jesus camp

One of the best things about blogging is getting free stuff, like free trips to Israel, and free books and movie screeners. And thus is born this review. Thanks Magnolia Films!

Jesus camp is the new documentary by Heidi Ewing, and Rachel Grady. It follows the lives of children growing up as Evangelical Christians and attending Becky Fischer’s “Kids on Fire” camp in North Dakota.

Knowing that it is Evangelical Christians who are some of Americas biggest supporters of Israel, it was an interesting watch. In one scene, as they are pledging allegiance to a Christian flag, a flag of Israel can be seen on screen along with the American flag. In another, a young girl shouts, clenched fist in the air, mumbling something through tears about restoring the line of Judah. I’m not sure I know exactly what she means by that, but I get the feeling that she might not either.

The children were frighteningly articulate, which, at their ages (approximately 7-11) generally comes from carefully watching and imitating what they see and hear from parent, pastors, teachers, etc, which is not to say that their beliefs and emotions were insincere.

The shameless indoctrination of children that the film shows is initially horrifying, particularly as children’s pastor Becky Fischer compares her work to Islam’s religious/political process of indoctrination aimed at making martyrs so successfully. But then again, what must be remembered is that all parents, religious or secular, similarly instill their values into the impressionable minds of their children, just often in ways we consider more subtle.

It is only when children grow into their teen years that they begin to question their authority figures and the values they have inherited from them. In addition, it is in a child’s teen years that even the strictest religious indoctrination often gives way to the impossibly seductive pull of newly raging hormones.

But what struck me about this particular indoctrination of the next generation was the emotional manipulation and crowd psychology behind it. With shots of children sobbing en masse and speaking in tongues, going into trances and convulsing on the floor, the spirit of hysteria and conviction which these kids got swept up in somehow reminded me of the Salem Witch Trials.

The documentary succeeds in being overwhelmingly objective. Where it failed was in not providing us with much of a plot to follow. The only controversy lies in the edited in clips of Christian radio personality Mike Papantonio being critical of the evangelical movement. Although it is undoubtedly a fright-fest for liberal Americans, given the potential ramifications of a religious-political movement comprising 25% of the American population, the film nonetheless fails to show any existing pattern of political influence other than vaguely referencing the appointment of Judge Alito. Even the Evangelical’s eight person pro-life demonstration in Washington D.C. seemed impotent at best.

What might have been more interesting, although much more intensive to make, would have been to follow three of the kids over a much longer period of time, watching what happens to childhood indoctrination as these kids hit their teens.

Nonetheless, it’s a worthwhile see. You can check out the trailer here and check here for screenings near you.

About the author

Laya Millman

121 Comments

  • The restoration of line of Judah is a reference to the coming of Jesus. The New Testament takes great pains to establish that Jesus is a direct descendant of King David, and thus scion of the line of Judah, making him eligible to be the King of Israel, since Judah was the kingly tribe. The open question, of course, is how Jesus could be of the tribe of Judah without having, y’know, a human father.

  • Dakota.

    The trailer is scary. Per your mention, and the comment above, you cannot take these people on using the details because most of them do not know the context from which they quote. They do not study, they memorize, and it is easy to break them up logically. But this is exactly why they are scary. The most troubling example, not directly related to this movie, is the Time cover about how G-d wants them to be rich. Any theologically minded, philosophically versed, person I speak to agrees with me – this is a perversion of the one solid kernel of religion: the sublimation of the ego to prevent egomaniacal behavior and channel that same behavior for the good of the group. I have read much Christian philosophy and I have no idea where these people went so wrong. I often find my self reciting the Sermon on the Mount to them, as a reminder. “Why does a Jew know this?”, they ask. I reply, “Someone has to.”

  • They aren’t really evangelical. They’re an extreme branch of evangelicals that believe some very weird theology. I am an evangelical and I look at this and cringe, because it is far from what Christianity is supposed to be.

    For one, the reason you see the Israeli flag is probably because they teach replacement theology. What that is, is a belief that the Church has somehow replaced the Jews has chosen by God. It’s a stupid belief that isn’t backed up anywhere in our New Testament and it based on anti-Jewish sentiments, but that’s unfortunately what a lot of Christians believe.

    As for the children thing, I think it’s just wrong at any level. I do think we need to teach our children properly, but every parent believes that. No one, no matter how hard they try, and supply a blank slate to their children. If you have beliefs, and believe they are correct, you will teach your children. I just think this teaching should be on a rational basis instead of playing on their emotions. How can a seven year old possibly understand the complexities of the Christian faith?

    Not all Christians are that way…there are those of us that adhere to the Bible that are nut-jobs.

  • All I can say is, you folks are smart and engaging when it comes to Judaism– but man, when you turn to Christianity, you may as well be describing tourist sites on Pluto.

  • There is a balanced piece on evangelicals comparing them to both fundamentalists and liberal churces with respect to their foreign policy in the current Foreign Affairs.Important for understanding future American policy towards Israel.

  • I really liked this film. I was really horrified initially by the level of indoctrination these kids seemed to have been put through. They really reacted strongly to the Pastor’s sermon – the crying and pleading – it was quite powerful. But these are kids! The movie followed focused on a few of them and they seemed precociously bright – at least in how effectively they parrotted their Church’s teachings, but still… they were really nice kids. You can’t hate them, they’re too cute.

    And if you want to dislike annyone, you may consider hating the adults. They’re definitely not as cute as the kids. But what are they doing that is so objectively awful? I don’t agree with their religious views or their politics but they are in fact doing what every adult caring for children does. A child that watches TV for 6 hours a day gets indoctrinated into consumer culture in a way no less horrific than what these kids have gone through. Jews do it, Muslims do it, secular liberals do it, so why is this evangelical church’s methods considered so horrifying?

    Great movie, very thought provoking, you should definitely go see it.

  • Just a quick note of self-promotion:
    I’m currently writing a satirical book on such movements. Satirical in that it paints them in a “positive” light when it’s obvious they shouldn’t be…this certainly helps in the research aspect of the book.

  • To Tom,
    Can you please elaborate further on your comments?
    I am interested to hear why the commenters are getting it wrong. I get confused about all the various denominations and when I ask friends who are nominally Christians to explain they are not really sure themselves as they only go to church for weddings and funerals. So we do need people who can help us navigate among all the various branches of Protestantism or shoud I say Christianity?

  • Joel wrote: there are those of us that adhere to the Bible that are nut-jobs.

    Ehh… you mean, that are not nut-jobs? 🙂

  • I’ve not seen the film. I feel as if I don’t have to living here in Ga. we live this every day. Really. BTW: I strongly suspect that radio personality Mike Papantonio is the very same guy who teams up with Robert Kennedy Jr. on their ‘Ring of Fire’ program on Air America radio on the weekends. He’s always sounded like a righteous but fairly liberal guy to me. But he does not get deep into religion on their show with his ‘Pap attack’ on consumer & corporate fraud & malfeasance. Cheers, ‘VJ’

  • I’m amazed at some of these comments here. Why is a movie about right-wing Christian kids scary? Some of my relatives and friends are Evangelical Christians and while I disagree with their views I would never describe them as scary.
    What is terrifying is seeing how Arab Muslim children are indoctrinated to become mass murderers from birth. I will never forget the image of a 7 year-old Arab Palestinian girl screaming with rage that she wanted to kill all the Jews.
    So Nathan while you might think the Christian kids are scary they will never pose a threat to you. The Arab kids on the other hand won’t hesitate to murder you or your family. Now that is scary.

  • Nina: Why is a movie about right-wing Christian kids scary?

    From an ABC news profile on Jesus Camp:

    Speaking in tongues, weeping for salvation, praying for an end to abortion and worshipping a picture of President Bush — these are some of the activities at Pastor Becky Fischer’s Bible camp in North Dakota, “Kids on Fire,” subject of the provocative new documentary, “Jesus Camp.”

    “I want to see them as radically laying down their lives for the gospel as they are in Palestine, Pakistan and all those different places,” Fisher said. “Because, excuse me, we have the truth.”

    “A lot of people die for God,” one camper said, “and they’re not afraid.”

    “We’re kinda being trained to be warriors,” said another, “only in a funner way.”

  • Well, it’s not, like, super different from Hamas camp, but like, crazy far-right Evangelicals support Israel and luuuvvvvvv Jews, so we have to overlook the fact that they’re thoroughly batshit! I mean, the fairly recent development of opportunistic Protestant philo-Semitism definitely outweighs 2000 years of violent persecution, so as long as they keep building tourist centers in the Galilee, we just have to stick our fingers in our ears and sing “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” at the top of our lungs.

    What’s that you say? You support abortion rights? You don’t want Western democracies turned into theocracies under the cross? You don’t want your beloved Israel reduced to the level of “The Jesus Lightning Rod” millennialist experiment? Uncomfortable with you new role as the Christian right’s kept boy and all the somewhat creepy fawning over Jews? You think “support” along the lines of “while you might think the Christian kids are scary they will never pose a threat to you. The Arab kids on the other hand won’t hesitate to murder you or your family” is disingenuous at best and makes Jews look bad by association? Shut up, Jew! You probably want to kill Christmas just like all those kikes rich Hollywood liberals!

    Now, if we’ll all turn to LaHaye 3:12…

  • Nina,

    …while you might think the Christian kids are scary they will never pose a threat to you.

