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Mideast action at U.N. casts spotlight on Christian Zionism
Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry says his Christianity commands him to support Israel.
September 23rd, 2011
08:12 AM ET

Mideast action at U.N. casts spotlight on Christian Zionism

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - As the Palestinians push for statehood recognition this week at the United Nations, perhaps no group has spoken out more against the gambit - or has been more outspokenly supportive of Israel - than Christian Zionists.

"As a Christian I have a clear directive to support Israel," Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry said in New York on Tuesday, after delivering a speech blaming the U.N. and President Barack Obama for the Palestinian statehood push.

A U.S.-based group called Christians United for Israel, meanwhile, this week organized a campaign of more than 45,000 e-mails of support to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"As you stand before the representatives of so many hostile nations," the e-mails said, "we want you to know that you are not alone!"

The Christian Zionist drumbeat against the Palestinian statehood push at the U.N. has grown so loud that some prominent Christians penned an "Open Letter to America's Christian Zionists," arguing that the movement is damaging prospects for Mideast peace.

While it's clear that they are becoming increasingly importantly players in the global debate over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, what is less clear to many Americans is exactly who Christian Zionists are and what they believe.

Even many American and Israeli Jews, who would presumably welcome a group that emphatically supports Jews and the Jewish state - some Christian Zionists go so far as to celebrate Jewish holidays and to make repeatedly trips to Israel - are uneasy about Christian Zionist support.

Some Jews wonder whether evangelicals should be embraced as allies at a time of growing Israeli isolation or shunned as covert proselytizers interested in the Jewish state only for its perceived role in provoking Jesus' second coming.

Some prominent Christian Zionists promote the idea that the Jews' return to Israel, which became a Jewish state in 1948, is a sign of the fast-approaching Rapture, when the righteous will ascend to heaven while others are left behind.

The Rapture, many evangelicals believe, will usher in an apocalyptic period that will culminate in Jesus' return. And some Christians believe that keeping Israel in Jewish hands will help expedite that end-times scenario.

These Christians, called dispensationalists because they believe history is divided into different eras, or dispensations, "believe the Jews need to go back to the land of Israel before or immediately after the Rapture and create a commonwealth," said Yaakov Ariel, a religious studies professor at the University of North Carolina.

"This is not believed to be the great Davidic Kingdom that would be ushered in by Jesus' second coming," Ariel said of the Jewish state, "but it is a stepping stone in that direction. Dispensationalists believe they can help pave the way for that."

Activists, academics and religious believers disagree about how influential this kind of apocalyptic thinking is in factoring into Christian support for Israel.

A growing number of prominent Republican figures, including Perry, presidential candidate Michele Bachmann, and former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, have couched support for Israel in ways that place them in the Christian Zionism camp, say those who study the movement.

That includes David Brog, Executive Director of Christians United for Israel, the biggest American Christian Zionist group, who says that even Mitt Romney, a Mormon, can probably be described as a Christian Zionist.

At the same time, Brog argues that Christian support for Israel has little to do with a perceived role for the Jewish state in provoking Jesus' return.

"Many Christians think the birth of Israel is a sign that we may be nearing the second coming, but it has nothing to do with their support for Israel," he said. "These Christians know they can't change God's timetable."

"It's theologically impossible for Christians to change God's timetable," for the end times and for Jesus' second coming, he said.

Brog, who is Jewish, says most evangelical support is based on Abraham's words in the Old Testament that those who bless Israel will be blessed and that those who curse Israel will be cursed.

And Brog believes that Christian sympathy to the millennia-old struggles of Jews, from their harsh treatment under Roman rule to the Holocaust, has provoked a kind of Christian guilt that has resulted in support for certain Jewish causes.

"A strong theme in Christian Zionism is a sense of a debt of gratitude that has been ill repaid," says Brog, whose organization counts 750,000 members. "The Jewish people have given us the patriarchs and the first family of Mary and Joseph and every written word of the Bible, and how have we repaid that debt?"

