Here’s a proposition: About one-third of our body politic will attend an all-expenses paid trip to Israel, chaperoned by an anti-Jewish political advocacy group; what could possibly go wrong?
If you’re just picking up on the story, Ben Schreckinger brings us the latest version, in which we pause to consider how the right wing is responding. Because, you know, between the RNC, its premillennial dispensationalist evangelical bloc, and pro-Israeli hardliners, nobody could have foreseen this particular conflict arising, could they? Oh, the poor right wing. Actually, that’s not really fair. But you’ll note that no part of Schreckinger’s article―not even the parts covering the Anti-Defamation League―has anything to say about the AFA’s anti-Judaic posturing.
In interviews with POLITICO on Monday, evangelical leaders and right-leaning groups said the national party showed poor judgment at best in associating with “extremists,” as evangelical Alan Noble described the groups. AFA has been labeled a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center — a description it has disputed.
“It creates a problem of the RNC appearing to pander to the most extreme elements of the religious right,” said Warren Throckmorton, a lifelong Republican and conservative evangelical leader from Pennsylvania.
Said Noble, managing editor of the evangelical publication Christ and Pop Culture and an assistant professor at Oklahoma Baptist University: “I’m at a loss for why they think that this is a good idea. It’s disappointing. As someone who is conservative and evangelical, I think there are a lot of conservative evangelical groups that the RNC can work with … that are not extreme and hurtful and un-Christian.”
And if that is enough of a temptation to actually dig into the story, Rachel Maddow actually ran a couple segments last week:
• “American Family Association fires Bryan Fischer ahead of RNC trip to Israel” (28 Jan. 2015)
• “Religious bigotry haunts group hosting RNC (29 Jan. 2015)
Schreckinger, Ben. “Right attacks RNC over Israel trip”. Politico. 2 February 2015.