    Unless you become a doctor and have an abortion clinic, in which case you’ll get bombed, right?

    And what if you’re a scientist who refuses the whole “intelligent design” nonsense? What will happen when some super-indoctrinated religious crackheads figure out the only way to win the argument is not through facts but through bullets…?

    I’m a Christian, Evangelical-Lutheran like 80% of Finland, when I have to fill up forms which ask for my religion I mark the box with “Ev-Lut”. I go to a church if the occasion demands, or to admire the architecture, or to avoid a rainfall.

    And if you ask me, yes, those kids in the video and the people taking part in those things are just plain crazy. They’re totally and utterly insane.

    All those “talking in tongues” and other things are a form of self-feeding mental incest: someone says to you it’s the norm, it’s expected, look here it says so in the Bible, and then you psyche yourself up to behave in an expected way to be part of the group and to please others, to be accepted or to gain attention, and the group enforces its beliefs upon, for example, seeing someone wriggle on the floor.

    The indoctrination towards an eventual conflict of some kind (perhaps trying to eventually artificially create the “final battle” which would bring about the reappearance of the Christ?) is also extremely freaky.

    I’m really scared about such people. They drop their reasoning and go with the bandwagon, becoming drones to whichever cause it is their perceived leader is directing them towards. They stop thinking and become fodder for the people who tell them what to do.

    There’s also a document called Root of All Evil, presented by Richard Dawkins. While I don’t agree with all the “in your face”-style presentations with which Mr. Dawkins goes about, or some of his quite extreme viewpoints, at least part 1 is worth watching, if for nothing else than him working Pastor Ted Haggard up to a real frenzy of pissed-offness.

  • Well, R, I didn’t intend any comment on the film, which I haven’t seen. For all I know, it’s up there with “The Sorrow and the Pity’ as a world-class documentary. But to rely on this, as Laya seems to suggest, as an authentic view of evangelicals, or as a telling window onto Israel’s supporters in the US, is about as goofy as adopting Andrea Dworkin as your guide to sex ed.

    And yet– there’s no small entertainment value in the unintentional humor of comments like Michael’s (containing both the intentional and unintentional variety).

    As for Christianity– it’s a very diverse movement. There’s Catholicism and its Reformation-era Western Protestant offshoots (Lutheranism, Anglicanism, etc.); the national Eastern Orthodox Churches, closely linked liturgically to RC but rejecting papal authority (e.g. the Serbian, Romanian, Greek, Russian, and Bulgarian Orthodox Churches); and churches with no historic link to any of the foregoing, which developed entirely independently (e.g. the Copts, the Ethiopian and Eritrean Orthodox, the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church). Not to mention recent iterations like Methodism and, yes, the Baptist churches here in the US.

    A great many Christians of these many denominations support Israel. But, hey, why not travel to the Dakotas, make a movie about a bunch of wackos, and get the likes of Laya and Michael believing this is what Israel has to rely on?

    Now– take two aspirin and call me in the morning.

  • . . . So– how to distinguish between this thicket of Christian sects? They all have the same Scripture– the Torah in its entirety, (called the Old Testament), and the New Testament, containing 4 accounts of Jesus’s ministry and post-Jesus commentaries by Paul and Peter, among others.

    Older churches, like the Catholic Church, have a centuries-long history of theological interpretation. Thus, it’s not open to the pope, for example, to throw it all out and turn doctrine on its head. He’s not going to call Jews pigs and apes, for example (Oops!! wrong religion!!)

    In contrast, newer Christian churches like the evangelical ones (they proliferate daily) are making it up as they go along– usually, with a literal approach to Scriptural interpretation.

    For Jews, that means evangelicals treat the NT’s Book of Revelation as literally portending historical events in present-day Israel. In contrast, the Catholic Church rejects literal interpretation of Scripture. (Leave the interpretation to us experts, they say). The Book of Revelation almost never comes up in a Catholic Church. (Mainline Protestants, e.g. Lutherans like Finnish, are fairly close to us Catholics in that respect, I think.)

    So– evangelicals may view current events in Israel as ultra-Orthodox Israeli settlers might: as a sign of the End of Days, the final redemption by God of His people.

    (If anything like that happens, drop me an e-mail and let me know.)

  • Tom, you’re right about the Book of Revelation being sort of, well, ignored, if you will, because it really is quite nonsensical. If someone does bring it up it’s usually someone who tries to equate e.g. the number 666 with whatever they don’t like, then arguing that such a thing is from the devil.

    The Book of Revelation might make sense in the original form, in the original language, in the original socio-political context, but as it is now, any meaning derived comes solely from the person who invents it while reading.

  • Which is why, Finnish, there’s really no point in Jews (of all people) getting worked up about evangelicals’ views on the matter. Let ’em predict away about the Second Coming; I figure God sets his own timetable.

  • well, part of the problem brought up in the film is that a theology of the imminent arrival of Jesus leads to a lack of concern about the future, as in; why worry about renewable energy or global warming? Jesus will fix it!

  • Au contraire, laya, at least here in the US. The media’s devoted much attention to the new phenomenon of green evangelicals– environmentalism is really taking off as an issue in their community. (As is Darfur.) This could have a salutary impact on Republican politics.

    There’s a bit of irony in your comment, too: evanglicals are much criticized by the US left for excessive involvement in the here-and-now of electoral politics.

  • Just reporting on the movie Tom. Glad to hear the anti-environmentalism portrayed therein might be becoming a thing of the past.

  • Tom, it’s not so much the predicting I’m a wee bit worried about (Prediction failed? Just add some more years, lathe, rinse, repeat), but more so the active creation of the “battle of battles”… Which is what those Jesus camps look to me, kind of. Create an army and then create the battle.

    And, I definitely agree with Laya. The disregard of the environment by certain groups of influential people (mainly in the US) is very uncool, so if things are improving in that area it is very good news. Now, I don’t know how people in the US see it, but when seen from this perspective the denials about global warming, for example, have been odd and somewhat frustrating to see. Making money with a “scorched earth”-tactic may be cheap and get you the extra buck now but it’s not really future-proof.

    All in all it was a thought-provoking post and trailer, so thank you Laya for that!

  • Mitch and Michael;
    I haven’t seen the film but I plan to because it sounds interesting. You obviously don’t understand anything about Evangical Christians. When an Evangical Christian talks about giving their life for their beliefs they don’t mean it as murdering non-Christians like the radical Muslims do.
    What they mean is that they will fight for their beliefs if they are attacked. There is obviously a huge difference.
    I was raised in a Catholic home but some of my relatives are Evangical Christians. I don’t agree with a lot of their views but they would never hurt anyone.
    Comparing these children Christian camps to Hamas camps is absolutely insane. When has a Christian child screamed about killing all the Jews or Muslims? When has a Christian actually blown up a a bus full of Jews?
    Speaking in tongues to you might be weird but it’s a form of expression just like when the religious Jews pray and rock back and forth. I don’t understand religious people’s rituals but why would this be scary? To each his own.
    I was in elementary school when the last abortion clinic was bombed and an abortion doctor was killed so I’m amazed that you would even bring that up. The vast majority of Christians condemn these sorts of actions unlike the radical Muslims who encourage them.
    I find strange being in the position of defending Evangical Christians being a pro-gay rights, pro-abortion rights, Libertarian but some of these comments here are ridicoulous and ignorant.
    If you want to know who your real enemy is watch Memri or PalestinianMediaWatch. Or better yet watch “Arna’s children” and see how the Arab Palestinin society raises childen to murder Jews.

  • Just a comment –

    One thing I encourage my students is that if they are going to study a religion, don’t look to the extremes of the religion or to the “common” writers. Look to those who hold to a more traditional stance of that religion. I would encourage all of you to do the same thing. This would mean reading Francis Schaeffer, Os Guinness, C.S. Lewis, Udo Middlemann…just to name a few. The reason I say that is there are MANY misconceptions about the Christian faith on this thread. Yes, a lot of Christians believe in escapism (Jesus is coming back, so who cares), but this is NOT the teaching of the Bible (Schaeffer dedicated an entire book to the issue of pollution and the Christian response way back in the 1970’s).

    If any of you are curious, I can give you some book titles to run through. My name should link you to my e-mail. I’m not trying to convert (they aren’t evangelism books either, they are intended for a Christian audience so there are certain presuppositions that are not supported) but merely educate.

  • Thanks Tom. Very informative. I did have a sense of the broad branches of Christianity. I am more confused about the differences between protestants such as Southern Baptist, Methodist, Anglican, Dutch reform, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Unitarian, etc. I was told that it was more about church governance than about theological differences. Can you recommend some reading?
    Nina, I don’t think people mean to be ignorant or ridiculous. You have the insider’s knowledge and they don’t. Enlighten. Don’t berate. it is not like we are theologians or anything. We do live in ” Christian ” societies but there is no talk of religion in the mainstream. Religious figures tend to be slightly unhinged. SO we roll our eyes & change the station. Even Elie Wiesel comes across as too much.

  • R, I’ll work on some reading– maybe our Lutheran friend, Finnish, has some ideas. I think the main typological distinction within Protestantism is that the sects that date to the Reformation– the Anglicans, the Lutherans– and close, later offshoots of those sects, e.g. the Methodists, founded in the early 19th C. by Englishman John Wesley– carry forward much of Catholic liturgy and doctrine, minus the pope stuff (in the interest of decentralized church governance) and de-emphasizing the Virgin Mary (a big deal to Catholics and Orthodix Christians).

