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Bush's plans to address Messianic Jewish group irks former aides
Former President George W. Bush plans to address a group committed to converting Jews to Christianity.
November 13th, 2013
05:34 PM ET

Bush's plans to address Messianic Jewish group irks former aides

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

(CNN) - Of course Tevi Troy has heard the hubbub.

He knows full well that his onetime boss, former President George W. Bush, plans to speak Thursday at a Dallas fundraiser for the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute – a group dedicated to converting Jews to Christianity.

“I have yet to meet a Jewish person who hasn’t heard about this,” says Troy, who served as a Bush administration liaison to the Jewish community and was a former deputy secretary at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The topic of conversion can prompt a visceral reaction for Jews whose darker times have been marred by persecution, expulsion and forced conversions. Millions have died for and because of their faith.

“There’s good historical reason for the Jewish discomfort,” Troy says.

But before Troy, an Orthodox Jew, will tread into this controversy, he wants to discuss the Jewish value of hakarat hatov, or “recognizing the good.”

He says people should remember and appreciate that Bush was “a very good president to the Jewish people.”

He was a friend to Israel during the Second Intifada, Troy says. He was an outspoken opponent of anti-Semitism. And in the wake of the murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl by al Qaeda in Pakistan in 2002, when Jews felt like targets, Troy says Bush took on terrorism.

That said, when it comes to Bush’s decision to speak at the annual banquet for this messianic group, one that believes Jews like this former aide need to be saved, Troy admits, “I would be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed.”

CNN tried to speak with five other former Bush administration liaisons to the Jewish community, but only two of those responded. Both suggested Troy could speak for them, too.

His words, though, are tempered. Others, such as Rabbi David Wolpe, who was dubbed America’s most influential rabbi by Newsweek in 2012, called Bush’s decision “infuriating.”

The Messianic Jewish Bible Institute is representative of a longstanding effort to convert Jews, one that dates back to Paul in the New Testament who said, in Romans 1:16, that the Gospel should be taken “to the Jew first.”

The institute's website features a menorah in its logo. Its chairman is listed as Rabbi Jonathan Bernis, a man who heads up another organization called Jewish Voice Ministries International, where an “Ask the Rabbi” feature includes an image of him wearing a yarmulke and Jewish prayer shawl.

CNN reached out to Bernis at Jewish Voice Ministries but was told by a spokeswoman that he was not allowed to comment on the upcoming fundraiser.

Then CNN asked where he had been ordained as a rabbi, and the spokeswoman hung up the phone.

We also called the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute, which pulled down from its website any references to Bush’s upcoming appearance soon after Mother Jones broke the story. An institute spokeswoman said there would be no comment.

A source close to Bush, who didn't want to be named, confirmed to CNN on Wednesday afternoon that the former president still plans to speak at Thursday’s banquet, where tickets reportedly range in price from $100 to $100,000.

The source also said that Bush addresses all sorts of groups, secular and religious of varying stripes. Bush tells stories from the White House and speaks about his love for America, which includes a commitment to religious freedom and tolerance, according to the source.

Had Bush’s onetime liaison to the Jewish community still been working with the former president or been asked, Troy said he certainly would have advised against such an appearance.

Troy says the problem is most people don’t understand why talk of converting Jews stirs up such strong feelings in the Jewish community.

“It dates back to a time when forced conversion was a serious issue, when the church was imbued with the power of state,” he says.

Troy points to the Spanish Inquisition as an example, explaining how under duress and torture, Jews had to convert to Christianity or face expulsion from Spain in 1492. Those who stayed and exhibited any shred of Jewish observance were persecuted.

The Messianic Jewish Bible Institute, founded in the mid-1990s, includes in its mission the goal to "educate Christians in their role to provoke the Jewish people to jealousy and thus save some of them."

The institute's statement of faith also says that those who are born Jewish and "place their faith in Messiah Yeshua," Jesus, "have not disowned or separated themselves from their race and Judaic heritage, but remain sons and daughters of Israel."

Missionary outreach to Jews in America isn't new. It dates back to the 19th century. A Hungarian man who called himself a "rabbi" established a ministry in 1894 to target Jewish immigrants in Brooklyn, offering them assistance, education and New Testaments translated into Yiddish.

On the opposite coast in San Francisco in 1973, a Baptist minister - who was born Jewish - founded a proselytizing organization called Jews for Jesus. His small army has been knocking on doors and pounding the pavement ever since.

A less aggressive approach, preferred by others who might call themselves Messianic Jews or Hebrew Christians, has been the establishment of Messianic “synagogues” and organizations. They’re sponsored by Christians, and they incorporate Jewish symbols and modified Jewish rituals. They’re often led by leaders who call themselves rabbis, use Hebrew phrases and wear traditional Jewish accessories.

Critics cry false advertising, subterfuge and bemoan how such outfits, including the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute, which built its base in the former Soviet Union, often target Jews who don’t know better – what Rob Eshman of the Jewish Journal in Los Angeles called, “the low-hanging fruit of Jewish identity.”

While Messianic Jews believe it’s possible to be Jewish while believing Jesus is the Messiah, others say this makes as much sense as a vegetarian who believes in scarfing down steak.

The historical concern may have been rooted in forced conversions, but Troy knows that's not an issue today.

In fact, the group Bush will address - and others like it - don’t really worry him. He’s more concerned about a recent Pew study that showed how a growing number of American Jews don’t identify with any faith, let alone their own.

