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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. Colin

    A quick 10 question quiz might help explain why young Jews (and Christians) are deserting religion in droves. The core problem the priests, ministers and rabbis face is the internet. Suddenly they no longer have a monopoly on what they tell these kids while they are too young to know any better. The kids can fact check themselves and, of course, Judaism and Christianity are soon exposed as having a lot of, well, utter silliness to them.

    Q.1 The completely absurd theory that all 7,000,000,000 human beings on the planet are simultaneously being supervised 24 hours a day, every day of their lives by an immortal, invisible being for the purposes of reward or punishment in an “afterlife” comes from the field of:

    (a) Bad science fiction;

    (b) Children’s fairytales;

    (c) Hallucinogenic psychology; or

    (d) Religion

    Q. 2 What is the only thing capable of making 40% of the country utterly stupid enough to think the entire Universe began less than 10,000 years ago with one man, one woman and a talking snake:

    (a) a horrid disease

    (b) a failed education system

    (c) a successful Al Qaeda plot; or

    (d) Christianity?

    Q. 3 Please complete the following sentence. It is not uncommon in many parts of the World for a young man to strap a suicide vest to himself and blow himself up and members of a rival __________

    (i) corporation

    (ii) university

    (iii) research insti.tute; or

    (iv) church?

    Q. 4 It is only acceptable as an adult to believe Bronze Age mythology like talking snakes, the Red Sea splitting, mana falling from the sky, a man living in a whale's belly, a talking donkey, superhuman strength, a man rising from the dead and angels, ghosts, gods and demons in the field of:

    (a) history

    (b) literature

    (c) anthropology

    (d) religion

    Q.5 I have convinced myself that gay $ex is a choice and not genetic, but then have no explanation as to why only gay people have ho.mo$exual urges. I am being obstinate and closed minded due to my:

    (a) hetero$exuality

    (b) genetics

    (c) nationality; or

    (d) religion.

    Q6. I honestly believe that, when I think silent thoughts like, “please god, help me pass my exam tomorrow,” some invisible being is reading my mind and will intervene and alter what would otherwise be the course of history in small ways to help me. I am

    (a) a delusional schizophrenic;

    (b) a naïve child, too young to know that that is silly

    (c) an ignorant farmer from Sudan who never had the benefit of even a fifth grade education; or

    (d) your average Christian, Muslim or Jew who believes that prayers are answered

    Q7. Millions and millions of Catholics believe that bread and wine turns into the actual flesh and blood of a dead Jew from 2,000 years ago because:

    (a) there are obvious visible changes in the condiments after the Catholic priest does his hocus pocus;

    (b) tests have confirmed a divine presence in the bread and wine;

    (c) now and then their god shows up and confirms this story; or

    (d) their religious convictions tell them to blindly accept this completely fvcking absurd nonsense.

    Q.8 The only discipline known to often cause people to kill others they have never met and/or to commit suicide in its furtherance is:

    (a) Architecture;

    (b) Philosophy;

    (c) Archeology; or

    (d) Religion

    Q.9 What is it that most differentiates science and all other intellectual disciplines from religion:

    (a) Religion tells people not only what they should believe, but what they MUST believe under threat of “burning in hell” or other of divine retribution, whereas science, economics, medicine etc. has no “sacred cows” in terms of doctrine and go where the evidence leads them;

    (b) Religion can make a statement, such as “God is comprised of God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit”, and be totally immune from experimentation and challenge, whereas science can only make factual assertions when supported by considerable evidence;

    (c) Science and the scientific method is universal and consistent all over the World whereas all religion is regional and a person’s religion, no matter how deeply held, is clearly nothing more than a matter of upbringing; or

    (d) All of the above.

    Q.10 If I am found wandering the streets flagellating myself, wading into a filth river, mutilating my child’s genitals or kneeling down in a church believing that a being is somehow reading my inner thoughts and prayers, I am likely driven by:

    (a) a deep psychiatric issue;

    (b) an irrational fear or phobia;

    (c) a severe mental degeneration caused by years of drug abuse; or

    (d) my religious belief.

