The Culture Wars, Enemy of Revival

In the United States the two sides of the “culture wars” are the politically correct Left and the conservative Right, which includes the Religious Right of evangelical Christians, and the war is over moral and social issues, such as gay rights, abortion, the arts and more.

Australia has fewer practising Christians than the United States, so we are not likely to see the emergence of a Religious Right with a similar influence as in the United States.

Our version of the culture wars is nowhere near as bitter as the United States’. For example, Bob Brown, the former leader of the Greens, Australia’s third largest political party, is an atheist homosexual and 99% of Australian Christians couldn’t care. If Bob Brown were in American politics, some  fundamentalist Christians would accuse him of being the Antichrist.

I used to be more interested in Christian involvement in politics and the culture wars. I have always been disillusioned with both sides of politics in Australia which would not represent the wishes of those who elected them. I used to identify with the Far Right of Australian politics (or the “freedom movement” as they like to call themselves), but without the racism, anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial.

I had hopes that a new genuinely conservative political movement would emerge in Australia which would introduce reforms like Citizens’ Initiated Referenda or Voter’ Veto which would ensure that legislation which did not have the support of the majority of the voters could be overturned in a referendum.

The only mainstream political party I identified with was the National Party. When I was in first year university in 1983, I used to graffiti “Joh for PM” on the desks. Joh Bjekle-Petersen was the controversial National Party premier of Queensland for many years. In 1987 there was a “Joh for PM” campaign which ended in disaster and kept the Coalition out of government. I can’t help but think I’m somehow responsible for this and the idea from my graffiti somehow made it to Queensland.

In 1994 to 1996 the National Party set up in Tasmania and I was President of the Esk Branch and State Chairman of the Policy Committee. The Tasmanian Nationals imploded and failed spectacularly at the 1996 State and Federal elections. Part of the problem was that some people were treating the party as a career move. They would not have been good enough to get preselected for the Liberal Party, so they were trying the Nationals. They were more concerned with promoting themselves, rather than promoting the Party and co-operating with other members whom they viewed as the competition. This attitude was even more worrying since there were so many Christians in the Tasmanian Nationals.

I used to be interested in conspiracy theories. Being a member of the National Party helped break their hold over me because it enabled me to see how politics really worked, rather than the simplistic view that everything is part of a conspiracy and nothing happens by accident. In the Nationals I met and had conversations with several Federal politicians. It should take a high level of intelligence to be part of a conspiracy to subvert democracy and install a world government and some of these politicians simply did not have the intelligence to part of such a conspiracy.

After all, do all the people, who believe George W. Bush was behind the 9/11 attacks, really think he could have managed to avoid blurting out that he did it?

Since 1996 there has been One Nation, Australia First, Tasmania First,  Katter’s Australia Party, Palmer United Australia Party and the Jacqui Lambie Network and similar parties which took votes from each other and failed to achieve any long term results.

With all due respect to those involved, I doubt that an alternative political party will be able to emerge in Australia to save us from the Liberals, ALP and Greens. Many (most?) voters in Australia are disillusioned with the major parties, but they keep voting for them because they want stable government rather than a minority government or a coalition of smaller parties or independents which might actually represent the interests of their electorates.

This is arguably for the best since political solutions, trying to turn the clock back to a world which no longer exists, are not the answer to the problems facing Australia and the United States.

Some people accuse the Religious Right of wanting to set up a theocracy where Christians run the government and impose Christian values on the rest of the nation. This may be true for some, but in his book God’s Politics Jim Wallis (not to be confused with Jim Wallace of the Australian Christian Lobby) suggests they are more likely to be concerned about protecting their children from the moral decline in society (Jim Wallis, God’s Politics, Lion Hudson, Oxford, 2005, p 322-324)

The problem is real. Western society is in moral decline, but their solution is wrong. After all, the Religious Right has been around for over 30 years in the United States, but they have not succeeded in stopping abortion, family breakdown, the gay agenda, pornography and other problems. In fact, they are getting worse. It is not working.

Jesus did not found a political movement. He did not give us a political ideology called “family values” which the church is to impose on society. Jesus gave us good news that although we are all sinners, we are forgiven and reconciled to God through his death and resurrection.

Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight.” (John 18:36) Does “fight” include the non-violent, but confrontational and bitter, struggles of the culture wars?

Instead, the Religious Right has turned Christianity into one side of a political debate. They seem to have forgotten that those on the other side are not the enemy, but, like themselves, sinners who need God’s grace and mercy.

Unfortunately, many of them are rejecting Jesus, but not because they are rejecting the Gospel. They are rejecting the right-wing moralist political agenda which many Christians are promoting as Christianity. I saw an example in the 2005 documentary Protocols of Zion where, about 14 minutes in, the interviewer Marc Levin was speaking to two protesters at a rally in New York who said words to the effect of, “If George W. Bush is a Christian, I would rather go to hell.”

Do the Religious Right think Jesus is pleased with their political activity if it causes people to reject the salvation made possible by his death? Are any political goals worth turning people off the Gospel?

There have been other periods of moral decline in the West, such as the early 18th Century and early 19th Century. The churches did not try to rectify these declines by getting into politics and passing laws. They repented of their sins and turned back to God, resulting in the First Great Awakening of the 18th Century and the Second Great Awakening of the 19th Century. They experienced revival and large numbers of non-Christians were converted and then society was transformed, returning to Christian values.

The pattern for revival is explained in this passage, “When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will from heaven, and forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:13-14)

Jesus said Christians are supposed to be the salt of the earth (Matthew 6:13), the preserving influence on society. If society is in moral decline, that is because the salt has lost its flavour. The Church is in moral decline because it has turned away from God.

During the 1960s and 1970s Western society began to decline morally again. This time, instead of humbling themselves, confessing their sins and turning back to God, the evangelical churches in the United States went into politics to pass laws to stem the rising tide of immorality.