About a third of American Jews born after 2000 answered “none” when asked about their religious affiliation, the survey showed.  Of everyone surveyed who was raised Jewish, according to the researchers, 6% now describe themselves as Christian - mostly as Catholics, Protestants or "just Christian."

Messianic Jews, Pew said, constitute a very small group. Meantime, though, the Pew survey also showed that 34% of those asked believe a person can be Jewish and believe Jesus was the messiah.

But the fundraiser in Dallas, even if it features the likes of a former U.S. president, isn’t what’s hurting American Jews, Troy says.

"Judaism," he says, "has other and bigger problems."

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: evangelicals • Judaism • Politics

soundoff (1,377 Responses)
  1. Jesus is the Messiah

    HIS CRUCIFIXION
    PROPHECY: Around 1,000 B.C., King David prophesied: "Dogs have surrounded Me: A band of wicked men have encircled Me: They PIERCED My HANDS and My FEET. I can count all My bones. People stare and gloat over Me. They DIVIDE MY GARMENTS among them, and CAST LOTS upon My CLOTHING."–Psalm 22:16-18. (Prophecy given around 1,000 B.C.) (See also Zechariah 12:10;13:6.)

    FULFILLMENT: That was written by King David, who died a natural death (recorded in 1Kings Chapter 1), so he wasn't talking about himself. But being a Prophet, he predicted the type of death that CHRIST would die! As it says in the New Testament, "then the soldiers, when they had CRUCIFIED Jesus (pierced hands AND feet), took His GARMENTS, and divided them into four parts, a part to every soldier; His undergarment remained. Now this garment was without seam, woven in one piece from top to bottom. They said therefore to one another, Let us not tear it, but let us cast LOTS for it, to see whose it shall be."–John 19:23,24.

    Crucifixion, incidentally, was not practiced by the Jews of David's time. (They killed criminals by STONING!)–But David PREDICTED this type of death for the MESSIAH–a method of execution that was to become one of the principal means of execution by the Roman Empire ten centuries later!

    PROPHECY: Here is another prophecy by David regarding "The Righteous", or the Messiah: "Many are the afflictions of The Righteous, but...He (God) keeps ALL His BONES: Not one of them is broken."–Psalm 34:19-20. (Prophecy given about 1,000 B.C.)

    FULFILLMENT: MANY of God's righteous servants have had their bones broken, especially in their martyrdom–But Jesus was "THE righteous", "My righteous Servant", as God called Him, Who through His death would "justify many" or make them righteous.–Isaiah 53:11-12. And to PROVE that He was "THE Righteous" Who would "justify many", God didn't let ANY of His bones be broken!

    Jesus was crucified on the eve of the feastday of the Passover. To ensure that the bodies of the two thieves and Jesus wouldn't be hanging there on the cross during the Jews' holy day (death by crucifixion sometimes took days), they BROKE the LEGS of the thieves, causing their bodies to sag, cutting off their respiration and bringing a quick death. "But when they came to Jesus, and saw that He was dead already, they did NOT break His legs."–John 19:31-33.

    Jesus was "the Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the World" (John 1:29), and was crucified at the time of the Jewish Passover, a religious festival when all the Jewish households killed a lamb as a sacrificial sin offering. Right at that SAME time, Jesus, "THE Lamb of God", died for the sins of Mankind. The Lord had commanded that NONE of the Passover lamb's BONES were to be BROKEN (Exodus 12:46), and Jesus' death fulfilled this specific point also!

    November 14, 2013 at 8:05 am |
    • There is no God

      You and your book are BS. Life has been on earth for billions of years yet religion for only a few thousand. FIGURE IT OUT PEOPLE! Religion was created to keep people in line, and there has been mass hysteria ever since. THERE IS NO GOD. Here is another way to think about it. I have a book that says there is a flying GOD_EATING space gerbil. Prove that there isnt. If the gerbil is "god eating" by nature then he ate your god. Or your god never existed- Choose.

      November 14, 2013 at 8:13 am |
      • Oneforall777

        Your hatred for God shows me that you need him. You believe in all things man-made, just as Satan knew you would, like millions of others, please don't fall for his lies. I pray for you, if you don't mind. Me and others on this board who believe in God. We'll just pray. We can't save you but God can. We love you in Christ's name.

        November 14, 2013 at 9:25 am |
    • Oneforall777

      Thank you. God bless.

      November 14, 2013 at 9:16 am |
  2. Jesus is the Messiah

    HIS TRIAL
    PROPHECY: "By arrest and judgement He was taken away: And who shall speak of His descendants? For He was cut off from the land of the living: For the transgression of my people was He stricken."–Isaiah 53:8. (Prophecy given 712 B.C.)

    FULFILLMENT: Jesus was ARRESTED by the soldiers of the High Priest.–Matthew 26:57. After judging Him in their religious court and condemning Him to death, they bound Him and handed Him over to Pilate, the Roman Governor.–Matthew 27:1-2. "While Pilate was sitting in judgement...the chief priests and elders persuaded the crowd...to have Jesus executed."–Matthew 27:19-20. "Finally Pilate handed Him over to them to be crucified."–John 19:16.

    Pilate himself knew that Jesus was INNOCENT and had done nothing worthy of death, and that the Jewish religious leaders only wanted Jesus executed because of their religious jealousy, yet the religious leaders used their political leverage to force Pilate to have Him crucified anyway.–John 18:28-40;19:1-16; Luke 23:13-25; Matthew 27:18.

