Part II: Cultural Aspects of Christian Zionism

Last week, we discussed the theological and geostrategic aspects of Zionism, with an equal emphasis on the Protestant Christian heresy as well as the Jewish nationalist ideology.

Today, I’d like to discuss more about the cultural aspects, specifically the enthusiastic support that the majority of Americans give to the state of Israel.  

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this short, 11 minute analysis.  


  1. Nick Shahood says

    The Orthodox Church in the US needs a “teaching document” that demonstrates the lack of Church/Tradition-Church Fathers foundation for the Protestant Eschatological Zionism thesis and the eschatology of the True/Original Church (Orthodox and Catholic) developed over millennia.

    • Nick, elaborate further please on your statement.

      • Nick Shahood says

        I am NO THEOLOGIAN nor do I even represent that I have any minimal competency in this area. But, I do believe that the recent (~circa 1892) by Scofield and its storied acceptance on Protestant Zionism Eschatology that holds that the founding of the State of Israel in 1948 was in accordance with Bible prophecy: that the re-establishment of Jewish sovereignty in the Levant — as a prerequisite for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ – has no basis in the Traditional Christian and not to be found in the writings of the Church Fathers.

        I hope folks with better/deeper “Traditional” (Orthodox/Catholic) Christian Theological training/understanding can provide clearer/more precise explanation.

  2. Bethlehem Palestine celebration of Christ 2023 cancelled so Israel can continue killing humanity.

  3. Scott Ritter: From Ceasefire to Crossroads:
    Decoding Israel’s Strategic Choices

    [Video – 31:35]

    Scott Ritter:

    “Israel has already lost this war.
    They just don’t know it.”

    How are the mighty falling…

  4. Enlightening, yet tantalising…
    Well paced, George.
    You know how to grab an audience…

  5. I enjoyed watching this video. As always, I learn something new on Monomakhos. I am looking forward to Part 3.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Thank you Jane, Brendan.

      If I may, one reason I’m going to try and be more diligent in the video format is that it gives me some leeway to speak a little more freely and off-the-cuff.

      As for Part III, I’m going to get back into the “Christian” theology behind Zionism and expose it for its deleteriousness towards the Jewish people.

  6. Joseph Lipper says

    “Fundamentalist Christians were ready to lend support to Israel even after the breakup of the ‘evil empire’ because their position was rooted in theological rather than strategic considerations. According to Robert Kuttner of The New Republic magazine, the benefit was mutual. AIPAC [American Israel Public Affairs Committee] and its controversial links to scores of local pro-Israel PACs started ‘delivering Jewish financial backing to candidates far to the right of positions that most Jews hold on most issues. Incumbent conservative Republicans have discovered a cynical formula. They have only to demonstrate sufficient loyalty to Israel and they can all but lock out their democratic challengers from a substantial fraction of Jewish support.’ [emphasis added] Seeing that Christian right-wing groups have successfully targeted one pro-Israel liberal candidate after another for defeat ‘because of their positive votes on abortion, civil rights and social spending…the pro-Israel money has moved well to the right of most Jewish voters.’

    The political alliance between the Israeli government and U.S. Evangelicals dates back to Israeli PM Menachem Begin and the “Reverend” Jerry Falwell. In 1977, newly elected Begin was looking for U.S. political support for his Zionist government, since President Jimmy Carter was instead supportive of a Palestinian state.

    Begin would later find support with Falwell and his rising political organization called the “Moral Majority”. In 1979, the Israeli government would give Falwell a Lear jet to facilitate his travel to the State of Israel. The following year, Falwell’s newly created “Moral Majority” ran huge television campaigns against President Jimmy Carter’s bid for reelection, claiming that he was not a true Christian because he supported Roe vs Wade. A week after Carter’s defeat, on November 12th, 1980, Menachem Begin would personally give Jerry Falwell the prestigious Jabotinsky award in New York City:

    In 1981, when the Israeli government bombed Iraq without the consent of the White House, Menachem Begin personally contacted his friend Falwell first before he contacted Ronald Reagan, and asked Falwell to defend the bombing to American Evangelicals, which Falwell did.

