Nearly twenty years ago, I met a man who became my best friend. An apatheist, late atheist, he was bright, talented, although a bit unfocused, he helped me get through a significant and horrible series of events in my life that changed me forever.
After I returned to the Midwest from the west coast, he was able to track me down and we continued our friendship. We did business together, as we were both in software development.
My friend was of Jewish descent. When his son was born, I helped him get together a minion for the son’s bris. He wasn’t religious, but it was important to him culturally.
I frankly thought we would be close friends for the rest of our lives. During the wild days after my divorce, several things happened that began to drive a wedge between us.
I am filling you in with the back story because I need to give you some perspective on what just happened.
After years bemoaning the nuttiness of his father, a far right wing rabbi, my friend suddenly shifted. He started defending Israel to the point of, well, saying some bizarre things. His political bent shifted radically right, and he started blaming liberals for hate crimes against Jews. I have my theories as to why, but this is not really about him. This is about some of the underlying misconceptions he has come under the influence of, and I think it’s time to let the air out of the Conservative love fest that is built on some very dangerous lies.
Speaking of History
Let’s start with the ancient animosity between Christians and Jews. Although Christianity started as a Jewish cult, animosity towards Jews for the alleged death of Jesus festered at the edges of the Holy Roman Church for centuries. In fact, the roots can be traced all the way back to the Council of Nicaea in 325 C.E.
The Catholic Church declared Judaism to be an “aberration of the Divine Will”. What followed was bloodshed covering centuries.
Various Catholic leaders, such as Eusebius of Caesarea, John Chrysostom, Jerome , and Augustine , bishop of Hippo in North Africa made statements and pronouncements that fueled hatred for the Jewish people. The Lutheran break from the Holy See in the 16th century did nothing to stop the hatred. Martin Luther himself was an antisemite, penning the book “On the Jews and their Lies” in 1543.
As humanity began to throw off the shackles of monarchic rule, it seemed that the hatreds which had been used to have someone to blame for the ills and problems of normal life persisted, even as the kings and clergy who had pushed these ideals faded from power. Finally, the hatred of Jews that had been fomented by the royalty and clergy to distract from their crimes was picked up by the intelligentsia.
The pogroms and hatred of Jews reached a fever pitch at the latter half of the nineteenth century, with various philosophers launching into lengthy, unwarranted attacks on the Jewish people. Ernest Renan, a French philosopher, started the concept that the “Semetic races” were inferior to “Aryan races”. This was an attempt to add “science” to the reasons for the hatred that had been mainly religious up until that point.
World War II
Finally, a young Austrian who served in the First World War saw his country devastated by the war itself, and then by the countries they had fought, and lost to. Unable to convince others to rally behind a cry to avenge the damage to those who had actually done it, young Adolph, instead, brushed off the old, deeply ingrained hatreds of the Jewish people. Building upon the foundation laid by antisemitic philosophers and religious doctrine, he promised to return Germany to its former glory and to build a state that would last a thousand years. Combining the old hatred of the Jews with national pride in resistance to the liberal ideals that were being attempted to their east in Moscow, and with a bit of old time religion (already deeply steeped in antisemitism from the Catholic Church’s earlier use of hatred of the Jews to cement their power), Adolph Hitler was able to build an ultra-conservative war machine, bent on returning to a glorious Germany that never was.
In the end, whether Hitler believed his own propaganda or not, millions of Jews were slaughtered by the German national socialist juggernaut.
Here we touch on the first major deception of the modern era. The horror of the industrial genocide of the Jews (and millions of others) was white-washed in the 1950s with the term “Judeo-Christian,” as if Christians and Jews shared a special bond. It ignored the seventeen hundred years of persecution and murder of Jews at the hands of the Christians.
I would like to say right here and now that not all Christians were thirsty for Jewish blood. The National Conference of Christians and Jews, for example, existed at the same time as Hitler and was working to defeat antisemitic rhetoric in the United States.
The next big deception of the modern era, one that defies understanding as to how thinking, logical people could buy into it, is the concept that National Socialism was a left-wing concept. It is diametrically opposed to Communism, which is its far left reflection. This difference is no more apparent than in the bloodiest warfare in all of human history, along the Eastern Front during World War II. In battles that lasted only four years, thirty million people were killed. That’s nearly half of the deaths during World War II, and many were civilians, not even combatants.
The two major powers that were fighting were the Third Reich, the National Socialist, far-right regime, and the Soviet Union, which was, at the time, a communist state, a far left attempt at utopia. Both eventually failed; The Third Reich due to, primarily, their losses on the eastern front combined with the pressure from the Allied Powers to the west, and the Soviet Union from their descent into despotism combined with bad management of resources.
After the horror of the Holocaust was revealed to the world, antisemitism went from being a fashionable position to exactly the opposite. Save for a few hold outs (some of which have somehow managed to exist into the present day), hatred of Jews has become the antithesis of modern Western culture.
