and I have that on film" he said. "I was very surprised to see that and when I asked her about it, she said that she loves Israel and the she had friends who visited the country and brought her the flag."
"I knew she was shortlisted but her name wasn't the one that came popping up. all of a sudden, I turn on the TV and see her photo. I was elated, it's like my best friend was picked for the job."


Of course I'd take this all with a grain of salt. She is a politician, and being friendly and saying nice things about interest groups and voting blocs comes naturally to politicians. But I think Davids point holds: there is obviously no hostility toward Jews there.
9.5.2008 2:32am
Christopher Cooke (mail):
David: I said "many" evangelicals because I have no idea if the "end times" group represents a majority or minority of them, but still think there are quite a few. I know that Hagee has a following and is one of them. I know and have relatives who hold these beliefs. Palin's Assembly of God church seems to be similar to this group, but I am not an expert on the theology or her church.
9.5.2008 2:42am
Tony Tutins (mail):
When I went to college, I found that the Jews, Catholics, and Lutherans I met had no desire to convert me, while other branches of Christianity all did. I prefer non-proselytizing religions. (No Buddhist, Hindus, or Muslims tried to convert me, either.)

The only trouble with evangelical Christians is that they expect everyone to think like them.
9.5.2008 2:43am
Jon Roland (mail) (www):
Whenever some Bible-thumper gets too aggressive about trying to get me to "witness" and be "born again" I shut him up by explaining how this kind of behavior is a violation of the Third Commandment. They have to think about that one.
9.5.2008 3:11am
DavidBernstein (mail):
The pressing, demanding area, of course, of bamboozling Jews into thinking they can embrace Christ and still be Jews. This is just as bad, or worse, as Wright hanging out with Farrakhan. Worse really, because Palin was there and didn't have anything to say about it.
No disrespect, Asher, but this one made me chortle. Yes, allegedly sitting through [she has a four month old, so I wouldn't assume that being in church that day meant that she sat through the sermon, or if so was listening] one largely incoherent Jews for Jesus sermon is much, much worse than having a 20 year close, intimate friendship with Rev. Wright, who among other things thinks that Farrakhan is one of the great men of our time.

More seriously, sure, I think to Jewish sensibilities Jews for Jesus is offensive, and properly so, because of the deception it employs. I don't think 1 in 10 gentiles, however, is aware that J for J is so offensive to Jews, and even fewer understand why, not out of hostility, but because it's not exactly on their radar screen. I'd guess the percentage of Alaskans aware of this particular dynamic is that much lower.

I'd also suggest actually reading the speech, which is on the church's internet site. No matter how offensive someone in the audience might have found the ideas in the speech, it's sufficiently poorly written that I doubt, heard orally, most congregants even fully understood what he was getting at (I had to read it several times to fully "get it"), assuming that they were paying attention to begin with.
9.5.2008 3:25am
DavidBernstein (mail):
Oh, and btw, I don't impute any anti-Semitism to Obama based on his relationship with Wright. Bad judgment in mentors, cynical willingness to ally with someone like Wright to get a political base, immature infatuation with pseudo-authenticity provided by Wright's church, or all of the above. But there's no evidence of anti-Semitism, or even prejudice against Jews, on Obama's part.
9.5.2008 3:33am
David M. Nieporent (www):
The Ten Commandments were set down by the Jewish God, so I always laugh at those who believe that posting them is somehow antisemitic.
Yeah, but for some reason, when Christians post them, they manage to get them wrong.
9.5.2008 3:36am
David M. Nieporent (www):
I don't disagree that the Jews-for-Jesus folks have the right to tell me that my religion is wrong, and that if I persist in believing it I deserve whatever God throws at me.

But I don't have to like them for it, and I certainly don't have to make-believe that they like Jews qua Jews. They can say it, and I can say their belief system is fundamentally hostile to Jews and Judaism. Easy as pie.
The problem with Jews for Jesus for most Jews is not their theology, but their false advertising. Virtually none of them are Jews by anybody's definition. If some Jewish person wants to claim that Jesus was right and Jews should accept that, well, that's his personal belief. But if some evangelical Christian wants to pretend to be Jewish so that he can better sell that same argument, it's just dishonest.
9.5.2008 3:41am
one of many:
The problem with Jews for Jesus for most Jews is not their theology, but their false advertising. Virtually none of them are Jews by anybody's definition. If some Jewish person wants to claim that Jesus was right and Jews should accept that, well, that's his personal belief. But if some evangelical Christian wants to pretend to be Jewish so that he can better sell that same argument, it's just dishonest.

I know, how could anyone with a name like Moishe Rosen think he could get away with being mistaken for a Jew? All Jews have that hooked nose don't they, and that greasy complexion and fangs, right? A good 3rd of the Jews of my acquaintance who I've learned are Jewish could not be mistaken for being Jewish, yes there are even blond Jews (and not converts either). Not all members of Jews for Jesus are in any way Jewish, but nearly all are ethnic Jews and would have passed Hitler's test for being Jewish (maybe they all are now, there were a few non-Jews way back but they may have all left/died).
9.5.2008 4:33am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
There's an important fact that I think has been overlooked in this discussion (sorry if I missed it somewhere). The relationship between Kroon (Palin's pastor) and Brickner (the J4J speaker) goes back to 1974. So it's not like Brickner was a total stranger who sort of wandered in randomly.