    In contrast, evangelicals, Baptists and the like feel empowered by the Bible to arrive at their own interpretations of Scripture and their own approach to observance. After all, in this view, if the Bible’s meant to be read literally, there’s no need for hundreds of years of theological tradition and debate.

    Unitarians are a different kettle of fish– they’re non-creedal, i.e., have no binding scripture, no allegiance to any orthodoxy. Many are not Christian.

  • To tell you the truth, the differences among Christian traditions/denominations is very unclear to me too. I’d say some other sources than myself would be better suited for someone looking for accurate information in Evangelical-Lutherism or Lutherism in general.

    Wikipedia provides a nice article with a picture containing the taxonomy. I guess there’s more information there than one can take from one sitting.

    Some personal experiences:

    Laestadians have lots of kids and don’t have TV, study more Bible and are what people here label as “uskovainen” (singular) or “believers”. The word might mean that someone is just a harmlessly religious person, reads the Bible and believes in God or that kind of stuff. Or it might also mean the kind of people who feverishly try to dump Jesus on everything that moves. The meaning depends on the context and the tone of voice.

    Usually people who are very religious (Jehova’s witnesses, Laestadians, …) tend to hang around themselves or others who are alike.

    Orthodox Christians are quite relaxed with the whole Bible, Jesus and Mary stuff, and are a nice bunch of people in general. They’re a lot more religious folk, they’ve got icons, smoke incense in their Churches, sing a lot, they have a lot more traditions, rituals and aesthetic appeal.

    Nowadays the Orthodox Christian church is actually growing in numbers because many people find it overall more nicer compared to the slightly depressive and spartaic boredom offered in regular Ev-Lutheran church ceremonies. Maybe that’s a bit harsh on the Ev-Lut church services, but that’s what many people feel it to be. Usually weddings tend not to be so boring and depressive.

  • Finnish, this is the frozen North we’re talking about, right? You guys are known worldwide for depression (despite being unusually good-looking). You’ve made it an art form. Look at Bergman. Or Sibelius.

    Musically, at least you’ve got JS Bach going for you. Do his cantatas to death at those services.

  • Tom, indeed it is the soon-to-be-quite-frozen North.

    Bach would have been excellent, instead of those minor key hymns with words like (paraphrasing) “have mercy on me sinful”. As if the school-time services (2 per year) wouldn’t have been painful enough already to sit through.

    For more depressive gloominess, might I suggest some Aki Kaurismäki movies for you?

  • I’ve a perverse love of the melancholy, Finnish. I’ll check out the director– a compatriot, I assume?

  • i really do not see anything wrong with the camp…as christians our main goal is to make “heaven”.. living in a country like America..has repressed a lot of our christian beliefs..and any little act of christianity we think its extreme…isnt it better to be extremely good thant being extremely bad..

    if i have to send my child to camp to learn the word of God then fine..if it was a secular camp where a lot of worldly things are going on..we definitley won’t have a problem with it…

    this is definitely no form of brainwashing…a lot of christian kids go up changing their beliefs anyways..

  • Tom, it’s got English subtitles… You can probably find it at a rental store, I’d guess.

  • There’s a difference between privileged little kids screaming at a camp organised to instill hatred and a theoretical (?) 7-year-old Palestinian child screaming about killing Jews. The latter may have suffered – over and above losing her country, being forced to live in squalor, half starved, being deprived of water two days out of three, having her schooling constantly interrupted and so on. She might have lost a sibling (over 200 children killed so far this year in the occupied territories) or had her house destroyed or the water well filled in. In which case, it would be possible to make peace with her by reaching out and doing everything possible to put matters right.

    Deliberately sending children into fits and hysterics is not justifiable ‘education’. It’s evil and wrong and abusive (and don’t all abusers claim to be doing it for the child’s good?).

    As a Chirstian who wants peace between Jews, Muslims and Christians, I think these extreme evangelicals are highly dangerous to all of us.

  • Diana;
    I don’t even know where to start with you. Your comments are outrageous! How are Christian children filled with the holy spirit highly dangerous to you and other Americans? I doubt you are a Christian because it’s obvious you don’t know anything about Christian beliefs.
    I’m Catholic who wasn’t brought up with speaking in tongues or dancing to the holy spirit but know many Evangical Christians who are good people. They aren’t fanatical or a danger to anyone.
    I’m flabbergasted that you think it’s ok for a little Arab girl to say that she wants to murder all the Jews. You are a sick evil woman!
    The Arabs are bringing up little Hitlers who have been indoctrinated to hate and murder the Jews and destroy the Jewish homeland. Teenage Arab children have been suicide bombers and are celebrated as martyrs.
    This Arab culture instills hate not the Christians. Even the filmakers have said that the Christian children were never encouraged to act in a violent way.
    You want to know what is wrong and abusive; to teach children that murdering Jews is their path to heaven, to show pictures everywhere of dismembered body parts of murdered Jews as ways to encourage Arab children to become homicide bombers, to throw parties and have children celebrate when Jews are murdered, For Arab parents to play soccer with the heads of dead IDF soldiers with their children.
    I have no doubt that Arab children in the Gaza and West Bank have suffered but I put the blame squarely on the terrorists Hamass and the Plo. Instead of using the billions of dollars the world gives them on building their society’s infrastructure they spent it on weapons to murder Jews. They use children as human shields then blame Israel when those children are killed.
    The majority of the young Arab suicide bombers have been middle-class and in some cases affluent. Poverty doesn’t create terrorism but a culture and religion of hate does. The vast majority of the world lives in poverty but they don’t engage in acts of terror.
    The Arabs do because they live in a culture of hate and violence that promotes the murder of Jews as a legitimate goal to achieve.
    You should be ashamed to compare good Christian children to Arab Muslim children who are future mass murderers or supporters of them!

  • Hi, my name is Nathan Nagelkerk and I live in Kansas City, MO. My e-mail is servant119b@gmail.com. I am 27 years old; I am part of the radical Jesus movement shown in the film Jesus Camp and it is a blessing to speak to you today. I want to bless you, and set some things straight too.

    First off, the Israel flag does not mean Replacement Theology. Quite opposite. As you know, Anti-semitism, which has existed for many centuries is very strong today, world-wide. Soon an empire out of Eastern Europe will arise. It will be the residue of Communism marrying the spirit of Islam, horrendously evil, and it’s terror will shake the entire earth. It will hate Israel more then anything you can imagine. Jesus is the God of Israel and he loves no one more then Israel. When he wept over Jerusalem because his people did not recognize him, he said “you will not see me again until you say ‘blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” If Satan can kill all Jews, they can’t ask him to come back. That was Hitler’s plan, and that plan is not dead in the heart of Satan.

    My biggest passion in life, as a Christian, is to bless Israel and help them find the only Man who truly loves them–Jesus Christ. Jesus is both man and God, and he’s a Jew. The Holy Spirit of Jesus promised in Romans 9-11 that all Israel will one day be saved. They will be the greatest nation on earth and Jesus will rule the earth from Jerusalem. He will appear in the sky at the end of the tribulation of Israel, and save them. He will kill the evil leaders of the earth who killed his brethren, Israel.

    So, the Israel flag stands for our identification with Israel. Many Christians will lay down their lives for Israel in the end-times. If you deny them, you deny Jesus. Our identity as Christians is found in Israel. Without Israel, we have no history. Jesus revealed himself through 42 generations, from Abraham to Jesus. Many “Christians” will forsake Israel, but those who truly love Jesus will stand with them.

    The demon of Islam is hijacking it’s own religion. The God is Christianity is hijacking his religion. The supernatural God of Israel is the same supernatural God of Christians. Israel is our big brother, but is not in good shape right now because they have not put their faith in Messiah when he came. But more Jews are being saved today then EVER before. Jesus is the God of the Hebrews, the only way to their Father.

    “Jesus Camp” manipulated the truth and demonized us. I liked the movie anyway, because at least passion for Jesus was in the film. We have the Light and the Spirit of God. We ARE brain-washing ourselves. We are washing our minds with the Word of God so that our minds are clean. If we don’t train our children, Satan will. The kids in that movie had joy. If they wept, they didn’t weep as much as King David of Israel. His heart was much more tender, and he wept even more. He is our hero. I go to the International House of Prayer (IHOP.ORG) in Missouri. Every Tuesday, IHOP holds a fast (no eating) in order to cry out to the God of Israel, so that Israel will be saved and have eternal life, like King David.

    God put IHOP right near President Truman’s childhood home because Truman was the greatest political intercessor that helped Israel become a nation again after Hitler tried to wipe them out. The House of Prayer’s greatest mandate is to pray for Israel, that they might become a nation of God—Jesus. When that happens, the curse of death will be lifted off planet earth. Death will be swallowed up in victory! All the anti-Semitism in the world is Satan’s hatred for mankind, because he knows Israel is the solution to the planet and the key to his demise. The Hebrew prophets prophesied in depth about this and the beautiful mystery of Israel is vast. As Gentile Christians, we are fortunate Israel didn’t receive Jesus, or else human history would have ended when Jesus arrived the first time and we wouldn’t have had time to get saved. But time will not last forever.