"With the crusades and the Inquisition and Martin Luther, who wrote this horrific anti-Semitic book."

But the founder and National Chairman of Christians United for Israel, a Texas-based evangelist named John Hagee, has written Israel-centered books that hinge on apocalyptic themes, with titles like "Jerusalem Countdown" and "Final Dawn Over Jerusalem."

Ariel, the University of North Carolina professor, says that Hagee, along with Christian Right leaders like Pat Robertson and the late Jerry Falwell, have all framed support for Israel in the context of apocalyptic theology.

Christian Zionism first caught on in the United States around the turn of the 20th century, when fundamentalists reasserted the literal truth of the Bible in the face of new, science-inspired ways of reading Scripture.

Those fundamentalists - the forbears of today's evangelicals - began identifying the biblical Israel with the modern notion of a Jewish state.

Shalom Goldman, a research professor of religion at Duke University, says American Christian identification with Israel goes back even further, to America's founding, when the country was seen as a historical exception, a kind of modern-day Israel, or Zion.

"Israel is the metaphor by which America created itself," Goldman said. "So many American churches incorporate the word Zion, and it has to do with the self-concept of America."

Goldman argues that it's this broader historical and cultural identification with Israel that underlies Christian Zionism. He estimates that a more apocalyptic view of Israel explains the thinking of a small fraction of Christian Zionists.

"Right now, Christian Zionism is identified with the ideology of the end times but it's not an accurate identification," he said. "The idea is so sexy and sensational that it gets all the attention but it's a small segment of Christians."

Still, many Jews are queasy about evangelical support for Israel because they believe Christians have ulterior motives.

"There's an uneasiness in the community with evangelical support," said Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League.

But Foxman said that he has made his peace with Christian Zionism. "As long as the support is not conditioned on American Jewish support for the conservative Christian political agenda or on us converting,," he said," they can be my guest."

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Israel • Politics

soundoff (462 Responses)
  1. Realist

    I hope the large hadron collider finds out something useful, like life without a God, so the world can stop killing each other in the name of delusional insanity.

    September 23, 2011 at 11:10 am |
    • love peace justice

      And the LORD said to him, Call his name Jezreel; for yet a little while, and I will avenge the blood of Jezreel on the house of Jehu, and will cause to cease the kingdom of the house of Israel.

      Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great shall be the day of Jezreel.

      September 23, 2011 at 11:32 am |
  2. Son of the Most High God

    "Are you not as the sons of Ethiopia to Me, O sons of Israel?" declares the LORD. "Have I not brought up Israel from the land of Egypt, And the Philistines from Caphtor and the Arameans from Kir?

    September 23, 2011 at 11:08 am |
    • love peace justice

      AMEN.

      September 23, 2011 at 11:11 am |
  3. andy

    The Bible is always subject to interpretation. The book of Romans states something like Christ's salvation is first for the Jew then for the Gentile. What these people are talking about is not salvation but trying to manipulate God into hastening his coming. Even Jesus says that he doesn't know the day or hour.
    When I was "saved" into Christianity I was under the impression that the church wasn't about political agenda but setting "the captives free" concerning sin. I was told that the bible is the manual for life... Now I really don't know if Christianity or Judaism is a completely accurate view of God. I hope one day I can have a clearer picture of who God really is, until then I just need to live life the best I can.

    September 23, 2011 at 11:08 am |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      @ andy,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,"I hope one day I can have a clearer picture of who God really is, until then I just need to live life the best I can."

      GOD is not only the "awareness of" but is also the "Physical Cosmos" and our universe is but one physical structure of immeasurable physical structures begetting GOD, the Cosmos. For, this Cosmos is yet as an infant who is yet in its' fullness. The King of all GOD's Sons has longingly been the debauched criticisms and witticisms of this celestial realm's denying and even believing people. Many are simple minded and go about their days doing this thing or working for that.