They formed the Moral Majority, whose name did not exactly inspire humbleness and repentance of their sins, and which suggested their opponents were the immoral minority.

The doctrine that Jesus’ kingdom is not of this world (John 17:36) and that we are “aliens and strangers in the world” (1 Peter 2:11) seemed to have been forgotten as Christians were defending their pre-1960s world against the new world of the “secular humanists” and progressives.

They gave credence to the lie of their “secular humanist” opponents that political solutions are the answer to society’s woes, not the transforming Gospel of Jesus.

If we look at First Century Jerusalem, who would be the equivalent of the Moral Majority and the Religious Right? Would it be the early church described in Acts or would it be the Pharisees?

The Bible says there is no moral majority. We are all part of the immoral majority (Romans 3:10,23), but some of us have faith that we are forgiven through Jesus’ death. Instead, it looks like the Gospel of grace has to compete with a conservative political message. In his book Beyond Culture Wars Michael Horton writes,

“Recently, I was being interviewed by a radio station, and a man called in who said he was looking for answers and had finally decided, after many years away from church, to give it a try again. He went to a conservative church and , according to his report, heard nothing but a political speech. These are the kinds of reports I used to hear conservative preachers use to show how liberals had turned the pulpit into a soap-box for radical politics. But now we are just as worldly, just as willing to embrace other gospels. Our own people cannot name the Ten Commandments, and yet we are outraged that they are removed from public halls; vast numbers of people in the churches cannot define the Gospel in terms of justification by grace alone through faith alone, while we treat the moral and political crises and solutions as ultimate.” (Michael Horton, Beyond Culture Wars, Moody Press, Chicago, 1994, p 122-123)

Horton also writes,

“The statistics demonstrate that evangelicals are about as materialistic, self-oriented and hedonistic as the unbelievers. It is an irony that at a time when evangelicals are the most worldly themselves that they would be at such a judgemental and even self-righteous pitch. If we are living no differently from the world, what is wrong with these very things we are complaining about. If the children of believers are watching more MTV than the children of unbelievers, as one poll suggests, should we not begin in our own homes before we poke our noses into the homes of those who are not even Christians? If we want to end abortion, why don’t we start by explaining the doctrine of creation to our own congregations, since evangelicals account for one in six abortions in this country?” (Beyond Culture Wars, p 167)

Banning abortion may stop the killing of the unborn, but that would not address the deeper problem of sin in the Church which has resulted in so many evangelical Christian having abortions. The culture wars are a case of Christians trying to take the speck out of others’ eyes, while ignoring the plank in their own (Matthew 7:1-5).


Tom Sine got to the real problem in his book Cease Fire,

“Ivan Illich wrote an education classic called Deschooling Society in which he coined the term “hidden curriculum”. What is the “hidden curriculum in a Christian family in which the kids all have their own CD players, TVs. VCRs, and phones, and, when they get to be a certain age, their own cars? With each succeeding generation, Madison Avenue, the media, and pop culture are gaining greater control over our youth.”

[This was written in 1995 before the rise of smartphones and social media.]

“Do you know what I’m talking about? Every Christmas looks like the department store blew up in the living room! In this “hidden curriculum”, the clear message to the Christian young is that “things” are what matter most. Generation X has gotten the message, and many, including the Christian young, have become disciples of a celebrity culture and devotees of the religion of instant gratification. We are losing them to the new shrines of worship in America, where too many Christian families go to do their devotion – the shopping malls.”


“I am convinced that we can’t just blame modern society  for the growing sexual promiscuity of the young. part of the responsibility must also lie with Christian parents who have conditioned their young from the time they were infants to focus on meeting their own needs and desires  and get the best they can for themselves. We are raising the Christian young with a driven, acquisitive individualism that affects every facet of their lives, including the development of their sexual behaviour and their moral values.  It is very difficult for the young to discipline their sexual appetites when they are often encouraged to freely satisfy their consumer appetites with little discipline at all. they need to learn to just say no to all the seductions of secular culture, not just premarital sex.”

“For all the talk about the lordship of Jesus by evangelicals, the real message to the Christian young is to get their careers underway, their house in the suburbs (if they can afford them), and their upscale lifestyle started. Then, if have anything left over, they can follow Jesus like the older generation.”


“What has happened is that we have sold the Christian young the wrong dream. Christian families, churches, and schools have all sold them the American dream with a little Jesus overlay.”

“The real secular threat to our families is not some pack of secular humanists out there trying to do in our families. The real threat is Christian parents who unwittingly allow the aspirations and values of Enlightenment secularism to order their private world and dictate the values they pass on to the next generation.” (Tom Sine, Cease Fire, Eerdmans, Michigan, 1996, p 233-235)


Clearly, the culture wars are the enemy of revival. They appeal to pride and make those, whom Jesus loves and died for, the enemy to be defeated, and alienates them from the Gospel. They promote another Gospel (Galatians 1:8-9) of political solutions to society’s problems, rather than the Cross. They deny that sin in the lukewarm evangelical church is the problem. They divert our attention from the real solution to the West’s moral decline – for Christians to humble themselves, turn from their sins and the world’s lies, including its false solutions, and turn back to God. Then , revival, spiritual awakening and social transformation will come.


Richard Dawkins, Madalyn Murray O’Hair and Child Abuse


In The God Delusion Richard Dawkins wrote,

“Once, in the question time after a lecture in Dublin, I was asked what I thought about the widely publicized cases of sexual abuse by Catholic priests in Ireland. I replied that horrible as sexual abuse no doubt was, the damage was arguably less than the long-term psychological damage inflicted by bringing the child up Catholic in the first place.” (Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, Bantam Press, London, 2006, p 317)

He was not talking about victims of sexual abuse, but every child who was raised in a Catholic family.

