Monday :: Nov 7, 2005

In The Name Of MY God I Persecute You?

by pessimist

In the comment thread for Knowing When It's Time To Go Home, the point was raised by one commenter that King George's failed Iraqi Oil Rustle was intended to defend Israel.

While I'm sure that Israel was hoping to benefit from the relatively low-priced, non-OPEC oil that they were going to get from ChalabiCo, shipped through a pipeline to be constructed through Syria after the conquest of that land through military operations beginning with Steel Curtain, the Bu$hCo invasion of Iraq was not really about defending the Jewish Homeland. Israel took care of that themselves when they bombed the Osirak reactor (whether Saddam was really intending to build nukes or not is long since a moot point) in 1981.

Certainly Israel sees opportunities in the Great 'Mer'kin Me$$ in the Asian Southwest (happy now?), but with expensively-provided military assistance from the US (e.g., the Osirak attack force used American F-15 and F-16 aircraft), they have been holding their own ever since they conducted their version of urban renewal by moving at gunpoint many of their Palestinian neighbors out of Israel and in with their Jordanian, Syrian, and Lebanese cousins whether or not they were invited or expected.

But this post is not intended to be knocking the Israelis for these actions, merely establishing the scene: For all the US has done for Israel, and no one can deny that assistance has been substantial, Israel is quite concerned about us. Maybe they are afraid that certain political and religious organizations threaten the gravy train provided courtesy of the US taxpayer.

Or, maybe, they are afraid of something much more sinister:

ADL's Foxman warns of efforts to `Christianize America'

Institutionalized Christianity in the U.S. has grown so extremist that it poses a tangible danger to the principle of separation of church and state, and threatens to undermine the religious tolerance that characterizes the country, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League, Abraham Foxman, warned in his address to the League's national commission, meeting in New York City over the weekend. "Today we face a better financed, more sophisticated, coordinated, unified, energized and organized coalition of groups in opposition to our policy positions on church-state separation than ever before.
"Their goal is to implement their Christian worldview. To Christianize America. To save us!" he said.

What ingrates! Don't these Jews recognize that all the evangementalists want for them is Eternal Life?

I don't either.

He noted that churches and organizations of this sort have always been active in America, but they had never before been so aggressive and determined. "They intend to Christianize all aspects of American life, from the halls of government to the libraries, to the movies, to recording studios, to the playing fields and locker rooms of professional, collegiate and amateur sports; from the military to SpongeBob SquarePants," Foxman charged.
"No effort is made to hide their goals or their ambitions, and their vision of America is far different from ours."

Unlike non-Jewish progressives, Mr. Foxman is bravely willing to point fingers and identify:

Foxman proceeded to describe the process and to name names: "Major players include Focus On Family. Alliance Defense Fund, the American Family Association, Family Research Council and more. They and other groups have established new organizations and church-based networks, and built infrastructure throughout the country designed to promote traditional Christian values."

"In 2002, leaders from 10 conservative Christian organizations formed the `Arlington Group,' an alliance of over 50 of the most prominent Christian leaders and organizations. Their Web site documented in considerable details the agenda of a wide range of issues, including judicial nominees, stem-cell research, same-sex marriage, abortion restrictions and the faith-based initiative - and their expectation of success on these issues [was high] because of their perceived political strength," Foxman said.

Foxman traced the growing spread of Christian extremism to a crisis in values among large segments of the American population and a corresponding yearning for religious content, along with the presence of President George Bush as an encouraging ally.

Seems to me that the 'crisis in values' that Mr. Foxman posits is actually emanating from these very people, in particular Ther Leedur, when their behaviors stray a long way from those presented in the Sermon on the Mount, a great speech given (allegedly) by the Deified Personage they claim to worship.

But I digress.

Mr. Foxman shows that this extremist Christianity displays great unity:

However, Foxman identified the central cause as a sense of persecution and the perception that religion, in general, and Christianity, in particular, are under attack from the liberals in the U.S.

In his speech, Foxman presented the as yet unpublished results of an opinion poll commissioned by the ADL.

The survey found that:

* An overwhelming 75 percent of Americans who attend church once a week believe that religion is under attack in America. Among evangelicals, that figure rises to 80 percent.

* Among those who attend church regularly, 70 percent think that Christianity is particularly threatened; 76 percent of evangelicals agree.

* The poll also revealed that 60 percent of church members, and 69 percent of evangelicals favor instituting organized prayer in America's public schools.

This last point has nothing to do with 'defending' Christianity, but certainly does represent a threat to Judaism - about which many ADL members have some knowledge. But their numbers are small (significantly less than 10 million), and they could provoke the same sort of reaction in this country - a general roundup of their people that their ancestors faced in Europe 70 years ago, and that Muslims face today due to the provisions of the Patriot Act - should these not-so-fun dementedists achieve the sort of power they seek.

For their small numbers, it is easily ascertained that Jews represent erudition far out of proportion to the rest of the population. This fact is a source of pride for some. It is these small numbers, and the very real political and historical evidence of past persecution that inspire Jews to lash out at radical evangementalism, but one has to wonder if such an outrage is wise:

The ADL, considered the largest Jewish organization in America, has in the past spearheaded campaigns against religious preachers and Christian elements deemed unusually extreme. But this is the first all-out media assault by an ADL head on the U.S. Christian establishment.

What is there to gain by rousing the rabble? That part isn't yet clear to me, so I turn to you - what do you think is behind this?

But before you answer, consider this: the Jewish people have a long history of being persecuted and massacred. In every case, some survived to attest to the actions of the ruthless oppressors of Jews.

They just might know a little something about what they are alarmed about.

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