Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Glenn Beck's Restoring Courage rally

The two men had to try at least twice to swing the heavy battery of lights up and into position.
I saw them setting up the stage and chairs yesterday in the plaza of the Jerusalem Municipality, Safra Square.

This venue was for the overflow crowd that couldn't get tickets for the sold-out Davidson archaeological park event near the Western Wall this afternoon.
Glenn Beck was giving a talk to over a thousand supporters, mostly Evangelical Christians who came from America for his "Restoring Courage" rally.
The video is up on YouTube.

I don't know this commentator but apparently a lot of Americans do. He has radio and TV stations.
There were protests, both from Peace Now and the Left and from some of the Jewish religious establishment.
City Hall was criticized for providing top venues, holy places.
So is Glenn Beck good for the Jews or bad for the Jews? See the CNN article.
Many Israelis welcome the love and support of Christian Zionists.
But many Jews have a kind of (involuntary, perhaps) flinch reaction when they see so many smiling Evangelicals, especially so close to the Western Wall like tonight.
From the Israeli press about Glenn Beck:
A funny recap in Haaretz
Jerusalem Post
UPDATE: A fellow local blogger was there at Safra Square the night of Beck's rally. See her pictures and comments at the excellent The Real Streets of Jerusalem blog.


Dr M said...

Sad to see every American whacko use Israel for their personal political agenda. As a Mormon, Beck is not considered an "evangelical" by orthodox (mainstream) Christians. They consider Mormonism a non-Christian sect. It would be like telling Chabad that the Samaritans are just another group of Orthodox Jews.

Cloudia said...

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Fran said...

I will follow the adage that if I don't have anything nice to say... (Beck, not a fan of his!)

PerthDailyPhoto said...

I watched the video, and it was so interesting to read the comments after, I guess as is the case with all religious and political views, it's a very personal and diverse subject.. I wonder if it's even possible for Beck NOT to make 'fauz pas', I think not. Really interesting post Dina.

Raksha said...

Glenn Beck and the Christian Zionists are NOT your friends, Dina! Christian Zionism is nothing more than thinly veiled anti-Semitism with a definite political agenda.

A quote from Glenn Beck from your CNN link: “Make sure to say not that we only love Israel, but we love the Jewish people as they are.”

That's a deliberate lie. He can't possibly "love the Jewish people as they are," considering that most Jews are liberals when it comes to both religion and politics. This is certainly true of most American Jews, and probably most Israeli Jews as well. But Christian Zionists draw a sharp distinction between "liberalism" and "Judaism," and they consider liberalism flat-out evil. It isn't just a political philosophy they disagree with but a sign of demonic posession.

They also have their own definition of "Judaism" which is not shared by Jews, except for the so-called "Messianic Jews." But I'm sure I don't need to tell you anything about that.

Christian Zionists, like the larger theocratic movement they represent (the New Apostolic Reformation, a fairly recent form of charismatic Dominionism) have as their stated political goal the establishment of a Christian theocracy worldwide.

David Barton, also mentioned in the CNN article, is a self-taught revisionist historian who attempts to "prove" with cherry-picked and at times fabricated quotations from the founding fathers that America was founded as a Christian nation. That would have come as a big shock to my maternal grandparents. They came to America from Ukraine several years after the Kishinev pogram precisely because it WASN'T a Christian nation.

So like all American Jews ever since the bad old days of widespread religious persecurion, I am fiercely protective of the principle of separation of church and state. I protect that "wall of separation" because it protects me and my family and my Jewish friends, in a very concrete and immediate sense. It's no abstraction with me. And this is the very same principle that David Barton claims doesn't exist, because he doesn't want it to exist and is dedicated to destroying it.

As for John Hagee, the high-profile Christian Zionist leader who traveled to Jerusalem along with Glenn Beck and David Barton: He is famously quoted as describing Hitler as a "hunter" who drove the Jews who survived the Holocaust to Israel. According to Hagee, Hitler was therefore doing "God's will" by setting up the conditions for the post-Holocaust Jewish state.

How can such a person claim to love the Jewish people as they are? Or love them at all? With "friends" like these, who needs enemies?


Dina said...

Shalom friends. Well! I'm certainly learning a lot from your comments! Thanks for taking time to write all this information and share your feelings on the subject.