While I agree that many Catholics have had bad experiences with their church, to say that simply being raised Catholic is worse than sexual abuse is absurd and offensive to victims of sexual abuse. I’m sure there are a lot of sexual abuse victims who would love to have been raised in Catholic families.

If Dawkins were correct, there would be no difference between a classroom of children in a Catholic school and a classroom of children from abusive and dysfunctional backgrounds. Any teacher will tell you this is not the case.

However, Dawkins does not have a problem with only the Catholic Church. He quotes the psychologist Nicholas Humphrey saying,

“So we should no more allow parents to teach their children to believe, for example, in the literal truth of the Bible or that planets rule their lives, than we should allow parents to knock their children’s teeth out or lock them in a dungeon.” (The God Delusion, p 326)

Dawkins and Humphrey think that if Christian parents raise their children to believe the Bible is true, this is the moral equivalent of knocking their teeth out. This is intolerant demonization of those who do not share their beliefs. What is the alternative? Are they supposed to raise them according to what Richard Dawkins believes?


Apart from murder, accusing someone of child abuse is about as bad as you can get in Western society. Physical and sexual abuse of children are crimes and its perpetrators belong in jail. If Dawkins believes Christian parents, who bring up their children as Christians, are worse than paedophiles, does he think they should all be in jail? He seems to be advocating a return to the policies of the Soviet Union where it was illegal for Christian parents to teach their children “the literal truth of the Bible.” In The Delusion of DisbeliefDavid Aikman writes about the persecution of Christians in the Soviet Union,

“As happened under the rule of every single atheist regime henceforth, the grounds for arresting people of faith seldom were what they themselves believed privately; rather, they were arrested on the grounds of what they were teaching their children and others. According to Solzhenitsyn in The Gulag Archipelagounder the Soviet penal code Article 58-10, which dealt with”counter-revolutionary agitation and propaganda” and went into effect in 1927, teaching a child about religious belief was a crime, and the sentence for instructing son or daughter in the Lord’s Prayer, for example, was ten years in the gulag.” (David Aikman, The Delusion of Disbelief, Saltriver, Illinois, 2008, p 111-112)

In support of his charges of religious abuse, Dawkins cites some Catholics, the Exclusive Brethren, the Amish, Pastor Keenan Roberts and his travelling Hell House show (which I would not have heard of if it were not for Dawkins) and an Incan girl who was sacrificed 500 years ago (The God Delusion, p 319-331). I agree these examples could be called child abuse, but what about all the children who were raised by Christian parents and grew up to be happy and well-adjusted adult believers?

Dawkins used the same technique in the 2006 documentary The Root of All Evil? where he travelled around the world and found some obnoxious religious extremists to interview, as though everybody, who believed in God, was like them. These included Michael Bray, a supporter of a pro-lifer who killed an abortionist. In The God Delusion Dawkins contrasted opponents of abortion, who kill abortionists, with supporters of abortion as though they were the only two choices – nothing about the 99% of pro-lifers who think the concept of pro-lifers, who kill, is absurd (The God Delusion, p 296)


Dawkins did interview Alister McGrath for The Root of All Evil? . McGrath is an Oxford professor with qualifications in theology and science. One would think that he would have something intelligent to say on the issues which Dawkins raises.

However, McGrath does not appear in the documentary. In an article “Do stop behaving as if you are God, Professor Dawkins”, McGrath explains,

“Most of us are aware that we hold many beliefs we cannot prove to be true. It reminds us that we need to treat those who disagree with us with intellectual respect, rather than dismissing them – as Dawkins does –as liars, knaves and charlatans.

But when I debated these points with him, Dawkins seemed uncomfortable. I was not surprised to be told my contribution was to be cut.

The Root of All Evil? was subsequently panned for its blatant unfairness. Where, the critics asked, was a responsible, informed Christian response to Dawkins? The answer: on the cutting –room floor.”

Destroying the evidence which disproves your hypothesis –this is the atheist idea of science.

Someone reading The God Delusion might suspect it is really a satire, written by a Christian to send up atheism and make it appear absurd. I’m afraid not.

Dawkins was an Oxford professor. He is not stupid. Yet, when it comes to his non-belief in God, he makes absurd arguments which anyone with some common sense will be able to see through. Likewise, I admit that many atheists are of above average intelligence, but their intelligence and critical thinking seem to go out the window and Dawkins’ flawed arguments are unquestioningly accepted. Their atheism seems to turn them stupid.


Dawkins makes the point that we should not label a child a “Christian child” or a “Muslim child” just because their parents are (The God Delusion, p 327-340). I suppose there is some truth to this. One of the differences between Christianity and”other” religions is that if you are born into a Muslim, Hindu or Buddhist family, it is assumed you are a Muslim, Hindu or Buddhist, but if you are born into a Christian family, you are not a Christian. You are dead in your sins. You have to decide to become a Christian.

In 2009 Richard Dawkins and the British Humanist Association ran a poster campaign “Please don’t Label Me” showing tow happy, well-adjusted children which they hoped would not be labelled, poisoned and abused by the influence of religion.


It turned out these two children Charlotte and Ollie Mason were from a Christian family. Apparently, they did not look like abuse victims to Richard Dawkins.

Dawkins’ approach of selecting some cases of religious child abuse is also flawed in that I can do the same thing and find cases of child abuse by atheists.

One of the United States’ most famous atheists was Madalyn Murray O’Hair who in 1960 brought a lawsuit against the Baltimore City Public School System because she objected to her son William Murray having to listen to Bible reading in school. In 1963 the Supreme Court ruled that Bible reading in schools was unconstitutional.

