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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. Muneef

    Strange for me for not finding any feelings of hate towards any individual although I might say things when annoyed but will not carry any hatred in my heart...!! Although times when I feel negativeness at any point I find it is wiser to ignore just to keep heart feel light and pure from any negativity....!

    September 23, 2011 at 8:28 pm |
    • Petri Dish

      You speak wisely. Unfortuneatley, religions prefer hate over peace. "My God is better than your God" We need to move the overall intellectual capability of a growing and increasingly complex planet away from religious and class warfare to a peaceful coexistance that functions on a cloud of love and joy. Signed, Hippy Dippy

      September 23, 2011 at 9:01 pm |
    • Muneef

      How can my GOD be better than your GOD when there is only One GOD? You must be talking about those saying my Religion better than your religion?!

      September 23, 2011 at 9:11 pm |
    • SilverTrail

      Muneef, you are such a nice guy. But obviously you never experienced occasions where you feel vengeance is the most beautiful virtue in the entire universe. At those moments, you need Isa al Masih(Jesus). No other force in this world can stop you from revenging since vengeance indeed is the best virtue if mankind had no Jesus.

      September 23, 2011 at 9:24 pm |
    • John

      Muneef Bro,

      Say a little prayer to feel positive! Say a little prayer for Peace! Only Prayer changes things.

      September 23, 2011 at 9:29 pm |
    • Muneef

      Who doesn't want peace? We want peace and we keep on praying for that...but peace starts first within our selves within our souls and if can't achieve that then there will never be peace in the world...
      But let me add one thing before I go for the Fajar prayers..."Peace cannot be achieved with the weakness of any of the parties" when one is stronger and heavily backed while the other is weak and alone seeking his brothers backup and although late but at least better than never. Good Night...

      September 23, 2011 at 9:36 pm |
    • Petri Dish

      Muneef
      Do you think your concept of God is the same as all other monotheistic religions? Of course there is the religion piece, but in the end it comes down to "God loves us more than you" nanny nanny boo boo

      September 23, 2011 at 9:36 pm |
  2. Muneef

    Fine now that it is clear who transgresses against who...!

    September 23, 2011 at 8:22 pm |
    • Muneef

      Won't be surprised if the 911 was of their plan to find an excuse to conquer the MidEast...!

      September 23, 2011 at 9:03 pm |
    • SilverTrail

      Muneef, the West cannot conquer you; you have been too strong and numerous. Just stop hating Israel because God Himself will punish you if you touch Israel. You cannot turn God as your enemy and live. Read His Word, the Bible.

      September 23, 2011 at 9:19 pm |
    • Indonesian

      to much conspiracy minds in muslim interests. They always curious to others.
      Like old testament said
      "
      Gen 16:11 And the angel of Jehovah said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son; and thou shalt call his name Ishmael, because Jehovah hath heard thy affliction.
      Gen 16:12 And he shall be as a wild ass among men; his hand shall be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell over against all his brethren.
      Gen 16:13 And she called the name of Jehovah that spake unto her, Thou art a El-loh (Allah) – God that seeth: for she said, Have I even here looked after him that seeth me?
      "

      So Islam Arabs are descendant of Ishmael, and Hebrews peoples are descendant of Isaac. Islam said Ishmael is the one that Abram sacrificed but Hebrews said it was Isaac.

      September 23, 2011 at 9:43 pm |
  3. andy

    It really saddens me to know that some Jews/Christians/Muslims have hate toward other religions. I think any hidden agendas of the aforementioned religions need to come out in public so the world can see some of the hate people have. Then maybe they will see it's foolishness. I believe deep down inside that God (however you spell it). Sees us all equally.

    September 23, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
    • Petri Dish

      Andy, God does not give a hoot about our tiny little nonsence. I think we may have been a mistake he would like to ignore.

      September 23, 2011 at 9:03 pm |
  4. total nonsense

    The main question remian un anwsered: why whould you give a state to PROVEN TERRORIST GROUP? it make non sense, they need to be exterminated, not given s country.

