The Scourge of Christo-Fascist Zionism

Ultra-right Christian Nationalists are strong supporters of Zionism
Ultra-right Christian Nationalists are strong supporters of Zionism.

By Marta Ilyich

On the 17th of April, in Washington D.C., Columbia University’s president Minouche Shafik sat before a House committee. Shafik holds citizenship in the United States and Great Britain, where she was appointed the title of Baroness. As an economist, she served as Deputy Managing Director of the hyper-capitalist Institute for Fiscal Studies. All else aside, she might have been lauded by the lackeys of Wall Street seated on the committee. However, Shafik  is Egyptian-born and Muslim, making her a highly-anticipated feast for racist jackals seated before her. As president of a university whose students and faculty received international attention for their pro-Gaza occupation, it’s easy to imagine racist reprobates licking their chops in anticipation for a turn to grill her.

For many, the most surreal moment of the day came during Rick Allen’s turn. A representative from Georgia, Allen first quoted Genesis 12:3:

“If you bless Israel, I will bless you. If you curse Israel, I will curse you,”

and followed with the question,

Do you want Columbia University to be cursed by God?

With all the gravitas she could summon, Shafik responded with a firm,

“Definitely not.”

This question, while bizarre by reasonable standards, was typical for Allen. On January 8, 2020, two days after Donald Trump’s failed coup, Allen texted White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows:

“Our Nation is at war, it is a Spiritual War at the highest level. This is not a war that can be fought conventionally, this is God’s battle and He has used President Trump in a powerful way to expose the deceit, lies and hypocrisy of the enemy.”

The idea is that opponents represent armies controlled by literal demons. Against these evil supernatural entities, ‘spiritual warfare’ demands the faithful to be soldiers in the army of God. To ‘spiritual warriors,” the Democratic Party is often believed to be, in the words of Evangelical leader Alice Patterson, a “demon structure.” One PDF pamphlet on the topic describes Jesus as a commanding officer and the holy spirit as his non-commissioned officer. The rhetoric of spiritual warfare shifts between the metaphorical and the bloodthirsty as required by any given situation. It often keeps the veneer of mere intercessory prayer, but when it becomes blunt, strays far from this civility and into bloodlust. An example of murderous imagery comes from a Florida pastor who, speaking of a ‘vision’ he had of a giant representing President Biden and Democrats said,

“God said, ‘Do you have the stomach to finish the job? Put your foot on his chin and expose the neck. Pick up that weapon and find you are strong enough to wield it. Finish this! Finish this! I say finish this!”

This is an example of ‘stochastic terrorism’, in which inflammatory rhetoric is likely to inspire terror attacks without the speaker having a connection to the attackers or explicitly directing the violence. To understand the effectiveness of the tactic, one only needs to look to the January 6th assault on Congress. Those who generated the rhetoric the crowd responded to sat back draped in plausible deniability as their followers carried the implication of the words to their natural conclusion.  This is a perfect tactic for politicians, clergy, and media figures who want their hands clean while mayhem and death is delivered to their enemies.

Besides interrogating Shafik and sending ominous texts in the wake of Trump’s 2020 electoral loss, Rick Allen is one of a legion of adherents to Christian Nationalism at all levels of society. Christian Nationalism is sometimes known as “Christo-fascism”. It is not only opponents who use this term. Gene Bailey is a pastor who leads the staff and ministries of Eagle Mountain International Church, a highly influential megachurch in Texas. Bailey said,

“We do have an agenda, and that is I am a Christo-fascist, Christian nationalist,”

The most dangerous element in Christian Nationalism is the New Apostolic Reformation. This subset believes that it is a movement of modern prophets and apostles. NAR adherents include the Alabama Supreme Court’s Chief Justice Tom Parker who invoked the bible as basis for the court’s ruling that embryos are people. Others in the movement are former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, Turning Point USA’s leader Charlie Kirk, notorious GOP advisor Roger Stone, and congress members Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert, and Speaker of the House Mike Johnson. Johnson himself hangs an ‘Appeal to Heaven’ flag outside his office. This flag, while dating back to the U.S. Revolutionary War has in recent years come to symbolize violent Christian-centered extremism and white supremacy. It was flown by insurrectionists on January 6th, and can be seen wherever the far right can be found in sufficient numbers. The Speaker of the House signals allegiance to all of this with the flag’s display.

