“Hump- something has bothered me for a while, so of course, I turn to you. What's the damn deal with fundamentalists, especially those who are end-times prophecy-afflicted with their adoration of Israel?
Has it something to do with the book of Revelation? Something about all Jews being returned to Israel? Something to do with all Jews being converted to Xtianity? Isn't there a hint of anti-Semitism in some of this?
Any light you can shed will be greatly appreciated.”
Jim, fasten your seat belt. This is going to be a scary ride.
The fundies interpret Ezekiel and the book of Daniel to mean that the third rebuilding of the original Temple in Jerusalem is necessary before the End Times, the Apocalypse, the 2nd coming of Jesus can occur. This is why they want the Jews to build, why they support Israel so fanatically and why they say that anyone who proposes bringing peace to the Middle East is the Antichrist.
They are called “Christian Zionists.” This is a relatively new phenomenon with the Xtian right, only coming to the forefront of American politics since the 1980’s. Pat Robinson, Jerry Falwell(d.), John Hagee, many GOP congressmen and senators, Sean Hannity, “The Family” on Washington’s K Street, among many "civilian" fundie Xtians are Christian Zionists.
Don't misinterpret their support for Israel to be the elimination of the traditional Xtian rabid anti-Semitism - it's all about the prophecy of the rebuilding. They still hate “Christ Killer” Jews as much as they always have they just aren’t as open about their disdain as they used to be when they blocked them from medical schools, and “restricted” them from their country clubs, and burned crosses on their lawns.
But here’s the rub: the ruins of the old temple, destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD during the suppression of the Jewish Revolt, has one of Islam's most holy sites on top of it -the Dome of the Rock- where Muhammad is believed to have beamed up to heaven hand in hand with archangel Gabriel. It’s been there since 691 AD.
The Christian Zionists wouldn’t shed a tear if 90% of the population of Israel (not to mention a few million Muslims and X number of Christian bystanders) where to be exterminated as long as the temple is rebuilt. One has to be in awe of how these people can reconcile this utter madness with their religion’s founder’s supposed “Prince of Peace” persona.
How does Israel perceive all this? Israel is nothing if not pragmatic. They will take fanatical support for their nation from whomever will give it. It's a matter of survival in a region that considers them illegitimate, and a world that has historically abandoned the Jews. They have no intention of helping bring about their own destruction by fulfilling this crazy Xtian concept of prophecy.
Israel has no illusions as to what the true feelings of the Xtian fundamentalists are toward the Jewish people. But they will play along, welcome their unswerving support in Washington, and play host to Xtian congressmen and their insanity to ensure Xtian lobbying for Israel is not weakened and a 2nd Holocaust at the hands of their Muslim neighbors is not realized. It comes down to a matter of survival.
Religion infects everything: the mind, the body, the health of the planet and potentially it's very existence.