Aug 14 2006

Christian Zionists and False Prophets (and positive online feedback)

Published by at 8:40 am under Articles,Christian Zionism


Below is an article that appeared on the web site of the New York Times Timeselect

At the end of the article, I have copied 64 on line reactions, the vast majority of them very positive. Take time to read and feel free to distribute:

August 11, 2006, 9:53 pm

Christian Zionists and False Prophets

By Daoud Kuttab, Ramallah, West Bank

As if we don’t have enough problems with Muslim and Jewish fundamentalists, we are now confronted with yet another -ist. Christian Zionists, mostly from the United States, are trying to throw their weight behind one of the parties, in effect calling for the continuation of the war and carnage in Lebanon.

A small minority of evangelical Christians have entered the Middle East political arena with some of the most un-Christian statements I have ever heard. The latest gems come from people like Pat Robertson, the founder and chairman of the Christian Broadcasting Network, and Rev. John Hagee of Christians United for Israel. Hagee, a popular televangelist who leads the 18,000-member Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, ratcheted up his rhetoric this year with the publication of his book, “Jerusalem Countdown,” in which he argues that a confrontation with Iran is a necessary precondition for Armageddon (which will mean the death of most Jews, in his eyes) and the Second Coming of Christ.

In the best-selling book, Hagee insists that the United States must join Israel in a preemptive military strike against Iran to fulfill God’s plan for both Israel and the West. Shortly after the book’s publication, he launched Christians United for Israel (CUFI), which, as the Christian version of the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee, he said would cause “a political earthquake.” With the outbreak of the war on Lebanon, he and others have called to their followers to pray for Israel, and for the continuation of the war on Lebanon. They have demanded that Israel not relent in what they call the need to destroy Hezbollah and Hamas. They seem to have completely forgotten the very core of the Christian faith.

I have been watching many American evangelicals trying to distance themselves from the calls in the name of the Almighty for the war to continue. As Christian leaders of all persuasions, including leaders of evangelical churches, are calling for Mideast peace and an immediate cease-fire, these Christian Zionists want their followers to pray only for Israel.

One e-mail message that was making the rounds came from a prominent U.S. evangelical Christian totally upset with an interview that Pat Robertson gave to the Jerusalem Post. In it, Robertson appears more pro-Israeli than the Israelis themselves and expresses anger at the notion that Israelis might not completely finish off Hezbollah — a task that he somehow sees as God’s will. The author of the above-mentioned e-mail message, Serge Duss of World Vision, a Christian relief organization, called the Robertson interview “a perversion of the Gospel of Jesus.” Duss writes that he is sure that many evangelicals strongly disagree and would gladly refute Robertson’s distorted theology.

Duss insists that American evangelicals are praying for 1) the people of Israel and Lebanon; 2) for a cease-fire, so that lives will be spared and 3) for peace with justice for all people in the Middle East.

The discussion has reminded me of so many calls I heard as a young Christian boy growing up in Bethlehem and Jerusalem: the false prophets that have predicted the end days and the presence of the anti-Christ are too numerous to list here. But I vividly remember the very same Pat Robertson in 1982 as he spoke on C.B.N.’s “700 Club.” He stood in front of a map of the Middle East, opened up a copy of the Old Testamant and claimed to know what a particular prophecy meant in geopolitical terms. As the Begin-Sharon army at the time was besieging Beirut, he pointed out exactly what he said would happen next. In particular he was keen to repeat that the P.L.O.’s leader at the time, Yasir Arafat, was none other than the anti-Christ himself.

Less than 13 years after that international broadcast, Robertson was filmed visiting Arafat in Gaza, delivering food and milk to Palestinians and applauding the peace agreement that Arafat had signed with Israel’s Yitzhak Rabin.

Christian Zionists who use religious rhetoric to justify political and military actions are no better than Jewish or Islamic fundamentalists who make similar outlandish claims. Peace in the Middle East should be about the liberty, independence and freedoms of all the people of the region, and not about whose promised land the Holy Land is.

For the time being, I, as a Christian Palestinian, prefer to follow the words of Jesus in his Sermon on the Mount. “Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called the sons of God


August 12th,2006

12:35 am

Pax Christi, our brother in Christ. The Pope and the Roman Catholic Church pray for you and Jesus’ universal message of peace and love for the whole world. God’s Will be done, Insh’Allah

· Posted by Richard Clark MD PhD

· 2.

