Sunday, June 8, 2008

Oklahoma Family Policy Council Pushes NeoCon Agenda

The Oklahoma Family Policy Council appears to be a major supporter of the Neoconservative agenda in Oklahoma. Recent publications from OFPC and communication with the two people most responsible for its views lead me to this conclusion. I'm publishing these thoughts in hopes that other OFPC supporters who agree with me that they have expanded their mission beyond promoting and protecting Oklahoma families will express their views with Mike Jestes, the Executive Director, in hopes of encouraging them to keep their focus on the mission so many of us have supported previously.

I’ve been a long-time supporter of most of what OFPC has done since its inception. Indeed, I’ve directed substantial monetary contributions their way. Having started and run a state-level public policy institute myself in the 1999, I’m a big supporter of the whole idea.

But over the last two years I’ve noticed some disturbing advocacy that goes beyond their stated mission “to strengthen families, to educate Oklahomans on public policy as it impacts the family, to encourage responsible citizenship, to restore traditional, Judeo-Christian principles in American public policy, and to create a healthy, "family-friendly" culture in Oklahoma.

Specifically, the OFPC has taken positions supporting the war against Iraq as well as cooperating in an effort to build Christian support for the State of Israel. Whether one agrees with their positions, these issues are clearly beyond the scope of building and protecting families in Oklahoma.

I expressed my concerns in emails and in person to both Mike Jestes, the Executive Director, and David Dunn, Research Director, most recently responding to their May 22 newsletter. Specifically, I was questioning and objecting to the inclusion of a news item that mentioned the US House of Representatives rejecting some funding for the wars with, and occupations of, Iraq and Afghanistan. Moreover, they re-cycled information whose clear intent was to minimize the negative impact these wars are having on our economy.

David Dunn’s response, while gracious, denied taking a position on the wars (then why publish information about a war funding amendment that failed, along with the gratuitous information that Mary Fallin voted for it?). I’m not publishing Dunn’s letter since I have not asked for his permission, but I’ll certainly let him submit it or anything else in response to this posting.

Dunn also brought up their upcoming support for an event to honor Israel. I thought he meant previous events, but their June 5 newsletter has a big announcement about the June 29 “Night to Honor Israel.” After my previous email (posted below), I was floored to see this. But obviously, OFPC has made some kind of alliance with John Hagee’s Christians United for Israel (CUFI appears to be a Christaian fundamentalist counterpart to AIPAC, the influential Israeli lobby that saw McCain, Obama and Clinton groveling before them last week to see who could be the most belligerent toward Iran.)

Not only does showing “support” for any state or country have nothing whatsoever to do with strengthening families, by so doing OFPC is using their credibility built up over 18 years to make uninformed Christians think they should also be supporting the State of Israel. To me that is a fraudulent misuse of their good name that helps keep Christians deceived into supporting the State of Israel. Moreover, coupled with their support of the Middle Eastern wars, helps persuade Christians there is something “Christian” about supporting the Neoconservative agenda. And the Neoconservatives are becoming more and more well known for hijacking the Republican Party to promote an agenda that flies in the face of the US Constitution and American tradition. See the articles below:

What Became of Conservatives? – Paul Craig Roberts
“Conservatives have been won around to the old liberal view that as long as government power is in their hands, there is no reason to fear it or to limit it. Thus, the Patriot Act . . . Thus, preemptive war. . . There is nothing conservative about these positions. To label them conservative is to make the same error as labeling the 1930s German Brown shirts conservative.”

We’ve Been Neo-Conned – Rep. Ron Paul, MD
The most pro-liberty Member of Congress provides a comprehensive look at how the Neocons co-opted the modern-day, limited government movement.

Neocon Perfidy – Paul Craig Roberts
A review of Pat Buchanan’s book, “Where the Right Went Wrong.”
“The neocons have declared America at war with 1 billion Muslims who have done us no harm. Simultaneously, the neocons destroyed our traditional alliances. Instead of isolating a terrorist enemy, neocons have isolated America.”