    September 23, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
    • Tank

      Standard U.S. Policy

      September 23, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  5. David

    James V. you put your life in the hands of a pilot when you fly. A pilot that you have never even meet or seen before. Do you trust the man who packed your parachute?? How about the bus driver who takes you downtown?? It takes more faith to be an atheist. You have no absolute truth to the "God does not exist" mantra. Let's think logical now. Something from nothing does not make sense, and it never will. Truth is in Jesus Christ. He is the only one who can save man from their sins. Yours and Mine by the way..........

    September 23, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
    • Tank

      David, why do you believe in Jesus?

      September 23, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
    • Tank

      Follow up question. Modern man has walked the Earth for 200,000 years and they along fine without Jesus. How did they manage?

      September 23, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
    • herbert juarez

      @tank
      Could you provide the name of a 200,000 year old modern man?God bless

      September 23, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
    • Tank

      Hey Herbert,
      I wasn't around back then so didn't get a chance to meet anyone to get a name.

      September 23, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
    • herbert juarez

      @Well I guess your opinion was only that YOUR opinion.No proof but sounded good to you .God bless

      September 23, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
    • Tank

      Herbert, you do realize anatomically modern humans came out of Africa 200,000 years ago right?

      September 23, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
    • Tank

      Guess I lost David, maybe he has lost his faith. David, do you think Jesues was a tall white man with long hair?

      September 23, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
    • Tank

      @herbert
      Herbert, no offense by try cracking open a science book some time.

      September 23, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
    • herbert juarez

      @tank
      Now you are quoting theory as fact?You must be really amazing yourself on a regular basis!God bless

      September 23, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
    • Tank

      Herbert my friend, you are an idiot. God Bless

      September 23, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
    • herbert juarez

      @tank
      You bring up a 200,000 year old man without evidence or support,quote theory as if it was fact and then call me an idiot?Nice try nimrod.God bless

      September 23, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
    • Tank

      Herbert, I am not here to educate you. The claim is supported by good science. If you can read, you can learn about reality for yourself. If you don't want to that is up to you. Believe what you want. The supporting evidence is very easy to find. Bless God

      September 23, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
    • Tank

      Herbert, one last thing,
      I know facts don't get in the way of your beliefs, but "Nimrod" was the great-grandson of Noah. It also means "Hunter". I will go on hunting for the truth and you can go on being a brainwashed, un-education fool. God Bless God Blessing you God Blessing

      September 23, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
    • herbert juarez

      @tank
      nimrod was an evil hunter and you are not seeking truth when you use theory as fact.You do not apply good science at all but regurgitate what you've been told as fact.Try honest study for yourself and come back when you have real knowledge to talk about.God bless

      September 23, 2011 at 7:36 pm |
    • Tank

      @herbert
      You don't know any more than I do if Nimrod was Evil or not or if he even existed. Please. What I do know through thorough investigative research is that Bugs Bunny called Elmer Fudd a Nimrod. That Whascally Whabbit!

      Ironic that you would accuse me of regurgitating what I've been told as fact. What I have been "told" is backed up by scientific data. Religion BY DEFINITION is people regurgitating what they have been told as fact. Fairy Tales. God Bless Blessing God and Blessing People God Blessing Each Other

      September 23, 2011 at 8:09 pm |
    • herbert juarez

      @tank
      Whether you like it or not, the Bible is a written record of ancient times that has not been proven wrong.The Bible says nimrod was evil,that is the written record.God bless

      September 23, 2011 at 8:23 pm |
  6. Petri Dish

    Bobinator,
    Where is God?

    September 23, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
    • Petri Dish

      Johnny, maybe youknow?

      September 23, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • Petri Dish

      Does anyone know? Also, if he has His chosen people, does he also have a favorite animal? A favorite color?

      September 23, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
    • Petri Dish

      Where er er er....is God? Is He in the sky.....above? Or does he dwell within, the fabric thin, of inter-dimentional Love?

      Does he favor Jews or Gens? Does he love cows and hens? Are muslims cool or all just fools and Mohammed means nothing to Him?

      Where er er er er, Oh where er er er er.....is God?

      Where

      September 23, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
    • Tank

      He is in Malibu I believe. Nice place there on the beach.