    In 1998, Benjamin Netanyahu on his way to meet with President Clinton, first met with Jerry Falwell and other Evangelicals, to ask them to persuade the American public not to enforce the Oslo peace accords. Falwell “pledged that he would embark upon a campaign to contact over 200,000 Evangelical pastors, asking them to ‘tell President Clinton to refrain from putting pressure on Israel,’ a message Gingrich echoed at a press conference the next day. Netanyahu could now rest in the relative comfort that he had sufficient influence within the United States Congress concerning the formulation of Middle East policy.”

    Even though Jerry Falwell is no longer living, his political legacy lives on in politicians, like Donald Trump, who have adopted his causes. One might ask, how was it possible that conservative Christians gave such political support of weapons and wars to the Middle East, blatantly supporting the bloodshed, and this even before 9/11? I believe the answer comes from Jerry Falwell’s birth of a successful political platform for “conservative Christians” of anti-abortion, anti-homosexual, and pro-Israel. It is a successful yet cynical formula adopted by politicians even today, like Donald Trump. If you vote against “gay marriage” then you are voting for an expansionist Israel. If you vote against abortion, then you are again voting for an expansionist Israel. You can thank Jerry Fallwell for that.

    We can also thank Jerry Falwell for his exposure of “conservative Christians” as being highly manipulated by the political causes of anti-abortion and anti-homosexuality. Well, what’s wrong with that we might ask? The thing is, there’s a different “Zionism” in town: it’s Russia’s irredentist claims to Ukraine being sold along with Russia’s new political aims of abolishing homosexuality and abortion. So once again, “conservative Christians” in America are being politically manipulated to accept a different “Zionism”, this time aligned with Russia’s recent political stances against abortion and homosexuality.

    Personally, I am not against modern political Zionism. It is merely a political viewpoint. The problem I have is when anyone tries to pass off any sort of modern political Zionism as somehow being Christian, no matter how much it is seemingly portrayed to align with conservative Christian values. There is no Christian theological basis for the Israeli government’s invasion of Gaza. Likewise, there is no Christian theological basis for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

    • Antiochene Son says

      “If you vote against “gay marriage” then you are voting for an expansionist Israel. If you vote against abortion, then you are again voting for an expansionist Israel.”

      Only if you accept the left-right paradigm that state and media institutions force upon us.

      It’s not even true, anyway. Mainstream Democrats support Israel just as hard as mainstream Republicans.

      That’s a big part of what the Alt-Right was about, rejecting the support of Israel and other foreign states as a prerequisite to enforcing traditional mores.

      That’s why the movement was immediately trashed as “Nazi” by state power and the media. We can’t have people choosing their views on their own, after all.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Joseph, thank you for this extensive analysis. You certainly filled in the blanks as far as my video was concerned.

    • Well, what’s wrong with that we might ask? The thing is, there’s a different “Zionism” in town: it’s Russia’s irredentist claims to Ukraine being sold along with Russia’s new political aims of abolishing homosexuality and abortion. So once again, “conservative Christians” in America are being politically manipulated to accept a different “Zionism”, this time aligned with Russia’s recent political stances against abortion and homosexuality.

      Dear oh dear… Mr. Lipper is hijacking the Zionist thread by comparing Russia to the ADL and AIPAC. I have to say that’s quite amusing and entertaining… when did post-Soviet Russia ever have this sort of political weight in the United States? I should know because I witnessed numerous attempts of the Russian-American community to find a post-cold war dialog between the new Russia and Washington. Long topic but the results are rather clear here.

      What remains is the ‘useful idiot’ argument: American conservatives who have supposedly gotten drunk off of a remote Russian propaganda network, akin to American socialists reading Pravda. It’s a convenient argument to make because it takes no evidence to call someone a useful idiot, only belief in the rightness of your own argument and consequently believing that your opponent must be stupid.

