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July 18, 2009

Expelled co-writer tackles Christian Zionism

Kevin Miller must like controversy. Last year, the screenwriter and occasional actor co-wrote the documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, which provoked a lot of debate about creationism, evolution, Intelligent Design, and the social ramifications thereof. And now, this year, he has a new documentary coming out that just might offend some of the conservatives who rallied to his previous film's defense.

As Miller puts it at his blog:

It's called "With God on Our Side," and it examines a phenomenon known as Christian Zionism. This theology teaches that the Jews are God's chosen people and that they have a divine right to the land of Israel. Aspects of this belief system lead some Christians in the West to give uncritical support to Israeli government policies, even those that privilege Jews at the expense of Palestinians. This leads to great suffering for Muslim and Christian Palestinians alike and threatens Israel's security as a whole.

Our film suggests that there is a biblical alternative for Christians who want to love and support the people of Israel, a theology that doesn't favor one people group over another but instead promotes peace and reconciliation for Jews and Palestinians.

The filmmakers hope to release the movie sometime later this year, and it should be interesting to see what kind of debates this movie provokes.

Related Tags: expelled, with god on our side


yeah, promoting peace, love and reconciliation? that's enough to get a guy crucified...

Gullible Christian fundamentalists have confusedly conflated Israelites and Israelis since the 1940s. This "Christian Zionism" has been carefully nurtured by the Israelis. It will be interesting how this movie treats the topic, and how the Israelis react.

What, the experts on what science is, ignorant religionists, are not also experts on politics?

Why is ignorance the proper credential in science, when it isn't in geopolitical affairs?

Oh well, as usual, Kevin Miller fails to explain his position in any intellectual fashion whatsoever. I'll take it that's because his positions are simply not intellectually supportable.

Glen Davidson

Interesting, but we've heard it before.

Looking forward to the documentary on Palestinian Christian activists and groups like Sabeel who are guilty of the same one-sided support for Hamas, Fatah, et al. Objective observers might say that Palestinian Christian activists and their evangelical supporters are just as gullible as the ultra-Christian Zionists they tend to criticize.

Hey Mike, perhaps you missed the part in the description about not taking sides. Why would they condemn the Zionists for siding with Israel, only to then side with the Palestinians? Rather than descend into tribalism, it sounds like they're suggesting some kind of third way. Why not give them the benefit of the doubt--at least for now?

For those interested in a sustained, theologically literate argument in print, see Stephen Sizer's _Christian Zionism: Roadmap to Armageddon?_ (InterVarsity Press, 2005). The book is a thorough refutation of its title subject, based on careful biblical study and sound theological footings. It also shows the political dangers inherent in the unconditional Christian support of Zionism. Sizer also has a new book out, which I haven't yet read, _Zion's Christian Soldiers_. See the website @ http://www.stephensizer.com/

Stephen Sizer is a perfect example of the kind of extreme anti-Christian Zionist, anti-Israel ideology that we can all do without.

Infinitea, I'm all for a third way (btw, what is the second way?), but I've heard talk about a "third way" before, so you'll have to forgive me for not waiting with bated breath, especially when the whole thrust of the documentary is to cast supporters of Israel as the problem. Doesn't seemed balanced to me at the outset. Now if it was to have equal treatment to evangelical extremes pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian, then I'd be more likely to take it seriously.

The first and second ways are pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian. The third way is pro-Christ. That is, instead of digging in and entrenching ourselves on one side or another, we stand alongside Christ who calls all people to himself, Jew, Gentile, Arab, you name it.

I've seen the doco and have found it very helpful in furthering my understanding of life on the ground in both Colorado and Gaza. The film leaves room for the audience to think through and hopefully contribute to the situation. It's a story that I needed to see and hear and that will inform my choices in the future. It's worth seeing.

Just a quick comment on the comments. Writing from NZ, I can feel a palpable vibe to the American comments which tend to move past critique into a crusading attitude. May I suggest we consider that one of the reasons we're even talking about this issue is our religious bent towards confrontation, polarization's and our need to be right, our need for God to be on MY side.

Some comments here claim some kind of moral superiority by not choosing to support the Palestinians. I hope those people are not residents of the United States. If they are, by default, they are supporting the Jewish supremacist project in Palestine through their taxes in many forms of direct and indirect aid to the Israeli government, support of dictatorial regimes such as Egypt which support the suppression of the Palestinians and to some extent even the wars in Iraq and elsewhere. Yes, all people, Jews, Christians, Muslims both need justice and are accountable to it and therefore we should never theoretically "take sides." But let's not let theory interfere with empirical reality. Write your Congressperson and ask him/her to end aid to Israel and Egypt.