      September 23, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
    • Petri Dish

      Excellent. Thank you Tank. Who are his chosen people?

      September 23, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
    • Tank

      He is not really fond of people. He does love fish though. Sushi.

      September 23, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  7. chris

    so wait, he is blaming the UN and President Obama for the Palestinian's push for statehood, meanwhile Obama said the U.S. will veto any effort and clearly and emphatically announced support for Israel? What the hell is Rick Perry talking about? I know he is running for president but in the global political scene right now he has no place, he is the governor of texas. sit down, shut up.

    September 23, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • Dave Davis

      No one is required to "sit down and shut up", sir. We are all Americans and we all have beliefs/opinions. Even Gov. Perry has a right to voice his thoughts. Breaks liberal hearts, I'm sure.

      September 23, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • Petri Dish

      It certainly breaks my heart but what can you do? Can't keep a dumb man down.

      September 23, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
  8. Bo

    ====================================== Is there anyone here that has a Jewish background and is willing to give me some help? ==================================

    September 23, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • Just Kidding!

      Do you need your taxes done?

      September 23, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  9. James V.

    Let me get this straight – These so-called "Christian" Zionist (who tend to be Republicans at best or Tea Party at worst) are generally ok cutting spending HERE on things like roads, schools, medical assistance for the elderly and social security (Things that actually make living in our country better for it's citizens) but are fine with sending billions upon billions of dollars to Israel because they choose to believe that their warped interpretation of passages from the CONTRADICTORY portion of their Bible (the Old and New Testaments are REALLY not very compatible) says they need to so that Jesus will come back... That's more or less what is going on here correct?

    Unbelievable. There's simply no way to make that NOT sound crazy.

    September 23, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
    • Petri Dish

      Oh but James, didn't you know God loves Israel more than his other children? Goodness how dare you.

      September 23, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • Johnny

      And what's even MORE crazy is how insane you sound to those who know the truth! Consider for a moment, I don't know, some guy, we'll call him HITLER, or hmmm, HUSSEIN, since we just make this stuff up. Is there a reason we are not conversing in German? I love the bumper sticker: If you can read, thank a teacher. If you can read in English, thank a Marine. You think Hitler and Hussein were the only ones to go after Israel? How can this little spec of a country keep coming back? And why do so many people care? Really? You can lie to yourself, but not to me.

      September 23, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
    • Johnny

      James V. Have you even read Psalm 22 or Isaiah 53? Have even researched Who you are rejecting? There is a book (in addition to the Holy Bible) for you: "I Don't Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist" You too Petri Dish. Think about it. It takes at least as much faith to reject God as it does to believe Him.

      September 23, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
    • James V.

      Dear Johnny –

      You can believe what ever you like – that's your right. But don't for a SECOND think that you have some special rights or privileges or some kind of mystical insight – you do not. And don't think I'm cool with you (and others like you) who support sending our tax dollars off on your kooky prophecy-fulfillment adventures while our nation falls apart and becomes more and more spiteful and abusive to itself. You want to see a "Christian"? Well don't look for them in the so-called "Christian" Party because not one of them practices what Jesus supposedly preached. In fact I've found that the quickest way for you to determine if someone is NOT a Christian is to simply wait for them to tell you they are.

      Good luck to you tho.

      September 23, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • Johnny

      James V: Do you believe people went to the moon? What did people do there? How much did it cost, while we were plummeting the national deficit? Do you have proof people went there? I think Hollywood made that "moon dust". They are so creative. So you are telling me you watch fictional shows on tv and then all the sudden believe people sky-rocketed to the moon, watching the same tv unit? Now who has faith? Have you touched the moon? Oh, I see, you have heard testimonies from people who have been there, on that tv of yours. Gee, sounds an awful lot like some followers of Christ.

      September 23, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • Akmad

      James V is probably Ali in disguise, these days the 'Ali's have their own covert handles!

      September 23, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • Johnny

      Dear James V.

      Don't make the grave mistake of rejecting Christ who is infallible on the basis of what very fallible people do in His name. Look at what He said, in His Word. This is why it is so very valuable.