    November 13, 2013 at 9:56 pm |
    • Priest

      LOL – you forget one. The messenger has arrived and its YOU that is the concern right now

      November 13, 2013 at 9:58 pm |
    • BPepik

      Q11. If I believe that that "I can keep my health insurance if I like it" I am:
      a) Liberal moro n
      b) Black
      c) Union thug
      d) Hollywood nitwit
      e) All of the above

      Q12. If I believe that attack was reaction to YouTube video I am:
      a) Liberal moro n
      b) Black
      c) Union thug
      d) Hollywood nitwit
      e) All of the above

      Q13. If I believe that IRS did not go after conservative groups I am:
      a) Liberal moro n
      b) Black
      c) Union thug
      d) Hollywood nitwit
      e) All of the above

      Q14. If I believe there was no Red Line drawn on Syria I am:
      a) Liberal moro n
      b) Black
      c) Union thug
      d) Hollywood nitwit
      e) All of the above

      November 13, 2013 at 10:18 pm |
      • Colin

        Worked out your theory for the origins of the Universe yet? Are you going with the Big Bang + a magic act by the Judeo Christian god or the talking snake? Which is it?

        November 13, 2013 at 10:21 pm |
  2. Priest

    Question for the masses: Who has ever, man or religion, or beast, has ever followed the commandments laid out in Torah in the LAND OF ISRAEL?

    The Jews don't follow Torah, they follow Talmud.
    The Muslims before them didn't either
    The Christians before them didn't either

    In fact you must go back over 2000 years to find the Priesthood, the Hebrews, the religion of Moses, only THEY, lived in Israel under TORAH, as commanded.

    November 13, 2013 at 9:54 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I don't imagine you have much use for the Zohar.

      November 13, 2013 at 9:58 pm |
  3. Kathy, AZ

    I'm an atheist. People try to convert me to every dam religion there is. It doesn't work. What's the big deal? I'm NOT, & have NEVER been, a Bush supporter, but, if he wants to speak to this group, it's no one else business. I have a nephew & his wife, who were extremely Evangelical Christian, & they converted to Judaism. My point is -– WHO CARES?? People have something called "free will". If they want to do, or be, something else, they will. Taint no bodies business but their own.

    November 13, 2013 at 9:46 pm |
    • Priest

      I love innocent ones like you

      November 13, 2013 at 9:48 pm |
    • Priest

      Kathy and the rest of you darlings, how do you explain BAD LUCK?

      Scientific?

      November 13, 2013 at 9:50 pm |
      • sly

        Absolutely not scientific! Gosh, dem durn seeintists believe 97% of em, that dar ain't no gad! can you belieeeeeeeeeeve?

        Nope – dem darned fillo-pino's just got smoted by the Big Guy! Yee Haw. They wasn't doing nuff for our Big Boss (see Palm 42-.5%diveved/)

        November 13, 2013 at 9:57 pm |
        • Priest

          Boy those Catholic dominated countries sure are suffering these days

          November 13, 2013 at 9:59 pm |
      • G to the T

        Bad luck = confirmation bias. Just like "good luck".

        November 14, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • kendall

      Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:24-29 ESV)

      November 13, 2013 at 10:07 pm |
  4. Christianity on steroids

    Look I'm speaking in tongues: sksbdbdjdbdbxjxb!

    November 13, 2013 at 9:44 pm |
    • Kathy, AZ

      To this day, I have no idea what the hell that is.

      November 13, 2013 at 9:47 pm |
  5. Sal Goldberg

    Oy Vey. When will the gentiles recognize how inferior their religion is?

    November 13, 2013 at 9:40 pm |
    • Priest

      Vey, its not a matter of recognize until both you childlike heathens recognize the religion that predated you both – The religion of Moses and the laws of the Priesthood, you both helped to destroy

      November 13, 2013 at 9:42 pm |
  6. Bones327

    I was born into a Conservative (bordering on the Orthodox) Jewish home in NY. I grew up reading the Torah, the Prophets and the Writings, what Jews call the Tanakh and what Christians call the "Old Testament." For lack of a better word, I will call it Scripture.

    I understand what Jewish people mean, when they say they do not want to be "converted" to Christianity, because the whole concept has a very nasty history, as some writers have eluded.

    However, the simple truth of the matter is that, as a Jew I recognize that "Elohim" is a plural proper noun. It says in Genesis "Let us make man in our image." That is the Torah. Ask yourself, as I have, who is the "use" to which the Deity is referring when He describes Himself.

