Memo of Christian Zionist White House Meeting Surfaces

The Village Voice carries a piece on Pastor Robert G Upton and the Christian Zionist Apostolic Congress, who were the subject of this blog a couple of weeks ago. According to the report, the Voice has picked up a confidential memo signed by Upton in which he describes a meeting between a delegation from the Congress and White House staff, including National Security Council Middle East director Elliot Abrams. Three weeks before Bush’s recent endorsement of Ariel Sharon’s latest plan, Abrams told the group that (quoting the memo itself):

the Gaza Strip had no significant Biblical influence such as Joseph’s tomb or Rachel’s tomb and therefore is a piece of land that can be sacrificed for the cause of peace.

The Voice spoke to National Security Council spokesman Frederick Jones to confirm:

When asked whose job it is in the administration to study the Bible to discern what parts of Israel were or weren’t acceptable sacrifices for peace, Jones said that his [i.e. Abrams’s] previous statements had been off-the-record.

White House political director Matt Schlapp, who was also at the meeting, is reported as having stated (again from the memo directly) “that the Presidents [sic] Administration and current Government is engaged in cultural, economical, and social struggle on every level” in relation to gay marriage, and Tim Goeglein, White House deputy director of public liaison, asked the group to “Pray, pray, pray, pray.”

The Voice also obtained a report that showed that Apostolic Congress representative Kim Johnson was undertaking illegal missionary work in Israel, and that Johnson believed herself to be under spiritual attack after coming near to a Harry Potter book.

Abrams (best remembered as an Iran-Contra conspirator and perjurer) is a religious Jew, so we can be confident that his Biblical reference point is his genuine perspective rather than just a sop to some Christians. The Voice treads familiar ground with the “Christian Zionist/Israeli alliance” angle, but declines to mention another interesting aspect to the story: Upton and friends are anti-Trinitarian Oneness Pentecostals, while most Christians see the Trinity as non-negotiable. Yet Upton is able to work alongside the likes of Ed McEteer without any controversy.

The Voice also fails to note that a previous Congress delegation met with Karl Rove last year, after which it was reported that:

Pastor Upton…posed questions about the war with Iraq. Due to the nature of Mr. Rove’s answers, we cannot write his answers to all these questions.

2 Responses

  1. […] UPDATE (20 May): The Village Voice has a piece on the Congress’s more recent meeting with various White House officials. It’s discussed on my blog today. […]

  2. […] I looked at Brog here, and at previous White House meetings with Christian Zionist lobby groups here. […]

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