I’m sensitive to Jewish prejudice against Christians because I married one. After my future wife met my family 28 years ago, and my father kept referring to her as Brenda Frazier (an airhead deb who drank herself to death), she said, “I’ve always known about anti-Semitism; I never knew about anti- anti-semitism.” Christians were the Other for my family; and we never differentiated among them.
So I can’t help calling attention to Eli Valley’s cartoon about evangelical voters in Alabama ahead of the Roy Moore-Doug Jones election last Tuesday. I have the greatest respect for Valley as someone who paid the price for taking on the Jewish establishment over its mindless support for Israel (he does it again this week), but here he is reducing all evangelicals to the very worst attitudes of some of them, ignorance and racism and Islamophobia, and using religious imagery to do so. When people do this to Muslims over support for Islamist terrorists or Jews over parasitical financiers, we call it Islamophobic or anti-Semitic. This is anti-Christian.
Myself, I have very little idea what Christian evangelicals think, or are like. I’m sure that A Lot of them are intolerant narrow-minded people (just like A Lot of Jews are Zionists, and support a militant ethnocratic state). But Shibley Telhami’s polling tells us that the community is somewhat varied. Evangelicals were for recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel by 53-40, he said. Not an overwhelming number. Telhami’s Pool of evangelical voters is made up of Evangelical Christians and Born-Again Christians; and most of the born-agains are Democrats, he says. So that means a good number of Doug Jones’s white voters were probably born-again Christians (though, yes, he lost the white vote, 70-30). How many secular east coast journalists even know what born-again or evangelical mean?
Recently Phil Giraldi got fired by the American Conservative for reducing all Jews to warmongers in an article titled, “America’s Jews Are Driving America’s Wars.” There’s obviously something to be said for Giraldi’s argument: neocons have driven wars recently; neocons came out of the Jewish community and most of them are Jewish; they want Israel the occupying democracy to be the model for American conduct; and Jews have considerable power in the new establishment. But then most Jews opposed the Iraq war, etc. Journalists should differentiate among Christians in the same way.