Just something to be aware of.
9.5.2008 5:21am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
I definitely don't contend this proves anything, but I find it amusing, at least. The ADL study says this:

the most anti-Semitic Americans are nearly twice as likely (54%) as the least anti-Semitic Americans (32%) to agree with the statement: "Books that contain dangerous ideas should be banned from public libraries."


Palin's book-banning efforts are documented here.
9.5.2008 5:21am
M. Simon (mail) (www):
Uh. A little known fact about Palin that seems to have been missed by our most erudite of hosts and commenters.

Palin (to my knowledge) didn't advocate the teaching of creationism. She said it could be discussed in science class. Which IMO opinion is a good idea. The teacher can then explain why it is not science.

When you are discussing how many angels can dance on the head of a pin it would be good to get the right pinhead.
9.5.2008 5:26am
M. Simon (mail) (www):
juke,

She (to my knowledge) never advocated book banning.

She was discussing a hypothetical.

Are there now ideas so dangerous that they can't be discussed?

How very PC.
9.5.2008 5:33am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
Palin (to my knowledge) didn't advocate the teaching of creationism. She said it could be discussed in science class.


This pops up endlessly.

What happened is first she said one thing, and then she said something else, the next day. This is what she said first:

Palin was answering a question from the moderator near the conclusion of Wednesday night's televised debate on KAKM Channel 7 when she said, "Teach both [evolution and creationism]. You know, don't be afraid of information. Healthy debate is so important, and it's so valuable in our schools. I am a proponent of teaching both."


This is what she said the next day:

I don't think there should be a prohibition against debate if it comes up in class. It doesn't have to be part of the curriculum.


The way it looks to me is that first she gave an answer which revealed her authentic belief, and then she backpedaled after she noticed the uproar she created.
9.5.2008 6:35am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
She (to my knowledge) never advocated book banning. She was discussing a hypothetical. Are there now ideas so dangerous that they can't be discussed?


What happened is this:

Back in 1996, when she first became mayor, Sarah Palin asked the city librarian if she would be all right with censoring library books should she be asked to do so.


No, it's not OK with me for a public official to ask a librarian "if she would be all right with censoring library books should she be asked to do so." Is it OK with you?
9.5.2008 6:35am
whit:

My point is: why should a Jew oppose teaching of creationism in public schools when they teach it themselves to their own children? If you believe in something enough to pass it on to your children, you should be in favor of offering it to others.



because creationism isn't science. whether or not it is the correct STORY is entirely irrelevant.

the issue is that creationism is not science. nor is intelligent design. it would be fine to teach it as part of a study of religion class (iow... this is what many christians, jews and muslims believe, and it is taken from the torah, etc.)

it is not fine in any science class or history class, because it does not meet the rigor of either discipline.
9.5.2008 7:15am
David Warner:
"the issue is that creationism is not science. nor is intelligent design."

The Creationists hijacked ID to give them better cover. There actually were research proposals for ID (looking at randomness in genetic mutation using statistical analysis - long way from there to intelligence, but non-randomness would be interesting), but the research has been forbidden as it might potentially aid the creationists.

Basically, the intelligent in Intelligent Design no more implies God than does the intelligence that emerges from a few quadrillion firing neurons. On the other hand, non-randomness might make traditional concepts of creation less incompatible with evolutionary theory.
9.5.2008 9:01am
lgv:
David, as a former conservative evangelical Christian, who developed many Jewish friends during grad school, I believe that are two tendencies, both based upon limited interaction of the two groups.

1) Like a quote from Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, "They killed our Lord" assumption. Several of my Jewish friends assumed that ignorant Evangelicals actually believed this line of reasoning.

2) Evangelicals have a very narrow view of the path to salvation. They have no interest in any ecumenical movement. All other religions are contemptible in a doctrinal way, including Catholicism and Mormonism. Since Judaism is doctrinally incorrect, it is only reasonable that Jews would be foster a bit of apprehension as to Evangelical attitudes towards them.

In summary, I have met Evangelicals who are anti-Semitic and I have met some that are more pro-Israel than some American Jews I know.

I consider Bob Jones Sr. and Bob Jones Jr. of Bob Jones University to be anti-Semitic, whereas Jerry Falwell was not. It is a mixed bag, much like Evangelical attitudes towards Romney's Mormonism.
9.5.2008 9:10am
DavidBernstein (mail):
I know, how could anyone with a name like Moishe Rosen think he could get away with being mistaken for a Jew?
He only started calling himself "Moishe" after he became a Christian missionary. Before that, he was "Mort." That's indicative.
9.5.2008 9:14am
stan (mail):
Hollywood and the MSM have few demographic groups that are OK to subject to stereotypes and derision. Religious whites from red states are at the top of the list. "Evangelical" might as well be a one word description for that bullseye.

