The Christian Right

How powerful is the Christian Right in America?

Only last week Stephen Sizer noted that the Christian Right holds to Christian Zionism, which he describes as:

“probably the most influential and destructive movement among Christians today.”

Sizer’s theories on Christian Zionism are endorsed by scores of British academics, pastors and theologians.

Yet recently we’ve heard some different ideas about the power and influence of the Christian Right and Christian Zionism.

Michelle Goldberg writes on Comment Is Free that the influence of the Christian Right on American politics is waning, pointing to the retirement of evangelical heavyweight James Dobson as perhaps the end of an era. Meanwhile, Stephen Spector explores the relationship between American evangelicals and Israel, explaining that the popular image of pro-Israel evangelicals as simply ‘anxious for armaggeddon‘ is misleading and inaccurate.

As the Obama administration and the Christian Right in America continue to lock horns over various issues, Sizer’s theories about the all-powerful Christian Right and Christian Zionism are looking increasingly outdated and tiresome. Yet Sizer still promotes these views on his website.

Rev Sizer of course revealed his prejudices about American politics when he suggested that Mossad might have been complicit in 9/11 in his 2004 book Christian Zionism (page 251 footnote 170).

Such ideas are routinely peddled by antisemites in the USA, which may explain why Rev Sizer seems to prefer the American Far Right to the Christian Right.

Rev Sizer’s essay on Christian Zionism was even converted by antisemites into an internet edition for Holocaust deniers.

All of which leads the reader to a rather disturbing question: is Rev Sizer just saying about the Christian Zionists what antisemites say about Jews?



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6 responses to “The Christian Right

  1. modernityblog

    I wonder, if Rev. Sizer really wants to distance himself from Holocaust deniers ? then why doesn’t he sue them for misuse of copyrighted material?

  2. Christian Zionist

    Precisely. Sizer also cites Norman Finkelstein re: so-called ‘holocaustology’ on p. 21 fn. 16.
    His citation of Dale Crowley on p. 21-22 fn. 18 is taken from Grace Halsell, a Christian critic of Christian Zionism. The question is, why is she citing Dale Crowley ?
    Are some other Christian anti-Zionists in bed with the American Far Right as well ?
    And why also makes fn. 135 on p. 243 a reference to Lenni Brunner’s ’51 Documents – Zionist Collaboration with the Nazis’ ?!?

  3. old Labour

    Sizer’s theories on Christian Zionism are endorsed by scores of British academics, pastors and theologians.

    Not sure whether it is worth giving too much weight to this. Most of Sizer’s endorsements come from overseas, esp. the US and those associated with the Anglican church in Jerusalem. The British figures Sizer cites are a motley crew of various clergy, an Islamic student, long retired staff, and members of the hardline Oak Hill College. The quote from Kallistos Ware looks like part of an email thanking Sizer for sending him the book, not a review. No really significant academic endorsements here. Sizer’s analysis of Christian Zionism is flawed – the phenomenon exists in Protestant thought long before Dispensationalist movement of the 19th century.

    The ‘Christian right’ in the USA is much exaggerated in terms of ideology and influence, but it serves the purpose of the pseudo-liberal majority.

  4. Christian Zionist

    Sizer has been cited approvingly by too many evangelicals in Britain. The truth is that nobody knows how many pastors have read his work with approval. I have seen people I generally respect citing his book as if it were an authoritative text on Christian Zionism, which is deeply worrying. Some of this no doubt is because many people only skim-read books they cite, but the truth is that this is damaging as it gives credence to books that do not deserve it. In practice, the book has done a lot of damage and continues to do a lot of damage.
    The desire to paint Christian Zionists as heretics and as people who don’t love the Jewish people is utterly unacceptable and false. It is cited A LOT on far-right websites, where Sizer’s work is seen as ‘a great service to mankind’.
    You are of course right that Sizer’s analysis is flawed as he hurries through the history of protestant views of the Jewish people in ‘Christian Zionism: Road-Map to Armageddon’.
    Lastly, Sizer says at the beginning that he grew up reading Hal Lindsey’s ‘The Late Great Planet Earth’, and elsewhere on the internet says that he was raised by American Christian Zionists.
    His work basically reads like a protracted teenage rebellion. Treating Lindsey as a serious theological voice for Christian Zionism, when he is a novelist, not a trained theologian, is to use the most populist writing to represent an entire movement. It’s pathetically unprofessional.

  5. dona, Edinburgh

    I was simply stunned into shocked laughter after reading this comment –

    ” Rev Sizer of course revealed his prejudices about American politics when he suggested that Mossad might have been complicit in 9/11 in his 2004 book Christian Zionism (page 251 footnote 170).”

    YOU simply got to be kidding me?? He really does believe this rubbish?

    I had hoped he was a naive do gooder , worth a little patience and hope, but this simply destroys all my theories. Now it is down to – dull wit and stupid or anti Semitic disguise or and both. Such theories are the domain of the stupid and anti-semitic ravings of crazy people. Considering who he associates with I should have lost hope long ago.

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