August 12th, 2006

1:23 am

It is a great irony that religion has caused so much death and destruction over the centuries. Crusades, witch burnings, holy wars, etc. I’m not a Christian but recall this Bible verse that was taught to me as a child. “Be swift to hear, and slow to speak and slow to wrath, for the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.” Christians everywhere would do well do abide by those words.

· Posted by Wm. McCall

· 3.

August 12th,2006

1:57 am

I am an American, and was born a Christian (Roman Catholic) although I consider myself agnostic, since I believe religion begins to lose its meaning (an effort to relate with the Divine) the minute people start to organize it and a bureaucacy begins to form.

I find the entire evangelical Christian movement repugnant. As you know, so many of the evangelical types here in the USA have hidden agendas and are, at times, exposed for being the frauds they really are.

Pat Robertson is almost completely discredited in the mainstream here in the USA. He operates “out there” on the lunatic fringe, yet it frightens me at times when I see just how large (and rich) the lunatic fringe is here in America.

Isn’t it a tragedy that the vast majority of people in thw Middle East, in the Judeo-Christian & Muslim worlds- indeed, in the World just want to live in peace and yet all it takes to tip the world into the abyss is a small cadre of fanatics- Muslim, Christian, Jewish………………………

· Posted by John Smilgin

· 4.

August 12th,2006

2:10 am

It is high time real Christians spoke out against these betrayers of Christ’s message. If I were to believe in a genuine anti-Christ, Pat Robertson and his ilk would certainly fit the requirements.

Christ said essentially that only two commandments were important: love God, and love your fellow man. No exceptions.

· Posted by Linda Cope

· 5.

August 12th,2006

2:17 am

Just wanted to say thank you for these remarkable thinkers – writers. Marvelous perspectives! Decidedly all over the map. What a concept! Thank you again for creating visibility for their words.

· Posted by ed jentoft

· 6.

August 12th, 2006

3:22 am

Thank you for this clear-eyed description of the strange American phenomenon known as the Christian Zionist. To reasonable people in the US they are a mere annoyance; but with their war-mongering and money, they represent an actual threat to you. I, for one, beg your pardon.

· Posted by Casey Chapple

· 7.

August 12th,2006

3:26 am

A sad and dangerous commentary, which extends to lack of concern for destruction of the environment, for obvious reasons. Those who want to prevent widening war, and preserve the environment, must denounce this fatalistic ideology.

· Posted by Brian Wickwire

· 8.

August 12th, 2006

6:00 am

Do not discount the crudely cynical component of fundamentalist messages about Armageddon and the Second Coming of Christ. What once was an experiment in thought is now the tempting road to power over people and money.

Elmer Gantry survives, in more than Jimmy Bakker.

· Posted by richard

· 9.

August 12th, 2006

6:51 am

Not only are the dominators the false prophets but so too are the partitioners. Why does Mr. Kuttab single out Christian Zionists when all Zionists are fundamentally radical extremists that justify political and military action to extend their dominance and material ambitions? He should be out on the street demonstrating against the partition of his country and calling for equal rights and citizenship.

· Posted by Alan Goldstein

· 10.

August 12th, 2006

7:00 am

Amen! Blessed are the evangelicals who have come out in favor of accepting moral responsibility for human-caused global climate change. The hypocrisy of the others you describe infuriates me beyond words, since I was raised a Christian.

· Posted by James Strick

· 11.

August 12th, 2006

7:42 am

I am an evangelical Christian, praying, as the Bible says, “for the peace of Jerusalem.” Isn’t Jerusalem a city claimed by three religions? To me, praying for its peace means praying for the peaceful coexistence of opposing sides. I am confounded by the inflammatory rhetoric of Rev. Robertson and Rev. Hagee.

· Posted by Gary Ciesla

· 12.

August 12th, 2006

7:44 am

Israel and Jews need these people the way they need the Ebola virus. They want Israel to continue existing and they want the Jews ingathered not for the sake of the Jews but for the sake of some fantasied parousia. The feeling is that Jesus, when he returns, will slaughter all the Jews who have not converted to Christianity (so much for the Prince of Peace who was himself Jewish). They are dangerous because they are loose cannons capable of precipitating disaster out of their own benighted minds.