      All I can say is the people who are looking awfully stupid now are those who still believe that Ukraine will prevail militarily…

      If one looks at Russia’s fight, it can be broken into several categories: 1) Russia standing up for her security interests against an imminent threat (one which Mr. Lipper will likely argue is fabricated), 2) Russia putting a cog in the wheel of a unipolar world order, 3) Russia becoming an obstacle to creeping euroatlantic integration, a process that has carried with it social revolutionary causes such as gender bending and open borders (broadly described as cultural Marxism).

      The priority of the Russian leadership has to clearly be 1: national security interests, as would be expected of any government discharging its duties to the populace. Points 2 and 3 are highly desirable side effects in this situation which do elicit sympathy beyond immediate Russian security concerns.

      When Russian officers rebelled against the attempted formation of the Lenin government in November of 1917, and formed an armed force called the ‘White Army’, the main pretext was restoring lawful order in Russia. The moral aspect of this fight became rather clear once the Bolshevik government put the Orthodox Church in their crosshairs (it pays to point out that not all revolutionaries initially believed in persecuting the church: the Bolsheviks, however, did and they rather quickly came to dominate the situation).

      Even though at the time Patriarch Tikhon refused to bless the anti-bolshevik army (partly to save those clergy who were under the occupation of the Reds), as the war progressed the crusade aspect of the struggle became clear. This is not to say that all white (anti-bolshevik) generals and officers were churchgoing and devout, rather that their vision of a Russian state where state-church relations were normal as opposed to hostile was the good fight, and the right side of history to be on.

      If one looks at how the current Ukrainian regime is treating part of its Orthodox believers, even those who in all ways show loyalty to the government, one is unavoidably reminded of the Soviet regime who initially tried the ‘living church’ experiment (an alt.orthodoxy that catered to their political agenda) and tried to shoehorn believers into it prior to abandoning it in favor of all-out war with religion. By the way, the Ecumenical patriarchate at the time attempted to liaise with the Soviet government in hopes of benefiting from their policy. History may not exactly repeat, but it often rhymes.

      Let’s also not forget that by far not all supporters of Russia in her fight are necessarily Putin fans. Leaders come and go, but when borders and centers of power change, it can have impacts that last generations and have a profound reverberation effect on international balance of power. Clearly Mr. Lipper has his preferences for this balance of power, as do I and others here. So we may not agree, but let’s be clear about what this argument IS and IS NOT about.

      As for Zionism, I’m quite indifferent to it. One problem many people in America have is they love to role play other nations geopolitical problems and pretend they have a solution for it which, of course, can always be enforced by using the rich American tax base and leaning on the transatlantic nomenclatura.

  7. Orthodox knowingly eating halal food (such as in a restaurant)? Hello Monomakhoans. Totally off topic, and yet people here have always been good enough in the past to help me understand the faith better, so I wondered if they wouldn’t mind helping me again.

    As part of my desire for multiple counsel on this subject, I’ve consulted my priest, a monk, some laity and the internet and the general belief is that knowingly eating halal food would be ok, especially if we bless it first and ourselves.

    The main reasons given for this view are that the Church hasn’t said anything official against eating halal; eating halal is ok if we bless it and ourselves beforehand; Islam, while being a false religion, isn’t pagan, but ‘only’ a perversion of the one true God.

    What do people here think about this?

    Also, would their views about knowingly eating kosher food be the same or different? And what do they think generally about what the prohibition on food sacrificed to false gods or demons means for us today?

    Thanks very much, and my apologies if me bringing this up here is too much.

  8. I think the first place to turn is to St Paul:

    I Corinthians 8 [KJV]:

    1 Now as touching things offered unto idols,
    we know that we all have knowledge.
    Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.

    2 And if any man think that he knoweth any thing,
    he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.

    3 But if any man love God, the same is known of him.

    4 As concerning therefore the eating of those things
    that are offered in sacrifice unto idols,
    we know that an idol is nothing in the world,
    and that there is none other God but one.

    5 For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth,
    (as there be gods many, and lords many,)

    6 but to us there is but one God, the Father,
    of whom are all things, and we in him;
    and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

    7 Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge:
    for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour
    eat it as a thing offered unto an idol;
    and their conscience being weak is defiled.