      September 23, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      > Is there a reason we are not conversing in German?

      Yes, because the russians stuck it out and took heavy casualties to allow the US to enter the fight. If the Russians had no part, Great Britian would have been steamrolled and so would have the US in the face of a united nazzi europe.

      You speak english? Thank a russian solider.

      September 23, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • Petri Dish

      Johnny, I hate to say it and I like your passion but you are kind of an idiot.

      September 23, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • Johnny

      James V.: Would you answer the door if someone was knocking and claimed they have $10 million dollars for you? That's all this is. Jesus said He stands at the door and knocks. All I am saying is simply to research what He said, not fallible people, and what He offers you. He offers you eternal life. It's your eternal state. You can't afford not to at least see what He said. Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23, Romans 10:9, 2 Corinthians 5:17, John 1:12, John 3:16, John 14:6. It's there for you. biblegateway.org and blueletterbible.org.

      September 23, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      > Think about it. It takes at least as much faith to reject God as it does to believe Him.

      Does it take more faith to reject the claims of bigfoot then to accept them? How about leprechauns? How about invisible insubstantial unicorns?

      You're a moron and the book you list can be picked apart by someone with even an average IQ.

      September 23, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  10. Psalm for Israel

    Song of Asaph-Psalm 83

    September 23, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • Courage

      O Israel, God is with you, be courageous!!!!

      September 23, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
    • Petri Dish

      Oh Isreal, shut up and go away and/or go kill people or whatever it is you do.

      September 23, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
  11. Chad

    Curious what the real source of middle east conflict is?

    Ask your self these two SIMPLE QUESTIONS:

    – If Israel unilaterally disarmed itself tomorrow, what would happen?
    – If every Palestinian disarmed themselves tomorrow, what would happen?

    Answer: If Israel disarmed, they would be annihilated in 24-48 hours, every last one of them. If Palestinians disarmed, nothing would happen, peace in the area.

    Israel is not the problem, intractable hatred of them is.

    September 23, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • Petri Dish

      I don't see why this is our problem. If they want to kill each other over fairy tales then they or ignorant, always have been, and love conflict. Nobody knows where the Universe came from or what came before or what will come after. These so-called sacred places are just dusty patches of dirt talked about in fables. This is what you kill for? Have at it morons.

      September 23, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
    • Jose

      All of us can see the deceit behind this move by the islamis, no doubts about what the real intentions are.
      God is /will always be with Israel and he will protect them!

      September 23, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • Johnny

      Well said.

      September 23, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • Petri Dish

      Poorly said. The "My God is better than your God" argument is THE single most ignorant belief religious people have. You are brainless and dangerous.

      September 23, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • Chad

      Atheists are always so cheerful 🙂

      September 23, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • Dave Davis

      Who do you reckon hates Israel the most: the Muslims or the "Liberals"?

      September 23, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  12. Petri Dish

    Ahhhhh! Too many words! Can't......read.......so.........much.

    September 23, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • Johnny

      How did you even get through the article?

      September 23, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
  13. Gambino

    The JEWS have prevailed T-H-U-O-S-A-N-D-S of years!!!! The Jews have experienced every known human rights abuse you can think of.......and? The Jews are STILL #1. You're seriously deluded thinking UN sanctions, NATO, EURO, USA, RU et al can get in the way of G-d. Seriously? Your ego's are DISTORTING your reality. You're facing armageddon. March your armies if you wish, and remember the words of Ezekiel. It's pure math man, you're silly to think without Israel your oil will be cheaper. Math babe! If there was no Israel, your oil would be $200+ a barrel AND U WOULD HAVE TO PAY IN GOLD!!! That means no 1st world, no 2nd world, no 3rd world, simply chaos. While in the Oil rich sheikdoms, total affluence. That's not written in the Torah. That's not how the world was designed. G-d designed this world in 'his image'. Do you see G-d? NO! Therefore- G-d is not gold, not sheiks, not Israel, it's the whole thing. The whole shabang!! Everything is G-d. But, Israel is His choice. Israel, a former swamp, infested wasteland- now turned into a wonderous abundant country. You really DON'T want to mess with this place called Israel? Your economies are faltering, the environment is reacting, Jews are returning to Israel increasingly, these are signs people. Snap out of your arrogant evil selfish ego. Bless Israel, and be blessed. Curse Isreal and ......well......i didn't make this up, it's a fact. You're facing curses. Be nice.

