CURRENT AND RECENT FEATURES
JewsOnFirst joins in call on President Obama to endorse inclusive day of prayer.
April 23, 2008. We have joined the Interfaith Alliance in writing a letter to President Barack Obama, requesting that he endorse an "Inclusive National Day of Prayer and Reflection" on May 7. In the letter, which you can read here, we expressed our concerns about the ongoing efforts by a group linked to Focus on the Family to hijack the national day, established by President Truman.
Now we need you to make your voice heard. Please let the president -- and your governor -- know that you support an inclusive proclamation that brings all Americans together. Remind them that they represent a diverse nation made up of many belief systems. Please click here to send a letter to the president and your governor.
Our letter calls on President Obama to issue "a declaration that explicitly opens this day... to clergy and believers of all religions, as well as those who profess no religion. We are compelled," we continue, "to make this request because several years ago, the National Day of Prayer was taken over by a group of religious exclusivists led by Shirley Dobson of Focus on the Family. Dobson's group calls itself the 'official' National Day of Prayer Task Force and it systematically excludes Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Catholics and even mainline Christians from National Prayer Day events it conducts around the United States."
For more information about the hijacking of the National Day of Prayer, please visit the Campaign for an Inclusive National Day of Prayer, a JewsOnFirst.org project.
Campus Jewish group sponsors trailblazing forum on Christian Zionism. We have posted a video recording of the panel, Christians, America, and the Holy Land -- Examining Christian Support for Israel,which was sponsored by the Chicago Friends of Israel at the University of Chicago. Click here, please.
New in our section on Christian Zionists. We are honored to post a sermon by Rabbi Caryn Broitman of the Martha's Vineyard Hebrew Center. Broitman, pictured at the left, offers a critical analysis of the Jewish alliance with the Christian Right regarding Israel. We've also added papers delivered by Rev. John Hubers, Dr. Amy Frykholm, and Dr. Don Thorsen at a conference on Christian Zionism, Rapture and The Holy Land held in Pasadena, California last fall. Please click here.
REV. RICK WARREN, INVITED BY PRESIDENT-ELECT OBAMA TO GIVE THE INAUGURAL INVOCATION, PRAYS FOR THE CONVERSION OF JEWS TO CHRISTIANITY! A document recently removed from the website of Warren's Saddleback Church and posted here states:
... [T]oday there are not as great a number of Jewish believers in Jesus as we would expect. If they are God’s chosen people, why
aren’t more choosing faith in him? The Bible tells us in Romans 11 that there will be a day when this will change – a day when there will
be a great revival of faith in God through Jesus among the Jewish people. Obviously, this is a day that we, as believers in Christ, want to
Click here to read the whole document, which condemns homosexuality as a sin and asserts that dinosaurs co-existed with humans. And click here for news clips about Obama's invitation to Warren, which has been deplored by many supporters of marriage equality because of Warren's support for Proposition 8 on the California ballot.
Amid economic collapse, the Christian Right wages its annual "war" over Christmas. Please click here.
Heavy funding from Christian right buys narrow victory for Proposition 8, overturning marriage equality. Mormon donors took the lead in financing a massive fear-mongering advertising campaign that resulted in reversal of the recent state Supreme Court ruling affirming the right of same-sex couples to marry. Marriage equality supporters are challenging Prop 8 in court -- and demonstrating against it across the country. We are posting reports here.
Election wrap-up: Where does Obama's victory leave the Christian right? Please click here for selected analyses and reactions to the historic election of Barack Obama to the presidency.
Insertion of millions of Obsession DVDs in swing-state newspapers appears to aid McCain campaign. September 14, 2008. The hitherto unknown Clarion Fund told us it is spending millions this month on the delivery of DVDs of Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West, but insisted that the effort is not partisan. Meanwhile, the leader of a related group, which distributed the video at the Democratic and Republican conventions, told us that a fundamentalist Christian clinic bomber cannot be compared to the radical Muslim terrorists depicted in Obsession. Please click here for our report.