    8 But meat commendeth us not to God:
    for neither, if we eat, are we the better;
    neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.

    9 But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours
    become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.

    10 For if any man see thee which hast knowledge
    sit at meat in the idol’s temple,
    shall not the conscience of him which is weak
    be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols;

    11 and through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish,
    for whom Christ died?

    12 But when ye sin so against the brethren,
    and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.

    13 Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend,
    I will eat no flesh while the world standeth,
    lest I make my brother to offend.

    It seems that the eating (in and of itself) of such food is not a problem,
    for the idols to which it is sacrificed are not real and have no power,
    unless (in being seen to eat in an idol’s temple) we cause a brother
    to stumble in faith; in which case it is better that we do not eat it at all.

    • Thanks, Brendan. I appreciate you helping Dan.

      • I don’t claim any special knowledge, Gail.
        St Paul seems clear enough – avoid scandal.
        But I do think we need to beware of hedging
        the subject about with so many prohibitions
        that we end up with our very own Talmud.

    • Thanks a lot Brendan for going to that all that trouble! It’s interesting to see that you’ve interpreted St. Paul’s words in the way that he seems to be saying them. I wasn’t sure if that was the thing to do or not, given how complicated the Bible can be.

      And thank you too Gail for confirming what Brendan said. I appreciate it.

    • Hi! I just thought I’d chime in here. 🙂 I think it’s important to note that halal food is only halal when it has these phrases said over it: “In the name of Allah, Allah is the Greatest.” When saying “Allah is the Greatest”, what a Muslim is really proclaiming is that the God of Islam is greater than our Trinitarian God. One of the opening surahs in the Qur’an is: “Allah is God. He has begotten no one, and is begotten of no one. There is no one comparable to Him.” The whole heresy of Islam boils down to denying the Incarnate God. So Allah is no mere idol from Roman times. Allah is a God who is the exact opposite of the God that we proclaim as the Greatest.

      That said, probably many of us here eat food offered to Allah or Krishna or Guru Nanak or Buddha or some restaurant owner’s ancestors. And we probably enjoy those meals wholeheartedly. If we have a choice and have knowledge of how the food is being blessed of offered up to any God other than the God of the New Testament, I’m thinking we should think twice. But ultimately, we can take comfort in knowing that we’ve been promised that we will be judged not by what goes into our mouths but what comes out of our mouths.

      I’ll be curious to see how others respond and I hope to learn more, too. Great topic, Dan B.!

      • Thinking about what Muslims proclaim is a distraction (idol).

        Read Proverbs 4:20–22. We are to guard what we hear, what we see, and what is in our hearts. Our ears are to be full of the gracious words of God. Not thinking about what non-Christians do or believe.

        In the long run, it can be spiritually unhealthy trying to reconcile what you know as a Christian with what you once believed (or still believe) to be true outside of Christianity.

        Allah is not a “God who is the exact opposite of the God that we proclaim is the greatest” because Allah is not God or even a god. Anyone who blesses anything in the name of Allah, Krisna, Guru Nanak or Buddha is saying that which is nonsensical, inconsequential, impotent, and completely unimportant to an Orthodox Christian.

        Instead of thinking about what non-Christians say and believe, we are to meditate on what we have heard and seen in Christ Jesus. No food is to be rejected out-of-hand. “For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer” (1 Timothy 4:1-5).

        Romans 14:1-23 teaches us that not everyone is mature enough in the faith to accept the fact that all foods are clean. – But that doesn’t make it any less true.

        Not trying to criticize. Trying to be helpful.