    I understand some of this may sound confusing and crazy. I fell in love with Jesus because compared to us, he’s crazy. His love is amazing. Jesus talked to us about loving our enemies. When those kids were talking about martyrdom, they were talking about being killed for Jesus, and they will go down forgiving their enemies. Yes, God is raising up a militant church—militant against Satan and spiritual powers of darkness. (Abortion is actually a small issue compared to the evil that is coming soon.) We are trying to end the murder of abortion through politics, not by blowing ourselves up to kill innocent bystanders in the name of some false God Allah.

    I could write 40 pages but I will end with this: Have you noticed that in America, gas prices are low and there were no major hurricanes. And did you notice that we helped Israel against evil terrorist—Lebanon? We blessed Israel so we are being rewarded. Did you notice that last year the result of us pressuring Israel to leave Gaza brought Katrina and gas prices sky-rocketed? Pay attention in the future to what happens to nations that curse Israel. Did you know that in 2004, when we had 4 major hurricanes, they came right when we were putting heavy pressure on Israel to leave Gaza? God’s promise to Abraham: whoever blesses you I will bless, whoever curses you I will curse, STILL STANDS. Jesus is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. He is who Israel is. He fulfilled all the Hebew Law and Prophets. Whoever blesses him will be blessed, whoever curses him will be cursed. His death was the final sacrifice for sins!

    In 1998, I was a senior in high school. My life hit a dead end. Everything I lived for came crashing down. I had no hope and no reason to live. I was depressed, cutting myself, wondering if anyone loved me, and suicidal. One night I got down on my face in my bedroom and prayed to Jesus and asked him to forgive me to for turning my back on him. I was desperate for a reason to live. He came into my life, filled me with love, gave me a reason to live, and my life has been awesome ever since. It hasn’t been easy, because if you live for Jesus you’ll be persecuted, but all the same it’s been awesome. If you have questions, e-mail me.

  • I think lightning is about to hit this website.

    Anyway, isn’t IHOP International House of Pancakes? How does that fit into all of this?

  • Yes, but it’s also International House Of Prayer. I – Intercession. H – Holiness. O – Offerings to the poor. P – Prevailing faith for provision in crisis.

    Check out http://www.IHOP.org

    And to clarify my earlier statement: “To reject them is to reject Jesus” THEM, means Israel. Love Nathan

  • Your desire to “save” us and make us a “nation of Jesus” by perverting our holy texts and exhorting us to follow your religion is no different from the attempts of the last 2000 years, up until the modern day, of the many people who endeavored to stamp out the Jews’ identity and culture. You are no different from them, you are no better than them. Even if the tactics are different, the goal is the same: the obliteration of the Jews as Jews on the way to Christian hegemony.

    We don’t need it. We don’t want it. We don’t want our flags in your churches, we don’t want to be pawns in your eschatology, we don’t want to be saved.

    You are free to worship as you wish. And I’m glad you found meaning in life through Jesus. But never let your meaning in life come at the expense of another’s right to live as he sees fit. Pray to Jesus, and leave us the hell alone.

  • Michael, be nice to Nathan – my gas prices haver dropped about 50 cents per gallon in the past month.

    By the way, does anybody else get the feeling that Nathan’s last paragraph is something that could have come out of the Aish or Chabad playbook.

  • Aish, maybe. Chabad is much more subtle.

    And I am being nice. I didn’t swear. I didn’t tell him to take his IHOP and shove it until syrup shoots out of his nostrils. For me, these are kiddie gloves! I’m just tired of the “I’m gonna wuv you death, Jews!” Christians. God, I’d prefer a little icy, refined anti-Semitism like the more staid Protestant churches to THIS anyday.

  • Nathan,
    I believe you are a good Godly person even though I don’t agree with your beleifs. Ignore the hate from those on this site who can’t even begin comprehending your beliefs. God Bless and take care.

    Michael,
    I don’t agree with Nathan views either but why the hostility? I have been judged for being a phony Christian because I’m Catholic by many Evangicals but I don’t care. I don’t take offense when they pray for me because heck I’ll take all the prayers I can get from any religion.
    You mention the obliteration of Jews by Fundamentalists Christians which is pretty ironic since Jews are doing a good job of destroying themselves.
    The intermarriage rate in America is 70% and growing and in the rest of the world it’s close to 90%. It’s estimated that in two generations the Jewish population will be basically non-existant outside of Israel.
    Before you attack Nathan for the state of Judasim clean your own house first which desperately needs attention.

  • I’m sorry, are you presuming to tell me what the REAL problems of the Jewish people are and that I should ignore everything else until I take care of intermarriage? Sorry Nina, you don’t get to do that. Catholics don’t get to dictate policy for Jews. We reserve the right to care about whatever we want to without the approval of Christ or his vicar.

    Did I say fundamentalists were obliterating Jews? No, I said it was their ultimate goal, which is made pretty frank – instead of the traditional obliteration of the flesh, this time it’s an obliteration of the spirit. The hostility is because all of our new Christian groupies expect us to like it. I mean, hey, who cares that they still expect us all in the end to become Christians or die? As long as they defend us by posting borderline racist comments about Arabs in response to criticism of Israel on our websites, it’s all gravy.

    In short, I’ll clean my own house when y’all show yourselves out.

    Middle – I like it when Christians like us too. I don’t like it when they love us so much that we become Christianity’s pet religion. It’s like the Evangelicals are Lenny, and we are a seriously perturbed mouse…

  • Nina, you are a nice girl and I usually like your comments, but let me interject here. Why do you care so much about intermarriage, what’s in it for you, if even 100% of Jews outside of Israel voluntarily assimilate? Do you have the same concerns for Buddhists or Hindus? Incidentally, some of my most favored Jews are a product of intermarriage. As a K9 breeder I can assure you that line-breeding is fine if done carefully, but nothing boosts a breed more than an occasional outcrossing. Hybrid vigor they call it.

    Now back to Evangelicals. Frankly, all this love creeps me out. It is no secret that their ultimate goal is to convert the Jews, whether it’s done through love or the barrel of a gun is immaterial in the long run. Love is a fickle thing, if unrequited, it can turn into hatred in a flash, as has been demonstrated by Martin Luther and many a jilted lover.

    So forgive me if, as a Jew, I’m being a bit wary. To quote the immortal Greta Garbo: “I want to be left alone.”

  • Michael, you seem get off on any (purported) confirmation of your apparent belief that the Big Bad Christians are plotting to do away with Jews, wipe away Israel, and impose “Christian hegemony.” It doesn’t seem threatening to you– instead, it’s a source of pleasure that your own fears are confirmed. After all, you’ve sniffed out the next Holocaust. Good work!

    I’d like to reassure you in the only way I imagine will: a tearful, Perry Mason-like confession that when Christians pretend to support Isreal– it’s just a ruse to conceal our fervent hope for its destruction! Feel better?

    You’re a smart guy and a fine writer, dude, but take a breath or a pill, OK?

    As for Nina– let’s not go preaching (sorry!) to the Jews about what we think ails them. You think we know better? Physician, heal thyself and all that.

    Middle, see ya at IHOP.

  • Oh, don’t be such a masshole. I don’t think all Christians want to love Jews until they all convert/move to Israel/bring Jesus down in a hail of rainbows/brimstone. Just the Evangelicals from Space. They threaten me. I don’t like them, their heritage centers in the Galilee, their theology, or their awful, awful music. I think them and the wacko Muslims deserve each other, I just wish we weren’t caught in the middle.

    Catholics, on the other hand, are generally some of my favorite Christians (Savior of the Jews Nina nonwithstanding), because they’re about as close as you Jesus-people get to Jews. And they tend to be, in their thorough insanity, somehow less insane than their tongues-speaking co-religionists. Really. Some of my best friends have been among your guilt-ridden, incense-huffing lot.

    I’m fine with support of Israel from Catholics, Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox, Ethiopian Orthodox, Coptics, Anglicans, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Baptists, Anabaptists, Methodists, Quakers, Shakers, Mormons, those wacky Christian Scientists, Charismatics, Uncharismatics, voodoo priests and any one of the dizzying array of denominations you people have created to worship the guy nailed to the tree, just don’t…love us. Respect us, support us, get drunk with us, but pleeeease don’t involve us when God “raises up his militant church against Satan.” Doesn’t the Pope have magic powers or something? Can’t he do something about those guys?

  • Michael, great comment :). Agree that Massachusetts sucks in many ways. The endless stream of feckless, failed presidential candidates, the taxes, the driving. . . .

    Maybe the beleaguered Pope can turn his attention from Muslim whackos to Christian ones. Meantime, it’s likely because I’m a Catholic who finds all the evangelical millenial stuff quaintly amusing– I just don’t find it threatening. Misguided but benign. Now, Jews may not have that luxury, I’m well aware of that. Still, I imagine that if I were Israeli, I’d take the support where I found it, thank you very much.

    Uncharismatically yours . . .

  • Nina:

    I challenge your statistics. The US intermarriage rate is only as high as 70% among the most unaffiliated segment of American Jewry. Overall, it is over 50%.

    And I completely contest your figure of 90% for communities outside of Israel and the US. Most other Galut Jewish communities are much more tight-knit than in the US.

  • Nathan, if you don’t train your children, they will not be “trained by Satan”.

    Instead, there is a good chance they would grow up as healthy individuals without an indoctrination into some pre-defined way of thinking and behaving. They would, instead, utilize their own reason to deal with the world.
    In other words, they would have a chance to be free from any bonds set for them by outside influences. They would not be jailed by the thinking of others. Their minds would be pure for them to find their own path and own ways of walking the path.