Liberal Jews assume that evangelicals are anti-Semitic for the same reasons that they assume they are racist, stupid, bitter and clinging to their guns and religion. See e.g. "What's the Matter with Kansas".
9.5.2008 9:49am
Stash:
Two words: Christian Nation. Her pastor preaches it. Does she believe it? McCain retracted his statement of this third rail for Jewish (and other) voters. Without getting into the merits of the issue, which I think this blog has looked at before, the McCain camp obviously considered the statement a gaffe.
9.5.2008 9:51am
William Oliver (mail) (www):
"How can monotheists possibly worship different gods?"

It's because we worship a particular view of God. There's a very good book on this by feminist theologian Sallie McFague. Her thesis is that people can comprehend God only through metaphors we use to describe Him. In the Bible, God is described as a father, a rock, a foundation, a farmer, a bridegroom, etc. Each of these metaphors describe some aspect of God, but because of the limitations of our language and our comprehension, none are complete or even all that accurate if taken literally.

Unfortunately, some people start mistaking the metaphor for the thing described. Thus, God really *is* a "father" with a long white beard and male characteristics, and any view of Him that emphasises other aspects is considered heretical. As a feminist, she points out that the dominant metaphors are those that support particular cultural assumptions and are used to justify social order. She asserts that this mistaking the metaphor as God constitutes a form of idolatry.
9.5.2008 10:07am
Al Maviva:
"No. Jews and Christians do not worship "the same god." I'd argue that the statement itself is meaningless. Do Jews and Muslims worship "the same god?" what about Muslims and Christians? Even among monotheistic religions conceptions of god differ. No problem. They are all surely wrong."

Sorry, but I have to call bull on that. What exact religious tradition are you coming from - secular humanism? All three religions worship "the God of Abraham". There are substantial differences of belief as to whether / how that deity ought to be worshiped, and whether He has introduced superceding religious figures and doctrines (e.g. Jesus, Mohamed) but all three religions generally acknowledge they worship the same deity. More theologically inclined Catholics in particular frequently view Catholicism as a an outgrowth of or the "completion" of Judaism.

Hagee and his people assumedly think, consistent with age-old Christian doctrine, that ALL non-Christians, and perhaps all non-Christians that don't share their particular theology, are going to Hell.

DB - that is only applicable to some Christians of the more literalist sects, and unsophisticated believers of the more sophisticated sects. Even within Catholicism during its most intolerant episodes, theological provisions conceded the possibility of salvation of righteous non-believers (mighty white of them...) - the notion was that a just God could not possibly create men with souls only to condemn them with no chance of salvation; that to do so would deny the fundamental importance of free will to choose to do God's will (or not). You may recognize some of the roots of natural law theory in this...
9.5.2008 10:10am
byomtov (mail):
Same god. Different interpretations and beliefs.

Well, sure. If you're just going to hand-wave away any differences as being possible. But your original claim was that it was logically impossible for monotheists to worship different gods. But the god we worship is just our own conception of God. The commandments we obey are our idea of what God wants us to do. When those conceptions differ, I'd argue we are worshipping different gods.

One says I'll go to Hell if for eternity I don't accept Jesus. The other says don't worry about that. These sound like radically different gods to me. Certainly they are not necessarily the same. For many centuries - up until Vatican II - Catholics were taught that the Jews killed God. How does "it's the same god" make sense in that context?

As to relations with evangelicals, it's not so much that Jews think evangelicals are personally anti-Semitic, but rather that they promote policies that are "bad for the Jews." Anything that smacks of introducing Christianity into the schools, for example, starts to both make it an official religion and to put pressure on jews to convert.

Why do you think Jews should receive special treatment? Evangelicals are trying to convert Buddhists, Catholics, Muslims, and even atheists like me. And it wouldn't surprise me if the Baptists weren't poaching on the Methodists and Pentecostals, and vice versa too.

I think history gives Jews every reason to react with hostility to Christian efforts to convert them. Even in the US today there can be enough evangelical influence, in some areas, to make efforts to convert Jews feel like pressure is being exerted.

As a matter of fact I think religions in general would do well to avoid active efforts to convert others. The consequences of this activity have been pretty horrendous, and I personally believe that being certain one understands what God wants is itself sacrilegious, since it presumes divine knowledge.
9.5.2008 10:20am
DoDoGuRu:

No, it's not OK with me for a public official to ask a librarian "if she would be all right with censoring library books should she be asked to do so." Is it OK with you?


Depends on the book and the library I guess. To frame the suggestion as though there are "dangerous ideas" that need suppressing is dishonest in my opinion. There are a wide range of more basically offensive, lewd, or hateful books I'm not sure would be appropriate for a public library.
9.5.2008 10:31am
DoDoGuRu:
As a matter of fact I think religions in general would do well to avoid active efforts to convert others. The consequences of this activity have been pretty horrendous, and I personally believe that being certain one understands what God wants is itself sacrilegious, since it presumes divine knowledge.


Unless I'm mistaken, Christians do presume to have divine knowledge... I think they call it the Bible. From what I understand, the New Testament takes a pretty serious view of converting non-Christians.
9.5.2008 10:37am
Jeff the Baptist (mail) (www):
<blockquote>Virtually none of them are Jews by anybody's definition.</blockquote>Most of the Jews for Jesus I've met are ethnic Jews from non-practicing families. They're the Jewish equivalent of lapsed Catholics. Does that mean they were never Jews in the first place? That they have no Jewish heritage or claim to the "Jewish" name?

