Well known is the old English adage that Jesus is an Englishman. But the quaint charm of an assertion like that is missing entirely when one of Donald Trump’s supporters says Jesus wasn’t a Jew.
It is a view altogether too reminiscent of Hitler’s conception of Jesus as an “Aryan fighter” who “who took up His position against Jewry.”
This new claim comes from Thomas Robb, whom the SPLC describes as “an Arkansas-based Christian Identity pastor and head of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, which he took over in the 1980s after the departure of David Duke.”
According to Robb, appearing on “The Alan Colmes Show” on Fox Radio Wednesday, Jesus was not a Jew. “He was an Israelite.” If that distinction seems bizarre, read on.
Now keep in mind, Robb told Colmes that Trump is “the pick of the litter” in this year’s election cycle. Because white supremacy.
Even Evangelicals, many of them, acknowledge, at least intellectually, that Jesus was a Jew. As Professor Harold W. Attridge wrote at PBS’ Frontline, Jesus “was born, lived, and died as a Jew” and his “identity cannot be understood apart from his Jewishness.”
Now sure, we can say, well, you could be a Greek or a Roman and still be a Jew, at least in religious terms. The ancient world was full of converts to Judaism. And this issue came up when Colmes said Jesus’ Jewishness was indisputable.
“Whatever you say, whatever you say. It is a matter of dispute, it is a matter of dispute. He was an Israelite. The people that are today called Jews are not Israelites, they’re Khazars.”
The Khazars, for the record, were a Turkic people who lived mostly north of the Caucasus in what is now the Ukraine and Southern Russia. They were originally pagans but converted to Judaism (the royalty and elites, at least) in the 8th century of the Common Era. The extent of this conversion is unknown and though it is historically attested, it is problematic.
This whole alleged tie-in to the Khazars is part of the “Christian Identity” movement but emerged originally in England as “British Israelism” in the 19th century with so much other 19th century nonsense – like the rapture and homosexuality.
“The core of this system,” as the ADL explains, “was that white Europeans were descended from the Israelite people of the Bible: this was their true “identity.” White Europeans became White Americans with obvious results for people like Robb.
You see where the problem is, no doubt: Robb is telling us that Jesus was not really a Jew but that he and other White European Americans are – and are therefore the real chosen people. Not only that, but because Jews are not Semites, there is no such thing as antisemitism.
Jesus, of course, came from Galilee in the first century of the Common Era. The whole idea that Eastern Europe’s Ashkenazi Jews are descended from Khazars has now been genetically disproved, and even if they were, that would not make Jesus a Khazar.
Anyway, Colmes told Robb he was addressing Jesus’ religion, and said that “Israelite” was not a religion. He told Robb that furthermore, he didn’t know of any Christians who did not think Jesus was Jewish.
Which is when Robb went off the deep end:
“Even if you’re right about everything you say, which I contest — but even if you are right about everything you say, that does not justify the genocide that is affecting our people today. I’m referring to white genocide. I don’t know by whom — it doesn’t matter by whom.”
It is easy to see why Robb supports Trump. He can combat white genocide by beating up black protesters at Trump events. It’s a match made in whatever heaven Robb thinks awaits him.
It is important to observe here that this Khazar nonsense – and therefore antisemitism – was very much a part of the Oregon standoff, as the ADL noted:
3:23 PM (EST) Dave Fry, an Ohio resident still occupying the wildlife refuge after the arrests of several cohorts yesterday made anti-Semitic comments in his live feed at the refuge. Fry spoke about “fake Jews,” a term used by a number of white supremacists and conspiracy theorists who believe that many people who call themselves Jews today are not truly Jewish but are descended from a race of people called the Khazars. Drumming up anti-Semitic myths, Fry claimed that “fake Jews” believe “they’re superior to people,” are “evil” and “do a lot of evil things with their money.”
This is the sort of information not generally offered by the mainstream media in talking about domestic terrorism. It isn’t about just politics, or even race, but ancient Christian stereotypes about Jews with a lot of 19th century pseudoscience thrown in.
All those people now chanting for Cliven Bundy’s release are, whether they know it or not, championing antisemitism.
Donald Trump has become the inheritor and champion of all this. There is a reason white supremacists have rallied around him, and why he has not really disavowed them, however often he uses the term to deflect criticism.
Far from simply de-legitimizing liberal politics, Donald Trump is working to delegitimize not only other ethnicities but other religions. His is the ultimate white patriarchy, a sort of nation-wide Posse Comitatus, if you remember them from the days before they became today’s “patriot” militia movement.
It isn’t a pretty picture, and there is no way to sugarcoat the fact that Trump is exactly what his critics say he is, and more. He is the living embodiment of all that is ugly in racist, sexist ideology.
One thing is for certain, with people like Robb in his corner, Donald Trump is not angling to make America great.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.