The Nation-State of Israel and the Place of Our Hypocrisy (1)

I am so sick of progressive Christians pointing out hypocrisy that simply doesn’t exist on a large scale. Are there some conservative “Christians” that fight abortion tooth and nail but do nothing to help single moms, sure. But there are countless conservative Christians deeply committed to helping the poor and the powerless. As I have mentioned elsewhere, the fact that we don’t buy into some socialist scheme to help the poor does not mean we don’t believe in helping the poor, and it certainly doesn’t mean we don’t help the poor.

Honestly there are real problems with socialism that progressives ignore or don’t see or fail to understand. I have written fairly extensively on the problems with socialism in another series called “Good News to the Poor.”

However, we as a movement do have blind spots, and probably one of our most glaring deficiencies…one of our greatest hypocrisies is our unquestioning support for the modern nation-state of Israel.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not in favor of the current administration’s political war with Netanyahu. As for the Iran deal, I think Jim Wallis and other progressives are at best naive if they think this deal meets any real verification principles–appeasement is not the way to avoid war with a nation who wants our destruction.

Still, our unquestioning support for modern Israel is problematic, sometimes to the point of being hypocritical. The problem is not necessarily support; the problem is that we are unquestioning in giving it. We need to ask serious questions about Israel’s identity, about theology and the people of God, about what God requires of us in prayer and politics. We ought to ask what the peace of Jerusalem looks like if we are going to pray and work for it.

I suspect if we question our assumptions honestly we will find that on many counts we are hypocrites. Take for instance abortion. It is a scourge. It is barbaric. It is evil.

All of us are calling for the end of funding to Planned Parenthood, and rightly so. Yet we ignore the fact that Israel has some of the more liberal abortion laws in the world…and now more abortions are tax funded. No, our aid doesn’t go to fund abortions, but should the fact that their state abortion policy is very liberal at least raise eyebrows in conservative circles. This is just one of several examples of how we look the other way or defend or excuse things that we would not accept from any other nation-state without at least complaining and questioning.

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