There are several Jewish communities which regularly accept ethnic Jews that practice Buddhism, other eastern Religions, or are atheists. However they shun ethnic Jews that practice Christianity or Islam. I find that quite hypocritical.

As for why Jews see Evangelicals as anti-Semitic, I think it has a lot to do with Evangelicals eagerness to proselytize. Jews see Judaism as a Jewish thing and aren't really comfortable with proselytizing. If someone converts they're happy, but the only time I've known Jews to really push it is with mixed marriages.
9.5.2008 10:37am
SeenBothSides (mail):
I think that Jewish hostility towards Evangelicals is learned bigotry.

It started as something that came from Orthodox Jewish parents and grandparents as a dislike of Christian attempts to convert Jews (most of which, in Europe, did not amount to free discussion). But the Orthodoxy that this attitude came from was against all other religious practice for their children, and was concerned about any influence of other religions on them. They just focused on Christianity because that was what was around. Those living in Islamic countries didn't have the same emphasis.

Now, however, the non-Orthodox descendants of those people have no problem if their children become Buddhist, Hindu, Wiccan, or really anything else. They just have an issue with Christian theology because they learned to fear it, and they perpetuate that fear.

It doesn't help that they are political opposites (most non-Orthodox Jews are liberals, most Evangelicals are conservative).

But in the end, it is the remnants of a religious attitude, where the religions meaning has been removed, and only an irrational bigotry remains.
9.5.2008 10:44am
Kevin P. (mail):

jukeboxgrad:
No, it's not OK with me for a public official to ask a librarian "if she would be all right with censoring library books should she be asked to do so." Is it OK with you?


I'd be quite OK with censoring this book from a taxpayer-funded public library. And this one. How about you?
9.5.2008 10:53am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
I can't recall the name of the guy--lawyer, professor, jewish activist--who commented that, today, Judaism is almost solely Holocaust remembrance and liberal politics.
It will come to me in the bottom of my coffee cup.
However, to the extent that he's right, having an enemy to fear is necessary.
And what better enemy to fear than one who, in your heart of hearts, you know is actually harmless?
9.5.2008 11:01am
Hoosier:
Richard Aubrey

A Jew who is a lawyer and academic?

Let me Google that. How hard could it be to find the guy, eh?
9.5.2008 11:29am
Jeff the Baptist (mail) (www):
No, it's not OK with me for a public official to ask a librarian "if she would be all right with censoring library books should she be asked to do so." Is it OK with you?

Why? I'd ask my librarian that even if I never intended to censor a book or was totally against the whole concept of censorship. I'd want to know where my librarian stood on the issue, especially since she's probably better informed than I am about the ethics surrounding censorship.
9.5.2008 11:31am
Calvin Plantinga:
I didn't have time to check and make sure no one else said this, but just for the record: Hagee is fairly unpopular in the evangelical world because he doesn't believe that religious Jews need a faith in Christ for salvation.

I have rarely if ever met an evangelical under the age of 70 or so who I could honestly classify as 'anti-Semitic.' I have definitely encountered greatest generation or so aged evangelicals that were a bit racist in general, but not particularly biased against any one minority group.

Unless you count anti-semitism as believing that the statement "I am the way truth and the life and no one get get to heaven but through Me" applies to ethnic Jews as well as all other people in the entirety of human history--I dont think you will find much racism or anti-semitism among evangelicals. But. The other thing that shocks urban elitists is that evangelicals are hardly some kind of monolithic bunch. There are a few issues they coalesce on but for the most part they are as splintered and argumentative as all other Americans.
9.5.2008 11:46am
neurodoc:
This is just as bad, or worse, as Wright hanging out with Farrakhan.
In a word: WRONG.
9.5.2008 11:48am
Hoosier:
Calvin Plantinga

FYI--Alvin Plantinga is retiring. There goes ND's highest-rated Letters department.
9.5.2008 12:00pm
neurodoc:
My point is: why should a Jew oppose teaching of creationism in public schools when they teach it themselves to their own children? If you believe in something enough to pass it on to your children, you should be in favor of offering it to others.
Two words: FIRST AMENDMENT
9.5.2008 12:05pm
Deoxy (mail):
OK, I want to get my talking points in order:

1. Censoring ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING from the public library is evil; censoring people asking a question about something is good.

2. A group made up of ethnic Jews who also happen to be Christians is lying when it says that it's made up of Jews.

3. Religions that preach themselves as the only "true" religion are OK, unless they actually believe it and apply that belief to Jews; applying it to everyone else is generally OK (unless the name of the religion is Christianity - this parenthetical point seems to be in debate, though).

OK, in a little more seriousness:

1. OF COURSE public libraries censor their content!! DUH!!! Do you find hard-core porn there? And there are many, less obvious examples, as well. But that's not "censorship", you say... OK, what is it? And how is it different?

