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Irony of Christian Zionism

Reader comment on item: [Christian Zionism:] Israel's Best Weapon?

Submitted by Horace Jeffery Hodges, Ph.D. (Republic Of Korea), Jul 15, 2003 at 19:21

Truman's private musings are perhaps indicative of Christian Zionism's divided heart.

Christian Zionists support Israel and Jews but see the former's existence as a necessary precondition to the second coming of the messiah and the latter as targets for conversion. This does not mean that Christian Zionists are superficial in their support, but it does mean that Jews will likely feel uncomfortable about accepting this support.

There's a dark side to Christian Zionism, in my opinion. Recall Jerry Falwell's support of Israel and his remark about Jews, namely, that a Jew can make more money than a Christian without even trying. In itself, this was not antisemitic because he attributed it to God's blessings on Jews. But it mirrors antisemitic views that attribute to Jews an inordinate facility with money. And the Christian Zionist belief that the Jews play a central role in shaping history is also a mirror of the darker, antisemitic view that the Jews manipulate history.

Truman publicly supported Israel and courted the Jewish vote; privately, he expressed views bordering on antisemitism. One has to wonder if many Christian Zionists are similarly double-hearted, i.e., publicly philosemitic but privately antisemitic. If so, then eschatological disappointment might release the private antisemitism and make it the publicly expressed view.
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