McCain running mate Sarah Palin is a very conservative Christian. The church Palin attends in Wasilla recently hosted a founder of Jews for Jesus. We are posting links to reports about her background and positions, as well as reaction to her candidacy here.
A new video from JewsOnFirst.org: Pastor Hagee's Fixation on Iran: A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy? Our latest video examines how Christian Zionist leader John Hagee's belief in the end times drives his hard-line political position on Iran. We ask: Is Hagee's Iran policy about Jewish safety? Or Christian Apocalypse? Please click here.
Call for clergy to preach on value of church-state separation before Christian right's Sept. 28th "Pulpit Initiative" challenging the federal law which forbids tax-exempt organizations from endorsing political candidates. The campaign is led by Rev. Eric Williams, senior pastor of North Congregational Church (United Church of Christ) in Columbus. (The campaign has concluded but we have posted links to reports about it here.)
From our previous email updates:
A new video: Iran and the End Times at Pastor John Hagee's 2008 Washington Summit. When John Hagee's organization, Christians United for Israel (CUFI) held its July 2008 summit at the Washington DC Convention Center, JewsOnFirst.org reporters were inside and outside. Our new video shows some of what we saw and heard -- despite CUFI's extraordinary efforts to shield the meeting from public scrutiny. Please click here.
Reflections on the CUFI conference. A JewsOnFirst reporter considers some challenges and contradictions of the theology underlying Pastor John Hagee's Christian Zionism. Click here. We've also recently posted an audio clip from the conference breakout session on Iran in which former Reagan official Frank Gaffney calls Islamic banking "sedition." Click here.
Small Christian right conference call follows Saddleback Church event. Christian right leaders who had worried that Saddleback Church Pastor Rick Warren would pull punches in questioning presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain, scheduled a news conference following the event. As it turned out, the leaders were pleasantly surprised with Warren's performance -- but probably less pleasantly surprised that fewer than 30 people, none of them mainstream reporters were on the call. We have posted a recording of the call as well as news clips here.
John Hagee's Christians United for Israel conference mixes end-times prophecies with lobbying. Even though televangelist John Hagee barred reporters from the conference of his Christians United for Israel, reporters for JewsOnFirst.org covered most of the sessions of the conference at the Washington Convention Center, which concluded yesterday. Please click here.
Christian Right attacks Barack Obama's Christian faith. June 25, 2008. Focus on the Family head James Dobson said on his radio show yesterday that Senator Obama "is dragging biblical understanding through the gutter." But that is mild compared to a Christian right video that calls Obama an "enemy of God" and uses what appears to be footage of abortions as illustrations. Click here.
Creationism, mocked by the deified Flying Spaghetti Monster, defeated in court, is back again. This time, Louisiana and Texas are in the forefront of a resurgence of support for teaching creationism. Click here.
Ohio school district fires preaching teacher. After years of reports (by parents who feared retailiation if they formally complained) about a science teacher who was preaching fundamentalist Christianity, teaching creationism and branding crosses on students with a lab instrument, the Mount Vernon School Board conducted an investgation; its findings led to the firing of the teacher. Click here.
Atheist speaks of the Christian Right's power in the military. In a lawsuit filed against the Department of Defense and his commanding officer, Army Specialist Jeremy Hall alleges that Maj. Freddy J. Welborn broke up an atheists’ meeting Hall organized in Iraq, exclaiming: "People like you are not holding up the Constitution and are going against what the founding fathers, who were Christians, wanted for America!" In an interview last week, Hall said that he and another Army specialist attending the meeting were forced to stand at attention before Welborn and submit to his authority, saying: "'Yes sir, I see where you’re coming from, yes sir I see what you mean, this that and the other." Please click here to read our report and listen to our recorded interview with Hall and Mikey Weinstein, whose Military Religious Freedom Foundation is providing his legal representation.
To see earlier features, please click here.