2 &3.
Christianity preaches that ALL other religions are wrong; that is, a good Christian should at least wish for (and preferably work for in some appropriate way) the conversion of ALL non-Christians. There is nothing Jew-specific about this. To claim that this is "hostile to Jews" is rather silly - either it's hostile to everyone, or it's not hostile to anyone, and in neither case is it anti-semitic.
Historically, the Catholic church behaved pretty badly towards Jews. That was well before any of us were born, OK? The "they killed our Lord" bit hasn't been a significant factor since the majority of people bothered to remember that Jesus himself was a Jew. As best I can tell, most religious reasons for hating Jews were a) cover invented to find a convenient scapegoat for other things, or b) cover for the real problems of money-lending, as there was a period where the church forbid loaning with interest, so no one (except Jews, as they weren't Christians and could therefore charge interest) would loan money at all, and people generally don't like their lenders (and when most of the lenders share some other easily-demonized trait, well, that's a recipe for bad things). This is not meant to be judgemental of the Jews in question, by the way, just commentary on human nature (had the money-lenders all been Buddist, then Buddists would have been demonized, for instance).
Jews for Jesus - I happened to go attend university with a Messianic Jew. He whole a yarmulka (sp), had a prayer shawl, kept the sabbath, etc. As best I could tell, he was Jewish, with the exception that he believed that the messiah had already come (in the person of Jesus). Of course, unless I am mistaken, many of the Jews protesting Jews for Jesus are only ethnically Jewish, anyway, so I just don't see what the deal is, there... unless ethnicity can be repudiated by religion (like black people losing their blackness when the become a Republican, maybe?)
Tangential point: Protestants are genearally anti-Catholic for several reasons, the easiest one being that the Catholic Church spent a long period of time making life exceedingly difficult for non-Catholic Christians (as in killing them, in many cases), and it spent a long time after that bad-mouthing them pretty extremely (even today, Catholic doctrine seems to be that they are the "true church" - unless that's changed fairly recently and I missed it, which is possible). It is actually getting better these days (in part because the Catholic Church isn't making an issue of it anymore, and the after-effects are FINALLY starting to wear off). Still, the whole thing is pretty sad (and somewhat petty).
Support for Isreal: for the few people I've spoken with, support for Israel is not religious. There are PLENTY of reasons to support Israel in the ME conflict - there's no reason to involve religion (and I don't think very many do). There does seem to be a small but significant chunk of evangelicals who support Israel for the "end times" stuff... which most of the rest find rather odd. I still don't think that kind of support is inherently anti-semitic - as best I can tell, it's neutral on that topic (a means to an end, nothing more).
9.5.2008 12:07pm
Deoxy (mail):
Oh, sorry for the lack of graph-breaks, there - I had indented some spots, but leading spaces are apparently removed. Ouchie.
9.5.2008 12:09pm
one of many:
However they shun ethnic Jews that practice Christianity or Islam. I find that quite hypocritical. Not really, the bias is against all messianic Jews, or Jews who believe the messiah has come already. Christians and Mulims both fall into that category as well as few other groups wasn't there a major messiah that came out of Poland 150 years ago or so?). Buddhists &such are not offensive for the very simple fact that they are following a completely different religion instead of a 'distortion' of Judaism. Christians and Muslims are for the most part tolerated anyway, as long as they don't attempt to proselytize or otherwise try to lecture Jews on 'the truth' of Jewish religion. There is a distinction between objection to people who insist that your are interpreting your own religion wrong and objection to those who have a different religion. I'm not defending the practice however there is a clear distinction between the two cases
9.5.2008 12:18pm
Hoosier:
even today, Catholic doctrine seems to be that they are the "true church" - unless that's changed fairly recently and I missed it, which is possible).

It's not really possible, by definition of the word "catholic."

Protestants are genearally anti-Catholic

Again, by definition of the word "protest."
9.5.2008 12:24pm
Tennwriter (mail):
There is a verse in the Old Testament (Torah??) about those who bless Israel being blessed, and those who curse Israel being cursed. I've heard this verse quoted many times in evangelical circles.

Its a means to an end thinking here: Avoid getting God mad at you, and receive God's blessing. Some Jews may object to this, feeling that other people should love them for who they are. This is silly. The typical reaction of people to the Other is boredom. As in, I have my own problems, why am I worried about yours? This command from God encourages people worldwide (its applicable to every human) to take a positive interest in Israel.

There are several other reasons that go together, but the end result is that American Evangelicals are probably one of the most Pro-Jewish groups on the planet.

And it is true that Evangelicals do support Israel not just for the Bible, but because Israel is a democracy, but...the hard core of their reason is the Bible. Without Evangelical support for religious reasons, the other reasons would not be enough and America would toss Israel to the wolves.

Furthermore, I have read in a couple books the notion that God created America to protect Israel. Its interesting speculation which I could not prove either way, but it seems possible. Those were Evangelical writers.

And lastly, yes, I do have a shirt which has a small button of an American flag and an Israeli flag on it. I just leave it there all the time so I don't have to bother with putting the button on and off. Like Israel, the button is pretty tough, and it goes through the wash without any problem. :)
9.5.2008 1:09pm
David Warner:
I think Locke already covered a lot of this ground. Maybe we should have him guest blog.