· Posted by Karen

· 13.

August 12th,2006

7:49 am

As if God takes sides.

The fundamentalist hatemongers like Hagee and Robertson are just like their counterparts in Judaism and Islam: hate filled reactionaries more interested in their own power and glory than the worship of God.

These religious extremists inadvertently make the case for secular humanism: at minimum a secular humanist must be accountable to principle and to the people, the religious zealot only has to placate an angry God of his own choosing, usually to the detriment of his opponents.

The really unfortunate situation is that the truly religious of all faiths don’t rise up to smite down the religious extremists that are causing so much death and misery.

· Posted by Peter Nehl

· 14.

August 12th, 2006

7:54 am

Pat Robertson’s driving ambition

(Which he views as his personal mission)

Is to see the world burn,


Every land in its turn,

To fulfill his perverse superstition.

· Posted by Ashley Hastings

· 15.

August 12th, 2006


7:55 am

Fundamentalists of all religions are cut from the same cloth and are all equally dangerous. “Non-believers-enough” are just as dead whether I/we/they have been stoned, burned, or butchered.


No one “in charge,” though, seems to be alarmed.




· Posted by Gene Touchet

· 16.


August 12th, 2006

8:00 am

Spot on. Perfect. These nutballs are confusing the “Left Behind” novels with Scripture; their belief that they can force God’s hand by fomenting a wider war and killing even more of the “bad people” is all so pathological that it takes my breath away. Spiritually, they know everything and have learned nothing.


· Posted by Garrett Simpson


· 17.


August 12th, 2006

8:03 am


Regrettably, it seems that only the Pat Robertsons get the full media play when it comes to this nonsense about God’s will playing out in violence between Israel and its Arab neighbors.

If there are evangelicals of a different mind, and I believe there are, they need to band together and demand the kind of press routinely given to the “Christian Zionists”.

Pope Benedict XVI, like his predecessor, has condemned the violence, yet that gets a one sentence reference in passing by some media outlets.

If ever there were evidence of the need for the separation of Church and state, it is profoundly clear in the undue influence which the Robertson wing of the Christian community has had on this administration. It is up to other Christians to stand up and show that Robertson wing for the schismatic sect that it truly is.


· Posted by Michael Fleming


· 18.


August 12th, 2006

8:10 am

As a Christian and as a priest I am ashamed of the war-mongering hate that continues to spew forth from certain so-called Christians based on an ignorant and pernicious misuse of scripture. Israelis may have been content to allow these right-wing Christians to have their massive and seemingly harmless conferences in Megiddo about the end-time; but an active call for bloodshed requires waking up to what this really is–the frenzied anticipation of the ultimate Shoah, the final destruction of the Jewish people. “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem; may they prosper who love her”–ALL of them, Jews, Muslims and Christians alike.

· Posted by Rev. Diana Lee Beach

· 19.


August 12th, 2006

9:01 am

As a Jew, my view of these Christian Zionists reminds me of the rhetorical question: with “friends” like these, who needs enemies? Anyone who ignores the fundamental peaceful message of his religion (such as that of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism) and finds authority in his religion’s principles to justify trauma directed against innocent people is either stupid or evil.


· Posted by Rick Alembik

· 20.

August 12th, 2006

9:09 am

Thank you so much for this thoughtful commentary. It is amazing to me that people like Pat Robertson are given creedence by anyone at all. Your contention that these Christian Zionists are similar to Islamic or Jewish fundamentalists is right on the mark, though they would be horrified to consider that.

God save us from them.


· Posted by Claudia Esslinger



· 21.




August 12th,






9:14 am







· Posted by The Rev. Leslie Hughs



· 22.




August 12th,






9:25 am




To speak of Pat Roberson and not be abusive is quite a feat. As a radical atheist, I am as sure that religion causes harm as I am that it is untrue. There can be no morality among religious people. Religion knows no sense of what is right and what is wrong. The world is my proof.



· Posted by Robert Lassiter



· 23.