New Apostolic Reformers claim that God speaks to them directly and Jesus visits them personally. Besides touting spiritual warfare, they are Dominionists, believing that the United States’ government should declare that the U.S. is a Christian nation and should rule (not represent) voters in accordance with their far-right interpretation of the Bible. Furthermore, they believe in what they call a “Seven Mountains Mandate”. This would give them direct control over the institution of the seven ‘mountains’ which represent family, education, government, business, media, arts & entertainment, and religion. They would direct all in strict adherence to their religious principles, buttress hetero/cisnormativity, reinforce patriarchy, and suppress any mass media not in alignment with their beliefs. It would be the end of humanism and anything other than fundamentalist Christian hegemony. They would institute an extremist theocracy over first the United States, and then all of the Earth, discarding bourgeois democracy as an impediment to iron-fisted rule.

Despite the goal of a one world Christian theocracy, the New Apostolic Reformation has tremendous affection for Zionism. Some adherents visit occupied Palestine. Many wear a Star of David, or blow a shofar, the hollowed ram’s horn used in Jewish ceremonies. At the same time, they are often shockingly antisemitic. John Hagee, who has shared a stage with bipartisan Congressional leaders in a rally for the Zionist occupation of Palestine infamously referred to Hitler as anointed by God:

“Then God sent a hunter. A hunter is someone with a gun and he forces you. Hitler was a hunter.”

He followed with,

“Why did it happen? Because God said, ‘my top priority for the Jewish people is to get them to come back to the land of Israel.’”

Regardless of his claim of a God-ordained Nazi genocide, Hagee co-founded Christians United For Israel, the largest Zionist organization in the United States. The link between Zionists and Christian Nationalists is common. The self-proclaimed Christo-fascist Gene Bailey, mentioned above, hosted Zionist Prime Minister Netanyahu on his television program. Zionists and Christo-fascists are birds of a feather flocking together. Certainly, the contradiction between the goals of the New Apostolic Reformation and Zionism is obvious. The former wants far right Christianity as the sole religion on the planet and the other wants a Jewish state as an eternal homeland for all Jews. On the face of it, their end goals are opposed and irreconcilable. However, Jewish occupation of Palestine is central to Christian end times theology. As covered in this journal previously, Christian Zionists view the return of Jews to Palestine as prophetically required for the return of Jesus.

The idea of Jews ‘returning’ to Palestine is a fiction. Jews have lived in Palestine for thousands of years, long before the British Balfour Declaration of 1917 initiated the imperialist zionist project in the region, To their Muslim neighbors, Palestinian Jews were called abnaa al-balad (sons of the country), or Yahud awlad Arab (Jews, sons of Arabs). Even as the Palestinian Congress issued its anti-Zionist manifesto two years after the Balfour Declaration, they explicitly upheld a welcome to Jews who had already been living there. The manifesto did not reject Judaism, but instead Zionism and the loss of their ancestral land to the puppets and machinations of western empires. The Zionist project didn’t introduce Judaism to Palestine. Rather, it instituted land theft and apartheid in service of imperialist ends. Zionism doesn’t “return” Jews to Palestine, it imports people, primarily from Europe and the United States, whether or not any of their ancestors lived there thousands of years ago. These imports merely need to have formally converted to Judaism. Zionists seize and sell Palestinian homes and land to these imported people, and Christian Zionists see this as biblically preordained.

Christian Zionist belief hinges on a scriptural interpretation of various passages that frame the Zionist project on its own terms. They see Muslim Palestinians and Arabs as demonic, the enemy of the righteous. Further, Christian Zionists believe that genocide is their sacred duty in order to usher in a bloody seven-year war at the ancient site called ‘Tell el-Mutesellim’ in Arabic and ‘Tel Megiddo’ in Hebrew. This would be the biblical battle of Armageddon, after which the thousand-year reign of Jesus as king of the Earth would begin. Right wing Christians believe that in the end times some Jews will convert to Christianity and the rest will be slaughtered and burn in hell’s lake of fire forever. But to Christian Nationalists, the extermination of Judaism is a “tomorrow” problem, and one they don’t need to discuss in mixed company. Because the genocide they crave is being enacted by Netanyahu’s administration, he is seen as a celebrated ally.