As for the Christian view of Jews, a lot of it grew out of Romans 9-11, for all you budding Bible scholars out there.
9.5.2008 1:15pm
neurodoc:
Kevin P.: I'd be quite OK with censoring this book from a taxpayer-funded public library. And this one. How about you?
Do you think it probable that: 1) the Wasilla public library had on its shelf either of those two hate manifestos you linked to or others like them?; 2) Sarah Palin's concern was that the town librarian might decide to place such works on the shelves?

I expect there have been court cases which have affirmed the proposition that public libraries are not required to include in their collections pornography, hate manifestos like The Turner Diaries, Paladin Press books on how to get away with a murder-for-hire, and the like, though some in the population might want access to that sort of material and decry a library's refusal to acquire it for their collection as "censorship." If you think it amounts to "censorship" when a library declines to do so, then you are welcome to that notion of "censorship," but understand that you have in mind something very different from what most others are talking about (e.g., banning Judy Blume books). It is a matter of concern to many of us that Palin would take the initiative of going to the town librarian to see if she would be willing to censor if asked to do so. And the report that she soon thereafter fired the librarian, only taking her back after the move proved unpopular, gives considerable credence to the concern.
9.5.2008 1:17pm
Marco:

DavidBernstein wrote:
Byom, the rabbis my yeshivas taught me that while there has historically been some controversy about Catholics and their trinitarianism, basically Jews accept the idea that the Christian god and the Jewish god is the same god.

I think Catholics do not disagree:


The relationship of the Church with the Jewish People. When she delves into her own mystery, the Church, the People of God in the New Covenant, discovers her link with the Jewish People,326 "the first to hear the Word of God."327 The Jewish faith, unlike other non-Christian religions, is already a response to God's revelation in the Old Covenant. To the Jews "belong the sonship, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; to them belong the patriarchs, and of their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ",328 "for the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable."329



http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p123a9p3.htm
9.5.2008 1:19pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Hoosier. Hell, if I could draw, I could draw him. Defended OJ on television but wasn't part of the dream team. Red hair. Damn.....
9.5.2008 1:19pm
Kirk:
byomtov,
No. Jews and Christians do not worship "the same god."
Uhh, care to cite some authorities showing that actual Jews and Christians agree with you?

none_, you need to say a bit more about how posting the Ten Commandments helps promote a hostile environment toward Jews.

Asher,
bamboozling Jews into thinking they can embrace Christ and still be Jews.
And where is it written that they can't?
9.5.2008 1:30pm
Tennwriter (mail):
====bamboozling Jews into thinking they can embrace Christ and still be Jews.

This an other statements help make the case that there is prejudgice alive and well in America. Only its directed at Evangelical Christians by Secular Jews.

I do believe it was Mark Twain (an atheist, mind you) who said that dogs were better than men because a dog won't bite the hand that feeds it. I doubt evangelicals are going to change. God commanded us to preach the word to all nations...Beginning in Jerusalem. He promised blessing to those who blessed Israel. He called them the Chosen People.

But what does it say about a man who is offered friendship and kindness at every turn, and replies with distrust and unkindness? Evangelicals don't insist on Judaical Jews giving up their religion to receive friendship. Why do some Judaical Jews insist on us giving up our religion for us to be friends?

BTW, yes I took a quick peek at Romans. Good point.
9.5.2008 1:56pm
neurodoc:
Richard Aubrey, you say you are thinking of a Jewish lawyer who defended OJ on television. That wouldn't be Robert Shapiro, who is neither an academic, nor a redhead, and isn't known for opining on Jews or Judaism. Must be the guy Shapiro hired to help with trial strategy and a possible appeal, Alan Dershowitz, who gets supporters of that miscreant Norman Finkelstein so agitated.
9.5.2008 2:28pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
DERSHOWITZ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1


Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I have blocked on his name before. Keep thinking of David Horowitz.

Anyway, the point about contemporary judaism came from him. Need an enemy. Why pick one that's real dangerous? That would be scary.
9.5.2008 2:44pm
Asher (mail):
I don't think 1 in 10 gentiles, however, is aware that J for J is so offensive to Jews, and even fewer understand why, not out of hostility, but because it's not exactly on their radar screen. I'd guess the percentage of Alaskans aware of this particular dynamic is that much lower.

Well sure, you can certainly make a defense of ignorance here, although I think it ought to be obvious to a bright person like Palin that a group specifically dedicated to telling Jews that they can accept Christ and still be Jewish might rub Jews the wrong way. And yeah, I did read (and listen to) the sermon, and it's ridiculously convoluted and the bit about the Palestinian in the bulldozer is really buried in there, so she could've missed it, but even if she did, a statement to inoculate herself would be wise, don't you think? As for Wright comparisons, I'm not comparing this to the Wright relationship as a whole. Before the tapes came out, you'll recall, Russert pressed Obama in one of the debates about the fact that Wright had taken a trip with Farrakhan to Libya and said that Farrakhan embodies greatness. This is analogous to that.
9.5.2008 2:50pm
Asher (mail):
Oh, I missed the update. When did that happen?
9.5.2008 4:38pm
Ella (mail):
As others with first-hand knowledge of evangelical beliefs have pointed out, these people take the Old Testament seriously. So it's not hard to understand their philo-semitism: they are fully signed up to the notion that the Jews are God's Chosen People.