    When you read the 2nd Psalm, who is the Deity talking to? You must be honest with yourself.

    When you read Isaiah 9 and it says:

    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.

    How can you deny that it says the Deity will present Himself to us as a Human being?

    When you read Isaiah 53, it is impossible to deny that you see, in the words of one of Israel's greatest prophets, the death burial and resurrection of the Messiah foretold 700 years before it happened.

    No one converted me. The LORD opened my eyes and I see Him in the Tanakh. If you look, you cannot miss Him.

    November 13, 2013 at 9:40 pm |
    • Priest

      You should have stopped reading after Torah. You likely got really confused after you filled your head with the Prophets, writings and the best of the Jewish religion, THE TALMUD

      November 13, 2013 at 9:45 pm |
      • Bones327

        Confused, I am not. Blind you are, if you will not read the words of the Prophets the Deity sent to Israel.

        November 13, 2013 at 9:53 pm |
        • Priest

          Just don't care to be labelled a hypocriter and blasphemouser or barbiarainer

          November 13, 2013 at 9:57 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Isaiah 53 kind of falters here:

      Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
      and though the Lord makes[c] his life an offering for sin,
      he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
      and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.

      Prophecies always seem to have a little hitch in them that has to be explained away.

      November 13, 2013 at 9:46 pm |
      • Priest

        More hokus pokus from a religious book

        November 13, 2013 at 9:49 pm |
      • Bones327

        Messiah was always destined to be "kara" cut-off, assassinated, but not for any offense he committed. He permitted Himself to be sacrificed, so that you could be reconciled to the Deity when there was no Mosaic system available to you for the expiation of your sins.

        November 13, 2013 at 9:57 pm |
        • Priest

          Your guy was suicidal and depressed and a big trouble maker. In Israel, under Priestly law, blasphemousers are put to death

          November 13, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
  7. Garth

    Ahhh religion.... what a waste.

    November 13, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
  8. Shawn

    I am so sick of Jews playing like the hurt puppy all the time. Other religions attempt to convert people all the frickin time. It's a non-issue until it's targeting Jews. Then it's the end of the frickin world. If Judaism is so awesome, then you need not fear anybody leaving it, eh? Save your crocodile tears for one of the other thousand things you people cry about.

    November 13, 2013 at 9:38 pm |
    • Priest

      You are sick, is a part I like most about your rant

      November 13, 2013 at 9:41 pm |
      • Shawn

        Is this an example of your Holiness making you better than me? Your wishing people who disagree with you to be in pain?

        You make a model Theist, honestly.

        November 13, 2013 at 9:43 pm |
        • Priest

          God commaned that those that do not follow Torah, in the Land of Israel, should die

          November 13, 2013 at 9:45 pm |
    • sly

      Wow Shawn, wherever you live must be rather stressful.

      Where I live, folks wouldn't have any idea of anyone else's religion, anytime, of the day. So, the way it works, no one even knows if anyone else around them has any religion, let alone, which one it is.

      And they interact in a big city, doing all those things that all y'all do in the big city. And folks keep religion to themselves.

      You see – that way, no one gets all mad. We'all try to be happy, or at least co-exist letting each other be happy.

      November 13, 2013 at 9:49 pm |
  9. Lobo

    Bushie was a disaster both as human and as president. He led this country into wars fought for fun and profit. Hundreds if not millions died. He destabilized a whole region and when it was thoroughly wrecked he walked away to preside over the near destruction of the American way of life. His absolute belief of he did no wrong is indicative of personality disorder brought on by untreated alcoholism and never having to face any consequences of his massive corruption and malfeasance. The fact that politicians and there ilk under the color of law can kill with impunity, corrupt with no boundaries is new and ugly facet of this blood soaked country, for our way of life.

    November 13, 2013 at 9:35 pm |
    • Bones327

      "I am good at killing people."

      Barack Hussein Obama

      November 13, 2013 at 9:42 pm |
      • sly

        yeah yeah ... Our American President is killing folks all the time ... why, I saw Barack, or at least it looked like a black guy, kill someone the other day.