      The contemplations and meditations surrounding godliness' principalities are held symptomatically as mainly emotional needs and only a few of us can fathom the depths of GOD, Gods and the godliness of manhoods and womanhoods and childhoods. We are individually an aloneness and even though we socialize we are still alone and beside and inside ourselves. Nothing can be done to intermingle ourslves in an allness of universalism except by drawn out measures of mental exchanges, yet, we are still alone and inside ourselves.

      1Cr 3:9 “For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building.”

      In concentrated understandings we are but "buildings" wherein a solitary God dwells within each building, the body of oneness. He, the body's one God has many family members and subjects and servants under Him as are all of Godly buildings so built and in residencies of God and His kindled masses.

      My body's God is not your body's God and so on and so on ad infinitum. GOD, the Cosmos awaits any Celestial Life's death and in passing; does GOD become reacquainted with His held captive generations of Godliness Beings who live inside us. The very first Son of GOD who did eventually become Christ Jesus was so born onto mankind to pay the ultimate price for ALL Celestial Based Life's sinful attonements and in Christ's ultimate sacrifice is ALL Celestial Life and Forms of life delivered into an everlasting life/death onto life/death living arrangement thru the eternalness of Time.

      Luk 17:21 "Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is inside/within you."

      Love one another and do good works toward each other and in Time your works will be rewarded in accordance to your deeds and words.

      September 23, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
    • c

      Andy- There is a difference between having Faith in God and having a religious belief system. God is not about politics, customs, or any form of group dynamics or man centered explanation of history. God's commandments to us are about love , hope and respect in spite of our difference's. Andy- Jesus didn't say he didn't know the hour of His coming- he said We will not know the hour of His coming. We are to stay prepared through faith and prayer and understanding that He will be the only person to pass judgement to reward or punish us. We don't decide what the sin is. He will.

      September 23, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
  4. Conservative

    Read about the Byzantine Empire. Read what the Muslims did to that civilizations. Byzantium was once a world superpower like the US. If you don't watch out, we could be the next Byzantium, destroyed and forced to become a Muslim nation (today modern Turkey).

    Byzantium was made up of Greeks and Romans. How many Greeks and Romans do you see in Turkey today? Exactly. Muslim ethnic genocide at its finest.

    September 23, 2011 at 11:07 am |
  5. Son of the Most High God

    “Will the real Israel please stand up?”

    September 23, 2011 at 11:05 am |
    • misha

      “Will the real Israel please stand up?”

      Will the real Slim Shady please stand up?

      September 23, 2011 at 11:21 am |
  6. Conservative

    Wake up Idiots... The Muslims want all white people dead or converted to Islam. If giving a chance, they would destroy US, UK, France, Germany, Russia, Poland, etc.

    They tried to throughout history. The Ottomans drove all the way to Vienna before beings top in 1699. The Crusades stopped the Muslims from taking Constantinople in 1096. Arabs also tried to take Constantinople in 800. Arabs invaded Italy in 865. Arabs invaded France and were stopped at Tours by Charles Martel in 700s.

    If we don't destroy them, they will destroy us. Don't side with the Muslims. Side with Israel our democratic ally.

    September 23, 2011 at 11:04 am |
    • Aussie

      The agenda of CNN is to attack the God of the Bible, and to discredit the word of God.

      The atheists ofcourse are playing into its hand.

      The non Christians ofcourse has its own agenda.

      The discerning reader can clearly see through these deceitful articles.

      September 23, 2011 at 11:14 am |
    • Novel

      And you are a christian zionist

      September 23, 2011 at 11:17 am |
    • misha

      "The Crusades stopped the Muslims from taking Constantinople in 1096."

      Most Crusades ended in pogroms. Oh, and the Children's Crusade? They were all sold into slavery.

