They poured into the Beverly Hilton like young politicos at a national convention, in awe at the feet of religious icons and ready to go forth from the Jerusalem Prayer Banquet to promote the gospel of God's love for Israel.
Talking last Thursday about God's chosen people, comparing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Hitler and lamenting the indifference others express about Israel, these 300-plus Christians each spent at least $125 to pray for peace in the Holy Land and commiserate with Jews about the seemingly never-ending threats to Israel's existence.
"God has ordained Israel as a favored nation, and it is important for us to support it," said Fred Broling, a 72-year-old evangelical Christian who flew with his wife from Chicago for the dinner and donated $5,000 to Eagles' Wings Ministries, the organization that hosted the event, placing the couple in the Guardian circle, alongside televangelist Pat Robertson. "God has told us we will be blessed by the fact that we support his people."
Where do the Christian Scriptures say that?
"I don't know," Broling replied. "Somewhere, I'm sure."
That's from a story I wrote this week about the evangelical Christian love affair with Jews -- or at least Israel. Read more about it here and here.