August 12th,






9:25 am




Thank you for your thoughtful post. I am a former member of Pastor Hagee’s church and a current follower of Christ. I realize that animosity between Israelis and Arabs dates to Isaac and Ishmael. That said, I remember that God provided comfort to Hagaar (Ishmael’s mother) when she left the house of Abraham. She was assured that her son would also lead a great nation.



As a Christ follower, I am grieved by calls to war. We are taught that our battles are not purely against flesh and blood. We are also taught that the line between good and evil often divides the heart of every man. I am praying for the peace of Jerusalem as the scripture instructs. I am not praying that the peace come through war and carnage.



As a believer, I know that prophecy is true and it will be fulfilled. I don’t find the interpretations as obvious as Pat Robertson, and I don’t think that the will of God requires the intervention of man to hasten the day of Christ’s return. Pure religion has compassion on widows and orphans, whether Israeli or Lebanese.



Thank you for recognizing that Christians have only one ultimate spokesman and that he doesn’t appear in pancake makeup under television lights.



· Posted by Christian Cable



· 24.


August 12th,2006



9:26 am


The distortions at all levels in the Holy Land of human and religious rights seem so persistent as to form part of the very soil of the place.


All the metaphors of holy gardens and other sanctuaries fall to pieces in this war-torn reality, leaving only the tragedy of religions aflame with justifications and in so much pain.


If all sides completly disarmed, how would the issues be settled?



· Posted by Roger Gilroy



· 25.

August 12th,2006

9:38 am


I applaud and agree with Mr. Kuttab’s statements about fundamentalist Christian positions……as far from Christ’s teachings as the fundamentalist Muslim and Jewish rantings. As a thhird generation Lebanese American who has visited in Lebanon I cannot bear the thought of the pain and destruction in Lebanon or any other place in the Middle East. The teachings of our one God/Allah/Yahweh and the teachings of Jesus are being interpreted and distorted to serve the desires of power crazed individuals on all sides.



· Posted by Susan Khoury



· 26.



August 12th, 2006


9:39 am


You may prefer to follow the words of Jesus, but it’s long been apparent that the words of Jesus are one part of the Bible that many fundamentalist American Christians find inconvenient to their “faith” and seem content to ignore.



· Posted by John Lear



· 27.


August 12th, 2006



9:42 am


Is there a reason that Israel allow Pat Robertson and others like him remain in their country? Would it not be in their interest to revoke their visas and send them back to the countries of origin? Does Robertson really have the ears of the Israeli leaders as he claims?



· Posted by Bruce Johnson



· 28.


August 12th,2006



9:46 am


I am happy to hear someone call out these influential “Christian” leaders on the error of their theology. Regardless of one’s view of the conflict in the Middle East, it is clear that the position taken by these religious leaders is 1)no different from the “extremists” they decry, 2)is a result of myopic biblical scholarship grounded in a self serving, hypocritical world view, and most importantly, 3)undermines the message Gospels and compromises the cause of Christ.



· Posted by Marvin G Thompson



· 29.


August 12th, 2006



9:51 am


Mr. Kuttab,


I totally agree with your point of view but you’re “preaching to the choir”. People like Robertson and Hagee and their followers are as likely to listen to you as they are to listen to Jesus himself.


It is totally beyond me how the two of them and their ilk can attract so many followers. I could understand if their followers came from backwards communities or from the illiterate. How any educated, even moderately intelligent person can follow, let alone give financial support to them, is a total mystery to me.



Beyond all this, my greatest concern is the influence some of these so called leaders have on some of our elected officials. And that goes to the very top elected official and those trying to get there. The fact that John McCain met with and solicited the support of one of the worst offenders among these hypocrites (and I’m not able to remember his name right now) is a sad and disturbing reminder of how much power some of these people have.


Keep writing! Maybe someday the message will get through.



· Posted by Charlie Patin



· 30.


August 12th, 2006


9:53 am


I have read Gerahom Gorenberg’s End of Days. I hope it will be widely read by Americans. Christian history tells us that if extremist Christians are able to control our country politically they will run it like Muslim extremists.

· Posted by Virginia Perrenod

· 31.


August 12th, 2006

10:00 am


There’s a ghastly similarity between the end-of-days evangelical Christians and the Mullahs in Iran (and the Iranian president no less)who believe that a middle-east conflagration is required to bring about the return of the 12th Imman and the ushering-in of the era of God’s rule.