      September 23, 2011 at 11:24 am |
    • c

      Your historical analysis is a bit faulty- White people i.e the Romans, Greeks later the Brits, French, Italians, Germans, Russian's etc and more recently the United States has interferred/manipulated events in the Middle East for centuries. We ; us and the Muslim's all have blood on our hands. I am as loyal American as you may be; but we can be a bit ignorant or naive when it comes to defending our very selective understanding of world events.
      As they have for Islam, we in the name of our brand of collective misguidance have created much havoc in the world.
      The white man brought slavery and death to the indigeneous inhabitants to the new world; killing millions in many coutries. Do you really think we wil go unpunished. We might be able to redeem oursleves if we at least acknowledge our own evil; rather pointing out everybody elses' as if we are the only innocent's; If you really love this country.

      September 23, 2011 at 11:27 am |
    • c

      Lord have Mercy!

      September 23, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
    • c

      Conservative- have you ever noticed that some Muslims are extremely light skinned, they look like white people. This is a rhetorical question; don't try to answer it.

      September 23, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
  7. d cleveland

    I'm so tired of being held hostage to the views of these religious fools regardless of faith.....so much for separation of church and state.

    September 23, 2011 at 11:02 am |
    • Phil Russ

      hi d.c., well, (1) you are unaware if what "separation of church and state" really is - please take time to seek to learn the meaning of the phrase by spending 5 minutes of reading time, and (2) which religion are you speaking of - Jews? Christians? or the staunchly religious Muslims who so strongly seek statehood?

      September 23, 2011 at 11:10 am |
  8. Mike

    The last time someone tried to combine the old and new testaments (at least that I know of) we got the jehovahs witnesses.
    wether its judaism, christianity or muslim or whatever, they are all designed to control and brainwash.

    September 23, 2011 at 11:00 am |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      Republicans and Democrats "control" the minds of their followers by subversionisms where confusion is their "main" propogandst tool. Who knows what evil lurks in the minds of politicians? 🙁

      At least with GOD, it's an open and shut book! 🙂

      September 23, 2011 at 11:11 am |
  9. Conservative

    This media article has it totally off-based. Christians support Israel because Israel is the only democratic nation in a region full of Facist Muslims. Also Christians don't forget that Muslims murdered millions of Christians throughout the Middle Ages to this present time and conquered most of the Middle East from Christian Byzantium.

    September 23, 2011 at 10:57 am |
    • Agreedo

      Good Points. Conservative!

      September 23, 2011 at 11:02 am |
    • Realist

      Yeah, it's unfortunate when people fight back against oppressors isn't it? The crusades still happened you know.......

      September 23, 2011 at 11:06 am |
  10. Jeetu

    I am surprised that we Americans who believe in democracy and its spread in the world won't support co-existence of Israel and Palenstine side-by-side. Each side has a fundamental right to exist and therefore to have their own State. For us to object to that is to show that we do not believe in democratic principles.

    Israel attached in 1967 and took the territory away from Palenstine and have built on that land. Now they say that giving away that land would cause them problems. This is like saying that I cannot give back the property I borrowed from my neighbor as I am using it in my daily routine. Clearly, Israel is wrong in this instance. If we want to be friends with Israel, we should let Israel know about it and ask that it change its ways. Peace in that region requires constraints on both sides, not just one and to keep on insisting that Palenstine has no right to exist is fundamentally wrong and against American principles.

    Also, all republicans candidates are wrong abhout it; religion and pilitics should not be mixed together, espeically in foriegn policy areas.

    September 23, 2011 at 10:57 am |
    • Conservative

      Palestinian Muslims and their Arab brothers stole all those lands plus Turkey, Jordan, Syria, Libya, Egypt, and Tunisia from the Byzantine Empire in 650-700 AD. Maybe the Muslims will give all those lands back to the Christians? Sounds fair.

      September 23, 2011 at 11:01 am |
    • patts

      So Conservative, by your thought process, should we all move back to Europe so we can give back the land we took from the Indians (they were here first you know...)

