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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.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks 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.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is why there are really tight vetting procedures for personnel allowed access to the Smite buttons.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (53)
All Comments   (53)
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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.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Your weltenschaung is out of line with the historical facts. Men of "common sense and decency" do not allow such as WWi and WWII to happen. And yes, God is a totalitarian. He and He alone, calls the shots. There is not even a whisper of democracy in Divine Providence. Why? Because men are often very wrong, and God never is.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
There was a comment below that Israel allowed gay marriage whatever your views on this, IT IS NOT ACCURATE!
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Firts, evangelicals might want to get lined up with Scripture and see that simple trust saves no one. Men must love, ICor.16.22, and obey, Heb.5.9, Jesus Christ to be saved. And, when men sin deliberately, Heb.10.26, they separate themselvs from God and from salvation. Also, Gods' gift of the land to the Israelites was conditioned on their obedience; which was not forthcoming. The promise was fulfilled, then lost by disobedience. Now its up for grabs, the high cost of disobeying God, and rejecting His Son. Israel spits in our Lord's face just as blasphemously as does Iran and the Palestinians.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks 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?
48 weeks ago
48 weeks 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.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks 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?
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
The answer is, One of their number, Barack Obama, proponent of sodomy, homosexual marriages and Chicago bath houses.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks 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.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks 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.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks 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.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks 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.

48 weeks ago
48 weeks 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.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks 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.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks 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.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks 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).
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Who says we're supporting it?
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
That's what the article seems to imply, anyways.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks 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.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks 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.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks 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.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
But God is perfect, Mt.5.48; therefore perfect in both justice and mercy; hence the cross. The Law of Christ, Gal.6.2; I Cor.9.21, is a law of Love., Lk.10.25-28; filled with mercy for those who repent, Lk.13.3,5. Are you invoking selfdestruction?
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is why there are really tight vetting procedures for personnel allowed access to the Smite buttons.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Except for the amoral sociopath in the White House?
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Ok. So I really did laugh out loud Swami on that one. Thanks! "Smite buttons"
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Smite buttons". What a concept...
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
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