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.Link to free version of the op-ed that Kuttab says ran behind the NYT "Times Select" paywall under the heading, "The Line of Fire." (Ed. note: a number of BB readers who are Times Select subscribers wrote in to say that they couldn't find the essay there. I asked Kuttab, and he says it did run, as explained above. I'm not a Times Select subscriber, so I can't verify that way -- if anyone from the NYT wants to confirm, we'd welcome that, for the record. But knowing Kuttab's work and character, I don't see any reason he would misrepresent this fact, so I'm taking his word for it. Maybe the discrepancy is the result of some weird nav glitch on nytimes.com.) Next post
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.