    November 14, 2013 at 8:04 am |
  3. Jesus is the Messiah

    HIS BETRAYAL
    PROPHECY: Again Zechariah predicts: "And I said unto them, If you think good, give me my PRICE; and if not, keep it. So they paid me THIRTY PIECES OF SILVER."–Zechariah 11:12. (Prophecy given 487 B.C.)

    FULFILLMENT: "Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests, and said to them, 'What will you give me, if I deliver Him to you?' And they counted out for him THIRTY pieces of SILVER."–Matthew 26:14, 15.

    PROPHECY: "And the Lord said unto me, `Cast it unto the POTTER!–The handsome price at which they priced Me!' And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and CAST them to the POTTER in the HOUSE of the LORD."–Zechariah 11:13. (Prophecy given 487 B.C.)

    FULFILLMENT: "Then Judas, which had betrayed Him (Jesus), when he saw that He was condemned, repented, and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders...And he CAST DOWN the pieces of silver in the TEMPLE, and went away and hanged himself. And the chief priests picked up the silver pieces, and said, It is against the law to put this into the treasury, because it is the price paid for blood. So they decided to use the money to buy the POTTER'S Field, to bury foreigners in."–Matthew 27:3-6. The thirty pieces of silver WERE literally "CAST to the POTTER...IN the house of the Lord"!

    November 14, 2013 at 8:02 am |
  4. richunix

    @Reality

    I was reading that also. Abraham came from Assyrian Empire through the Cannaite, only during the Babylonian exile was his birth place changed from Assyrian to the Ziggurat of Ur (600 B.C.E). ( ref: Dr. Francessa Stavrakopoulou).

    November 14, 2013 at 8:02 am |
    • Reality # 2

      The Conservative Jewish rabbis to include Rabbi Wolpe who wrote the New Torah for the Modern Mind aka the Tree of Life reviewed all the available studies and concluded that the biblical Abraham and Moses did not exist. One wonders how said rabbis can still be believers in Judaism.

      November 14, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
  5. Jesus is the Messiah

    PROPHECY: Micah, prophesying in the eighth century B.C., predicted the exact village where the Messiah would be born: "You, BETHLEHEM, though you are small among the clans of Judah, yet out of you shall He come forth unto Me that is to be RULER over ISRAEL; Whose existence has been of old, from EVERLASTING."–Micah 5:2. (Prophecy given 710 B.C.)

    FULFILLMENT: The Gospel says "Jesus was born in BETHLEHEM of JUDEA."–Matthew 2:1. Although the Jews knew that their Messiah was to be born there (Matthew 2:4-6), they didn't, as a nation, accept Jesus as their ruler. Nonetheless, the prophecy says that He "IS to BE ruler". This takes place spiritually now for those who voluntarily accept His Messiahship, and will SOON take place LITERALLY by FORCE at His Second Coming!

    Jesus' existence, as the prophecy says, "has been of OLD, from EVERLASTING". Jesus said, "Before Abraham was (around 2,000 B.C.), I AM."–John 8:58. He was here referring to Himself as the eternal God Who revealed Himself to Moses in the burning bush as: "I AM THAT I AM"(Exodus 3:14), the eternal Son of God! (See also John 1:13,14.)

    November 14, 2013 at 8:00 am |
  6. Jesus is the Messiah

    PROPHECY: "For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given: And the government shall be upon His shoulder: And His NAME shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the MIGHTY GOD, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace!"–Isaiah 9:6. (Prophecy given 740 B.C.)

    FULFILLMENT: This shows that the ancient Jews, unlike most modern ones, believed that God had a SON–Who was to be born in the flesh and Whom the prophecy said was to be called "The Mighty GOD".

    November 14, 2013 at 7:59 am |
  7. Jesus is the Messiah

    PROPHECY: Nearly 750 years before Christ's birth, the Old Testament Prophet Isaiah prophesied: "The Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a VIRGIN shall CONCEIVE, and bear a SON, and shall call His name Immanuel."–Isaiah 7:14.

    FULFILLMENT: In exact FULFILLMENT of this prophecy, Mary was a young VIRGIN engaged to be married to Joseph, a carpenter of Nazareth, when the Angel Gabriel appeared to her saying that she would bear a child. "Then Mary said to the Angel, `How shall this be, seeing I have not laid with a man?' And the Angel answered, `The HOLY GHOST shall come upon you, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow you! Therefore that holy One which shall be born of you shall be called the SON of GOD."–Luke 1:26-35. (Immanuel means "God with us", and for those of us who have received Jesus into our hearts, that's Who He IS: God is WITH us!)

    November 14, 2013 at 7:58 am |
  8. Daren Nikkerog

    If you claim to support the tolerance of other beliefs, and then promote the conversion of one people, you are a hypocrite of the highest order. But this was already known about Bush.

    November 14, 2013 at 7:52 am |
  9. mecanico-tuercas

    I feel the president can go where he wishes however the question is a moral one. Can a president participate in a deceiving organization? Messianic are by principal deceivers and their purpose is to fool Jewish people by putting up a Jewish face.
    Jews rejected Jesus and history testified to that fact as well as the scriptures. The question however is was Jesus or "yeshua" the messiah? obviously NOT! The very idea of trying to convince people of Jesus as messiah is stupid for the Jewish mind. A real messiah will not need missionaries and their deception to proclaim something thet should be undeniable and evident to the whole world. If jesus need people to make him messiah...then....what is his purpose? hide in heaven while people make him messiah? Please...... the Jews are right for not accepting a false messiah!

    November 14, 2013 at 7:51 am |
    • Jesus is the Messiah

      Jesus fulfilled the Torah. The Torah pointed directed to Jesus and he fulfilled the prophecy of the Messiah. Jesus is the Christ!