    September 23, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
    • Gambino

      Save the 'aggregation' responses, 'organised religion blah blah blah......' this is pure math babe. You know the old saying? Figures don't lie, but liars figure? Well get your math right. How do you get around a small teeny itty bitty people from the desert. Never known to have any empire. Never known to have taken conquests. This nation that's been victimised for T-H-O-U-S-A-N-D-S of years...and STILL......TODAY, in the UN the majority of countries are against Israel. How does this pisher of a people, almost gassed out of europe, now ONLY 60 YEARS later....the developers of a swamp infested wasteland into an absolute miracle. Hard work and of course that alone doesn't cut the mustard. You need serious blessings. Who.........yes, shtumy, WHO is giving these people their blessings? You know WHO. It's mathematically IMPOSSIBLE to survive T-H-O-U-S-A-N-D-S of years, restore a dead language, revive a banished former homeland withou blessings. But, if you have deadened spiritual connections in your brain, if you're so brilliant you can reason everything out. Then my friend, you're about to learn that you're a mere creation- interfering with the CREATORS choice. He, G-D, yes, however you interpret G-D, He creates this world, it's all HIS. You are only a speck of dust on a speck of dust. Get real. This test is a world test for belief in G-d. In the end we all pass the test. But, right now, we have to learn the lesson. The lesson is simple. MATH is the lesson. How do you think it's possible for a teeny weeny itty bitty people to endure T-H-O-U-S-A-N-D-S of years and STILL REMAIN top of the pops? How is that possible, mathematically? You can't even begin to quantify it. The odds are ridiculous. It's clearly 'super' something. I posit- nothing is cut in stone, except the words written in the Book. Go learn the code, get the math right. EACH WORD has a value. Once you decode the words, you start to compile the values. This is all numbers people. Get you personal emotional feelings out of confusing the math. Long live Israel, it's our blessing- or if you wish, It's your curse.

      September 23, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
    • coffee expert

      For you, I suggest Decaf, fewer words, and more substance.

      September 23, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • Johnny

      Gambino: You are so close and yet so far off on one small sentence: "In the end we all pass the test." I wish. We need to support Israel. Of course. Anyone with any sense knows this. But unfortunately in the end we do not all pass the test. If you were to die tomorrow, and stand before Him, and He were to ask you, "Why should I let you in to my heaven?", what would you say? You have perfectly obeyed the Law? You know this has never been done, except for One. Do you still offer sacrifices to atone for your sins? Where have you placed your trust?

      September 23, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
    • Johnny

      coffee expert: why don't you leave Israel to the experts and you stick to your bean water.

      September 23, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  14. Salty Bob

