This is my attempt at blogging. I'm still learning about the blogging world, and this is my own personal study hall.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Palin's pastor problems vs. Obama's

My previous post has been getting some people a little bit heated. First of all, the question arose as to what part of the sermon that I posted I was referencing. The speaker of the sermon, David Brickner, is the executive director of Jews for Jesus. He was an invited guest of Sarah Palin's church, where he spoke about his mission in Israel. What he said was that terrorism in Israel is a judgment against the Jews for not accepting Jesus.

(I've also been asked "where are the videos??" by my friends on Facebook - guys, I'm importing my notes from my personal blog http://www.sethj.blogspot.com, and the videos aren't coming through - click on the bottom of the note where it says "View original post" to be redirected).

The second question that was asked was whether I should be concerned by comments made by a guest speaker to Sarah Palin's church. The answer is yes, as one of the videos shows an interview in which the pastor said he would absolutely re-invite David Brickner to speak at his church, even after hearing what he said the first time. His beliefs are in sync with that of the church and its membership.

The third question that was asked was whether I really want to get into a debate about pastor problems, when Obama has his own problem, especially since Obama was a member of the church where Jeremiah Wright spoke repeatedly against the United States and Obama had a very close relationship with Wright.

Here's the difference, as I see it, between Palin's problem and Obama's.

When I first brought up Palin's religious beliefs as a potential problem for the general citizenry of the United States should she be elected vice president, a friend made a point of telling me that at her synagogue, rabbis have spoken and said appalling things, and she asked me if that reflects on her. That's a fair point to make in reference to the Jeremiah Wright controversy. Just because the rabbi or pastor speaks in negative terms about the morals and ethics of the society around you, and says inflamatory things that can make one's skin crawl, that does not necessarily reflect on you for being there - or even for having a close relationship with that person. Many people hold vastly different beliefs, and still turn to one another for friendship, guidance and counsel.

The difference here is that David Brickner's sermon goes to a deeper issue, which is that what he said at Palin's church is what MAINSTREAM Evangelical and Pentacostal Christians believe. Jeremiah Wright was demagoguing. Even if he actually believes all the things he himself says in his church (which I doubt), it's a cultural thing, and it's the type of thing that is believed by those who have been put down and trodden upon by society; not well-educated, open-minded individuals who are multi-racial and who worked themselves from food-stamps to editor of the Harvard Law Review.

On the other hand, Jews for Jesus is on a mission. It's a mission to convert Jews - at any and all costs. They believe that Jews not only are going to Hell at the "End of Days", but that we are doomed to suffer in this world as well. And it's a mission and philosophy in which millions (over 100,000,000) Evangelical and Pentacostal Christians believe in America, as well as many other Christian groups around the world.

There is a very prominent rabbi in Israel, whom I will not name because I have not spoken to him in reference to this post, who is well known to raise money from Evangelical and Pentacostal groups on behalf of the State of Israel, and is also well known to say to those groups, "in the end we'll see who's right." I speak from a position of authority because, though I have not spoken to him about this post - as I stated above - I have heard him speak about this exact tactic of his personally.

But this sermon by Brickner demonstrates to me why that philosophy - tolerating their "eccentric" beliefs for the time being in this world - is very dangerous. These Christian groups believe that Jews must accept Jesus, or else they will not only go to Hell, but deserve to suffer in this world as well. They're only on our side while it's good for them, and they'll only tolerate us while it's politically incorrect not to.

Would a Vice President - or President - Palin set up a mission to convert Jews? Not likely. But would she support missionary efforts under the umbrella of "Faith-Based Initiatives"? Absolutely. Would she send money to Palestinian Islamic Jihad or Hamas? Definitely not! But would she turn a blind eye to a situation like that in Sderot - as Bush had done for over six years until very recently - saying to herself, "it's their own fault; if they'd only accept Jesus this would all stop; I'll intervene if the political pressure gets strong enough"? I am 100% convinced that she would. Yes. Would Obama? I doubt it - am I certain he wouldn't? No. But what I know about Christian society as a whole in America is that, while they support Israel, the Israel they are supporting is one in which Jews are slowly moved to accept Jesus so that he can return from the dead and bring the Rapture. They do not - LISTEN TO ME HERE - they do NOT support Jews living a Jewish life in the Land of Israel, Artzeinu HaKedoshah (OUR Holy Land). Nor do they particularly care if a synagogue in Los Angeles or Atlanta or Brooklyn gets vandalized. They don't like vandalism in general - it's bad for societal order - but they fundamentally believe, deep down, that we have it coming.