      November 14, 2013 at 7:55 am |
      • jagnostic

        Feel free to believe what you wish, but to traditional Jews, the idea is absurd. If Jesus was in fact the Messiah, then there would be heaven on Earth today. This is obviously not the case.
        The other possibility is that Jesus was the Messiah, but he failed at his mission. If this is the case, then God was not infallible.

        November 14, 2013 at 8:13 am |
        • Jesus is the Messiah

          There will be at his 2nd coming. He's on his way. Every knee shall bow, every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord.

          November 14, 2013 at 8:25 am |
        • Oneforall777

          How could he have failed in his mission when he returned to heaven after dying by crucifixion, and returning to about 70 witnesses on earth? The Messiah HAD to come following the prophesies of the Old Testament, he came exactly as described, exact timing also – he came to suffer for all those sins piled up by an adulterous nation, he was sacrificed, as prophesied. First you have the sacrifice, then the sins are transferred to the sacrifice – in this case Yeshua, but before being with his Father he must be cleansed of those sins he took on, so who do you think Yeshua gave all those sins to? Where they belong, the one who wanders far and wide in the wilderness, like the scape-goat from the old testament sacrifices – they are handed to Satan of course. Satan eventually reaps what he sows, God is just and those sins belong to the master manipulator Satan. That is why Yeshua RETURNS AGAIN as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Satan is wiped from this earth and then AND ONLY THEN, can you have a new heaven and a new earth. God's thoughts are not your thoughts 'jagnostic'. Satan would love for you to believe God's plan did not work, but it actually worked the minute Christ was crucified and then was found to not be dead at all, but had risen from the grave, with many witnesses present. God has his timing, it's not our timing, it's his and all is in place, just as it is written. A thousand years is nothing to God. Only God knows when the Messiah will return as King of all, we know not the day or the hour.

          November 14, 2013 at 10:01 am |
  10. Reality # 2

    From the topic: "Others, such as Rabbi David Wolpe, who was dubbed America’s most influential rabbi by Newsweek in 2012, called Bush’s decision “infuriating.”

    Rabbi Wolpe is also notable in his conclusions that Abraham and Moses are fictional characters and that Exodus never happened.

    Said conclusions are significantly more damaging to Judaism than is President Bush's speech at a Messianic convention !!

    See p. 9 for more details about the New Torah for Modern Minds.

    November 14, 2013 at 7:50 am |
  11. richunix

    @Oneforall77

    The Bible does contain some limited truth concerning historical events and as a historian we can collaborate this with archgiocal findings.. What is lest probable is theology (beliefs). Miracles, burning bushes, arks, humans turned into pillar of salt are in the realm of mythology (what the reader wishes to believe). Your deity is whatever you wish him to be. Very much so, the Jews believed in the following Gods…BAAL, YAHWEH, his wife Asherah and finally EL. All are listed in your Bible and all are early cannaites Gods. You will find that the belief in one god was a result of the Babylonian exile as King David and Solomon both believed in many gods.

    Stephen F Roberts: “I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”

    November 14, 2013 at 7:45 am |
    • Reality # 2

      Kicking it up a notch:

      Putting the kibosh on all religion in less than ten seconds: Priceless !!!

      • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

      • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

      • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

      • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

      • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

      • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

      • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

      • A constant cycle of reincarnation until enlightenment is reached and belief that various beings (angels?, tinkerbells? etc) exist that we, as mortals, cannot comprehend makes for a no on Sikhism.

      Added details available upon written request.

      A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

      e.g. Taoism

      "The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

      Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother's womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. "

      November 14, 2013 at 7:53 am |
  12. Richard

    Jesus was born an Jew and died a Jew. A few hundred years later you guys made a human being a G-d. Believe what you will but don't force it on other people. What would Jesus say to your poor behavior?

    November 14, 2013 at 7:43 am |
    • Gheorghe Gheorghe

      Who is forcing it on you?
      These are people who are trying to convince Jews that Jesus is the expected Messiah.
      Do they do it by force or just by preaching?

      Where is the "forcing on you" there?

      This is a free country. You are welcome to preach your version of the story and 'convert' anyone you want.
      You are not welcome to force someone to convert.

      November 14, 2013 at 8:15 am |
  13. John

    What about Thor, there is another good story. Odin and Loki sure do cause room for thought!

    November 14, 2013 at 7:36 am |
  14. Larry38363

    This man believes that he is Jesus or God or someone. His egotism cost this country it's military; it's money; and, its reputation. The fact that he would speak at this extreme right wing anti-Jesus meeting only exemplifies his idiocy.

    November 14, 2013 at 7:35 am |
    • Reality # 2

      Our War on Terror and Aggression:

      An update (or how we are spending or how we have spent the USA taxpayers’ money to eliminate global terror and aggression)

      The terror and aggression via a Partial and Recent and Not So Recent Body Count

      As the koranic/mosque driven acts of terror and horror continue:

      The Muslim Conquest of India – 11th to 18th century

      ■"The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

      and the 19 million killed in the Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C by Muslims.

      and more recently

      1a) 179 killed in Mumbai/Bombay, 290 injured

      1b) Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh

      2) 9/11, 3000 mostly US citizens, 1000’s injured

      3) The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US troops killed in action, 3,480 and 928 in non combat roles. Iraqi civilians killed as of 05/10/2013/, 113,249-123,978 mostly due to suicide bombers, land mines and bombs of various types, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

      4) Kenya- In Nairobi, about 212 people were killed and an estimated 4000 injured; in Dar es Salaam, the attack killed at least 11 and wounded 85.[2]

      5) Bali-in 2002-killing 202 people, 164 of whom were foreign nationals, and 38 Indonesian citizens. A further 209 people were injured.

