Is Tom Delay Good for the Jews?

By H. Scott Prosterman

How does a Jewish Congressman from Virginia become one of Tom DeLay’s biggest supporters and defenders? Jews have been voting against their self-interests for years, enticed to do so by the "It’s good for Israel" card. Now we have a Jewish Congressman promoting the face of the political evangelical movement. Right wing politicians and Christian evangelists support Israel, but is it for the "right" reasons? Considering they want ALL the Jews to emigrate to Israel, in order to hasten the Apocalypse and the 2nd coming, I don’t think so.

In the 1970’s, young Christians in public schools across the country, joined in a huge proselytizing mission to convert their non-Christian friends to their faith. They pressured public schools into allowing use of school resources for their very personal "faith based" agenda. Teachers and administrators winked at this transgression of separation of church and state. Some were truly afraid of burning in hell if they didn’t enable and promote the Jesus Freak agenda. Do the terms Jesus Freak and "cultural genocide" seem inflammatory? Considering, they came up with the former as an attempt to “mainstream” their movement into 1970’s culture; they wanted to convert ALL non-Christians to their faith, and aggressively worked at this, I don’t think so. What is the definition of any kind of effort to eliminate or extinguish a particular culture, religion or race? Spare me the euphemisms; it’s genocide.

Now those guys are running the country and doing their best to finish off the agenda they started in high school. President George W. Bush and Sen. Bill Frist are leading the way. Tom DeLay is trying to coat-tail it for his own political survival.

Eric Cantor (R-VA,) is a Jewish “moderate Republican” from Richmond. He is majority whip in the house and one of many young Republicans in Congress who owe political chits to Tom DeLay. How does DeLay hang on, despite calls for his resignation from colleagues, newspapers, websites and columnist across the spectrum? Everybody else owes him. Republicans contribute richly to one another’s campaigns and “legal defense funds”.

Between Delay’s support for most Republicans and his support for Israel, Cantor and other Jewish Republicans not only feel beholden to him, but have bought into his hubris. They believe he is politically indestructible, and that any criticism of him would be a bad career move.

But grandstanding about the evangelical mission of the Terry Schiavo crusade is hardly “good for the Jews.” Rather, it promotes the very notion of this disingenuous political quid pro quo. Attacking judges and the judiciary for their intent to uphold the Constitutional balance of powers, and separation of church and state is definitely not “good for the Jews.” The “faith based” agenda of allowing churches to receive federal money to further their goals is really not “good for the Jews.” Ultimately, the “faith based” agenda brings the focus back to making Christianity the official state religion of the United States. To their way of thinking, it would prompt all the Jews to move to Israel and be a real sign that “the Apocalypse is upon us.” But this use of the phrase would not be the punch line of a joke.

During my arguments with Jesus Freaks and their parents in high school, I was often re-assured, “We LOVE the Jewish people. Jesus was a Jew and we HONOR Judaism. We want to help ALL of you get back to Israel where you really want to be.”

Tom DeLay LOVES the Jewish people. So does Bill Frist. They want to help ALL of us get back to Israel so they can get on with their Apocalypse. DeLay was recently an honored guest at a convention of Texas Evangelicals; indeed he is the political face of their movement, and a Jewish Congressman from Virginia has bought into it.

Eric Cantor is a naïve and willing stooge in this Congressional passion play. In the April 10th Washington Post, Cantor loudly and proudly defended the beleaguered DeLay, dismissing his critics as, “unwilling "to accept the Republican majority in Congress, and (they) see this majority leader as one that they can't beat at the polls and now have taken to a planned attack of personal destruction." Cantor promoted DeLay’s martyr status by saying, “He is taking arrows for all of us . . . Tom DeLay is not the issue. It is much larger than that, and it's about the majority that they're after. They didn't win in November and in fact had a setback. So it is do or die for them." Genuine righteous indignation is the natural by-product of DeLay’s crusade to consolidate right-wing power forever more, but Cantor dismisses it as petty political sour grapes.

Much of the country is exploding with righteous indignation over the entire agenda that Delay represents:

-Calls for re-districting the state of Texas out of the usual 10 year census cycle in order to ensure long-term consolidation of Republican power.

-Promoting “faith based” programs to destroy the Constitutional separation of church and state.

-Dismissing congressional committee members and counselors because they object to DeLay’s abuses of ethics standards, and they want to hold him up to the law.

-Attacking judges and the judicial system for doing their job; namely, upholding the balance of powers among the three branches of government.

-Attacking the Constitution for making it inconvenient to accomplish all of the aforementioned.

-Grandstanding to “use” the Terry Schiavo tragedy as a political tool of rank sensationalism, while imposing an intimidating shadow of heavy handed Christianity. Jesus was not about intimidation or attacking other peoples’ religion and culture.

Let’s face it. None of this is good for the Jews. But it’s good for Tom Delay and by extension good for Eric Cantor. OK, so it’s good for ONE Jew. But it doesn’t bode well for the rest of the flock.