In his book My Life Without God William Murray portrayed his mother as a violent, angry sexual deviant, alcoholic, anti-Semite and Marxist who tried to defect to the Soviet Union but they did not want her. Murray described what was going on at home while their lawsuit was before the courts,

“To make things worse, the soapbox the media had built for Mother had caused her to become even more vehemently attached to her views, and she thought or spoke of little else. There were no breaks from her surging tide of ideas and hot words. All of this drew Grandfather and Mother into horrible, foul-mouthed fights. Their hatred for each other became so intense that one night she ordered Jon Garth and me never to speak to him again.

It was later that week that she hatched the plot to end my grandfather’s life. This plot has caused me much internal pain and misery to this very day.

Mother had decided that Grandfather was the root of all the problems of the family and that without him there would be peace and harmony in a home under her unquestioned rule. To this end she instructed me to murder my grandfather [Atheist wanted to kill her father; a psychologist would have a field day here, MN]. She told me that he was old and that no matter what he died of, it would be ruled old age or heart attack. She showed me the rat poison she had purchased and told me how much of it I needed to put in his coffee, “He’s just a rat anyway,” she said. “You put sick animals to sleep, and this is no different.”

“If you love me, you’ll do it,” she whispered to me.

I faced unbelievable conflict. I could not do this to an old man who represented the only stability I had in my life. Any meaningful relationship that could have ever existed between my mother and myself ended with her request that I commit murder for her.

I didn’t obey her, of course, but this incident only added to the strained atmosphere of our home.

Yet another incident ripped the family further apart. We were all sitting at the dining room table having dinner. As usual the conversation centered on the prayer issue. Grandfather got fed up. “This godless crusade you’re on is just a way to get your name in the papers, Madalyn,” he said.

Mother’s face turned red as she tried simultaneously to eat and argue. She sputtered every profane insult known to man at him.

Suddenly my disgust with this endless arguing at the table could not be restrained: “Why don’t you lay off him?” I shouted at Mother. “What do you care what he thinks? It won’t make any difference to your case in court! Why do you have to fight like this at home?”

She turned and just glared at me for a moment. Then she grabbed a cup of fruit cocktail and hurled its contents point-blank into my face. I wiped the juice from my face with my napkin and picked the larger chunks off my lap and shirt. I no longer could contain my anger and hurled a piece of fruit at her. This was one of the firs times I had defied her in a physical way, and my audacity inflamed her. She lunged at me, and as I tried to fend her off, she sank her teeth deeply into my arm. I cried out in pain, and as she recoiled, the blood began to ooze from several puncture wounds. Grandfather cursed her roundly and took me to the doctor for a tetanus shot.”(William J. Murray, My Life Without God, Harvest House, Oregon, 1992, p 79-81)

At least she did not tell him the Bible is true. That would have been as bad as knocking his teeth out.

I am not suggesting that all atheist parents are dysfunctional child abusers because of Madalyn Murray O’Hair. Then I would be no better than Richard Dawkins. Nevertheless, the truth about the hero of the atheist movement must be an embarrassment to the new atheists.

William Murray does not seem to have been too committed to the atheist cause at that time. His mother was using him to promote her cause,

“All I wanted to do was merge into the teenage masses at school and do my share of girl watching and chasing. But hard as I tried, Mother would not let me be normal.” (My Life Without God, p 58)

It looks like bullying and harassment from the”Christian” students, who had forgotten Jesus’ commend to love their enemies (Matthew 5:43-44), because of his mother’s crusade, turned him into a true unbeliever (My Life Without God, p 73)

After years of supporting his mother and the atheist cause, being on the run, his marriage break up and struggle with alcoholism, in 1980 Murray became a Christian. He writes,

“I drove to my apartment and read the book of the Bible written by the great physician, Luke. There I found my answer – not the book itself, but Jesus Christ. I had heard many times in various places that all one needed to do was to admit guilt and ask Jesus in. I had not made that one step, to ask Him into my heart. And I knew I must. On the morning of January 25 I got down in my knees and confessed my sins and asked Jesus into my life. God was no longer a distant “force”. I now knew Him in a personal way.

Within days my life and attitudes began to change. I read in the Bible that anything asked in Jesus’ name in prayer would be answered. My hatred began to vanish as the love of Christ took over my being. I no longer intensely hated my mother. Now I really wanted to be able to love her, whereas before I had only wanted revenge. I began to see my mother for what she truly was, a sinner, just like me. She blamed God and mankind for her personal sins and inadequacies rather than herself. She had demanded things of God, and when He had refused her demands, she fought with Him openly.

Now I looked back at the devastation. My family, and particularly my mother and myself, had left a path of ruin behind us, ruined ideals, ruined lives. We had marched over both on quest of a victory that could not be won.” (My Life Without God, p 301-302)

Atheists would point out that the reverse has happened and people, who have had abusive experiences with religious families, have become atheists. However, I have never heard of any converts to atheism being so forgiving of their abusers.

Murray wrote a letter to the Baltimore Sun,

“This story began with a letter of defiance to the editor of this paper in the fall of 1960. It is my sincere hope that the story ends with this letter of both apology and forgiveness. First, I would like to apologize to the people of the City of Baltimore for whatever part I played in removal of Bible reading and praying from the public schools of that city. I now realize the value of this great tradition and the importance it has played in the past in keeping America a moral and lawful country. I can now see the damage this removal has caused to our nation in the form of loss of faith and moral decline. Being raised as an atheist in the home of Madalyn O’Hair, I was not aware of faith or even the existence of God. As I now look back over 33 years of life wasted without faith in God, I pray only that I can, with His help, right some of the wrong and evil I have caused through my lack of faith. Our nation, our people, now face a trying time of moral chaos. It is only with a return to our traditional values and our faith in God that we will be able to survive as a people. If it were within my personal power to help return this nation to its rightful place by placing God back in the classroom, I would do so. I would also like to publicly forgive those who assaulted me and destroyed my property during those years that the case of Murray vs. Curlett moved through the courts. I do this as I know that a loving God has already forgiven them.” (My Life Without God, p 303-304)

His charming mother commented, “One could call this a postnatal abortion on the part of the mother, I guess. I repudiate him entirely and completely for now and all times … he is beyond human forgiveness.”