And if you take the Old Testament at face value you also have to accept that God gave the land of Israel to the Jews. As it is theirs by divine decree, no other claim to it can ever be valid. It follows that Christians have a duty to do what they can to see that God's wishes are respected. And as someone else pointed out, "those who bless Israel will be blessed."

The eschatological prophesies in Revelation and elsewhere are pretty much ignored by mainstream evangelical culture; no one really knows what they mean and they've no relevance to people's lives at present.

Any sort of belief system has a fringe. The type of personality drawn to the extreme--and particularly the apocalyptic (think Marxism and environmentalism)--craves attention and likes nothing better than creating a public spectacle. As a result such people seem more numerous and more representative than they actually are.
9.5.2008 4:47pm
ken (mail):
The reason most evangelicals are pro-Jewish is because the only Jews they know are the ones they read about in the Bible, like Jesus, Paul, and Peter. If they knew some real Jews, like some of my relatives, they would know that they can be real obnoxious a$$holes. Even so, I am still pro-Jewish. My step-son is a Messianic Rabi. Shalom.
9.5.2008 5:29pm
ejo:
just out of curiousity, how many urban jews actually know any evangelicals. I realize there are jews all over the country but let's stick to the media/organized group types, who I venture a guess live in urban areas not full of evangelicals. of the jews, how many are actually religious ie. have some spiritual value beyond voting democratic and being pro-abortion or actually attend temple more than once a year. is the prejudice based on spiritual values or is it the animus any Democrat might have?
9.5.2008 5:44pm
LM (mail):
stan:

Liberal Jews assume that evangelicals are anti-Semitic for the same reasons that they assume they are racist, stupid, bitter and clinging to their guns and religion. See e.g. "What's the Matter with Kansas".

How much self-awareness would it take to avoid stereotyping at least in the same sentence you're complaining about it?
9.5.2008 6:04pm
ejo:
are liberal jews any different in their views on evangelicals than any other liberal group? if it is not a spiritual issue, the explanation might simply be politics. dressing it up as "anti-semitism" seems like a disservice to the real thing.
9.5.2008 6:29pm
Rod Blaine (mail):
> "bamboozling Jews into thinking they can embrace Christ and still be Jews"

I'm still confused here. So what would practicing Jews prefer? An ethnic or practicing Jew who decides Jesus is the Messiah therefore should worship bare-headed and pig out on pork sandwiches on the Sabbath? By comparison: I'm a Protestant, okay. Now, whenever one of my tribe jumps ship to Rome, I actually take some comfort when s/he says "We Catholics would do well to copy the following Evangelical practices". (I do confess some annoyance if they publish books with titles like "Whatever You Bind On Earth: An Evangelical Discovers Papal Infallibility", because this hides the fact that have already made a commitment to buying the whole Catholic package. I may think they've wrongly assumed that A [consistent "sola Scriptura"] leads to B ["you need the Papacy to understand the Bible"]. But still I couldn't dismiss them in the same category as someone who was raised Catholic and knew nothing about Protestantism except second-hand.)

Would J4J cause less annoyance if they re-titled themselves "Ethnically Jewish Christians"?

> "Or that a belief in the divinity of Mary conflicts with Christianity"

The rest of great unknown's post seems fine but - no offense - this one is a howler. No self-labeled "Christian", ever, anywhere, has believed in Mary's divinity. Even Catholics reject the labels "divine" or "semi-divine" for what they believe, and Protestants reject the entire concept.
9.5.2008 6:36pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
There's a scene in the movie "The Big Red One" ("If you have to be one, you may as well be a big red one.")
The soldiers have attacked a place in France they call Christ on the Cross due to a monument of some kind.
They take the place and discover it's a war memorial to the First Division in WW I. A kid comes running up to Lee Marvin. "It's for us. It's us. It's got the same names on it."
Marvin growls, "Always does, son."
Some of those names--for the next Big Red One memorial, were from evangelical households. It's not particularly graceful to be bitching about the guys who died on the way to liberate, say, Dachau.
As I say, better to pretend to fear somebody you know is no threat.
9.6.2008 1:03am
TruthInAdvertising:
"Depends on the book and the library I guess. To frame the suggestion as though there are "dangerous ideas" that need suppressing is dishonest in my opinion. There are a wide range of more basically offensive, lewd, or hateful books I'm not sure would be appropriate for a public library."

This just shows that you've never had to deal with a attempt to ban books. The vast majority of book banning attempts deal with "dangerous ideas" whether that be discussions about gay parents, teen sex, or other topics that parents don't want their children exposed to for whatever reason. There are a lot of lewd books on the library shelves. But for those who think of Mapplethorpe or Madonna, try the romance and fiction sections. You'll find plenty of lewd and crude writing, much of which is wildly popular with certain segments of the library population.

"I'd be quite OK with censoring this book from a taxpayer-funded public library. And this one. How about you?"

How about "Mein Kampf"?
9.6.2008 2:34am
David M. Nieporent (www):
He only started calling himself "Moishe" after he became a Christian missionary. Before that, he was "Mort." That's indicative.
Yes; he also only started calling himself a Jew-for-Jesus after he became a Christian.

