Saturday, November 04, 2006

Katherine Harris Asks "Father God" To Convert the Jews to Christianity

Katherine Harris prays that "Father God" will convert Jews to Christianity -- or to voting Republican, if you believe her people:

U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris, who has made past comments that raised questions about her religious sensitivity, prayed in a telephone prayer service recently that God would "bring the hearts and minds of our Jewish brothers and sisters into alignment."

A Harris spokeswoman said Friday that the Longboat Key Republican, who has advocated electing Christian officeholders, was talking about converting Jews to vote Republican, not to Christianity.
Her Oct. 3 comments about Jews took place during an "Awaken the Nation" conference call prayer service held by Ken Malone, senior pastor of Lighthouse World Outreach in Davenport.

His Web site says the ministry has an "apostolic governmental" role and seeks to "shift the government and courts of our nation." Florida, he says, is a "forerunner to the nation" in that mission.

Malone's organization has set up a series of telephone prayer services that involve people he refers to as "prophetic intercessors" and "prophetic teachers."

The recording of the one involving Harris has disappeared from the site since The Tampa Tribune asked her campaign about it Friday.

In a short speech and later a prayer on the conference call, Harris said, "Florida is key with regard to a shift in this nation, and no doubt these elections in Florida are key as well. That is why there is such spiritual warfare."
In a prayer at the end of the conference call, she sought God's help to bring those goals about.

"And Father, awaken our churches now," she prayed. "Treat the pastors' hearts so that those who think there's no place for government, have them understand kingdom government, and how they need to be involved in the governance on this earth because God is our governance."

She added, "And Father God, right now on the day after the Jewish new year, Father, after the day after atonement, as they enter into their new year, Father God, I just pray that you would bring the hearts and minds of our Jewish brothers and sisters into alignment." She prayed for the safety of Israel, "your sacred nation, Father."

She closed by saying that after the coming "shift" or revival, "Once again we'll rejoice, rejoice with your Son and bring this nation into alignment with your government with your kingdom principals and authority."

Campaign spokeswoman Jennifer Marks said Harris' reference to alignment of Jews meant that "the Jewish community historically voted Democratic. She was expressing her hope that the Jewish voters will recognize that she shares their ethics and values."

She doesn't share my ethics and values, and thank God I don't share hers.

Harris's claim that she was asking God to make Jews vote Republican is asinine on its face. Let's set aside the fact that anyone who believes that there is any intersection at all between partisan politics and God, or divinity, or the One -- whatever word works for you -- is a fool. To ask us to believe that's what Harris meant is to invite us to consider Harris a moron. Which of course she is, but that's probably not how her people want us to think of her.

The fact is that this is not the first time Christion fundamentalists have called for the conversion of Jews in an official and public forum. In 1996, the Southern Baptist Convention published a "Resolution on Jewish Evangelism" that declared it essential for Jews to "come to their Messiah, Jesus" and urged Christians to do everything in their power to achieve that goal:

WHEREAS, Jesus commanded that "repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem" (Lk. 24:47); and

WHEREAS, Our evangelistic efforts have largely neglected the Jewish people, both at home and abroad; and

WHEREAS, We are indebted to the Jewish people, through whom we have received the Scriptures and our Savior, the Messiah of Israel, and "they are beloved for the sake of the fathers" (Rom. 11:28, b); and

WHEREAS, There has been an organized effort on the part of some either to deny that Jewish people need to come to their Messiah, Jesus, to be saved; or to claim, for whatever reason, that Christians have neither right nor obligation to proclaim the gospel to the Jewish people; and

WHEREAS, There is evidence of a growing responsiveness among the Jewish people in some areas of our nation and our world; now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED, That we, the messengers of the Southern Baptist Convention, meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, June 11-13, 1996, reaffirm that we are not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek (Rom. 1 :16); and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That we recommit ourselves to prayer, especially for the salvation of the Jewish people as well as for the salvation of "every kindred and tongue and people and nation" (Rev. 5:9; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, That we direct our energies and resources toward the proclamation of the gospel to the Jewish people.

Three years later, in November 1999 -- during the High Holidays -- the SBC's International Mission Board created "prayer guides" for Christians to use in "praying" for the conversion of the Jewish people:

Southern Baptists, whose 1996 Resolution on Jewish Evangelism provoked anger and charges of anti-Semitism, are once again at the center of a controversy over whether Jews may come to God only through Christ.

The recent protests against the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) began after the denomination's International Mission Board published a booklet in September titled Days of Awe: Prayer for Jews. "The Bible is clear in giving Christ's followers guidance regarding the necessity of sharing the gospel with the Jews," the booklet states, urging special prayers during the first 10 days of the Jewish calendar, from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur.

The prayer guides have prompted heated responses from the American Jewish community. "It is pure arrogance for any one religion to assume that they hold the truth," says Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League. "The call to prayer among Southern Baptists is doubly offensive and disrespectful in light of the High Holidays."

Now, Katherine Harris -- again, at the most sacred time in the Jewish calendar -- asks God to "bring the hearts and minds of our Jewish brothers and sisters into alignment."

John at AMERICAblog has the audio tape.

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