    And I find it odd that a person who claims to follow God/Jesus does not do so, but instead seems to follow some random bloke who takes a microphone, gets up on a stage and drives the crowd to a frenzy.

  • And if you don’t believe it, Nathan, take a look at our friend Finnish’s home country, where everybody is a half-assed Lutheran and yet, Jesus has rewarded them with an embarrassingly high standard of living, tall, leggy blondes and one sauna per household, with the only downsides being cold weather, high taxes, salty licorice and the occasional metal band. North Dakota, I understand, has some wheat.

    So if we weigh these things objectively, it seems Jesus loves Finland more than North Dakota, no matter how many camps they’ve established there in His Name. So pay the words of the Finns heed!

  • Finnish – great point. Maybe Nathan would care to read this part of Khalil Gibran poem that may help illustrate Finnish’s point:

    Your children are not your children
    They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself
    They come through but they are not from you
    And though they are with you they belong not to you
    You can give them your love but not your thoughts
    They have their own thoughts
    You may house their bodies but not their souls
    For their souls dwell in a place of tommorow
    That you cannot visit, not even in your dreams
    You can strive to be like, but cannot make them just like you…

    Michael, ever been to Finland? It is that beautiful, like much of Scandanavia, irregardless of your innacurate stereotypes (leggy but not all blondes and more communal saunas than you think). Helsinki is a great town with a vibrant, crazy scene, a big casino downtown, and the hugest man-made hole in the ground I’ve ever scene – Finnish, they ever complete that project? And last time I was there there was a huge anti-U.S./Israel protest in the square by the train station. Knowing no Finnish I refrained from starting any trouble with the hipsters (as much as I wanted to). And you can hop a boat for a day trip to St. Petersburg.

    I don’t know if Jesus loves Finland more than North Dakota. Because I don’t have a direct line to Jesus. Nathan? Do you know?

  • My stereotypes, inaccurate as they may be (although note I didn’t say ALL Finns were blond), are much smaller sins than the word “irregardless.” But I stand by my assertion that, judging from empirical evidence readily available to us, Jesus loves Finland.

  • What? I need a minyan to approve my choice of words? I refuse to accept I have sinned… irregardless of whether or not you laugh at my writing style, Michael. I mean, anteeksi…

  • Jesus is an 18th century grammarian? I had no idea!

    “Irregardless has a fine flow about it… that some people obviously find attractive… the precedents are all on the side of irregardless and—despite the opinions of the experts… the word will become even more popular in the US in the future. For the moment, though, it is best avoided in formal writing.

    http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-irr1.htm

    See Michael? I got flow! Some find me attractive! And despite the opinions of the experts (like you and Jesus) I will become even more popular in the U.S. in the future.

  • Packen;
    I don’t care if Jews destroy themselves by intermarrying because as you know I’m not Jewish and it doesn’t affect me whatsoever. I was making a point to Michael who accused the Evangical Christians of wanting to obliterate the Jews.
    I don’t stay up worrying about the Jewish decline in population because if most Jews don’t care why should I? I admire the Jewish people for their values and support Israel think but I don’t care because it’s not my problem.

  • Oyster,
    My comments about Jewish intermarriage didn’t come out of thin air. I’ve read several articles about this topic and the statistics I got were from a column by journalist Steve Plaut. If you have a problem with these stats please write to him.
    I actually think it’s almost impossible for Jews not to intermarry in the United States and the rest of the world when their populations are so tiny to begin with.
    In addition a lot of Jews don’t feel close to their culture or religion which makes it more likely that they will find non-Jewish partners acceptable.
    I’m pro-intermarriage for everybody in the world because we are all humans. I do see the point of those Jews who are scared about the declining Jewish population but in the end love is love regardless of religion, race, ethnicity.

  • Michael,
    Where the hell in my comments do I tell Jews what to do about their problems? I was bringing up a point to counterattack your claim about the Christians wanting to obliterate the Jews. Please use logic if you have any when reading my comments.
    Why are you are so full of hate and anger towards Fundamentalist Christians? You have a problem dude and it’s not Christians.
    Newsflash; Evangelical Christians want to save everyone not just the Jews. I’ve been told countless times I’m going to hell but I just smile and say “God bless You.” Don’t take it too seriously because life shouldn’t be so difficult.
    I generally like Jews, you notwithstanding, and I’m glad that most of the ones I’ve met don’t have your mentality. They are open to all people regardless of their religious beliefs and are grateful for their support.
    I have a feeling that you also hate religious Jews. It’s a common trait with people like you. You hate all religious people not just Chrsitians.
    I’m not religious at all but some of my best friends are religious, not all Christians, and are good ethical people.
    Deep down you are a coward whose afraid to combat the real enemy of the Jews which are the Arab/Muslims. Their fantasy is the destruction of Israel and the second Holocaust of the Jewish people.
    But of course it’s easier to attack the Christians because their not as scary and you won’t be killed by them.
    It’s like the wife who blames her husband’s girlfriend for the affair. It’s difficult to see truth about a situation because it’s too horrifying. I feel sorry for you I really do.

  • I don’t hate religious people, a fact which should be attested to by my healthy number of religious friends, acquaintances and colleagues. Hell, even some of the writers on this very blog are religious, and I like them just fine. I’m very open to people of all faiths and their support, provided they don’t make us look bad by opening their mouths.

    Now, as far as my cowardice, I live in Israel (that’s in the Middle East, by the way, where the “Arab/Muslims” live – see if you can find it on a map!) and am a month away from IDF induction (that means I’ll be serving in Israel’s army! Wow!). What have you done to defend the Jews, or, ahem, protect us from the “Arab/Muslim” menace other than spew semiverbal borderline-racist sludge about Arabs on this website to deflect attention from any other point raised? I mean, gosh, you’re kind of a one-issue girl, aren’t you? It’s either the encroaching Arab/Muslim Holocaust, or it ain’t newsworthy.

    Now, as far as my antipathy towards fundamentalist Christians, an antipathy I share, just to throw you a bone, towards fundamentalist Muslims, I suggest you crack open a history book (you may be able to find them at your bookstore or the library in your middle school). See if you can find something about Martin Luther, or Muhammad for that matter, for an example of how quickly philo-Semitism can turn into bloody anti-Semitism when the philo-Semites realize the Jews aren’t interested in being part of the plan for the world. Historical perspective is neato-keen!

  • Nina wrote: the statistics I got were from a column by journalist Steve Plaut. If you have a problem with these stats please write to him.

    Nina, I’ve scoured the web for any article by Steven Plaut that a) says that the total intermarriage rate for American Jewry stands at 70%, and b) says that a typical figure of the intermarriage rate of diaspora communities outside of the US are at 90%, and have come up empty-handed. If a facile search isn’t sufficient to turn up the facts you state without reference, then it’s safe to assume that it’s just hyperbole on your part.

    Now, why don’t you provide us with a reference, or a hyperlink? Or are you just making up these figures as you go along?

  • Nina – you did say “I don’t care if Jews if destroy themselves by intermarrying…”

    Is there a right way in which we’re allowed to destroy ourselves? I mean… we made a damn good attempt when one of us killed Rabin. One of us who clamied to be a “religious Jew” committed this crime… you’re playing with definitions here, very dangerous. Especially when you don’t know how we really define ourselves… because, apparently, we’re not sure ourselves.

  • Ramon, the manhole (there were so many I don’t know which one you mean) is probably closed and has a big house over it or an entry to a big underground parking lot. Under the ground, Helsinki is like Swiss cheese nowadays, it’s one big network of caves.

    And as for Mr. Gibran, he’s indeed an excellent author.

  • Finnish – yes, Gibran is beautiful. As far as the big hole. it was between the main bus station and the center – only a few blocks (?) from the hotel/casino… does this ring a bell? It was a few years ago since I was there…

  • Michael;
    What an arrogant little boy you are. Does it make you feel better putting down people you’ve never met? Did your parents treat you that badly? You need to learn the meaning of respect something that you obviously weren’t taught at home.
    The way you treated Nathan was immature and very hostile and said more about you than him. I feel bad for you.
    I’m a college student and I’m very knowledgable about Middle Eastern history thank you very much. I’ve read every single book I can get my hands on and I’ve met several Middle Easterners, Persians and Lebanese, who have given me a unique perspectives about their countries.
    I do know the history of Martin Luther, Mohammed and the history of anti-semitism. Probably more than you do because I’ve already graduated high school.
    Why the hell should I fight or defend Israel? I’m an American and that is the only country I’ll fight for. I should join the IDF because I support Israel? You make absolutely no sense.
    I have been very vocal with my government by writing e-mails and calling the White House to urge support for pro-Israel legislation. Unfortunately I haven’t had the opportunity to go to a pro-Israel demonstration.
    I only verbally attack Arabs who support terror. What have I’ve written that is so racist? You are a liar.
    You have never debated the issues I’ve brought up in my earlier comments. You think you are so smart but in reality the only thing you do is to attack people you are too ignorant to have a debate with.
    Fortunately most of the Jews I’ve met, some from Israel, aren’t like you.

    Oyster,
    I read that article a few years ago and maybe I’m wrong but I’m pretty sure that the author was Steve Plaut. I read it on “Israeli Insider” and I remember the stats well because I was surprised by them.
    Why the hell would I make up some stats about Jewish intermarriage? Why would I care whether most Jews marry outside their religion? I have better things to worry about. If I come across the article I’ll link it but I do have a life.

