Why the Unholy Alliance between American Christian Fundamentalists
and Jewish Zionists poses a threat to World Peace
and what the Muslim World can do about it
Little do we realize that events unfolding in the West today are bound to have serious implications for the Muslim world and indeed the world at large. One of these is of course the emerging Islamophobic sentiment in the West, particularly in Europe, which has recently manifested itself in hostility to such perceived Islamic symbols like the veil and minarets. This appears to be but an expression of an identity crisis many Europeans are presently experiencing given the large Muslim migrant communities living in their midst today. It is not unlikely that this is but a passing phase of the European experience and will gradually subside or fade away. However, little is it known that there is a much bigger threat to the Muslim world than this, and that it emerges not from Europe which abandoned its crusader-like mentality long ago, but from the USA many of whose Christians have of late been espousing a rather peculiar and perverse brand of Christianity which is a far cry from the religion of love that Jesus thought and is more akin to Jewish tribalism with its emphasis on a chosen people and justification of misappropriating other peoples’ lands besides a number of other unsavoury aspects that find no place in the true teachings of Christianity.
And surprisingly this is a relatively recent trend. It could be said to have begun in the 1970s when some Christian preachers armed with the Bible (or rather some biblical passages taken off context) in one hand and the television on the other, commenced a new crusade on behalf of Israel, telling Americans that it is God’s Will that Israel should triumph over its enemies and that Jerusalem should be its Capital. They go still further in arguing that the third holiest mosque of Islam, Al Aqsa in Jerusalem should be demolished to pave way for the rebuilding of a Third Jewish Temple with all rituals of ancient Jewish worship including animal sacrifice. The construction of this Jewish Temple, they contend, would result in a great war between Israel and its enemies which would result in the destruction of a greater part of the world as we know it. This great battle which will be the last great war between good and evil they believe will precede the return of Christ who after destroying much of the world would sit on King David’s throne in a Jewish temple and from there rule the world. In other words, these zealots are pressing for a nuclear war that would end the world in our generation This cataclysm is known in Christian Fundamentalist terminology as Armageddon, a corruption of a little known Hebrew place name Har Megiddo in Jezreel Valley of Israel, an insignificant spot some 55 miles from Tel Aviv where these fundamentalists believe the final great war will be fought.
One would think that this rather absurd doctrine is a fringe movement much like the various cults that are allowed to propagate in the US, but nay, it is a fast growing movement, particularly among mainstream, middle to upper-middle class Americans. It counts among its adherents large sections of the US political, military and business establishments. Former US Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush were adherents of this worldview. So was former President Jimmy Carter in the initial stages of his presidency, though later he renounced these views when he realized that they were just a façade to justify Israeli aggression against a helpless people, the Palestinians, whose cause he later espoused with great zeal. President Reagan in a 1983 conversation with Tom Dine of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee is reported to have said: “You know, I turn back to your ancient Prophets in the Old Testament and the signs foretelling Armageddon, and I find myself wondering if we’re the generation that’s going to see that come about…… Believe me (these prophecies) certainly describe the times we’re going through”.
Michael Baigent in his recent book Racing Toward Armageddon (2009) says that as many as 58% of Americans say that they believe in these teachings, which is truly unsettling. This however is not surprising when we consider the vast influence Jewish Zionists have on nearly all aspects of American life including their religious life, the insular attitude of many Americans coupled with their spiritual penury and quite significantly the impact of the mass media, particularly in the form of television. Like the epic series Mahabharat aired on Indian television which contributed to the emergence of a rather grotesque form of Hindu fundamentalism and the rise of the ultra-nationalist BJP, so we find that the many religious TV programmes presented by Christian fundamentalists such as Jerry Falwell and Hal Lindsey have contributed to the emergence in the American religious sphere of a rather perverse form of Christianity that has little to do with the teachings of Christ. Hence these evangelical preachers are commonly known as Televangelists.
What is equally unsettling is that this doctrine pervades many American Christian denominations including the so-called charismatic churches such as Pentacostal and Assembly of God as well as Southern and Independent Baptists besides countless other non-denominational ‘Bible’ Churches and Mega-Churches. Among these so-called Bible churches, the Dallas Theological Seminary is said to be the fountainhead of the doctrine that God demands that ‘Good Christians’ destroy planet earth and has graduated many of the pastors teaching Armageddon theology in nearly 1000 such Bible Churches. It is estimated that there are over 80,000 fundamentalist pastors in the US, many of whom broadcast on 100 Christian television stations and a 1000 Christian radio stations. Christian Zionism is here to stay and it is high time the rest of the world including the mainstream Christian world was made aware of its dangers.
