Friday, September 05, 2008

Sarah Palin sat through a sermon by a Jew for Jesus. Should we care?

Barack Obama’s pastor, Jeremiah Wright, proved a huge problem for the Democratic presidential nominee – particularly (but by no means exclusively) amongst Jews. Now, Ben Smith of Politico puts the spotlight on Sarah Palin’s church – which, just a couple of weeks ago hosted David Brickner, the executive director of Jews for Jesus:

Palin’s pastor, Larry Kroon, introduced Brickner on Aug. 17, according to a transcript of the sermon on the church’s website.

“He’s a leader of Jews for Jesus, a ministry that is out on the leading edge in a pressing, demanding area of witnessing and evangelism,” Kroon said.

Brickner then explained that Jesus and his disciples were themselves Jewish.

“The Jewish community, in particular, has a difficult time understanding this reality,” he said.

Brickner’s mission has drawn wide criticism from the organized Jewish community, and the Anti-Defamation League accused them in a report of “targeting Jews for conversion with subterfuge and deception.”

Brickner also described terrorist attacks on Israelis as God's "judgment of unbelief" of Jews who haven't embraced Christianity.

"Judgment is very real and we see it played out on the pages of the newspapers and on the television. It's very real. When [Brickner's son] was in Jerusalem he was there to witness some of that judgment, some of that conflict, when a Palestinian from East Jerusalem took a bulldozer and went plowing through a score of cars, killing numbers of people. Judgment — you can't miss it."

According to Kroon, Palin was in church that day. But should this become an issue for Jews and/or the media – as Andrew Sullivan, for example, suggests?

Absolutely not. Barack Obama sat through 20 years of disgusting sermons by Jeremiah Wright, week in, week out, and considered him his mentor. Palin sat through one – one - repulsive sermon by a Jew-for-Jesus. There is really no comparison.

Although of-course, it would be interesting to know more about Gov Palin’s pastor – who apparently goes back a long way with Mr Brickner – and what other sermons Sarah Palin has sat through over the past 20 years…

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