Raksha said...

Resource page on John Hagee and Christian Zionism - all you ever wanted to know and more!

Adullamite said...

Loud American Christians do not reflect Christianity as much as their right wing politics. This is sad but reflects the lack of biblical understanding in the US.

Glenn Beck is renown as a right wing extremist and I suspect those who follow him will NOT be Evangelical Christians.

crystal said...

It is all kind of confusing. Beck is a political conservative and is a Mormon. Mormons aren't a "sect", they're Christians, just not what you'd call Evangelical Christians ... see Mormonism and Christianity. Here I think Evangelical Christians are usually conservative, mainline Protestants more liberal, and Catholics go both ways but maybe most are conservative. I'd guess that most political conservatives are what you'd call pro-Israel, while many liberals are not so much. I'm a political liberal pro-Israel Catholic :)

Fran said...

Although I would not have put it all quite the same way, Raksha has said some important things.

I am Roman Catholic from birth, but my father was Jewish. I grew up in and around many Jews. Christian Zionists are actually very upsetting to me. My rabbi cousin (he lived in Israel for a time and will return) and I have had many conversations about this and will continue to do so.

Glen Beck and anyone who is taking the "evangelical" approach to Israel in that way are also very focused on the End Times. This has to happen in Israel as they see it.

This has nothing to do with love or respect for the Jews in the end; it is about converting them in those final days.

As for Beck himself, he is vitriolic, histrionic and speaks mistruths with wild abandon. He is constantly seeking attention and not always getting it, which makes him furious.

As an American I am offended, as a Catholic Christian I am offended, and as someone who holds Israel and the Jewish people at large, deeply in my heart, I am offended.

Dina, who knew it would be such a hot topic. Thanks for posting and for hosting our conversation.

(For the record, "live and let live" is more my way of being, but someone like Glenn Beck pushes me over the edge.)

Spiderdama said...

I have seen this name, Glenn Beck mentioned so much lately, but I have not quite managed to get the full story.., maybe I should read a bit..hehe.

Raksha said...


One more link:

This article appeared on the NPR website yesterday. It's called "The Evangelicals Engaged in Spiritual Warfare." It contains a link to a 39-minute interview with Rachel Tabachnick, author of many of the articles on the Talk To Action discussion board I linked to yesterday.

Both the NPR article and the interview, which cover basically the same ground, should help to clarify some of the questions raised in previous posts, especially when it comes to the difference between the NAR and other forms of evangelical Christianity some of you may have been raised with.


Dina said...

Friends, thanks so much for contributing here.

Raksah/Linda, as a matter of fact, I read that NPR article yesterday, now that y'all have gotten me so interested in the subject.
The talk of apostles and prophets of the NAR New Apostolic Reformation is quite scary.

Birdman said...

... a snake in the grass.

VP said...

I don't like the guy, but it is nice to see how much advice the yokels living in Israel may need.
You had such an easy history and live in such a boring country, surrounded by friendly neighbors and well liked by all the nutty tyrants of the world...

Raksha said...

Re Raksah/Linda, as a matter of fact, I read that NPR article yesterday, now that y'all have gotten me so interested in the subject.

Thank you, Dina. That was my intention in posting, of course. I've been studying the NAR and related theocratic movements for about two years now, with a special focus on Christian Zionism. I believe I made it clear in my earlier post that I consider Christian Zionism a serious threat to the Jewish people both here and in Israel. Now that you've read the NPR article you can see for yourself why these freaks scare me so much.


Janella said...

Psalm 122: 6-9

 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: 
"May those who love you be secure.
 May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels."
  For the sake of my brothers and friends, 
I will say, "Peace be within you."
  For the sake of the house of the LORD our God, I will seek your prosperity.

-- I know that the Jewish people are His most beloved and His chosen. How He works in the lives of His people is His concern, and nothing done by the hand of man will change His plans. As a Christian, I will continue to pray for the peace of this land and this people...

"Peace be within you".

Reader Wil said...

Somehow this man doesn't sound honest. I don't feel happy listening to him.What does he actually want? And why does he come to Israel?

The Real Jerusalem Streets said...

Glen Beck sure does get a response
from people, did not know how on target I was, "Love him or hate him"!
Appreciate the compliment!
Glad you liked the pics.