Now for the text of my email to OFPC, slightly edited for publication:

“Being quite familiar with the methods of influencing people in the culture wars, I find your protests of innocence about the benign effects of including "informational" pieces about Israel and the Iraq war more than a little bit disingenuous. As anyone familiar with media knows, the inclusion or exclusion of anything in a piece of work is (or should be) done with careful thought as to the impact on the consumer of the media.

OFPC has built a lot of credibility, and deservedly so, with Oklahomans for its extensive work on pro-family issues over the years. Indeed, I've previously directed thousands of dollars toward support of your activities. But to use that credibility to promote non-family issues, especially those that can be argued are destructive of families, is a breach of the trust given by those who have supported you in the past.

The case in point: one would be hard pressed to argue that a strong national defense is not essential to the security necessary to raise families in peace and to preserve prosperity. However, support for the Iraq war does not follow from this premise. It can easily, and effectively, be argued that the Iraq war is destructive of those ends, not just for American families, but also for those families throughout the Middle East. Only a GOP partisan in complete denial would today take the position that the war was not promoted on lies and deception.

The Iraq invasion was uncalled for, against American tradition and Christian "just war" theory, and has resulted in untold misery, death and destruction in Iraq. If we were to put a halt to it today, the unknown future consequences in that area, as well as for the United States, are still quite unpredictable. I understand the desire for revenge and justice can persist for many generations in the Islamic culture, and we've given millions of Muslims reason for revenge. Moreover, the war's estimated total costs will be $3-5 Trillion, not to mention over 4,000 families shattered by unnecessary deaths, tens of thousands by unnecessary maimings, roaring inflation which will drastically lower FAMILY living standards, and helped erect a police state." Not very pro-family, is it?

Senator Coburn's article, which you referenced, merely echoed an email circulating the internet for months. The whole purpose is to minimize, rationalize and justify the costs of the war.

Of course Federal spending is out of control and financial collapse is in America's future, maybe quite near future. The unfunded liabilities of our social programs assure that. But to say that eliminating earmarks could pay for the war, while true, is still a way to rationalize something that is destructive of families.

And what place does the preceding snippet about "the House rejected an amendment to the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act" have to do with "family" policy? What possible reason can there be to add those two paragraphs, including the extraneous information that Mary Fallin supported the amendment, if OFPC were not supporting funding for extension of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (and for Mary Fallin)? Inclusion of that information sticks out like a sore thumb.

The other item you brought up is also extraneous to family policy. That is the promotion of pro-Israel events. I am well aware of the well-honed propaganda campaign to bind the state of Israel and the United States at the hip. Indeed, that is one of the major complaints against us in the Islamic world.

I could write for hours about this, but I won't. Suffice it to say that you are again mis-using your credibility by furthering the notion that God-fearing, Christian conservative, pro-family people should as part of their world view be supporting the state of Israel. I don't recall your announcing events to "honor" other nations around the world. Christian Zionism is a theological error embraced by far too many Christians who mistakenly equate the creation of the Israeli state in 1948 with the promises of God to Israel, and "those who bless Israel," in the Bible. As one who was saved in a prophecy seminar, I came later to realize that the Church is the heir of the blessings formerly reserved for Israel, and IS spiritual Israel. IT is a common mis-application of scripture to apply those promises to the modern State of Israel.

To propagate Christian Zionism is worse than taking the "blue pill." You are dispensing the "blue pill" and keeping Christians in bondage to this deception. I worked through this theologically long ago, and have studied the propagation and political agenda behind these ideas as a side interest since then. The recent studies about the "Israel lobby" have confirmed this. In fact, support for Israel has become, in my opinion, the new "third rail" of politics.

I've read about the current national campaign to buttress and build support for Israel. So when OFPC started pushing events to "honor Israel" I responded quickly. Sorry, your protests of innocence about what you are doing sound a little bit too hollow. After all, you're in the business of influencing public opinion, aren't you?

Support for the state of Israel and endless wars and domination of the Middle East are at the core of the NeoCon agenda. The NeoCons have taken over the GOP and hijacked American foreign policy. Christians, duped into supporting the state of Israel because of bad theology and incessant propaganda, and terrorized into supporting a "war against terror," are the base of the NeoCons support. The OFPC has played its part in keeping this base intact. The NeoCon agenda is ultimately destructive of Constitutional freedom and the United States, and therefore, destructive of American families.