In 1995 Madalyn, her son Jon Murray and William Murray’s daughter Robin Murray O’Hair disappeared. In 2001 it was learned that they had been kidnapped, tortured, murdered and dismembered by David Waters, an American Atheists employee.

Reading about Madalyn Murray O’Hair’s life, I am reminded of Paul’s warning,

“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.” (Galatians 6:7-8)

I once heard a joke, “Why doesn’t God do anything about the shootings in American schools?” “Because God isn’t allowed in schools.”

William Murray believed that the moral decline in American schools and society as a whole since the 1960s could be attributed to his mother’s campaign (My Life WithoutGod, p 303-304). Many new atheists believe that if we got rid of religion, nearly all our problems would go away and we would all be nicer people. The tragedy of Madalyn Murray O’Hair shows this is not true.

Jews, Edomites and Khazars


In the Old Testament God gave promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob  that He would bless, prosper and multiply their descendants (Genesis 12:1-3, 15:1-20, 26:1-5, 17:1-16, 22:17-18, 28:13-15, 35:10-12). Many modern anti-Semites argue that these promises do not apply to modern Jews who they claim are not the descendants of Jacob, the Israelites of the Old Testament. The Jews are supposedly either Khazars or Edomites or both.


British-Israelites believe the British and other Western European nations are descendants of the “lost tribes” from the northern kingdom of Israel which was conquered and deported by the Assyrians in the 8th century BC.

Some British-Israelites believe the Jews are their fellow Israelites, descendants of Jacob. There is even a Jewish British-Israelite, Yair Davdiy.

Other British-Israelites, who are usually part of the Christian Identity movement which believes Jesus only died for white people, believe the Jews are not descendants of Jacob, but Edomites, descendants of his brother Esau.

Their main evidence for this belief is that around 120 BC John  Hyrcanus, the Jewish high priest forced the Edomites to convert to Judaism. The Jewish historian Josephus writes,

“Hyrcanus took also Dora and Marissa, cities of Idumea, and subdued all the Idumeans; and permitted them to stay in that country , if they would circumcise their genitals, and make use of the laws of the Jews; and they were so desirous of  living in the country  of their forefathers, that they submitted to the use of circumcision, and the rest of the Jewish ways of living; at which time therefore this befell them, that they were hereafter no other than Jews.” (Josephus, The Antiquities of the Jews, 13:9:1)

Anyone, familiar with Jewish history, would find it baffling that they would conclude from this that the Jews are Edomites. By the time of the second century BC, as well as in the land of Israel, Jews had migrated to Alexandria, Antioch, Asia Minor, Greece and Rome, and arguably the majority of the Jews still lived in Mesopotamia and had never returned from the Babylonian exile. These were “real” Jews, descendants of Jacob/Israel.  They did not all disappear when the small nation of Edom/Idumea converted to Judaism.

jews 001

(This map is taken from Atlas of the Jewish World by Nicholas de Lange, Phaidon Press, Oxford, 1987, p 23. it shows the distribution of the Jews around 300 BC)

Josephus did not believe all the Jews were Edomites. His biggest work The Antiquities of the Jews was a history of the Jews and it did not begin with the conversion of the Edomites. He covered the same ground as the Old Testament and said the Jews were descendants of Jacob. Josephus wrote that because Herod the Great was an Idumean/Edomite, he was a “half-Jew” (The Antiquities of the Jews, 14:5:2). This suggests that the Jews, descendants of Jacob, did not regard the Edomites as equal or fellow Jews in spite of their conversion to Judaism.

In his other major work The Jewish War Josephus described  how the Idumeans or Edomites joined with the Jews in the revolt against Rome. An army of 20,000 Edomites went to the aid of Jerusalem, but at first, they would not let them in. When they did enter, they sided with the Zealots and killed several thousand inhabitants of Jerusalem (Josephus, The Jewish War, 4:3-25). During the revolt against Rome some Jewish factions were more concerned with fighting each other than the Romans.

Josephus did not say the conflict in Jerusalem was Edomites killing Edomites as Christian Identity proponents would presumably believe. In spite of their conversion to Judaism 200 years earlier Josephus  still believed the Jews and Edomites were separate groups and he thought the Edomites were “a most barbarous and bloody nation.” (Josephus, The Jewish War, 4:5:1)

Nevertheless, Christian Identity proponents believe the word “Jew” means “Edomite” and the Jews, who interacted with Jesus in the Gospels, were really Edomites, rather than the descendants of Jacob, the subject of the Old Testament. Christian Identity proponents claim they are Christians, yet they do not see the Bible as their source of truth and authority. (The fact that the Christian Identity movement is full of racists and criminals also casts doubts on the genuineness of their Christianity.) The way they carry on about the Jews supposedly being Edomites, you would think it is as important as Jesus dying for our sins (if we are white). The Bible does not say Jews are Edomites. The New Testament does not even tell us that Herod the Great was an Edomite, which we know from Josephus.

When the Samaritan woman called Jesus a Jew (John 4:9), he did not correct her and say, “I’m not an Edomite.” Jesus went on to say that “salvation is of the Jews” (John 4:22). I don’t think he meant “salvation is of the Edomites”.

At Pentecost there were “Jews, devout men , from every nation under heaven” in Jerusalem (Acts 2:5), including “Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs” (Acts 2:9-11). Edom does not get a mention. Peter called them both “Men of Judea” (Acts 2:14) and “Men of Israel” (Acts 2:22).