      September 23, 2011 at 11:17 am |
    • Alan

      I'm against continued Israeli expansion of settlements, but on its face, the argument that they need to go back to pre-1967 borders doesn't exactly make sense, when they weren't the ones that started that war.

      September 23, 2011 at 11:17 am |
    • ann

      No, Arabs were amassing Armies to attach Israel from all sides in 1967 and Israel won a defensive war. No land was taken from Palestinians, the land was held until then by Egypt and Jordan. If that land belonged to Palestinians, than why didn't their Arab brethren give it back to them in all those years up until 1967? They didn't because there was no people called Palestinians (its a term made up by Romans to describe Jews living in the land of Palestine.) For thousands of years before 1948 there were Jews living in the lands now known as Israel, including in the century proceeding the creation of the modern state of Israel. When the British Mandate creating Israel, (and Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, etc, with the breaking up of the Ottoman empire) a separate state was also offered to Arabs who were ALSO living in those areas. But none of the Arab countries wanted ANY Jews to have their own state so rather than accepting land along side Jews, they refused to recognize ANY Jewish homeland, and turned down the two state solution. Instead the Arabs countries throughout the region ethnically cleansed their indigenous Jewish populations, over 650,000 Jews had all their land (in Tunisia, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Iran & Iraq) and all their processions confiscated from them and were forced to move to tiny Israel. Jews lost land over 6-7 times the size of Modern Israel (in the middle east, not to even mention what happened to Jews in Europe.) In 1967 when Egypt then kicked out all its Jewish citizens, again, some Jewish refugees went to Israel, some to went to America. But somehow in all the history of the world, the only indigenous people who never "accept" the results of war, are Palestinians, whose "cause" is an excuse for Arab hatred of Jews and to hide their own outrageous muslim on muslim and Arab genocide – happening for decades and totally dwarfing any other oppression in the region. America supports Israel, because Israel has the legitimate right to a country that is secure within its borders... History shows us that "land for peace" doesn't work! Israel, in a defensive war captured all of the Sinai Peninsula – and handed it back in Land for Peace deals. If Egypt breaks the treaties, Israel should take it back. When will the double standards against Israel cease? Or should Bangladesh be given back, too? Etc.

      September 23, 2011 at 11:24 am |
    • c

      The Following are excerpts from the Naturai Kartai official web site- they are Orthodox Jews who live all over the world. They are also persecuted and considered traitor's by Zionist Jews in Israel. Perry and all the so-called Christians are sorely misguided by their false interpretations of the Bible.

      "ACCORDING TO THE JEWISH FAITH AND TORAH LAW THE JEWISH PEOPLE ARE FORBIDDEN TO HAVE THEIR OWN STATE WHILE AWAITING THE MESSIANIC ERA!
      The Creator gave us the Holy Land thousands of years ago. Yet, when we sinned, He took it away and sent us into exile. Since that time our task is to wait for Him to send the Messiah. At that time, the Creator alone, without any human being lifting a hand or saying a word, will bring us together and take us out of exile. He will likewise establish universal peace among all mankind and all will serve Him in good will.
      Some religious Jews, confused by Zionist propaganda quote Biblical verses that state that G-d gave the children of Israel the Holy Land. They overlook, unfortunately, those verses which say that He took it away due to our sins. They further ignore those prophecies which explicitly describe the last exile's conclusion as a Divine, not a human process. "

      The Karta understands that the Jews and the Muslims are children of two different mothers and the same father and should be treated the same; especially when it comes to living on the land they are killing each other for thousands of years. Whether you are a Christian or not- read the Book and decide for yourself. I've been following the Karta for years and have come to think these people have a point.

