Grace Halsell, Prophecy and Politics: The Secret Alliance Between Israel and the U.S. Christian Right (Chicago: Lawrence Hill Books, 1986), pp. 114-116

[Grace Halsell (1923-2000) covered both the Korean and Vietnam Wars as a journalist, and was a White House speech writer for President Lyndon Johnson. She wrote ten books, including the critically acclaimed Soul Sister and Journey to Jerusalem.]

Since my research leads me to believe that the Middle East, which is receiving more weapons than any other area of the world, represents the most dangerous powder keg for a nuclear conflagration, I still could not comprehend why Christians such as Reisenhoover, DeLoach, Hilton Sutton, Douglas Krieger, Charles Monroe--none of whom look anything at all like fanatics who would go on a suicidal mission—had banded together to aid Jewish terrorists destroy Muslim shrines. Nor could I understand why one member of that group, Pastor DeLoach, would claim if they started World War III, they were doing God's will.

For additional perspective on such thinking, I arranged an interview with Professor Gordon Welty of Wright State University in Ohio. A sociologist and anthropologist, he has traveled throughout the Middle East and has written and lectured extensively on the subject of the Christian right-wing support for Israel. Our schedules were such that both of us were to be in Chicago, and we met there in a hotel restaurant and talked over lunch.

How, I asked, can Christians consider it moral to negate the existence of about a billion Muslims and praiseworthy to donate millions of dollars for the destruction of their holy shrine.

"The evangelical-fundamentalists who raise money to destroy the mosque practice the same type of muscular theology that many of our forefathers did. They thought it brave, moral and right 'to win the West,' to slaughter Indians and march forward with white civilization. Since the 'frontier' of America is gone, they seek to recreate it elsewhere. The 'New Zion' of the settler's dreams has become the plain old Zion of Palestine.

"Just as some Christian settlers found it moral to kill Indians, some Christians now find it moral to give money to Zionists who kill Palestinians," Dr. Welty said. "With a disdain of history and sociological laws, they make invisible those who stand in the path of their manifest destiny. Now that the West is won, the Reisenhoovers must fly over to Israel.

"One of the best descriptions I've seen of this type of power-makes-right is given by John Hobson in his book, Imperialism. He calls it 'muscular Christianity.' It translates into a rough-and-ready, take-what-you-can brand of action. The 'muscular Christians' supporting Zionism settle for short-term goals and deal in strange inconsistencies. They compartmentalize: they hold in one section of their brains the conviction that the Jews are God's Chosen People, and in another compartment they believe God does not hear the prayers of the Jew. They have, to a marked degree, this ability to hold incompatible and often self-contradictory ideas and motives.

"Thus, they do not 'see' Palestinians, they do not 'see' the mosque--they only say 'they must go.'"

What, I asked, about Pastor DeLoach's fascination with the reinstitution of animal sacrifice to please God? He proudly said he hosted in his Houston home two Israeli religious students who were studying how to kill sheep in a temple service.

"Yes, can't you imagine bonfires, the bleating of lambs being slaughtered--the blood, the smell of burning flesh, all to please God! Both the Jews and the Christians who want this are ignoring or abandoning the most valuable theological and moral precepts of the Hebrew prophetic tradition. What Yahweh really demanded was not the blood of sheep and goats but, in the words of Amos, justice and righteousness."

The main reason, I recalled to Professor Welty, that Pastor Deloach gave for favoring the removal of a Muslim shrine for the building of a Jewish temple was that, as he put it, Christians must have "freedom" to worship on that particular holy site in Jerusalem.

"Yes, freedom is one of the 'masked words' the muscular Christians like most to use. Yet, does Pastor DeLoach think for a moment he would have the 'freedom' to preach a sermon anywhere in the Jewish state? Does he think he would have the 'freedom' to speak about Christ to any Israeli Jew? Does he think he would have the 'freedom' as a Christian to immigrate to the Jewish state? Since citizenship is reserved only for Jews, he would not have that freedom."

Since Pastor DeLoach had said he was concerned only about a Christian's freedom to pray at Haram al-Sharif, was the pastor, I asked, being hypocritical?

"No, not in the least," Professor Welty said. "If the minister is typical of the muscular Christians I have studied, he is incapable of being hypocritical. Their power is to keep inconsistencies in air-tight compartments, so that they themselves never recognize these inconsistencies. As far as the muscular Christians know (or accept) they act with high minded, upright, self-sacrificing, generous, moral rectitude." In this context, Dr. Welty concluded, if the money a muscular Christian donates to the Jewish terrorists buys the dynamite that destroys the mosque, the muscular Christian will say, simply: "It was an act of God."