  • Ramon;
    I probably should have used a different word than destroy. I would never attempt to define Jewish people as a certain way and I’m sorry if that’s the way you interpreted it.
    I was making a point and now I see the error of using that particular word. I should have been more sensitive because of the history of the Jewish people so my apologies if you were offended.

  • My advice to “take a pill” was misdirected toward Michael. Nina, go to church and learn some humility. No– anger management class first, then church.

    While Jesus may have shown the Finns some favor (randy Finnish dudes in particular), the empirical evidence is clear. In every country in which folks stuck with the One True Faith, and rejected that notorious anti-Semite Luther and all his works, the food, wine, weather, and sex are all better.

  • I’m very suspicious of Finnish, btw. He/she seems too melancholia-free to truly reside in Scandanavia. “Finnish” may in fact be “Italian”. Or, at the very least, “Michigander”.

  • Michael! Salty licourice as a downside? Oh no, not at all.

    Although I agree that some would consider it an acquired taste, it’s by no means a downside, as it is (among other uses) an essential ingredient of a certain cough-syrupy drink.

  • Tom, I’m a he, I’ve never been to Italy and yes, I’m really from Finland.

    While I often see melancholical people around and find it occasionally fascinating and even humorous at times, the suicidal manic-depressive “the world just peed in my cereal” attitude is something which I hope to avoid. The world is too surreal a place to not be amused at least slightly almost every day.

  • Tom,
    Why don’t you mind your own business? I was atracked by Michael and I defended myself. I don’t know what anger or humility have to do with the way I defended myself.
    I would never go down to his level because I’m not full of hate and anger like he is. It’s pathetic that you can’t see that.

  • Finnish: I cannot say I’ve had the pleasure of sampling your country’s Simpsons-inspired salty licorice cough-syrup drink, but if you like licorice-inspired thick alcohol, I promise if you’re ever in our neck of the woods Jewlicious will buy you some of our local poision, arak.

  • Nina – I know you’re trying to keep this on that coffee shop discussion group level, but this isn’t a coffee shop. Michael’s more a barroom brawler than double latte kind of guy. I know because I dared use a double-negative and boy oh boy…

    But as I may be as milquetoast (sp.) a commenter as you’ll find here I just gotta tell ya I’m a lil’ riled up too. And it’s cause the one thing I can’t abide by is condescending bullshit. Not that that was your intention – but know I’m aware of it. When you tell us to get our house in order, you don’t see the condescension? And where do you get off lecturing us on intermarriage? When you told Michael to chill on Nathan of the IHOP it made me realize that maybe you don’t get it, you don’t see the attitudes of superiority, condescension and paternalism that fundamentalist Christianity – “the saved” – has towards Judaism. Of course we’re sensitive to it, as most of us have been brought up in a Christian world (the U.S. and Europe). We also get it from the Orthodox, the Kahanists, Jews for Jesus – but this Evangelical “we really love you and someday you’ll see the light” bullshit makes me want to… hit someone. I’m not attacking you and agree with some of what you say about the culture of hate being taught to Arab youth; but these Jesus campers are being brought up with those same values – that Jews will burn in hell. The only difference being that many (not all) Arabs may want us to and the Evangelicals don’t – as long as we “assume the position”. Which is worse?

    In an article in the local paper the writer took four smart kids from an evangelical highschool to the movie and asked them to talk about it. All said the film doesn’t accurately portray the evangelical movement. So there are nice, sane evangelicals and the movie only showed the crazy ones. But no matter how smart these four kids are, in their eyes I’m still going to burn in hell if I don’t accept Jesus as the messiah. And if you look to comment 1, Big Bad Michael nicely explains our issues with the Jesus as messiah thing.

    Nina, our “saviours” are coming to the House of Israel, and they have an agenda… and it’s a pretty damn scary one. You know this supposed love affair between Evangelicals and Israel is really an unholy political alliance between Christian/Republican right and Neo-cons with Israel caught in the middle. You think they have the best interests of Jews in mind? I asked a relative – a Republican and very Zionist – how he could support a party run by the Christian right. His answer was “keep your friends close and your enemies closer”. That’s what’s going on here, Nina, and it’s not good. It’s not smart to tell Jews – especially Israeli Jews – who their enemies are. I don’t live in Israel but my basic knowledge of geography tells me that Israel is surrounded by… Arabs! And most of them are Muslim! Most Arabs realize Israel is here to stay and that they’re gonna have to get used to their Jewish neighbors. Israel has enough problems without the wolves in sheep’s clothing walking in and spouting their flowery but anti-semitic bullshit. At least that’s how I see it. Don’t take it personally Nina, just open your eyes to it.

    Michael – best of luck to ya – keep safe and do your push-ups and remember you’re in the best-looking army in the world.

    Finnish – they finally complete that thing?

  • Ramon, yes, they indeed completed it and it’s now the 4th biggest mall in Finland. Check #78 for some small and blurry pictures.

    Michael, I will happily take up on that generous Arak offer. I’ve actually tasted such stuff (which is a small story in itself) and it’s quite good.

  • Finnish – one last question for ya – what’s the name of the music club on the other side of the new mall, oppposite the train station from the radisson/casino? Really, not a few streets away from the train station…

  • Ramon, there’s many ones in that area… but, after consultation with my agents in Helsinki I think what you might mean is On The Rocks (sorry, they don’t seem to have English pages)? They play rock, heavy, that sort of thing, no trancey stuff. Could it be that?

  • Ramon;
    It’s obvious you didn’t read most of my comments. I repeat for the thousdandth time I DON’T GIVE A S** whether Jews marry outside their faith and the last thing I want to do is lecture Jews on who to marry. I was merely bringing up a fact for the purpose of making a point. By the way I thought Orit should have gone for the non-Jewish guy who she had a lot in common with because life shouldn’t be so complicated.
    Michael is an immature jerk who can’t debate people smarter than him so he attacks them. After seeing his picture all I can say is that the IDF will definately get uglier with him in it.
    You know nothing about Evangical Christians and I already responded to Michael’s b.s. so I’m not going to repeat myself. But for the millionth time I’ve been damned to hell many times and I’m not Jewish so don’t think you’re so special. Catholics have had vicious hate speech directed toward them from some Evangelical Christians so don’t be so sensitive. These people want to save everybody!
    You are in denial if you think most Arabs accept Israel because in fact most Arabs want to destroy it. I’ve talked to many and I’ve read their press weekly and it’s stated in no uncertain terms that Israel will never be accepted by the Arab world.
    You and Michael can live in denial which is easier than living in reality. In the IDF he will fight against the Fundamentalist Christians like Hamass. These horrible Christians have blown up hunreds of buses in Israel. The Jesus freaks are the real enemies of Israel and want to murder all the Jews. It’s great that you know who your real enemy is. Ignorance is bliss, at least for awhile anyway.

  • Thanks Ramon! I appreciate your comment, it nicely embodied the concerns I, and many other Jews, have about our “friends” the Evangelicals.

    And as far as the army service, I think it’ll be fun in a way…defending the state, wearing cool pants, becoming proficient in the dismantling and reassembling of the M-16 assault rifle, and of course, the bachurot ivriyot. The thing I’m apprehensive about is the nagging feeling that certain groups of American bigots view the IDF as the spearhead of the pet conflicts in which they or their children aren’t willing to fight, conflicts which are obviously against Israel’s interests, but hey…let ’em have their fantasies, I guess.

  • Heh. This is funny. I think we have far more serious things to worry about than the true agenda of Evangelical Christians. Look… they’re not Jewish. They believe in Jesus. That’s not a crime. They raise their kids as they see fit thus availing themselves of the same rights that parents everywhere, regardless of creed or ideological orientation have. And believe me, if you think secular parents don’t put their kids through the same sort of indoctrination, well, then you’re either naive or blind.

    The friendship between these and other Christians and the State of Israel is not at all a problem for me – especially with the prospect of Islamic nukes pointed directly at my ass becoming more and more of a realistic possibility.

    Like I said, the thing about Jesus Camp that really got to me is not how different we are from these kooky evangelicals but how similar we all are. So chill the fuck out everyone. Get over your panic Michael and make up with Nina.

    And Nina, sheesh… didn’t they teach you about that turning the other cheek thing? Making fun of Michael’s looks is a low blow. Plus now I’m going to have to be woken up by his sad weeping in the middle of the night. Thanks a lot Nina.

  • I’m far too pretty for make-ups, especially undeserved ones!

    And as far as being woken up in the middle of the night, I’m sure anybody who’s ever shared an apartment or place of residence with you at any time for any reason (Muffti?) can attest to the fact that essentially the only way to wake you up in the night is with the use of a blunt, heavy object. The only time I’ve wept in the night around you is the time I had to share a bed with you at Achuzat Tirosh…holy shit, man! I thought the walls were going to collapse! Get help!

  • Sorry my powerful manly lungs frighten you Michael. You wanna hug or something? And you know my sleeping habits. I am often awake when you’re asleep. I hear the quiet weeping… “mommy… sniff, sniff, mooommy! MOMMY!” Sad really.

