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Will Gay Marriage Derail Evangelical Support for Israel?

"Supporting Israel requires American evangelical Christians to square their theological beliefs with the modern Jewish state."

by
Rhonda Robinson

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November 13, 2013 - 4:00 pm
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GayIsrael

As world leaders gathered to discuss the future of Israel, speculations and suspicions swirled around American Christians’ motives and commitment to Israel’s right to exist.

From Tablet’s Why Gay Marriage–Not AIPAC–May Determine Whether Bibi Bombs Iran:

Bibi’s possible choice of a military option would be premised in part on the assumption that Israel enjoys a strong bedrock of support in the United States—not Jews, but Christian evangelicals. The problem with the assumption that Israel can rely on its Christian supporters—and the majority of Congress that is reliant on their votes—is that some younger evangelicals are now tilting against support for the Jewish state. Oddly, the issue that may decide whether Israel can count on the United States in the future is not President Barack Obama’s foreign policy, but the evangelical schism on the issue of gay marriage.

[snip]

American evangelical support for Israel is based on a fundamentalist reading of the Bible, in particular this passage from the Book of Genesis, Chapter 12, Verse 3: “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” The political expression of the mainstream evangelical exegesis of this passage is John Hagee’s Christians United for Israel, which is the country’s largest pro-Israel organization—a fact that is hardly surprising, given that, according to the recent Pew study, more evangelicals believe that God gave Israel to the Jews than American Jews do, 82 percent to 40 percent.

[snip]

Contrary to what many liberals believe, and many conservatives like to pretend, the fundamentalist movement, like Judaism, is not a unitary political or theological force. Evangelicals lack a single guiding leader, as Catholics have in the pope, and as a result schisms in their movement have played a large if often understated role in American history. One such historic schism may be opening up beneath the feet of the pro-Israel community right now.

Evoking Hollywood images of the Scopes trial to illustrate the point, author Lee Smith claims that just as evolution split fundamentalists into sides that fought over the literal interpretation of creation, leaving them them looking foolish and archaic, so too will those that believe in the out-of-touch ideal of marriage as only one man and one woman look foolish.

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Top Rated Comments   
"American evangelical support for Israel is based on a fundamentalist reading of the Bible"

Really? I'm not Christian but I support Israel because it is the only sane plot of dirt in that region among an insane religion that seeks to harm people because they choose to think differently. You don't need to read the Bible to see that Israel is not the cause of woes in that region.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
There's more to support for Israel than religion.
They have a flourishing democracy, they are prosperous and free-market capitalist, they all have guns, they aren't afraid to call a terrorist a terrorist and shoot (and shoot well) when they have to, they are quick to help others in times of disaster but also quick to tell the UN where to stick it.

These are things that play well in America's heartland.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This is why there are really tight vetting procedures for personnel allowed access to the Smite buttons.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (47)
All Comments   (47)
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Currently, civil marriage is generally not allowed in Israel. Since all of the recognized authorities of the various religions do not allow homosexual marriage, we don't have it. We don't have religious intermarriage either; if people want that, they go to Cyprus or somewhere, and the government recognized that marriage. In exactly one case, Israels insane Supreme Court allowed a foreign homosexual marriage to be recognized.

Avoiding civil marriage is perhaps the chief red line of the more modern of the religious parties, currently an integral part of the coalition. No civil marriage, no homosexual marriage. I have never seen as much agreement among the various segments of the religious Jewish population as on the need to avoid civil marriage.

I do not have all of the deatials, so corrections are welcome.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
There was a comment below that Israel allowed gay marriage whatever your views on this, IT IS NOT ACCURATE!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Strange article. A salad of topics is tossed in the air, and the author hopes for coherence when the pieces settle down.

I do not see any reference to Iran in the article after the title of a cited article, even though it appears to be important to the theme of the article.

It is insinuated throughout the article that Israel now has same-sex marriage. That claim is false. Jewish marriage is controlled by the Chief Rabbinate, which is Orthodox. Israel does recognize legal marriages performed abroad.

There are various schisms between multicultural Israel and conservative Christian Zionists. I am not aware of any evidence that they have led to a decline in support for Israel among the latter group.

Is there a point to this article?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Yes, God gave men laws but He also gave men free will. God knows mankind isn't perfect, we will stray. God also said such things as love thy neighbor and judge not or ye shall be judged (or some such words to that effect.). Much like man made traffic laws. If you get caught speeding or running a red light you pay your fine. I'm not homosexual but if two men or two women want to be together it doesn't matter to me so long as they take no for an answer if they ask me. It's not my department to judge, they can answer to God when their time comes. By the same token, Christians, gay or straight, shouldn't have a problem with Israel just because they aren't condemning a person for their lifestyle.