Muslim and Christian crazies have more in common than most realize.



· Posted by Max Davies



· 32.


August 12th, 2006



10:02 am

I applaud Daoud Kuttab’s insights and personal experience as a Christian. The far religious right in America suffers from a high degree of arrogance issuing from their insistance on biblical “inerrancy” and “literalism”. As a former missinary in Africa in the tradition of Robertson and Falwell, I know the theology quite well and am saddeened by its destructiveness. There is very little love in that theology and certainly the thrust toward the apocalypse we now witness bears this out.

· Posted by howard beardslee



· 33.



August 12th,2006



10:08 am


I have read Gershom Gorenberg’s End of Days and hope that it will be widely read by Americans. History confirms that religious extremists if they gain political control become tyrants.



· Posted by Virginia Perrenod



· 34.



August 12th, 2006



10:20 am


Amen to the last paragraph. Fundamentalism in any religion is the curse of the world.



· Posted by John R. Burt



· 35.



August 12th, 2006



10:27 am


Don’t these people trust god to bring about the end times on his schedule? Or do they think they can dictate to him what that schedule should be?


These kinds of antics are so stupifying, one wonders how any rational person could possibly believe in any of this religious nonsense. That so many Americans do, shows why the country has embarked on such an idiotic course of action during the past several years.



· Posted by Charles E Johnson



· 36.


August 12th, 2006



10:28 am


Religionists are rapidly converting civilization into a global ‘day room’ populated by violently paranoid and delusional true believers. Soon it will be impossible to distinguish the patients from the “doctors”. Fundamentalist Christians, Orthodox Jews, Muslim Jihadists all suffer the same madness. As a Nobel scientist pointed out, “Good people do good things, bad people do bad things, but it takes religion to make good people behave badly.

· Posted by Thomas Patton

· 37.


August 12th, 2006



10:30 am


Thank you for a voice of reason and humanity.



· Posted by Roger Townley



· 38.


August 12th, 2006

10:38 am


I couldn’t agree more with Daoud Kuttab. Jesus would weep bitter, bitter tears at the perversion and abomination that evangelical so-called Christianity has become. Since the term “Islamofascist” has grown in popularity in remarks made by politicians (e.g., President Bush) and TV talking heads (e.g., Tony Blankley of the Washington Times), I offer up the term “Christofascist” to describe the likes of Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, James Dobson and others of their ilk. I couldn’t agree more with Daoud Kuttab.

· Posted by Thomas P. Mitchell

· 39.


August 12th, 2006

10:46 am


Christian extremists are no different from Islamic extremists, since each bastardizes the Bible and the Koran, respectively, to further their own agendas. As such, they are far more interested in their own pronouncements than they are in the teachings of Christ or Mohammad, since their extremist views serve to promote them personally rather than Christ or Mohammad.


If westerners and those in the Middle East could get back to the “true” teachings of their religions, there would be no conflict in the Middle East or anywhere else. It’s only when those who consider themselves superior to the person they call their savior does trouble erupt.

· Posted by David Moorshead



· 40.


August 12th, 2006


11:00 am


As my years get fewer, my constant hope is peace in the Middle East. Your observations strike to the core of what I believe to be a basic obstacle to lasting peace,i.e. poorly guided outside leaders misdirecting the efforts of local officials. Strive to let the people decide.

· Posted by Dean Hofmeister

· 41.


August 12th, 2006

11:05 am


Pat Robertson and his ilk are cowards. It takes courage to live life with all its disappointments and challenges. Their preference for the second coming is no different than being promised virgins in the after-life. I suspect that had there been more virgins (i.e., more life-enhancing sex) in their current lives they’d be more committed to life on earth. Freud would have a field day with proponents of Christian Zionism.

· Posted by K. Warner

· 42.


August 12th, 2006


11:10 am



· Posted by Rudolph Morris

· 43.


August 12th, 2006

11:13 am


Thank you for the column. As a volunteer with the Mennonite Central Committee in Jerusalem during the 1973 war, I can attest to the rabid enthusiasm of that branch of Christianity. My only conclusion is that they have misinterpreted the scriptures and are totally negating the heart of the teachings of Jesus Christ our Lod.