  • ck – It may be funny to you. You’re safely over there (that’s meant to be ironic) and I’m just a stone’s throw from the Jesus Camp. Really I don’t care about their little camps. It’s the movement as a whole that sickens me. To preach not only a distortion of your own religion, but to view others with disdain and condescension; to use their beliefs to demean mine, there’s nothing I find a similarity to. Indoctrinate your children into despising other religions is bullshit and is no different than any kind of secular bigotry. Yes, there are far more important things to worry about than James Dobson or Pat Robertson. Like the condescending psycho running an Arab country with the highest Jewish community (but you posted this and this.) Christians want to help Jews, than accept Jews. We have no choice but to accept them. They run my country. Sure we can all live together in one piece. Just don’t fucking lie in my face and tell me you love me when you wish me in hell. I’m not worried, ck, I’m pissed and sickened. This is what I was trying to convey to Nina. Without pissing her off too much.

    Having said that, feliz cumpleano Michael. Looked like a good time. And yes, about the bachurot – I didn’t want to say anything but, yes indeed.

  • Last Sunday, I asked the high school kids in my confirmation class at the local Catholic parish whether any of them had attended a bar/bat mitzvah. (Figured I’d try to compare Catholic ritual and Jewish tradition.) It’s a majority-Jewish community, and virtually every kid raised his/her hand.

    ramon, I seriously doubt that anyone present had ever devoted a moment’s thought to “wishing” the Jews, such as the pals whose bar mitzvahs they’d attended, “in hell”. Your wayward notion of Christian theology is right there on the condescension scale with Nina’s purporting to know best for Jews.

    And do you really reside in the US, a country you caricature as “Christian-run”? (Tell THAT to the evanglicals!) Surely you have a “choice” on “accepting” Christians– there’s always aliyah, no?

    That’s one way to avoid the big, bad evanglicals. Here’s another: engaging Christians (real, not cardboard, ones) and asking about their beliefs. Having in mind (cognitive dissonance warning!) that not all Christians are identical. (Think Menachem Schneerson and Michael Lerner.)

    Nina, you’re in denial about your attraction to Michael. . . Poor thing, I can only assume you fear you’ll destroy the Jewish people by dating him.

  • To back up our theovampiristic friend Mr. Morrissey, my Catholic sister-from-another-mother in college remarked to me once that back in Catholic school they had been taught that being non-Catholic did not necessarily mean eternal damnation, and that the list of righteous people who may be spared the fires of Hell included “Joseph the Jew,” who as I recall was a kangaroo. Of course, that may not be strictly in keeping with classical Catholic theology, but fuzzy all the same!

    But I’ve always maintained Catholics are not our problem. Catholics are like Jews anyway: they’ve been around long enough to make them unsure whether God really pays attention, but they continue to go through the motions just in case – if not for God, then for their mothers.

    Evangelicals, though, being a recent theological development (late 1800s), are still in their excited, babbling-like-a-cretin, jumping-up-and-down-on-couches stage of religious romance. So hopefully for our sakes, they won’t succeed in bringing Jesus before the 7(00)-year-itch kicks in.

  • Yeah, the Jewish-Catholic thing is old-hat. Gotta love the evanglical: anyone with a Bible,a smile, and local access cable can make it up as they go along and become a big star. Only in America.

  • Oh Ramon Marcos. The Evangelicals are not your enemy. Not really. There are lots of people I am sure who don’t see eye to eye with you religiously or politically. What do I care if they preach a “distortion” of a religion I don’t believe in to begin with? I believe that anyone who believes in Jesus or Buddha or Mohamed or anything that i don’t believe in, is simply wrong. I don’t deny their ability to be good people, I would never do anything to stop or impede them from practicing their religion, but bottom line, I don’t believe what they believe.

    That ought not stop us from conducting ourselves with civility towards each other. We ought not view Evangelicals with suspicion just because they’re different. So they’re waiting for the rapture? OK, cool. We’ll discuss it further when bodies start floating up to heaven. In the meantime they can keep visiting Israel and they can keep supporting Israel politically.

    You think they indoctrinate their kids into ddespising other religions? I didnt get the sense they despise people who don’t believe as they do – its more like they feel bad for them – just as I feel bad for people who don’t celebrate the sabbath or keep kosher – I don’t despise non-Jews or secualar Jews – I just feel bad for them. Is there anything wrong with that?

    Also does one never see secular people showing condescension towards people of faith? Nooooo… that never ever happenns.

    Right. Now, please address the substance of what I’ve said.

  • CK is right. Every time before a holiday when I am trying to negotiate the “line” of New York Orthodox Jews at the Kosher Marketplace on Broadway (I never make it to the counter at these times) I always feel tremendous pity for the gentiles who don’t have the wonderful experience of keeping kosher and shopping with Orthodox Jews. Like CK, I have nothing but pity for them, but not hatred.

  • Wow, I just spent forever pulling knives out of my back (some deservedly placed there) and the computer crashed before I could hit “say it”. Which is probably good. Anyways, Tom and ck – apologies in order. Tom – I see how I misrepresented and overgeneralized the Evangelical movement. It’s not all Robertson and Dobson. So, as a form of self-flagellation I did some searching, some if it proving your point:

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/jesus/evangelicals/vs.html

    … about my ignorance about Evangelicals. When I said the country was “Christian-run” I was referring to the present administration – not the Billy Graham/Jimmy Carter evangelicals but the minority that seems to hold a lot of political power. From the above article:

    “So people view Bush’s religiosity not just as a spiritual matter, but as a political matter. They view it not just as a way of understanding what helps him get through the day, but as a way of understanding who his political supporters are, who he owes favors to, what he’s going to do, who he’s going to attack, who he’s going to support, where is the money going to go through. It’s a whole package… so it’s hard to disconnect Bush’s personal spirituality from all the political pros and cons that come with it.”

    It’s highly nuanced debate I tried to boil down into a rant. Not too smart, huh?

    ck – you’re right, man, I overgeneralized and got self-righteous. Actually felt good for once. I used extremism to rant against extremism. That felt good too. You ever do that? Even if there’s this “smile in your face…” way that many Evangelicals view Judaism, condescension is condescension. I grew up in a time before fundamentalism was popular. I didn’t know Jews were going to hell if they don’t get Jesus until I met Jews for Jesus. “Just to be on the safe side” they told me. So ck, yeah, I went overboard. I got my stupid angry on. Part of which is due to some political stuff going on in midwest. Kinda felt good but wasn’t… anyways, your command “Right. Now please address the substance of what I’ve said.” – very strong and forceful.

    Nina… whoa…

  • Dear Israelites, I glorify and thank Jesus for this opportunity to speak with you. Thank you for replying to my last post, #43. I loved hearing your hearts. Thanks for letting yourself be vulnerable with me. Its not surprising to me that you thought I was anti-Semitic and using Israel as a pawn to advance my religion so that my religion can rule on earth. Usually the Jews I meet in person like me, but I understand that the nature of my message is a bit hard to listen to or agree with. I usually expect to be misunderstood.

    Also, the people in Jesus Camp wouldn’t necessarily hold all my beliefs. Everyone thinks for themselves, and so do I. I consider myself to be a part of Jesus’ movement on earth, so I embrace anyone that I think is doing his will or that I have a lot in common with. “Following Jesus” means putting his word into practice. And he is doing a lot. The man in Jesus Camp who was teaching the children that one third of their friends were killed in abortion is actually a leader in a movement much bigger then the makers of Jesus Camp are able to grasp. Back in Sept. 2000, that man led a prayer meeting at The Mall in Washington D.C. where 400,000 people came for a day of fasting and prayer, to pray that God would save our nation. He held 6 more huge days of prayer in other cities in the years following.

    He is only one small part of the evangelical movement. Sadly, much of mainstream Christianity is not like those in Jesus’ Camp—nor do they raise their children with such fear of God. The far left liberals tried to make all evangelicals look like that, but sadly we are only a very tiny percentage. But more and more people are starting to get hungry for God and we are not what we used to be. Over the past 100+ years, God has done a lot with the church world-wide, and it all started at the end of the 1800’s with the rise of Zionism, as God began to bring Israel back. What is so exciting about Israel becoming a nation again is that most of God’s promises for Israel (in the end-times) were impossible until Israel became a nation again. That’s a huge reason so much of the church for the last 2000 years thought that God’s promises to the Hebrews were transferred to the Gentiles, which is a deceptive lie. Jerusalem is the eye of the world. When the eye is full of light, the whole world is full of light. That’s why Satan wants to fill Jerusalem with darkness, so the whole world will be dark and full of evil. But as Zionism grew, the gospel of Jesus Christ began to go to all the nations of the earth. When Israel is blessed, so is the world. The past 100 years have seen incredible things for the church, too numerous to go into. There have been major outpourings of supernatural Holy Spirit power all over the place, it’s just not mentioned in the news. One small example is people being raised from the dead. There is a man in Mexico that preaches Jesus. He has raised over 200 people from the dead. There is a move of God in Mozambique, Africa in which over 70 people have been raised from the dead.

    I want to start out by saying that to the best of my understanding, I am not anti-Semitic. However, I think to some degree, everyone has some anti-Semitism in them because anti-Semitism is intimately linked to anger towards God. Even lately, after trying to follow Jesus for the last 8 years, I’ve really been convicted that I’ve probably had more anger at God then I realized. Frankly, I just wanted to be left alone but he called me to greatness, just like he’s calling all of us (everyone on earth) to greatness. The last thing I wanted to do was preach the gospel. I just wanted to live my life.