As to homosexual marriage, it is more them wanting the same benefits as a traditional married couple receive. I can't see any religious pastor, priest, or rabbi being forced to preform a church service for them but I see nothing wrong with a civil service type of agreement that would give them the same things.

From what I see, that is pretty much what Israel is saying, we're not judging, we may not like it but it's your business and we will respect that. As said, when you consider the alternative in that area, I can't see where the gays would have any problem with Israel. I mean if they don't like the way they are treated in Israel they can always move to say Iran. Just call ahead and reserve a noose, I hear Iran is having a problem finding enough rope lately.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This is a strange article.....am obviously missing something flying over my head.

Who permits [or, has said that...] the outre`[pun alert] of some - speak for the majority?

In a Democracy, who really cares what "gays" think, or how they vote, as a political wedge-group - as long as they remain a clear minority group?

When has the Majority in a Democracy ceased to call the game except in coalition governments being established where there is no clear majority?

So Israel now has a coalition government; we don't have one here in America [ yet] and out-and-out gays are not quite [yet] a sizable part of our population.

So who really thinks that gays have the swing votes in our America or inside their Israel?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The culture is more powerful than mere votes. Gays, as well as those who ardently support their agenda, have had control of a large segment of our culture for a very long time. In case you're not aware, gays are not just hair dressers and fashion designers, but have powerful positions in all media from print to television to movies and the universities. This high proportion of gays in areas where attitudes (particularly among the young) are formed is how public opinion regarding gay marriage has gone from negative support to positive support in a just a decade or so.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
And one of the ways in which they have taken things over is to hijack a once-useful word for the exclusive purpose of denoting approximately 5% (at most) of the population.

Let's stop using the word "gay" for sodomites and dykes.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"American evangelical support for Israel is based on a fundamentalist reading of the Bible"

Really? I'm not Christian but I support Israel because it is the only sane plot of dirt in that region among an insane religion that seeks to harm people because they choose to think differently. You don't need to read the Bible to see that Israel is not the cause of woes in that region.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You're absolutely right Chris.

The only reason that angle was taken in my article was because that was the stance Smith took. Stating that evangelicals are the mainstay of support within America.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
There's more to support for Israel than religion.
They have a flourishing democracy, they are prosperous and free-market capitalist, they all have guns, they aren't afraid to call a terrorist a terrorist and shoot (and shoot well) when they have to, they are quick to help others in times of disaster but also quick to tell the UN where to stick it.

These are things that play well in America's heartland.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"They have a flourishing democracy,"

Actually, they don't. A flourishing democracy, or heck, any democracy at all, would be where a motley mob basically commits all the massacres they please and other heinous acts. The French Revolution is a good example of what a democracy is, flourishing or full.

If they were democratic, it would actually resemble the carnage that's going on in, say, Libya or Egypt.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Perhaps same-sex marriage should simply be accepted for what it is, a fantasy which emerged from fevered progressive brains in search of yet another group of victims to enhance their pathetic sense of moral superiority. Gay marriage will never reach parity with traditional marriage, will never become an acceptable norm and will never be viewed as natural by any except the most narrative-prone on the left. Very much like Obamacare, another progressive fantasy, it will probably simply collapse of its own uselessness. It certainly is not a valid reason for Christians to stop supporting Israel. This, too, shall pass.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I get that its a narrative of the left and the tool of progressives. What I'm baffled with and disturbed at is why Israel, which is the Jewish State, is supporting Gay Marriage DESPITE it very clearly being in violation of the Torah (what we Christian call the Old Testament).
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Who says we're supporting it?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
That's what the article seems to imply, anyways.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Yes. In the original Tablet article this post responds to states,

"The apparent irony of course is that Israel is one of the most gay-friendly countries in all the world. Indeed, just last week one Israeli faction introduced a law legalizing civil marriage that would extend to same-sex couples. However, just like every other aspect of Israel’s free society—from its free-market economy, free press, equal rights for women and minorities—that might be expected to win admiration from Western progressives, Israel’s actual record on gay rights and gay marriage is unlikely to affect the debate between American evangelicals."