        Yep, we've got world wars going on right now, all caused by our President Obama. yep ... better go hide in your bomb shelter for the next 2 years ya teabillies!

        November 13, 2013 at 9:54 pm |
    • BPepik

      I miss him dearly, for example.

      And I know where your hatred is coming from: Man of principles, like Dubia, just highlights how incompetent, lying turd, and stupid community organizer your king is – and how stupid all libs look now because falling for him...

      November 13, 2013 at 9:43 pm |
  10. Priest

    Which people came first? Which is correct?

    Hebrews, Christians, Jews

    or

    Hebrews, Jews, Christians

    November 13, 2013 at 9:33 pm |
    • Colin

      Australopithicus Afarenses, Ho.mo Habilis, Ho.mo Erectur, Hom.o Sapiens.......

      November 13, 2013 at 9:36 pm |
      • Priest

        יְבָרֶכְךָ יְהוָה, וְיִשְׁמְרֶךָ.
        יָאֵר יְהוָה פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ, וִיחֻנֶּךָּ.
        יִשָּׂא יְהוָה פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ, וְיָשֵׂם לְךָ שָׁלוֹם.

        November 13, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
        • sly

          hmmm... kinda like joe Montana or steve young (ok, pretty easy there..) or allah, jesus or (write in god)

          a joke. Everyone knows Barry Bonds is God.

          November 13, 2013 at 9:41 pm |
        • Bones327

          For those of you who do not speak Hebrew, this is the Aaronic Benediction from Numbers 6:22-27

          "YHWH spoke to Moses and told him "speak to Aaron and his sons and tell him this is how he shall bless the Israelites:"

          May YHWH bless you and keep you;
          May YHWH cause His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you;
          May YHWH life up His countenance upon you and give you His peace;
          And they shall place my name upon the Children of Israel and I will bless them."

          May you all be blessed with these words. Amen

          November 13, 2013 at 9:51 pm |
        • sly

          no way oy vey ... there must've been some mention of Barry Bond if we're talking about God ... can you recheck your sources?

          November 13, 2013 at 9:59 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      When did we become people?

      November 13, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
      • Priest

        OK wise guy, religion, just answer the God Daym question

        November 13, 2013 at 9:47 pm |
  11. Dude

    The man who thought Jesus wanted him to be president is going to address the center for cultural genocide.

    Equally surprising, scientists predict the sun will rise tomorrow morning.

    November 13, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
    • sly

      dude, you've got it wrong. Bush was the chosen one, it's in the bible (bush palm 41.3dsa1s) And we know He did lead us into the promised land. Let's hear it from the Bush Chorus... Hallel.. ok forget it.

      November 13, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
      • Dude

        When defeat was certain, Bush brought salvation and victory.

        Unfortunately, that was at Tora Bora and it was salvation and victory for Al-Qeada and the Taliban.

        November 13, 2013 at 9:46 pm |
        • sly

          Hey, I believe in bringing happiness everywhere all the time, even if it is the 'enemy'. Nothin more amusing than war, so you might as well laugh.

          November 13, 2013 at 10:01 pm |
  12. v4Vendetta

    He'd talk to the Hitler youth if he can scam a buck. He's a horrible POS (and I'm not jewish).

    November 13, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
    • Dude

      "Talk", heII he'd join up.

      November 13, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
  13. Colin

    Judaism is the belief that an all-knowing, immortal being, powerful enough to have created the entire Universe and its billions of galaxies about 13,720,000,000 years ago, cares how much skin I have on my di.ck.

    Christianity is the belief that this god impregnated a Greco-Roman Jewish virgin with himself, so he could give birth to himself then sacrifice himself to himself so he himself would forgive the original sin of a couple we now all know never existed.

    Atheism is the belief that the above beliefs are fvcking childish and stupid.

    November 13, 2013 at 9:27 pm |
    • Bazinga

      Smartest comment ever!

      November 13, 2013 at 9:29 pm |
    • Priest

      LOL – I'll see you in the fox hole

      November 13, 2013 at 9:31 pm |
      • G to the T

        http://militaryatheists.org/atheists-in-foxholes/

        November 14, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • Dude

      All religions suffer from the "I'm right and I have to convince everyone I'm right" syndrome. Some more than others. None worse than atheists.

