Posts Tagged “british-israelism”

When the Fail is so strong, one Facepalm is not enough / Picard & Riker / based on HaHaStop.ComBy now anyone who’s read my blog knows that Glenn Beck is a lying Christofascist ignoramus of the highest order. It’s been awhile since I’ve blogged about his insanity, but I just came across something he said which is so colossally stupid — not to mention absolutely and totally false — that I can’t help but point it out. What he has done is to establish his own version of American-Israelism. The report comes from World Net Nut Daily, which I don’t normally use as a third-party source of information, but they provide video, so brace yourselves (WebCite cached article):

Radio and television host Glenn Beck is now going public with his belief the United States is among the famous “Lost 10 Tribes of Israel,” and America today is suffering calamaties just as ancient Israel did due to its disobedience to the laws of God.

Echoing the conclusions of some experts who have delved deeply into what’s known as the theory of “Anglo-Israelism” or “British-Israelism,” Beck took viewers of his TV show into a biblical history lesson dating back to the time after King David of the Old Testament, when the once united Kingdom of Israel became divided.

For someone like myself, who studied actual history in college and who knows a thing or two about Biblical times, I groaned involuntarily. I know that misinformation is coming … and it did … but I couldn’t have anticipated how stunningly bad it would be. You see, among the many ahistorical claims Beckie-boy made, is this:

Beck went on to note that when the Assyrians [who’d conquered the northern kingdom of Israel] were finally defeated by other powers, they and the Israelite captives fled northward.

“And they fled out of captivity through the Caucuses Mountains,” he said. “The Caucusus Mountains are where you hear the word ‘Caucasian.’”

Glennie goes astray here by making too much of the word “Caucasian.” He’s suggesting that everyone who’s a “Caucasian” is a descendant of these Assyrians and their Hebrew captives. Nothing, however, could be further from the truth. First of all, even before the Assyrian nation came into existence there were many nations, populated by people who would later be called “Caucasian,” already in Europe and in western and southern Asia! Second, Glenn errs by taking the term “Caucasian” too literally. Its etymology is actually mistaken. German anthropologist Johann Blumenbach, in the late 18th century, erroneously thought that the Caucasus mountain region had been the original homeland of the Aryan peoples. We now know he was wrong about that … and about a lot of other things, too, especially his “racial degeneration” theories. In any event, serious scientists no longer view the racial term “Caucasian” as being meaningful. That the Glennster does, and connects it literally with the Caucasus Mountains, betrays his ignorance.

But having spewed that lunacy, Beckie-boy wasn’t done. He reeled off even more lies:

“What’s interesting is the Assyrians, who were very good, meticulous record-keepers, and who were just brutal [people], they settled in Italy and in the Germany area and the Russia area where facsism comes from. But the Israelites, the Lost 10 Tribes, they went north and they started to scatter [in another] direction, and they went to the coastlines, generally in the area where the Pilgrims came from.

To this I can only say, “What the fuck!?” He offers no evidence the Assyrians went to Italy, Germany or Russia. He directly connects those Assyrians with fascism, a political movement that didn’t emerge for two and a half millennia after their state had vanished. And their Hebrew captives, whom the Assyrians had supposedly taken with them, somehow escaped, at some point Glenn never discloses, and settled in “coastal areas” (I guess he forgot that Italy has lots and lots of coastline, and Germany and Russia have some, too).

Lastly, the Glennster goes on at length about how America’s various symbolic associations with the number 13 — such as in the presidential seal — just can’t possibly have anything to do with the fact that the country was founded as a federation of 13 former British colonies. Oh no! It comes, instead, from the 12 tribes of Israel.

Yes, that’s what he said. That 12 equals 13. Glennie-boy even rationalized this idiotic formulation:

As far as why 12 tribes of Israel would be represented by the number 13 and not 12, Beck stated, “The tribe of Joseph split into Manassah and Ephraim, and those were in northern Israel. That’s the northern kingdom of Israel. That’s the thirteen tribes.”