The entire Tablet article took the slant that it would be Israel's embracing Gay marriage that would until the bonds between evangelicals and Israel. I take the stance that, if true, that would not happen.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It is baffling only to the degree that one would expect more from a Jewish nation. However, we have the same problem with our "Christian" nation. The common denominator is a respect for freedom-- with that comes the freedom to sin. Which is what separates us and Israel from Islamic nations.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All I know is if I were in God's position, I'd use my own divine powers to massacre anyone who disobeys me and my laws even slightly even against a group of people I said were my chosen people, leaving nothing to be spared from me. He should have taken what he did with Sodom and Gomorrah and do it 24/7 with all of his creations, even Judaism and us Christians, since laws are merciless and supposed to be merciless.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This is why there are really tight vetting procedures for personnel allowed access to the Smite buttons.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Ok. So I really did laugh out loud Swami on that one. Thanks! "Smite buttons"
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Smite buttons". What a concept...
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
So in Israel a man can "marry" another man; yet a man with a Jewish father and a Russian mother can't marry a woman with a Russian father and a Jewish mother, or vice versa. Go figure!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I actually live in Israel and the fact that two men can "marry" each other legally in Israel is news to me. All such "marriages" happened abroad. While Israel has no civil marriage of any kind (something which needs changing), it recognizes civil marriages performed abroad almost across the board (including, I believe, polygamous unions).
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Yeah, and what's even worse about it is that Gay Marriage is supposed to be forbidden ESPECIALLY among their own laws (to say nothing about Christianity's laws), as Leviticus and Deuteronomy came directly from the Torah.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Actually, Leviticus and Deuteronomy mention neither sexual orientation nor marriage of homosexuals --- the relevant passages condemn one specific form of male-on-male activity ("shkav gever", a.k.a., "paquer le fudge", a.ka. "eating through the rear" as it's known in modern Hebrew slang) in the strongest terms. Lesbianism, BTW, is not discussed ANYWHERE in the Torah, and the only mention in the major Jewish law codes is an admonition by Maimonides that two women caught having sex in public should be flogged --- but so do husband and wife doing it in public.

There are indeed pages and pages of rabbinical commentary on the wickedness of the Sodomites --- most of it focused on heartlessness and cynicism hiding behind the letter of their city's law. (Their custom of gang-raping new arrivals, cf. the story inn Genesis, was just one aspect of that.)
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I don't think you understand: God made it clear that the only way he'll allow sex is if through marriage, specifically for procreation. When God banned gay sex (as he did in Leviticus), he also banned gay marriage, since the only true way to have sex is to get married.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Pardon my lack of comprehension. Go figure out what? You may be making an important point or just playfully sideswiping Israel. The central problem is the support for Israel and it nature in the Christian communities.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I thought the state of affairs I was describing was self-evidently bizarre, showing at best a highly dubious set of priorities.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I'll even go so far as to call it an example of post-modern looney liberalism and pre-modern religious totalitarianism existing side by side, while the common sense and decency that comprised the civilization of our grandparents is conspicuously lacking.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Before I discuss I need a terminology that does not irritate my pre-judings (a Burkean view of "prejudice"). Here in Germany "Fundamentaltheologie" means theology examined relative to its basic principles. Yet, "Fundamentalist" is clearly pejorative, and not only in Germany. I do not know if I am a "Fundamentalist" or not. Anyway what I am in this respect lies in the evaluative eyes of the beholder. I do not appreciate any categorizations at the moment that are pejorative when it comes to opposing the liquidation of innocents.

Now to the problem (and it is twofold): 1. I do not care if heterosexual marriage were the rare exception in Israel or not. I no more want that a "Rainbow" naition any more than a "straightest straight" (using loaded terms) nation to fall under the genocidal tendencies of an Islamic threat! On this level, atheists or theists or Christian "fundamentalists" or Christian liberals or moderate Muslims or ... anybody ad infinitum could (and should) support Israel. Put in a silly way, it is indifferent to me if Moses did or did not exist or if the primier of Israel is a married homosexual or not or A or not-A, I support Israel on humanitarian grounds!!!

2. I proudly speak of the Judeo-Christian "fundamentals" of Western culture. Note the hyphanation. The "judeo-" part is hooked up with the "christian-" part because of shared values, indeed, evolved values (I throw in Greek rationalism and Roman legalism to complete the origins of the West). If Israel is to carry the banner of "judeo-" (and not just be the place for Jewish refuge coming out of WW II) and, hence, lay claim upon my internal "christian-" values, the link must survive. I do oppose for America the "rainbow" vision. I will not defend my opposition here. However, I do admit that, if Israel should develop a cultural system fundamentally at odds with my fundamental(ist?) values, I would find it more difficult to ground support of Israel in the "judeo-" part of my values. My limited studies of religious Judaism have impressed me greatly. But religious Jews are not exactly the same as Israelis and whatever culture they may collectively produce.

This brings up the problem of "Christian" support based upon Biblical grounds. Mrs. Robinson, you have highlighted a problem that I have not seen (though I have seen some Israeli films where homosexuality is "normal"). I cannot speak for "Christians", whatever their -ism may be. If a Christian concludes that the "judeo-ism) in the Israeli-ism of Israel is at odds with his/her "fundamental" beliefs, I cannot fault said Christian for a lessened support of Israel based on theology. --I announce here that I refuse to say the "Pledge of Allegiance" to the US as it is too heathen for me. But, nevertheless, I support its defense.-- Back to Point 1. The support of Israel by Christians should entail more than a theological evaluation, though that can be a really emotionalizing factor. This is the point of Point 1.

