Monday, July 30, 2007

Your Autographed First Printing of "Left Behind" Won't Get You Into Heaven Any More

Following up on last week's post about Christians Impatient for Armageddon, here's an article about a letter written by group of moderate Christian evangelical leaders who support the creation of a Palestinian state, and a more even-handed approach by the United States to the Israel-Palestine conflict. By "moderate," I simply mean that they don't subscribe to a brand of eschatology that mixes populist ressentiment with a plotline drawn from a prog-rock concept album, and that they believe Jesus probably wouldn't be in favor of Israel's colonization of Palestinian land, and the misery which this produces among the Palestinians.

CUFI's ruling cleric, Rev. John Hagee, responded:

"Bible-believing evangelicals will scoff at that message.

"Christians United for Israel is opposed to America pressuring Israel to give up more land to anyone for any reason. What has the policy of appeasement ever produced for Israel that was beneficial?" Hagee said.

"God gave to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob a covenant in the Book of Genesis for the land of Israel that is eternal and unbreakable, and that covenant is still intact," he said. "The Palestinian people have never owned the land of Israel, never existed as an autonomous society. There is no Palestinian language. There is no Palestinian currency. And to say that Palestinians have a right to that land historically is an historical fraud."

Now, of course, you can hear precisely this sort of thing from hardline preachers and demagogues on al Jazeera and Hezbollah-run al-Manar television all the time, in regard to the Jews and Israel: They have no legitimate claim to the land, Palestine is Islamic waqf, "true" Muslims reject compromise witht he Zionist entity, and so on. When Islamic leaders say these things, however, they are appropriately condemned in the U.S. media as extremists. When John Hagee says them, he is invited to the White House, embraced by the Republican leadership and AIPAC, and compared to Moses by Joe Lieberman.