June 5, 2010

Saturday stuff

Yet another reason for us to really distrust the South--as a SC rep calls Obama and another candidate "rag heads" and says we "are at war over there." The candidate's father is from India.


The flotilla story continues to divide Americans. Liz Cheney criticized Obama for calling the deaths "tragic," which seems stupid even for her. And many have noted the confluence here of some liberal Jewish leaders with the sentiments expressed by conservative evangelicals--all defending Israel no matter what they do.

I understand why, well at least partly. I still find it odd that American evangelicals can make anti-Jewish jokes and even hold anti-Semitic views, but still see Israel as "their" country and heritage. I can't think of another example where people with no linguistic or ancestral connection to another country, but hold such strong opinions about their internal politics and pretend that they know what is best for that country. At least the far right in Florida dominating our Cuba policy are actually from Cuba.


Ken Summerlin said...

Whoa there, Streak . . . don't paint all Southerners with such a broad brush! I'm a native Southerner and it's not even close to fair to assume that all of us are one big homogeneous group any more than it would be true to say that all Mid-Westerners think just alike. I think that Southerners have become unfairly type-cast.

Believe it or not, some of us are reasonably intelligent and are as competent as people in other parts of the country. Many of us are as dismayed by the comments of the congressman from South Carolina as you are. Remember that much of our perception of others that we don't know personally comes from what we see or read via the media and the media can't possibly convey to us a complete picture.

The same is true for evangelicals. Not all of us make anti-semantic jokes while claiming to love Israel.

Streak said...

Ken, absolutely fair enough. I am usually more specific. I too know many native southerners who are not even close to this. I was thinking about the Southern control over the GOP when I wrote that. I just didn't say that.

I also agree on the evangelical comment. I was really more interested in the American evangelical zionism, and again, over-generalized. I do find that segment of American Christianity rather interesting.

What do you think about American evangelicals who are deeply involved in Israel?

Ken Summerlin said...

I have a few friends who are evangelicals deeply committed to Israel and I think their commitment is borne out of respect for the Jews as God's chosen people. As grateful as they/we "Gentiles" are that the gospel is open to all of us, they/we understand the place of the Jewish nation is God's plan.

Some of those friends connect with the heritage of the faith through the Jewish culture more than others of us. Although I'm often intrigued by the Jewish history and tradition, my commitment to Israel is not as strong as others.

Streak said...

Ken, I think my issue is that the modern state of Israel is not the same as the one from the OT. Further, I think that love of that ancient state has put many evangelicals in the place of cheering on some bad policies from the modern nation-state of Israel.

leighton said...

Although I am no expert myself, I do tend to think that anyone who is willing to conflate Mossad's black ops and "God's will" in the same thought is not competent to opine on Middle East politics. Though I certainly don't mean this as an endorsement of (say) Hamas or Hezbollah; it's a mess over there.

steves said...

I think it it has less to do with the rapture (at least among most evangelicals) and more to do with the combination of a pro-Israel lobby and the fact that the Palestinians are being led by Hamas. As much as I disagree with Israel and their aggressive policies, I have a hard time getting behind Hamas.

Streak said...

For many evangelicals, I have to say that my own experience is that it is definitely about Israel's supposed role in the end times and the Jewish people's supposed role as the "chosen people." I am not sure what Steve means by "more to do with the combination of a pro-Israel lobby and the fact that the Palestinians are being led by Hamas." I think on the "pro-Israel" lobby part, you might have the cart before the horse, and on the second part, do you really think that evangelical support for Israel only came about that recently?

I certainly hope that our only choices are not to support Israel's policies or cheer for Hezbollah or Hamas. I don't think those are the choices. And further, I think that Israel is following the Bush model of confrontation always, and then wondering why they lose support around the world. As Obama has demonstrated, you can essentially maintain nearly the identical foreign policy yet rob the enemy (Iran, for example) of global sympathy. Israel could do that to Hamas if they were interested. Instead, they seem to be hell bent on making the Palestianians--kids, elderly, whoever--suffer until Hamas leaves. I am with Leighton and everyone here--I don't think much positive about Hamas, but surely Israel can do better than this?

Smitty said...

I have nothing to add to this otherwise intelligent discussion other than the SC rep's comments boggle my mind. I simply cannot wrap my brain around the ignorance it takes to hold that view.

While I won't damn all Southerners (there were people wearing shirts in the 08 election saying "This Bubba's for Obama), it does seem to be predominantly white Southerners saying stuff like that. And Southwesterners. To be fair.