      November 13, 2013 at 9:33 pm |
    • Atul C

      That common sense is not so common.

      November 13, 2013 at 9:34 pm |
    • BPepik

      No, Atheists are moro ns that BELIEVE that all matter in universe was concentrated into little speck, there was no time, no existence – then all of a sudden – poof – and time started and that little speck expanded into present universe...
      Now tell me who is more silly believer...

      November 13, 2013 at 9:37 pm |
      • Colin

        But, I thought Christians and Jews believed exactly the same thing, they just add that a magic god was behind the whole thing, no? If not, what do they believe? Surely not the "six days and a talking snake" theory.

        November 13, 2013 at 9:40 pm |
        • BPepik

          You are so cool man..! Just continue to make an ass of yourself..

          November 13, 2013 at 9:49 pm |
        • Colin

          My apparent personality flaws aside, do you agree or not?

          November 13, 2013 at 9:57 pm |
      • Shawn

        Right....and when Xtians think they -poof-, suddenly this magical sky God just suddenly appeared from nowhere, is so much more believable, right? The difference between Atheists and Theists is that Atheists are searching for evidence of creation, rather than ignoring it and believing instead.

        November 13, 2013 at 9:41 pm |
    • Ze'ev

      Jews don't care what anyone else believes. We don't proselytize because we believe that you don't have to be Jewish to be a good person, or to be OK with God. God, couldn't care less about what you do with your genitalia. That was a covenant between us and him. I don't get why atheists get so worked up about what others believe, they seem to just enjoy calling others names, throwing tantrums, and generally wanting others to see them as super intelligent intellectuals. Talk about being childish.

      November 13, 2013 at 10:19 pm |
      • Colin

        So Ze'ev, presumably you'd have no problem witht the comment that "Judaism is the belief that an all-knowing, immortal being, powerful enough to have created the entire Universe and its billions of galaxies about 13,720,000,000 years ago, cares how much skin JEWS have on THEIR di.ck.

        Yeah, now that makes a lot more sense -:)

        November 14, 2013 at 2:39 am |
  14. Michael Rio

    In the Jewish community there is a wide range of beliefs from Orthodox to Conservative to Reform and even Jews who call themselves "atheists" are still considered "Jews." What about a Jew who believes in Jesus? Well if Jesus (Yeshua) is who He said He was, then the most Jewish thing a Jew could do is to believe in "Yeshua Ha Mashiach" or the in English "Jesus the Messiah." The fact is Jesus was Jewish, He claimed to be the Jewish Messiah, the apostles were likely all Jewish, the early believers in what became later known as "Christianity" were all Jewish, and the great apostle to the Gentiles, Rabbi Shaul (Paul) was Jewish. The "Brit Hadasha" (New Testament) is a very Jewish book. Jews who believe that Yeshua (Jesus) is the Jewish Messiah are also still Jews and many refer to themselves as "Messianic Jews." Comparing such people to evil periods of history is a form of bigotry to smear well-meaning believers who have absolutely nothing in common with such groups. True believers of Yeshua as the Jewish Messiah are to love and support the Jewish people. If Jesus is the Jewish Messiah, then all Jews should believe in him while also still being very Jewish. This is all addressed in the Gospel to the Jews by Matiyahu (Mathew). May God bless the Jewish people! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lq7pfHaWZ1Q&list=PL155BA7EBE31129D1

    November 13, 2013 at 9:25 pm |
    • Priest

      Tobe a Jew, in the true sense, is to have a Jewish soul, according to Orthodox Jews, which is acquired form the MOTHER Jew

      November 13, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
      • togitl188

        this is true!

        November 13, 2013 at 9:49 pm |
    • RobertaZ

      A "Jew" who believes in Jesus as the Messiah is not a Jew, but a Christian, despite what the supposed messianic folks would like you to believe. Pretty basic and pretty simple. I Like the article's example of calling oneself a Jew, while believing in Jesus as the Messiah is like a person who says he is a vegetarian but continues to enjoy steaks.

      November 13, 2013 at 9:54 pm |
  15. Priest

    Jews believe that Moses was a Jew. This I believe to be incorrect. He was a
    Hebrew when he died, whose religious books were only the written Torah.

