By Mark David Blum, Esq.
How does a man with my petty-gree stand up to someone whose credentials include being a former professor at Harvard and at UCLA, a current lecturer at Pepperdine University and who in 2003 was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award? James Q. Wilson, in a recent essay, posed a significant question. He asked and then answered, “Why Don’t Jews Like the Christians Who Like Them?”
The basis for Wilson’s thesis is that Zionism and Evangelical Christianity have a common bond. He also posits Jews and Blacks should hate each other; same as Christians. Wilson argues that Jews and Christians share a dream of a strong and independent State of Israel. Evangelical Christians are supposedly the greatest friend of the Jew when it comes to defending Israel.
To a Jew, people like Wilson scare the crap out of us. There is nothing which we have in common with Evangelical Christians. Arguably we may in part share a common idea. Still, the Christian ideal is to own Israel and bring together the forces of good and evil in the Valley of Armageddon for the final meltdown. Christians want Israel strong so as to hasten and bring about the Rapture.
To the contrary, Jews choose Life. At present, the road from Hadera to Afula is green and productive. The Valley of Meggido is lush and beautiful thanks to Jews. Christians will not be at peace until it is scorched black.
Demonstrating his complete befuddlement that American Jews would side with American Blacks over evangelical Christians, Wilson attacks the Jews as being idiots who, “when it comes to helping secure Israel’s survival, the tiny Jewish minority in America should not reject the help offered by a group that is ten times larger and whose views on the central propositions of a democratic society are much like everybody else’s.”
First of all, I know of no “tiny Jewish minority in America”. There are more Jews living in Miami than in the State of Israel. New York City has the largest concentration of Jews in the world. But Judaism is more than a religion. It is a lifestyle that ranges from conservatives who adhere to the religious lifestyle of the ancient, to the modern progressive Jew who sees himself as part of a larger world and not an isolated sect. We see religious beliefs as being intensely personal and none of your business. Judaism as a lifestyle is adopted by all of us to one extent or another. There is so much about being a Jew and Jewish living that is head and shoulders above anything conjured up by others. It still is a matter of personal choice.
Second, to assume all Jews are in 100% support of the State of Israel is absurd. Some of us are Zionists. Others are offended at the government of Israel. It is possible to be enamored with the dream of a State of Israel but not be a Zionist and more importantly, not agree with Israeli government politics.
Third, and this should shock Mr. Wilson back into reality: To a Jew, a Christian is just a cultist. We tolerate Christians and their belief in the whole tale of Jesus and how in their dogma, the innocent must die for the sins of the guilty. Jews have been able over time to forgive and move on from all the atrocities committed against them in the name of Christianity. Don’t ever think for a minute that a Jew takes the concept of Christianity seriously. We still await the Messiah. Christians ran out of patience 2,000 years ago and are running out of patience again.
Fourth, while there have been times in history when Jews have opted for collective suicide over being taken into slavery, it has never happened without a fight. Whether it is the last stand at Masada or the Warsaw Ghetto, Jews will fight. After the second world war, we declared ‘Never Again’ and we stand on that principle. In that vein was the State of Israel created so as to make sure that whatever Europe, America, or Russia may do, there will be a place where Jews can make their last stand. But Jews are neither a warrior people nor an evangelical people. We do not start wars and we do not seek to proselytize. We are happy and at peace being left alone. This attitude is in direct conflict with the Evangelical Christian movement whose dispensationalist dogma is to inflame the Great Final Battle to bring back their Messiah. Jews are not going to die again to advance this agenda.
Finally, the reason Jews absolutely distrust and ignore any Evangelical Christian movement is for the very reasons isolated by Wilson in his essay. “[Evangelical Christians] overwhelmingly agree that Jews and Christians share the same values and can live together in harmony.” If history teaches us anything, that principle is that Jews and Christians can live together in harmony so long as the Jew is armed with the ballot, the bullet, or both.
The State of Israel does not need Evangelical Christians to survive. In fact, I verily believe the nation will outlive Christianity itself; as will we Jews. God chose us for a reason; Christians should take heed.
We are not the same. Christian dogma is dangerous to an unarmed breathing Jew. At the same time, Christian dogma is dangerous to American principles as under American jurisprudence, only guilty shall suffer for their own sins. Governor Huckabee may want to Amend the Constitution to bring it in line with Christian thinking but no Jew will support that concept. Jew and Christian are not the same and there is no such thing as “Judeo-Christian values”. It is one or the other. Christianity brought us Hell, brought us Purgatory, and it brought us a man with a funny hat. Judaism brought us the law, social order, and honor.
To all my Christian friends, I say this: Thank you for your support. Let’s just leave it at that.