Look, ultimately it comes down to what you or I think is the more serious problem. Do I believe that Jeremiah Wright or his radical anti-America message is in any way going to influence an Obama-Biden administration, either in domestic policy or foreign policy? Not on your life. Would I ever have worried that the Jerry Falwells and David Brickners of the world would have influenced a McCain-Lieberman or a Giuliani-McCain (or vice versa) administration? No! But am I concerned that President Palin would conduct her policies with ignorance, and base her decisions on a fundamental belief that her work is the work of some twisted god that in no way resembles the G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? Ohh, you betcha! I'm not only concerned that she might; I'm convinced that she absolutely would. And I'm also convinced that if McCain is elected president on November 4, 2008, Sarah Palin would be sworn in as president no later than January 20, 2013. The Republican party bosses would make sure of it.

9 Comments:

Blogger talliskattan said...

I looked through the transcript again and didn't see anything blaming Israel for terrorism. Please pull a direct quote or direct me to the right page, at least.

3:37 PM

 
Blogger Seth said...

This quote takes it a bit out of context (not in a slanderous way - it actually makes it seem LESS concerning that it would if you read the full context, which is several paragraphs long), but it will do:

"When Isaac was in Jerusalem he was there to witness some of that judgment, some of that conflict, when a Palestinian from East Jerusalem took a bulldozer and went plowing through a score of cars, killing numbers of people. Judgment—you can’t miss it."

3:45 PM

 
Blogger Seth said...

(Isaac is Brickner's son's name.)

3:46 PM

 
Blogger talliskattan said...

How does one respond to hysteria? I don't agree with the theology of Evangelical Christians, nor am I offended or frightened by them. They are by and large the best friends the Jewish people have today. I think you make a grave mistake by judging people by their beliefs rather than by their actions, and you should be on your knees thanking them rather than castigating them. They believe that Israel must be protected against those who wish to exterminate it, that the Jews have a divinely chosen role in history, and that America must remain a Judeo-Christian country. I find this entirely acceptable. I also bet you've never asked an Evangelical why he/she supports Israel. My guess is you'll be surprised what you hear.

Your justification of Wright's contemptible demagoguery as a "cultural thing" is fatuous. Honoring Farrakhan, comparing Israel to apartheid in South Africa, and other examples I shared on Facebook is a "cultural thing"? Why didn't Obama object, and why did this "well-educated, open-minded multi-racial individual" expose his daughters to this and the other anti-American and anti-middle class filth for which Wright is now famous?

(Obama was never on food stamps, btw. If his mother was on it (while she was getting her PhD, which is exactly what they were intended for, right?), he was at the time living with his grandmother, vice president of the Bank of Hawaii.)

Thank you for pulling the quote for me. How is this different from any of OUR prophets, who castigate Israel for turning from God or oppressing the poor and then go on to predict horrible punishments for the Jews in this world? Or from prominent rabbis blaming natural disasters on particular sins?

The problem with Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers and Tony Rezko is not that they would influence Obama-Biden's domestic or foreign policy. It is that they call Obama's judgment into question in associating with anti-American preachers, unrepentant terrorists (who cares how old Obama was when Ayers bombed the Pentagon, he was old enough when he met Ayers to make an informed decision about whether he wants to be associated with him in any way--not to mention it begs the question what did Ayers see in Obama to recruit him to the Chicago Annenberg Challenge), and corrupt businessmen. They also, in the case of Wright and Ayers, call into question his view of America.

4:06 PM

 
Blogger messianicmatt said...