· Posted by Jerry Barkman

· 44.


August 12th, 2006


11:50 am


If there is a god at all it denies all rationality that he/she would be of the sort who fundamentalists of any religion proclaim. Since power seeking leaders cannot exploit rational thought, they instead twist the thinking of fundamentalists. And, fundamentalists give leaders the authority they need to wage war.


Recently, after an expression of dismay concerning the war in Lebanon, a friend of mine (a Jehovah’s Witness waiting for the final battle) said, “Oh I think it’s exciting!” Well, if enough people think like that, they will bring about the end of civilized society themselves. The problem for them is that they will not find virgins or life everlasting at the end. Only grief with the rest of us.

· Posted by Tina Carter

· 45.


August 12th, 2006

12:00 pm


Thank you for your thoughtful column. I am an American Christian who is becoming less and less interested in referring to my faith lest I become associated with the vitriol spewing from so many here who claim to be speaking for Christ. Our current government is largely in the hands of those of limited vision. All they seem to know is violence and the power of wealth. Unlike Ghandi or King they have either never bothered to read Christ’s own teaching or they don’t think it is supposed to be taken seriously (although they are perfectly willing to claim God’s stamp of approval). It continues to strike me that the vicious rhetoric of Bin Laden, our American president and Iran’s president sound almost identical if you change the name of the God or the name of the enemy. None of it sounds like the teaching of a Christ who taught that one prayed that we be forgiven as we forgive others. That has most frequently been ignored and scoffed at as weak, but if it is so then people like Mother Theresa, Ghandi, King and Jesus himself were weak. I can only pray for such a “weakness.”

· Posted by Nikka Ziemer

· 46.


August 12th, 2006

12:07 pm


While I agree wholeheartedly with what this author is saying, the sad fact is


Peace, Love, Compassion, Forgiveness, Care, Understanding are considered in the United States as feminine traits; while the aberation of Eye for an Eye is considered as a masculine trait. As long as God is viewed in the Masculine Gender, Rev. Hagee and Robertson, and people like them, will continue to attract a very large following, thereby drowning out the message of Jesus: Love God and Love Your Neighbor as Yourself!

· Posted by Al Mackdanz

· 47.


August 12th, 2006

12:12 pm


The $64,000 question is how much influence these religious cultists have on President Bush.

· Posted by Rita Whalen

· 48.


August 12th, 2006

12:13 pm


Born of a Christian fundamentalist family, and converted to Judiasm as an adult, this trend is especially scary to me. I’d like to be proud of one of my religious roots, but the “peacemakers” seem blessedly hard to find. If another religious war breaks out in full, we are going to need them badly/

· Posted by Darlene

· 49.


August 12th, 2006


12:16 pm


Thank you for the reminder of what it means to be a Christian.


For my part, I refuse to call these people Christian Zionists. When it is “the other side” who calls for violence to further their own ends, we call them extremists, or worse. We are dealing here with Christian extremists. (And when I find another word to use in the place of “Christian” I will do so.)

· Posted by Mike Todd

· 50.


August 12th, 2006

12:22 pm


Amen to that!

· Posted by David Oates

· 51.


August 12th, 2006

12:25 pm


Thank you for your article. People like Pat Robertson gather followers who, while basically good, well-meaning people, are easily manipulated. They want meaning and a reason for their existence and in a better world they would be given that through a message of compassion and love, but instead our Christian fascists offer a clear, strong, emotionally exciting hate wrapped up in the language and symbols of religion. Like all the other religious fascists currently polluting our world. They know how to get the ratings, and how they get them doesn’t matter as long as they get them.

· Posted by Eric Smith

· 52.


August 12th, 2006

12:28 pm


Jesus said that not everyone who cries “Lord, Lord” will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus praised the Good Samaritan over members and religious leaders of his own community. One needs to remember that when He chose a Samaritan as his example of how to behave it was because the Jews (to whom He was preaching) and the Samaritans were on very bad terms, and He wanted to show that it is how you behave that counts, not being a member of the right group. Read “Good Gay Activist” or “Good Muslim” to get an idea of what he meant. Jesus stressed that we really really need to forgive others, act kindly and lovingly as possible even to our enemies, and try to heal wounds.