Anyway, "one of many's" comment misses the point. Rosen may be "ethnically Jewish," but the vast majority of Jews-for-Jesus missionaries are not. The Baltimore Jewish Times (IIRC) ran a long expose on them a few years ago; they can't find enough "actual" Jews for Jesus to run any of their campaigns, so they have a few front "Jews" and the rest are just plain ol' Christians.
9.6.2008 8:33am
David M. Nieporent (www):
It is a matter of concern to many of us that Palin would take the initiative of going to the town librarian to see if she would be willing to censor if asked to do so. And the report that she soon thereafter fired the librarian, only taking her back after the move proved unpopular, gives considerable credence to the concern.
It really doesn't. She fired a bunch of town officials at the time. The librarian happened to be one of them. The librarian happened to be one who actively and openly supported her opponent in the election. Unlike the others, she hired the librarian back when there were complaints.

Because JukeBoxGrad is a pure partisan hack with no job, he likes to go around throwing around millions of links in the hopes that nobody will read them and he can insinuate anything he wants. But the mere fact that A occurred at some point before B does not mean that A caused B.
9.6.2008 8:39am
David M. Nieporent (www):
Would J4J cause less annoyance if they re-titled themselves "Ethnically Jewish Christians"?
They'd cause less annoyance if they re-titled themselves "Christians, of whom a tiny handful are ethnically Jewish, and who only claim to be Jewish because we think it will help us convert Jews to Christianity."
9.6.2008 8:59am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
It appears that the list of books Palin wanted banned is the list of books everybody wants banned. That is, whenever the subject comes up, they use the same list. Palin, being a conservative republican, is so smart that she put books on the list which hadn't yet been published, such as the Harry Potter oeuvre.
IOW, it's all bullshit.
Point is, what percentage of the banned-books smear actually believe it? My guess is...none.
All liars.
9.6.2008 11:22am
Rod Blaine (mail):
Point taken re J4J. I am aware that some ethnically-Jewish, formerly-practicing-Judaism Christians (eg, Martin Pakula and Helen Shapiro) have been critical of the methods and theology of J4J.

Two other reasons, in my estimation, why Protestants are (in the recent words of Catholic blogger Mark Shea) "pound for pound, the most philo-Semitic non-Jews on the planet":

(a) Identifying with Israel/ Judaism enables Prots to nullify one of the bigger Catholic debating advantages - history. When someone from the Second Freewill Baptist Church (founded 1954) debates a Catholic, sooner or later the Catholic will play the "Who founded *your* church? Ours was founded by Jesus Himself in 33 AD" card. If Prots can answer, "Well, Judaism before Christ had no papacy, no bishops, no saints to pray to, no statues in the synagogues, no use of relics", etc, the Prot can counter 1,700 years of unbroken Catholic tradition by appealing to 5,200 years of unbroken "messianic Jewish" (ie, Hebrew and then Protestant) tradition. Moreover, St Paul's warning that, if even the "original branches" (the Jews) could be broken off the tree for apostasy, then even more so could the grafted-off branches (the Gentile Christians), is useful for Prots arguing against the Catholic position that "Yes, the Jewish priesthood fell into apostasy, but God re-booted when He set up the Catholic priesthood, and He remembered to install an infallibility chip this time around." (To be fair, Prots do not emphasize the other areas where Judaism has/ had more in common with Catholicism - having a priesthood at all, frex, to offer regular sacrifices; food laws, unwritten tradition, prayers for the dead, rejection of salvation by faith alone.)

(b) Giving the Jews their due also helps Prots a second way in their theological polemics with Rome. Catholics point to the multiplicity of Protestant denominations and argue that this refutes the Protestant doctrine of "sola Scriptura". If Luther's re-reading of the Bible really were the clear and obvious interpretation of the Word, RCs say, then everyone else would have agreed with him. Instead, others split to become Calvinists, Baptists, Anglicans, etc. However, Prots can point to the example of the Jews 2,000 years ago who did not embrace Christianity. These guys knew Jesus Himself but passed on his message; if that can happen with Jesus, is it any surprise that others passed on Luther, a lesser vessel? Also, Prots say, if Catholics themselves idolize (so to speak) early Apostles who defied the Temple priesthood and its traditions to preach the new Gospel ("We must obey God rather than men", St Peter told the Sanhedrin), how can they blame Prots for doing the same thing 1,500 years later?

John Calvin, in particular, is regarded by his followers and opponents alike as having tried to re[-]form Christianity to make it as much as possible a Trinitarian version of Old Testament [sic] Judaism, with the priests and sacrifices being functus officio post-Messiah. Most American Protestants follow the low-church heritage of Calvin (and of Cromwell, who rescinded the Catholic monarchs' exile of the Jews from England) rather than, say, the more traditionalist Protestantism of Luther, notorious for diatribes against the Jews in his old age.
9.7.2008 5:14pm
Rod Blaine (mail):
PS: If you come across a Christian named "Eli", "Isaac", "Abraham", "Samuel", "Nathan" or "Jacob", I'll give you odds 10 to 1 that he was born to low-church Evangelical Protestant parents (ie, not Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican or Lutheran).
9.8.2008 6:59pm