    When I started learning about prayer and I started going to places where God was visiting, I began hearing about God’s love for Israel. At first it seemed odd. I was like, “what does Israel have to do with anything? I thought, ‘they didn’t believe in Jesus?” But when I heard it enough times from people who are close to God and moving in the power of God—people who have his favor—I began to realize there was something to this, that God is really doing something powerfully. Then, in 2003, I was in a relationship with a girl and we were planning to marry and it all fell apart. It was devastating because I had been waiting to get married since 6th grade and I thought she was the one. I also knew my life should be better then it was by this point. But I know that when we look to God in our most painful times, he gives us beauty for ashes and if we cry out desperately to him, he hears us and takes us to a new level in our faith.

    After all that had happened, I felt so far from God but I still know his heart so I prayed stuff like this: “God, please help me. I’m a mess. I’m at a very low point in my life. God, forgive me for not obeying you better (because I hadn’t), and please take me to a new level. I know about revival, I know about the power of God, I know a lot about you, but please take me HIGHER Lord, show me more of you then I can imagine exists. Lord, I think Israel is very important to you and I know almost nothing about it. Please show me your heart for Israel, God. I have nothing. I am not satisfied with what us Gentiles have, it’s not enough. Please show me about Israel.”

    I am so glad I prayed that prayer. My life is no longer as horrible as at that time, but out of that season of my life I now know more about God’s heart and love for Israel. I’m so thankful for all he’s shown me. It’s like my faith now is almost completely different then it was before. Knowing what he thinks of Israel changes almost everything, from the foundation of my faith on up. Please don’t think I’m out to kill the Jews. My God (who I love) hates it when people kill the Jews. The Hebrew prophets used to tell Israel that God was sending nations like Babylon to discipline them, but they would also talk about the great destruction that those evil nations would reap because they harmed the apple of God’s eye. God uses evil nations to help discipline his beloved Israel because every father disciplines his son if he truly loves him. Plus, it’s through our pain that we become great. King David suffered horrible hardships. The Bible says that Jesus learned obedience by what he suffered. God became a man. That’s worse then a man becoming an ant. And even though he was God, he let man (whom he created) kill him. And because he suffered that pain, he is worthy to have all authority and power forever. So, the suffering that the Jews go through from here until Jesus returns is to help them. Jesus understands what they are going through because he went through it first on the cross. The Bible says, “for the joy set before him, he endured the cross, scorning it’s shame.” He hated the shame of the cross, but he loved the joy it would bring. It matters much less to God who killed him. He was focused on how much love he has for mankind—especially for Israel. He especially died for Israel because he chose them to be his Bride. God hates the pain Israel is going through, but he sees that they will have more joy then anyone before this is all over.

    To the best of my knowledge, I am not trying to use Israel as a pawn, nor do I luv their death and destruction. I am nothing without Israel. Israel is my hope. My heart breaks over Israel. I know of many, many people who weep for Israel. Some do 40 day fasts so that Israel will be close to their God and intimate with God, in their rightful inheritance. The pay is not that good in this life. But in eternity, the pay is pretty good, extravagantly better then anything in this life. Better then Bill Gates. Plus, compared to Jesus, even the greatest successes and wealth and honor and romance on this earth is boring. So even in this life Jesus is more beautiful then anything this world has to offer. But, we will always be Gentiles, we will never get the privileged position that Jews have. We, as wild branches, get to be grafted into the natural vine—Israel, and to some degree partake in incredible goodness. By being grafted into Israel, we get to also be the Bride of God and have authority and intimacy with Him. But it’s first for the Jews, then for the Gentiles. It’s only through Jesus the Jew. Without Jesus, there is no way to escape the punishment for breaking the Law of Moses and the eternal torment that follows.

    For the last 2000 years, the Gentile church has done a bad job. We have done a horrible, horrible, horrible job. Horrible, horrible, horrible. I long for the day when Israel comes back to the faith and regains her rightful position of authority over the Gentiles to the fullness measure. The apostle Paul warned us Gentiles not to get arrogant and you know what we did? We got arrogant. Not just a little. A LOT. We have done bad thing, after bad thing, after bad thing. Our anti-Semitism is the worst of all our sins. I am not even worthy to ask you for forgiveness. Let me give you two examples of Christianity. I’ll start with a bad example. After 9/11, we retaliated in anger and ended up attacking Iraq. We were specifically warned by prophets not to fight Iraq but we did not listen. I heard what the prophets said before the invasion, so even though everyone was saying “attack Iraq,” I was saying “no!” And these are true prophets, not the flakes you hear about like David Koresh.

    The correct reaction to 9/11 would have been to call our nation to seek God’s face, humble ourselves, pray, and turn from our sins. God sent those terrorists into the twin towers because of our sin, as painful as that sounds. We are not right with God. God is not going out with our armies because we are not listening to his voice and turning from our sins. We have turned away from the Law of Moses (not that we ever kept it very good in the first place.) We are pumping evil all across the world through porn and sexual perversion, legalizing abortion so we can keep sleeping around with everyone, and many other major sins. (I am not innocent of being addicted to sexual perversion but after 8 years of struggle, I am finally getting free.) God is at war with sin. When we sin, we become God’s adversaries and he loves us too much not to try to wake us up before we destroy ourselves. Plus, 9/11 came right after we made the Road Map to peace. The Road Map to peace is an evil plan that will be strategic in bringing great pain to Israel before this is all over. (Pain that God will use for his purposes.) They were just finishing up the majority of the Peace Plan on September 10, 2001. That night, the ambassador from Saudi Arabia went to bed a very happy man. If it wasn’t for Saudi-Arabia, Bush would have stuck to his original desire to not get involved in the so called “peace” in the middle east. 9/11 was our reward for cursing Israel. There are certain judgments coming to our nation because of the stance we’ve taken towards “peace.” The next day the ambassador from Saudi Arabia was horrified because most of the terrorists were from his nation and made Islam look bad.

    So, this war in Iraq (that many Christians mistake as the will of God) is a bad example of Christianity. But I’ll also share with you a good example—the best example I know of. There is a man from China named Brother Yun. You can find his book on Google called “The Heavenly Man.” If you read his book, you will see true Christianity. He has endured incredible torture for the sake of the gospel and has returned his enemies’ anger and hate with love. He has helped many people discover the deliverance found in God. Deliverance from their sin, anger, bitterness, etc. Many people who treated him poorly ended up loving Jesus. The Chinese government (who is becoming friends with most of the evil nations on earth, including Iran) considered him to be one of the most dangerous men in China. In 1997, he was in a high security prison because they captured him. On the day of his capture, they crippled his legs by beating them with clubs, after he broke them jumping out of a second story window trying to escape. Each day his friend (a man considered the Billy Graham of China) had to carry him to interrogation where they tortured him, trying to get information. He could not walk because his legs were crippled; even to try to stand up gave him incredible agony. They also beat his friend who carried him to the torture. Plus they mocked him and said, “let’s see if you’re God can get you out of prison with crippled legs!” They made sure his legs stayed crippled because they were afraid he’d escape again, like he had done one or two other times from a much smaller prison. It was the lowest moment of his life. He was 39. On the outside he was praising Jesus, but on the inside he had major questions for God.

    One day Jesus told him to escape. He thought, “how can I escape if I can’t even stand up?” It was 8 in the morning, which is the hardest time to escape. He was very afraid he’d get shot in the back. Jesus supernaturally made it so that all the iron gates were open as he walked through (they were usually securely locked and guarded) and the Father blinded the eyes of all the guards so that they didn’t see him, even when he walked right past a bunch of them in the courtyard before going through the final iron gate out into the street. It wasn’t until after he escaped that he realized his legs had been healed. He hadn’t noticed, because he was so afraid of getting shot in the back. His friends were all praising God up on the 2nd floor from the top, where his cell had been. 13 years earlier, the Holy Spirit had given him a powerful vision of a series of gates opening up, one after another. When he received that vision, he was on a 74 day fast in which he ate neither food nor water.

    China has been connected by road to the Holy Land (Israel) for over 2000 years. Historically, there were 3 main roads from Jerusalem to China. One goes through the heart of the Islamic world, another through the Hindu world, and another through the Buddhist world. Jesus has spoken to Brother Yun (and other leaders of the underground church in China) about going back to Jerusalem. So, the underground church in China has a new vision from God. They want to mobilize thousands of Christians and send them to Jerusalem to bring the good news to Israel. They are sending 100,000 missionaries throughout the world, and many thousands will go back to Jerusalem. But the goal is not just Jerusalem. They want to bring the gospel to every town and village between China and Jerusalem—through many nations that hate the gospel. God is calling thousands of house church warriors to write their testimonies with their own blood. Like Jesus Christ, they will forgive their enemies as they get martyred.

    If you want to know more, go to http://www.backtojerusalem.com. Jesus loves you. He saved my life from depression, pain, and hell. He can do much more for you if you give him your life.

    There is a great tribulation coming to Israel and all true Christians. Many Christians have a false belief that we will be “raptured” out of here right before the tribulation. That is just a way to believe we won’t have to suffer for Love, but it’s not true. Without suffering, one cannot experience passion. If you haven’t found something worth dying for, you’re not really living. And nothing is as clean and beautiful, kind and compassionate, and passionate, as Jesus. Love you, Nathan

  • Nathan, you really think that God unleashes “evil nations” on Israel as an example of tough love? Or that God caused 9/11 to happen?

    Do you really think you