· Posted by Chuck Vekert

· 53.


August 12th, 2006



12:30 pm


Thank you for this very insightful and helpful piece. It continually troubles and angers me that religious leaders of all faiths do not challenge the stupid and outrageous rantings of fundamentalists. There are no virgins waiting for bombers to kill themselves while killing others. Pat Robertson’s comments are almost always anti-Christian and hurtful. So why don’t religious leaders loudly denounce such nonsense? Regularly!



You have done a great thing by writing this piece. Please continue to write more on the subject.



· Posted by Ronn Robinson



· 54.


August 12th, 2006



12:49 pm


This is not the first time I’ve heard of this revolting and extremely Un-Christian idea. It boggles the mind how disgusting it is.



However, it also raises an extraordinary theological question. How can human beings knowingly start the apocalypse? Wouldn’t that be antithetical to the core world view espoused by Christ and the Apostles? It seems to me that the continually repeated undercurrent of those teachings is that humanity must trust to God and resist the temptations to meddle in the divine plans. To do so would be to make ourselves as God, and thus take on the mantle of Satan. So – if an ostensibly Christian preacher espouses war to bring the apocalypse, shouldn’t we view that preacher as an agent of Evil?



· Posted by Christopher Lane



· 55.


August 12th, 2006



1:24 pm


There are some 70 million or more Christian Zionists in the U.S. What they evidently do not understand about the Middle East is that hundreds of millions of people have been living on their land for thousands of years.



It is outrageous and unconscionable for some American religious zealots to hope for the destruction of other people and their land. Yet this is what Christian Zionists are seeking.



The late Anwar el-Sadat wrote an autobiography and began his story by describing his love for Egypt, the land on which he was born and lived. He loved his village and the people in it.



To me, all the inhabitants of the Middle East whose families have lived on their land for countless generations are as attached to their homeland as was Sadat. It is not a matter of real estate for them. The land represents their livelihood and their existence.



The majority of Christian Zionists who live in the U.S. have no conception of what they seek by hoping for Armageddon and the destruction of the Middle East.



There are millions of people in the Middle East who deserve the same protection and right to live as any U.S. citizen does.



· Posted by M. Kawasaki



· 56.


August 12th, 2006



1:28 pm


While televangelists like Robertson are misguided and no doubt harm Christian evangelism, making their public statements antethetical to their own moniker, I don’t think that “They seem to have completely forgotten the very core of the Christian faith.”



The very core of the Christian faith is the sincere belief and acknowledgment that Jesus of Nazareth rose from the dead, is the Messaiah of Old Testament prophecy, and will return again. This is the signal, and all the rest is noise.



The purest example of evangelism, Christian conversion and acceptance by god is the thief on the cross at the same time as Jesus. There is no tearful repentance, no confession of sin, certainly no political position. He simply says that he believes Jesus is who Jesus claimed to be — Messaiah who would rule an absolute ‘kingdom’ one day.



I think Robertson could make that confession easily, and I think the author of this article could as well. The only action required of any Christian is to live in such a way that people whose lives one touches come to that realization as well. There’s no political opinion at the core of Christianity; insisting there is one detracts from the conclusion the thief on the cross reached: that understanding the identity of Jesus of Nazareth supplants and overcomes anything that happens in this world and any religion that came before or after.



Jesus never said a word about politics; he alone is the very core of the Christian faith; not doctrine, not prophecy, not policy.



· Posted by Deborah Fenning



· 57.


August 12th, 2006



2:00 pm


Isn’t the anti-Christ actually not a specific person, but an energy and intention that is anti-peaceful, -inclusive, -caring, in other words, “against” what Jesus lived and taught? People who are caught up in this energy and intention – often fearful, greedy and self-aggrandizing, like Pat Robertson – behave in ways that are “anti” Jesus Christ and the core spiritual truth of many religions. These people are ill and in dire need of help, but won’t receive it due to their proud, stubborn egos.



Egotism, basically the belief in a mind-made “me”, is the prevalent anti-Christian disease of our time. If there is to be an end of the world and return of Christ, it will be the ending of the ego-world, one human at a time, which will reveal for that consciousness something sublimely beautiful and real.