However, Christians were faced with a severe public relations problem. On one hand, we have Hitler, who spouted Christianity at every chance he got to support his campaign of genocide. On the other, the fact that most of the Western world was Christian and did not try to kill all the Jews.
So, like the Christians of old, they had to find someone else to blame.
The first shots fired in the war to rewrite World War II came in 1953 with the publication of the English version of Hitler’s “Table Talks”, which had been modified by the French translator, François Genoud (himself a former Nazi, whose hatred for the Jewish people continued until his death. He is quoted to have said “my views have not changed since I was a young man. Hitler was a great leader, and if he had won the war the world would be a better place today.” He even supplied weapons to the Palestinians in the 1960s), to make Hitler appear to be antagonistic to Christianity to the point of atheism. Never mind the fact that he also stated his hatred for the Soviet Union, with their state atheism as part of the reason for his animosity.
In reality, Hitler complained that there were German churches who were resistant to his ideals. Not even all German Christians bought into his rhetoric.
However, the Religious Right seized on these forgeries and, even to this day, claim Hitler was a liberal and an atheist.
So, why was Nazi Germany not liberal?
Excellent question! Let’s look at the core of both sets of ideology.
|Basic structure of society is the family.||Individual Autonomy/basic structure of society is the individual.|
|Rights belong to those that can secure them (Might makes right)||Individual Rights|
|Leaders are appointed, not elected.||Popular sovereignty and consent|
|Rule by a central, single person.||Limited and representative government|
|Some people are naturally better than others.||Universalism and progress|
What’s pretty clear rather quickly is that National Socialism is no more liberal than people who think Rush Limbaugh is too liberal.
So, why are so many people convinced that the Nazi Party was left wing?
It’s because of the most recent modern deception.
The Republicans stand with Israel
So, we’ve come full circle to my main point: the nation of Israel, and why the right wing is so hot to trot over them.
Let’s take a quick look at Saint Ronald Reagan, whom many conservatives worship. Did you know he sold weapons to Iran, a direct enemy of Israel? Of course you did… you just may have conveniently forgotten it.
Reagan also happened to be one of the last Republican presidents that did not have to contend with a huge, overly religious base. George Bush was the last. His son, George W. Bush, used the religious right to secure his failure of a presidency. He then secured his presidency by turning the nation’s hatred to Muslims.
Sound familiar? It should.
Give the weak willed someone to hate, and they will follow you anywhere.
The thing is that the Republicans need Israel, but only for two equally deceptive reasons.
The first is that the nation likes an underdog, especially one that has been abused. Israel is alone in the Middle East among 22 Arab countries, all of whom, we have been led to believe, want Israel dead. In addition, Israel was formed after World War II, and the right wing is still trying to distance itself from National Socialism.
Since the Republicans, and the entire conservative ideal, does not work well with the disadvantaged (as they are the party of the extremely wealthy, interested in keeping their wealth), they needed an underdog that is both disadvantaged and powerful.
The thing is that there are only two middle eastern countries with nuclear weapons. Israel is one of them. The other is Pakistan, but they are busy with their animosity with India to be any kind of middle eastern power.
In other words, Israel is the perfect poster child for the RNC.
The other reason that the Republicans love Israel is downright disgusting, and any Jew who knows about it would be nuts to support the RNC.
Israel is needed for Armageddon.
That’s right. The Third Temple must be built for the Christian End Times to come to pass. The problem is that, at its core, it is simply antisemitism delayed. The thing is that Revelations predicts the final punishment of the Jews for not following Jesus. And it will not be pretty. Take a look at Revelation 2:9 and 3:9.
So, what have we learned?
Conservatives have whitewashed history to turn Hitler into a left-wing atheist instead of the far right wing Christian he actually was. And, now, in the past twenty years, they have gone from selling weapons to Israel’s enemies to supporting them for political and religious reasons.
What is astonishing is that, in the midst of all of this, the Republican Party has somehow convinced Israelis and even some liberals that they are sincere in their love of Israel. Of course, pumping billions of dollars into the Israeli economy is an effective bribe. Israel has been turned into a welfare state by Republicans. The pride of the Jewish people has been replaced with an addiction to foreign aid.
Meanwhile, here at home, anyone who speaks out against the Republicans using Israel as a political puppet is immediately branded antisemitic. Even Bernie Sanders has been compared with Hitler, and Sanders is Jewish!
Israel is an effective tool of the GOP. Unfortunately, it no longer offsets the bat-shit crazy of the party, which has taken over. Just looking at the slate of candidates for the 2016 Republican Presidential Candidates makes me worry for the sanity of the party.
To return to my original story of the friend that I had who was a liberal atheist who became a far-right wing Jew, the Republican party went from actively undermining Israel in the 1980s to a love affair with the country in the 1990s and on until today. I think I have effectively shown why.