Dry and Dryer

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The Revealer is pushing the discovery by blogger Brian Wilson of an audiotape sermon in which John Hagee talks about the Holocaust as a fulfillment of divine prophecy (to bring about the Jewish ingathering in Israel) and pointing to the Jews in Israel as “spiritually dead.” Wilson (and Jeff Sharlet, the Revealer’s editor) see this as evidence of the famously philosemitic Hagee’s “other” anti-Semitic side. That seems to me an exaggeration at best. Theological interpretations of the Holocaust as God’s judgment is pretty standard in ultra-Orthodox Jewish circles, for example. And bear in mind that Hagee is exegeting the story of the dry bones in Ezechiel 37; it’s typical evangelical interpretation to see God’s action there as stirring the spiritually dead. I’m inclined to see this as Hagee indulging in the normal evangelical understanding of the Jews as not yet “awakened” through knowledge of Christ. That’s hardly anti-Semitic. The tape, perhaps from the late 1990s, at most suggests that Hagee had not yet gotten around to rejecting “Replacement Theology”–the idea that the Christian covenant has completely replaced the old Jewish one–what’s known in other theological contexts as supersessionism. Anyway, judge for yourself.

  • Dan

    Regardless of ultra-Orthodox support for the “God’s Judgment” theory of the Holocaust articulated by Hagee, the notion that God allowed the Nazis to kill 6 million Jews because they didn’t want to move back to Israel seems anti-Semitic on its face.

  • Mark Silk

    Inhuman? By my lights, yes. Anti-Semitic? Not in any traditional understanding of the term.

  • Dan

    Except the vernacular understanding, in which it’s just shorthand for hatred of Jews.

  • Larry Roberts

    This may not be the place to find out but I’m curious about what Christians believe about God’s role in history, including natural history.
    Does he sometimes take an interest and intervene and sometimes not? Does it ever depend on our prayers?
    If God is all-powerful then presumably he could have directed Katrina elsewhere, or at least shored up the levees, and he could have prevented the Holocaust. That he didn’t suggests that these events, all events, happened with at least his permission.
    I know these are basic, simple-minded questions, but in the articles I’ve read about Hagee, Katrina, and Hitler I have not seen them discussed.