What is most intriguing about this doctrine is that it is strangely new to the Christian world. The first seeds seem to have been sown in the aftermath of the creation of the State of Israel in 1948. Later Christian Fundamentalists, inspired no doubt by Jewish Zionists, would come to look upon it as a fulfillment of Biblical Prophecy which spoke of the return of the Jews to the Promised Land. This is strange because the Christian Church did not hold such views for the past 1800 years of its existence. The Church then had agreed that the prophecy regarding a Jewish restoration applied to the return of the Israelites from exile in Babylon in the 6th century B.C when the Persian Emperor Cyrus permitted the Jews who had been exiled to Mesopotamia to return to Palestine. Nor did the Church look upon the Jews as a chosen people. Rather it looked upon them as a cursed people due to their animosity towards Jesus and the other unacceptable practices they indulged in such as usury. But the new doctrine views the Jews in a new light as the chosen people of a God who is pre-occupied with his chosen nation Israel without a care for the rest of his creation. In the Process it seems to undermine the teachings of Jesus Christ which speak of God’s universal love and grace for all humanity. In contrast, the new doctrine places the Jews and their state of Israel on centre-stage, thereby making a cult of the land of Israel. This cult recognises the right to kill with impunity all those who stand in the way of the Jewish state’s expansionist goals, and this includes Palestinians – both Muslim and Christian. By making a cult of Israel, the Christian Zionist is willing to condone whatever Israel does, even wanton murder- as orchestrated by God. In doing so he recognizes the Talmudic teaching that a Jew may kill a non-Jew with impunity. And in doing so he goes against the teachings of Christ which actually represent a break from the Talmud, focused as they are on love and compassion to one’s fellow humans.
One cannot but suspect that this fundamentalist agenda has been nurtured and promoted by Jewish Zionists who seem to have surreptitiously influenced and misled these charismatic Christian preachers who were keen to push for a new brand of Christianity which in a century or so earlier would have been regarded as nothing but heretical. One has only to read the works of these misled Christian Zionists to realize how Christian they are, for example when they elaborate on the Samson Complex gloating on how Israel could take the entire world down with it along with itself if its existence is threatened. The example they give is of Samson, the Herculean figure who killed many Philistine notables along with himself when he brought down their temple by pulling together its two central pillars. Another complex they elaborate on is the Masada Complex, stressing on the siege of Masada during the First Jewish War against the Romans when extremist Jewish zealots took their own lives and that of their families when the Romans besieged it in 73 A.D. The Jewish leader Elazar could not accept that the revolt had failed and instead dwelt on his belief that the Lord had turned against the Jewish people. Finally, he ordered: “Let our wives die before they are abused, and our children before they have tasted of slavery, and after we have slain them, let us bestow that glorious benefit upon one another mutually”. After this oration, the men killed their wives and children, and then fell on each other. Not surprisingly Masada is today one of the Jewish people’s ‘greatest symbols’. Israeli soldiers take an oath there: “Masada shall not fall again”. And to think that there are Christians among us today who condone the massacre of these innocents in the name of tribal honour.
What is also intriguing is why these fundamentalists should hold to the tribal doctrine that the Jews are the chosen people at the expense even of their fellow Christians. For instance when they wax eloquent of the Jews being the ‘Chosen People of God’ or when they argue that the European Union, the ‘revived Roman Empire’ is the Beast foretold in scripture. The armies of the European Union, they believe, will ravage Jerusalem, only to be struck down by the Messiah Jesus in the valley of Megiddo which will be filled with blood standing to the horses’ bridles for a distance of 200 miles from Jerusalem. According to this belief the Messiah will come to the aid of his people – the Jews of the land of Israel.
Furthermore these Fundamentalists hold that before this great battle, there will be other battles, among these the war against Gog which they hold to be Russia and Gomer which they believe is modern-day Germany. These nations they believe will invade Israel, only to be laid waste by the Jewish state with the massive arsenal at its disposal.
What is so surprising about this doctrine is that it should hold that fellow Christian nations should be God’s enemies. Rather it seems the views of these Christian Zionists merely reflect parochial American views of two former enemies, the Germans during World War 1 and 2 and The Russians during the Cold War despite the fact that much has changed since the doctrine was propounded in the 1970s. To hold that these Christian nations are enemies because their forbears killed Jews or embraced Communism or fought against America has something so Un-Christian about it. As Un-Christian is the belief that the Jews are God’s chosen people in spite of the belief they themselves hold that the Jews were the ones who had Christ crucified on the cross.