      6) Bali in 2005- Twenty people were killed, and 129 people were injured by three bombers who killed themselves in the attacks.

      7) Spain in 2004- killing 191 people and wounding 2,050.

      8. UK in 2005- The bombings killed 52 commuters and the four radical Islamic suicide bombers, injured 700.

      9) The execution of an eloping couple in Afghanistan on 04/15/2009 by the Taliban.

      10) – Afghanistan: US troops 1,385 killed in action, 273 killed in non-combat situations as of 09/15/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror

      11) The killing of 13 citizen soldiers at Ft. Hood by a follower of the koran.

      12) 38 Russian citizens killed on March 29, 2010 by Muslim women suicide bombers.

      13) The May 28, 2010 attack on a Islamic religious minority in Pakistan, which have left 98 dead,

      14) Lockerbie is known internationally as the site where, on 21 December 1988, the wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103 crashed as a result of a terrorist bomb. In the United Kingdom the event is referred to as the Lockerbie disaster, the Lockerbie bombing, or simply Lockerbie. Eleven townspeople were killed in Sherwood Crescent, where the plane's wings and fuel tanks plummeted in a fiery explosion, destroying several houses and leaving a huge crater, with debris causing damage to a number of buildings nearby. The 270 fatalities (259 on the plane, 11 in Lockerbie) were citizens of 21 nations.

      15 The daily suicide and/or roadside and/or mosque bombings in the terror world of Islam.

      16) Bombs sent from Yemen by followers of the koran which fortunately were discovered before the bombs were detonated.

      17) The killing of 58 Christians in a Catholic church in one of the latest acts of horror and terror in Iraq.

      18) Moscow airport suicide bombing: 35 dead, 130 injured. January 25, 2011.

      19) A Pakistani minister, who had said he was getting death threats because of his stance against the country's controversial blasphemy law, was shot and killed Wednesday, 3/2/2011

      20) two American troops killed in Germany by a recently radicalized Muslim, 3/3/2011

      21) the kidnapping and apparent killing of a follower of Zoraster in the dark world of Islamic Pakistan.

      22) Shariatpur, Bangladesh (CNN 3/30/2011) - Hena Akhter's last words to her mother proclaimed her innocence. But it was too late to save the 14-year-old girl. Her fellow villagers in Bangladesh's Shariatpur district had already passed harsh judgment on her. Guilty, they said, of having an affair with a married man. The imam from the local mosque ordered the fatwa, or religious ruling, and the punishment: 101 lashes delivered swiftly, deliberately in public. Hena dropped after 70 and died a week later.

      23) "October 4, 2011, 100 die as a truck loaded with drums of fuel exploded Tuesday at the gate of compound housing several government ministries on a busy Mogadishu street. It was the deadliest single bombing carried out by the al Qaeda-linked al-Shabab group in Somalia since their insurgency began. "

      o 24) Mon Jun 4, 2012 10:18am EDT
      o
      BAGHDAD (Reuters) – A suicide bomber detonated an explosive-packed car outside a Shi'ite Muslim office in central Baghdad on Monday, killing at least 26 people and wounding more than 190 in an attack bearing the hallmarks of Iraq's al Qaeda affiliate.

      The bombing on a Shi'ite religious office comes at a sensitive time, with the country's fractious Shi'ite, Sunni and Kurdish blocs locked in a crisis that threatens to unravel their power-sharing deal and spill into sectarian tensions."

      25) BURGAS, Bulgaria | Thu Jul 19, 2012 11:27am EDT

      (Reuters) – A suicide bomber carried out an attack that killed seven people in a bus transporting Israeli tourists in Bulgaria, the interior minister said on Thursday, and Israel said Iranian-backed Hezbollah militants were to blame.

      26 ) September 12, 2012
      U.S. AMBASSADOR KILLED
      Envoy to Libya dies in rocket blast

      27) Boston Marathon horror – April 2013, four dead, hundreds injured and maimed for life.

      Continued below:

      Other elements of our War on Terror and Aggression:

      -Operation Iraqi Freedom- The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US Troops killed in action, 3,480 and 928 in non combat roles as of 09/15/2011/, 102,522 – 112,049 Iraqi civilians killed as of 9/16/2011/, mostly due http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

      – Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan: US troops 1,385 killed in action, 273 killed in non-combat situations as of 09/15/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed mostly due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror,

      – Sa-dd-am, his sons and major he-nchmen have been deleted. Sa-dd-am's bravado about WMD was one of his major mistakes. Kuwait was saved.

      – Iran is being been contained. (beside containing the Sunni-Shiite civil war in Baghdad, that is the main reason we are in Iraq. And yes, essential oil continues to flow from the region.)

      – North Korea is still u-ncivil but is contained.

      – Northern Ireland is finally at peace.

      – The Jews and Palestinians are being separated by walls. Hopefully the walls will follow the 1948 UN accords. Unfortunately the Annapolis Peace Conference was not successful. And unfortunately the recent events in Gaza has put this situation back to “squ-are one”. And this significant stupidity is driven by the mythical foundations of both religions!!!

