In its January issue the Newsmaxmagazine (not available online) profiles David Brody, the chief political correspondent of the Christian Broadcasting Network who started out his religious life as a Reform Jew.
He eventually accepted that his soul was saved by the Jewish Messiah. “I’m not a big fan of labels,” says Brody, who shies away from terms like “messianic Jew” or “Jews for Jesus.” He tells Newsmax: “I just call myself a Bible-believing Christian — a Jewish believer, if you will.”
Brody is hardly the first born Jew to make it big as an evangelical on the Religious Right. Let us count the names.
* Howard Phillips, longtime chairman of The Conservative Caucus and three-time third-party presidential candidate.
* Marvin Olasky, journalism prof, editor of World magazine, and godfather of “compassionate conservatism.”
* Jay Sekulow and family, who have more or less established family proprietorship over the American Center for law and justice.
* Louis P. Sheldon, Presbyterian minister and head of the American Values Coalition.
* The Twin Brothers Schenck, anti-abortion activists Paul Chaim and Robert. (Paul ultimately was accepted as a priest into the Catholic Church.
In terms of spiritual identity, Brody is closest to the Sekulows, who do identify as messianic Jews. What sets him apart, so to speak, is a goofy style that leads him to sprinkle his commentary with “oy vays” and references to his celebrating Jewish holidays.
It’s cringe-inducing for an old-timer like me. Historically, Jewish converts to Christianity were put to work debating their former co-religionists and trying to get them to convert. But in this era of hybrid religious identities, Brody seems to get away with his Borscht Belt schtick.