As long as you participate in promoting an agenda and worldview that are ultimately anti-family, I can no longer support the OFPC.

If you want to get together and discuss any of the issues I've raised, I'll be happy to make the time for you.


Porter Davis”


Alex Pimberton said...

Porter, you have touched on a lively topic in your criticism of Zionism as an orthodox Biblical position. If I may, I’d like to comment on this portion of your tome.

The term "Judeo-Christian" reflects the mistaken perception that today’s Jewish community is synonymous with the Israel whose history is recorded in the Bible and which features men like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and even Simeon of Luke 2:25. The Jewish community, under the leadership of its Scribes and Pharisees, was cut off from the tree of Israel following a long series of warnings through-out the Old Testament, ending with the fulfillment of Christ’s own prophecy (Luke 20:16) of the wicked tenants. God executed this terminal judgment when Roman armies destroyed Jerusalem in 70 AD, an event Christ spoke of in Luke 21:24. The formal rejection of the Son of God at His incarnation introduced the maturing of God’s promise to Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3). At this point, the main-line Jewish community was cut off from the tree of God’s people, leaving only faithful Israel intact. This remnant included covenantally faithful descendants of the seed of Abraham whose notables include the gospel writer, Matthew, Joseph of Arimethea, and the Apostle Paul. Added in a more formal way than before, and in a larger way than before, were the nations to whom God referred in His promises to Abraham. The continuity from Genesis to Revelation is in no way severed by the fulfillment of these promises to Abraham. The continuity is made possible by the ministry of Christ and the Pentecostal experience as stressed by Paul in Galatians 3:14 & 29. "Modern day Israel" is no longer a part of the prophetically significant passages which tie spiritual Israel to Divine blessing. The promise of land to Abraham is a typological reference to the entire earth and is the inheritance of His people, a point made clear by Paul in Romans 4:13. Today’s Israeli nation is no different Biblically than any other nation to whom God referred in making His promise to Abraham. .

God’s people, who make up the Universal Church, are referenced from Genesis to Revelation beginning with Adam and ending with the New Jerusalem. When translating the Hebrew Bible into the Greek language of the day, Hebrew scholars used the familiar Ekklesia when dealing with references to the gathering of God’s people. This Greek term was utilized by both Jesus and the Apostle Paul as they spoke of the people of God. The American evangelical church is very familiar with this term the English-speaking world calls the “Church”. Hence, Pentecost represents the transformation of the church, not its inception. Subsequent to Pentecost, the ministry of the Apostle Paul carried Abraham’s Gospel to all the nations of earth.

Hence, I appreciate your comments about the error of the modern day evangelical's infatuation with Zionism. I long for the day of spiritual renewal when the people of God around the world realize they have been saved by virtue of Christ’s work as He fulfilled His ancient promises to Israel and grafted gentiles into the only tree that has ever been saved. Spiritual Israel (Romans 2:28, 29), the gathered people of God and known for thousands of years as Ekklesia, the church, is the recipient of all God’s promises in Christ from Adam to the end of the age.

Porter Davis said...

Alex: I wholeheartedly agree with your post. Unfortunately, too many Christians have swallowed Hal Lindsey's "Late Great Planet Earth" dispensationalist view of eschatology. It is a big contributor not only to their being so easily manipulated by the Zionist message, but also to the ineffectiveness of the Church today.

D. Frank Robinson said...

Much of the mongering for a general war in the Middle East seems premised on the assumption that the US-Israel coalition cannot possibly lose. It can. And the result would not necessarily mean the immediate fall of the U.S.. It could cause the immediate destruction of Israel and the complete repudiation of constitutionalism in the U.S.

In other words, everybody loses something and the people of the U.S. and Israel will not be equal losers. The blowback on Israel will be total in a general Middle East War.

Real friends of Israel would never support such a high risk gamble. It strikes me as not only an absurd policy, but insanely anti-Jewish in its implications.

Cui bono globally? Russia and China most likely.