        • When the Jerusalem Council met, the apostles and elders decided to write a letter to the Church clarifying teaching and doctrine. In explaining the why of the letter, the Council explained: “For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things.” And what was the very first “necessary thing” they instructed the Church? “Abstain from food offered to idols.” This letter was written and endorsed by the Council (James, the apostles, the elders), who distributed the letter and taught its contents far and wide to the Church via Paul, Barnabas, Judas, and Silas. (Acts 15:22-29)

          Paul’s vegetarian vs meat-eater guidance in Romans and Corinthians is followed up with him writing that we should not eat food offered to idols. He says that food offered to idols is food offered to demons. “And I don’t want you to participate with demons. You cannot drink from the cup of the Lord and from the cup of demons, too. You cannot eat at the Lord’s Table and at the table of demons, too.” He reiterates that it is fine to eat meat either from the marketplace or at the home of a friend, but then writes, “But suppose someone tells you, ‘This meat was offered to an idol.’ Don’t eat it, out of consideration for the conscience of the one who told you.” (I Cor 10)

          I still believe there’s a difference between thinking “all food” is clean (which it is) versus “food offered to idols” is ok to chow down. Perhaps that does come from spiritual immaturity. Please pray for me a sinner.

          • Those who cannot partake in good conscience—even are free in Christ to do so—should not do so. To violate their conviction is sin.

            It is also wrong for strong-faith Christians to tempt weaker-faith brothers and sisters into sin by insisting on exercising their own right to eat and drink those things.

            So we’re going to end this discussion with Romans 14:23.

        • I tried making a response earlier, but either George and Gail don’t want to publish it or it got swallowed up in some technical difficulty. In case it wasn’t the latter, I’ll reproduce a version of it again below:

          1 Corinthians 10: 18 – 22

          18 Consider the people of Israel: Do not those who eat the sacrifices participate in the altar? 19 Do I mean then that food sacrificed to an idol is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20 No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons. 22 Are we trying to arouse the Lord’s jealousy? Are we stronger than he?

          When the above appears to contradict what St Paul says in 1 Corinthians 8, it sure makes understanding scripture difficult at times, and this is compounded by there often being differing interpretations all around the place.

          One interpretation that differs from those provided in this discussion so far is by a priest – who I won’t name – who explains why food sacrificed to idols puts one in communion with demons. I read this interpretation of his yesterday and wrote to him to see if he would elaborate, so I’ll have to wait and see if he responds.

          The dance of multiple counsel

          • Dan, we’re happy to answer a couple of questions but we’re not able to devote the necessary time to explaining the Scriptures. This is not a religious blog. It’s a geopolitical blog.

            Scripture does NOT contradict itself. It’s a living, breathing document which spans many, many generations so you need context to understand it. That’s why we need to attend services in a parish with a priests. To provide context.

            Question: 18 Consider the people of Israel: Do not those who eat the sacrifices participate in the altar?

            My Answer: No. The people of Israel did not eat the sacrifices. The meat and bones were burnt completely, and the hide was given to the Levites who could earn money by selling it. They did not place food on the altar like the pagan religions. They sprinkled blood.

            Paul may be talking about the times that the Old Testament sacrificial system allowed the priests or the people to eat food that had been offered to God (Leviticus 7:11–21). In that case, Paul is showing how this caused them to be connected to God and to each other.

            The other explanation is that Paul is referring to what he wrote earlier in this chapter about the Israelites in the wilderness who worshiped false idols (1 Corinthians 10:7). In that case, they offered sacrifices to the golden calf and then ate those sacrifices together (Exodus 32:5–6). Paul’s point in this verse, then, would be that those Israelites had become attached in some significant way to that altar by eating the food sacrificed on it. They were participants with that altar in the same way that Christians are participants in Christ through the practice of communion.

            Next, Paul says that those who knowingly participate in the the rituals associated with food offered to idols risk becoming participants with real demons.

            Paul is not suggesting people need to parrot behavior in the past. He’s saying stay away from demonic practices.

            It’s a matter of maturity. For example, you tell a little kid not to touch the knobs on the stove; that he will burn himself. At that time, that teaching, is appropriate. Of course later, as an adult, he knows what was taught to him as a child isn’t wrong, but the knowledge and experience he has acquired since then sheds a different light on it. He can now, obviously, operate the stove without fear of doing something wrong.

