In Washington on the weekend after the Fourth of July, Israel was praised and Iran was condemned in the strongest terms, with a bit of a call to arms thrown in to prepare the nation for an inevitable war. It might just seem like a normal work week in the nation’s capital, but this time around there was a difference. The rhetoric came from no less than five senior officials in the Trump administration and the audience consisted of 5,000 cheering members from the Christian Zionist evangelical group called Christians United for Israel (CUFI).
Christian Zionism is not a religion per se, but rather a set of beliefs based on interpretations of specific parts of the Bible—notably the book of Revelations and parts of Ezekiel, Daniel, and Isaiah—that has made the return of the Jews to the Holy Land a precondition for the Second Coming of Christ. The belief that Israel is essential to the process has led to the fusion of Christianity with Zionism, hence the name of the movement. The political significance of this viewpoint is enormous, meaning that a large block of Christians promotes and votes for a non-reality based foreign policy based on a controversial interpretation of the Bible that it embraces with considerable passion.