      – – Fa-na–tical Islam has basically been contained to the Middle East but a wall between India and Pakistan would be a plus for world peace. Ditto for a wall between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

      – Timothy McVeigh was exe-cuted. Terry Nichols escaped the death penalty twice because of deadlocked juries. He was sentenced to 161 consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole,[3][7] and is incarcerated in ADX Florence, a super maximum security prison near Florence, Colorado. He shares a cellblock that is commonly referred to as "Bombers Row" with Ramzi Yousef and Ted Kaczynski

      – Eric Ru-dolph is spending three life terms in pri-son with no par-ole.

      – Jim Jones, David Koresh, Kaczynski, the "nuns" from Rwanda, and the KKK were all dealt with and either eliminated themselves or are being punished.

      – Islamic Sudan, Dar-fur and So-malia are still terror hot spots.
      – The terror and tor-ture of Muslims in Bosnia, Kosovo and Kuwait were ended by the proper application of the military forces of the USA and her freedom-loving friends. Ra-dovan Karadzic was finally captured on 7/23/08 and is charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the law of war – charges related to the 1992-1995 civil war that followed Bosnia-Herzegovina's secession from Yugoslavia.

      The capture of Ratko Mladić: (Serbian Cyrillic: Ратко Младић, pronounced [râtkɔ mlǎːditɕ], born 12 March 1943[1][2]) is an accused war criminal and a former Bosnian Serb military leader. On May 31, 2011, Mladić was extradited to The Hague, where he was processed at the detention center that holds suspects for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).[3] His trial began on 3 June 2011.

      – the bloody terror brought about by the Ja-panese, Na-zis and Co-mmunists was with great difficulty eliminated by the good guys.

      – Bin Laden was executed for crimes against humanity on May 1, 2011

      – Ditto for Anwar al-Awlaki on September 30, 2011

      – Ditto for Abu Yahya al-Libi on June 5, 2012

      – The capture of Abu Anas al-Libi on October 7, 2013

      November 14, 2013 at 7:42 am |
      • richunix

        YES!!! your on, there is hope yet

        November 14, 2013 at 7:46 am |
      • Oneforall777

        @Reality#2 – Your time would be far better spent reading the Bible for yourself and asking God to help you. The facts and quotes you give are all from man's choices. The God I know and you can too, doesn't take away man's will, he asks only that you use that will for Good not Evil. Most of your 'list' is the Evil in man, not the Good that God asks for. Two forces in the Universe – Your choice as always. I pray you will choose the God of Good. The God of Good has no interest in listing evil doings of man in lists on message boards, you only play into satan's hands once more. Read the Bible, it will help you and enlighten you to spread the truth.

        November 14, 2013 at 8:27 am |
        • Reality # 2

          Obviously, you are communicating with your god. Please forward his email address and or phone number.

          November 14, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
        • Reality # 2

          And if you are searching for the historic Jesus, the following references are highly recommended:

          1. Historical Jesus Theories, earlychristianwritings.com/theories.htm – the names of many of the contemporary historical Jesus scholars and the ti-tles of their over 100 books on the subject.

          2. Early Christian Writings, earlychristianwritings.com/
          – a list of early Christian doc-uments to include the year of publication–

          30-60 CE Passion Narrative
          40-80 Lost Sayings Gospel Q
          50-60 1 Thessalonians
          50-60 Philippians
          50-60 Galatians
          50-60 1 Corinthians
          50-60 2 Corinthians
          50-60 Romans
          50-60 Philemon
          50-80 Colossians
          50-90 Signs Gospel
          50-95 Book of Hebrews
          50-120 Didache
          50-140 Gospel of Thomas
          50-140 Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel
          50-200 Sophia of Jesus Christ
          65-80 Gospel of Mark
          70-100 Epistle of James
          70-120 Egerton Gospel
          70-160 Gospel of Peter
          70-160 Secret Mark
          70-200 Fayyum Fragment
          70-200 Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs
          73-200 Mara Bar Serapion
          80-100 2 Thessalonians
          80-100 Ephesians
          80-100 Gospel of Matthew
          80-110 1 Peter
          80-120 Epistle of Barnabas
          80-130 Gospel of Luke
          80-130 Acts of the Apostles
          80-140 1 Clement
          80-150 Gospel of the Egyptians
          80-150 Gospel of the Hebrews
          80-250 Christian Sibyllines
          90-95 Apocalypse of John
          90-120 Gospel of John
          90-120 1 John
          90-120 2 John
          90-120 3 John
          90-120 Epistle of Jude
          93 Flavius Josephus
          100-150 1 Timothy
          100-150 2 Timothy
          100-150 T-itus
          100-150 Apocalypse of Peter
          100-150 Secret Book of James
          100-150 Preaching of Peter
          100-160 Gospel of the Ebionites
          100-160 Gospel of the Nazoreans
          100-160 Shepherd of Hermas
          100-160 2 Peter