      September 23, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
  11. Dave

    I don't understand Governor Perry's Christian alleged absolute mandate to support Israel. Support, sure, even to the death if an individual decision absent selective draft, but not an unquestioned acceptance any government that runs modern democratic Israel. Their modern pols can't be that superior to ours, and goodness knows ours have clay feet.
    Ancient Israel had at least one bad king, and a couple of others very hard on dissent. No confident scholar, I don't recall scripture that equates the ruler of ancient or modern Israel with Jewish law, either, except for the obvious exception of greatest, Moses and his family. In fact, it seem like prophets were always going down to the palace and sounding off about mismanagement. Even David had his sin, bloody hands from his order killing a loyal innocent, and critics. Some of the Tribes called him out on his abandonment of combat for Palace life, essentially saying if we suffer the deaths in a war of conquest unassisted, we own the property. No dummy, David saddled up.
    So no,rejection of MODERN Israeli government policy depending on democratic imperatives after each election or vote isn't anti-semitic or un-Christian, and acceptance isn't mandated. The idea is absurd.
    If the report is accurate, it disqualifies Perry I bet it isn't accurate, even though I'm sure tired of Texan presidents. Maybe the author exaggerated Perry's "Zionist" position, or dropped a word modifier.

    September 23, 2011 at 10:56 am |
  12. Needhelp

    Isreal is NOT a nation or a country with a government. Isreal is God's people. Christians confuse this often with their support of Israel. If Israelis are not "born again" then they are no longer God's people because they have not kept their promise to God. If you are a Christian then you are a Jew because you have become His (Grafted into the Tree as Paul says). It bothers me that Amercian Christians throw so much support to a group of people that don't even have a relationship with God. Less than 1 in 4 people who live in Israel even participate in their religion.

    September 23, 2011 at 10:54 am |
    • Conservative

      Doesn't matter. Why do you support Palestine which is Arabs that murdered Christians and stole all those lands from the Byzantine Empire. Palestinians also burn US flags and threaten death on Americans.

      I say stick with Israel not the murdering muslims.

      September 23, 2011 at 10:58 am |
    • nympha

      If you read throughout the Bible, you would see that God still called the Jews His chosen people even when they disobeyed or were displaced. That never changed no matter when they fell away or returned to Him or fell away again. God does not change. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. We support the Jews for this reason. He doesn't give up on them, neither do we.
      In addition, the Jewish race is very specific and the geneology is also specific. If you are not Jewish, you are gentile. A Jew can be a Christian but in no way can a gentile Christian be a Jew. Simple genetics. Thus, you are very confused or deceived in your perceptions of biblical theology.

      September 23, 2011 at 11:12 am |
    • Tex71

      All this is your opinion, nothing more. You have no basis whatsoever for presenting it as truth. There are millions of other opinions that are equally valid. There are many more that have greater validity, being based on observable facts and not interpretation, conjecture, and religious tradition.

      September 23, 2011 at 11:26 am |
    • c

      If what you say is correct- how do you account for the historical fact that the Jews and Muslims have the same geneologiclal roots from the same set of parents. Abraham- Sarah and Haggar. One cannot be of God and the other not. My other question to you is who are you to decide who is 'Godly and who is not".

      September 23, 2011 at 12:13 pm |
  13. Adel

    separation of church and state fail...stupid republicans

    September 23, 2011 at 10:52 am |
  14. telhasteezee

    i think religion will bring the end of USA.. we are at the beginning of the end of a great nation that once again is getting screwed by religion. hallelijah..

    September 23, 2011 at 10:51 am |
    • Virus R

      No, the death of a nation comes from a loss of morals and an absence of religion

      September 23, 2011 at 11:13 am |
    • Tex71

      VirusR – have you been living under a rock? China gave up religion 50 years ago. They are doing better than we are at this point.

      September 23, 2011 at 11:27 am |
    • c

      No; willful ignorance will be the end of America.

      September 23, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
  15. Vulpes

    People of faith are good people until their small world view is turned upside down. The clash of reality versus their view of God's words causes never-ending stress in the world.

    September 23, 2011 at 10:51 am |
    • nympha

      hmmm...from where I sit, it sure looks like our nation was more moral and better off decades ago when religion still played an important role in peoples lives. Our nation is losing it's grip on morality and getting very dark and dirty these days. If you like it that way, than I am sad for you.

