Monday, April 16, 2007

A slightly less venomous version (as submitted to the Tulsa World)

Mr. Hagee's night "to honor Israel" does nothing to honor Israel. Instead, it brings to light some fundamental philosophical and theological differences between most modern Jews and a large portion of fundamentalist Christians. It is impossible to honor the Jewish people and the Jewish state while advancing a homophobic, anti-feminist, anti-environmentalist, theocratic political agenda. To truly honor the Jewish people, evangelicals should hearken to Jewish ideas of equality, social justice, religious liberty, and environmental stewardship. Until evangelicals abandon the politics of hate and divisiveness, many modern Jews will not be comfortable allying with them on the issue of Israel.

In addition, a lot of Jews are uncomfortable with the apocalyptic undertones of Mr. Hagee's organization. We don't really think that one can truly "support Israel" if that support is conditioned on the second coming of Jesus and the destruction and/or forced conversion of the Jewish people to Christianity in the "end times." One simply cannot genuinely honor the Jewish people while secretly hoping for our destruction.

True support of Israel means support for the Jewish people, as we are, and of our right to religious freedom in our homeland and here in this country. Religious freedom means freedom for all religions, and freedom from interference in our religious affairs. Thus, if evangelicals really want to support Israel, they should say "we support Israel and the Jewish people," genuinely mean it, and leave it at that.