Anti-Semitism in various forms has been on the rise in leftist Christian "social justice" circles for several years – in parallel to the Marxist "Boycott, Divest and Sanction" (BDS) movement against Israel – and appears to be coalescing around the theme and label of anti-Zionism (which helps people avoid the "anti-Semite" label and the accumulated baggage that comes with it.)
"Anti-Zionism" suggests a narrower focus of opposition on just the history and geopolitics behind the establishment and perpetuation of the nation of Israel and the supposed manipulations of the U.S., U.K. and other governments by super-rich Jewish "banksters" and other Jewish elites – but on the whole anti-Zionism is just a new name for Jew-hatred, and it is a movement that has become for most a virtual cult whose members are dogmatic to the point of irrationality.
Unfortunately, there is a swath of conservative Christendom that is doctrinally susceptible to false anti-Zionist reasoning, and thus the cult has become common ground for leftist and rightist Jew haters. I am one of the few conservative constitutionalists willing to address the subject head-on with balance and objectivity, which means admitting that some of the talking points of the anti-Zionists have some merit (e.g., George Soros and his ilk are truly evil). But I have been forced to end most of my debates with anti-Zionists for their refusal to concede any arguments from the pro-Jewish side of the debate that contradict their extensive multi-faceted dogma, no matter how strong the facts and reasoning may be.
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Technically, "Zionism" is a Jewish nationalist movement launched in 1897, but Judeo-Christian support for the return of the Jews to Israel is as old as Bible literalism itself because God promised that land to Abraham and his descendants in Genesis 15:18-21 and predicted their last days return to it through many prophecies, including Ezekiel 37:15-28. British Christian believers in a future Millennial Kingdom were actually hard at work repatriating Jews in the Holy Land at least a half century before political Zionism was established. Their (still-active) headquarters is the oldest Protestant church compound in Jerusalem, which today operates a guest house I've stayed at several times.
One common anti-Zionist argument is that calling America "Judeo-Christian" is false and revisionist. I will focus this article on rebutting that claim and in the process expose some of the unfairness and illogic of anti-Zionism.
Christian anti-Zionists argue that "Judeo-Christian" is an oxymoron since Jews are "anti-Christ" because they deny that Jesus/Yeshua is the Christ and thus claim that Judaism and Christianity are 100% incompatible and contradictory. Yes, Jews who adhere to Judaism deny Christ, but so do typical secular-minded, evolution-believing, Gentile, American atheists. If being "anti-Christ" forecloses all interaction with Christians, then anti-Zionists are grossly hypocritical in shunning Jews while happily coexisting with almost everyone else. The hypocrisy is compounded by the fact that true Jews share 90% of Christian beliefs and values and are strong allies on essential things like family and creationism, while the atheist thinks everything we believe is a fairy tale. The term Judeo-Christian is, in part, an acknowledgment of that special relationship, which is central to Christian theology as explained by the Apostle Paul. His oft-repeated maxim "for the Jew first, and also for the Greek" is an explicit prioritization-mandate for Christians toward our closest spiritual cousins.
Christian anti-Zionists typically fail to clearly distinguish true Jews from false Jews (Revelation 2:9) and good Jews from bad Jews (Jeremiah 24). There is no effort to identify and praise the many Jews whose contributions to the betterment of civilization are exemplary or to separate and protect the innocent Jews who have no part in the evils done by bad Jews. Lumping people together without regard for their individual merit is not just unfair but unbiblical (Jeremiah 31:29).
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It would be one thing if their group identity was based on voluntary conduct, such as homosexuality, which is evil by definition (Leviticus 18:22), but Jewish identity is either or both an ethnicity and/or a religion, neither of which are evil in and of themselves. One could argue that Judaism's denial of Christ is implicitly evil, but God has taken hands-on control of that question and has a clear plan for addressing it in Romans 11 – a plan that expressly defines the correct attitude and role of Christians in the matter (i.e., humble respect and thankful anticipation of the future salvation of "all Israel"). Paul would have traded his own salvation for theirs! (Romans 9:3-5)
Another common anti-Zionist talking point is that many of the majority Askenazi Jews are not ethnic Hebrews but rather Khazars forcibly converted to Judaism centuries ago. That claim is heavily contested but largely irrelevant. While, yes, it would be fair to say that modern "secular Jews" who are neither ethnically Hebrew nor practitioners of Judaism are not really Jews at all, it would not be fair to say that ALL Ashkenazi Jews are non-Hebrews or that any practitioners of Judaism are made illegitimate by non-Hebrew heritage, since it was never forbidden for non-Hebrews to become Jews (Deuteronomy 23:1-8). Furthermore, considering that only DNA testing would determine the ethnic heritage of each person, and that genetic blending over multiple generations virtually guarantees some Hebrew heritage in the members of that gene pool, the Khazarian question is essentially moot on its face.
The more relevant question, and something of legitimate concern to Christians and true Jews alike is to what extent people who call themselves Jews are faithful to the Torah. That is something that can be measured by observation on a case by case basis and provides a legitimate grounds for assessing merit by God's standards, not man's. So I join in condemnation of any Jews who defy God, just as I condemn God-defying Christians.
But to the more specific question of whether "Judeo-Christian" is an appropriate label for America, consider how much of our national uniqueness originated in the Christian Hebraic Movement of the 16th and 17th centuries. That uniqueness is exemplified by the Pilgrim Separatists who fled persecution by the Puritan Anglicans (devoted to "purifying" their top-down ecclesiastical model of church) to Leiden, Holland, for a dozen years, before sailing to America. In Holland they interacted so closely and harmoniously with the Christian-friendly Jews that their theological focus shifted from fourth-century Constantinian Rome back to first-century Jerusalem, reflected in the fact that the chief holiday of early Pilgrim America was Thanksgiving (the Feast of Tabernacles) and not Christmas or Easter.
Meanwhile, back in the British Isles, the Scottish Covenanters' "presbyterian" reconstruction of Christendom, rooted in the concepts of equality and individual sovereignty implicit in the Jerusalem Council model of first-century church government, spawned self-rule through "covenantal oaths" (e.g. The Mayflower Compact and Declaration of Independence), which was the seed-bed of modern constitutional republicanism. All of this originated or was refined during the Hebraic Movement.
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The more you learn of this movement, the more you will agree with me that, yes, America absolutely is and always was Judeo-Christian. I'll write more on this soon.
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