On Thursday, Young Turks host Cenk Uygur used Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-Minn.) anti-Semitism scandal to spread hate against evangelical Christians. As the House of Representatives debated a resolution condemning anti-Semitism, he blamed Christians for “the REAL anti-Semitism.”
“You know what’s REAL anti-semitism? Right-wing Evangelical Christians supporting Israel because they think it will bring about the End Times where all of the Jews die,” Uygur tweeted. “Worst anti-Semitism in the world!”
You know what's REAL anti-semitism? Right-wing Evangelical Christians supporting Israel because they think it will bring about the End Times where all of the Jews die. Worst anti-Semitism in the world!
— Cenk Uygur (@cenkuygur) March 7, 2019
Many Christians believe that the establishment of the Jewish state of Israel in 1948 has some connection to the End Times, but they do not believe that “all of the Jews die.” In fact, Romans 11 prophesies that the Jews will believe in Jesus and be saved.
Whatever Christians think about the End Times, they support Israel for the same reasons President Donald Trump moved the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem: Israel is a strong Western democracy and an important U.S. ally in the Middle East. Organizations like Christians United For Israel (CUFI) make this very clear.
“More than a pragmatic alliance, the close friendship between our countries is based on shared democratic values,” CUFI says of the alliance between the U.S. and Israel. “The Judeo-Christian worldview emphasizes personal freedom, universal civil rights and places a deep value on all human life. This is the value system upon which America was founded and it is reflected in Israel’s vibrant society. Support for Israel has historically been one of the only issues that generates consistent bipartisan agreement amongst elected officials.”
Evangelical Christians are far from anti-Semitic, but anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial is rife in the Muslim world. Indeed, that’s one of the reasons why Omar’s use of anti-Semitic tropes is so dangerous. Liberals wasted no time in slamming Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) for “dog whistles” to white supremacy — some of which are very troubling — but many of them hesitate to condemn Omar’s disgusting nods to anti-Semitism.
When Uygur sent his disgusting tweet, conservative YouTuber Mark Dice told him to “stop spreading Christianphobia.”
Fear and distrust of Christians is indeed a growing problem in the U.S. In the book So Many Christians, So Few Lions: Is There Christianophobia in the United States? sociology professors George Yancey and David Williamson painstakingly document the presence of bias against conservative Christians, proving that it is as real as animus against Muslims and Jews.
It is important to note that anti-Christian animus is directed toward conservative Christians, and has a clear political slant. Conservative positions on marriage, family, and abortion are specifically targeted — since these positions seem to threaten the secular Left’s push on abortion and LGBT issues.
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) pushes exactly this kind of Christianophobia by demonizing dissent on various liberal issues. Indeed, the SPLC even quoted the Catechism of the Catholic Church in marking the Catholic nonprofit the Ruth Institute a “hate group.” If the SPLC were to be consistent, it would have to mark the entire Catholic Church a “hate group.”
This anti-Christian animus drives Democrat-aligned senators to launch witch hunts against President Trump’s nominees, applying a de facto religious test for public office. A similar automatic hatred of conservatives drove many media outlets to demonize the Covington High School boys who attended the March for Life and wore “Make America Great Again” hats.
Similar outrage followed the news that Vice President Mike Pence’s wife Karen has gone back to teaching at a Christian school that follows the Bible’s sexual morality against LGBT activism. The “Expose Christian Schools” movement is a strong concrete example of Christianophobia.
None of this is to deny that LGBT people face real struggles in America today. Americans need to treat all people with dignity and respect, and that includes historically marginalized groups.
Many liberals, however, assume that because conservatives disagree with their preferred ways of ostensibly helping these groups, conservatives must hate black people, women, LGBT people, and others. This gut reaction against political opponents is natural, but it is still bigotry.
Cenk Uygur should be ashamed of himself.
Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.