    In the beginning man created the gods
    The truth about organized religion. I hope you glean a small bit of useful information as I have. What games religion is playing in America and the world today? We live in a country where we can choose for ourselves how much or little Religion we want in our lives, but the followers of most religions just don’t understand the word no. Not in my life not in my schools not in my government, NO, is the choice I have made for me and my family, the following reasons are part of the problem as I see it.
    First: religion is in no way real. The word religion or god is nothing more than an expression or product of human fear and weaknesses or imagination. The Bible/Koran, a collection of ancient myths and stories borrowed from many different cultures over thousands of centuries. Followers of Christianity, Islam, and others want to make decisions for us based on their interpretation of myths and stories from ages past that have change from teller to teller until were left with what we see today.
    These groups' are working hard and spending millions trying to influence our politician to pass laws based on their interpretation of these myths. Trying to convert the USA into a religious state. The only way this will end if things continue as they are is one group will out spend another and gain control in instant we could be living in the United Sates of Islam, sounds kinda funny but there are at the moment 2 sects with the money it will take to make the leap and crush the Wall of Separation. The Wall of Separation is supposed to protect us from all religions infringement upon our schools teachings of science to find real truth and knowledge. Not try and recruit our kids with fairytales or with some aged dogma from an era long dead, our children deserve better.
    Second: Organized Religions have overstepped their boundaries on many occasions. It divides us as a people to choose ignorance over logic, to forsake the future for a ruthless past. Religion started with early mans rites and ceremonies to honor nature, it grew into Charlemagne outright murder of the innocent in the name of Christianity, to jets crashing into towers killing thousands in the name of Islam. The time of burning witches, belief in a flat earth, the murdering of doctors, and crimes against women and children or the followers of gods many other immoral and vile acts against humanity as a whole can no longer and should no longer be tolerated, no matter what religious book or god they believe demands it, religious leaders must be held to account for the acts of its followers.
    Third: Coerced observance is the main method these groups use. Worship me or you will be tortured in a pit of fire for all eternity or, murdered outright. Fear mongering, tyranny, Remember the Dark Ages religions rule in that dark, distant past did not serve our ancestors well. Many of these groups place supernatural abilities on some of their members, kinda like the early versions of super heroes, born of a virgin nice trick or walk on water, hmm or cure the blind and sick shamans come to mind, super strength Hercules so many more. Throughout history you will find many who have claimed special abilities or feats. From every religious group again more fairytales entertainment for people who had very little else to do and lots of free time for the mind to wonder. No interpretation no matter how subtle can change the fact that their holy books are nothing more than a collection stories meant to entertain or teach something to the children or control people of that era nothing more.
    Fourth: We put our trust in our elected officials to maintain the wall of separation, to prevent religions ever-reaching grasp from tainting the consideration of new laws! This country was not founded on the rule of anyone's religion, but more the lack of religious influence in the governing of this country. But time and again you hear religious overtones spouting out of our leaders, and wannabe leaders, the wall is crumbling.
    If anyone of good conscience should agree with what I have said band together, so we can bring this country the very world we live on into the 21st century free of these groups and revel in all the promise this century has to offer so our children's children's children can look back in pride and say they did this for us and our posterity. This is after all a very small world and a great leaping point into the vast unknown. I so hope more minds are opened and see beyond the centuries of engrained dogma. I just hope we have not destroyed it all by that time.
    R.E.W.

    September 23, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
    • MG

      my God you are completely mis informed and in the dark, your human arrogance is just blinding you ! re think again my friend and get deeper to know about life and God , start with open and fair mind and you will be surprised. forget religions now and think about that fact alone, is there a God or not???

      September 23, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • Johnny

      Salty Bob: We must remember it is people, not religion, who must be held accountable. When you stand before your Maker He will not ask you, "What religion are you?", but He will determine if He knows you. He does not care about your (or perhaps absence of) religion. He. Wants.You. All of you. The good and the bad. People have done awful, horrific things in the name of "religion". Yes. Unfortunately people have done awful things in the name of Christ and other things. This does not mean Christ condones this behavior. Rejecting Christ on the basis of what others say and do in His name is a grave mistake. He said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." He is willing to wipe YOUR slate clean. Yes. He died for you, to wipe you clean. You must make this personal. People are fallible. He is not. Don't reject an infallible Being on the basis of very fallible people. He will accept you, but you must go to Him. He is waiting for you.

      September 23, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      @ Salty Bob,,,,,,,

      The very FIRST rationalization you or anyone should ponder and "perpetuate" is the following verse,,,,,,,,,,,,

      Jhn 18:36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence."

      Now that you and others are resolute about this world NOT being God's Kingdom, the following verse should be observed,,,,,

      Mat 6:33 "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."

      If this world is NOT the Godly Kingdom we so aptly try to emulate it is yet is not, where then shall one look to find the Kingdom of God? This next verse might guide your mind to a sublime rationalization,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

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

      Okay, we are a BUILDING right? But if we are a building where then is the Kingdom of God if we are but buildings?

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

      Are you all still with me? Can you comprehend my assertions that I try to plainly "spell out"? Get ready for the following words of contemplation!

