samedi, mai 25, 2013

Christians can be faithful without being domineering

I didn't start the series on Israel wanting to write about Christian Zionism. In fact, when I heard John Hagee a few years ago being interviewed on Fresh Air, I got mad at Terry Gross for interviewing him (why does she always choose these fringe Christians, right or left?) Hagee is a lighting rod, and he says outrageous things.

But I don't this he is a "fringe Christian."  In fact, Hagee's theological perspective, refined and altered a bit for popular consumption, can be discovered lurking in many mainline and evangelical churches.

Christians often seem to either ignore the Hebrew Scriptures, or to treat them as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Christian Gospel.  It's understandable for historical reasons, but not particularly helpful for dialogue.

Haim Beliak, creator of the hilariously named "Jews on First" website, would like to see theology take a backseat to conversations about land-sharing between Jews and Palestinians. To do that, Americans need to own their part in supporting the Christian Zionist perspective here, and how it influences American government policy.

Can we leach religious rhetoric and assumptions out of peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians? Perhaps not. But at least we can be aware of our assumptions, and try to get out of the way.

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