Hagee: Antisemitism bill in Congress doesn’t violate Bible’s account of Jesus’ death

Members of Congress have claimed the legislation will stifle a false theology that ‘the Jews killed Jesus.’ 

A pro-Israel supporter waves a flag while marching outside the University of Southern California campus in Los Angeles, May 8, 2024. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

(RNS) — Deicide, the charge of killing God, has been used to justify antisemitism under the banner of the cross since shortly after the death of Christ. This deception is the genesis of church-based antisemitism.

Now, as we seek to address the widespread Jew-hatred on display across America through the Antisemitism Awareness Act, some members of Congress have begun trafficking in the blood-soaked falsehood that the Jews of Jesus’ time, and all their descendants, are responsible for his crucifixion. They have objected to the legislation, alleging the law would ban preaching the Bible or parroting the lie “the Jews killed Jesus.” 

Nothing could be further from reality.


The biblical response to the accusation that the Jews killed Jesus is crystal clear to those who choose to accept the truth of Scripture. In the New Testament’s Book of Acts, we learn that our savior was “delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God.”

Jesus himself was unequivocal about his sacrificial decision. In the Gospel of John, he said: “The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life — only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord … ”

God’s unconditional love for the children of Israel is present throughout the Bible and on display to this day. Yet, through the centuries, horrific persecutions, too many to count, have befallen his chosen at the hands of those who claimed a Christian mantle.

Believers are mandated by God to emphatically reject antisemitism. However, since the birth of the church, the Jewish people, who gave us the Word of God, the patriarchs, the prophets and the first family of Christianity, have endured acts of hatred in the name of Christ.

Christian antisemitism is an oxymoron. Christians cannot hate that which God loves, and God loves all his children, not the least of which are the Jewish people. Of the Jewish people, the Apostle Paul said in his Letter to the Romans: “They are the people of Israel, God’s chosen children. They have seen the glory of God, and they have the agreements [covenants] that God made between himself and his people.”

The legislation in question formally places the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism into the law for guidance purposes when authorities are examining whether an underlying unlawful act was motivated by antisemitism.

The Antisemitism Awareness Act will provide guidance to authorities contending with the mobs of people committing illegal and antisemitic acts while claiming they are not motivated by Jew-hatred. This bill provides a clear definition — already acknowledged by a majority of states across the country — for authorities to use as guidance when investigating the underlying crime.


For example, college students can still rant and rave against Israel and the Jewish people — this is freedom of speech. But, if they commit acts of harassment and vandalism while exercising this freedom, this legislation will empower authorities to determine when antisemitic acts have been committed, with disciplinary action to follow. Remember this truth: You cannot confront what you will not define.

The Antisemitism Awareness Act does not outlaw the Bible; it does not even outlaw the cancer of antisemitism; but it will help expose Jew-hatred in America. We know this to be true, and so should everyone in Congress, as it has effectively been in place since President Donald Trump signed his 2019 Executive Order on Combating Anti-Semitism.

The Antisemitism Awareness Act largely makes Trump’s executive order law — an order that President Joe Biden sustained and that has not resulted in any of the hysterical predictions made by alleged defenders of the Christian Bible or the U.S. Constitution.

In 2016, this legislation advanced through the Senate by unanimous consent — what has changed in the intervening years? Skyrocketing antisemitism has ensued. Today, Jewish students on America’s campuses live in fear for their safety, surrounded by those who’ve been bottle-fed a dark doctrine of Jew-hatred.

The Antisemitism Awareness Act should once again sail through the Senate and be signed by the president without delay. The American people are not prepared to send our children to their high school and college campuses without our leaders demanding concrete measures to stop the Jew-hatred presently denigrating our nation.

Pastor John Hagee. (Photo courtesy Christians United for Israel)

Pastor John Hagee. (Photo courtesy of Christians United for Israel)

America is better than this; the Senate should act accordingly.

(Pastor John Hagee is the founder and national chairman of Christians United for Israel. The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect those of Religion News Service.)


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