Coulter Shock

Coulter Shock
Cheshvan 3, 5768, 15 October 07 01:39
by Ellen W. Horowitz

(IsraelNN.com)
Okay. So some Jews who were enamored with Ann have just found out that those spindly legs that graced the cover of Time are made of clay. Others, like David Horowitz, are doing their best to make repairs on a very flawed "Ms. Right" by propping her up and declaring her an honest Christian woman.

How about an honest assessment from the right-wing Jewish pundits who, in light of over-the-top US Christian nationalism, may have to reassess their loyalties and direction?

Perhaps America's fractured Christian Right would have more luck in the upcoming elections if they bestowed icon status on a plucky and articulate nun who can speak thoughtfully and respectfully, while keeping her darkest secrets and deepest theological aspirations hidden safely behind convent walls. At the very least, put Ann behind the veil.

Coulter has always worn her cross on her sleeve (when she wears sleeves), but Jews never seem to notice these things until the crucifix is dangling within an inch of our eyes. In response to 9/11, she wrote, "We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity." But "them" wasn't us, and so we let it pass.

At a lecture at Northwestern University a few years back she declared, "This is a religious war, not against Islam but for Christianity, for a Christian nation.... The concept of equality, especially when it comes to gender equality, was not invented by Gloria Steinem. It was invented by Jesus Christ. As long as people look long enough, they will always come to Christianity."

Good thing we weren't looking.

But Jews in the Diaspora are always shocked when they are finally reminded of who they are, and recent declarations of Christian nationalism by John McCain and Ann Coulter have stirred Lady Liberty's simmering melting pot and sensitivities - and American Jews are feeling the heat.

Things are getting sticky for us Jews in Israel, too. What was supposed to be a practical marriage of convenience to improve and strengthen our economic, political and security standing in Israel has been converted into a full blown love affair of Biblical proportions. And our Evangelical partners are pushing for a Judeo-Christian consummation - a spiritual bonding - of our relationship. We should have had a prenuptial agreement drawn up before embarking on this precarious interfaith venture.

Too bad, because we Israelis had always enjoyed tremendous benefits from our connection with Gentile friends and supporters. We didn't have to cross questionable political, legislative, halachic, monetary and spiritual territory in order to nurture and build on that potential. But in our enthusiasm, we created a missionizing monster.

Knowing what we now know about Coulter and company, do we really want to pursue theologically based bonds with Christians who are so passionate about their beliefs? And if we do opt to continue our relationship, how far do we take it?

Should the Jewish people attempt to form a union with another faith whose members can't keep their mouths shut about what they perceive to be the sacred truth, but which to us is utter and explosive blasphemy? With headlines from major Christian Zionist and Jewish Messianic publications boasting that "Jews Beg Christians to Save the Temple Mount," it appears that we have been handed the short end of the grafted Judeo-Christian stick.

I can't help but feel that the borders of Jerusalem are now on the line, because we couldn't hold our halachic and ethical lines.

A good part of American Jewry has reason to raise the alarm over the rise of the Christian Right, but with Israeli Zionists leaning on America's Evangelicals and empowering them, it looks like we have the makings of an even more serious split between Israeli and Diaspora Jewry. And we need unity for victory.

The good news is that we hold the key - a common denominator - for Jewish unity. Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, secular and atheist Jews - across the entire political spectrum in both Israel and the Diaspora - all agree that Jesus is not our Lord and savior. Bingo. Maybe saving Judaism, Jerusalem and Eretz Yisrael is as simple as saying the Shema.

Perhaps we Jews would be more successful if we would focus on strengthening ourselves and our faith, rather than empowering Christendom in Jerusalem and Washington.

After all, if Ann Coulter gets her way and Christian nationalism rules the day in America, then we will have to ensure that our Diaspora brethren have a Jewish State - even an imperfect one - to come home to.

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