           4. Jesus Database, http://www.faithfutures.o-rg/JDB/intro.html –"The JESUS DATABASE is an online a-nnotated inventory of the traditions concerning the life and teachings of Jesus that have survived from the first three centuries of the Common Era. It includes both canonical and extra-canonical materials, and is not limited to the traditions found within the Christian New Testament."
          5. Josephus on Jesus mtio.com/articles/bis-sar24.htm
          6. The Jesus Seminar, http://en.wikipedia.o-rg/wiki/Jesus_Seminar
          7. http://www.biblicalartifacts.com/items/785509/item785509biblicalartifacts.html – books on the health and illness during the time of the NT
          8. Economics in First Century Palestine, K.C. Hanson and D. E. Oakman, Palestine in the Time of Jesus, Fortress Press, 1998.
          9.The Gn-ostic Jesus
          (Part One in a Two-Part Series on A-ncient and Modern G-nosticism)
          by Douglas Gro-othuis: http://www.equip.o-rg/articles/g-nosticism-and-the-g-nostic-jesus/
          10. The interpretation of the Bible in the Church, Pontifical Biblical Commission
          Presented on March 18, 1994
          ewtn.com/library/CURIA/PBCINTER.HTM#2
          11. The Jesus Database- newer site:
          wiki.faithfutures.o-rg/index.php?t-itle=Jesus_Database
          12. Jesus Database with the example of S-u-pper and Eucharist:
          faithfutures.o-rg/JDB/jdb016.html
          13. Josephus on Jesus by Paul Maier:
          mtio.com/articles/bis-sar24.htm
          13. http://www.textweek.com/mtlk/jesus.htmm- Historical Jesus Studies
          14. The Greek New Testament: laparola.net/greco/
          15. D-iseases in the Bible:
          http://books.google.com/books/about/The_d-iseases_of_the_Bible.html?id=C1YZAAAAYAAJ

          16. Religion on Line (6000 articles on the history of religion, churches, theologies,
          theologians, ethics, etc.
          religion-online.o-rg/

           17. The New Testament Gateway – Internet NT ntgateway.com/
          18. Writing the New Testament- e-xisting copies, o-ral tradition etc.
          ntgateway.com/
          19. JD Crossan's c-onclusions about the a-uthencity of most of the NT based on the above plus the c-onclusions of other NT e-xege-tes in the last 200 years:
          http://wiki.faithfutures.o-rg/index.p-hp?t-itle=Crossan_Inventory
          20. Early Jewish Writings- Josephus and his books by t-itle with the complete translated work in English :earlyjewishwritings.com/josephus.html
          21. Luke and Josephus- was there a c-onnection?
          in-fidels.o-rg/library/modern/richard_carrier/lukeandjosephus.html
          22. NT and beyond time line:
          pbs.o-rg/empires/pe-terandpaul/history/timeline/
          23. St. Paul's Time line with discussion of important events:
          harvardhouse.com/prophetictech/new/pauls_life.htm
          24. See http://www.amazon.com for a list of JD Crossan's books and those of the other Jesus Seminarians: Reviews of said books are included and selected pages can now be viewed on Amazon. Some books can be found on-line at Google Books.
          25. Father Edward Schillebeeckx's words of wisdom as found in his books.
          27. The books of the following : Professors Gerd Ludemann, Marcus Borg, Paula Fredriksen, Elaine Pagels, Karen Armstrong and Bishop NT Wright.
          28. Father Raymond Brown's An Introduction to the New Testament, Doubleday, NY, 1977, 878 pages, with Nihil obstat and Imprimatur.
          29. Luke Timothy Johnson's book The Real Jesus

          November 14, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
  15. richunix

    @Allen,

    Very much so, the Jews believed in the following Gods…BAAL, YAHWEH, his wife Asherah and finally EL. All are listed in your Bible and all are early cannaites gods. Paganism is the root of Christianity and still is be practiced to date.

    Stephen F Roberts: “I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”

    November 14, 2013 at 7:35 am |
  16. EWagner635

    Who freakin cares what they think, tough

    November 14, 2013 at 7:28 am |
  17. Oneforall777

    Actually Christianity is really a Jewish history with a major twist in that the early Jewish apostles and disciples really did believe that Yeshua (Jesus) was the Messiah spoken of by the Old Testament Prophets. They even wrote about it in what is today called the New Testament. He came as the Suffering Messiah as spoken of by Isaiah, Jeremiah, Zacharia etc.

    The Jews of that time who did not believe in Jesus as the Messiah were looking for a 'King' Messiah, a 'Ruler' Messiah to free them from the Romans – but they didn't realize he must first come as the Suffering Messiah in order to fulfill the prophesies of the Old Testament – he came to serve and suffer the total sins of the world, he was a Sacrifice – BUT he will come again as King, as is written and as he promised, then truly he will be King of Kings and Lord of Lords, just as the Jews of his day wanted. First sacrifice, then Kingship. Makes sense. Seeing as he has had an adversary from the beginning, named Lucifer. Yeshua must come as King again because Lucifer cannot continue to reign as Prince of this Earth forever.

    Unfortunately those early Jewish leaders did not want to see this, they wanted what they wanted. They failed and still fail to understand why God sent the Messiah, as he did. Not to rule over the whole world yet, but to be a sacrifice for the sins of the idolatrous, hypocritical ways of the people of that time. But no, the High Priests would have none of it. And so here we are. The 'Christians' have been given an opportunity that the Jews had so long ago and many Christians have taken that opportunity to have faith that Yeshua was and is the Messiah and will come again as King of all and that the ones who believe he is the Messiah will be able to rule with him and have this everlasting life, whilst those who do not believe, have the choice to follow Lucifer (Satan) and not have everlasting life in the new Kindgom. Basically 2 choices and we're all making one or the other every day.

    I personally was born from a Jew and a Catholic. I know and understand both religions. I choose to believe that the world's Messiah has come already, took all the terrible sins of the world upon himself when he was sacrificed (which he had to do according to the old testament) and will come again as the crowning King of Kings and destroy Satan and his followers.