The WND article continues with a whole lot more of Beckie-boy’s insipid and fact-deprived drivel, complete with his usual long chains of associations. It also cites a “historian,” Steven M. Collins, who supports Glennie’s insane ramblings, however, I can find no record of this Collins having any credentials in history (either by virtue of being awarded a history degree, or having authored an article in a peer-reviewed history journal). I can only assume the guy is no more a “historian” than another of Beckie-boy’s Christofascist friends, David Barton.

In any event, what the Glennster outlines here isn’t really that strange, if you see how similar it is to a movement known as British-Israelism. It, and other related wingnut hypotheses (such as the Khazar myth) are all basically anti-Semitic notions, cooked up in order to rob Jews of their own spiritual heritage and award it to some other group or nation instead. It’s all very irrational, not to mention hateful, and it has no place in the 21st century United States.

Nevertheless, the Glennster is sticking to it. Hmm.

Ordinarily I’d have embedded the video of Glenn spewing his ignorance, distortions, exaggerations, and lies … but somehow I can’t bring myself to put his face on my blog any more. Something about it just turns my stomach. You’ll just have to go there for yourself if you care to see this insanity.

Hat tip: Rational Wiki.

Photo credit: HaHaStop.

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The Washington Post’s On Faith site poses an interesting question for its panelists:

Is it better to challenge or ignore Holocaust deniers such as Catholic Bishop Richard Williamson and Iranian President Mahmoud Amadenijad? Why?

A lot of the responses are moralistic in nature, and although mostly written from the religious perspective of their authors, not far off base. However, for me — although Holocaust denial is rooted in anti-Semitism and therefore has a mostly-religious basis — the question of whether or not the Holocaust happened, is inherently historiographical, not religious. That is, the most important question is the veracity of the Holocaust and what we have since learned about it.

So in a way, the question of “engaging” Holocaust-deniers is not a sound one. It’s premised on the idea that Holocaust deniers have something to say that’s worth hearing, or that their opinions are worth wrestling with.

This is not a safe assumption, however. Not all views have any validity, nor is there always an “equivalence of viewpoints.”

Let me use a different example. Say you meet someone who thought the earth was flat, not round. (Not a kid in school just learning about the shape of the earth … I mean an adult who has been educated in physics but has chosen, for whatever reason, to believe the earth is flat rather than a sphere.) Would you bother arguing the shape of the earth with such a person? If so, why? What reason would any rational person have, to “engage in dialog” with someone whose beliefs are obviously contrary to science (and have been for the many centuries that have passed since the ancient Greeks, among other peoples, determined the earth is a sphere)?

I suppose if the person is a friend, you might want to straighten him/her out, but otherwise, why bother? The idea that the earth is flat, is not a view that’s worthy of any discussion. It is not a notion that could be “balanced” somehow with the (correct) notion of a spherical earth. There is no equivalence, no “balance point,” and no merit to entertaining such a view.

The same goes for Holocaust denial. There is no merit to even discuss the possibility the Holocaust didn’t happen, since it did — and we know it — just as surely as we know the earth is a sphere.

The cold hard fact is that Holocaust denial has no historiographical basis any more. It is motivated solely by hatred of Jews and/or Judaism, and a desire to rob them of their heritage. In this regard it’s no different from, say, British-Israelism, which claims that modern Jews are not actually Jews; rather, the peoples of Britain are descendants of the “lost tribes of Israel” and therefore the British — not the Jews — are God’s “chosen people.” In the same way, Holocaust-denial is a way of eliminating any consideration of the Jews as a distinct people (whether ethnically, socially, culturally, or religiously).

When people are motivated to believe something because of religion or hatred, there can be no “reasoning” with them, no constructive dialog. There is nothing that Holocaust-deniers can say about the Holocaust that’s worth hearing, because it has no basis in fact or rationality.

The only reasonable way to deal with Holocaust-deniers, is to marginalize them. Laugh at them. Dismiss them. Call them kooks, cranks, or wing-nuts. But don’t do anything that even implies they have anything worthwhile to say — because nothing good can come from hearing what they say.

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