· Posted by richard Kurth



· 58.

August 12th, 2006



2:49 pm


I am glad to see this in print since so many intelligent people are oblivious,and it seems so dangerous- support of Israel that passes for support and leads to the death of a people. The Christian Right in this country so very much scares me and as you say, is distinctly unChristian. I am an agnostic Jew but the lack of humanity is so destructive so thank you.



· Posted by Carol Smaldino



· 59.


August 12th, 2006



2:52 pm



Excellent article. The problem is I think is that most people who claim to be Christian do not understand the main teaching of the bible which is about forgiveness and loving others the way we love ourselves. Listening to the comments of my fellow christian brethens during this conflict and other partisan speeches has made me ashamed to be a part of them.



· Posted by jo hays



· 60.



August 12th, 2006



3:14 pm



The world has always contended with false prophets, those seekers of power and plunder, who cater to the sadly confused and easily coopted. Their goal is self enrichment (or like Bin Laden, self aggrandizement) at the expense of a tolerant and dismissive international community which does little to identify and discredit such quacks.



Mr. Kattub does himself and his readers an injustice by limiting his identification to only two practicians of this kind of fraud. In addition to the leaders of Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia for openers, he should have added Pres. Bush, VP Cheney, Sec. Rumsfeld, etc., etc. They too practice the same deceit for the same ends as Robertson and his ilk.



· Posted by Matthew Schwartz



· 61.


August 12th, 2006


4:02 pm


A beautifully written article. I hope and pray that your words and thoughts prevail. God loves us all. No one individual or group of religious zealots has God’s attention exclusively. We will all be held accountable for our actions and only our actions. God is the judge of every one of us. He alone will allow us into His company or ban us from His sight. Wether we chose our religion or our religion chose us will make no difference to Him. How we treat one another and honor Him will be our ticket to the afterlife. Carrying out acts of hate or preaching hatred from the pulpit is a sign that we place our need to be right before our desire to follow Our Lords teaching. Love Thy Neighbor As Thyself burdens us with the responsibility to bring about peace and sustain it not only in the Middle East but everywhere that people are suffering and dying because of hatred or illness or greed. Peace is the only thing God promised us. For with peace comes every other good thing. The ONLY way to achieve peace is through love.

· Posted by Jim Bettag


· 62

August 13th, 2006

3:54 am

In a certain sense, being an Israel supporter and a Jew myself, Christian-American evangelists hurt Israel in the court of world opinion. They provide fuel to the fire for claims of “zionist control of the U.S. government” and they lead people to believe that Israelis share their Armaggedon-mongering views


There is no stimulus for war in Judaism other than self-protection. That’s all. No holy wars. No converting people of other faiths. No jihad or infidels. None of that. This is what is wrong with American evangelists support of Israel. They are hijacking a war of justifiable reasoning (self-defense) and sullying it by turning it into a religious vendetta (Armegeddeon). That is not how Israelis view it. And that is the problem, because their views are being caricatured by extremism in the American religious right.


It is similiar to how the anti-semetic movement of Europe hijacks the Palestinean cause. It feeds the rage of the Muslim world when it would not have otherwise been so.


The problem isn’t religion so much as outside influence. Because of outside influence, this situation is so much more intractable than it would have been otherwise.


· Posted by Abe


· 63.

August 13th, 2006

9:31 am

America accepts Zionism and supports it. Our entire Congress asserts that Israel must remain a “Jewish” state. Historically one of America’s fundamental values has been the separation of church and state, but we support a theocracy in Insrael. Now, the right-wing religious nut-jobs are taking the concept of theocracy a few steps further. Why are we appalled?

· Posted by cadabra

· 64.

August 13th, 2006


9:50 am

There is no such thing as a “Christian Zionist.” Even Kuttab acknowledges as such when he says that these millenial fundamental Christians are waiting for an Armageddon which portends the end of the Jews.

Zionism is not a fundamentalist religious movement; it never was. It is a political movement dedicated to the proposition that the Jews deserve a nation-state in (some portion of) the biblical land of Israel. The fact that some fundamentalist Jews (and fundamentalist Christians) have perverted this for their religious purposes, does not alter the nature of Zionism.

· Posted by mark trilling





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