To the New Apostolic Reformation, it is not only Palestinians who are a demonic enemy. The anti-intellectual right also see higher education as factories of ‘wokeism”, therefore campus protests for Gaza compound their paranoia about demonic influence exponentially. They believe Palestinians, student protestors, and all who stand in solidarity to be part of a vast demonic army. Demonic armies are what they are indoctrinated to believe Spiritual Warfare is meant to fight.

With all of this in mind, Engel’s words in Socialism, Utopian and Scientific are worth considering:

“…the final causes of all social changes and political revolutions are to be sought, not in men’s brains, not in men’s better insights into eternal truth and justice, but in changes in the modes of production and exchange. They are to be sought, not in the philosophy, but in the economics of each particular epoch.”

In the end, the genocidal project in Gaza was seeded a century ago in the contest of empires. It has grown in the fetid swamp of bourgeois greed. Not only Christian Nationalists want Palestinians gone. Just as the United States was built on the theft and sale of land occupied by indigenous nations, Israel removes Palestinians and sells the land they have lived on for thousands of years. The Gaza Strip is waterfront property on the Mediterranean Sea, making it some of the most coveted real estate in the world by capitalist leeches. Zionists hate Arabs, true, and that animates the IDF’s cruelty. But ultimately the driving forces of the subjugation and slaughter in Palestine is the military importance of “Israel” to the war machine of the U.S. Empire, and to clear the land for Zionist real estate ventures. The Christian Nationalist support for Zionism is virulent, but it is also the default position in Washington D.C. due to “Israel’s” strategic importance as a military outpost in a resource rich region.

Despite the genocidal antisemitism of the Nazis, that detestable historic party shares a common thread that connects them with Christian Nationalists and the Zionist entity in Palestine: They were/are all ultranationalists who believe in a violent return to a mythologized past through far-right populism. All have arisen to buttress the bourgeoisie against the sleeping giant that is proletarian solidarity. In a word, they are all fascist.

Fascism arises when faltering capitalism requires a shedding of the veneer of bourgeois democracy in order to manage and maintain its existence. It is like an antibody for the bourgeoisie against an arising proletariat, brutally suppressing socialist movement. In World War Two, Roosevelt and Churchill called the fascist powers the ‘Axis’ but the fascist powers referred to themselves as the “Anti-Comintern Pact.” Anti-communism was the basis for their unity, and the United States did not enter the war until its capitalist institutions were threatened from outside. Christian Nationalism is the most powerful fascist force in the country right now. It is entrenched from local school boards to the U.S. Congress, and looks to have an excellent chance of storming back into the White House. It dovetails perfectly with Wall Street’s interests in Palestine. It is buffeted by waves of zealotry, and has a hatred and opposition to socialism that is, in the most literal sense, religious. It has demonstrated its use of populist violence in insurrection against the established government. It owns extensive media apparatuses, and is steeped in the rhetoric and theology of a war of good against evil. If there is a horse race of fascist movements in the United States, Christian Nationalism is considerably ahead of the pack.

Liberalism is given to fanciful notions of high roads and moral victories. On principle, liberals oppose militant action. They discount any fascist threat as the result of poor information or low intelligence, and believe that bad actors can be bested in the so-called ‘marketplace of ideas’ or mocked into submission. Liberals are not equipped to turn back fascism, and often abhor even recognizing its presence. Christian Nationalists seep into every inch of the public sphere and we need to fight it for ourselves, for Gaza, and for all poor, workers, and oppressed peoples of the world. We are not the demons they imagine, but we know them for the fascists they are. It is our task to arise and to fight. We can only do this shoulder to shoulder with all workers and oppressed peoples of the world. Defending Palestine is our battle, and we must meet it with even greater vigor than our enemies have for genocide. All workers and oppressed peoples of the world must unite. In doing so, we can only lose our chains. Failing to do so means subjugation and genocide. It is time for militancy. It is time to close ranks. It is time to destroy fascism, from Wall Street, to Washington, to Tel Aviv. Apart, we would perish. Together we will win.

Smash Zionism and Christo-fascism! No war but class war!

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