      We as solitary bodies hold in essence ONE God inside each of us and this ONE God has a family of His own along with many subjects and servants to rule over. The "thriller" KEY to understand this is,,,,, "Each of a body's cells are but a solitary cellularized universes much like our Celestial Universe is but one Celestial Universe among an immeasurable amount of Celestial Universes. Are you still with me? I would like you to now consider the following,,,,,,,,,,,,

      1Cr 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.

      How does one "bring to light the hidden things of darkness"? What exactly is meant by "hidden things of darkness"?

      Darkness exists in two plains of relativity, one being the Atomic Relativities of "Inner Space" and the Celestial Relativities of "Outer Space". For without light one cannot peer into the microscopic things of inner space and without gathering light via time thru a telescope we cannot see the very distant objects of outer space things unseen by the naked eye.

      If you did read all my words so far, you are hopefully following what I wrote before coming to this point of my post.

      "Celestial Relativities of Cosmology" deals with the Fractal Cosmologies of Celestial things such as a star or planet or moon, etc etc. Atomic Relativities deals with the Cosmological makeup of Celestial things and also the Cellular compositions of Celestial Based Life in all its' forms and formations. For WITHOUT Fractal Cosmology neither the Celestial Cosmos nor the Cellular Cosmos of Life,- there would be absolutely NOTHING!

      GOD therefore. is the Awareness of the Celestial Cosmos and said Celestial Cosmos is GOD's body. The Gods who inhabit a one-to-a-customer Cellular Structured Life lives deeply seeded within the Cellular Universes and come the demise and/or death of a Celestail Based Life, does GOD re-unite with HIS Sons and Family members while we being but a spiritual awareness come death, are granted upon judgment, our heavenly kingdom among the immeasurable Fractal heavens of this earth's Heaven. Each Fractal Cosmos of land mass "rings" are but Fractal heavens where within such deeply seededness worlds of the atomic plains we will live out many lifetimes into eons upon eons of Time Eternal. Death is not the End but only a new beginning!

      September 23, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  15. hawaiiduude

    zionism is the beast that will produce the anti christ.

    September 23, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • hawaiiduude

      http://encyclopediaegypt.com/israel/l032001.htm

      September 23, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
  16. chuck hudson

    Governor Perry labelled Presiident Obama's policy on the Palestinian-Israel matter as "naive and arrogant". Nobody in public life in America today is more qualified to recognize naivete and arrogance than him. He went on to say that "as an American and as a Christian" he stood with Israel (against the Palestinians). Does he have no awareness or concern with the degree and extent to shich Israel conducts espionage against our country, second only to China? The vast majority of those involved in our major intelligence services do not see Israel as a friend of the U.S. precisely because of their extensive spying against us. This is not what friends but rather, emenies, do.

    September 23, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • SCAtheist

      israel is not an ally of the US. They're experts at manipulating and using us.

      September 23, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
  17. SCAtheist

    rapturist zionism is poison.

    September 23, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
  18. MaybeAgnosticMaybeNot

    So basically Jews think Christianity is wrong. They do not believe in Jesus. Yet Christians still think they are God's chosen people even though Christians think they are wrong. Basically they are 1/2 of a book (old testament) closer to us than Muslims.

    September 23, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
  19. tj

    If a dozen people responding here can not agree with nor be respectful to each other, how can there ever be peace? I do not believe there is one single group of humans who are superior to any other. As long as we point out the failures of the other, we cannot succeed.
    Remember: Don't believe everything you think!

    September 23, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • Dave Davis

      We Christians don't believe that Israelis are superior to any-one else. The are very simply the (often unwilling) chess-piece which the Lord uses to accomplish His work. Israel has not chosen God, rather God has chosen Israel.

      September 23, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      "The are very simply the (often unwilling) chess-piece which the Lord uses to accomplish His work."

      So much for the free will argument. If you can't even be consistent about the things you hold to be true, then why should any of us buy into it?

      September 25, 2011 at 7:08 am |
  20. Uncouth Swain

    Why is it that some ppl can't just support Israel because they just like Israel? It's a pretty nation, got nice ppl (and I mean that of all that makes up it's population), western in thinking yet has a bit of an ex*otic feel to it.

    September 23, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
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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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