In Romans Paul writes, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek” (Romans 1:16). Again, I don’t think he meant the gospel was first for the Edomites, rather than the descendants of Israel to whom the old covenant had been given.

In Galatians Paul referred to both himself and Peter as Jews (Galatians 2:14-15).

I have heard some Christian Identity proponents cite John 8 as proof the Jews are Edomites. Jesus was debating the Pharisees (John 8:13) and said, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” The Pharisees replied, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone.” (John 8:32-33) Their reasoning is that the Israelites were slaves in Egypt, but the Edomites were not slaves but they were still descendants of Abraham through Esau, so the Jews knew they were Edomites.

However, the Edomites had been in bondage to King David, “He also garrisons in Edom, throughout all Edom he put garrisons, and all the Edomites became David’s servants” (2 Samuel 8:14, see also 1 Chronicles 18:13). “Ebed”, Hebrew for “servant” can also be translated as “slave”.

In John 7 the Pharisees and chief priests say that “no prophet has arisen out of Galilee” (John 7:52). In fact, about half a dozen Old Testament prophets came from the Galilee region. Jesus went on to tell the Pharisees their father was “the devil and the father of lies” (John 8:44). If Jesus says their father is “the devil and the father of lies”, it is not very wise to believe what they say.

Jesus was clealry talking about spiritual freedom, how the truth sets us free from the bondage of false ideas.

Twice in Revelation Jesus warns the churches about the “synagogue of Satan” who “say they are Jews and are not”  (Revelation 2:9, 3:9). Christian Identity proponents take this as referring to all Jews and  it means they are Edomites. This is flawed reasoning. There cannot be false Jews unless there are also real Jews. Those false Jews in Asia Minor, who “say they are Jews and are not”, were more likely Gnostics, rather than Edomites. Elsewhere, there must have real Jews, descendants of Jacob.

Many Christian Identity proponents quote the Jewish Encyclopedia of 1906 or 1925 as saying “Edom is modern Jewry” or “Edom is in modern Jewry”. It is even supposed to be Volume 5, page 41 of the 1925 edition.

However, the 1906 edition is online. Its entry on Edom can be found here and it does not say “Edom is modern Jewry” or “Edom is in modern Jewry”.

Likewise, on the  The Christogenea Christian Identity Forum  one contributor said he bought the 1925 edition and could not find the quote. It looks like some Christian Identity supporter made up the quote and others have been repeating it  without bothering to check if it is authentic.

The Christian Identity movement believes the Old Testament conflict between Jacob and Esau is still going on today. The white nations are the Israelites, the descendants of Jacob, while the Jews are really Edomites, the descendants of Esau. They believe they are being oppressed by an international Jewish conspiracy. However, if they are Israel and the Jews are Edomites, their hatred of the Jews disobeys God’s command to Israel, “You shall not abhor an Edomite, for he is your brother.” (Deuteronomy 23:7)

In Who is Esau-Edom? Charles Weisman writes that the Old Testament prophecies about judgement upon Edom (Obadiah, Ezekiel 25) mean that God will use the white race to destroy the Jews,

“It is Jacob [the white nations] that God will se to destroy and kill Esau-Edom [the JEws]. In Obadiah’s prophecy it says that “Jacob shall be a fire”. This is not a purifying or refining fire. This fire will both “kindle” and “devour” Esau who is regarded as “stubble”, a substance which can be easily burned up and destroyed.

It is interesting that the Jews have chosen the word “holocaust” meaning the whole of something which is burned. The whole house of Esau  is described as being burned up – a true holocaust is about to occur. The Jews cry “never again” in reference to the Holocaust story but the fact is it has not yet happened. This destruction will happen to the Jews and at the hand of Israel, the white race, as verified by Ezekiel.” (Charles Weisman, Who is Esau-Edom?, Weisman Publications, Minnesota, 1991, p 115)


Those of us who are not so eager to participate in genocide should not worry. The fact, that the nation of Edom no longer exists, suggests that theses prophecies about Edom’s judgement and downfall have already been fulfilled.


Another theory is that modern Jews  are descendants of the Khazars who once lived in the Caucasus region including parts of what is now Ukraine, Russia and Kazakstan. In the 8th or 9th centuries the Khazars converted to Judaism. Modern Jews are supposed to be the descendants of the Khazars who emigrated to Eastern Europe after the fall of Khazria in the 11th or 12th centuries. This theory was popularized by the Jewish writer Arthur Koestler in The Thirteenth Tribe published in 1976.


However, it poses a problem for traditional “Christian” anti-Semitism which blames the Jews for killing Jesus. If modern Jews are the descendants of the Khazars, then they have no connection to the “Christ-killers” of the New Testament.

On the other hand, the Khazar hypothesis is used by anti-Zionists of both the Left and Right to argue that the Jews of modern Israel are descendants of the Khazars and have no ancestral claim to the land of Israel.

Modern Jews can be divided into four groups;

(1) Middle Eastern or Mizrahi Jews who lived in the nations of the Middle East.

(2) Sephardic Jews who were expelled from Spain in the 15th century.

(3) North African Jews who have lived along the coast of North Africa for 2000 years,

(4) Ashkenazi Jews of Germany and Eastern Europe. (Harry Ostrer, Legacy, A Genetic History of the Jewish People, Oxford University Press, 2012, p 20-22)

At best, the Khazar hypothesis can only be applied to the Ashkenazi Jews of Germany and Eastern Europe. It cannot account for the Middle Eastern, Sephardic and North African Jews.

