Pence's Offensive Tree of Life Victims' Remembrance

[Content Note: Christian Supremacy; anti-Semitism.]

Just another reminder that Mike Pence is just as despicable as his boss: He appeared onstage with a "Messianic rabbi" (think "Jews for Jesus") to offer a remembrance of the victims of the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting at a political rally in Michigan.

Isaac Stanley-Becker at the Washington Post reports:
Two days after the deadliest attack on Jews in U.S. history, Vice President Pence bowed his head at a rally on Monday in Michigan as a religious leader who casts himself as a "rabbi" offered a prayer for the victims in Pittsburgh.

But the man who shared a stage with Pence, Loren Jacobs, preaches Messianic Judaism, a tradition central to Jews for Jesus, a group condemned by Jewish leaders as faux Judaism that seeks to promote Christian evangelism. The major Jewish denominations join the state of Israel in viewing followers of Messianic Judaism as Christian, not Jewish.

His appearance drew outrage on social media. Jason A. Miller, a Detroit-area rabbi, wrote on Facebook that more than 60 rabbis appeared in a directory of the Michigan Board of Rabbis — "and yet the only rabbi they could find to offer a prayer for the 11 Jewish victims in Pittsburgh at the Mike Pence Rally was a local Jew for Jesus rabbi?"

...Appearing with the vice president on Monday, Jacobs invoked "Jesus the Messiah" and "Savior Yeshua" — another name for Jesus — as he offered a prayer for the dead and wounded in Pittsburgh. "God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob, God and Father of my Lord and Savior Yeshua, Jesus the Messiah, and my God and Father, too," he intoned.

...Jacobs's remarks weren't limited to the theme of religious solidarity, however. In addition to denouncing the "hate-inspired shooting at the synagogue in Pittsburgh" and asking God to "comfort all those who are mourning," Jacobs appealed to the Almighty to favor the Republican Party in the midterm elections next month.

He did not name the individual victims of the Pittsburgh massacre, but named four Republican candidates, including [Lena Epstein, a Republican candidate for Michigan's 11th District, who invited Jacobs]. "I pray for them and for the Republican Party and its candidates so that they would honor you and your ways, that you might grant them victory in this election," he said from the stage.
A Pence aide claims that Pence had no idea who Loren Jacobs was when the vice-president called him to the stage to "deliver a message of unity," which seems very unlikely, as Pence isn't known for his interfaith tolerance, to put it politely.

If it's indeed accurate that Pence didn't know with whom he'd be sharing a stage during such a sensitive moment, that's a humongous vetting failure. The Vice-President of the United States and his team should know exactly with whom he'll be photographed onstage at any political event.

But Pence sharing the stage with a Christian "rabbi" to "honor" the dead at the Tree of Life Synagogue, who then fails to even mention their names then launches into a election prayer for Republicans, is too on the fucking nose for that to have been an accident.

Fuck this entire administration.

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