Thank you for posting the links to the message that David Brickner of Jews for Jesus delivered at Sarah Palin's church so that your readers can hear or read the message in its entirety and hear Brickner's remarks in context. You can also read or listen to the entire message at www.jewsforjesus.org/blog/20080817.
Please also take a look at Brickner’s comments concerning his message at Wasilla Bible Church, as well as interviews by Christianity Today and MSNBC with Brickner about this issue, at www.jewsforjesus.org. Among other things, Brickner says, "The comments attributed to me were taken out of context. The notion that the terrorist, bulldozer attack in Jerusalem this summer was God’s judgment on Israel for not believing in Jesus, is absolutely not what I believe. In retrospect, I can see how my rhetoric might be misunderstood and I truly regret that. Of course I never expected the kind of magnifying glass scrutiny on a message where I was speaking extemporaneously. Let me be clear. I don’t believe that any one event whether a terrorist attack or a natural disaster is a specific fulfillment of or manifestation of a Biblical prediction of judgment. I don’t believe that the newspaper should be used to interpret the Bible. The Bible interprets the Bible. I love my Jewish people and the land of Israel. I stand with and support her against all efforts to harm her or her people in any way."

2:30 PM

 
Blogger Lady-Light said...

Talliskattan,
I wholeheartedly agree with your comment. I have said and posted (as does Dennis Prager, conservative talk show host) that one judges a person's and/or religion's actions, rather than their beliefs.

No matter what Islamists say the Qur'an says, look at what they do and condone, to understand who they really are.

And what have the so-called 'moderate' Muslims done in the face of beheadings and stonings and partially burying 13-year old girls alive because they were raped? Actually, are there any (moderate Muslims, that is)? Can't seem to find them...

As for Evangelical Christians, I went for the first time ever to Faith Bible Chapel's celebration of Israel's 60th Independence Day, and I was overwhelmed.

I was overwhelmed at the genuine love these people have for Israel. I was overwhelmed at their knowledge of Israel's history, at their acceptance of the Torah's version of Israel, at the performers' dances and songs in Ivrit on which I was raised and which few if any in my kehilah know.

It was a pageant which brought me back to my youth in my Jewish Day School in Manhattan, when we had great Israel rallies down fifth avenue, with banners in blue and gold, marching proudly with Israeli flags and old and new live Israeli music-halutznik and dati leumi-music-played by musicians marching along with us.

I commend you for saying:
...you should be on your knees thanking them rather than castigating them. They believe that Israel must be protected against those who wish to exterminate it, that the Jews have a divinely chosen role in history, and that America must remain a Judeo-Christian country.

I was almost in tears, that in these Evangelicals we have a true friend. They do not seem to have any hidden agenda, and even if they do, I am for accepting their help and support for Israel now, while they're giving it, because now there are no preconditions to their support and we can count our true friends on the fingers of half of one hand.
And I must say that I was also embarrassed as a Jew, that my own people have less knowledge of the history and culture of Israel than these Christians have; and that they are afraid to publicly sing and shout in support of the only homeland we have for the Jewish People, with an Armed Forces second-to-none to defend us Jews; to never have to walk meekly to the gas chambers again.

I also agree with your assessment of Obama’s association with these questionable people and posted about it several times. As you asked, why did he expose his daughters to the Rev. Wright, Jr.’s vehemently anti-Israel and anti-American outbursts? Obama is intelligent, educated and multiracial (as you said); how does it show in his associations and affiliations? If one disagrees with a philosophy, one speaks up against it, or creates a distance between himself and those who espouse it.

Obama didn’t, until his associations were exposed in the media. And his excuses were lame and obfuscated the issue (‘he was only 8 when Bill Ayers was bombing buildings.’).
But he was a bit older than that, wasn’t he, when they worked together on the Woods Charitable Fund of Chicago.

Rev. Wright, Bill Ayers, Rashid Klalidi--Birds of a Feather Flock Together.
I hope, now that he is President Elect, I am wrong.

1:15 PM

 
Blogger Lady-Light said...

Talliskatan, forgot to ask: How do I get invited to read your blog?

1:16 PM

 
Blogger Seth said...

TallisKattan, I'd also like to read your blog. Can you send me an invite?

1:19 PM

 
Blogger talliskattan said...

Thanks, Lady-Light. Nice to know it's not just me and Dennis Prager.

I haven't actually blogged in over two years, so I don't really maintain the blog anymore. Sorry.

1:28 PM

 

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