In a 2013 book DNA Science and the Jewish Bloodline Texe Marrs claimed that recent DNA studies had confirmed the Jews are Khazars, rather than descendants of Israel.

dna science

“Now comes the ultimate, definitive DNA study, by Dr Eran Elhaik and associates at the McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine, John Hopkins School of Medicine.   Entitled The Missing Link of Jewish European Ancestry: Contrasting the Rhineland and the Khazarian Hypotheses, and published by the Oxford Journal on behalf of the  Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution, the study confirms Oppenheim’s research and the many scholarly books.

Dr. Elhaik and the prestigious John Hopkins University School of Medicine conclude in their report: “The Khazarian Hypothesis suggests that Eastern European Jews  descended from the Khazars, an amalgam of Turkic clans that settled the Caucasus in the early centuries CE and Converted [sic]  to Judaism in the eighth century … Following the collapse of their empire, the Judeo-Khazars fled to Eastern Europe. The rise of European Jewry is therefore explained by the contribution of the Judeo-Khazars.” ” (Texe Marrs, DNA Science and the Jewish Bloodline, RiverCrest Publishing, Texas, 2013, p 49-50)

This is not a quote from the conclusion of the article.  it is from the Abstract which appears at the beginning and summarizes the article. The complete Abstract reads,

“The question of Jewish ancestry has been the subject of controversy for over two centuries and has yet to be resolved. The “Rhineland Hypothesis” depicts Eastern European Jews as a “population isolate” that emerged from a small group of German Jews who migrated eastward and expanded rapidly. alternatively, the “Khazarian Hypothesis” suggests that Eastern European Jews descended from the Khazars, an amalgam of Turkic clans that settled in the Caucasus in the early centuries CE and converted to Judaism in the 8th century. Mesopotamian and Greco-Roman Jews continuously reinforced the Judaized Empire until the 13th century. Following the collapse of their empire, the Judeo-Khazars  fled to Europe. The rise of European Jewry is therefore explained by the contribution of the Judeo-Khazars. Thus far, however, the Khazar’s contribution has been estimated only empirically, as the absence of genome-wide data from Caucasus populations precluded testing the Khazarian Hypothesis. Recent sequencing of modern Caucasus populations prompted us to revisit the Khazarian Hypothesis and compare it  with the Rhineland Hypothesis. We applied a wide range of population genetic analysis to compare these two hypotheses. Our findings support the Khazarian Hypothesis and portray the European Jewish genome as a mosaic of Caucasus, European and Semitic ancestries, thereby consolidating previous contradictory reports of Jewish ancestry. We further describe major difference among Caucasus populations explained by the early presence of Judeans in the Southern and Central Caucasus. Our results have important implications on the demographic forces that shaped the genetic diversity in the Caucasus and medical studies.” ( Eran Elhaik, “The Missing LInk of Jewish European Ancestry: Contrasting the Rhineland and the Khazarian Hypotheses”Genome Biology and Evolution (2012), First published online: December 2012, p 2)

As we can see, Elhaik described two hypotheses, the Khazarian and the Rhineland. He wrote, “Our findings support the Khazarian Hypothesis  and portray the European Jewish genome as a mosaic of Caucasus, European and Semitic ancestries.” In other words, Elhaik concluded that European Jews had both Khazarian and Semitic Jewish ancestry, although he admittedly believed they were more Khazarian than Semitic.

Marrs left out  the passage in the Abstract which said, “Mesopotamian and Greco-Roman Jews reinforced the Judaized Empire until the 13th century.”

Elhaik also, “After their conversion to Judaism, the population structure of the Judeo-Khazars was further reshaped by multiple migrations of Jews from the Byzantine Empire and the Caliphate to the Khazarian Empire.” (p 4)


“Greco-Roman and Mesopotamian Jews gravitating toward Khazria were also common in the early centuries and their migrations intensified following the Khazars’ conversion to Judaism.” (p 19)

Historians do not know how many of the Khazars converted to Judaism. Nevertheless, after the ruling class converted, Khazaria  became a safe haven for Jews from persecution. In The Thirteenth Tribe Arthur Koestler quoted the tenth century Arab historian al-Masudi,

“In this city [Khazrian -Itil] are Muslims, Christians, Jews and pagans. The Jews are the king, his attendants and the Khazars of his kind. The king of the Khazars had already become a Jew in the Caliphate of Harun al-Rashid and he was joined by Jews from all the lands of Islam and from the country of the Greeks [Byzantium]. Indeed, the king of the Greeks at the present time, the  Year of Hegira 332 [AD 943-4] had converted the Jews in his kingdom to Christianity be coercion … Thus many Jews took flight from the country of the Greeks to Khazaria.” (Arthur Koestler, The Thirteenth Tribe, Omni Publications, California, 1976, p 60)

Thus, many Jews with Middle Eastern ancestry migrated to Khazaria where they would have intermarried with the Khazarian Jews. Their descendants would have had both Israelite and Khazarian ancestry. Even if the Khazarian hypothesis were true  and the Eastern European Jews came from Khazaria, they would still be descendants of Jacob.

One would not learn anything about Jewish migrants to Khazaria from Texe Marrs’ DNA Science and the Jewish Bloodline which gives the impression that Eran Elhaik proved modern Jews were Khazars and had no connection to the Jews of the Bible.