            IMO, this is the real crux of what’s going on here. The past connects with the present but it doesn’t define the present. It is the present that defines the past. Spiritual maturity. It’s even talked about in Romans 14. We are all at different places on the continuum.

            • So good of you, Gail. It’s not a religious blog, as you said, and you don’t even know me from Adam, and yet you put yourself out. I really appreciate it. God bless you. And now I’ll left you get back to the politics 👍

              • Thank you, Dan! God bless you, too.

                It’s always the ones who ask sincere questions that make the most stalwart Christians and sometimes even the greatest defenders of the Faith. – Good luck on your journey. It’s a fascinating one.

                P.S. If I were you, I would start with the Gospels and move backward into the Old Testament. The following book will tell you, verse by verse, what the Gospels mean and how they tie back to some of your questions. George and I literally keep this particular book on John within arms length at all times.

       (There is one for Matthew, Mark, & Luke, as well.)

                The Orthodox Study Bible is another good resource, especially for the Old Testament. It explains in bite size bits what you’re reading and often gives the context.

                You’ll probably hear a lot about the Holy Fathers. I can’t tell you how many books I bought when I was first becoming acquainted with the Church! I have a library that’s literally full of them. You’ll hear people say, “The Holy Fathers are the Church!” But before you have some context, they’re difficult to understand. None of the Holy Fathers ever dreamed their words would replace having a priest and being in a parish.

                Is it easy? Not at first.
                Is it strange? It certainly can be for converts.
                Do you get used to it? That’s the plan. Yes.
                Do you learn how to be Orthodox within the context of being with other Orthodox people? Absolutely.
                Once you acclimate, do you ever decide to leave? It’s happened but to very, very few. People have found you can leave the Church, but you cannot stop being Orthodox.

                Keep in contact, Dan. Email us off line if you need to. We can often find resources for people.

              • George Michalopulos says

                We do culture and religion, as it relates to geopolitics! Thanks for your kind words

                • Speaking of religion and geopolitics, could you do a post on the religious geopolitical situation in Ukraine in light of the inevitable Russian victory, and what it ultimately means for patriarch Bartholomew.

                  I sent Gail an email with a piece that I wrote concerning the ecumenical patriarchate but it has less to do with geopolitics and more to do on religion, so it would be interesting to see the geopolitical aspect, which I am not as big of an expert on as you or Misha

      • “So Allah is no mere idol from Roman times.”


        The “Allah” of the Muslims, though not portrayed or worshipped in statuary, is an idol nonetheless, for anything visible or invisible that usurps the place of the One true God in the hearts of men is an idol.

        “Allah is a God who is the exact opposite of the God that we proclaim as the Greatest.”

        Perhaps this was merely unintended phraseology on your part , but the ‘Allah’ of the Muslims is no God at all. A demon, perhaps, and thus a ‘god,’ but not an opposing God, for God the Holy Trinity alone is uncreated and created all things – even the demon(s) who masquerade as ‘Allah.’ (see note below).

        “The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof.”

        All things were made good by God, and thus all things, including all foods, are good and are the gifts of God given to us by Him to be received with thanksgiving. Yes, the demons seek to corrupt all that is good, but it is only our cooperation that allows creation to become corrupted. As priests of creation, we are called to redeem it – all of it – by offering it back to God in/with thanksgiving.

        “The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. And God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth.”

        Meat sacrificed to idols (or dedicated to idols) is “sanctified by the word of God and prayer,” as the Apostle says. This is the knowledge of which Paul speaks in 1 Corinthians. But as he also says, none of us should violate our own conscience. Neither ought we to flaunt our knowledge to the detriment of the consciences of others around us.

        Bottom line: If it disturbs your conscience, don’t eat it. If it doesn’t disturb your conscience but you know it bothers that of others, don’t eat it while knowing they know you are eating it. Otherwise, give thanks for it as the gift of God that it is, ask His blessing upon it, and enjoy. For by doing so we ‘enable’ (as it were) creation to be what God made it to be.

        Note: The word Allah is simply Arabic for “God.” Even Arabic Christians use this word for God the Holy Trinity.