    The religion of Moses and that of fellow Hebrews was a different religion to
    Judaism up until the holy books were changed, specifically the addition of
    the Oral Torah, the Talmud many years later starting in 70AD.

    It can be argued that the Talmud was always present, the 'Oral Law' with
    Moses, that nothing had changed, but it did. The traditions were put into
    writing, a divine book, forbidden under laws of Torah. This book is called
    Talmud. This essentially changed the religion of the Hebrews to the religion
    of the Jews.

    To say that a religion that worships the written Torah, Prophets, Writings
    and Talmud is the same religion as one that only worships the written Torah,
    is simply not true.

    November 13, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
    • Colin

      Moses was very likely ficti.tious. IT is very unlikely that such a person ever lived.

      November 13, 2013 at 9:29 pm |
      • Priest

        How sure you are alive? How sure are you that you know your parents? Are you sure of anything? Spouting can be such fun

        November 13, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
        • G to the T

          How about this – is there any outside evidence that the Exodus events are accurate? So far, I have seen none in favor and some against. How's about you?

          November 14, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
  16. Bill

    I am an American Jew. I think that George W. is a fine human being. I also think he is the most naïve person to have been President of The United States. He spent most of his years as President being manipulated by Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney who were intent on funneling trillions of taxpayer dollars in to the pockets of their corporate buddies and didn't care how many American lives were lost in their "wag the dog" war. My biggest complaint about the Messianic groups is that they pretend to be Jewish organizations when in fact they are Christian organizations. if they believe in their mission they should be up front with people they solicit and say they are trying convert Jews to Christianity. On the other hand, if we don't educate our young people to understand the theological distinctions between Judaism and Christianity then we are failing to do our job for our children. I see many Jewish and Christian groups work together to do good works for people in need. I do not believe that President Bush's decision to speak to this group in any way increases their credibility in the eyes of others. I expect that if I had worked on his staff I would be a little disappointed by his decision but it really is no big deal. I do hope he collects his regular speaker's fee.

    November 13, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
    • Priest

      Anyone that causes the death of people, loses the fine human being flare, imo

      November 13, 2013 at 9:36 pm |
    • togirl188

      I still find it hard to believe that a man that ignorant of the world could make it to the office of POTUS. Just MHO, but easily the worst president you have ever had.

      BTW, I'm jewish too, and frankly I don't give a rats youknowwhat what Bush does as long as he doesn't run for office anywhere again. I wish these Messianic Christians would leave us alone, I am sick and tired of being their target.

      November 13, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      I do hope he collects his regular speaker's fee.

      No worries about that. This $100 – $100,000 a plate dinner is being held in Dallas. They'll sell out.

      November 13, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
  17. Colin

    As an atheist, it is just so funny watching the various believers argue over who has the right sky-fairy and why the others are wrong. It's like being a parent on a verandah watching children squabble over who has the strongest make-believe friend.

    November 13, 2013 at 9:21 pm |
    • Bob

      "my Unicorn is stronger then your Mermaid!!!"

      November 13, 2013 at 9:25 pm |
      • sly

        that was good – they even saw a 'unicorn' in se asia recently. rare. not quite as rare as a god sighting, although we've got it covered over at godsighting.com.

        November 13, 2013 at 9:37 pm |
  18. JJ

    W was out of his league when leading anything more sophisticated than a fraternity beer party.

    He's out of his league again.

    November 13, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
  19. michaelrivest1

    Folks are surprised by this? Please. As always, it is not Christian faith; it is fundamentalism, it's hopeless counterfeit

    November 13, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
  20. Christianity on steroids

    Is Bush gonna start speaking in tongues?? Or will the Holy Ghost gonna give him epilepsy?

    November 13, 2013 at 9:13 pm |
    • Observer

      He did speak in tongues:

      "I like my buddies from west Texas. I liked them when I was young, I liked them then I was middle-age, I liked them before I was president, and I like them during president, and I like them after president." – President George W. Bush

      November 13, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
      • sly

        Come on, lay off ol Alfred E Newman. I kinda miss him on the republican side. He seemed so Reagan-esce innocent, which allowed each to infiltrate and kill throughout the world, for years, advancing the 'American position'.

        November 13, 2013 at 9:45 pm |
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About this blog

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.