However, that may be giving too much credibility to the Khazar hypothesis. Elahik has been criticised for taking samples from Georgians and Armenians because the Khazars are no longer an identifiable ethnic group.  Marcus Feldman, Director of Stanford’s Morrison Institute for Population and Resource Studies commented,

“If you take all of the careful genetic population analysis that has been done over the last 15 years … there’s no doubt about the common Middle Eastern origin [of the Jews]. … He [Elhiak] appears to be applying the statistics in a way that gives him different results from what everybody else has obtained from essentially similar data.” (Rita Rubin, ” ‘Jews a Race’ Genetic Theory Comes under Fierce Attack by DNA Expert”, The Jewish Daily Forward, May 10, 2013)

In The Jews of Khazaria Kevin Alan Brook agrees the Khazars converted to Judaism and some would have migrated to Eastern Europe, but the says the majority of the Ashkenazi Jews till came from Germany. A “small Turkic Khazarian element” assimilated into the Ashkenazi Jews, but they did not account for all the Ashkenazi Jews (Kevin Alan Brook, The Jews of Khazaria, Second Edition, Rowman and Littlefield, Lanham, 2006, p 226)

Yiddish, the language of the Ashkenazi Jews, is not a Turkic or Slavic language, which would suggest an Eastern or Khazarian origin, but “is primarily based on medieval High German, and this is especially observable in its vocabulary” (The Jews of Khazaria, p 203). Many Ashkenazi Jews have surnames derived from towns in Germany, suggesting they came for Germany rather than the Caucasus (The Jews of Khazaria, p 202-203).

Marrs also claims that the genetic research of Ariella Oppenheim of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem also proves that modern Jews are descendants of the Khazars, not Israelites,

“Scientific DNA studies were conducted first in 2001 by Ariella Oppenheim, a Jewish genetics researcher of Hebrew University in Tel Aviv [sic]. Her findings: Almost all who today identify as “Jews” are not the descendants of Abraham but are, in fact, of Turkish/Mongol stock. The Jews are Khazarians, not Israelites.” (DNA Science and the Jewish Bloodline, p 20)

“In 2001, Dr. Ariella Oppenheim of Hebrew University, a biologist published the first extensive study of DNA and the origin of the Jews. Her research found that virtually all the Jews came from Turkish and Kurd blood. Not only that but Oppenheim suggested that the Palestinians – the very people whom the Jews had been persecuting and expelling from Israel’s land since 1948 – might have more Israelite blood than did the Jews. In sum, the vast majority of the Jews were not Jews; some of the Palestinians were. Some of the Palestinians even had a DNA chromosome which established they were “Cohens” – workers at the ancient Temple and synagogues of the Jews.” (DNA Science and the Jewish Bloodline, p 49)

Marrs does not explain how if the Jews are Khazars with no connection to the Middle East, it is possible to identify a chromosome which showed that some Palestinians were descendants of  Jewish Temple priests.

“Cohen” is Hebrew for “priest” so Jews  with the surname Cohen, Cohan or Kohen  are presumably descendants of Jewish priests from the Temple period. Geneticists have identified the Cohanim Modal Haplotype (CMH) which can be found in about 45% of Ashkenazi Jews with the surname Cohen or its derivatives and 56% of Sephardic Jews called Cohen, suggesting members of both groups were priests in the Jerusalem Temple (The Jews of Khazaria, p 222). However, it can also be found in some non-Jews in the Middle East.

Ariella Oppenheim is one of six authors of the 2001 article Almut Nebel, et al., “The Y Chromosome Pool of Jews as Part of the Genetic Landscape of the Middle East”, American Journal of Human Genetics, Vol, 69, p 1095-112, 2001. I am not sure why Texe Marrs singles her out.

Ariella Oppenheim co-authored two previous articles on Jews and genetics published in 2000. They say the genetic evidence shoes the Jews came for the Middle East.

“The results support the hypothesis that the paternal gene pools of Jewish communities from Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East descended from a common Middle Eastern ancestral population, and suggest that most Jewish communities have remained relatively isolated from neighboring non-Jewish communities during and after the Diaspora.” (M. F. Hammer, et al., “Jewish and Middle Eastern non-Jewish populations share a common pool of Y-chromosome biallelic haplotypes”, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 97, No. 12, June 6, 2000, p 6769)

“Our findings corroborate previous studies that suggested a common origin for Jewish and non-Jewish populations living in the Middle East.” (Almut Nebel, et al.,  “High-resolution Y chromosome haplotypes of Israeli and Palestinian Arab reveal geographic substructure and substantial overlap with haplotypes of Jews”, Human Genetics, , 107 , 2000, p 637)

They suggest the genetic similarity between Jews and Palestinians is because these Palestinians are descendants of Jews who converted to Islam (p 631, 637).

A 2009 program on Israeli television “The Case of Palestinian Jews” says about 85% of Palestinians are of Jewish origin and about half of them know it. It looks like the older Palestinians know, while their children go out and throw rocks at Israeli soldiers.

Early Zionists Israel Belkind, Ber Borocher, Itzhak Ben-Zvi and future Israeli prime minister David Ben-Gurion believed the Palestinians had Jewish ancestors (Shlomo Sand, The Invention of the Jewish People, Verso, London, 2010, p 182-189).

If the Jews are related to the Palestinians, then the Jews must also have their roots in Palestine, rather than Khazria.

Marrs’ claim that the 2001 article “The Y Chromosome Pool as Part of the Genetic Landscape of the Middle East” shows that “virtually all the Jews came from Turkish and Kurd stock” or are “of Turkish/Mongol stock” is misleading. ( I would like to know what the Mongols from Eastern Asia have to do with the Jews.)

The article says, “Jews were found to be more closely related to groups in the north of the Fertile Crescent (Kurds, Turks and Armenians) than to their Arab neighbours.” (p 1095)

However, they do not believe this is because the Jews are descendants of the Khazars who converted to Judaism in the 8th or 9th centuries. They concluded that “the common genetic Middle Eastern background predated the ethnogenesis in the region. The study demonstrates that the Y chromosome pool of Jews is an integral part of the genetic landscape  of the region and, in particular, the Jews exhibit a high degree of genetic affinity to populations living in the north of the Fertile Crescent.” (p 1106)

In other words, the Jews or Israelites, Kurds, Turks and Armenians all emerged from the same group. Abraham may have come from this region in the northern Fertile Crescent (Legacy, p 94)

Cleary, their conclusions do not support the Khazar hypothesis.