On the October 5th edition of Bill Moyers Journal had a story about the group Christians United for Israel (CUFI) that is lead by televangelist Pastor John Hagee. In a recent seminar in Washington DC Hagee advocated a pre-emptive strike against Iran. The Journal story showed that the confluence of Christian Zionism and a President who never passed up an opportunity to advance religious based foreign policy is a danger not only to the world but to the Jews.
JOHN HAGEE: What we are trying to say to them is that a) we want you to continue your support for the State of Israel. Secondly, we want you to recognize that Iran is a clear and present danger to the United States of America and Israel. And we support Senator Joseph Lieberman, that it’s time for our country to consider a military preemptive strike against Iran if they will not yield to diplomacy. And if they continue the pursuit of nuclear weapons we must not allow them to manipulate the economy of the world because they have a nuclear weapon.
JOHN HAGEE, SEPTEMBER 11, 2005: As we speak Iran is building nuclear weapons…
BILL MOYERS: For John Hagee, what happens in Iran is not just a matter of politics — it’s also a matter of theology. His study of biblical prophecy has led him to believe that Iran will figure prominently in the end times – the apocalypse and the return of Jesus.
JOHN HAGEE, SEPTEMBER 11, 2005: Iran will use those weapons on Israel. Anyone who is smart enough to wave bye-bye knows that.
BILL MOYERS: In his book JERUSALEM COUNTDOWN, he writes, “Iran with nuclear weapons will transform the Bush administration’s roadmap for peace program into a racetrack to Armageddon.”
BILL MOYERS: From his reading of the Bible he lays out a scenario predicting that if Israel and America attack Iran, Russia and its allies — including Iran — will attack Israel, triggering Ezekiel’s War. God will crush the invading forces as – quote – “he crushed Pharaoh, Haman, and Hitler so that Israel and the world ‘shall know that I am the Lord.'” says John Hagee, the battle of Armageddon will follow.
JOHN HAGEE, SEPTEMBER 11, 2005: They intend to bring that bomb online and if they use it, you think gas is high now. Life as we know it is going to change instantly and forever and I’m telling you, you need to get your life ready to meet the son of God in all his glory. It’s going to happen, it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen.
CONGREGATION: Clap, clap, clap!
JOHN HAGEE: There are going to be people in this tribulation period who do not take
But what Hagee and CUFI fail to promote is that according to the Bible, Jews who don’t convert to Christianity will be cast into hell. As Dr. Timothy Weber and Rabbi Michael Lerner pointed out during the discussion after the film:
DR. TIMOTHY WEBER: Dispensationalism is a particular way of reading Bible prophecy which divides the Bible into two stories. There’s a story about God’s earthly people, Israel. And then a story about God’s heavenly people, the Church. And the basic premise of dispensationalism is that all Bible prophecies concerning earthly events applies to the Jews. And all of those events will be fulfilled literally in the End Times. So, Israel must be returned to the land. They must stay in the land. Without Israel in the land, there can be none of the other events prophesied in the Bible. There can be no rise of Anti-Christ. There can be no rebuilding of the Temple. There can be no Battle of Armageddon. And there can be no second coming of Jesus Christ. So everything is riding on the Jews, getting them there and keeping them there in the Holy Land.
RABBI MICHAEL LERNER: But I think– but what you have to add in there is that when this is a step in the process that they see towards the end of end times in which the Jews will be cast down into eternal damnation and to the fires of hell. And only those Jews who convert to Christianity will be okay. And everyone — all the rest of us so they’re welcoming us now — with open arms and saying, “Oh, we love the Jewish people” But they love the Jewish people literally to death because they they want see those of us who stay Jews burn in hell but not– not right away. They don’t imagine it will happen right away. So there’s a staged process. And this is the first stage in the process that will eventually lead either to us converting totally to Christianity or burning in hell. So it’s not a really great future for the Jews that those theological people have in mind.
Basically CUFI’s support of Israel is in fact their way of bringing about the rapture and conflict with Iran is but another version of that effort. Before that was Libya and before that the old USSR and so on and so on.
Lest we just dismiss them as crack pot we should know that many people in the Republican and religious conservative movement support CUFIs efforts. At the conference in July, Senator John McCain, Senator Joe Liberman, House Republican Whip Roy Blunt, and former speaker Newt Gingrich attended and President Bush sent a supportive letter read by Pastor Hagee. The leadership of CUFI include Gary Bauer, Michael Little, President and Chief Operating Officer The Christian Broadcasting Network, and Pastor Rod Parsley from Columbus, Ohio, who is part of a religious right group called The Arlington Group
It makes sense that the neo-con/religious right people would latch on to a group that supports its “Israel is always right” frame of mind.
The downside is such a convergence won’t be the rapture. Potentially millions could be killed if a larger war breaks out in the region. Another needless war to satisfy the religious death wish of zealots.
And the difference between Christian and Muslim extremists is…..????