    This is not a fable folks, this is written history. I am always surprised that the Rabbis don't read their own Bible as they should, they read the first five books of Moses (Torah) – why? What about ALL of the Old Testament – there they will clearly see who God's Prophets were talking about – A Messiah who is lowly, riding on a donkey, who would suffer for us, who would be disfigured, who would be pierced, who would be from the line of David, who would be born to a young girl, whose clothes would be divided after death – I mean it goes on and on....who do the Jews think this all relates to?

    Well I for one would love to see more present day Jews understand the one and only Messiah and come to him before it is too late. God bless.

    November 14, 2013 at 7:28 am |
    • Ralphster

      God bless, Oneforall777

      November 14, 2013 at 7:33 am |
    • Reality # 2

      Only for the newbies:

      2. Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Ludemann, Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

      The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.

      earlychristianwritings.com/

      For added "pizzazz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "filicider".

      Current RCC problems:

      Pedophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

      Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

      Current problems:
      Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

      November 14, 2013 at 7:44 am |
      • Oneforall777

        @Reality#2 – You have already made your choice to follow him who is the 'Father of lies from the beginning'. I talk of Lucifer. It is your choice to spread hatred and deception and listen to people instead of reading the Bible for yourself. I pray that people will individually take it upon themselves to find out the truth, which can only be found in God's word, through his prophets. Satan is a powerful enemy and many today want to avoid this truth. However God is more powerful by far and he has his own timing. Please, I beg you, if you have it in you. Read the Bible first, then you can decide on the truth. Listen to no one, but pray first for enlightenment, try not to allow your own bias to influence you – then read. I pray you may see the truth and not be blinded by falsehoods that appear on the surface to be facts. Satan is the master of confusion.

        November 14, 2013 at 7:59 am |
        • Gheorghe Gheorghe

          Well said Oneforall777!

          November 14, 2013 at 8:17 am |
        • Reality # 2

          AND THE INFAMOUS ANGELIC/SATANIC CONS CONTINUE TO WREAK STUPIDITY UPON THE WORLD

          Joe Smith had his Moroni. (As does M. Romney)

          "Latter-day Saints like M. Romney also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah."

          Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God;

          Mohammed had his Gabriel (this "tin-kerbell" got around).

          Jesus and his family had/has Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day demon of the demented. (As do BO and his family)(As do Biden and Ryan)

          The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other "no-namers" to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.

          Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these "pretty wingie/horn-blowing thingies" to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.

          November 14, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
  18. aby smith

    Jesus is their Messiah... what is the problem?

    November 14, 2013 at 7:25 am |
    • carl lafong

      he's not my messiah – i'm jewish

      November 14, 2013 at 7:32 am |
      • Oneforall777

        @carl lafong. He is if you want him to be. Try not to follow the dictates of man's religion, Jewish or otherwise. Read the whole Bible yourself (Old and New), with prayer to God for guidance before you read, then decide yourself if the Messiah has come or not. We are saved and judged by God individually, not as a group.

        November 14, 2013 at 7:46 am |
    • hkirwin

      aby smith

      Jesus is their Messiah... what is the problem?
      =================================================================

      .............as opposed to Obama being your Messiah?

      November 14, 2013 at 7:34 am |
    • Charm Quark

      Back in the day Messiahs were a dime a dozen. Now Paul being an accomplished huckster picked a martyr of sorts, jesus, to get the scam up and running. This was probably well planned, pick out a preacher already dead so you do not have to have him replicate the supernatural tales you spin about his life. I would really have preferred if Bacchus or Dionysus had taken the lead and kept it, they always had very fine wine.

      November 14, 2013 at 7:52 am |
  19. James Barber

    A good president to the Jewish people. Not so good for Americans. Every religion has done their share of persecution and killing then portray themselves as victims. What happened to the Jews was horrible and disgusting. But also consider what the christians did to the Native Americans here in the US and through out the Americas.

    November 14, 2013 at 7:25 am |
    • Reality # 2

      The Twenty (or so) Worst Things GOD'S CREATURES Have Done to Each Other:

      M. White, http://necrometrics.com/warstatz.htm#u (required reading)

      The Muslim Conquest of India

      "The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

      Rank …..Death Toll ..Cause …..Centuries……..(Religions/Groups involved)*

      1. 63 million Second World War 20C (Christians et al and Communists/atheists vs. Christians et al, Nazi-Pagan and "Shintoists")

      2. 40 million Mao Zedong (mostly famine) 20C (Communism)

      3. 40 million Genghis Khan 13C (Shamanism or Tengriism)

      4. 27 million British India (mostly famine) 19C (Anglican)

      5. 25 million Fall of the Ming Dynasty 17C (Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Chinese folk religion)

      6. 20 million Taiping Rebellion 19C ( Confucianism, Buddhism and Chinese folk religion vs. a form of Christianity)

      7. 20 million Joseph Stalin 20C (Communism)

      8. 19 million Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C (Islam)

      9. 17 million Timur Lenk 14C-15C

      10. 16 million Atlantic Slave Trade 15C-19C (Christianity)

      11. 15 million First World War 20C (Christians vs. Christians)

      12. 15 million Conquest of the Americas 15C-19C (Christians vs. Pagans)

      13. 13 million Muslim Conquest of India 11C-18C

      14. 10 million An Lushan Revolt 8C

      15. 10 million Xin Dynasty 1C

      16. 9 million Russian Civil War 20C (Christians vs Communists)

      17. 8 million Fall of Rome 5C (Pagans vs. Christians)

      18. 8 million Congo Free State 19C-20C (Christians)

      19. 7½ million Thirty Years War 17C (Christians vs Christians)

      20. 7½ million Fall of the Yuan Dynasty 14C

      November 14, 2013 at 7:46 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.