      September 23, 2011 at 11:15 am |
  16. Shovel Ready

    Wait a minute I thought all Reps and Neo-Cons are bigots and racist, so why do they support Israel and the Jews? To bring on the end of the world? Really?

    Libs claim to be enlightned and open minded of course until you start talking about Jews and Israel then their true colors come out, Oh yea they love minorities as long as they know their place, which of course is agreeing with them. Look no further than how they treat minority Rep candidates or women candiates.

    September 23, 2011 at 10:50 am |
    • SSampson

      Actually many fundamentalist Christians DO believe in that whol rapture thing..... and fundamentalists tend to bre neo-con/GOP

      As for the stated 'Leberal' view of Jews.... well, I don't know if that is accurate.... but there are a number of people that DO believe that the Israeli government is wrong in their handling of the situation – there are a number of Israelis that believe that too – a chunk of radical behaviour in Israel also comes from extremists in other countries – like the US (eg. Hebron)

      The history if Israel is vey complicated and has been whitewashed to give a specific appearance – mot Israelis are not local decendants as many people believe.... immigration has SICNIFICANTLY increased the population in Israel proper....

      Palastinians do havea claim to their land – and THAT is what many people believe – it is incorrect and obfuscation to imply that a disagreement with Israel over policy is bigotry or racism – It IS a tool, however, too often used to guilt people into opinion

      I suggest that you read a bunch of Histoy abou that area – go back at least 100 to 150 years to start with – DON'T fall into the false belief that this all started post WWII –

      Look up the Irgun for instance – see where Palestinians got their ideas from –

      I don't support the elimination of EITHER side in this battle.... unfortunately the majority of the abuse in his case is being commited by Israeli policy....abused people fight back
      '

      September 23, 2011 at 11:04 am |
  17. Giuseppe

    What a bizarre hybrid religion.

    September 23, 2011 at 10:49 am |
  18. NOT MY CHAIR

    how much longer am i going to have to deal with Religion and religious people trying to get there point heard? you believe in an invisible man that no one can see but controls everything. you believe incest is wrong unless its in a religious book! they have faith i will give them that, but i don't think I would trust them to make reasonable rational decisions on global or domestic problems

    September 23, 2011 at 10:49 am |
  19. J

    So Perry's generation, our parents generation, is going to sell ours (us 20 somethings) for some Israeli settlements and the definition of a state as Jewish. You we're so worried about leaving us with trillions in debt, yet you don't seem to care that you're throwing us to the wolves by reneging on all the (I believe, wonderful) liberal American values you've both directly and systematically crammed down our throats. It falls under those values of humanity, democracy and progress to support both an Israel and a Palestine, but along that path, our entire understanding of why and what we're doing has clearly disintegrated. I'd rather live a pauper with values than die an unfaithful hypocrite. No one lives forever, we gain immortality through how we're remembered, and we establish a strong part of that definition (that shames many of the positive things we have done as Americans) through this idiocy. Eventually, it will break down, and it will fall squarely on the backs of me and my fellow young Americans – yet somehow, we'll get through it, and we'll do a hell of a lot better job than you have or die broke and exhausted trying to regain what you pull out from under our feet.

    September 23, 2011 at 10:49 am |
  20. Kris

    These same evangelical christians love to point out that the Jews killed Jesus (forgetting that He was Jewish) and would convert them in a minute. How about a real chance for peace?

    September 23, 2011 at 10:49 am |
    • William Demuth

      Convert them?

      Having seen the Klan, and the Covenant The Sword and The Arm, as well as MANY Christian extermist groups, I can assure you from first hand knowledge, that given a chance MANY of them woukd Gas every living Jew without blinking an eye.

      Go to Bnai Brith and educate yourselves. Blacks AND Jews do not qualify as human to hundreds of thousands of them.

      September 23, 2011 at 11:12 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.

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