Finally, given the emotinalism of human nature, I doubt that my Points 1 and 2 have any real relevance to what is happening in the feelings of Christians.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"If Israel is to carry the banner of "judeo-" (and not just be the place for Jewish refuge coming out of WW II) and, hence, lay claim upon my internal "christian-" values, the link must survive."

Well said. If it does not-- the Islamists that surround them will engulf the area. In my opinion, this is worse than the horrors of WWII.

Although, I don't support gay marriage--nor do I support the flaunting of any sexuality in the streets, I would not withdraw my support for a free nation, because some in it use that freedom to sin.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You may have misunderstood me. "Allegiance", particularly as a voluntary pledge, comes from the depth of each single individual. The US has moved towards a secularized culture >> secularizing state. The move is, in many cases, too extreme for my moral senstitivities. From my mother I received the beautiful gift of "love" for my country, a love that was based upon my mother's understanding of American culture and Constitution and passed on to me. She was born in 1898 and still manifested the pioneer spirit. I find myself so alienated from the HHS mandated killer abortion practices, from the over sexualized culture (shown in movies and tv and exemplified in the homosexualization of the country) and so full of many "religious" (sic) people who do not correspond to my religiosity to the point of alienation, not to mention the disease of atheism. So, I feel ALEINATED and that alienation reflects itself in my loss of a sense of allegiance. This not to be confused with lack apprreciation for the value of freedom, wealth and security I have from America (though Obama is weakening all these values), though I no longer live in the states and do not want to return. A lost "love" is painful.

Finally, in the Pledge we pledge ourselves to "one nation, INDIVISIBLE ..." We are the UNITED StateS of America, not the INDIVIDUAL State of America. The author of the pledge was a socialistic Christian, I beleive. Any form of socialism is collectivistic and hence prefers an INDIVIDUAL national structure to unions of diversity UNITED.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Finally, in the Pledge we pledge ourselves to "one nation, INDIVISIBLE ..." We are the UNITED StateS of America, not the INDIVIDUAL State of America. The author of the pledge was a socialistic Christian, I beleive. Any form of socialism is collectivistic and hence prefers an INDIVIDUAL national structure to unions of diversity UNITED."

There's no such thing as a Socialistic Christian. Its either that they are Atheists/Agnostics, or they are Christians, with Socialism being firmly in the former. Need I remind you that all of the Socialist countries that have ever appeared since at least Karl Marx officially founded the ideology was blatantly atheistic, possibly even as far back as the French Revolution, which was explicitly atheistic (as seen when they massacred a lot of Christians simply because they were Christian and believed in God), all thanks to Rousseau, Voltaire and Sade (whom I call the triumvirate of madness) and their psychopathic views? Heck, most Socialists who are so-called Christians are either ignorant, or are actually using Christianity as a mask to tear Christianity down from within (see Cornel West's ideas on religion and how the Wachowski Brothers hired him for the Matrix Reloaded because his works inspired them, and all three vowed for the movie to "deliver a devastating twist to salvation myths.").
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Finally, in the Pledge we pledge ourselves to "one nation, INDIVISIBLE ..." We are the UNITED StateS of America, not the INDIVIDUAL State of America. The author of the pledge was a socialistic Christian, I beleive. Any form of socialism is collectivistic and hence prefers an INDIVIDUAL national structure to unions of diversity UNIT"

Interesting-- I need to think on that a bit.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Do we not say "ex pluribus unum"? This is at odds with "individual",
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Actually, though I can't necessarily speak for the rest of my Christian brethren as they're all different in their views, my problem isn't simply that they are supporting Gay Marriage despite us Christians being against it. It's that the Israelis are supporting Gay Marriage despite Judaism, their state religion and their ethnicity, explicitly stating that Gay Marriage is not only not to be supported or practiced at all, but was even explicitly stated by God himself to be an abomination. Now, if this had been India and Hinduism, then while I might not like it if they supported Gay Marriage, they don't actually support God anyways, so while bad, there's not much to do outside of conversion. When people who are directly aligned with God (ie, Judaism, Christianity, heck, even Islam to some extent) are breaking the laws God himself created, that's an even worse problem. The Jewish people also don't believe in Jesus' resurrection, and has had a history of persecuting us for even believing Jesus was the messiah, so for them to actually, repeatedly destroy the laws God himself had laid down during their exodus from Egypt (especially if one takes the view that Christians can ignore Leviticus and Deuteronomy all they please as some Christians seem to incorrectly infer) is extremely disturbing.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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