Monday, October 15, 2007

Ann Coulter Is Not An Anti-Semite; She's an Honest Evangelical Christian

The Kosher Hedgehog's loyal readership (all three of you, unless someone dropped out) no doubt is hanging on the edge of its collective chair to know what my reaction is to the latest "Le Scandal Coulter." Not surprisingly, Michael Medved has already written my opinion on this matter more artfully than I could have written it myself. Read his entire post here. This quote gives the reader a sense of his position:

This exchange [between Ann Coulter and CNBC host Donny Deutsch] drew condemnation from nearly all of the leading Jewish organizations in the United States, but the outrage provoked by her remarks – one typical columnist, Florie Brizel called her “a poison-filled hate monger” – seems utterly inappropriate for two reasons.

First, any American Jew who doesn’t already understand that sincere Christians want the whole world ultimately to come to Christ – including us – is an ignorant fool. Yes, Christianity believes in converting people: and most of us received that memo about 2000 years ago. The proper response to the declaration that Christians want all of humanity to become Christian shouldn't be outrage or indignation; it ought to be, "Duh!" If your friends or neighbors seek to share with you the greatest gift they've ever received, it's not usually a sign that they hate you; in fact, it's very likely an indication that they love you.

Second, the Jewish people face far more serious enemies today than those who seek to share the joy and fulfilment of their faith. Millions of Muslims want to kill us, Jimmy Carter wants to smear Israel as an “apartheid state,” and Professors Walt and Mearsheimer claim that a Jewish conspiracy dominates American policy. In this context, the rage against a pro-Israel, pro-American, anti-Jihad commentator like Coulter is wildly misguided. After all, in the same conversation on CNBC she allowed that in her view of "heaven" all Democrats would be "like Joe Lieberman" (the most famous religious Jew in America) and affirmed that she believes, with the late Jerry Falwell, that Jews certainly have our own place in heaven.

Interestingly, Michael nonetheless writes that Mr. Deutsch "bristled (understandably and appropriately) at that ill-considered, off-hand remark." Michael needs to explain himself further on that point.

As for me, I say that the best friends of the Jewish people and the State of Israel in the world today are Evangelical Christians, who nonetheless would love to see us convert to Christianity and would consider us perfected by doing so. So long as they don't condition their friendship on my conversion, that's OK with me. Since, unlike many of Ann Coulter's vocal Jewish critics, I am a seriously observant Jew, her desire to convert me is not a threat. It ain't gonna happen.

Although Evangelical Christians presumably would like to see all Moslems, Buddhists and Hindus convert as well, they express particular love and regard for the Jewish people. Apart from the fact that the person they hold to be the Messiah was Jewish, in my experience such Christians are also motivated by a verse in this week's Torah portion, "Lech Lecha," in which God tells our father Abraham, "And I will bless them that bless you, and him that curses you will I curse." (Genesis 12:3) Because Evangelical Christians take Biblical verses seriously, and because I wear my kippah (skullcap) in public, complete strangers occasionally walk up to me and say, "God bless you." Now that's not exactly anti-Semitism, even if every one of them also would like me to convert to Christianity.

One of the most heroic righteous gentiles during the Holocaust was Corrie ten Boom, (April 15, 1892 – April 15, 1983), of blessed and saintly memory, a Dutch Christian who, along with her family, at great personal risk, hid many Jews and helped them escape the murderous Nazis. Someone eventually informed on the ten Boom family to the Germans. Her family was arrested, and imprisoned. Her father died 10 days after his arrest. The surviving family members were transferred from prison camp to prison camp, eventually to the notorious Ravensbruch concentration camp, where Corrie's sister Betsie died. Corrie ten Boom told her story in her autobiography, The Hiding Place, which was made into a film in 1975 . In December 1967, Corrie ten Boom was honored by the State of Israel for her work in aid of the Jewish people. She was invited to plant a tree in the Avenue of the Righteous Gentiles, at the Yad Vashem, the official Israeli Holocaust memorial, near Jerusalem.

Now I am sure that had one questioned Corrie ten Boom about whether she would like to see Jews convert to Christianity, and whether such converts are perfected by their conversion, she would have answered strongly in the affirmative. Does that make her an anti-Semite? If so, to paraphrase Tevye in Fiddler On the Roof, may God strike me a thousand times with such anti-Semitism, and may I never recover!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was very well said. My uncle married a jewess who converted to the LDS faith. Her oldest son who was raised LDS went back to the Jewish religion of his mothers' family. I have a special fondness for Jews, both the religion and the culture and only wish to share what we believe will bring them to God. So many people these days, everywhere, just seem to be looking for ways to be offended. I wish people would just chill out and stop being so touchy and easily offended, it's like walking on eggshells all the time. P.S. I think that you have more than 3 loyal readers, there are 4 of us here that read your posts.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007 8:12:00 AM  

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